It started early. Wednesday, November 20, 2002. A.D. (CE for the Ivy League.) The cable folk got their hands on the religious commercials designed to evangelize people out of their SUV's and into smaller, more efficient transport. The title theme was irresistible: "What Would Jesus Drive?" No anchor would dare pose the question by himself, but there it was, the title of a commercial, with clouds, angelic music, the whole works.
So fascinated was CNN's morning crew that the cable network made that the question of the day. Login and tell us what you think Jesus would drive? We'll be reading your answers on the air all day. Anchor Leon Harris was emboldened by the shtick to wonder outloud what kind of little statue Jesus would have on the dashboard of whatever it was He was driving, because... Well, you get it.
(As far as is known, nobody got the right answer: Jesus would be driving the money changers out of the Temple, and all of you sniggering japers would be out of work. )
But the matter of Jesus' automotive choice lingered on into the network evening news efforts where it was regarded as a news item and run as such. Not in our lifetimes has Jesus as a person been so attended on the public airwaves. We may pray His omniscience did not apprehend the remainder of the broadcast day.
At 9 p.m. Eastern Time, CBS offered a calipygian hour entitled "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show," the only fashion shown being lingerie, paraded by tall and slender models on a hopelessly long runway. The lingerie was designed to prove once and for all the mammalian nature of the species and the steatopygic effect of four-inch high heels.
So affecting was it that it drew a taped appearance by Wayne Newton and a self-conscious lingerie shopping act by Angie Harmon's husband, Jason somebody who plays football. An in-your-face aspect of the hour is the appearance of some models wearing wings behind their lingerie. Angels. Get it? One of them confides into the camera that if she is not awarded wings she is "pissed off." A promo wedged (oops!) into the show is for the Letterman Show later which will feature Carmen Electra and a group of scantily-clad backup singers. Wingless.
On the theory that once you have seen two you have seen 'em all, you could turn to ABC where "The Bachelor" competed with the lingerie and where a 28-year-old banker is making his final choice between two survivors of a veritable seraglio of 25 panting young women. His choice to do what is not exactly spelled out. But the predominately female audience of 13.3 million who watched last week's episode obviously expect something honorable. Or do they? Anyway, they got it. The young banker picked the brunette, and he proposed marriage. And the blonde runner-up retreated to the car and wept. And somehow it all happened just within the allotted two hours in time to get the late news on on time. The local Washington ABC station's news consisted mainly of continuing the bachelor's story with interviews of the chosen and of various experts in mating. For those who suffer post-Bachelor stress syndrome, there is promised a "Bachelorette" series once we get Christmas out of the way.
Speaking of that, have you decided yet what kind of car He would drive? Will there be a sign of some sort? Or should we worry more about what kind of television He is watching and, more to the point, is He watching us watching it?