Thursday, December 28, 2006
When you're a peon, there aren't too many ways in which you can completely screw up a show. Sure, you could put the wrong script in the teleprompter, or cue the wrong camera. These are irritating, stupid errors, and you will be shouted at and "written up" for them. (I loved how people took that "I'm writing you up" thing so seriously. It really brought out the surly teenager in me, and more than once I was tempted to wiggle my extended fingers in their faces and go "woooooooohhh!")
But the best way I know to really cause giggle-inducing gaffs is by selecting the wrong footage from the tape library. My three top favorite image-related mistakes (one of which did not happen at CNN, but at the place I'm at now) are as follows:
1.) The anchor was reading a serious, war-related item involving esteemed British General Michael Jackson...
Yes, you guessed it, above her right shoulder was a very flattering pic of everyone's favorite mono-gloved, Jesus Juice-supplying singing sensation Michael Jackson.
2.) The anchor was reading an item about an escaped convict, and the footage above his shoulder was that of a monkey swinging from tree to tree.
3.) The anchor was reading an item about singer and Rocky Horror phenom Meat Loaf undergoing heart surgery...
Yes, you guessed it, above her right shoulder was some very delicious footage of cafeteria meatloaf. When the P.A. who pulled the footage was called on it she just said, "I don't fucking know who Meat Loaf is. What, now I gotta research this shit too?"
It seems that this lass would do anything for love, but she wouldn't do that.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
I just wanted to wish all of you a sensational holiday, and leave you with this great picture of Fat Albert. No, he never worked for CNN. But I would like to think that if he did, he would have been on the techie side with me, and we would have goofed off together.
Anyway, I hope you all have a peaceful, loving Christmas. May the traditions of Christmas bring you joy, including all my pals who are MOT. To you fine folks I say: on December 25th, may the Chinese food be delicious and the movie superb!
Happiness to all of you, and remember that a dick in a box always makes for a thoughtful gift:
DICK IN A BOX
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A former CNNer who worked in the PR department related this story to me in response to the last posting, which referenced Lynne Russell's hair. Now, as many of you know, the PR department of any news organization often gets the calls that the front desk has no idea what to do with. Actually, both the PR department and the Assignment Desk are treated like garbage receptacals for kooky shit.
So, this friend of mine walked into her office one morning and played the message waiting for her. The voice on the message was low-pitched, slightly breathless, punctuated by weird orgasmic sounds and had a southern accent. The message went something like this:
"Uh...hi. CNN? I'm just calling in to say that I just love that Lynne Russell. I mean I just...uhhhhhm....ungh...I just love to watch her on my TV. I come home after a long day at work, open a beer and uuuuuhhhh...ungh..ungh...I watch Lynne. Her long hair, those lips...unngh....ooohh...ungh...oooh...mmmmmm...Lynne Russell..."
She came to the conclusion that this Lynne Russell fanatic was in fact rubbing one out while on the phone; using the CNN PR line as a 1-900 porn number. She saved the message for months, and listened to it anytime she needed a laugh.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I recently discovered another Read-Me print out from the vault. This one was written by a CNNI anchor who no longer works there. Rumor has it he quit, booked a flight to London, called into CNNI from the plane phone somewhere over the Atlantic and simply said:
"Hello, I'm just calling to say that I'm not coming into work...ever."
Whether or not this is true I can't say for sure.
However, he did write the following impassioned plea for greater security at CNN Center. Being that it is written in such a pompous, over-the-top way, coupled with the fact that he signed it with his full name followed by, "Anchor, CNN International" makes me wonder if he left himself logged in and someone wrote this under his name as a joke. Then again, he was a pretty pompous, over-the-top guy. I once heard him try to lure a VJ back to his apartment with promises of "Drambuie and good conversation".
So, you never know.
The funniest parts of this message are excerpted below. All punctuation and grammar are copied verbatim:
"I am putting this letter in READ-ME so that it goes 'on the record' and receives prompt attention.
