1. SIDESHOW ACTS: THE SOTU EDITION. Just before Obama was set to take the stage last night, US Representative Randy Weber, Republican of Texas, took to Twitter to point out the important fact that Obama is a “Socialistic dictator.” Which is kind of an “irreprehensible ” thing to say. But no one even listened to these guys, because all anyone wanted to discuss was the young up and comer from Staten Island. It’s not that most people haven’t wanted to inflict bodily harm on a reporter at some point, it’s just that most of us don’t say it. On camera. US Representative Michael Grimm, proud congressional representative of the people of New York’s Staten Island, had quite a night last night. A local TV reporter dared to ask Grimm about campaign finance reform. So Grimm reacted as any middle-aged guy in a movie about Staten Island would react: he threatened to throw the reporter off the f---ing balcony. Because that wasn’t enough, Grimm, a former FBI agent and Marine, went on, telling the reporter: “You’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.” Read the reporter’s account. Later, he explained himself. Then, a day later, after he took some time and realized he’s only a former FBI agent and not a current one, and that the nation’s capital is not, in fact, Staten Island, Grimm apologized. Turns out, Grimm has a history of sticking his hand in the back pockets of women’s pants and possibly having sex in public bathrooms. But, I mean, who doesn’t? As for the speech itself, the truth is, the bully pulpit just isn’t what it used to be. What else. US Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, appears to be continuing his long tradition of hyperbole. And Vice President Joe Biden appears to be continuing his long tradition of being Joe Biden. One reporter wonders if we should even be doing this whole SOTU charade anymore. But as long as we are still doing it, here’s some interesting data from last night. And, as usual, one media outlet sums up the whole thing perfectly.
2. PERFECT STORM. Remember a week or so ago when we freaked out and overprepared for a snowstorm that never really happened? Well, the opposite happened down South yesterday. The whole thing was very “Blizzard of ’78.” But, you know, with 25 inches less snow. And with newer looking cars. Anyway, back to the South. Traffic was a nightmare. Vehicles were abandoned. One dad walked 6 miles to retrieve his 5-year-old daughter. Other kids, with presumably lazier parents, were forced to sleep at school. Having to stay at school overnight is similar to seeing your teacher at the beach in the middle of the summer. It’s not supposed to happen. Don’t worry, the National Guard is coming to the rescue. The whole thing was basically bonkers. One Atlanta resident offered a pretty good explanation of how things went so very, very wrong. Also, it snowed south of the Mason-Dixon line? Sounds like time for our regular reminder that global warming is definitely a hoax. Sigh.
3. PRIVATE EYES, HITMEN AND CHINESE PRISONS. It turns out that all assassins are not handsome, chiseled young men with terrible childhoods that left them damaged and that became killers only because they had lost the ability to form emotional connections but then they met a hot woman and they became torn between a life of life-taking and a hot love connection. Sad emoticon. In other news, an investigative reporter was tailed by a private investigator. He did not enjoy it. Now imagine you’re in a Chinese prison. But you’ve never read anything on how to escape such a place! So you’re screwed. Now imagine you had read this first. OK, think about your spouse. Do you trust them? Are you sure? Because the person you think is your trustworthy and loyal life partner just might have paid these some shady guys to hack into your e-mail.
4. WARDROBE MALFUNCTIONS! CHEERLEADERS! AND SNACKS! Sunday isn’t all about football. ESPN has done its part and created a snowfall of what we all hope will happen again on Sunday: the inevitable halftime show wardrobe malfunction. Just when you thought everything about the NFL was good and pure, we learn that the NFL’s cheerleading program is a scam. If you have enough time to read this story, buy all the necessary stuff, and then make an enormous snack sculpture, then you have too much time on your hands. And you’re not alone. Say you plan on being in Manhattan this weekend. And let’s just also say you want to be visited by a dozen band members and cheerleaders. That can be arranged.
5. ALSO ... Today was “Big Block of Cheese Day” at the White House. A primer on what that means, by me. And some highlights of what serious-minded Americans needed the president to know. A cruise ship chock full of 700 gastrointestinally challenged passengers who apparently didn’t realize this is always what happens on cruise ships docked in New Jersey. On the plus side, this is the least controversial news to come out of New Jersey in a while. Harvard has a gazillion dollars. Because, Harvard. Old and wondering what it’s like to come of age in the digital era? The CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority called Suffolk Downs “the center of the world.” I don’t even know what that means, but I know it isn’t true. What else ... A young Caucasian woman wrote a “thinkpiece” (or more of a she-didn’t-think piece) that will make you bang your head against a wall. Or want to at least. Conan reminds everyone why television news isn’t what it used to be. Don’t watch your local TV news. Be happy. Finally, your feel-good story of the day: There’s a petition to deport Justin Bieber, and more than 100,000 have signed it.
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