Friday, February 23, 2007

Story of the Week - Feb 19-23

Rise Above the Noise

Remember Lisa Nowak? She's the 43 year old astronaut who drove from Houston to Orlando, (or Orlando to Houston? who remembers?) wearing diapers, and has since been charged with attempted murder and released on bail? Remember all the outrage? All the questions about NASA's psychological screening?

Well, if not for Anna Nicole Smith dying and Britney Spears shaving her head you might be hearing about her ad nauseum. You'd have heard every adult wearing diapers joke there is to tell.

If not for Anna Nicole Smith dying and Britney Spears shaving her head you might also have heard that 10 US Soldiers have been killed in Iraq since Monday.

If not for Anna Nicole Smith dying and Britney Spears shaving her head you might have heard that 10 US Soldiers were killed in Afghanistan this week. Eight of them in a helicopter that crashed after an unexplained loss of power.

If not for Anna Nicole Smith dying and Britney Spears shaving her head you might have heard that our number one ally, Great Britain, is getting ready to pull all of its troops out of Iraq. They've got (gasp!) a timetable (excuse my language, Mr. Bush). Denmark followed suit by announcing its withdrawal.

If not for Anna Nicole Smith dying and Britney Spears shaving her head you might have heard that the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report saying Iran has expanded its nuclear program since promising to freeze them and more sanctions and hightened tensions are on the way.

But Anna Nicole died and we don't know what to do with the body and who's gonna get custody of little Dani Lynn, poor little Dani Lynn, stuck in the Bahamas, who's watching poor little Dani Lynn in the Bahamas? Who's Dani Lynn's real father? Is it this guy, or this guy, or Howard Stern Not that Howard Stern, Howard K. Stern. Or it could be Zsa Zsa's husband Zsa Zsa Gibbor is still alive? BRITNEY SPEARS IS BALD! She shaved her own head!! And then got tattoos! And she's BALD!! Anna Nicole died, and her body is hanging out in a refrigerator somewhere while Judge Larry Seidlin, the silly, whiny nebbish from the Bronx, makes jokes and asks questions and compares her to a Shakespearean tragic figure. Britney's in rehab! And she's wearing a wig to cover the bald head, that's good What about her kids! Who has her kids? Oh, K-Fed has them, good, he'll take care of her kids. Anna Nicole's body is starting to decay, we might not be able to have a viewing Where should we bury her, judge? Britney left rehab and she showed up at K-Fed's in the middle of the night She's going crazy! Hey! Anna Nicole, still dead, still not buried, who gets the body? Judge Larry is so totally unorthodox, have you ever seen a judge like this? He's insane! He's nutty, he's inappropriate! A woman died, this is no time to joke around. Why's he talking about wearing tennis shorts? Britney's back in rehab. Good. Maybe third time's a charm. Judge Larry Seidlin is crying. Crying? What's the verdict? Can we bury her. I'm on the edge of my--

STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enough is enough. This week is the week that causes 24 hour news and late night tv to have multiple simultaneous orgasms. The material just keeps on coming. It's like OJ and JonBenet and Tonya Harding all at once, all rolled into one. Everywhere you look, punchlines abound. It's so easy. It's so deliciously, incredibly, easy.

Which is why it needs to stop.

Enter Craig Ferguson. In an attack of conscience on Monday night, Ferguson, host of CBS' Late Late Show, changed his focus. "For me, comedy should have a certain amount of joy in it," he said. "It should be about attacking the powerful -- the politicians, the Trumps, the blowhards -- going after them. We shouldn't be attacking the vulnerable."

"I want to be able to be funny, but I want to be able to get some sleep...and people are falling apart! People are dying! That Anna Nicole Smith woman, she died! It's not a joke, you know, it stops being funny then. She's got a six month old kid, I mean, what the hell is that?"

And then he said this: "I think my aim's been off a bit lately. I want to change it a bit. So tonight, no Britney Spears jokes." He told no Britney Spears jokes, stayed away from the story and became a story himself. For rising above the noise.

