All the News, Like Me, Fair and Imbalanced

Given the technology and money available I can’t hope to compete with mainstream news when it comes to getting scoops. Being industrious (well sorta) I’ve devised a clever plan… I’ll just *predict* it. If history holds true chances are I’ll be about as close as they are to the truth. Anyway, I’ll give it a shot.

Come back in January and we’ll see how I did.

Dateline: Jan 26 2009

White House
In national news, Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States. Analysts are uncertain what this might mean to the Clinton campaign… but their spokesmen acknowledged that while this might be viewed by some as a setback… “Hillary will not give up until the people have spoken”.

President Obama

Capitol Hill
After the dismal turnout in which the outcome of the election was decided by less people than get stuck in elevators on a given day… Congress voted to scrap the current electoral system and move to the proven selection method used on American Idol.

The Supreme Court is thus far mute on the constitutionality of having half the vote vested in a panel composed of an angry Brit, a drunken bimbo, and some guy who calls everyone “dog”.

Celebrity News

Today Lindsey Lohan and Brittany Spears were wed in an apparent effort to revive mutually flagging careers. The public ceremony was attended solely by paparazzi and selected members of child services. In lieu of a catchy “TomCat” or “Bennifer” type tag, it appears the national media plans to just continue calling them by their current name… “Sluts”.

How are they Now?

How is time treating the guys you paid to see at the box office?

Tom Cruz – Still weird.

Russell Crow – Still an asshole.

John Wayne – Still dead.
More as these stories develop.
Last month’s patch to Windows trouble prone Vista operating system seems to have finally done the trick. Users across the world report the system now performs flawlessly.

In related news, Microsoft announced the rollout of “Windows Tomorrow”, an untested new operating system which will immediately come preloaded on all computers produced anywhere. Existing Vista users can expect full and complete support of the current software until at least Wednesday.

Economic News
Plagued by rising fuel costs and decreasing revenues as the economy continues its headlong plummet into hell, American Airlines announced that effective immediately it is laying off all employees in an effort to keep the ailing air giant aloft.

In a stirring appeal to unity and company loyalty, the Chairman asked employees to remain on as volunteers “since tough economic times require teamwork, spirit, and sacrifice”. Afterward the board voted unanimously to award themselves large bonuses and adjourned for lunch.

International News – Afghanistan

In a video aired today on Al Queda Television, Osama Bin Laden repeated his standard plan to bury America, annihilate all infidels, take over the world, and spread the peace of Allah across the globe. Then in an added twist he indicated it is the duty of the faithful to phone in enough votes to decide the upcoming finale of Dancing with the Stars.

The last part initially puzzled analysts who immediately suspected an encoded message, but informed sources later indicated Osama’s just been upset ever since when Wayne Newton failed to make the finals.

International News – Iraq
In a surprise move the war in Iraq was entirely resolved this week when the Iraqi Parliament voted to post signs across Iraq declaring it to be a “Gun Free Zone”.

Police then rounded up hordes of frustrated but disarmed terrorists who, powerless to overcome the signs, peacefully complied, though later they vowed to carry on the fight by posting unflattering parodies of their opponents on the internet.


OK… Granted I made it up, but that never stopped Dan Rather, so I figure I’m just following time honored tradition. Anyway, if you don’t like it, get out there and do something to make it happen otherwise. At least with my news stories you get some notice.

That’s all the news… just as I imagine it to be.

Have a pleasant evening, and goodnight.

I\'m Rob Jones... and I approve this message.

I’m Rob Jones, and I approve this message.

Elliot Spitzer: {insert punch line here} BUT… Is this REALLY news?

[AUTHORS NOTE: If you didn’t know it already I’ll say it. Deep down, I’m shallow. ]


…and YOU sir, are no Bill Clinton!

NEWS FLASH: Politician Screws Someone Besides His Constituents!

Today after it became evident to millions that’d never heard of him that Elliot Spitzer is a regular client of the world’ oldest profession, he resigned as governor of New York, saying: “I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people’s work.”

As every news outlet in the nation covered this momentous event, my first thought… YO! ELLIOT! Have you lost your flippin’ brain? DENY DENY DENY! Did you sleep thru the entire Clinton administration?

Let’s look at your problems through Bill’s eyes Elliot:

Ø So they have witnesses. Obviously political hacks from the other side using dirty tricks.

