Check it, Peons: Your CNN Humiliation Compartmentalized

Monday, August 27, 2007


UPDATE: These Bloopers have been removed from YouTube for reasons unknown. So these links don't work. But I chose not to delete this post because of the funny stories some of you shared in the comments section.

Let the cheering, ululating and dancing in the streets begin! A kind soul has uploaded the long lost 1996 CNN Blooper Reel to YouTube for your viewing pleasure. He was even nice enough to brand them with the Peon Confidential name. The links are here:




While you are enjoying bloopers, I'm headed to the beach to see my parents for a couple days. As the only computer they have is a Texas Instruments Antique from 1984 that has been in a box stashed in various closets in various homes since 1987, I will have no internet access.
(Actually, they used to have a circa 1980 Betamax stashed next to it until about 5 years ago when a pervy friend said he wanted it...My mother concluded that this guy found a Beta porn liquidation deal in some dark crevice of Georgia.)

Beta porn theories aside, I will post more useless crap upon my return...
In the meantime:
If any of you were partly responsible for any of these bloopers--
a.) Kudos!
b.) Tell us about it! We want details.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Well...uh...I just read this from the Associated Foreign Press:

EDINBURGH (AFP) - A dwarf performer at the Edinburgh fringe festival had to be rushed to hospital after his penis got stuck to a vacuum cleaner during an act that went horribly awry.

Daniel Blackner, or "Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf", was due to perform at the Circus of Horrors at the festival known for its oddball, offbeat performances.

The main part of his act saw him appear on stage with a vacuum cleaner attached to his member through a special attachment.

The attachment broke before the performance and Blackner tried to fix it using extra-strong glue, but unfortunately only let it dry for 20 seconds instead of the 20 minutes required.

He then joined it directly to his organ. The end result? A solid attachment, laughter, mortification and ... hospitalization.

"It was the most embarrassing moment of my life when I got wheeled into a packed AE with a vacuum attached to me," Blackner said.

The moral of this story?
The next time you feel guilty about wasting time; reading Star Magazine or watching any programming that features Mo'Nique or some faded 80's heart throb, remember this:
At least you aren't being entertained by a dwarf with a vacuum stuck on his cock.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I got an e-mail alert yesterday that someone had left a comment on a buried post. (The ever popular "Heavens to Murgatroyd" post.) This comment was such classic Peon Confidential fodder (and it was so flattering) that I had to give it the royal treatment by bumping it up to the top. Keep in mind this post had asked people to fess up to long lost crushes:

"There was this SMOKIN HOT chick I used to give rides home to at 4am after our 8p-4a shift. HAA! What up Dutton?
Great Blog. Quick shout out to the VJ class of '96. Probably the most fun I've had in my professional life (if you can call that year professional). And yes, I had a crush...Lynne Russell."

Let's just analyze the beauty of this comment:

1.) It points out that without a drivers license, I was at the mercy of kind souls who would give me a lift home at 4am. As I wrote early on, when there weren't kindly VJs, I relied upon the services of one particular Moroccan cabbie. This worked well until he stopped charging me the cab fare and turned up one morning at CNN Center bearing gifts: a pink muumuu and matching pointy shoes...And a decorative brass plate.

2.) Shout out to the class of '96!

3.) Proof that we were not considered "professionals" but mere peons.

4.) Proof that we all, on poverty level salaries, had a hell of a good time.

5.) Proof of the legendary hotness of Sheriff/Karate expert/Lampshade saleslady/Former Headline News babe Lynne Russell.

Indeed, this Anonymous fellow managed to deliver the pure essence of the peon experience with one concise comment.
I couldn't have done it better.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I have a confession to make. This egregious sin has been haunting me, weighing on my chest for a long time, and it's time to set it free:
I'm a thief.
The worst, most devious kind of low-grade thief:
I routinely steal rolls of toilet paper from restaurants and bars all over Manhattan.

And once in Brooklyn.

My life of crime takes on a multi-cultural slant that would impress any UN delegate. I have stolen from Korean Barbeque joints, Irish pubs, French bistros, and Spanish tapas bars.
It's surprisingly easy. And I have to assume that New York is relatively devoid of thieving toilet paper scum like me, because these places make it too tempting: they leave stacks of toilet paper rolls out in the open, ripe for the nabbing. And if I don't have a big bag on me, I will coerce my pals to stuff their voluminous bags, thereby aiding and abetting my thug life.

It isn't that I cannot afford to buy toilet paper. It's that I can never remember to buy it. And there is nothing worse than sitting on the john and realizing there is no toilet paper. This means making the pants-'round-the ankles dash to find a stray cocktail napkin. Consequently I have wiped my ass with Bachelorette Party salutations, Pink Elephants, Jolly Jack-o-Lanterns and Frosty the Snowman.
Not sure what it says about me, but even when there is no butt wipe at my place, there are always cocktail napkins.
Priorities, see.

