November 2004 (v7 i3)
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CNN anchors lose interest in post-election reporting
'I don't feel like it!' yells Wolf Blitzer at fourth assistant producer
by Kathryn Edwards, Associate Editor

Hungry like the
ATLANTA — In the weeks following Election Day 2004, CNN producers have noted a changed attitude among their top anchors. Without easily packaged photo opportunities and a plethora of opinion polls released twice a week, assistant political director Mark Nichols reported that the award-winning newscasters were "moody, disinterested and all-around pouty."

"I think they were all looking forward to another election debacle and months of suspense and confusion," theorized Nichols. "I mean, yes, we had a late Tuesday night, but it was all over the next day — no constitutional crisis, no Supreme Court intervention. It was all perfectly democratic and boring."

Nichols lowered his voice before adding: "I'm sure in some sad, pathetic way the anchors just feel empty inside now that they don't have an election to cover."

Other insiders at CNN documented the low spirits of the major anchors. Fourth assistant producer Todd Reynolds explained:

"They are definitely going through a withdrawal of some kind. Anderson Cooper hasn't shaved in three weeks, he's been repeating suits and he has stopped referring to himself in the third person. It's just creepy being around him now."

Cooper apparently wasn't the only one behaving strangely. When asked to do a report on increasing civilian casualties in Iraq, Wolf Blitzer reportedly responded, "I don't feel like it!" before retreating to his dressing room to play video games. Asked again when he emerged two hours later from his room, Blitzer shifted his weight on his feet and looked at the ground before mumbling, "I guess so."

Paula Zahn received criticism for an interview with England's Minister of Defense, Jack Snow, in which she only asked three questions and started playing a game on her cell phone during one of his responses.

"It's not my fault he's boring," Zahn said. "He babbled on about Iraq — as if people care! The election's over, so the war doesn't even matter anymore."

Larry King, the least upset by the democratic process, tried to comfort his fellow anchors and galvanize them around other social issues that he felt merited news coverage, baiting with the Scott Peterson trial and whether or not Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake crossed the line in their treatment of the paparazzi.

"Sure, we were all a little disappointed that there wasn't a political catastrophe, but that doesn't mean we can't move on to the surge in violence in Iraq, the Cabinet shuffle or anything else of substance. [The other anchors] act like the world has ended."

Rival networks did not report any negative personality changes amongst their staff, although FOX News host Bill O'Reilly confessed that he walked with "a bit of a skip" in his step these past weeks.

Going on two weeks, anchor Brit Hume was yet to lose his sheepish grin and glowing visage.
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