ALBANY—Chet Smith sat down last night to watch national news network CNN in an attempt to learn what had gone in the world that day and avoid conversation with his wife. But rather than sit and soak in the day’s event and avoid confronting mistakes which are rapidly approaching a 10th anniversary, Smith soon found that the network had drafted him into providing content and news for their broadcast.
“So, apparently they want my opinion on everything to be texted, phoned in, blogged, or tweeted at all times and on all subjects,” said Smith, quizzically. “Why? If I knew anything about the world I wouldn’t be sitting down at a TV to find out about it. Of what use is my opinion on the Israel flotilla raid to the greater public at large? Don’t they have experts they can tap for this kind of help?”
To further explain his lack of credentials, Smith produced a semester’s worth of poor grades from the local community college as well as documentation to note that he had dropped out.
“I was majoring in air conditioning repair,” the man said in a bewildered tone. “Even if I had mustered up the courage to get that Associate’s Degree in History or to not drop out, what are the odds I can offer up a cogent reaction to Middle Eastern politics that is even valuable enough to be worth reading as it speeds across the bottom of a screen, let alone have Wolf Blitzer single it out? What do I have to offer on the BP oil spill other than inchoate rage that someone ‘do something’, as if I even knew what that something is?”
“No,” Smith concluded. “It’s best I be left out of this news gathering operation. My notions, reckonings, and poorly shot amateur video of the neighbor’s wife are hardly a valuable component to the news.”
When notified that Mr. Smith would not be accepted their unsolicited offer to become an unpaid correspondent and content generator, Janelle Rodriguez, CNN Director of Programming, simply sighed and commented that “newsing is hard.”
She did however wish to extend the same offer to all other CNN viewers, noting that “24 hours was a lot of time to fill every day” and that their ill-informed notions on the day’s events combined with showing boring family photos and internet video memes was needed to fill up several hours of that block. She advised that people send in photos or videos of their family “beating the heat” or the network would be forced to use the news as a means to educate and inform rather than entertain.
“I don’t think that’s anything that anyone wants,” she grimly intoned. “So I better see at least 20 photos of cats in old-timey bathing suits and swimming caps by noon or so help me God, Christiane Amanpour will be doing a twelve part series on global geopolitics.”
"Don't make us analyze the Israel-Palestine conflict from all sides," she yelled, wagging a finger. "All sides!"
Confronted with the sad reality that he can no longer be allowed to watch something without becoming an active participant in it or have the mundane details of his life treated as if it had equal value with real news, Smith sighed, dug out his camera, and went to find the cat.
“It’s better this way,” he rationalized. “Knowing what was really going on probably just would have made me angry. Cat pictures are funny.”
According to a flash online poll of CNN viewers, taking into account text messages and Facebook posts, 78% of the viewing audience also agrees that cat pictures are funny.