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My Application to be the CEO of CNN
Dear Sub-Verses reader,
It is with a heavy heart that I must bid you, my faithful Substack audience, adieu. I have found my true calling, and when the bugle call is sounded, I must follow its dulcet tones. Let me explain-
As you may have heard, the head of CNN, Chris Licht, was recently fired for an ill-advised interview he gave to The Atlantic and was shown the proverbial door a few days later. That night, I dreamed that the bat call went up for me to take over the once-great network and lead it back to its once lofty stature.
I decided the appropriate first step in my coronation was to send a letter to Licht’s former and my future boss, David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer of Warner Brothers Discovery.
I have attached the letter for your perusal below. Once you read its unquestionable brilliance, it will be apparent why I believe my chances of success are between 99.5% and 99.9%.
Remember next time you turn on CNN that your old pal Gordon is behind the scene, doing God’s work.
Dear Mr. Zaslav,
With the recent departure of CNN’s CEO, I am writing to add my name to consideration for the role. I am the right man to lead CNN back to profitability and respectability. Though I have no experience in broadcast media and may seem an unlikely successor to lead the network, I believe I have unique insights into what Americans want from a news network through my creative thinking and extensive Substack expertise.
First, I believe I have all of the qualities that drew you to Licht to fix the network, but none of his drawbacks. For instance, in his infamous interview with The Atlantic, Licht told the reporter that he’s “a fucking machine.” That comment was in the context of Licht losing nearly 50 pounds, but in my case, I am literally a fucking machine; just ask my wife. Based on the recent history at CNN, the ability to lay pipe is a necessary qualification to work at the network, and I have that in spades. However, unlike certain former CNN leaders, I am also highly discrete.
I also have fortitude. As Machiavelli asked us in The Prince, “is it better to be loved or feared?” The answer is love, where you can be loved, and fear, where you must be feared. Well, how many people at CNN were willing to love Licht? Very few of the brainwashed “resistance” would ever even like Licht, much less love him, so fear it is, and fear is what they should have gotten. Let me provide two specific examples.
The Trump town hall was a great event to begin the network’s attempt at re-centering itself and was a rating windfall. However, it was later reported that Licht was “facing [a] fury of criticism” for airing it, with several people like Oliver Darcy openly blasting it on-air, leading Licht to dress down Darcy in his office.
This was a pure Beta Male move. An Alpha (like me) would not have done the berating behind closed doors or even in front of other employees, but instead, I would have made a special event out of it. Here’s how it would have gone down with CEO Comstock in charge.
Gordon: Oliver, can I see you for a minute please? We need to have a discussion
Gordon: Follow me
Darcy: Why are we going to the studio? Your office is on a different floor.
(we walk over to a set that is an exact replica of my office)
Gordon: Sit over there.
Darcy: Are we going on air? What are we talking about? I don’t have my make-up on.
Gordon: Don’t worry, you won’t be talking, you’ll just be listening, and better off you don’t have make-up on…it will look like your face is melting when you start bawling.
Announcer: I take you now to a special event called the Ass Reaming of a Disloyal Prick Who, If He Wants To Keep His Job, Will Shut The Fuck Up For Once In His Life.
Boom, do you think anyone else at CNN will ever pull shit like that again? Done. Licht needed to go Vlad the Impaler and put heads on pikes. CEO Comstock would have no qualms about doing that.
Another story addresses Don Lemon going on-air with “a white jacket, the collar made of fur, with a turtleneck underneath.” When a producer told Lemon they were unhappy with the jacket choice, he got all huffy. This signifies someone is putting themselves above the network. CEO Comstock would have reminded Lemon that there is no place for prima donnas at CNN and no one is above the network.
To make sure he never forgot that he would have been given an ultimatum. Either he can get CNN tattooed on his mf’ing forehead or hit the bricks.
Most critically, I am aware that the news is simply a new form of entertainment, and as any entertainment executive knows, his real job is to keep people entertained. This is where my skills shine. I know what people want. To prove that innate sense of the audience, let me unveil the new primetime line-up for CNN. Hold on to your balls because they are about to be blown off:
The Great American Eat Off
The show The Biggest Loser, a 30-week competition where obese contestants were challenged to lose weight, has been running continuously since 2004, but its viewership has collapsed in recent years. Why? Because according to the “body positivity” movement, being skinny is so 2020, while having a 75 BMI is very 2023. In The Great American Eat Off, we will help skinny little whimpers obtain the body of their dreams by making them morbidly obese whimps. Viewers will watch mild-mannered Carl, the ultramarathon from Colorado, transform into Carl, the type two diabetic who sweats when taking a dump.
