Thursday, June 29, 2017
CNN Tries To Move Forward After Its Latest Humiliation
From Town Hall
“Ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary beings who refuse to be forced into one or more specific genders,” began CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, employing the network’s prescribed group salutation. “I have gathered you all today here in the CNN newsroom to discuss this Anthony Scaramucci Russia story we retracted and how it has had a negative impact on our network’s sterling reputation for journalistic integrity and objectivity. Hey, pay attention! Stop laughing!”
The room quieted down. Even Don Lemon looked up from the bar, where he was mixing a cosmopolitan.
“Listen, people….,” Zucker began.
“I identify as an otherkin and that’s humanocentric!” shouted a producer dressed in a bright blue fox costume. The network was rightfully proud of its “a-furry-mative action” outreach to the marginalized furry and brony communities.
Zucker sighed. “Before I go on, I just want to make sure that O’Keefe guy isn’t secretly taping us again. You’re the sharpest, keenest investigative journalists in the business – any sign of him?”
“Nope, he’s totally not here,” replied a voice from the audience, a young white man dressed like Superfly.
“Great. Now this Scaramucci story was a big problem, and not just because we got caught. As you know, Russia is ratings gold, but if we keep coming up empty we’ll leave our audience as unsatisfied as a woman married to a liberal man,” Zucker explained, using an analogy his audience could relate to. “We just can’t keep reporting shaky Russia stories about billionaires based on single, anonymous sources that turn out to be fake news.”
“So … avoid slandering billionaires? Maybe focus on rodeo clowns and so forth?” suggested Jim Acosta.
“Exactly,” replied Zucker. “Don’t do this kind of thing to people who buy their lawyers in bulk! I’m not saying pick on people who can’t fight back against a giant media company but, you know, try and pick on people who can’t fight back against a giant media company.”
A cheerful voice from someone in the front row cried out: “I got a new puppy! His name is Woofy!”
“Yes, Chris, you’ve already told us all about Woofy several times,” sighed Zucker.
“Woofy likes to bark at squirrels, and my brother is governor!”
“That’s terrific, Chris. Someone, get him his fidget spinner. Anyway, starting now, we’re instituting new policies for handling Russia stories. Stop groaning! This important! From now on, we’re going to need your Russia stories to all have an element of truth.”
The room erupted into chaos.
“What the hell?” screeched Wolf Blitzer. “Preposterous!”
“Wolf, your name is sort of like my puppy Woofy’s!” said Chris Cuomo. “Sort of.”
“Never!” snorted Christiane Amanpour, who had been annoying Jake Tapper because her enormous pink gyno hat was blocking his view.
“Look at it spin!” piped up Chris Cuomo between delighted giggles.
Jim Acosta stood up and adjusted his tie. “I want to register my outrage and disapproval of this hateful attack on the free press in the strongest possible terms!”
“Oh, knock it off, Jimmy. There’s no camera here,” Zucker said. “From now on, your anonymous sources have to actually exist. That’s final. I’m sorry people – calm down! – but you can’t quote sources who don’t exist.”
From the back, Don Lemon finished his drink and howled, “The voices tell me MANY THINGS!”
“Look,” said Jim Sciutto. “Like my friend Don, I deeply believe that invisible voices in our heads can be legitimate news sources. Especially if a different voice in our head confirms what the first voice told us.”
“But don’t you understand,” stuttered an indignant Brian Stelter. “Don’t you know that democracy will die in darkness if you impose arbitrary rules on us that limit our ability to report things that never happened?”
“Look, I know this represents a sea change in how CNN operates, but there’s a lot of heat on us right now,” said Zucker. “Personally, I’m still heartbroken that we were unable to go forward with our plans for CNN Kidz Newz Nite With Kathy Griffin.”
“Kathy is a saint and she was robbed!” yelled Don Lemon, who staggered up the aisle, pausing to “accidentally” spill his fresh cosmo on Jake Tapper.
“Hey!” shouted Tapper. “That suit cost more than your pec implants!”
“Get out of my head!” screamed Lemon, who began sobbing. He’d been an emotional train wreck since the defeat of his friend Hillary, who he had steadfastly defended against all sorts of awful people who insisted on telling the truth about her.
“Settle!” howled Zucker. “We are journalists! We are all about our sacred duty as reporters to tell the truth to our viewers in an objective and professional manner! And also ratings. Sweet, sweet, life-giving ratings.”
“Sometimes daddy used to come home late at night with his special friends and they were all dirty and had shovels. They always took the cannoli,” Chris Cuomo said to John Berman, who got up and moved down three chairs.
“All right, all right, let’s move on to solutions. Cooper, your eyebrows are fine, so put down that mirror and pay attention! Now, we’ve had some troubles, but we’re going to come back stronger. The consensus is that the best way to do that is by leveraging exciting, diverse talents and marginalized minority voices, like Shaun King…”
“You want to tell him?” Jake Tapper whispered to Brooke Baldwin.
“And Sally Kohn,” said Zucker. “Their smart, common sense takes on current issues will help reach out to red America on whatever issues those hicks care about.”
Just then a young production assistant with “#Resist” tattooed across xis forehead rushed over to the network president and handed him a note. He read it and furrowed his brow.
“People, listen up! Trump just tweeted ‘This Russia fake news is fake. Failing CNN is failing. Sad!’ Clearly, he’s hiding something, and I’m guessing its collusion. Put up the ‘TREASON WATCH’ chyron and someone get Louise Mensch on the phone! This is not a drill – we’re flooding the zone! CNN is back!”
The crowd broke up as people rushed to their places. And while a producer led Chris Cuomo by his soft hand to the anchor chair, he was heard to say, “I got a new puppy! His name is Woofy!”
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