The chronicles of CNN's boot camp known as The VJ Program. We Peon Warriors began meeting here to share humiliating and humorous stories about early encounters with CNN anchors, directors, producers and brutal cafeteria employees. We divulged what it was like to be broke, foolish and referred to not by name but by function.
And while we've moved on in life...the inner Peon still remains.
Check it, Peons: Your CNN Humiliation Compartmentalized
As we reach the bitter embers of this tumultuous decade, no two figures embody it better than White House gatecrashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi. They mirror everything we became in this decade: greedy, fame-hungry frauds. It’s the “fake it till you make it” adage personified. Even in an era where the internet makes it easier than ever to double check backgrounds, facts and figures, this attractive couple looked the part and that was enough. Whether it was a White House party, or in Michaele’s case, performing routines with the Washington Redskins cheerleaders. These two are fitting symbols of this decade’s deceitful behavior; reflected in inflated real estate values, fraudulent Enron projections, fictional memoirs and the desert mirage that is Dubai,with its indoor skiing rinks, man made lakes and 60 billion dollar debt that won’t be repaid anytime soon. Not only was fabrication rampant during this decade, it was profitable. Just ask Bernie Madoff.
We went to war in Iraq over phantom weapons of mass destruction and went to concerts by singers who don’t actually sing. We tuned into scripted “reality” shows and breathlessly watched manufactured news about the Balloon Boy.
We willfully ignored the truth when it didn’t suit our needs. We lied to ourselves as well as others. We spent more money than we had and we knew it. We demanded destination weddings we couldn’t afford and tried to keep up with the fake celebrity lifestyle we saw in glossy magazines. Then when it all collapsed, we pulled ourselves away from our flat screen TVs in utter surprise. The truth quite literally hurt.
So as we raise a toast on New Year’s Eve, let’s try to make resolutions we can actually keep. No reason to start the next decade with unrealistic expectations. We’ve had plenty of that already.