To Save the News, We Must Become the News

Absolutely no one is watching CNN anymore. The network has just posted figures for the second quarter of this year and, hoo-boy, they are terrible. A 40 percent drop in prime-time ratings since last year. The worst performance ever for a second quarter. Even CNN's mom has stopped watching it though she lies and says she still tunes in, like that kind of coddling is going to help anyone. If things continue on this path, our children will have no knowledge of the Cable News Network as we know it. To them, CNN will refer only to Ciennen, a popular girl from their kindergarten class.

So what's the problem, exactly? In a statement to The New York Times' Media Decoder blog, CNN laid the blame primarily on a dearth of captivating news events. (As Media Decoder points out, a succession of big, ball-grabbing stories helped carry CNN through April, May, and June of 2011.)

It also took swings at top-rated competitor Fox News (and, to a lesser extent, MSNBC) by implying a commitment to impartial reporting costs it an easy built-in audience.

"As a news organization our ratings reflect the news environment much more so than the other networks. That said, we always want higher ratings but not at the expense of nonpartisan, quality journalism."

So how can you save CNN? (Apart from watching CNN because, as we have already established, that is very boring.)

You must become news.

Based on some of CNN's biggest stories from 2011, here are some tactics you might try:

  • Find and kill Osama bin Laden
  • Find and marry Prince William
  • Marry and kill Osama bin Laden
  • Fuck/Marry/Kill Charlie Sheen
  • Officiate a gay wedding between Kate Middleton and Charlie Sheen
  • Be an earthquake (9.0 or greater if international; 6.9 or greater if West Coast of the United States; 2.0 or greater if East Coast of the United States)
  • Become Steve Jobs (Taken by Ashton Kutcher)
  • Uncover a media tycoon's phone-hacking scandal and also be a very famous prostitute
  • Come forward about your lovechild with Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Topple a regime
  • Taco a regime (Meaningless phrase, but potential news story here?)
  • Anything that will get you on Nancy Grace for a minimum of 80 weeks
  • As always, the most important thing is to approach the task with confidence and a smile and a smize. If you have any suggestions for how else to become news so that CNN can report on you, please discuss them below.

    [NYT Media Decoder // Ciennen // Image via Getty]