Said Jacob Noble, 13: “He should go to a place that needs help, not to a place that has all the help it needs plus more. We’re such a great school. Why doesn’t he go to one of the schools that isn’t known for its greatness.”

Finally, lest you be unpersuaded that presidential speeches may not lead to lasting shifts in opinion:

“I don’t really like the president that much, but when he got here I sort of forgot about it,” said Charlsye McKenzie, 13, a member of the student council. “But now that he’s gone, I don’t like him anymore.”

Now that Charlsye’s all grown up, what I wouldn’t give to hear her thoughts about tonight’s big health care address. Before we go, though, one serious thought about what’s different between these two faux-outrages. In 1991, as York notes, the political fallout came after the mainstream media jumped on the story. It was the Post, for its own reasons, that set the agenda. In 2009, it was the political push—from places well beyond D.C., and with a fierceness and apparent sincerity far beyond anything on display in the episode two decades ago—that forced the issue, and the media that had to figure out how to respond. This is, of course, one of the most important changes in the modern political world—one many in the media are still trying to make sense of.

Greg Marx is a CJR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.