We need more people like this out there. Not just late night comedians, but plenty of the people in my business, too. People who know the difference between news and voyeurism, between comedy and cruelty. There is more complex and exponentially more important news out there to report, and there are smarter and funnier jokes to be made. Enough is enough.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Carolina in my Mind OR Talk about a Trivial Pursuit

When we left our heroes, they had gotten into the checkout line at Super Walmart in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, when suddenly they saw the woman in line in front of them ringing up an assortment of groceries, a book of Sudoku puzzles, a pair of children's sneakers, a tempur-pedic pillow, and a fuzzy bath mat. Which caused Late Night Supermarket Man to exclaim:

LNSM: We'll never make it!

But make it for what, you ask?

LNSM: We have to get the software to the radio house!

BOGO: But we don't
even have the software!

BogoGirl was right. The software was nowhere to be found. All they had was a six pack of beer and a pair of Trivial Pursuit Totally 80s Editions.

BOGO: Two for one.


BOGO: Oh cool! Look Late Night Supermarket Man, it says here you can download
episodes of Totally 80s from the website for free with proof of purchase!

LNSM: What was that?

BOGO: For free with proof of purchase!

LNSM: No, the other part.

BOGO: What other part?

That's it!

BOGO: That's what?

LNSM: We can DOWNLOAD the software
when we get to the radio house, and you can distract JB with the Totally 80s
Trivial Pursuit game.

BOGO: How do I do that?

LNSM: You PLAY the
game! He's a sucker for games.

BOGO: If you say so. Should I give him

LNSM: Couldn't hurt.

Amazingly, our heroes had a plan.

LNSM: Now if we could only pay and get out of here. Lady, what in the world
compelled you to go out and buy a tempur-pedic pillow at 11 o'clock at night?!

The lady did not look amused.

LNSM: Sorry, my fault. I'm a northerner.

Finally, our heroes were able to pay for their beer and Trivial Pursuit, now essential to their mission, and they took off for the Radio House.

BOGO: THIS is the Radio House? It's so small.

LNSM: Just knock on the

They knocked on the door. They were greeted by the mysterious JB. Who for some reason loved to speak in third person.

JB: Ah, yes, come in, come in. Do you have the software.

BOGO: We've got

JB: JB doesn't want beer. JB has prescription medication he
shouldn't mix with alcohol. Grandpa Shelly said you would have the software.

Just then, in an attempt to sneak by and find a place to download the software, Late Night Supermarket Man started for the stairs.

JB: Don't go up there!

LNSM: Why not?

JB: You don't want to

LNSM: Isn't it just more of the same?

JB: It might be. But
it's not.

LNSM: I don't get it.

JB: Just stay away from the
second floor!

BOGO: Hey, JB, wanna play Trivial Pursuit Totally 80s?

JB: Not now, JB needs the...Did you say Trivial Pursuit?

Totally 80s edition.

JB: JB is Awesome at that game?

Really? Care to make it interesting?

JB: You're on!

BogoGirl took the game out of the box, and Late Night Supermarket Man sneaked off to download the software. Will he be successful? Will JB win the game? Will any of this matter?

Find out next time on: "Me-decade mischief" OR "Trivia Killed the Radio Star"

Monday, February 19, 2007

FOOFARAW - President's Day Edition

Today is President's Day. Celebrate!

In honor of George Washington riding to his inauguration on horseback, receive a free pair of underwear with the purchase of $40 or more at Jockey, Woodbury Commons.

John Adams was the first president to use the White House kitchen. Now, get 10% JK Adams pot racks at!

Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase. Now, you can make a purchase at the Louisiana Boardwalk President's Day Weekend Sale!

Improve your constitution in honor of James Madison with $2-off anti-bacterial hand soap from Bath and Body Works!

Want to read up on the Monroe doctrine? Not in Monroe county, MO. The Library's closed. Sorry.

At 3pm today, in honor of 6th president John Quincy Adams, it will feel like 6 degrees outside in Quincy, MA. At 11am it will feel like 6 degrees in Quincy, MI.

West Wing fans will know that Andrew Jackson kept a 2 ton block of cheese in the main foyer of the White House. In his honor, save up to 65% on cheese graters from!

Get a new Silverado from Rhodes Chevrolet in Van Buren, Arkansas for Martin Van Buren!

Hopefully, the goldfish you buy today at That Fish Place's Presidents Day Sale won't die in 30 days, like William Henry Harrison.

Buy one pair of Tyler shoes, get the second pair 25% off in honor of 10th President John Tyler!

