David Shuster is, apparently, that dude: the guy at the Halloween party—the smug-looking one, over there in the corner—who is just so above the whole thing, and who keeps informing everyone that he doesn’t do costumes, or that he’s spending the evening as, you know, “himself.” Witness the following exchange between the NBC correspondent and the anchor Contessa Brewer on MSNBC Live this morning, which occurred over footage of a soon-to-start Palin rally:

BREWER: This is Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Flanked by at least one of her children there and husband Todd in this final push to capture Pennsylvania’s 21 electoral votes. This is the one state the Republican ticket is doing their best to turn a blue state red. As soon as we see Sarah Palin speaking here, we’ll bring that to you live. I was thinking we might see those kids in costume today, but maybe not. Let’s go to David. I did see the pumpkins out there…there is Halloween spirit out there.

SHUSTER: I’m going to make a stand. I’m not going to make any Halloween references. It’s always awkward when politicians do it—and news anchors.

BREWER: That sounds like that was aimed a little bit at me. Were you taking a shot at me, David?

SHUSTER: No. I’m aiming it in general. Howard Norman points out all the ridiculous Halloween references politicians make and they sound just as bad as when we do it. You have been warned.

BREWER: No more Halloween references to you, David.

SHUSTER: Thank you. We are approaching a crucial hour on the race to the White House….

Sheesh. Turns out Shuster did come in costume today, after all. As “Humorless Guy.” Though, come to think of it, maybe we should just feel relieved about Shuster’s stand: The small minority of Americans who will not be spending this evening bespectacled and be-beehived as Sarah Palin probably just deserve the thanks of a grateful nation…

[transcript per TVEyes.com]

If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of 10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.

Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.