Don Lemon is Real (Sexist)
In return for Don showing his dedication to CNN and getting that tattoo, we will give him back his show at his old timeslot…but this time with a twist. As CNN’s HR department knows, Don hates women. Under other, less visionary leadership, the network would try to cover it up or even fire him, but as Girlboss Sheryl Sandberg said, let’s lean into that.
On his show, Don will comment only on events centered around women and give the chauvinist perspective. Where else will you get views like:
“Nikki Haley’s running for President”? With her shriveled-up womb? Bitch, please. Can we risk her having a hot flash while negotiating with President Xi? I am too patriotic an American for that.”
“Gee, Bill Clinton fucked everything that moved? If you were married to Hilary, wouldn’t you?”
“I don’t know if Nancy Pelosi’s husband was screwing a dude on the side, but if he was, could you blame him?”
Americas Top Rioter
CNN showed great affection for the “Summer of Love” George Floyd riots and for “they’re not real” Antifa. Since rioting has become Americans newest obsession, the question has been circling for years now…who is the best rioter in the US? Who is the LeBron of Molotov Cocktails? Who is the Marv Albert of the blowhorn? On America’s Top Rioter, we will answer those questions.
ATR will challenge the rioter’s wits, athletic prowess, and general destructive capabilities. Contestants will participate in competitions like the “Police Squeal,” where they scream as loudly as possible in a police officer’s face, the “3 Minute Loot,” where they will try and steal as many items from a Walgreens as possible, and the sure to be fan favorite “Bike Lock Snowball” where they will be tested on their accuracy in throwing a snowball with a bike lock in it at an unsuspecting mother pushing a baby carriage.
School Board Battle Royal
This whole democracy thing just isn’t working out, and since School Boards are becoming WWE-style wrestling matches anyway, we will make the fights for keeps.
On School Board Battle Royal, parents will literally fight each other for their school board seats. Don’t like the trans kids assaulting your daughter in the bathroom after he had already done it to another girl once before at a different school? Oh well, pops…You should have hit the weights harder and got a few more rolls in at Jiu-Jitsu class. Apparently, you were too lazy to care about your kid.
We all know The Voice; now let me introduce you to The Shriek.
On The Shriek, lefties will be forced to listen to baseless far-right talking points like, “there are only two biological sexes,” “Mao was a genocidal mass murderer,” and “you can take my guns from my cold dead hands,” and unleash the shriek of their lives.
Judges AOC and Robin DiAngelo will determine the crown the most guttural as the champion.
Welcome To The Dark
Right-wing nazis don’t think running an entire power grid on renewables is possible. This is highly problematic since climate change will end humanity as we know it sometime between two weeks from now and the sun's supernova. Therefore we will kill two birds with one stone (or, as PETA has requested, “feed two birds with one scone’ “) by proving full decarbonization is possible and letting people watch it happen in Welcome To The Dark.
On WTTD, we will purchase an island where contestants will live on nothing but renewables. The island will be somewhere in the Arctic Circle for a higher degree of difficulty (and cost savings). That way, these environmental heroes will get to live their dream of a renewable future in a place where the sun rarely shines and the wind only occasionally blows.
Welcome To The Dark
Your Very Own War
How many people have wanted to start their own war? Maybe you want to initiate a big one, like taking over the Maldives for their beautiful beaches and five-star accommodations. Or perhaps it’s more of an internecine skirmish where you drone your next-door neighbor, Lisa, for painting their house a color that the HOA disapproved of.
Whatever the case, in Your Very Own War, you will get to pitch your combat concept to a panel of high-ranking military officials and defense contractors who, if they believe you are Clauswitz-ian enough, will provide you with the gear you need to grab you own little piece of world domination.
