A friend points out that, while complaining about CNN’s clumsy attempt to make the news amusing, I neglected to post an example of how the thing can be done right. Abby Haglage of the Daily Beast/Newsweek demonstrates how to do a light-hearted, fun interview that still gets to the heart of the matter, which is making choices in the public interest.
Another friend asked how the Pot Czar is styled and addressed.
If we go by the Russian precedent, the style was “[Given name, Patronym, Family name], (e.g., Nicolai Alexandrovich Romanov), Autocrat of all the Russias.” So I’d be “Mark Allenovich Kleimanov, Autocrat of all the Cannabinoids.”
I’m pretty sure the Czar, who ranked as an Emperor, was addressed as “Your Imperial Majesty;” I’d have to look up how you say that in Russian.
But among friends I’m just “Pothead-in-chief.”
Footnote There’s a history to be written of how “Czar” in American political usage went from meaning “scary tyrant” [with pretty much the connotations of “Fuehrer”] (Lincoln’s staff called him “The Shogun;” Speaker Reed’s enemies called him “Czar Reed”) to having more or less positive connotations.
The two key events seem to have been the Russian Revolution and the appointment of Judge Landis as Commissioner of Baseball, with autocratic powers, in the wake of the Black Sox scandal of 1919.