Ø So they have documentation. Damn right wing conspiracy.

Ø Hey, maybe they have pictures. Hello… ? Photoshop.

Ø You wrote $80k in checks with “for whores” in the memo line. Hey… I have an entertainment budget. What’s your point?

Then he’d shake his finger at us and in the voice dad used when you “forgot” to mow the yard he’d look us in the eye and say “I did not have sex with that woman Ms. {insert name of the day}.

I might not agree with a single political thought Bill had, but having watched his wife on TV, hey, I can’t get real worked up over his recreational choices. Granted, you had to wonder about the judgment of a guy that sees a curvaceous intern flash a thong at the leader of the free world and HIS first impression is… “Here’s someone I could trust to be discrete”. And yet he survived.

The man took denial from a mere act to performance art. He could get caught literally in the act and he’d have come up with some way of making the accusers look worse than he did. Ken Starr had him dead to rights. He had a blue dress with… umm… DNA on it. Now Bill makes millions on the lecture circuit and “Ken Starr” is an answer nobody gets right on crossword puzzles. So much for anyone REALLY caring about virtue. People make a lotta noise, but that doesn’t seem to dictate their later actions.

But I guess its best you DO step down, Elliot. Obviously you aren’t ready for the big time. Slick Willie faced several scandals like this before breakfast every morning. Yet like him or not, he held the office four more years than his predecessor, and that guy had credentials out the wazoo and never so much as crossed a street against a “Don’t Walk” sign.

Oh well… take heart, junior. The next shiny object will come along and nobody (OK, maybe your wife) will remember this in a few weeks. Just don’t throw any parties for a while; for now you’re kryptonite as far as your friends are concerned. It’ll blow over.

Even as we speak the press is busy discussing the revelation that Maryanne from Gilligan’s Island may use marijuana (who cares?) and whether Southwest Airlines failure to check for cracks on planes will permanently damage their reputation (it won’t).

BUT: The Real Problem with this “News” Story

Hey news people… here’s a real news flash for you. We have a war or two in progress… lives on the line. There are mass murders taking place in various countries. We have an education system that cranks out drooling idiots that cAn’T sPeEL and couldn’t locate major world powers on a map even if marked. [Last one isn’t a shock given the tripe that passes for NEWS here.]

So given all the stuff you could be reporting on, why in the hell is every freaking station showing me pictures of a middle aged guy that got laid for money and/or a TV star who hasn’t been in front of a camera in 4 decades but might share an affinity for the same foliage most of your industry obviously uses daily or we’d be watching REAL news?

Wow… the things we find newsworthy.



I’m Rob Jones, and I approve this message.

God Fines Charter Cable for Defying Laws of Time and Space

GodAP Wire – March 10, 2008
Today a spokesman for God disclosed that He has abandoned his longstanding laissez faire position on telecom companies and fined Charter Cable $3 billion for defying the laws of time and space, and failing to report previous incidents in which they violated rules of Physics and/or Nature.

Representatives for Charter Inc. said they are appealing, although when informed The Almighty in uncharacteristic humor said “To be honest, no they aren’t”.

Sources close to God say this may be the first of many such fines, and warned that other companies known to break universal laws are hereby on notice.



OK, honestly I didn’t mean to cause such a ruckus. To be truthful I’d about decided God didn’t hear my prayers ever since Angelina Jolie married someone else. [Seriously, Brad Pitt? Strip away the fame, talent, charm, chiseled abs, money, smile, cool hair… ummmm… never mind.]

Still I dutifully say my prayers, and whaddaya know… God is finally getting around to my SOBs God Oughta Smite list, starting at the top. Cool. You can have the 72 virgins waiting in heaven my friend, just gimme a good old fashioned God that’ll smite first and ask questions later.

Granted, I haven’t always wanted to see Charter get hit with boils and sores (ok, my first preference… I’m old school, but the $3bil fine was not a bad touch). Their cable internet is great compared to AT&Ts “Tin Cans Connected by Kite String” wireless program. Honestly, I was gonna compliment AT&T marketing on the kitschy name until I discovered my aircard box really did contain 2 empty Campbell Chicken Noodle cans and 17000 ft of kite string.


