Bravery can only be told in that most proper of techniques — melodrama.
Just when you think the press cannot become more insufferable than they already have, arrives this hilarious ode to the mirror, from the members of CNN. Jake Tapper, who has experienced a descent into professional madness this past month, has shown the public possibly the most tone-deaf blind spot that reeks of onanistic pheromones. He sent out a link to an article by the folks at Esquire Magazine that details in heroic fashion what the CNN staffers endured during the days surrounding the election.
The unironically titled ’’The Oral History Of CNN’s Election Week’’ attempts to hoist the sewer-dwelling denizens of the network to legendary status on the basis of — doing their jobs. The pundits bloviated, reporters reported, and talking heads filled the airwaves with balloon juice, all of this somehow elevated to a godlike strata by Esquire. It says everything about this industry that the players consider themselves of highest import at a time when the general public holds them in the lowest regard.
This exalted performance by the most important of minds in the nation needs to become lionized in proper fashion. In light of the mythical accomplishments by our journalistic demigods, there needs to be an hours-long, detailed tribute by famed documentarian Ken Burns, to be unveiled during pledge week on our Public Broadcasting networks. In preparation here is the first draft script of this historic television event, honoring…another historic television event.
(titles fade in)
ELECTION WAR DIARY
(titles fade out)
(slow harmonica solo)
“There was a notable freshness to that day, and it was not only a result of the Martinizing wafting from my newly plucked dry-cleaning. The air held a sharpness, like an ionization and a cleansing was taking place across the country. If there was a way to describe this detectable arrival to the olfactory it was a simple word — renewal.’’ —John King
(NARRATOR – Lawrence Fishburne)
November 3. The date was printed on every calendar as all the others, with the same meticulous, almost anonymous placement but with a small and significant difference. In a much lesser, almost unobtrusive lettering were the words ‘’Election Day’’. This was a helpful note, almost seeming as an afterthought. But to those in the business — those in the News Business — that tiny typeface was as bold as a flashing neon sign atop a tenement building in Georgetown, visible to all who traverse and perambulate that amorphic oblong district called — The Beltway.
(calm ragtime banjo passage)
“We all had a similar mixture of electricity within us. We possessed an almost unbridled energy based on what we were going to witness, but it was tempered by the open and unhealed wounds of our last battle, just 4 years prior. It made us primed, made us steely. We would share looks with each other; eyes would narrow and nods were traded. Words were not needed.’’ — Kaitlan Collins
“As a newer recruit I had no prior knowledge, since I had not yet seen any action. I was filled with the eagerness of the untested. I was alight in the trenches and felt like I was ready for anything, that is until I met the gaze of the veterans. Those unblinking, unwavering stares bore the flashes seen in the battlements and told me what was ahead. I knew quickly that in order to survive the promising ordeal I had to follow Commander Tapper if I was come out on the other side.’’ —Abby Phillip
The days prior to that fateful Tuesday were filled with the implementation of strategy. Intense sessions forged in digital war rooms were held, then reheld, and then reheld again. There could not be enough planning and yet, most held a silent belief it was either not enough or — quite possibly — for naught. Most held to the aphorism at arm’s length, that to make laugh the deity for which they held no belief, all they had to do was show him/her/they a plan.
(conflict sound effects)
“The ebullience began to wane already early that morning. As field reports flowed in details were troubling. The numbers across the country were tightening and the prospect of early domination by the Biden camp was showing us they were all but neutralized. The eyes, as I gaze across the garrison desktops, told the story few wanted to give voice to. We knew we were facing a siege. We knew the reality of 2016 could easily reverberate.’’ —Van Jones
(snare drum interlude)
“We sent words to our scouts. We needed intel fresher than the rival encampments. Jessica Dean, embedded in the front lines with the Biden troops, was told to forego their official dispatches and instead nail down their internal intel. We needed the hard numbers from the front, as the polling had become compromised.” —Wolf Blitzer
Already operating with due caution, and instilled as they were with the raw throb of the still-fresh wounds from the Skirmish of Hillary, the dissemination from the leadership was gradual, made almost glacial by the unprecedented postal involvement. The reports were scattershot and interpretation made worse by a lack of uniformity from the various republics. The vaunted minds the nation turned to for noble infotainment were stymied by their use of that unfamiliar-to-all exercise — restraint. The pain and confusion this caused tore through the ranks at a rate never before seen, on the newsroom battlegrounds.
