By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
(Editor's note. Our media columnist disappeared at approximately 6 p.m. on election night. At 7 p.m., we declared him dead. A few hours later, we received word he was not dead. We rescinded our declaration. By 2 a.m., we were tired and annoyed, so we declared him dead again. But we weren't, you know, really sure about that either. Miraculously, the morning after he disappeared, we received the following e-mail message from said columnist...)
Sorry for the attached JPEGs, but I've commandeered this e-mail address to inform you of my whereabouts, and those pictures are sent automatically by this server. (Hey, Wilonsky, recognize the redhead?!?!)
Last Tuesday evening, I went home to begin taking notes for an election/media column. You know, mock the local and national TV anchors, make fun of Belo, praise my friends--the usual. In preparation, I tried to use my CueCat to scan the barcodes found on the necks of prominent Dallas-area Republicans, such as KXAS-TV anchorman Mike Snyder and Mayor Ron Kirk, to see what Web sites they were linked to. Unfortunately, I kept receiving an error message. I tried to boost the CueCat's power using a 295-amp Marquette arc welder with greaseless shunt lubrication, an infrared phototachometer, and duct tape. I succeeded too well. For when I replugged it into my computer, something went horribly wrong. The CueCat glowed red, laughed in an evil catlike manner, and shot a ray from its CueMouth. That's when I was sucked into the Internet.
Fortunately, this made gathering information for my column easy, since I could observe what was going on from any computer in the world connected to the Net. Here's my report:
Good grief, the traffic on the Net is out of control. CNN and a buncha Web sites have just declared Al Gore the winner in Florida. You would not believe the number of journalists high-fiving each other in newsrooms across the country. Not at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, though. I'm reading a memo in a news editor's machine that told everyone not to cheer and not to wear campaign buttons or T-shirts because Channel 11 will be broadcasting from the newsroom all evening. Now that's synergy...
OK, popped into the laptop of Wayne Slater of The Dallas Morning News. He's hanging outside the guv's mansion in Austin, freezing his butt off. He just told his editor, "You know, we've got to write a story first that's a little more negative in tone, anticipating a Bush defeat after the Florida call." His editor told Slater that would be fine, except that, since the Morning News wants favored-paper status with the new prez, it's possible that Slater will be executed for writing that. Slater's a trouper, though. He types on...
Uh, folks, I've just checked out the Florida election Web site, and something looks funny here...
Wow, all the networks and cable outlets are taking Florida back from Gore. Now, Wayne Slater is deleting half his story and starting over. I think he's crying. Over at Channel 4, Clarice Tinsley is telling everyone this wouldn't happen if she ran the network...
Snapping turtles? Frogs with pockets? What the hell is Dan Rather talking about? I'm heading back to Texas...
Checking out the set at Channel 11. It's about midnight, and political analyst Lee "Mr. Ed" Cullum just made this astute observation: "I think we can say it's almost too close to call." Gee, ya think so, Lee? Bob Ray Sanders just tried to walk off the set to work on his Star-Telegram column, but the TV folks told him he needed to stay put. He looks pretty freaked out. Now that's synergy...
Why don't we have a president yet? I'm bored. Oh, yeah. The Internet. Porn. I'll be back...
Oh, cool, I just intercepted an e-mail from Matt Drudge to Linda Tripp. It reads, in part, "Jeez, Linda, you gotta give me another scoop! My career's in the tank here! Is Monica in Florida by any chance?"...
Holy macaroni, all the TV networks just called it for Bush. I've never seen Burl so happy. The Morning News and the Star-Telegram are printing their "Bush Wins" headlines. Dale Hansen wanders in front of a computer at Channel 8 yelling, "I mean, is this really as important to viewers as Nebraska vs. K-State? I mean, seriously. Omigosh." Meanwhile, some annoying worrywart editor in the Star-Telegram newsroom named John Silva keeps saying, "Uh, guys, The Associated Press hasn't called a winner yet. Maybe we should wait..." Party pooper. Folks in Fort Worth need their beauty sleep. The election is over, go home. What could happen?...
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