tv Smerconish CNN June 2, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
passed. bush 41 tweeted this message. enjoying a great book and a wonderful walk down memory lane this morning. yet another reminder of just how lucky i've been in life. >> it includes a tweet of the 93-year-old bush holding a copy of "george and barbara bush, the great american love story." he's in the hospital for low blood pressure and fatigue. >> wishing him the best. >> we'll see you back here. "smerconish" starts now. ♪ >> i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. we welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. roseanne goes too far and gets canceled. but samantha bee still got her job so president trump is complaining about a double standard. he's right. but not for the reason he thinks. and unemployment is down to historic lows but americans are
also much less likely to outearn their parents. what's the cause of that economic divide? and can that tailspin be reversed? plus, a senior about to graduate places a joke ad on craigslist offering his high school for sale. but in today's school shooting climate, administrators think there was nothing funny about it. what's the lesson learned there. and roseanne wasn't the only celebrity in a twitter jam this week. anonymous tweets aboutlinked to philadelphia 76ersor his wife and his job hangs in the balance. the president wants to talk about double standards and samantha bee. let's do that. this week roseanne barr's show was canceled because of her racist tweet. shortly thereafter, samantha bee called ivanka trump the "c" word on her tbs show. the president weighed in, why aren't they firing no-talent
samantha bee for the horrible language on her low ratings show. total double standard but that's okay. there's definitely a double standard here but not the wop the president is talking about. i interviewed jennifer lynn, a former reporter at the philadelphia inquirer about her 1988 interaction with subject donald trump. here's what she recounted. >> i got a phone call. the woman said hold for mr. trump and then mr. trump began to yell at me. he told me i had shit for brains and worked for a shitty newspaper and what sort of shit was i writing. i was stunned. he hung up and called my boss in philadelphia. and he treated my boss to the same sort of rant. but then he added that he referred to me as the "c" word, a word i will not use, michael, because in my opinion, it's the worst word in the english language to refer to a woman.
>> so white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders call bee's language vile and vicious and said executives at tbs and corporate parent time warner, which is cnn's parent as well, must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned. bee soon thereafter offered up her apology on twitter. i would like to sincerely apologize to ivanka trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. it was inappropriate and inexcusable. i crossed a line and deeply regret it. given that the president himself used the "c" word according to jennifer lynn why is the line? go to my website this hour and answer today's poll question. should samantha bee be fired for referring to ivanka trump as the "c" word? joining me to discuss, a comedian who has written for
seinfe seinfeld, snl, was the host of his own talk program on fox and you are part of comedic lore because you wrote the soup nazi episode. no matter what you do for the rest of your life, this is your epithet, my friend. >> and the "c" word isn't in it. >> it is not in it. although i'm sure you could have worked it in if you thought of it at the time. i stayed up later than i normally do last night. i watched bill maher. in his opening commentary he said something relevant. let's watch. >> it was a tough, tough week for the line. you know, the line. the one that comedians sometimes cross. tough week for the line. >> what is the line? can you define the line? is this like potter stewart knowing pornography when he sees it? define it. >> the line is a combination of
what you're writing about and let's take samantha bee as an example. she's writing about a horrible situation that's happening in our country where children are being torn out of the arms of their parents at the border, an immigration issue, which is a very extreme issue. and a combination of how you feel about that, how you're going to write about that and also your network broadcast standards. how much they're going to let you say about that. so i watched the samantha bee joke, and i watched her audience react to it. she's a comedian, a comedy writer. they carefully choose their jokes. for me, the joke landed and you hear the audience laugh, the audience applause. and it's commenting on a terrible situation and it's using a bit of extreme language to make her point. i don't know that she crossed the line. for me, that's a personal thing. i thought she nailed the joke. and i think her apology has more to do with maybe network
politics than whether she really needed to make one in the first place. >> well, i guess by that explanation then, you find her apology and her admission of crossing a line to be disingenuous. >> not disingenuous. i don't think it was needed. i don't know samantha, but i can only imagine how the network is panicking. the network that was most likely at rehearsal and heard the line and let it go anyways. she might be making a decision that, you know, it's easier to apologize and keep my job and keep my staff employed and she also may be just exploring the very edge of the line that tbs has. maybe there is a line for her with that network. and maybe she did cross it and now she knows. what's important to point out -- she's not doing it all the time. >> so david french writing for national review has a different take and one i hear from many
folks on the right. no reasonable person thinks samantha bee would still have a job at tbs if she used the same terrible language to insult chelsea clinton or michelle obama. no reasonable person believes msnbc would stick with a conservative for so long in the face of anything like the steady drum beat of outrageous revelations excused in part by dubious claims of hacking about joy reid's old work. respond to that. >> david french known for his humor critiques around the world. that would be my first response to david french. you're talking about joy reid, political shows. this popular misnom are that comes from the right that these are liberal writing rooms. and they're not. the writing rooms that i've been in, the letterman, saturday night live, my own show, what we're doing is right and wrong, not left and right. we're not going, let's toe the line for the left today.