The DIE League
CNN viewers love Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity programs. Fair is fair, after all. Well, there is one place with the most dire need of DIE love…the NBA. In 2021, the NBA was 73.2% black, 16.8% white, 3.1% Latino, and .4% Asian. Can you explain the reason for this dramatic imbalance, considering black people only comprise 13% of the US population, and Latinos comprise 19%? I can! Can I get an R, an A, a C, an I, an S, an M? What’s that spell? RACISM! We will fix that (and get some viewers as well).
On The DIE League, each team must be redrafted to align precisely with the US-wide demography, but race isn’t enough; oh no, that won’t do. Where is the 5’3” Jewish baller representation? How about the malnourished North Korean? And lest we forget the furries. How can you properly ball out without a grown man wearing a giant chicken costume? You can’t… that’s how.
We’ll fix those injustices on The DIE League.
Wheel of Indictments
You’ll agree that all these indictments against political opponents are getting a bit mundane at this point, so it’s time to spice it up. On Wheel of Indictments, the contestants will have a choice: they can move forward on whatever made-up charges the DOJ or some Soros Attorney General came up with, or they can SPIN…THE…WHEEL!!!!!!
Will they land on a lesser charge like Lying to the FBI, or will they go down in history with Benedict Arnold and Aldrich Ames as traitors to their country and get the gallows? You’ll find out tonight on WHEEL OF INDICTMENTS.
Steve Bannon’s War Room
Because why wouldn’t we?
Whose Grift Is It Anyway?
At this point, what public official in America isn’t on the take? So, as we approach the end stages of a banana republic, let’s have some fun with it.
On Whose Grift Is It Anyway? contestants will be presented with various scandals, palm greasings, blackmailings, influence-peddling, kickbacks, conflicts of influence, and any other type of public corruption you can imagine, and they will need to determine which public official it was.
Question: According to the Washington Post, nearly half of the major donors to her presidential campaign had also given at least $10,000 to her foundation, either on their own or through foundations they run, and “there is strong overlap between the family’s political base and the foundation.”
What public official is it?
Answer: Hilary Clinton
Question: According to The Wall Street Journal, as Secretary of State, “at least 60 companies that lobbied the State Department during her tenure donated a total of more than $26 million” to her foundation, and “at least 44 of those 60 companies also participated in philanthropic projects valued at $3.2 billion that were set up through a wing” of a second foundation of hers.
What public official is it?
Answer: Hilary Clinton
Question: According to McClatchy, “more than 40 percent of the top donors [to her foundation] are based in foreign countries.” Further, “foreign donors and their organizations accounted for between $34 and $68 million in donations and $60 million in commitments.”
What public official is it?
Answer: Hilary Clinton
Hmmmm…maybe we’ll need to change the name?
Here, viewers can watch me, watch the shows from earlier in the week and listen to my witty commentary. This is destined to be the highest-rated show on the network.
As Kool and Gang sang…this is ladies’ night.
8 PM-10 PM:
WNBA Game of the Week
Are CNN viewers ready for some high-flying lay-ups? How about some three-point heaves with a 50/50 chance of being an airball? Maybe you’ll have the opportunity to welcome back the latest lady who did some blatantly stupid shit, got locked up in a third-world country, and was traded for an international arms dealer.
You’ll have to tune into the WNBA Game of the Week because you can never be sure what you’ll see!
Bedtime Stories With Meghan Markle
After our lovely CNN ladies finish with their WNBA game, tip-back their fifth glass of rosé, but right before they take their nightly Abmien, they can round out their week with a relaxing Meghan Markle fairy tale.
In each episode, Meghan will draw from a hat with random topics in it, and the audience can listen to her complain about all the horrific injustices she’s suffered from that thing. She draws “Shakespeare”- listen to Meghan recount how he was so sexist that he decided to base the wretched Lady Macbeth on her. She draws “junk mail” - she can tell them how her PTSD was triggered when she saw a mailer for a low APR credit card that claimed to be the “King of Credit,” and she thought back to how racist the Queen had been to her.
Not only are the possibilities endless, but we could probably run this through until the Saturday morning shows because Meghan has never interacted with anything she didn’t have a grievance against.
So there you are, Mr. Zaslav. My proposals on how to turn CNN around and make it, once again, the respected pinnacle of journalism and entertainment it once was.
Thank you for your time.
Your next CNN CEO,
Did I nail it, or did I nail it?