Sadly, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz was injured in an accident last week at his second job laying railroad track. A malfunctioning explosive charge blew a four foot long tamping iron through his skull, destroying most of the front left section of his brain.
Remarkably, however, just like in the case of Phineas Gage in 1848, Kurtz survived. After filing down the two protruding ends of the steel spike, doctors today allowed Kurtz to return to his show on CNN, while emphasizing that he should keep his hair combed over the giant gaping hole in his skull.
Immediately after his injury Kurtz had, like Gage, seemed remarkably unaffected. But he’s now started making the kinds of statements people do only when they have giant spikes embedded in their brains:
KURTZ: I’m certainly not saying that what people say at these rallies, particularly if it’s ugly stuff, shouldn’t be covered. It’s part of the story. But it seems that the press has kind of adopted this theme that McCain and Palin are stoking the anger…
I was in Indiana with Obama this week. And there was some nut job in the crowd who started screaming about Obama was going to bring about the new world order, and he was ejected from the scene and people booed. Hardly anybody reported that because, who cared? But it seems to me that in the case of McCain and Palin, we have decided that they are somehow responsible for this. And I just question whether that’s fair.
Unfortunately, Kurtz’s guest Candy Crowley had not been told of his accident, and reacted like this:
CROWLEY: Right, Howieâ€”those two things are exactly the same. I mean, just as Palin and McCain keep talking about how Obama palls around with terrorists, Obama won’t shut up about how he’s a Secret Grand Dragon of the New World Order. Jesus Christ Almighty, do you have a giant steel spike embedded in your brain or something?
This led to several embarrassing moments for everyone concerned.