The Media, The County Council and Seinfeld
I love watching Seinfeld reruns. The other night I was watching and they ran the one about how the show came about. Seinfeld was originally cast as a show about “nothing.”
Jerry and George go into NBC studios, meet with all the executives and explain how they will do their show, and when the NBC executives ask what the show will be about, Jerry and George proudly exclaim: “It will be a show about nothing!”
The look on the NBC executive’s faces are what mine must look like sometimes during the County Council meetings.
That brings me to the heart of this column, and my experience so far after being elected to the County Council. It’s been about “nothing.” I could hear Jerry and George sitting around after a council meeting.
“So what happened today at the County Council?”
Well, we enacted a civility code.”
A civility code, wow, you guys are really gearing up for big things.”
“Well, there’s this developer who has some land called Monrovia Town Center. He’s passed all the APFO requirements; he’s putting up millions in new road improvements; he’s offering a school site and a fire station site; he’ll pay millions in impact fees and taxes, Jerry.”
“That’s great, George! New houses, more economic activity, schools sites, fires station sites. What’s not to like?”
“We denied it, Jerry.”
“What, you denied it? Why?”
Well, Jerry, you know how you feel about Newman………of course, I hate Newman…….and that’s how we feel about developers, Jerry.”
“You see, Jerry, this legislative stuff isn’t that hard………..remember when I pretended I was an architect? Remember when I said I planned the addition to the Guggenheim?”
“Yeah, I remember, it was a total lie, George.”
“That’s right, Jerry, and politics in Frederick County is no different. The average person doesn’t even pay attention. It’s great.”
“So, what else are you doing on the council, Georgy boy?”
“Well, Jerry, we have brought about legislation on ethics reform.”
“Ethics reform? Why? Is it because you denied the Monrovia developer his due process?”
“No Jerry, developers don’t deserve due process.”
“But George, isn’t that unethical?
“You see, Jerry, we are in the majority on the council. We decide what is ethical and unethical.
“Boy, Jerry, you would make a lousy politician. Who’s helping you with this ethics reform?”
“Do you remember Kramer’s friend, Thor Eckman?”
“Eckman, he was doing time for shooting an unarmed man in a closet, George.”
“He’s out, Jerry, he got out a few months ago.”
“You put guys like Eckman on the ethics task force, George”?
“Why not, Jerry? Who would you suggest, some slick talking guy with a checkered past like Jack Klompus, who railroaded your father out of his presidency of the Home Owners Association at Del Boca Vista?”
“Well, no, George. It wouldn’t be Klompus. Nobody would be dumb enough to put Klompus in charge of anything.”
“You know, George, if this ethics thing passes, you, as a salesman at Vandelay Industries will not be able to sell latex to the county any longer.”
“Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, you don’t understand. We Democrats are in the majority on this council. We can do whatever we want. We have four votes all the time. It’s just those in the minority we shaft, Jerry. Don’t you get it?”
“How do you get away with that, George?”
“We have the media on our side Jerry, the media……….we’re like the bubble boy. Everybody loves us because the media tells them to love us.”
“I can’t believe you get away with it, George,”
“Jerry, we just give the public the ‘it’s not us, it’s them’ routine.”
“It’s not us it’s them routine? How does that work, George?
“Jerry, with the media, my friend, all things are possible.”