If it turns out that tomorrow there are a kabillion political cartoons using the game show metaphor on the Geithner plan — excuse me, the Public-Private Investment Plan — I will follow Senator Grassley’s advice: apologize and suppuku.
Or just shrug and say, “It happens.” The more I read of the plan over the weekend — the leaked report to the NY Times, various reactions from observers (esp. Krugman) — and the official explanations and reports on Monday (plus another reaction — and definitely Krugman, again), I kept thinking of those rigged game shows from the 1950s. More specifically, Twenty One, which inspired the brilliant movie “Quiz Show” and a fine PBS documentary based on that. The movie shows a system set up to advantage the already well-heeled Charles Van Doren against the poor shnook Herbie Stempel, who never had a chance, because Van Doren was provided the answers and Stempel was told to play dumb.