we look at news and we're social judges. and this is a right or wrong issue that she's commenting on. and i don't think we should be caught up on the word she used because we're all fine with it. we're all okay. our ears aren't bleeding. we should be caught up on what she was talking about and trying to point out with her humor. and that is this horrible administration policy where children and parents are being separated. >> sally field, speaking of the word itself, if we're really going to go there, i thoug had a unique take by twitter. dare i put it up on the screen. she pretty much says we should embrace the "c" word. they are powerful, beautiful, nurturing and honest. your take. >> okay. i guess. for me personally, if you were asking me as a writer and as a performer, i find that word hard on my ears. i prefer not to use it at all anywhere.
>> me, too. >> i think the british and australians and the scottish use it best and it's usually for one man to insult another man andt means moron. but, still, i don't use it. we don't have any swears past this swear. so once we become resistant to this word we've got nothing. so use it sparingly. >> it's the last one left. the f bomb has totally lost its sting. bono was right with what he said about the f bomb. spike, thanks for being here. spike currently hosting spike's car radio. cars and comedy on podcast one. i want to know what you think. smerconish.com. answer the question -- very interested to see which way this goes. should samantha bee be fired for referring referring tou vau referring to ivanka trump as the "c" word. >> no roseanne and sam bee are
not the same. one is racism. other is boy talk, right? i mean, are racism and so-called comedy, i guess i should have said to spike, when i listen to samantha bee, it's not clear at that point of her monologue it was comedy. it seemed like a straightforward political argument that threw in a "c" word reference to ivanka to boot. one more quickly, if we can. although i don't agree with what roseanne said, i don't believe the show should have been canceled. our society has become too sensitive. i agree in so far as it's got to be all one way or the other. either we'll let it all happen and stop trying to parse between all these things or not. a buddy of mine, liberal paul said we have double standards of double standards. that's how far gone it is. the jobs report couldn't have been better. unemployment at an historic low, yet many americans have been
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good economic news this week. the unemployment rate fell to 3.8% matching the lowest rate in nearly half a century. and the unemployment rate among black americans is now at 5.9%. that's the lowest ever recorded. maybe more importantly, the black unemployment rate has never been closer to the white unemployment rate. the white house continues to be characterized by tum ult but it was james carville who said it's the economy stupid, right? as the president tweeted this morning, even "the new york times" is giving him some credit. quote, we ran out of words to describe how good the jobs numbers are. neil irwin of "the new york times." still, my next guest says that for the past half century the rich and powerful are getting more rich and more powerful. we've separated into the protected and unprotected and those in the former have thwarted opportunities for everybody else, leaving most americans less and less likely to outearn their parents.
