White House press secretary Dana Perino, a recent Westword profile subject, admitted to having had a bad week a few days back -- and that's not an example of spin. Perino, a Wyoming native who was raised in Colorado from age two, not only engaged in a heavily reported snipefest with veteran reporter/gargoyle lookalike Helen Thomas, but she also revealed on a National Public Radio program that she was flummoxed by a recent reference to the Cuban Missile Crisis -- because she didn't know what the hell it was. Displaying her keen reasoning ability, she said, "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."
No doubt Perino was hoping this remark would help humanize her -- and given that she's been referred to by snarky blogger Wonkette as an "icy sexpot," she could use an image makeover. But just because the 35-year old popped out of her mom's womb about a decade after the aforementioned missile thingy took place isn't a good enough excuse. After all, she's probably familiar with George Washington, and he'd been dead for, like, a really long time before she came along. So here's some advice, Ms. P: Check out 1974's The Missiles of October, a really good TV-movie that just happens to be about that weird incident someone had the bad taste to mention. Sure, the flick features Martin Sheen, who played a president on The West Wing most people would prefer to your boss. But the real star is William Devane, a featured player on a couple seasons of 24, the kick-ass show that helped America realize that an interrogation without torture is like a day without sunshine.
An hour or two of viewing later and you'll be a regular expert on the John F. Kennedy administration -- which also happened before you were born. -- Michael Roberts