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Green Rooms | The Nation

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Unfiltered takes on politics, ideas and culture from Nation editors and contributors.

Green Rooms

I do a fair amount of TV.

And though I never, ever, check my integrity at the door, I have to admit that there are some shows you wish you hadn't agreed to go on. I won't name names.

A couple of weeks ago on RadioNation, host Laura FLanders asked what it's like to do battle with someone on TV and then schmooze with them in the "Green Room" before or after airtime? I replied, in all honesty, that I almost always keep my nose in my files--which I carry around like Linus's security blanket. That technique effectively precludes hanging out with guests you'd rather observe than make friendly with. (Think Ann Coulter.)

But, I have to confess that Wednesday morning was different. I did schmooze. With Rufus. Who's Rufus? Well, he's the "best in show" from the Academy Awards of dog shows--the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, to be exact, which was encamped at Madison Square Garden this past weekend. Rufus is a colored bull terrier who won because the judges loved his fabulous head, which is perfectly shaped like an egg.

He nuzzled my knee around 7:05 am, in CBS's Early Show's green room, as I waited to debate Bay Buchanan about Cheney's shooting incident. (What is there to debate-except to invoke guidance from the NRA: Think First, Shoot Second. It's advice this Veep has ignored when it comes to, well, everything.)

And I nuzzled back, breaking the schmooze rule. Then I broke the rule again. Laid back, shaggy, red-haired, gold medalist, snowboarder Shaun White arrived with his entourage. He even had his snowboard with him. I wanted to schmooze but they whisked him off to an outdoor set. Then Rufus started barking and trying to wolf down some of the spread these green rooms usually have for (people) guests.

Heading downtown to my real day job, I thought that green rooms with champion dogs and snowboarders were a little crazy but a lot more sane--and ego-free--than those stuffed with aspiring politicos and pundits.

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