political satire is now redundant

[I posted it as "politics." but should it really be "happy?"]


Somehow I missed this story until now.

Calls to the government's TIPS number, it was discovered this past week, were being answered by the "America's Most Wanted" television program. "We've been asked to take the FBI's TIPS calls for them," a reporter was told.

To find out [how the Operation TIPS program would work], I logged on to the Citizen Corps Web site, went to the Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS) page, and signed up as a volunteer. I quickly discovered that TIPS is having a devilish time getting off the ground. After an initial welcome from the Justice Department, I heard nothing for a month. When I finally called two weeks ago to ask what citizens were supposed to do if they had a terror tip, I was given a phone number I was told had been set up by the FBI.

But instead of getting a hardened G-person when I called, a mellifluous receptionist's voice answered, "America's Most Wanted." A little flummoxed, I said I was expecting to reach the FBI. "Aren't you familiar with the TV program 'America's Most Wanted'?" she asked patiently. "We've been asked to take the FBI's TIPS calls for them."

Has Ashcroft turned his embattled volunteer citizen spy program -- which has been blasted by left and right alike -- over to Fox Broadcasting's "America's Most Wanted"?

[Tom Tomorrow's penguin character said recently, in an entirely different context, "I should just retire now. Political satire is now officially redundant." This finally did it for me; I guess I'm slow.]