Rupert Murdoch’s foam pie in the face

I originally headlined this piece “The Only Way Rupert Murdoch’s Day Could Possibly Get Any Worse” when the news came that someone had actually attempted to hit him in the face with a foam pie, and I had to cross it out.

There’s nowhere else to go!

It’s clown politics! Shower Gingrich and Bachmann with glitter! Pie Murdoch in the face!

“Anarchist comedian” Jonnie Marbles was reportedly responsible for the attack, tweeting beforehand that “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before.”

And maybe it was.

He didn’t succeed in nailing Murdoch with the pie, because Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng has volleyball training and was apparently able to spike the pie out of his hand.

I find this difficult to believe. I have volleyball training, and the only thing it taught me was that if you just stand around on the court, eventually someone else will probably get the ball. But Deng went diving in and essentially averted the crisis.

There’s been a rise in slapstick political stunts lately. Two glitter showers could be flukes. But glitter showers and a pie in the face are starting to sound like a trend. Pie may not be the new cupcakes. But foam pie is definitely the new glitter.

Some would call this embarrassing. But I think it may actually be raising the level of the discourse. Words may leave invisible dents, and if you say something especially rude, sometimes they remove you from the air for a day or two. But when you have shoved a foam pie into a man’s face, everyone knows exactly where you stand. It’s refreshingly direct. Trust the Brits to show us the way!

Members of Congress once caned each other on the Senate floor. I am not advocating this, but perhaps a return to physical comedy is what this country needs right now. There’s precedent.

If he’d managed to hit him, it would have been a fitting image for a man whose empire has traded on exactly this sort of sensationalist image.

I want mandatory pies at all Congressional hearings. Lowering the level of discourse? Nonsense. He hit above the belt.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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