I feel better now. Very cathartic.
But the question is:
How many Hail Marys do you think my crime deserves?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Ladies and anonymous source has given us scoop! In response to the buried "Heavens to Murgatroyd" post, in which we asked if current Anderson Cooper producer Murgatroyd and former VJ Murgatroyd are the same person, we recently got this:

"From an in-the-know source at CNN in Atlanta, and also a former VJ (Class of 1996, holler) it is the same John Murgatroyd! And, while he is not married, he is popular with the on-air ladies of Headline News."

Now the REAL question is...which on-air ladies of Headline News are we talking about here?
The mind reels at the possibilities.

Monday, August 13, 2007


This post doesn't have anything to do with peculiar news stories, peons or CNN, but it's what I feel like writing about this morning:

This past weekend I went to a beautiful backyard commitment ceremony in Chicago, and there was one particular moment that stood out...The sun was setting, and the music had started. The candles on the tables were flickering, there was a hum of cicadas and people talking and the smell of summer grass was sweet. The couple began the first dance as their dogs, both sporting gingham bowties, shuffled up to them and little girls twirled around them on the dancefloor, barefoot in their bright summer dresses.

It was as pretty and touching of a wedding snapshot as I've ever seen.

And I thought about heated rhetoric surrounding gay and lesbian marriage and parenting. The false arguments, the twisting of religious sentiment to justify bigotry. I thought about smug people who think they have all the answers and claim that gay marriage "destroys the fabric of America". I thought about the assholes who would deny gay and lesbian rights, and what I never understand is how so much vitriol is wasted on love. With all the issues these idiots could get riled up about: political corruption, sub-prime mortgage malfeasance, the fact that Paris Hilton is richer than most of us--they focus their ire on two people loving each other, and try to legislate ways to denigrate that love.

All I can assume is that they've never attended a commitment ceremony like the one I did; with gorgeous children cared for by loving parents, friends and family chatting and laughing, a community coming together to support each other.

But maybe that is the way to increased understanding: Anyone having a commitment ceremony should invite a random bigot. Lure them with promises of delicious cake. Perceptions will change one shitheel at a time...

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Read this yesterday from the Associated Press:

A man smuggled a monkey onto an airplane Tuesday, stashing the furry fist-size primate under his hat until passengers spotted it perched on his ponytail, an airline official said.

The monkey escapade began in Lima, Peru, late Monday, when the man boarded a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Alison Russell. After landing Tuesday morning, the man waited several hours before catching a connecting flight to LaGuardia Airport.

During the flight, people around the man noticed that the marmoset, which normally lives in forests and eats fruit and insects, had emerged from underneath his hat, Russell said.

"Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him," she said.

While the hat method was ingenious (and downright Dr. Seussian in its absurdity) I started to think of other ways in which a person could smuggle a "furry, fist-size primate". Those methods include:

1. Under one of Ice T's classy girlfriend CoCo's gigantic boobs.
2. Tucked into Amy Winehouse's hair.
3. Up the roomy hoo-hoo of that Arkansas woman with 17 kids.
4. In John Goodman's armpit.
5. Camoflaged in Burt Reynold's chest hair.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I was at the supermarket last night where I saw a very young, (18 years old tops) very pregnant cashier. A bit sad yes, but it got me to thinking:
Which song was playing in the background when her horny, pimply Casanova planted his careless seed?
And as she was not the speediest cashier, I had time to consider this:
Which distinguished songs comprise the all-time greatest "Unplanned Pregnancy Soundtack"? You know, the mellow songs that were moaning from the 8-track player in a shag carpeted 70's van, (complete with a deer and a sunset airbrushed on the side) the "let me lick you up and down" slow-jam music that thumped from a boom box on a cheap K-Mart desk in a dorm, the heartfelt tunes that were blaring from the floor-mounted, fake wood stereo in the rumpus room (while mom and dad were visiting relatives in Wisconsin.)
In short, the sappy, radio-friendly songs that facilitated After School Special type drama.
(By the way-I think I've figured out the exact moment when we become adults. It's the point at which one of your peers tells you "I'm pregnant" and you respond with "Wow! Congratulations!" instead of "Oh shit...what are you going to do?")

For those who are unfamiliar with the Unplanned Pregnancy Soundtrack Phenomenon, I came up with this top ten list of songs for the daring, foolish love-makers who threw caution and condoms to the wind:

1. "Baby What A Big Surprise" by Chicago
2. "I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight" by Cutting Crew
3. "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" by Journey
4. "Babe" by Styx
5. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison
6. "The Heat of The Moment" by Asia
7. "I Swear" by All 4 One
8. "To Be With You" by Mr. Big
9. "Lost In Love" by Air Supply
10. "Baby I Love Your Way" by Peter Frampton

There are many, many more. Please feel free to add your favorites...

Monday, August 06, 2007


The other day I got an e-mail from a Peon Confidential reader who reccomended I get a tip box. He offered up this jewel:

"Heard a rumor today from a (NETWORK DELETED) producer about a supposed DEAF INTERN who was asked to run prompter at CNN one day when a VJ didn't show up.
I don't remember that scandal. You ever hear of it?"

