Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Real Time Blogging!

Monday, December 24, 2007 9:40am: It's a slow news day. How slow? CNN just ran a package about a Baby Jesus statue that was stolen in Florida and by some miracle replaced...just in time for Christmas. And who replaced the statue? a Jewish man from Cincinnati. It's a story that's built for local news, but with nothing else going on, it's now become a national story. With a follow-up: baby Jesus has been fitted with a GPS device.

I have come to a decision: It's the perfect time for Real Time Blogging! Let's go!

9:43 am: Welcome to the New York Stock Exchange. With the 9 am hour cancelled and our next hit an hour away, I have nothing to do. And neither does CNN. Right now, they've got their own Santa in the studio, surrounded by five kids and ignoring anchor TJ Holmes.

Don't think I'm not doing work. I'm preparing an update for Noon for an affiliate in Detroit, waiting for a call back about the average gas prices in the motor city. When they call back, I'll write it up.

One Stock to watch today is Merrill Lynch. Its shares are up almost 5 percent right now, you really don't care why. One CNBC anchor said its ticker symbol (MER) is the first 3 letters in the word "Merry", so it's fitting (gag me). I always thought of it as "mer", a favorite word of mine that means something boring and non-descript. As in, this blog post right now is pretty mer.

9:50am: Commercial Break.

9:54am: I went looking for a link to the story about the Florida Baby Jesus statue, and I found this incident of Stolen Baby Jesus in Pennsylvania
...and this one in Nyack, NY
...and this one in Texas that was returned after going missing for a year.
...and this one in Idaho
...ok, I found the one in Florida with the GPS. Enjoy.

10 am Market Update: Dow up 86 points, Nasdaq up 13 points or half a percent, S&P up 2/3 of a percent. Thanks, blog, for making me feel like I'm here for a reason.

Somebody should look into whether local news stations are stealing baby Jesus statues.

10:11 am: Commercial break, but when we come back, we'll go to the mall to check out the final hours of the Christmas Shopping season!

These people stole the Donkey, sheep and wise men.

10:15am: Santa's back! Hooray for awkward banter!

10:18am: A Christmas-related story with some substance - the number of people celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem this year is more than double last year's number. Israeli authorities relaxed some of the tough security measures, making it easier for people to get to the West Bank city, and they were able to do so because the situation is relatively calm, especially compared to the last 7 years.

10:34am: Got an answer on Detroit gas prices! Up 6 cents from 2 weeks ago, to an average of $2.87. But you don't care. At least I don't think I have any readers in Detroit.

Now that I have this information, I have an hour and a half to write a 40 second update.

10:38am: Substitute anchor has arrived. 15 minutes to the first update of the day (of 4)

10:51am: back to Santa! And he can't hear anything.

10:55am: First Update successful! As if there was any doubt, I mean I had like 2 1/2 hours to get ready for it.

10:59am: Right before the 11am reset, a story about Santas running wild in a New Zealand movie theater. Probably on their way to go steal some Baby Jesuses.

11:12am: want a market update? Here: dow's up 82, nasdaq up 15, s&p up 8. mer.

11:14am: Promo for a special on tonight with Roland Martin called "What Would Jesus Really Do?" I think I can find 50 things I'd rather watch tonight on TV:

But first, back to Santa! And now he's not even looking at the camera. But he can hear. Sort of.
anchor: what do some of the children want for Christmas, Santa?
Santa: well, some of them want me to ignore them.