i spoke earlier with steven brill, founder of courttv and the american lawyer magazine. the author of "tailpine the people and forces behind america's 50-year fall and those fighting to reverse it." steven, you had an epiphany after lappedi inlanding at kenn. what was it? >> about 2 1/2 years ago my wife and i landed at kennedy, coming in from europe. we trudged through one of the terminals and there was water leaking, it was crowded. the bathrooms were filthy. we got into a cab and took the van wick expressway which is the expressway from kennedy into the city. and it was ugly and filled with potholes, jammed with traffic and in the middle of the expressway, there's a tram that i know cost $3 billion or $4 billion and the tram goes from kennedy airport about eight miles into queens. not in the center of the city. and i made a joke about that to
my wife and said what would someone from france or germany or any place else arriving in america for the first time think of the greatest country in the world arriving in the gateway city and going through that airport and being on this highway and looking at the poor excuse for mass transit that we have. and then i rattled off a couple of other things about our health care system and everything else and i said would they really think we're the greatest country in the world? and then i stopped, what happened to us? how did we get that way? and she mumbled something about, well, maybe that's a book. >> and indeed it is. and in "tailspin" here's how you sum up the situation. key measures of the nation's public engagement, satisfaction and confidence, voter turnout, knowledge of public policy, faith that the next generation will fare better than the current one and respect for dacic institutions, especially the government, are far below
what they were 50 years ago and in many cases have reached near historic lows. you come up with, i think, provocative theory as to why things got so bad. what's the cliffs note version? >> the very things that make america great, to steal an expression, like the first amendment or ameritocracy or due process under the rule of law, those values, even democracy, were hijacked in a way that there weren't any guardrails to protect us. so for example, the first amendment became a way for corporations to contribute as much money as they want to the political candidates who support them and also to avoid regulations that had been in place restricting deceptive advertising or even how they market prescription drugs.
meritocracy has become something where the generation, like me and you, who benefited from meritocracy because we were suddenly offered places in all the elite educational institutions, that became a new kind of aristocracy, the difference being with smarter, more able people who got into these institutions on their merits now filling the law firms and banks and consult apsies and corporate board rooms. they were smarter, more aggressive and more driven to defend what they had won and build moats around themselves. that's the country we have today. >> was it done with malis? >> no, not at all. this was -- these were smart people, striving and achieving and they were doing what makes america great. it's just that the usual guardrails didn't work because they were so smart and so driven that they were able to go too
far. for example, the legal engineers, the lawyers, were able to have much greater influence than they ever had, and their idea of trail blazing legal strategy was to create corporate takeovers and mergers. or to create arbitration clauses that keep people out of the courts when they have a consumer dispute or a job discrimination dispute. so everything was tilted toward what i called the protected in this country at the expense of the vast majority in this country who were the unprotected. and that's where we purpose and those unprotected became so frustrated that 46% of them decided to vote for someone who was not part of the meritocracy. someone who promised them he would make it better by rejecting the elites.
>> before you leave me, give me the good news. >> the good news is the book is incredibly hopeful because it has stories and portraits of people and organizations who are actually fighting and creating effective plans and strategies in every sphere i write about whether it's campaign finance reform, reform of wall street, mixing the way our civil service system is broken. fixing the way our government is broken, the federal budget. there are people out there. they're not naive. they're just as determined and resilient as they could possibly be. and it's that determination and that resilience of all those people who i portray in the back who i think are going to bring us back once the country gets frustrated enough that it turns away from simple solutions and sloganeering and says, all right, we have to get back to being who we were. >> i think that "tailspin" is
eye opening. i thoroughly enjoyed it. >> thanks for having me. up ahead -- when a high school senior placed this joke craigslist ad offering his school for sale, he was banned from graduation. what kind of lesson is to be learned here? another cautionary tale about twitter. the president of basketball operations for the philadelphia 76ers finds his job on the line when a bunch of anonymous twitter accounts full of team gossip are exposed. as the probe closes in on his wife, if she did it. should he take the fall? it senses and automatically adjusts on both sides, for effortless comfort. don't miss the final days of our semi-annual sale! save up to $700 on sleep number 360 smart beds. ends sunday. you wouldn't accept from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills? flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances.
