Analyzing the White House's New Vending Machine

We all need little victories in life, especially when it comes to work. Even things as simple as a new lunch spot opening up next to the office or shaving an extra few minutes off your commute are worthy of celebration.

CBS White House reporter Kathryn Watson shared one of those little victories from Washington, D.C. yesterday.

“Big news” might be a stretch, but a new vending machine is nothing to scoff at—especially for journalists working one of the most prominent beats in the world. Covering the White House is demanding work. Sometimes you need refreshment. But what kind of refreshment, exactly? What do the contents of this brand-spankin’-new vending machine reveal about the people purchasing them? Let’s take a closer look.

Row 1: Go-Getters

Sometimes coffee isn’t enough. Working hard and meeting round-the-clock deadlines is part of the journalistic ethos. You never know when a story might break or a statement might be issued. But in reality the people selecting from this row could probably use a day or two (or more) off. There’s a reason it’s at the top of the machine. This is also an enormous W for Bang Energy, which has officially hit the mainstream big time. You know what I like my White House reporting laced with? Creatine, that’s what. Props on including some zero calorie energy drink options to help the drinkers feign health consciousness, but that’s really what the next row is for.

Row 2: Pretending to be Healthy

Here we get our first water appearance, but it’s not just any water. Smart Water and LIFEWTR are the kind of premium brands people drink when they want to make a big deal about the fact that they’re drinking water. It’s always conveniently hanging out of a bag or a bottle pouch, their sleek bottles taunting people who didn’t want to shell out the extra $1.50. But those still outdo the rest of the row, filled with fruit juices and iced teas, aka “healthy people’s soda”—beverages with similar amounts of sugar and calories but none of the bubbles. Pass. (Note: do not cross the person who chooses Ocean Spray grape.)

Row 3: Probably Hungover

Every good machine needs at least one row of classic sports drinks, or as adults refer to them, hangover cures. Seltzer sort of counts as that, but it could just as easily stand next to the pretentious waters. Mountain Dew is also a solid hangover drink but it’s unclear whether the zero calorie version belongs here. There might just be a lot of dieting degenerates in the White House Press Corps.

Row 4: Lunchtime Classics

The money row, probably the best of the bunch—and when your row includes garbage museum & baseball stadium water (Dasani), that’s saying something. This is where you’re looking if you’ve got a sandwich to mow down. You can’t go wrong here.

Row 5: Empty Machine Options

Not even including a screenshot for this row—just look up at the last one. You’re dealing with the dregs down here and you know it. But look, we’re all adults. I’ll accept your Pepsi > Coke opinion if you accept that Coke > Pepsi in every functional way, from cultural significance to flavor. Oh, is that not accepting your opinion? Whatever, you drink Pepsi. Or Diet Pepsi. Or Aquafina, Dasani’s slightly-better-looking cousin. And no amount of Justin Guarini doing terrible bits is going to make anyone come around on Diet Dr. Pepper.