As regular readers of this blog will know — I was off for a few days last week. I had hoped to have a few relaxing days off before wading knee deep into the confirmation hearings for John Roberts (search). Well, I did get a few days off, but like many of you, I spent hours glued to the TV watching developments along the Gulf Coast. Like most of you I am both awed by the disaster and inspired by the outpouring of compassion of the American people.
On Sunday, I was summoned to the FOX mother ship in New York to help hold down some of our hurricane coverage. I joined on the set by the very able Catherine Herridge. The disaster coverage was enough to keep us busy — then came word about the passing of Chief Justice William Rehnquist (search). On the political side of things that was a huge development. I arrived back in Washington, just in time to deal with the president's decision to upgrade the Robert's nomination. The coming week will be a very busy one in D.C.
Now, let me deal with a bit of unfinished business...
I knew that leaving James Rosen in charge of my blog while I took a few days off was a risky decision. I fully expected James to have a little fun at my expense in his overblown, over-the-top way. James' little flight of fancy was entertaining, though not really grounded in reality. If you feel you must, click here to read what he had to say about me.
Having a thick skin from years of Washington reporting, it's easy to shrug off much of James' yammering. One gets accustomed in this town to being nibbled to death by ducks. But one insult was so egregious, that I simply must respond. I am, of course, referring to James' descriptions of my cowboy boots. What was the word he used? Oh yes — "gauche" (he even italicized the word in a pseudo-intellectual effort to draw attention to his use of the French language.)
Well James, where I come from, them's fightin' words (take those italics, James.) Good thing that we aren't where I come from.
My finely crafted ostrich boots are a nod to my Texas heritage and a statement that although I work inside the Washington Beltway, I have not yet become a Washingtonian. My boots (far more expensive than those dreadfully boring wingtips James wears) are like a ribbon one might tie around one's finger. In this case, the boots serve to remind me of the millions of hard-working Americans for whom I report each day — honest, tax-paying Americans who want the straight, unvarnished truth about what happens in the seat of their government. The boots are symbolic. I guess symbolism is a concept — and a literary device — that may be beyond my good friend's grasp.
James does not appreciate the many attributes of what country/folk legend, Jerry Jeff Walker once described as "manly footwear." In addition to making a very powerful fashion statement, cowboy boots are the most comfortable form of footwear ever devised — with the possible exception of flip-flops.
Gauche? I think not. They are practical, stylish and very helpful when one needs to stomp on cockroaches and vermin. Another good reason to wear them in Washington.
I still admire James, my brother in news, misguided as he may be on this point.
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Brian Wilson is a congressional correspondent for FOX News and anchor of the Sunday edition of "Weekend Live."