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placed this ad on craigslist. it offers the school for sale for less than $13,000 and lists such amenities as playing fields, central air, a nearby walmart and a huge parking lot for those looking to party. obvious joke, right? the worst you can say about it is that there are a lot of misspellings for a soon to be high school graduate. but that's not how his school chose to view it. he was suspended for the last few days of school and forbidden from participating in his graduation ceremony. at issue, apparently this line in the ad. reason for sale, due to the loss of students coming up. in this era of rampant school shootings, the school chose to view this as a threat but what he meant was the school would be missing all the seniors who were graduating. the aclu took on his case but a judge ruled in the school's favor and kalen did not get to participate in his diploma ceremony. the case was brought to my
attention due to a blog post from my next guest. he's a constitutional scholar. professor, i had to reread the ad three times because that line never jumped out at me. >> that's because you're clueless. you don't realize that al qaeda, their new tactic is to sell high schools at a discounted price. that's the new terrorist threat in america. the problem with this, michael, is that it is not unique as i mentioned on the blog. there's a series of cases now where the first response as opposed to last response is to call police. in arizona you had a kid charged with 69 indecent exposure charges because of a prank photo he took with his football team. in missouri, you had a kid who faced criminal charges because he snuck the word masturbate into the final draft of a yearbook. in indiana, a kid was arrested because he snuck into school to
put blow-up dolls in the girls bathroom. what we're having is this sort of cya trend. everyone just calls the police, gives these kids a criminal record for stuff that used to be basically the subject of a student/parent meeting. that's what's so disturbing about this. the school says, look, we called police out of an abundance of caution. it was a shocking, sharp lack of humor that led to this. >> sounds like the delta house legacy is secure. let me ask you this. from a legal standpoint, so, okay, the aclu get involved. a tro is sought. what was the issue for the federal judge? >> well, here's the problem, michael. and you're familiar with this yourself, is that the supreme court has made a mess out of free speech for students. and the issue for the judge was that the aclu said, look, this was not a threat.
no logical being would view this as a threat of any kind. so he was being disciplined because it was embarrassing or annoying to the school. 1969, the court in really the high point of free speech rights for students said in a case that you can't discipline students for things that are not disruptive. things that are not really interfere with the school's mission. that unfortunately was the high point. after that, the supreme court continually rolled back on students' rights. the worst moment came ten years ago in a case called morris. the so-called bong hits for jesus case. a kid standing outside of school, he hadn't even gone to school that day held up a sign saying bong hits for jesus as the olympic torch passed by and the supreme court said, no, of course they can discipline that student. >> look, it's -- i'm laughing at it because i think all the ones
that you have identified are so obvious, i applaud the schools' vigilance but they're lacking common sense. they need somebody in the room like you, professor, who can say, my god, it's a joke. >> that's the terrible thing. not just that we've lost the sense of humor, but you're doing rotten things to these kids. you're arresting them, giving them criminal records. in this case, this kid couldn't be at his graduation. that may seem like a trivial issue but it's not. that kid spent four years and wanted to graduate with his friends and a bunch of school officials decided to punish him because they were annoyed. that strikes me as violating a fundamental obligation you have to your students and the officials should be held accountable here. nothing is going to happen until the public says, all right, look. there's a difference between protecting our schools and doing this type of nonsense where our kids are being subject to
arrests and police questioning. we can't surgically implant humor into school officials. but we can hold them accountable. >> final question, is there anything on the horizon for the supreme court that could change this, the case law that you've cited? >> i've got to tell you, i am not optimistic. i'm not trashing this judge. the judge had the case precedent the supreme court created. but even liberals on the court are not good on this issue. ♪ o mayor when she was a court of appeals judge signed on to a notorious case where she said a student could be disciplined for stuff that she wrote on social media outside of the school. there's this discorrect on the supreme court and the loss is free speech. we're raising our students not only in this fish bowl of surveillance but also in this really sort of censorship rich environment. and what type of citizens are they going to become if they
believe that they can't speak freely? >> professor charlie, thank you, as always. >> thanks, michael. apologies for my sophomoric humor but you should know what you're dealing with. i was suspended in the ninth grade for mooning. look it up, kids. let's check in on your tweets and facebook comments. smerconish, perfect, perfect, perfect example of pc gone wild. joseph, you're right. i'm trying to be sympathetic to the school administrators. they don't want to be the ones called on the carpet for some parent saying and you didn't do anything about it. all the warning signs were there. but that wasn't this case. i want to remind you to answer today's survey question. i'm told there's a ton of voting on it. i have no idea how this one is going to go. should samantha bee be fired for referring to ivanka trump as the "c" word? still to come, is twitter about to cost somebody else a job after an expose linked anonymous