I do not recall this one, but I have no trouble believing it. And when you think about it, this intern would have gotten off easy. He wouldn't hear all the bitchy control room people screaming "PROMPTER!" , wouldn't know when the anchor blamed him for the fact that she said "World War Eye Eye" and wouldn't have to scramble if A3 was floating, since he wouldn't be tuned in anyway.

Not such a bad deal, really.

Friday, August 03, 2007


The rather bleak photo above is my first Atlanta apartment. It was at the esteemed Buckhead Crossing on Sidney Marcus Boulevard. According to another former CNN VJ I know, the best part about Buckhead Crossing was that due to it's proximity to The Gold Club, plenty of strippers lived there. She claims they would all lounge around the pool all day, leaving a sheen of body oil on the water. I can't vouch for the veracity of this statement, as I never once used the pool. I spent all my freetime shopping at the Marshalls around the corner.

Also, if you click on this photo to enlarge it, you'll find a pair of purple men's underwear hanging from that diseased looking tree. Those belonged to the guy I was dating at the time. While he was in the shower, I saw those underpants crumpled in a corner; looking over-washed, ripped, saggy and well...purple. So I threw them off the balcony. They hung there for a couple of weeks.

I actually went looking for this photo after a discussion about Post Apartments. Of course if you click on that link, don't be fooled by the fancy apartments they show you first. To get the full effect of the Post Apartment era/style I'm talking about, head straight for Post Lindburgh, which is located directly behind the Lindburgh MARTA Sation. In addition, I'd like to point out the "Benefits of Living at Post", where you'll find that they are now offering "Urban Vegetable Gardens". (I don't know why, but that makes me laugh.)

While Buckhead Crossing isn't technically a jewel in the Post crown, it's pretty similar. And everyone I knew back then had some experience with the Post housing institution, whether you lived in one or attended some shitty VJ party at one of them. (And by "party" I mean a bag of picked over Doritos, a couple of cans of Bud and a few people standing around listening to the Dave Matthews Band.) They were cookie-cutter (they all had the same grey or beige carpet with the same stains in the same places) and impersonal enough that it might take you months to discover that a co-worker lived in the same complex.
Case in point:
Several years after moving out of Buckhead Crossing, I learned that a co-worker of mine used to cheat on his girlfriend in the apartment right next to mine. But the fact that I never saw him is nothing compared to the fact that I never heard the thumping, moaning sounds of illicit love through those shoddy walls...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


It's official...
Peon Confidential is a year old! Over the past year, we've shared stories of Peon drudgery and moments of glory, tried to solve Blind Items, offered up (vaguely) sensible advice to college students, exchanged juicy gossip, and made up Barry Manilow inspired songs about Roz the Hashslinger.

So for today's post, I'm going to take a cue from 1980's sitcom writers who got lazy a few times a year and offered up clip shows instead of new storylines. For example--

SCENE: Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sophia are sitting around the kitchen table, eating cheese cake.

DOROTHY: Blanche, do you remember how we first met at the supermarket?
BLANCHE: How could I forget it? You rammed your shopping cart into mine with those big manly hands of yours.


So in the spirit of a Golden Girls clip show, I'd like to take this opportunity to offer up some highlights of our first year together...

AUG 2006:
Peon Confidential kicks off with memories of food theft accusations in Read Me, Sports Department Pussy Warriors, and the tragic tale of The Stolen Vagina.

SEPT 2006:

OCT 2006:
I describe the art of fine dining on a Peon budget, and reveal fear of both the weird stains on the breakroom sofa and Rachael Ray

NOV 2006:
An important month at Peon Confidential, as Joe Kinstel's despotic "Dockers Mandate" was brought to light. Also brought to light: evidence that as an infant, I looked just like CNN's Lou Dobbs

DEC 2006:
We learn how
A) CNN's PR hotline was used for porn/masturbatory purposes
B) a woman's flatulence caused a plane to make an emergency landing

JAN 2007:
The first month of 2007 brought us a harrowing Dockers-related incident AND a Dead File Mishap

FEB 2007:
The heroic saga of Captain Waterbed

MARCH 2007:
We unearth The Lone Pube Phenomenon

APRIL 2007:
Lone Pube Art, a Roz File update and a University of Michigan student writes in asking for advice from us reformed Peons

MAY 2007:
We come up with several alternative artifacts for the Newseum in D.C., and discuss the pressing problem of Drunk Downloading

JUNE 2007:
It's a month full of undesirables: Criminal Garden Gnomes, Unemployed Cereal Mascots and a Talk Back Live Hooligan

JULY 2007:
Lost crushes revealed!
Larvae infestations!
Litter box loons!

And here we are a year later, still writing and sharing useless, goofy stories.
Here's to you Peon Confidential readers! Thanks for making this blog so much fun...