Proposed programming for the "Fear Channel"

John Ziegler

from: Jewish World Review --

IN an effort to cut costs in a sagging advertising market and best take advantage of the current social climate in time for the November sweeps "rating" period, the major television networks have decided to combine their resources to create a new 24-hour cable news channel. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and CNN have come together to construct the "Fear Channel," which promises to provide viewers with instant access to the latest news relating to the war on terrorism.

The following is a sample day of programming for the "Fear Channel," which, appropriately, plans to begin broadcasting now, just after Halloween.

5:00AM-9:00AM "You Might Die Today." Wake up each morning with news that will make you wonder how you and your family ever made it through yesterday and will prepare you for all the many potential pitfalls of today. Learn about all the new dangers that experts are imagining before your neighbors do! You'll never again drink that coffee or eat that pastry without wondering what peril lies inside them!

9AM-NOON "Brainstorming with a Terrorist." Ever wonder where terrorist's get their ideas? Worried about how they might strike next? Watch as industry experts provide detailed descriptions of where they think our nation is most vulnerable to attack. Planned features include, "How best to attack a nuclear power plant," "The most efficient way to weaponize anthrax," "How the United States is completely unprepared for an outbreak of smallpox," and "Where a terrorist could most easily contaminate our food and water supply."

NOON-2:00PM "Aviation Watch." Starting to feel like it is safe to fly again? This show, hosted by former Transportation Department Inspector and current industry watchdog Mary Schiavo, will remind you just how easy it still is to sabotage a commercial airliner. Join us as our reporters get past airport security with all sorts of instruments that could conceivably frighten an unprepared flight attendant, and find out just how few flights really do have an armed Marshall on them (and how to tell if yours doesn't!). Special guests will include former airline workers still feeling bitter towards their old employers.

3:00pm-4:00pm "Countdown to Depression." This program is your source on all of the negative economic news, either real or imagined, that the day has produced. If consumer confidence wasn't down already, wait until our show is over!

4:00PM-6:00PM "News that Wasn't." Find out what news stories could have happened, but didn't. Here our reports will focus on hoaxes, rumors, and urban legends that you don't really need to hear, but are just too juicy for us to resist telling you.

6:00PM-6:02PM "War Report." This two-minute update will tell you all you need to know about how the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is progressing. Special emphasis will be given to all the things that either have already gone wrong, or at least could eventually,

6:02PM-8:00PM "Going Postal." Live from Trenton, New Jersey this program tracks down all of the day's anthrax related news. Martha Stewart shows you the most tactful way to open your mail in front of company, while Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather debate each other on the merits of taking Cipro. Each night a different celebrity will be profiled on the way they are handling their fan mail.

8:00PM-9:00PM "Armchair Administration." Think George W. Bush's job isn't tough enough? Join us as people no longer in power who have never faced similar circumstances second-guess all the days' major decisions and rationalize how we got into this situation in the first place. Madeline Albright and Bill Clinton co-host.

9:00PM-10:00PM "America Cowers." Learn about all of the events and plans that were delayed, restricted, disrupted, postponed, or cancelled because of fears of Terrorism that turned out to be unfounded.

11:00PM-MIDNIGHT "You Could Die Tomorrow." Don't get that good night's sleep until you have heard all of the unsubstantiated conjecture about what horrible things might happen to you when/if you wake up.

MIDNIGHT-2:00AM "Late Night With Osama." Live updates from Afghanistan will include up close and personal profiles on the terrorists we are after. This show tries to help you understand why they hate us so much and see the conflict from their perspective. Each night this program will showcase a list of the "Top Ten Reasons we will never catch bin Laden."

2:00AM-3:00AM "Crisis in Confidence." A round table of media pundits discuss the mystery of why it is that so many Americans seem to be losing their nerve.

3:00AM-5:00AM "The Way Things Were." Spend the rest of the night reminiscing about the way America used to be as we report on all the good things about our country that existed before September 11th and are now gone forever.

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