The footage of a cotton-mouthed Senator Marco Rubio reaching for a bottle of water during his response to President Obama's State of the Union message was destined for comic jibes.
But it is a commentary on the trivia-obsessed media just how much it squeezed out substantive analysis of both men's remarks.
MSNBC, a channel that loves to ridicule conservatives, engaged in a veritable flood of mocking references to "Watergate." The Daily Caller reported it re-aired the Rubio footage a staggering 155 times between 5 a.m. and midnight the day after the SOTU address. That's an average of eight times per hour.
Accompanying the footage were such on-air jabs as “Zero Dark Thirsty,” “Parch Madness,” “Tough Swallow,” “Just Add Water,” and “Water Under the Bridge.” Al Sharpton paused from bashing Rubio's speech to sip from a water bottle and explain: “I’m hydrating just like the senator. Yep, we’re having some fun, like the rest of America, with Marco Rubio’s epic water fail. …” He then proceeded to reach over and drink from a five-gallon container of water.
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CNN also couldn't resist making "Bottled Watergate" a major part of its analysis of the State of the Union. It showed the tape a total of 34 times the day after and even had
CNN’s “The Situation Room” host Wolf Blitzer breathlessly asking his audience if a drink of water “can make or break a political career.”
Marco Rubio will survive - the incident is not going to become his "Waterloo" - and he even had the presence of mind to join in the fun by tweeting a picture of the infamous "Poland Spring" bottle he drank from.
But you have to wonder if the media would have lunged quite as much for the ridicule replay button if the incident had involved Joe Biden or Hillary Cliton or Andrew Cuomo -- all of whom are considered (like Rubio) potential presidential candidates in 2016. After all, they are Democrats and there's only so much you can have fun with them.
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