Dear CNN

  First of all, my condolences.  The story of some person, somewhere in the USA, accused of killing another person, somewhere in the USA, has ended.  There has been a verdict.  You should be able to scavenge the carcass of the story for a week or two more (evaluate the summations!  Interview a juror!  Interview the acquitted person!) but after that. . . it’s over.

I know this must be a confusing and scary time for you.  I mean, you might have no choice but to report news, and we all know that’s not your forte.  Just because you named yourself Cable News Network doesn’t mean you should have to do news.  And the news that is out there right now is hard!  Like all those countries we’re bombing—they all end in A, and start with an S, or an L.  Or maybe a Y.  Or I.  It’s confusing!  And the debt ceiling—who can understand that?  How do you show a shiny picture of the debt ceiling?  It’s not like it wears its hair pulled back and a demure white blouse, or flies through the air like a weather balloon without a six-year-old child inside.

CNN, I believe in you.  I know you can do this.  You aren’t the first cable station to be in this position.  Remember MSNBC’s long, protracted denial of the fact that Michael Jackson had died?  Remember how they covered his death and his funeral for weeks afterward?  And see, they’re doing okay.

You have the resources.  You have a ticker, big shiny screens, electronic doo-dads, and manicured, coiffed spokes-models of each gender.  And it’s summer, so that’s good news—oh, sorry, didn’t mean to use that word. Take a breath, CNN, it’s okay.

Here are a few steps to get you started:

1)       Summer movie premieres!  Lots of red carpet stuff to dish up after Access: Hollywood is done with it.

2)      The Hidden Danger of Cotton Candy!

3)      Michelle Trachtenberg, an actress, was seen getting coffee with some guy who used to be married to Ashley Simpson, who is the sister of Jessica Simpson, who used to be a celebrity.  If you pull on this one very gently, you could make it last at least a week, until some A-list star gets drunk or high and leaves an embarrassing voicemail or text message for someone.

Don’t worry about telling us how Exxon leaked 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River.  No one expects you to.  We’ll wait for Rachel Maddow to explain it to us.

If you’re feeling shaky, or scared, or like this is too much responsibility, remember this; if you fail, so what?  We all go to the Economist, our favorite blog, or The Daily Show for our real news anyway. So no pressure, CNN, none at all.

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