At AT&T Wireless


[They are now a standard feature]

I did call to say this was not what I expected when I saw the word “wireless”, but the guy on the phone had a point about string and wire not really being the same thing. For the record, you have no idea how much RAM it takes to get a good signal using string as a medium.

Frankly I would have skipped AT&T wireless in the first place had Charter been able to find my house when I moved here, but I was informed they didn’t service this location.


If I lived in rural Arkansas this mighta made sense. I live in the center of the Dallas – Fort Worth metro area. You can’t swing a wireless modem on kite string without hitting a CEO of a multinational company. I’m 10 minutes from one of the busiest international airports in the world. Even more important, I drive past a freakin Charter Cable riser on my street. I just happen to be ONE house from the end.

[Teachers note: That last sentence *will* be on the test.]

So despite also having another Charter cable riser maybe 500 ft away… somehow Charter decided “OK, we stop here”, and apparently had no intention of ever supplying service to the last 4 or 5 houses. I called them several times, met with the city. They service the newer houses in the entry, but nothing could convince them to provide same to the existing houses at the end.

Well, nothing but new construction. I sold an acre to a nice couple and they built a big new house next door. As construction was finishing, they announced they were getting cable Monday. Huh? [For a second I thought my prayers had been answered, except maybe the Brad Pitt funeral thing.]

Striking While the Iron is Hot (and other myths)

I don’t know how they rediscovered it, but I wasn’t taking chances they’d lose my street again. Signed up online, called to set up an install. Worked skillfully thru the voicemail, got to a human. THAT is when I discovered they hadn’t really found our street… just the one house at the end. Argh.

Fortunately the young lady (who’s kind smile could be clearly heard despite the fact she was working a mind-numbing job that’d test the patience of Job, who probably works there too) told me there was an available fix. Obviously the new house had been scouted out and mapped by Lewis and Clark Inc, the vendors that discover new houses for Charter… so she’d just call the SomethingOrOther Dept and have them activate a search to see if the cable came by my house.

Now I was about to object as nicely as possible (hey she’s been nice) when I realized there was not a nice way to say this was an inane policy and the silly wonder-scouts could easily be replaced by a cable route map overlay and a link to Google.

While I pondered how to word this, wondering all the while which overpaid “VP of Dumb Things” came up with this gem… I listened to sold-on-hold, featuring an enthusiastic voiceover pro extolling the virtues of Charter.


When someone’s on hold, waiting patiently as somebody enforces Rule 782 from “Policies That Make Us Look Stupid”, they don’t wanna hear how wonderful Charter is. Obviously another brainchild from the guy that keeps his brother-in-laws Lewis and Clark gainfully employed despite available technology to do the job cheaper and instantaneously without dispatching a pickup truck that sleeps two.

As these thoughts silently accumulated, the phone went dead. Oops.

OK, starting over from scratch.

Welcome to Charter Customer Service !

· Dial 1 to be hung up on in English…

· Dial 2 if in Spanish…

· To be subjected to endless commercials, please hold.

Flustered this time. Got lost twice in voicemail hell, but finally got hold of another guy. Nice as could be. He was genuinely happy to hear from somebody that’d just been left on hold for 10 minutes (or an eternity, you do lose track) before being wordlessly disconnected. It might have been an answer to HIS prayers he was so cheerful .

Folks, that job may suck, but apparently Charter hires pretty nice guys for it, or else provides some pretty illegal hallucinogens in *huge* grab-all-ya-want bowls.

In the end he too called the Lewis & Clark Employment Dept, (queue more music, more commercials)… and got back just before I decided whether to put the gun in my mouth or to my temple. He promised to have Lewis and Clark out next week to verify my address exists and ascertain if there is cable nearby.

With all the kindness I could muster I asked him to open Google maps. Amazingly, he did. I pointed out that I am in the 2nd house from the end of the road, and they have an appointment Monday to install cable at the house on the very end, adjacent to me, and immediately south. The cable is coming from the north.

My question:

Did he really have to send techs physically to my house to verify Charter is not in violation of physical laws that require a solid cable to pass point B if on a line between Source A and Destination C? Had they been having a problem with that recently?

Answer: I know it sounds odd, sir, but that is Charter Cable policy.

Alllll-righty then. Get ‘em God. OK to spare the worker bees, their job’s already Hell, but nail the bosses. Amen.

Oh, by the way Lord… about AT&T….


I’m Rob Jones, and I approve this message.