It was a visibly embarrassed Thorbjoern Jagland that gave today's press-conference. After an international outcry of befuddlement over the Norwegian Nobel Committee's awarding of its highest honor to Barack Obama -- a man, in a departure from normal Nobel protocal, with absolutely no actual accomplishments in his life -- the Committee called the conference to, in the words of one observer, set the record straight.
"First, to the press and to the people of the world," said Jagland, through an interpreter, "we're really, really sorry about the confusion." The award, explained Jagland, wasn't actually supposed to be given to Obama, per se.
Jagland said, "I thought it was understood, when we brought up all those speeches, that they were the actual reason for the award. And so," he continued, "the award was actually to be given to the source of those speeches."
This prompted speculation within the press corps that the Committee had meant to confer the award to President Obama's speech writers. Jorgland denied that. "Don't be silly," he said. "Who ever heard of mere speechwriters being given such a high honor?"
As it turned out, the Norwegian group had actually decided to award the Nobel to the President's TelePrompTer. "The problem, of course," said Jagland, "is that you actually can't give an award to a machine. So we asked Mr. Obama to accept the award as the TelePrompTer's proxy."
The confusion, the Chairman explained, was actually on the part of the President. "I'd really thought we'd been clear," he said, indicating his interpreter. "Jergen has been with me for quite some time, and I'm sure he translated everything correctly. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Mr. Obama didn't understand."
So, why didn't the committee correct the President's perception? Mr. Jagland seemed embarrassed by his response: "To be honest, he just seemed so gosh darned excited, it felt heartless to take it back."
When reached for comment, the TelePrompTer (TOTUS, to its familiars) was philosophical. "He is the boss, after all," TOTUS explained. "I know in the core of my plastic-and-silicon heart that I actually won that award. That's enough for now."
Of course, that didn't stop the PrompTer from adding an extra dig at his boss. "Of course, we'll just have to see whether I stay upright during that next PrimeTime healthcare speech."
(cross-posted at The Minority Report)