Fuson: This just in! More breaking speculation
By KEN FUSON
April 20, 2007
Anchor: We have breaking news here at MSNBCNNFOX...
(Dramatic music plays as BREAKING NEWS fills the screen.)
Anchor: We have received unconfirmed reports of a loud noise heard somewhere in the Midwest. Let's go to national correspondent Stud Beefman for the details. What happened, Stud?
Beefman: How the heck would I know? I'm in my kitchen.
Anchor: We're live, Stud. You're on the air.
Beefman: Let's review what we know and what we don't know. We know that a loud noise was heard in the Midwest. We don't know anything else.
Anchor: I've got 24 hours to fill, Stud.
Beefman: Details are sketchy, so let's speculate. A loud noise could be as innocent as a car backfiring. Or as threatening as a terrorist attack. We can't rule anything out...
(The words "Midwest Terrorist Attack?" appear on the screen.)
Beefman: We also can narrow down the location. There are several states in the Midwest. Iowa ... Nebraska ... Kansas ...
Anchor: Let me stop you right there. Are you saying that there could have been a terrorist attack in Kansas?
Beefman: I'm trying to confirm that right now.
(A tiny outline of Kansas appears in the bottom corner of the screen, with a mushroom cloud superimposed over it, along with the words, "Unconfirmed: Horror in Heartland."
Anchor: Let's turn to our terror expert, Col. Buzz Straightback (Ret.). What do you make of this?
Straightback: Disturbing. Attacks are usually confined to large population centers. As far as I know, there's nothing of importance in Kansas. Obviously, the terrorists are sending a message.
Anchor: Any thoughts on who might be responsible?
Straightback: Well, I'd hate to accuse an entire group based on no evidence, but my best guess is someone from the Middle East.
Anchor: Let's review for those of you who have just turned in. We have a report of a loud noise somewhere in the Midwest. Possibly in Kansas. Possibly a terrorist attack. A Middle Eastern group may be responsible. We now join our defense correspondent, Rip Launchpad. Rip?
Launchpad: I just talked to the sheriff in Bourbon County, Kansas. He said they are still trying to pinpoint the location of the explosion. When I asked him who could do such a thing - remember, this is unconfirmed - he replied, "Eskimos."
(The words "Why Do Eskimos Hate Us?" appear on the screen.)
Anchor: That's quite unusual. Let's bring in psychologist Dr. Sandy Serotonin, our MSNBCNNFOX consultant.
Serotonin: Dannielynn, Anna Nicole Smith's baby, will face a tremendous adjustment when her father, Larry Birkhead, takes custody.
Anchor: What about the terrorist attack?
Serotonin: Well, she's only a baby. I doubt she watches the news yet.
Anchor: Thank you. On the telephone we have Chip Inuit, president of the Eskimo Anti-Defamation Council.
Inuit: I am calling on this network to stop using the term Eskimo to describe the terrorist. This is causing great harm to my people, and...
Anchor: Excuse me, Mr. Inuit. Rip Launchpad has more breaking news.
Launchpad: I need to correct something. The Kansas sheriff apparently didn't say "Eskimo" when I asked who did this. He said, "I don't know." Sorry for the confusion, but you know what it's like to gather news on the fly.
Anchor: Mr. Inuit, you must be very relieved.
Inuit: See you in court.
(The words "Eskimos Are Our Friends" appear on the screen.)
Anchor: Let's go to Paul Potomac, our White House correspondent. Any word from the president?
Potomac: The president has issued a statement, accusing the media of ignoring all the great things that are happening in Kansas.
Anchor: Our domestic affairs reporter, Angela Prattle, has now reached Topeka. I'm told that there has been a stunning development. Angela?
Prattle: I just talked with the head of the National Weather Service. He said the loud noise was apparently a thunderclap in Lincoln, Neb. No explosion. No terrorist attack.
Anchor: Well, that's good news. We'll be back for our roundtable discussion on media ethics, right after this message.
(The question "Did the weather service fail us?" flashes on the screen.)
Reporter KEN FUSON's column runs on Friday. He can be reached at (515) 284-8501 or email@example.com.