Brow Beat

A Day May Come When Slate Fails to Post a Televised Performance of “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” But It Is Not This Day!

Stephen Colbert, looking solemn.
More in sorrow than in anger.

Here at Slate we have two closely related but distinct missions. The first is to be the internet’s most trusted source of news and opinion when it comes to politics, business, technology, and the arts. The second—internally known as the “covert” or “unspeakable” mission—is to provide our readers video footage whenever someone performs the traditional children’s song “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” (or any variation thereof) on national television. Initially, this was a contractual obligation imposed by Bill Gates at Slate’s founding—in the 1990s, Gates had no interest in news organizations and an all-consuming interest in building what he called the “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt Alert Service”—but over time, we have come to view our covert mission as an extension of, or even a pre-condition for, the more traditional journalistic work we do. Anyway, here’s Stephen Colbert briefly bursting into song:

NATO has already classified this as a Jingleheimer Level Orange incident, which obligates Slate, under various treaties we are forbidden to discuss, to immediately deploy the appropriate countermeasures. Unfortunately Colbert’s reckless act of John Jacob Jinglegression leaves us no choice but to respond with the Dave Howard Singers’ music video for “Yon Yonson.” May God have mercy on all of our souls:

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.