Jewish World Review Sept. 24, 2004 / 9 Tishrei, 5765
CBS bans use of idiots
Network hoping to be idiot-free by 2006
The fallout from CBS News' document-forgery scandal continued today as the network announced that it would ban the use of idiots in the production of its news programming "effective immediately."
The network's investigation into the now-notorious "60 Minutes 2" broadcast was reportedly behind its controversial decision to ban the use of idiots, who in recent years have come to dominate behind-the-scenes positions in network news.
"After a full investigation of the events leading up to the broadcast of this story, we have concluded that idiots were responsible," said network spokesman Palmer Gravinese. "Consequently, under a new policy of CBS News, idiots will no longer be permitted to participate in the gathering or production of news at CBS."
Adding that the network appeared to be "riddled with idiots," Mr. Gravinese said that CBS had set 2006 as a target for the broadcast giant to be completely idiot-free, but cautioned, "We realize that's an ambitious goal."
In the meantime, Mr. Gravinese said, CBS News had issued what he called "an idiot-proof checklist" for company idiots to use when deciding whether documents relating to a news story were forged or not:
1. Do not read any documents on the air if the source said he got them from "some guy at the mall."
2. Disregard all emails and instant messages purportedly from the Vietnam War.
3. Official government correspondence and memoranda are rarely, if ever, signed with a smiley-face.
4. If the document has references to a ham sandwich, potato salad and Diet Coke, it is not an authentic government document. It is Andy Rooney's lunch order.
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, the first-ever recipient of the National Press Club's Award for Humor, is a former president of the Harvard Lampoon,and a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author of, most recently, "The Borowitz Report : The Big Book of Shockers" Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
© 2004, Andy Borowitz