Larry King Minutes
Hugh Hewitt has come up with a brilliant meme:
“LKM” stands for Larry King Minutes –the number of broadcast minutes that Larry King would devote to your death if it occurred today. Michael Jackson has set a very high standard, swamping all other coverage from Larry’s show and triggering hours and hours of extra programming from Larry.
Conor Friedersdorf and Andrew Sullivan have already pointed to this, with the latter quipping, “I suspect that neither Hugh nor I would make it past a few seconds. Which is, in so many ways, a relief.” I can easily top that, in that King wouldn’t notice at all.
I’m reminded of a superbly entertaining piece by Matt Labash that I noted in the very earliest days at OTB wherein he was on assignment in Iraq and met two somewhat more famous companions.
When I came back out, [Christopher] Hitchens was having a smoke, and [P.J.] O’Rourke had rejoined him. Watching the two of them, I suddenly had a sinking feeling. If our convoy went up in flames, I wouldn’t even rank in the group obituary. It would read something like, “Found next to Hitchens and O’Rourke was an unidentified crispy critter from the British newspaper, the Evening Standard.”
In a similar vein as he lay dying and discussing his impending death with friends and family, Art Buchwald wise-cracked I just don’t want to die the same day Castro dies.
Turning it around a bit, how many minutes collectively would all of us 300,000,000+ Americans spend on Larry King’s death when it happens?
Reminds me of this story that Bertrand Russell tells in his autobiography. Russell was very strongly opposed to Britain’s participation in World War I. A protest in front of Parliament got out of hand, and the peelers were called in. One of the cops was wailing away on Russell Chicago 68 style, and his female companion (Ottoline Morrell?) screamed at the cop to stop, that Russell was a world-famous philosopher. Wailing continued. Stop, she yelled, he’s a world-famous mathematician. Wailing continued. Stop, she went on, he’s an Earl. Wailing immediately stopped.