In the Stu Silver written, Bill Crystal starring, Danny DeVito directed film, "Throw Momma From The Train," Crystal is in the midst of explaining an important piece of information to DeVito, when DeVito points out the window, blurting out, "Look! A cow!"
For any parent who has ever driven their city-fied children past the South Jersey countryside where cows roam and pavement is sparse, the "Look! A cow!" exclamation from your kid in the back seat is a sure sign that they were either not paying attention to what you've been saying to them or they were looking for something to distract you from the conversation altogether.
Look A Cow is a red herring. A diversion. A distraction. A useless piece of information for solving a problem.
It's like raising the terror alert when your war message is waning.
It's like killing the Number 2 in Al Quaeda, for the 200th time.
It's like ignoring Global Warming because Al Gore has a big house.
It's like saying John Edwards can't be believed when he says he wants to help lower income Americans because he received an expensive hair cut.
Americans because he received an expensive hair cut.
It's like 9-11, 9-11, 9-11 ad infinitum.
Or it's like when NBC's Kelly O'Donnell asked President Bush if he sent Andy Card and Alberto Gonzalez to the very sickbed of John Ashcroft to approve a warrantless wiretapping program.
"I will tell you that one, the program was necessary to protect the American people and it's still necessary, because there's still an enemy that wants to do us harm, and therefore I have an obligation to put in place programs that honor the civil liberties of the American people — a program that was, in this case, constantly reviewed, and briefed to the United States Congress. And the program, as I say, is an essential part of protecting this country, and so there will be all kinds of talk about it. As i say, I'm not going to move the issue forward by talking about something as highly classified subject. I will tell you, however, that the program was necessary."
Look, A cow!
Again, O'Donnell tried to get the child in the back seat's attention.
"Was it on your order, sir?"
This time the disrespectful child at the podium pointed out a whole herd of bovine.
"As I said, the program is a necessary program that was constantly reviewed and constantly briefed to the Congress. It's an important part of protecting the United States, and it's still an important part of our protection, because there's still an enemy that would like to attack us, no matter how calm it may seem in America, an enemy lurks and they would like to strike. They would like to do harm to the American people, because they have an agenda. They want to impose an ideology. They want us to retreat from the world. They want to find safe haven, and these just aren't empty words. These are the words of al Quaeda themselves, and so we will put in place programs to protect the American people that honor the civil liberties of our people and programs that we constantly brief to Congress."