Given that I did not become aware of the "Presidential Forum" at the Saddleback Church/'Superchurch'/Christian Fundamentalist Nonsense Outlet Mall until a few hours before it commenced last Saturday, I was unable to fully comprehend the fact that Barack Obama had agreed to participate in an event designed by a white Christian conservative--Pastor Rick Warren, whose bestselling book, The Purpose-Driven Life, is so vacant and patronizing that it makes The Secret look like The Brothers Karamazov--for his like-minded disciples. All I could do was watch CNN in a partial coma as the presumptive Democratic candidate (who was--shocker!--allotted the opening half of the two-hour program) did his halting, not-so-successful best to ingratiate himself to an audience of whom the vast majority had already made up their minds that they hated him and his funny name and his big-word smart talk--never mind his horrifying skin tone--before John McCain was grandly presented as the main event and commenced to have the crowd eat out of his hand for the duration of the second hour by doing nothing but tossing out Republican catchphrases--"a union between a man and a woman", "the moment of conception", "offshore drilling", et al--at Warren's prompts. It was equivalent to a guest on 'The Daily Show' crying out "weed!" then sitting back while the obligatory cheers from the studio audience fill out his time.
After announcing at the start of the program that McCain would be interviewed during the second half and Obama during the first, Warren--like any false idol worth his salt would have done--attempted to jokingly offset any perception of bias by stating that the presumptive Republican nominee would be spending the first half of the show "in a cone of silence". The remark was a reference to a moment in the widely-seen trailer of the less-widely-seen 2008 summer movie Get Smart, and the Saddleback audience lapped it up accordingly.
With the exception of Steve Carell's valiant performance, Get Smart pretty much sucks (and is an insult to the legacy of the late Don Adams). Targeted as it was, however, at Americans who have no interest in originality or thoughtfulness or anything that might challenge their narrow-minded worldview, the film made for an ideal allusion in terms of Pastor Rick's purposes.
Also in term of those purposes...it was an outright lie. While Barack Obama was being asked the exact same set of questions that John McCain would be asked in the subsequent hour of the forum, McCain was not in a "cone of silence"; rather, he was in his motorcade--aboard the hilariously hypocritically-named "Straight Talk Express"--en route to Saddleback Church, having full access to any live television feed that his heart desired.
What do you think he and/or his handlers were watching?
If you can prove that it was anything other than Rick Warren's interview with Barack Obama, I will give you twelve kabillion dollars for every Academy Award that Get Smart wins next year.