James K Polk once visited Portsmouth, NH, and they're way too excited about it 150+ years later:

Zachary Taylor actually had a daughter named Ann, born April 9, 1811. In her honor, get up to 70% off at Ann Taylor loft for President's Day!

Get a wig at for Millard Fillmore, the last Whig president.

You can save a lot of dough in honor of "doughface" (a northerner with southern sympathies) President Franklin Pierce.

Nowhere near Rhodes Chevrolet in Van Buren, Arkansas? Instead you can get your Chevy at Wesner Chevrolet in Buchanan, MI.

The theater can be dangerous. Just ask Abraham Lincoln. Avoid the risk, and get up to $200 off a home theater system from Circuit City!

Unlike Andrew Johnson, the deals you'll get at the GM President's Day Sale are unimpeachable!

Harley Davidson is as bad as I am: "Celebrate Presidents’ Day with Green (keeping it in your pocket) instead of Red, White, and Blue. Save a Jackson ($20) off all boots, and take a Grant ($50) off any leather apparel not already on sale."
Do it for Ulysses S.

For Rutherford B. Hayes, why not try the Rutherford County, NC Seniors Presidents' Day Activity at Southern Baptist Church. Call Brenda at 287-7498. 10:45 AM. Oops, missed it.

Garfield the Cat says: have some lasagna for 20th president James A. Garfield! But save some for me.

Chester Allan Arthur says: who am I? I was President of the United States? Really?

In honor of Grover Cleveland, watch an all new episode of "22", tonight on FOX.

Yes, Benjamin Harrison, I'm going to write something for every president, I don't care how long it takes. Deal with it.

I mean, in honor of Grover Cleveland, watch an all new episode of "24", tonight on FOX.

William McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo. Now get up to 50% off ski and snowboard equipment at Raging

For Teddy Roosevelt, get this adorable teddy bear for just $24.95 (regular price $49.95)

Starting to resemble President William Howard Taft a little too much? Take control of your weight loss with a Weight Watchers precision scale. Presidents Day web special: $49.99

According to, Woodrow was the 67th most popular name in America in the 1910s, when Woodrow Wilson was president. Today, the name is not in the top 1000.

Warren G Harding probably wouldn't like the music of Warren G.

Calvin Coolidge didn't talk much.

Don't be depressed! Check out all the Hoovers on sale at for President Herbert Hoover.

Want a new deal? How about 4, one for each time FDR was elected. Aeropostale has 'em!

You might want to watch The Truman Show for our 33rd President, or maybe you'd prefer one of's top 10 Presidential movies:

Bid on sheet music from Dwight D. Eisenhower's first inauguration! only $12.99

If you're lucky, your JetBlue flight just might take off today from JFK - but don't count on it.

Get up to 60% at the Disney Store in honor of Goofy-looking President Lyndon Johnson!

If you have Netflix, you get a pardon today, just like President Nixon got from...

...Gerald Ford, who was mauled by a circus lion in a convenience store...senselessly. (still funny!)

Time for dessert? How about Jimmy Carter's peanut brittle?

Bedtime for Bonzo?? Get HUGE deals from Mattress Warehouse for Ronald Reagan!

Get up to 40% off a cheesecake from Eli's cheesecake bakery cafe for famous Eli, George Herbert Walker Bush.

Alright, pick one: you want McDonald's sales, cigars, saxophones, hookers, what? It's too easy with Bill Clinton.

George W. Bush has only 700 days left in office.

That's almost reason to celebrate.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Story of the Week - Feb 12-16

Kids These Days

Rmbr, im the TMOY. So r u. Y? Cause, among other things and reasons and such, we've invented a language. Cmg of age in the hi-tech world of IMing and TXTing, r lang is ubiquitous. Jst think about how mainstream our word "24/7" has become. I mean the President uses it. k, bad ex. K, how bout how we say "BTW" out loud even though "by the way" has many fewer syllables. (B t dubs, we took care of that)

Teachers are noticing r lang seeping in2 student classwrk in all grades. Kids used 2 wrtng txts and IMing r accidentally adding "b4" and "2" and "ur" to their essays in addn to the usual errors. LOL. Most teachers r like, wtf? y r they doing this?