Today's shootings at Capitol Hill has heightened my personal concern about safety at CNN Center. Clearly, we are a target for every nut with a grievance against society; but it seems to me that it would be extremely easy for a member of the public to penetrate security, gain access to the CNNI newsroom and injure or kill an employee.
The entry into the CNNI newsroom, next to the Wachovia Bank Branch, is the weakest link in the chain of security. Anyone could walk from the public car decks, carrying a sub-machine gun, straight into the building, wait until someone enters or leaves the newsroom walk in and open fire.
I am not a security professional, I have just a few obvious suggestions to minimise the risk.
1.) Put metal detectors at every entry to the CNN Center
2.) Establish another security port...permanently staffed by an armed guard.
3.) Prevent all members of the public from having access to staff work areas. This means: stopping those PAID-FOR tours, which allow hundreds of outsiders to walk into the CNNI newsroom, everyday, (inches away from my desk). Surely; would-be aggressors could use these tours to reconnoitre the interior and plan his/her attack!"
Wow. Typing that note is even funnier than reading it. I love the fact that he manages to infuse this short memo with:
sub-machine guns, fear of bored tourists being mere "inches" away from his desk, use of some high-brow, pompous French word for "casing the joint" and of course the aforementioned bored tourists "planning his/her attack!"
And here I thought these CNN tour people just wanted to get up close enough to sniff Lynne Russell's hair.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I have no doubt that comedians from sea to shining sea have gone ape shit over this news story, but I still have to comment:
FLATULENCE FORCES PLANE TO LAND (AP)
"An American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing Monday morning after a passenger lit a match to disguise the scent of flatulence, authorities said."
This classy, etiquette-conscious woman, a regular Emily Post of the cheese cutting set, blamed it on a "medical" condition. Still, she was not allowed back on the plane after the emergency landing. It remains to be seen whether or not she will sue the airline for discrimination against a fart-challenged individual.
Obviously, lack of comfort during air travel has become a staple in our lives:
Getting groped by airport security, smelling other people's stinky, shoeless feet whilst going through the metal detector, boarding the plane like a herd of cattle, suffocating in crowded cabins that are chock-full of stained sweatsuit clad fatties, as you are trapped in your crummy seat by the toilet, hoping the flight attendants don't run out of the good snacks before they get to you.
So this woman, clearly a model of Miss Manners-style discretion, had the best of intentions, I guess. She recognized the situation was already bad enough without her low-pitch rumbler penetrating the stale air. But she could have saved everyone a lot of time if she understood something my mother pointed out to me, in her harsh Finnish accent, years ago:
"You know why I hate to fly on an aeroplane? Because people fart. A lot. And the fart, it has no place to go. You cannot open a window. So it just gets sucked into that ventilator system, and goes zooming around and around for the whole time you are sitting there. That's what aeroplane smell is: recycled fart."
Monday, December 04, 2006
The couple in this photo never worked at CNN.
They are featured here on PEON CONFIDENTIAL because they are making news:
Come December 22nd, they are encouraging as many willing volunteers as possible to participate in "Global Orgasm Day".
Indeed, it is the First Annual Solstice Synchronized Orgasm for Peace event. According to the website, a world-wide populace making "O" face at the same time will do nothing short of shift the earth's energy field:
"The goal is to add so much concentrated and high- energy positive input into the energy field of the Earth that it will reduce the current dangerous levels of aggresion and violence throughout the world."
Yes, they are from California.
Having been born on the West Coast myself, I was raised in a community of these types of people. People with good hearts, funky livingroom decor and unusual ideas. And often various herbs growing in the backyard.
And I have to say, now that I live on the East Coast, I miss them. I miss their sweetness and curiosity. I miss people who are convinced, no matter how old they are, that they can affect change for the better. I miss their goofiness and innocent, earnest outlook. More than anything, I miss their willingness to believe: in chakras, in astrology, in the innate goodness of humankind.
So here's to Donna Sheehan and Paul Reffell of California.
Click on the website and check it out:
I would, however, reccomend turning off the sound. The cloying new age music will destroy any horniness and desire to participate in Global Orgasm Day that you might have.