Check it, Peons: Your CNN Humiliation Compartmentalized

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


My CNN pal from the previous post wrote in to say:
"I forgot to mention that when I grumbled to Human Resources about how awful the starting salary at CNN was, they actually said:
'Yes, but we pay you in sunshine!'
It took all my strength not to say:
"Well, since photosynthesis isn't a fucking option for me, I don't see how that helps."

Note to CNN HR:
When you're sentencing a guy to a life of working overnights, coupon-clipping and discount underpants, it's best not to make jolly housewife quips about sunshine.

Monday, November 27, 2006


One of my CNN buddies related this little gem to me over gin and tonics the other night:

"When I was hired as a VJ, my starting salary was even worse than yours. $17.5 a year. I couldn't believe it. But they still expected "professional dress". This meant no jeans. The solution to this dilemma (given to every new male VJ) was quite simple. Joe Kinstle would say earnestly,

'You know, a nice pair of Dockers costs the same as a pair of jeans. They look professional and need no dry cleaning.'

I was disgusted. It was bad enough that my poverty-line salary forced me to eat chili from a can for dinner every night, but now I was mandated to look like a douchebag too.
I mean...honestly...Dockers..."

At this point my friend shuddered and took a sip of his drink. He then stared off into the distance, presumably trying his best to shake off vile memories of the mid to late 90's corporate casual uniform:
Khaki Dockers and a chambray shirt.
This ensemble was occasionally spiffed up with a whimsical tie featuring Disney characters or Jerry Garcia's artistic renderings.
Or accessorized by a silver-tipped leather belt, designed with extra length so that it swung low, a type of belt I refered to as "the donger".

My friend and I were both silent for a while, grateful for fashion's changing tide. We found peace in the fact that our eyes are no longer accosted by this type of sartorial shitpile.
But then the realization hit:

We're safe for now...but who knows what recycled fashion goods tomorrow will bring?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I recently received a request from someone who had been reading the archives of this blog. They wondered if I had the rest of the READ-ME comments about the "perk or entitlement" argument that erupted over the free Friday cookies at the now defunct CNNFN.
Well of course I do.
It takes work to reach this level of dorkhood.
The argument began after this memo was posted in READ-ME. Keep in mind the caps and punctuation have been copied verbatim from the original memo:

"From this point forward snacks will be ordered on a bi-weekly basis. As the official 'snack orderer', it has come to my attention that most of the people on the 20th floor do not get a single cookie. This is due in large part to others hoarding the cookies by putting four or five of them on their plate or making repeated trips to the breakroom. I'm not your mother, nor will I police the distribution of cookies, but please try to be considerate of your fellow workers. In other words...SHARE! Cookies/snacks are a PERK not an entitlement! They can be cut back to once a month or PERMANENTLY stopped. Please keep this in mind.
Also, when you see me in the breakroom, please give me some space. I'm trying to separate the cookies and round up some for the 21st floor. I don't appreciate being pushed out of the way so you can get your snack. It only takes five minutes at the most. I'd appreciate a little patience. Thank you."

Now, here's a few of the best comments that were posted in response:

-I along with a number of my colleagues, resent the tone of the "Snack Policy" memo. We are adults and don't appreciate being talked to as children. The condescending tone is totally unnecessary.

-You're fired. And give back those cookies in your desk drawer.

-What did we do that was sooo bad that we lost our cookie privileges?

-First fees, then overtime, then the cars, now snacks. What's next? Chairs? Come to think of it, oxygen is kind of a "perk" too.

-I will so miss yelling out to my colleagues every Friday afternoon "Hey our entitlement is here!"

-No one, over the past four years has abused the snack privilege more than I have (okay, maybe Myron has.) No one has been more critical of the recent move toward dry, tasteless and no doubt cheap cookies. So maybe the time has come for us to take matters into our own hands.

-Let's storm the breakroom!

Snackwind: When the Cookies Crumbled One Time Too Many

-At least the snack memo was nicely written. Excellent punctuation!
My real mother had a similar snack policy, but then she began attending A/A meetings.

