Heyheyhey, Sternal Journalists!
I’m pooped as hell. Anyone else pooped as hell? This week, I’m sharing again what is statistically most likely a future entry on my failure resume (which steadily grows into a Failure C.V.; I think those have more pages?).
Last time I shared an (unsuccessful) writing packet, one I was submitting to the Colbert Show, I didn’t think people would like it that much. Scripts, especially late night scripts, are formatted strangely if you’re not used to it; and it was covering days-old news.
But people loved it! Like 8 people reached out, which (I shouldn’t be telling you) is a record. I think this is 90% to do with the fact that people are much more excited by me applying for a cool job they’ve heard of regardless of chances of success, then they are by ranting and theorizing about TikTok addiction in ways that I have no business doing. Fair!
I also think it’s good to share stuff like this because there may be a younger and/or more eager generation of Sternal Journalists out there who want to see examples of things people use to apply for jobs like this!
If you aren’t in the mood to read a script, revisit this Sternal Journal Classic where I reprint the transcript of my conversation with Kevin Smith from years ago. I saw him on TV talking to Peter Travers today and it reminded me how interesting of a conversationalist he is. He literally said “I make movies so I can go out and talk to big rooms of people, which I’m much better at than making movies.” Or watch this chess video I was just totally distracted by.
But if you are in the mood, read this sample I wrote to submit for Tooning Out the News, an animated news satire show for CBS All Access. What you need to know:
-It’s a segment called “Big News” hosted by James Smartwood, a flashy, dick-ish newsy guy, with his panelists Ike Bloom (who is boring), Austin Sparks (who is over eager), and Tory Hughes (who is a softball Washington Post reporter. Apologies to any WaPo reporters reading. These characters were established by the show, I’m just trying to get a job!).
-I wrote it based on news from this past Thursday.
-You have to pick a real journalist or person to be the guest, so I picked NYT tech columnist Kevin Roose, whose podcast, Rabbit Hole, was wonderful.
-All the things in brackets with acronyms in them describe an image. I’ve left it as it was formatted so it’s more educational! I don’t think you need to get those parts to maybe chuckle at the jokes.
-It’s all in caps because then they can feed it straight into the teleprompter, that’s kinda cool huh?
Okay, here it is! A packet (that’s an industry term) that you never asked for:
BIG NEWS SAMPLE [1/21/21]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TONIGHT ON BIG NEWS…
[OTS-GFX: BUTTIGIEG CONFIRMATION HEARING W/ IMAGE OF BUTTIGIEG AT HEARING]
MAYOR PETE FULFILLS HIS CUTE LITTLE DESTINY BY IMPRESSING A ROOM FULL OF GROWN UPS WITH HIS KNOWLEDGE OF CHOO-CHOOS AND VROOM-VROOMS.
[OTS-GFX: MASKING CHALLENGE W/ IMAGE OF MASKED BIDEN]
PLUS, PRESIDENT BIDEN ENACTS A 100 DAYS MASKING CHALLENGE, BETTING THAT THE ONLY THING AMERICANS VALUE OVER FREEDOM IS THE SANCTITY OF A DOUBLE DOG DARE.
[OTS-GFX: KEVIN ROOSE IS HERE W/ HEADSHOT]
AND WE INTERVIEW NEW YORK TIMES TECH COLUMNIST KEVIN ROOSE ABOUT WHETHER QANON WILL DISAPPEAR, OR WE’LL JUST KEEP PRETENDING IT’S A WACKY THING FOR DUMB-DUMBS WHILE IT PREYS ON THE SANITY OF MILLIONS.
[OTS-GFX: BIG NEWS]
JOURNALISM AS STRAIGHTFORWARD AS MCCONNELL’S GAZE WHEN TRUMP WAVES AT HIM NOW, IT’S TIME FOR BIG NEWS.
[FF-SOT: OPENING THEME]
IF THEY’RE SENDING FAUCI BACK TO THE W.H.O., DO THEY SEND US SOMEONE COOL?
WHAT WOULD BE COOL FOR YOU? KEN BURNS’ BARBER?
CERTAINLY, BUT I’D SETTLE FOR A HANDSOME WOMAN, A CYD CHARISSE TYPE.
I’M JAMES SMARTWOOD AND I SPENT YESTERDAY DOING THE SAME THING I DO EVERY INAUGURATION: MOLTING THE PAST FOUR YEARS OF HAIR PRODUCT DANDRUFF.
JOINING ME TO PEDAL THIS QUAD-TANDEM NEWS-CYCLE ON A DAYTRIP TO ETERNITY’S WINE COUNTRY IS WASHINGTON POST REPORTER WHO ALMOST FINISHED BOB WOODWARD’S MASTERCLASS BUT GOT SUCKED INTO A BRIDGERTON REWATCH, TORY HUGHES;
POLITICAL ANALYST WHO WILL HAVE NOTHING TO ADD NOW THAT I’VE PREEMPTIVELY MENTIONED AMANDA GORMAN’S HAMILTON REFERENCES, AUSTIN SPARKS. ANYTHING YOU WANNA ADD, BUD?
