Lex Friedman blogs here.

Lex is the EVP of Sales and Development for Midroll, the world's best podcast advertising network.

He was previously Macworld's senior writer, and continues to contribute to the publication. He is the cohost of the Not Playing podcast, a cohost of the Turning This Car Around podcast, a cohost of the The Rebound podcast, and the sole host of the Your Daily Lex podcast.

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Emotional outbursts


[I recently lamented that I wouldn’t see a transcript of Joe Wilson’s attempted mea culpa to President Obama after calling him a liar as the president addressed a joint session of congress. As luck would have it, a friend who works the late shift on the White House switchboard just sent me this.]

“Yeah. It’s Rahm.”

“Oh, I’m, I’m so sorry, I think the switchboard connected me to the wrong office. I’m trying to reach the president? I’m sorry.”

“Nope, you got switched through just fine. The president isn’t available just now, what can I do for you, Joe.”

“I’m sorry? How did … how did you know … Listen, Rahm, I’m sure you’re busy, I can just… I’m sorry. I can call back later.”

“Joey, listen, buddy, you’re calling for a reason, I’m here, let’s talk. What’s on your mind?”

“Rahm, I’m sorry, I don’t want to bother you, I was just calling to talk to, you know, the president. I wanted to, just, formally. Well, you know, talk about what happened … you know. Earlier tonight. And, nothing personal or anything, Rahm, I’m really just looking to talk to the president, personally, about this. I don’t want to involve his staff, I know you guys are busy and all. Is the president, ah, available?”

“You know, Joe, President Obama prefers to unwind with his girls after a night like tonight. He doesn’t like getting too stressed, and his girls, they help the man relax. To see what’s really important. But, like I said, I’m here. You can talk to me about anything you have to talk with president about.”

“Rahm, see, the thing is, I really just wanted to let the president … President Obama … know that … it’s, just, honestly, Rahm, I’m trying to do right and I think, maybe, they handed me off to you so you could let me, uh, have it … and really, I’m trying to do the right thing. Emotions, you know? They can get the best you, sometimes.”

“Joey, are you kidding me? Are you talking to me about emotions? Seriously, pal, I know just what you’re talking about. In the heat of the moment, surrounded by colleagues, under the glare of the cameras, yeah, sometimes, emotions get the better of you. I know all about that! You ever hear about the time I sent the dead fish … it’s not important. What’s important is this call. So, tell me, Joey, what’s up?”

“Oh, man, thanks, Rahm. I really appreciate it. Honestly. I just heard all these stories about you — ‘Rahmbo’ and all that — and, we’ve never really met, except for that time. Maybe you remember? In the men’s room at the inauguration? I handed you a towel, you gave me a tip? I knew that red cummerbund was a bad idea. Anyway, I just want to personally apologize, to the president, of course, for my emotional outburst. I let my emotions, you know, get the better of me, while the president was talking about the illegals getting free healthcare. And I still, you know, respectfully, of course, disagree, but I regret my inappropriate comments. I sincerely apologize to the president for my uncivil tone. My lack of civility. And my tone.”

“Joey, I can’t tell you what a relief that is for us here at the White House. I thought Gibbs was seriously going to lose it. I know I’ve got the reputation for a short fuse but that guy? I thought we were going to have to alert congressional security tomorrow.

I will personally relay your message to the president as soon as I can. Not tonight, of course, he’s with his girls, but it will be at the top of my list tomorrow morning. As if you’d delivered it yourself, in person.”

“Wow, Rahm, seriously? That’s great, I can’t tell you what a relief that is to hear. I’m just thrilled as all get out. And please tell the president I’m available for a follow up call if he’d like to discuss further matters, related to this, or any others. Heck, Rahm, I’ve even got a few ideas of my own I’d love to run by you guys some time.”

“Sure thing, Joe. Oh, and Joey. One last thing.”

“Yeah, sure, Rahm. What is it? Anything you need, bud.”

“If you ever — and I mean ever — pull some of that winger townhall shit again, I will fucking fuck you my fucking self. And I’m not talking the sweet, boring ass missionary shit you’re used to down in po-whereverthefuck-dunk your hillbilly, hick ass is from, I’m talking straight up prison raped by a fucking gang of twenty-to-lifers. My uncircumcised member of congress complete with presidential seal will be the last fucking thing you remember before being permanently incapacitated and made even more meaningless than you already are, you lying sack of dogshit.”

[POTUS, background]

“Hey, Rahmbo, who’s on the phone?”


“Just business, boss. Speech recap in two?”

“Anyhow, thanks for calling, the president looks forward to working with you.”

Posted on September 10th, 2009