the DIDDLY award

THE “I’M NOT A DOCTOR BUT I PLAY ONE ON CAPITOL HILL” AWARD, bestowed for advances in congressional oversight of science. And the nominees are …

Illustration: Peter Hoey

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), who convened a hearing on Internet smut and remained straight-faced while being advised that pornography is a leading cause of breast implants. Later, the abstemious congressman heard how porn causes the “direct release of the most perfect addictive substance.” Say what? “That is,” said one witness, “it causes masturbation, which causes release of the naturally occurring opioids. It does what heroin can’t do, in effect.”

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who told Roll Call that he opposes Medicare funding for Viagra and Levitra. “Is it the government’s business to provide those funds and resources so that old men can have sex when they want?” the congressman asked, adding–without irony–that this “kind of growth in government was never envisioned by our Founding Fathers.”

Sen. Bill Frist

(R-Tenn.). The retired surgeon relied upon his cardiac training to describe his new strategy for battling Democrats: “I can play hardball as well as anybody,” he told the New York Times. “That’s what I did, cut people’s hearts out.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who railed against the class-action suit brought by silicone breast implantees, saying: “I thought I would just share with you what science says today about silicone breast implants. If you have them, you’re healthier than if you don’t.”

AND THE WINNER IS…Sam Brownback, who considered spending more tax money to explore the “addictive,” “mind-altering,” porn poisons that one witness called “erototoxins.”