“It soon became obvious we would need to lean on each other, and we already faced a dispiriting reality. In the weeks earlier we had lost one of our leaders, as Lieutenant Jeffrey Toobin had been felled. Then we learned Sergeant James Acosta, out in the field, had become immobilized, pinned down in MAGA Valley by a pincer maneuver and surrounded by maskless rebel forces. Our prospects have become dimmer.’’ —John King
“Now it is becoming realized we are in for a conflict with no foreseeable conclusion. Already we are watching the rotations of the support battalions; Craft Services regiments had to be scheduled with mounting replacements and additional hair and makeup support troops have been called up from allied local networks. Supply lines of Starbucks and Kind Bars are being fortified. You almost want to say these people worked as hard as we were during this lengthy bout. They did not, but you almost thought so.’’ —Dana Bash
(a mournful violin solo)
“Jennifer– The long siege bears no end. We are ensconced for an endless duration, perhaps hours it seems. Our time apart loads with numbers, metrics, percentages – but the endless string of data fails in its fulfillment, as it is never close to filling the maw of our separation…” – Jake Tapper, Headquarters
The night would wear on, and the need of these knights and viscounts of the truth to endure, to keep to their assigned duty of interpretation of events, had to play on. How does one explain the inexplicable intricacies of ever-shifting prospects? How does one convey the inner workings of far-off and unknowable lands with names as foreign as ‘’Nevada’’, and ‘’Wisconsin’’? Most importantly, how do these gatekeepers of the proper — tasked as they were with the responsibility of overthrowing the despised power structure — explain the inability to deliver the very result they are compelled to see through?
“The election eve has given way to the morrow, then midnight gives way to morning, and still our conflict wages. The message from the lines in Florida is moribund — defeat has been realized. Our Latin allies have been compromised, swayed by spycraft and propaganda. The Carolina of the north is soon to inevitably fall as well. General Blitzer has taken silent for the moment, unable to currently address the cameras with anything approaching resolve.’’ —Van Jones
“I am collecting direct correspondence from Corporal Brian Stelter through the night, relayed from his secret bunker atop the Dunkin Donuts barracks. Though sequestered, he at least has access to caffeine and sugar MREs on site. My own coffee rations have long run out, so I have transitioned to Diet Coke to subsist in the forlorn hours. My work may suffer, but it endures, as do I…’’ —Gloria Borger
As time became as expandable as taffy, relief was beginning to be hoped for. Word was coming down that both factions would begin employing the normally despised but now-blessed of maneuvering — the barrister strategies. This promise of legal entanglements, while devoid of true accomplishment, would ensure that the gears of activity would fall silent for a duration. New troops would be called in, and storylines could begin to be recycled without notice, and the long-enduring nightmare would at the least abate for the interim.
“Word came down from the leadership. We needed to provoke the resolution. And so, without a need to rely on propriety or formality, we proclaimed the conflict resolved. We declared a victor, we insisted upon a surrender, and we — and we alone — brokered the resolution. It was rather satisfying in its simplicity, this declarative finality.’’ —Wolf Blitzer
“The most blessed of realizations has taken over for us — we now possess the power to bring about the needed closure to all geopolitical conflict. This will become a transformative era, one in which it becomes recognized that we can conclude the narratives, and our calling of such will be heeded going forward.’’ —Jake Tapper
— Tune in next season for the 8-part 19-hour sequel, ELECTION WAR DIARY Pt.2 – THE RECOUNTS