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June 25, 2006

Norman Mineta chats with Larry King

Tonight, former Congressman Norman Mineta, now the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, is resigning after over five years with the Bush Administration.
Mr. Secretary, I want to ask you . . .

I'm not a secretary! A secretary types things and maybe files some papers. I'm the head of a major federal agency with tens of thousands of employees. I'm a presidential appointee. I'm the Honorable Norman Y. Mineta!


Call me "Mr. Honorable."

Uh, all right . . . Mr. Honorable . . . what would you say is your top achievement at the Department of Transportation?

I have many top achievements, Wolf.

Uh, it's Larry. Larry King. Not Wolf.

Larry. Wolf. Iceberg. Goldberg. Whatever.

Your top achievement?

My top achievement is that we have never used racial profiling. So not one Japanese-American has been put in an internment camp on my watch.

You don't mean Muslims? After September 11?

No, Wolf, I mean Japanese-Americans. F--- the Muslims!

"F--- the Muslims?" You can't say that s--- here, Mr. Honorable. This is live TV. You're gonna have those family-values nutballs climbing all over me like a bunch of cheap hookers. . . . But not like my second and fourth wives. Or, wait, was it my third and fifth wives? I forget.

I mean "F--- the Muslims." When Japanese-Americans were put in internment camps, Wolf, did one Muslim lift his hand in protest? You draw a cartoon with a bomb in some guy's towel, and these Muslims are burning down buildings. But Japanese-Americans in internment camps? Uh, uh.

That guy with a "towel" was the prophet Mohammed.

And I'm Maria of Roumania.

But racial profiling . . . some people say you do use racial profiling at the airports.

We have not profiled a single Japanese-American in my five years on the job, Wolf.

I was thinking of Muslims' being profiled. You know, because Muslims brought us the first World Trade Center attack, Khobar Towers, the USS Cole, 9/11. The guy who took flight training and wanted to know how to fly but not how to land.

"How to fly and not how to land"? I think you have some unresolved racial issues with Japanese-Americans, Wolf.

But . . .

And you know who I think really should be profiled, Wolf? It's Jewish guys, like you, in their 70s and 80s. Those guys are dangerous. Seriously.

Jewish guys in their . . . ?

Those guys carry a boatload of gas with them, if you know what I mean.

OK, we've run out of . . .

Do you know what it's like to spend six hours on a cross-country flight with a few of those guys - while they're slicing the old kosher cheese, if you catch my drift.

OK, now, we're . . .

The way the air is recirculated in planes these days, that could be deadlier than bird flu or ebola.

I'm sorry, Mr. Honorable, we're all out of time. Tomorrow, Angelina Jolie joins us to discuss her latest book on the pre-Socratic philosophers.

[UPDATE (6/29): Not a joke: When Mineta pilots his boat, "I imagine I'm a pirate," Norm said. "Of the Caribbean."]

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