Chronicling the highs, lows, quips, quotes, comings and goings of Washington, D.C. spokesguys and spokesgals

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Throwaway Gossip Items Deserve Witty Retorts, Darn It

Roll Call's Mary Ann Akers reports this morning on Sen. Lindsay Graham's photo-shopped appearance in the latest issue of GQ. I must admit, I picked up the mag during a recent trip and the photo illustration really threw me off. It certainly wasn't an obvious kind of doctored image like many mag shoots are...this one looked very real, and pretty weird.

If you picked up the latest issue of GQ magazine, the one with Clive Owen on the cover, you must have been as perplexed as we were to see a smiling Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) posing crossed-legged in undies and a T-shirt on the top of a military bunk bed. What was he thinking? We wondered.

The next photo in the spread, which accompanies an in-depth profile of the Senator, depicts Graham with a goofy smile rowing a johnboat through a gloomy, flooded backcountry with his 65-pound beer gut hanging over his pants. Wait ... beer gut? And that’s when you realize: These photos were doctored.

But people. When something funny likes this happens to your boss, and Mary Ann gives you a call seeking comment, for the love of all of us, give funny quote. This was the best that Team Graham could muster:
“When you figure it out, please let us know,” Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop told HOH. “Bizarre is an understatement!” At least Bishop was laughing.
Kudos to Kevin for good humor, but this kind of item is a big, honking, neon-sign invitation to offer a funny quote. Laughing on the phone with Mary Ann isn't bad, but better is a quip that shows you really get it. The legend at this, of course, is my ex-boss Jano Cabrera, who dispenses these kind of quote with ease.

Not only does it convey that your boss has a sense of humor and doesn't take himself too seriously (which we all know too many in Washington do), but it will forever endear to you the gossip reporters who have to fill space several times a week. And then those same folks will call you later on with really juicy inside dirt.

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