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if we learned anything from the news this week, it would be this. think before you tweet. quick recap. roseanne barr tweeted a racist slur and within 12 hours her show was canceled and 200 people were out of work. president trump, so overeager to brag about the new unemployment numbers that he jumped the gun flaunting federal laws about employees not tipping such news before the release. and the case of the philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations brian colangelo. this report in the website the ringer, the curious case of brian colangelo and the secret twitter account made a convincing case linking colangelo to several twitter accounts that criticize nba players, debate the decisions of his own coaching staff and criticize former sixers gm sam hinkey and disclosing private medical information and gossip about players. this triggered the sixers to launch an internal probe which
included colangelo surrendering his cell phones. he insisted he had nothing to do with the postings and was unaware of them until the ringer picked up the story. it's looking like the culprit may be his wife. colangelo has, quote, discussed with ownership and upper management the possibility that his wife barbara bottini may have been involved in the postings of the tweets from the so-called burner accounts. this is highly reminiscent of a story about nfl commissioner roger goodell's wife jane skinner who admitted shooed used a fake twitter account to defend goodell against his critics. soon after former fbi director comey confirmed that he had been tweeting for years under a pseudonym. it's the lesson we try to teach our kids in the era of social media. a couple impettuous keystrokes
can haunt you for life. we check in on your facebook and twitter comments now. what do we have? no tweets. oh, for the next block. my mistake. answer the survey question at smerconish.com. should samantha bee be fired for referring to ivanka trump as the "c" word. having said that, tweet me your thoughts. maybe it will be my wife who responds. still to come, the partisan divide is changing the way we judge the world to the point we won't trust seeing a doctor if their politics don't align with ours. that doesn't sound healthy. sinei travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me.
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so you need a doctor or new roof on your house. do you care whether the specialist you hire is a kindred political spirit? a lot of people seem to. and it doesn't always help them get the best medical care or home repair. that was the topic of a recent study by four scientists at university college london. and a harvard law professor. as the paper states, on political questions, many people are especially likely to consult and learn from those whose political views are similar to their own, thus creating a risk of echo chambers or information cocoons. as two of the authors explain in an op-ed, people sought and followed the advice of those who shared their political opinions on issues that had nothing to do with politics, even when they had all the information they needed to understand that this was a bad strategy. joining me is one of the co-authors, the associate professor of cognitive
neuroscience at university college london. also the author of the book "the influential mind." what the brain reveals about our powers to change others. doctor, this was a shape categorization task and people seem to conflate politics and expertise from the task at hand. >> yes, good morning, michael. what we found was knowing about people's political orientation interferes with your ability to assess their expertise on unrelated domains such as logic games or kagizing shape. people were more likely to seek information from politically like-minded on these tasks that have nothing to do with politics, even when the evidence in front of them clearly showed those people were not the experts in the room and there's someone else that is better at the task. but they'd pass on information from them because they were politically different. let me quickly tell you what we did. we had people play a game where they need to categorize shapes
and played it with four other players online. they got feedback to see who was doing well in the game and who wasn't doing well in the game. throughout the game we also asked them political questions such as, for example, do you think immigrants are abusing the welfare question. so we could learn who was politically like minded and different. then the important part. they played the game again and we paid them for how well they were doing and they could pick who they wanted to learn from about shapes to help them out. and people were more likely to pick the politically likeminded who wasn't very good over the person who was very good at shapes but had different political views. >> how do you think that applies to the real world? take me out of shape categorization and take me into the marketplace. >> right. so we think it probably means that people are giving bonus points to those that are