"Some educators, like David Warlick, 54, of Raleigh, North Carolina, see
the young burgeoning band of instant messengers as a phenomenon that should be
celebrated. Teachers should credit their students with inventing a new language
ideal for communicating in a high-tech world
Text language seeping into kids' essays."

thx, Mr. Warlick, for embrcng r new lang. The art. continues 2 say tht most students toss out the IM speak as they get older. Hey, if we know enough 2 make up a language, don't u think we know when it's appropriate and when it's not?

Perhaps, R new language has had the most profound fx on r relationships. w v-day this wk, inevitable human interest v-day themed stories flooded the newsrm about the many ways in which txting and IMing has changed the way we kids date, fall in love, and break up. Even, how we say "I Love You" (ILY, 143)

Btw, G'ma and G'pa, this may help you:

The way that HS kids communicate w their bfs and gfs has changed dramatically. Most kids have computers, most kids have cell phones w txt msgs. When I was in ms and hs, the comp was shared, the aol time was ltd and the cell phone was the thing I borrowed fm mom when i wnt out. Sometimes. And so, my relationships were ltd to a nghtly phone call and some IMing.

Today, kids can be in contact 24/7 w their bfs and gfs. They can carry out convos behind their parents backs, or even, in front of their faces. Ex:

BF: Sup

GF: nm, u?

BF: nm

GF: cool cool lol

BF: I luv it when we make out in the hallway.

GF: OMG, I know!

BF: P911 ttyl

GF: k

BF: K, thr gone.

See what I did there was warn my gf that my folks were coming and exed out my hot convo about makin out in the hall and waited till they went away. Cuz i'm clever lk tht and they'll never find out. NEway, kids these days luv the IMspeak.

FTMP, it's good, 2. w new tech, we lrnd how to com. efficiently and in r own way and we got real good at it. And we revolutionized communications and language. We r the IM/TXT gen. and we have constructed an entire social wrld 4 r selves. Of course, there r consequences, esp in hs.

A recent survey by Teenage Research Unlimited showed that 25% of teens communicated hourly with his/her bf/gf by cell or txt btwn the hrs of midnght and 5am. 1 in 3 of teens who had been in a relationship said their partner txted them 10, 20 or 30 times per hr. often to find out where he/she was.

Shaina Weisbrot, now a soph at Rutgers, used to be one such teen. The txting from her fmr bf got so abusive tht she stopped responding. we're tlking 20-30 txts per hr askg where she was, wht she was doing, who she was with, etc. and when she stopped responding, the bf threatened to kill her. And all of this happened w/o her parents knowing.

"The technology sets up the opportunity for constant stalking, for constant communication, for constant intimidation and threatening behavior, " says psychologist Dr. Jill Murray "So we're seeing an increase in teen dating abuse and I believe that this is a good part of it."

But it seems the same tech can be used to get out of abusive relationships, as well as all other relationships that have run their course. 11% of Americans think breaking up with a bf or gf via txt message or IM or email is ok.

After 1 or 2 dates, maybe. U could send out a quick "its not u, its me :( " or "we shld jst b friends. kit!" or the classic: "we shld c other ppl." Done, painless, no risk of shouting or seeing her cry or getting sucked back in2 a relationship ur not interested in.

But a long term relationship? Have the guts to do it f2f. This practice isn't confined to hs kids, btw. 25 yr old Jason Sherman of Independence, MO is a habitual IM breaker upper. (Hint: Girls, don't date this guy.)

We luv r new language, but there hafta b boundaries. An occasional 143 ;) is sweet. 20 per hr is stalkerish. Breaking up f2f is hard, but if ur saying "ILY", u can't txt "its over." And r new lang clrly has no place in good writing. Leave it in IM and Txts where it belongs. K?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Leavin' on a Laserjet Plane OR Ketchup if you can

We rejoin Late Night Supermarket Man and BOGO girl at Philadelphia International Airport. Late Night Supermarket Man is re-reading the mission that Grandpa Shelly printed out for them.

LNSM: "You must find the software and deliver it to the Radio House."

BOGO: What do you think it means?

LNSM: I think it means we must
find the software.

BOGO: What software?

LNSM: You don't know.

BOGO: I don't know?

LNSM: No, You don't know.

BOGO: Who?

LNSM: The software, it's called You don't know.

BOGO: What's it

LNSM: I don't know. But we have to find it.

BOGO: Where?

LNSM: Well, I think it's in North Carolina.

BOGO: Why do you
think that?

LNSM: Because Grandpa Shelly booked us two tickets to North

BOGO: Where do we go when we get there?

