Vol. 1, Issue 31, December 16, 2003
Fox News Lays Off "Superfluous" Journalists
Following the extraordinary capture of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the Fox News Corporation has announced that it will be laying off the last of its investigative reporters, due to the fact that they will no longer be needed.
"Saddam Hussein's capture was the one remaining piece of news that we really needed to have people on the ground to cover," said Fox News spokesperson Jeanette Franklin. "With this last loose end tied up, we are confident that we no longer need the expense or potential embarrassment of trained journalists conducting independent research."
Fox News has had difficulty with its news correspondents in the past, earning notoriety in late March of this year when Fox reporter Geraldo Rivera divulged tactical information on the air and was expelled from Iraq by the military.
"See, people were always complaining that we aren't doing enough reporting from the field, and when we actually did, we got in trouble for it," said Franklin. "Talk about double standards. Clearly we are better off sticking to our original gameplan, which is to provide our side with the most entertaining and best news coverage available."
According to the announcement, Fox will henceforth be basing its political news coverage entirely on White House press releases. The news conglomerate will maintain its fleets of helicopters to provide traffic reports and live footage of police chases in the Western United States.
"Well, this is actually more of a budgetary move," said Branson Price of the Society of Professional Journalists. "The typical 22-minute Fox news broadcast already consists of 7 minutes of sports, 5 minutes of entertainment news, 3 minutes of weather, 5 minutes of banter and self-promotion, and 2 minutes of national coverage. Reporters are an expensive luxury in this situation."
Decades ago television stations considered producing a news program a civic duty and willingly paid to support reputable news programs regardless of their cash flow. However, Fox's announcement raised few eyebrows in the industry; other cash-strapped networks are closely considering following suit, although CNN has publicly stated that it will always be "the network with reporters."
Fox news fans seemed unfazed by the announcement.
"See, it doesn't matter if they get rid of those reporters, because of the essential brilliance of the Fox news system," said Stanley Heffner, a patron located in a nearby drinking establishment watching the Fox network. "They do the reporting, but they let us, the viewer, decide. It's the most fair and balanced thing out there. And if I'm doing the deciding, why do I need some reporter giving me a "professional" analysis of something?"
"At least this means they won't be putting Geraldo Rivera back on the air anytime soon," noted Price. "That's gotta count for something."