A couple of people on the forums have asked me to explain my hatred of Penn and Teller, so: my soul is just full of loathing for them. I hate Penn's greasy-looking hair and his stupid fucking ponytail and his nasty chin pubes. I hate Teller's "look at me, I'm a whimsical mime" attitude. But most of all, I just think that Penn always comes across as a giant bully. He seems to believe that everyone he deals with is a huge idiot, and he's not afraid to demonstrate that belief. And while I have little patience for people who believe in crazy things like alien abductions and astrology, and it's easy to make fun of them, mocking them doesn't necessarily make you a good person. Especially when you seem (as Penn does) to take such delight in being mean to them. (And yes, I know, I also take delight in being mean to people. But at least the people I mock have put themselves on television and invited criticism.) If Penn and Teller, in their work on Bullshit!, seemed remotely interested in actually educating people, I might respect them a little bit. But they just seem intent on demonstrating how much smarter they are than the simpletons around them. So that's why I hate Penn and Teller. But really, isn't the ponytail enough?
Annabeth walks into the press pool with an updated schedule for the China summit. She tells the assembled reporters that the President will be stopping in Louisiana before heading directly to China. Someone asks when Jed is going to appoint a new U.N. ambassador, but Annabeth ignores the question and just steamrolls through the schedule. We learn that Abbey is on a visit to India, and that she'll be meeting Jed in Beijing when she has completed her visit. The reporter is persistent, however, and asks, "How long is the President going to leave the U.N. post vacant?" Annabeth: "Not as long as I'm going to ignore questions about anything other than the China trip." She tells them that, in New Orleans, Jed will be meeting with shrimp fishermen and shrimp packers, but is interrupted by another reporter, who tells her that they're called "shrimpers." If I were a shrimper, I might lobby to change that name. She just calls them "representatives of the shrimp industry" and goes on with the schedule. I enjoyed this scene -- it's been a while since we've seen someone from the White House dealing with the press other than in formal briefings.