LNSM: To find
the software and bring it to the Radio House.

BOGO: But where--

LNSM: Enough questions, Bogo, let me think. I have to think.

BOGO: You can do it, Late Night Supermarket Man.

LNSM: That's

Alright, so a lot of other stuff happened to our heroes. But six hours later they got to the North Carolina airport and found a taxi. And After that they arrived at--

BOGO: Super Walmart! Of Course! You're a genius, Late Night Supermarket Man!

LNSM: Thank you. Now what time is it?

BOGO: It's 11:30.

LNSM: Perfect! Let's go. Late Night Supermarket Man to the rescue!

Meanwhile, at the Radio House, JB was on the phone with Grandpa Shelly.

JB: I need that software, Grandpa Shelly.

GS: You asked for my services,
you need to be patient. It's 11:30, this is when they work best.

JB: Who
is this Late Night Supermarket Man anyway?

GS: That's not your concern.
But be patient, you'll have your software. He may be a little strange, but he
hasn't...completely...failed a long time.

In case you started to wonder, yes: this is the best we could do for a plot. Meanwhile, back at the Super Walmart, the employees were rearranging shelves and making a lot of noise.

LNSM: How are we supposed to find the software with all this noise?

BOGO: Oooh, two for one on Trivial Pursuit Totally 80s Edition.

LNSM: Why would you need two?

BOGO: Because it's two for one!

LNSM: Alright, put it back. Listen, I don't see the software anywhere. Are
you sure we can't download it?

BOGO: What does the note say?

LNSM: It doesn't.

BOGO: What are we gonna do?

LNSM: Well, we could do what we always do.

Just then, Late Night Supermarket Man realized this is the first mission anyone is hearing about, so nobody knows what they always do.

LNSM: Well, tell them, then. That's not my problem!

What Late Night Supermarket Man always does is purchase a few items from the store to offer as an alternative. It's not a very good strategy but he manages to stumble on the solution later.

LNSM: Hey, nobody asked you to editorialize.

Ahem. Sorry. Go on, get on with it.

LNSM: Bogo, take the Totally 80s.

BOGO: Two?

LNSM: May as well. It is two for one.

As they approached the checkout, our heroes picked up a large plastic ball and a six pack of Sam Adams Light. And then they saw it.

LNSM: A line?

BOGO: And look what she's buying!

LNSM: We'll never make it!

Or Will They???

Find out next time on....

"Carolina in my Mind" OR "Talk about a Trivial Pursuit"

Friday, February 9, 2007

Story of the Week - Feb 5-9

Same Sex Attraction Disorder

This week, Ted Haggard emerged from three weeks of intensive counseling and was declared "completely heterosexual."

Praise God! He's cured!

"He is completely heterosexual," said Rev. Tim Ralph. "That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn't a constant thing."

Here's the problem: Homosexuality isn't a disease. What we have here is the continued oppression of a significant portion of our population by scared white men. And it's ridiculous. How ridiculous? Imagine a similar situation. Replace the word "heterosexual" with the word "white." Now imagine. No, I'll do it for you:

This week, Al Sharpton emerged from three weeks of intensive counseling and was declared "completely caucasian."

"He is completely caucasian," said Rev. Tim Ralph. "That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn't a constant thing."

This is the level of ridiculousness we are dealing with when we consider the Haggard situation. The only difference is that you can't "see" gay. And the bible says it's wrong, if you read it a certain way and if it's convenient for your religion or if you're totally uncomfortable with men kissing other men.

Segue! That Snicker's commercial from the Super Bowl. I'll refresh your memory:

"Dude, I think we just kissed"

"Quick, do something manly!"

For the record, the kiss was weird. The ripping out the chest hair thing made me squirm. Neither thing made me leap out the door to go get a Snickers. But the ad did stir up controversy, especially among people who don't understand satire.

Enter the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or, GLAAD (note to GLAAD: if you want to be taken seriously, how about ditching the acronym?). GLAAD wants the Snickers ad pulled because they think it's offensive and homophobic, and they don't understand how it's supposed to sell Snickers.

Yes, the ad is homophobic, that was the point! Actually the point was to get groups like GLAAD to protest the ad, thereby getting it played for free on CNN and getting countless hits on YouTube and stirring up all other manner of free publicity. After that, they're happy to pull the ad.