-"Shares of Time-Warner down sharply on rumors of a snack-inspired revolt at Turner Broadcasting..."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


As many of you who know me are aware, my strange CNN schedule, coupled with Atlanta's reputation for being a conventioneer's paradise, turned me into a Strip Club Aficionado. After months of working 7pm-4 am shift, I finally managed to snag a 4pm to midnight shift. The night was mine! And strip clubs were the places I often wound up in the wee hours: The Gold Club, The Clermont Lounge, The Cheetah, Club Anytime and Swingin' Richards. What I liked most was that The Gold Club and Club Anytime also featured a Sunday Brunch Buffet. Perfect for Mother's Day! Trying to keep them as sanitary as possible, the buffets, laden with grits and greasy bacon, were wedged in a murky corner, far away from the poles.
Still, much like a stale bowl of potpourri in a Starbucks bathroom, they were asking a hell of a lot from those plastic sneeze guards.
The reason I bring this up is because tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of a wonderful charity operation, hosted by Scores Gentleman's Club here in New York. It's called "Cans for Cans". All the information you need can be found here:
So in the spirit of giving, head over to Scores.
You'll feel good about yourself, knowing you've fed the homeless and managed to get a boner at the same time.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I love how in this media-savvy age, when people know more and more about the nature of broadcast news, and reality TV blurs the line between acting and real life, some anchors continue to use the same stupid, phony expressions portrayed above.
Note that I have obscured my fellow VJ's mug with Sesame Street characters, as he is now doing quite well for himself at CNN, and may not want pics of him goofing off with me plastered for all the world (okay...for the four of you who read this blog) to see. Plus, I imagine association with the likes of my irreverent self is not good for one's career trajectory within the company. Well, that and I'm not gonna lie...I love Sesame Street.
So, the above anchor expressions can be described as:

This expression is generally reserved for stories involving war, nursing home abuse, interviewing brilliant scientists or economists whom the anchor doesn't actually understand and isn't actually listening to, homicides achieved through creative misuse of power tools, and despotic rulers of Third World countries. The look used when discussing missing children is the same, but with a touch more "compassion".

This expression is often employed during bump shots when the audio person brings the music up full and the camera pulls out, revealing the studio as the viewer is whisked away to commercial break. Obviously, it can only be used after lighter stories involving heroic cats and dogs, the tomato throwing festival in Spain, and Star Trek conventions. It is meant to convey comaraderie between the anchors, and show the viewers at home how much fun the news is:
"Hee hee! What a zany, good-time place CNN is! I've just pissed my pants from laughing at the nimble wit of my co-anchor."

Of course, when bumping out after serious stories, refer to the expression in the first picture. But do it as you look down at the desk and throw in a concerned, deliberate shuffling of unread scripts.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Today I'd like to let you all in on an amazing bit of trivia that I've known for years:
As an infant, I looked just like CNN 's financial guru Lou Dobbs.
If you don't believe me, check out the evidence for yourself. The resemblance is uncanny:
The same half-amused, half-peeved look.
The same round head.
We even combed our meager strands of hair in the same way.
He's my DOBBSELGANGER, if you will.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I was out with a CNNer the other night who shall remain nameless, and we were discussing the current state of CNN.
We came to this conclusion:
CNN needs another Ted Turner.
At his best, Ted truly understood how to work the media. Sure he often put his foot in his mouth. But he was "The Mouth from The South". That was his schtick. Even when he said inflammatory things, it usually worked for his whole image of slightly crazed but business-savvy media mogul. It even benefitted the image of CNN as some scrappy cable network. Plus the on-going battle between Ted and Rupert Murdoch was pure PR gold. Who doesn't love a good war between titans? Hell, we even love wars between d-list celebrities and bottle blonde heiresses.
But more than anything, Ted Turner was a character who loomed large on the world stage.
He was a true mogul in the larger-than-life, Richard Branson, Donald Trump mold.
I for one miss that.
Some people praise CNN's current quiet, unassuming, non-confrontational, non-spotlight seeking leadership.
Fuck that.
Bring back a guy with a booming voice who grabs the world by the balls, swings it around a few times and then shoots a bison to roast over a spit and eat for dinner.