HER… DID YOU CATCH… INSPIRATION… UHHH-AAHHH.
WE’RE JOINED AS WELL BY HISTORIAN WHO CALLED GARTH BROOKS’ SNOOZALICIOUS AMAZING GRACE “THE VERSION WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR,” DR. IKE BLOOM;
AND NEW YORK TIMES TECH COLUMNIST, KEVIN ROOSE. THANKS FOR JOINING US, KEVIN.
TONIGHT’S BIG NEWS: TRUMP’S OUT OF OFFICE WITHOUT A SINGLE SATANIC PEDOPHILE MASS EXECUTION, AND SOME QANON BELIEVERS ARE FEELING LIKE RACHEL LEIGH COOK WHEN SHE FINDS OUT SHE’S NOT ALL THAT; IT WAS JUST FREDDIE PRINZE JR. AND STIFFLER HAVING A GAS.
[FF-PQ: … WHEN INAUGURATION DAY DIDN’T USHER IN “THE STORM,” THE APOCALYPTIC RECKONING THAT THEY HAVE BELIEVED WAS COMING FOR PROMINENT DEMOCRATS AND TRUMP’S “DEEP STATE FOES,” … QANON FOLLOWERS GRAPPLED WITH ANGER, CONFUSION AND DISAPPOINTMENT WEDNESDAY. https://apnews.com/article/biden-inauguration-qanon-79dd03a6dc497d6157304f8045f12cef]
“… WHEN INAUGURATION DAY DIDN’T USHER IN “THE STORM,” THE APOCALYPTIC RECKONING THAT THEY HAVE BELIEVED WAS COMING FOR PROMINENT DEMOCRATS AND TRUMP’S “DEEP STATE FOES,” … QANON FOLLOWERS GRAPPLED WITH ANGER, CONFUSION AND DISAPPOINTMENT WEDNESDAY.”
JUST FROM A BRANDING PERSPECTIVE, IT’S GOTTA BE DEVASTATING TO EXPECT “THE STORM” AND INSTEAD GET THE INAUGURATION OF A MAN WHOSE BEEN ON A HIGH-OCTANE LOPE TOWARDS THE PRESIDENCY FOR THREE DECADES. IT’S LIKE WHEN MY WIFE REALLY HYPED UP “SNOW-SHOEING.” IT’S JUST WALKING IN THE SNOW. GLIDE OVER SNOWDRIFTS LIKE A WINTRY SPIRIT, MY ASS.
[FF-MU: VACATION PHOTO OF UNENTHUSED SMARTWOOD SNOWSHOEING W/ FAMILY]
SO KEVIN, IS QANON TOTALLY DONE? DID WE RIDICULE THEM ENOUGH TO BOOHOOHOO 'EM ALL THE WAY BACK TO A GRIP ON REALITY?
TAKE US BACK TO THE BEGINNING FOR A SECOND. WHAT SORTA DEMO ARE WE LOOKIN’ AT FOR YOUR TYPICAL Q FOLLOWER, AND WHAT GOT 'EM THERE? INTERNSHIP AT BUZZFEED NEWS, SOMETHING LIKE THAT?
I’M SURE THESE NEWLY DISENCHANTED WACKADOOS ARE A HOT COMMODITY FOR THE FRINGE CULT MARKET. WHO’S ANGLING TO SNATCH ‘EM UP?
KEVIN, YOU’VE SPENT SO MUCH TIME AMONG THESE WEIRDOS, YOU’RE BASICALLY FRIENDS WITH THEM. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU BELIEVE THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION COULD BE DOING TO REVERSE THE HARM DONE TO AND BY ALL OF YOUR DING-DONG PALS?
FINALLY, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO THE PEOPLE BEING TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY THIS MASSIVE CON, WHAT’S THE SILLIEST PART OF THE NONSENSE THEY BELIEVE?COME ON, I’M SURE THERE’S AT LEAST ONE OBJECTIVE ZINGER.
And there you have it, folks. Thank you for indulging me if you read this far. I hope you got a chuckle or two, because these jokes will never be seen again and I kinda like some of them!
Recs? I watched Crimes of Grindelwald this weekend and would absolutely talk to you about it if you want to. Also, I’m on a twice monthly routine of walking around my neighborhood and telling someone on the phone all my problems with Queen’s Gambit. If you’d like me to book you for the next conversation, I’ll happily have you.
And go listen to Rabbit Hole and the other stuff I mentioned! Alright, I’m POOPED!
P.S. if you know someone who would like to subscribe to the Sternal Journal, have them do it here! We’re close to a milestone! I’ll tell you what it is if we reach it!