In the meantime, the good folks at GLAAD need to turn their attention away from the lighthearted and ultimately satiric Snickers spot, and focus on the real Gay-bashing going on in the evangelical community.

Ted Haggard is gay. You know how I know? He sought out a relationship with a male prostitute. 3 weeks of counseling won't reverse the fact that he was so desperate to have sex with a man that he was willing to pay money for it. Why?

Because homosexuality isn't alcoholism. It isn't drug addiction. And it's not Cancer. It doesn't just go away. If it did, there would be a pill for it. And lots of commercials.

How interesting, then, that Tuesday night's episode of Boston Legal discussed this very same issue. In the episode, a character sues a "rehabilitation center" because he paid $40,000 to get cured of his "Same Sex Attraction Disorder (SSAD)" and it didn't work. Alan Shore's (James Spader) closing argument was awesome and I wish I had a transcript to reprint, but basically he said the following:

Homosexuality isn't a disease. And by calling it a disease, you think of it as a defect, as something that can be cured. And you take away the fact that it's part of who people are. And so then you take away the need for them to have rights, to be treated as equals, to be able to marry. And then you can charge people $40,000 to cure them of a part of their own personality.

I will add on. Had Ted Haggard, perhaps, grown up in an environment in which it was ok to be himself, to be gay, he may not have continuously tried to suppress his homosexuality, first by becoming a minister, then by marrying a woman, having sex with her, staying in the relationship, until he couldn't suppress it anymore and sought out the male prostitute. (The "rehab reverends" insist this was an isolated incident, but it's entirely possible there were more extramarital gay relationships - maybe other ministers who won't come forward? hmm?)

Now, instead of coming out, finally freeing himself of the shackles of a false life, Haggard goes to rehab, comes out three weeks later and claims "I'm cured" and people believe him. Not me, but people.

Calling homosexuality a disease and treating homosexuals with rehab is a step above beating it out of then with baseball bats and only a few more steps above rounding them all up for a mass genocide. I understand this is a touchy subject among evangelicals and that it threatens their entire belief system to think a minister and a moral family man was living a double gay life or something, but maybe instead of saying he's cured, someone out there will let him tell the truth. Reverend Haggard is gay.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Wait a minute, didn't he buy meth from the prostitute, too? Isn't that illegal? What happened to that part?

Eh, maybe next week.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

FOOFARAW - major fusses over items of little importance


I was going to change the name of "The Full Circle" altogether, but it's kind of a pain. And I like the name a lot. But the new name was going to be:

Foofaraw. A word which means "a fuss over a matter of little importance." I thought it was a good name for what I'm doing here, especially if you've read either of the adventures of Late Night Supermarket Man (there will be more, I promise)

Instead of a name change, I present to you, my 58 loyal readers, a new feature called Foofaraw, in which I discuss random trifles every now and then. In other words, I'm Andy Rooney. Here is the first installment of Foofaraw:

Instead of sending us another horrible reality TV show (latest example: NBC's You're the One that I Want. Barf) The UK should send over a group of people to show New Yorkers how to ride an escalator.

In london it's almost a law - stand right, walk left. We need that here. I, unlike you fat, lazy schmucks, like to walk down a down escalator, but I can't do it if your fat ass is standing in the way, so stand on the right side and leave the left side for me!


Mr. Met braved subzero temperatures to help the Mets clubhouse staff pack up the moving truck for Spring Training.


More importantly, why did somebody think I needed to know this?

Are they playing yet?


New evidence suggests that Jeffrey Dahmer may have killed Adam Walsh, the 6 year old son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh, back in 1981. When asked about the incident, Dahmer said: "You expect me to remember what I had for dinner 25 years ago? I don't remember what I had for breakfast this morning!"

Come on, you were all thinking it.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Story of the Week Jan 29 - Feb 2

The following is a story of internal confusion at the "most trusted name in news." These events are true and the names have not been changed.

Essential background information: At 9:38 AM Thursday Feb 1, an email was sent to the Turner Broadcasting Superdesk listserv confirming the discovery of a suspicious package in Boston. If you were following this story, this was the first we heard of what we now know was a guerrilla marketing campaign for Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force (parent company - Time Warner) gone horribly wrong. At that point in the morning though, it could have been the beginnings of a terror attack. Whatever it was or could have been, it was important enough for the Superdesk listserv, an email received by most employees at CNN in NY, DC, Atlanta, LA, London and everywhere else.