politically like minded and penalizing those that are politically different. and i think you could really see that from the comments to "the new york times" op ed. our piece really kind of triggered a national debate and there's over 1,000 comments to the op ed. if you read those comments, people have very, very strong views. on the question of whether you'd go to a doctor who voted for the other party, there's a lot of people who are saying, no, i would absolutely not feel comfortable being treated by someone who voted for the other party. and then there are some who say, well, it doesn't matter. and everyone has their own reasons why their answer is yes or no. and although we didn't necessarily set out to -- yeah, go ahead. >> i was going to say, if i'm picking a landscaper, maybe it's okay to factor in politics. i would never do that. but if i'm looking for an oncologist, ides think i'd want the best oncologist, regardless of whether they're a liberal or
conservative. >> it's apparent we're now living in a nation where the divide is so great that a large number of people are saying, no, i would not go to a doctor that voted for the other party. and it really highlights that polarization has now entered hospitals. i speculate it probably entered schools. it's probably, i'm speculating, affecting the hiring decisions in almost every field. >> right. and i would just close on this. i think some fool a particular allegiance to my cable competitors. those on the left at msn, those on right at fox news. even if they feel they're being fed information at odds with the truth they're still cool staying where they are. you get the final word. make it quick. >> also. and i think in an individual level what this means is that if you want someone to listen and trust you, you have to find what
you have in common with that person. and we always have something in common. once people believe that they're like you in some kind of way they're more likely to trust and listen to you. >> dr. sharot, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you for having me. still to come, your best and worst tweets and facebook comments whachlt have we got? smerconish, my wife and i changed our dentist because they proudly presented a make america great again on their counter. 45 represents hate. so and you your business represent the same. really? hang on a second. i have to visualize this. put that back up, katherine. i'm so intrigued with this. the dentist has a make america great again hat on the counter and you changed your dentist? i get your beef. i think i would want to know, does he clean your teeth? can he work the gums? that would be the way i would
approach it. maybe in a different category, i would say oh, okay, i'll allow it to impact my thinking. but my dental care and my eyes and my internist and so forth, it wouldn't factor in, in my case. we'll give you the final results of the survey question in a moment. last call, should samantha bee be fired for referring to ivanka trump as the "c" word? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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i'm feeling bold. i made a prediction as to the outcome of the poll question. should samantha bee be fired for referring to ivanka trump as the "c" word. what do you want to see my prediction or this first? prediction? it will be very close within the margin of error. this isn't scientific. oh, my god was i wrong. oh, well. 77% say no. 15,313. well, gang, look, you know how i say i don't see the result? you just found out that's true. what else came in? smerconish, your ninth grade mooning would surely land you on the sex offenders' registry.
sad. do you know it was captured on video and they made my mother identify me? they called my father and said we need to suspend him from school because he has exposed himself? my dad thought i came out of the men's room wearing like a london fog trench coat with nothing underneath t by the way, i tell the whole story in my book which came out last week. clowns to the left of me jokers to the right. i cannot believe that prediction. holy smokes! good friend of mine taped a playboy centerfold to the roll-down periodic table in chem class. come on. that's an old one. it worked. smart guy. he became an md and flight surgeon for a shuttle flight. love it. getting fired for your spouse's secret twitter account is like an uber driver getting fired because his roommate doesn't have car insurance. spike, is it really?
i don't know. if you delve into the bryan colangelo story, what you'll see is that the tweets really seem to really mirror his thought process and other opinions that he has expressed, which at first blush makes me say well, it's him. then you say, no, he lives with his spouse. they love each other. she knows all of his viewpoints and so forth and so she's, therefo therefore, able to speak for him. i don't know. i'll be very curious to see whether professionally he's able to hang on. another one, if we've got time for it. smerconish i hired someone six months ago without knowing their political views. i did make it clear, however, that we do not want political discussions in the workplace. lau laura, here is my question. do they know how to make win widgets? if they bring politics into your workplace in the manner that's disruptive they have to go.
otherwise, like the dentist, let him clean your teeth. you can catch up with us on cnn go and on demand. check out smerconish.com. the book is out "clowns to the left of me. jokers to the right." see you next week. good morning, everyone. it's saturday, june 2nd. i'm christi paul. >> and i'm victor blackwell. president trump is at camp david right now, preparing for an unprecedented meeting with north korea's dictator, just ten days away. >> the president has most of his family with him. one person not at presidential retreat this weekend, the first lady, not seen in 23 days now. jumping around the operating room, caught fire online. now nearly 100 women are complaining about this so-called dancing doctor. >> if traffic is not crazy enough f