(New York--NY) In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, the senseless loss of young lives cut tragically which may have been prevented if those leading lead better (Sounds a lot like Iraq.), Don Imus seems like a gnat. Not that what he said was inconsequential, but why is it so often it takes a large human crisis to make you reflect? Oddly enough, it was seeing Paula Zahn cover the Virginia Tech shooting that made me think of a bon mot Don Imus lobbed at her, calling her a shriveled old prune. Well, if that's a prune, pour me a glass full of that juice. And therein is my guilt.
Let me be direct. For the last eight years…maybe even ten…my mental autoerotic stimulation, what's in my mind's eye for the best time for a party of one…if I may be so crude…has been CNN's Paula Zahn. I don't know why, and I can't recall the exact time. I think some pre-election coverage long delegated to the dustbin of memory. I do know it involved a brown leather skirt.
One thing I want to make clear upfront, I am in no way desirous of being the Robert Bardo to her Rebecca Schaeffer. (Yes, I know I use that analogy to annoyance, because I think it says so much about how one person, desperate for that fifteen minutes will even settle for infamy, can change so much. Didn't we just see that at Virginia Tech?) I'm well aware that Paula is just an image on my TV for me to put my erotica aura toward. But why Paula Zahn? I try to figure it out. I go back to that forgotten pre-election coverage. The brown leather skirt, seeing the cord of the earpiece peek out from her blond Carol Brady like do, Paula asking perfect questions, that brown leather skirt, the black pantyhose. Imaging her mind quickly processing thoughts from her Producer through that ear peace. Paula always outside cool, but how hot on the inside? I imagine myself being that Producer, rubbing my finger over the intercom button before I press it to whisper into Paula's ear. I need to stop for a moment.
Back again. To answer you question, yes, I have a DVD, my best of Paula, for just such moments. What gets me going about her? Yes, she's attractive. Yes, she's intelligent.
But Katie Couric is attractive and intelligent too. Alas, no rise. She's not Paula Zahn. Why does it happen? I start out with the most intellectual of intentions. I hear her ask those questions, and I actually hear her. Yes, don't laugh. I'm following the interview. And then that throaty voce, that tightly clenched but still pouty mouth. Great, now I'm thinking of an interview she did with Tiger Woods, where she kicks off her heels (being the golfer that she is) to better allow Tiger to give her a lesson on how to putt for maximum effect. Paula on the CNN set in her herring gray pants, perfectly breaking at the top of her foot's (Yes, while I'm confessing, I love feet. too) arch to reveal her black pantyhose feet. Oy!
Does that mean I'm just sexually objectify Paula Zahn, even though it's her competence that also turns me on? Is it the blond hair and German name that gets my Jewish male libido going? Now, I'm thinking of my brunette and very plump Eastern European mother, and I really feel guilty. Isn't it okay to lust after a woman if you're also turned on by her mind? Honestly, I earnestly listen to everything Paula has to say, and it's not just to get to the rub-a-dub. And it doesn't happen every time. But it never happens when Candy Crowley is on or Jeannie Moos, so I guess it does have to do with Paula Zahn's looks. I wish I had the answer.
One last thing, when Paula once talked about her being pregnant and doing an interview and the interviewee thought her reactions must be because her hormones were going crazy because she was pregnant that REALLY got me going. Do I want all of the eroticism of a pregnant woman without the responsibility of being a parent? On that, I protest though. I'm not different than most men.
I've tried to look at this from many angles over these many years, and my conclusion is to just enjoy it. It'll be over in five minutes anyway. And these days, it's more like two minutes, and then I can get back to the news. For that, Don Imus, I thank you.
To those at Virginia Tech, I leave you with the sign-off of another newscaster, Dan Rather, "Courage."