Ok, now you know what the Superdesk is? Good. On to the Story of the Week:

The Mystery of Lori Sneed

Wednesday January 31

10:42 am EST: An email goes out to the Superdesk from Debbi Wynn with the subject heading "Lori Sneed." It read:

Lori and her mother are coming by for a short visit this afternoon. I wanted to make as many folks as possible aware of her visit, in the event you are around and available for her to stop in and say hello. We will visit the Public Info group first, and then come down to the newsroom. I expect her around 1p. No need to make special plans to be around, but I wanted to give you a heads up that we will stop by and see who’s available for a quick hello. --Debbi Wynn

Immediately, I think: Who is Lori Sneed? Why do I need to stop in and say hello? I do what I always do when I think I'm supposed to know something but maybe don't because I haven't been here that long, or haven't been paying attention - I ask Swetha.

Me: Who the hell is Lori Sneed, and why do I need to stop and say hello to her?

Swetha: I don't know. And why the hell is that on Superdesk?

Me: I'm gonna Google her.

10:49 AM EST: A Google search yields and the Lori Sneed Blog cleverly titled "Lori Sneed Blog"

10:50 AM EST: I send the link to the Lori Sneed Blog to Swetha and the following email exchange takes place:

Swetha: ….????...still she a famous anorexic??

Me: I think she might be a semi-famous paraplegic

Swetha: Oh….yeah…I still don’t know why we all need to visit her like she’s some tourist attraction.

Me: Yeah, why didn't they do that with Bill Gates?
Or anyone else who comes to visit?

Swetha: Apparently only diseased people get visitors … cause they may die soon so they have no PR people or security keeping them from us common folk

Me: But she’s not dying. I don’t think

Swetha: Well then just sick I guess…I dunno…still weird…I don’t’ want to visit handicapped girl…I want to visit bon jovi – superdesk that

Agreed. I forget about Lori Sneed for a while.

1:00 PM EST: Lori Sneed arrives at CNN, according to the email. I don't make time to pay her a visit.

2:33 PM EST: I send an email to people in my department inviting them to my birthday gathering Thursday night. At the end of the email, I mention that sadly, Lori Sneed will not be there. Begin puzzled email banter:

Lauren: yea, what was that Sneed email?


(Amanda writes in all caps because sometimes producers write their scripts in all caps to them easier to read.)

Swetha: David googled her…apparently some semi famous paraplegic.

2:36 PM EST: I send everyone the link to the Lori Sneed Blog. And more email banter.

Swetha: For the record…from the blog thing I thought she was a famous anorexic…cause it totally seems that way.


Swetha: Right…Happy Birthday to David.

2:50 PM EST: Now I've got to get to the bottom of this. WHO IS LORI SNEED?? So I return to the blog, go to the beginning, the very first entry and I find this:

Hi, this is johnny (lori's brother). Thanks to Debbie Wynn at CNN for coordinating with some other folks at CNN to set up this WEBSITE and the introductory information.THANKYOU to all of you for your kind words, thoughts, prayers, offers of help, etc. It has meant the world to us.LORI's friends in Atlanta have been tremendously helpful (doug lindauer is her favorite, of course, and he's here while I'm typing and needs the ego-boost) --- also, a special thankyou to the many people at CNN where Lori works.

2:51 PM EST: I send out an email with this information.

Swetha: Still doesn't explain the superdesk.

2:52 PM EST: The Lori Sneed banter reminds Andrew of when Schiavo-mania hit the newsroom. He sends me this link:

3:01 PM EST: Further investigation reveals that Lori Sneed is neither an anorexic nor a paraplegic, but a CNN employee who had emergency surgery to repair a perforated intestine in April 2006. That's when Debbi Wynn created the Lori Sneed Blog and Lori's family began chronicling the progress of her bodily functions for the world to see. She is still recovering, and she came to the newsroom in ATLANTA around 1pm, stop by if you get the chance but don't go out of your way. Ok?

3:07 PM EST: Jennie returns to her desk to find the Lori Sneed email banter.

Jennie: I’m glad the Lori Sneed thing was cleared up, because I was sitting with Laurie, just hoping that someone would figure it out before I returned. Keep me posted on any new afternoon mysteries.