Ok, 50 things on TV tonight at 8pm I'd watch before I'd even think about watching "What Would Jesus Really Do?"
  1. How I Met Your Mother
  2. Cheaper By the Dozen
  3. All the Pretty Horses
  4. It's a Wonderful Life
  5. Antiques Roadshow
  6. A Christmas Story (but if I don't catch it at 8, it's on for the next 24 hours)
  7. Spongebob, Squarepants
  8. The Year in Animals
  9. M*A*S*H
  10. Scrubs
  11. Monday Night Football (Broncos vs Chargers)
  12. Reba rerun
  13. Yankees Classics - game 6 of the 1977 World Series, the game where Reggie Jackson hits 3 HR in 3 ABs (yep, if forced, I'd rather watch an old Yankee game than "What Would Jesus Really Do?")
  14. Happy Holidays from Home Shopping Network
  15. BET Awards '07
  16. Law & Order
  17. Tom Hanks - Inside the Actor's Studio
  18. Halls of Fame with Fran Healy (though, it's pushing it)
  19. Dog Whisperer
  20. The Martha Stewart Show (also pushing it)
  21. Rugrats
  22. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
  23. Double Dare 2000 on Nick Gas
  24. The Santa Clause 2
  25. The Chronicles of Narnia
  26. The last 45 minutes of "Best in Show"
  27. The last hour of "Nanny McPhee"
  28. The last five minutes of an episode of "Curb your Enthusiasm" followed by "Scrooged"
  29. Snakes on a Plane
  30. Mystery Diagnosis
  31. Deal or No Deal
  32. Kids by the Dozen - a reality show about a family with 12 kids
  33. Keeping up with the Kardashians
  34. Classic Boxing
  35. Classic Golf - 1998 Johnnie Walker Classic
  36. American Muscle Car
  37. Good Eats
  38. Nostradamous - 500 years later
  39. CSI:
  40. News 12 New Jersey
  41. Blue Planet
  42. Casper's Haunted Christmas
  43. Skiing
  44. The Weather Channel
  45. Yule Log
  46. Tin Man
  47. Goodfellas
  48. Everybody Hates Chris
  49. MSNBC's Crimes Caught on Tape
  50. Bars and Tone
11:40 am: I just found out that the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants is ringing the Opening Bell at the NYSE on Wednesday. I don't know if I will be able to handle that kind of excitement.

11:50am: re-running the Baby Jesus story! the lady bolted down the Baby Jesus and it was still stolen. But it's "Jewish Jeffrey" to the rescue! "To make Christmas right for everyone."
And the reporter tried to rhyme "mensch" with "sinch". No. Bad.

11:56am: Letters to Santa package! A postal worker in Massachusetts who answers letters to Santa.

11:58: time to see bad Santas in New Zealand. They even kicked over a Christmas tree! The outrage!

12:00 noon: CNN International simulcast begins. And we go on the air in Detroit in 10 minutes. Yay!

12:17pm: lunch!

Too many exclamation points in this post? maybe.

12:24pm: weather update. why are people so concerned with having a White Christmas? Would they be as concerned if there hadn't been a movie?

12:38pm: as usual, not much to criticize about the International broadcast, as long as there's no British tabloid story being overblown.

12:49PM: Commercial for THE FISH PEN. Yes, it's a real fishing rod that's the size of a Pen. It's the Fish Pen!

1pm: Santa rings the closing bell at the NYSE in front of a few people who stuck around long enough to see it.

1:03pm: "White Christmas" talk again? And one anchor seems to be particularly concerned with maintaining suspension of disbelief when it comes to Santa. For example, Santa doesn't need snow to land on rooftops. Thanks for clearing that up.

1:18pm: In the home stretch. Want closing numbers? No? Here:
DOW closed at 13,549, up 99 points. Nasdaq was up 21, s&p up 12. Whatever.

1:21pm: A reporter interviews men out at malls and asks why they can't get their shopping done earlier.

Macy's has been open 24 hours a day for the last week. Can anybody tell me what you buy at Macy's at 4 o'clock in the morning?

1:23pm: prime time promos, including one for Larry King Live, rerunning a show from a year ago. So in other words it's Larry King One Year Ago. We're even rerunning the same promos, as if we're almost certain nobody's watching.

remember, it's never too late to steal a plastic Baby Jesus.

actually, in March, it's probably too late. And if there's still Baby Jesuses out in March, they deserve to be stolen.

1:26 pm: Water skiing Santa! My day is complete. And it's in Washington, DC, where the water temperature is under 40 degrees.

1:27pm: NORAD says Santa's in Ethiopia. So the water skier is a fake. More suspension of disbelief: Santa is magical. Santa moves at 8 times the speed of light but he can because he's magical. Santa is everywhere.

OK Then, that's enough. Happy Birthday Baby Jesus. I'm going home.

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