"This partnership makes perfect sense," Ebert said in a press statement. "Over the past year, Senator Webb's role has been, like mine, that of a critic." In fact, a survey of media reports finds that Webb is identified as a critic more often than as a senator:
"Webb is an outspoken critic of the war." - The Daily Press
"Webb has become one of the foremost critics of the Iraq war since taking office in 2006." - Richmond Times Dispatch
"He reminded reporters that he had been an early and outspoken critic of the invasion of Iraq." - Washington Post
"One of the war's harshest critics." - United Press International
"'This administration has a history since 9/11 of not tolerating any form of criticism or dissent from its military leaders,' said U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, who knows something about the subject." - Virginian-Pilot
Webb and Ebert have announced what they are calling a governmental-cultural exchange. During the next month, Webb will serve as a movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and as a substitute host on television's "Ebert and Roeper."
For medical reasons, Ebert has recently lost the ability to speak, and is therefore incapable of fulfilling his duties as a television critic. Instead, Ebert will serve for one month as a substitute United States Senator. While Ebert is not a resident of Virginia, when asked to comment, the people of Virginia said, "He can't talk? Hell yes, let's have him! We tried to elect somebody to stop funding the occupation of Iraq. We're ALL 'critics' of it for gawdsake."
In a separate statement, Ebert has announced that he will fillibuster the next $102 billion for the occupation of Iraq and any other bill devoting "so much as the price of a movie ticket" to prolonging that occupation. Fillibustering, Ebert explained, does not require "Jimmy Stewart antics." It just requires releasing a one-sentence written statement and then finding 40 more senators to join with you for a total of 41.
"I'm happy to do this while unable to speak," Ebert said in the written statement, "because there's been a little too much jaw-boning already, in my opinion. Whoever's producing Congress hasn't quite grasped the basic requirements of the action genre."