Friday, September 02, 2005

CNN Wins Again

Back on 29 June, I saluted CNN's Carol Costello as this blog's first "Idiot of the Day," for her uninformed comments about Saddam and Al Qaida, during an interview with a Republican Congressman. In that post, I relayed a joke played on her by one of Ms. Costello's co-anchors, Jack Cafferty. Mr. Cafferty, it seems, placed quarters inside the copies of newspapers placed on her anchor desk. If she had bothered to actually pick the paper up and read it, the quarters would have fallen to the floor, alerting the crew that Ms. Costello was scanning something besides the Teleprompter.

Turns out that Ms. Costello isn't the only lightweight on CNN's anchor roster. A couple of days ago, Mr. Cafferty offered his own moronic musings on the situation in New Orleans, earning him the coveted "Idiot of the Day" Award.

Appearing yesterday on that dreadful Wolf Blitzer show, Situation Room, Cafferty launched into an anti-Bush tirade: "I have never seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as the situation in New Orleans. Where the hell is the water for those people? Why can't sandwiches be dropped to those people that are in the Superdome?"

A sandwich drop, Jack? Riiiight...Only a couple of problems with that. First of all, let's say you drop these Big Macs or Po' boys from a flight of helicopters, hoveing over the dome. That should be enough to trigger a riot, mass stampede, or both. How many more would die--needlessly--in a mad scramble for sandwiches? Of course, that assumes that all the vittles land on dry ground, and not in the water that covers 80% of New Orleans.

Okay, you don't want to use helicopters? How about an Air Force C-130; a transport that size could hold thousands of sandwiches. Conceivably, you could feed the entire crowd with a single drop. But there are problems with that plan, too. First of all, in a urban environment, the C-130 would have to drop from a higher altitude. And, to ensure that most of the food reaches intended recipients, the sandwiches would have to be loaded into heavy, parachute-retarded pallets. If those pallets land in the crowd, they could kill people; a drop away from the dome runs the risk of putting the pallets in the water, despite the extraordinary skill of the C-130 crew. And simply tossing the sandwiches out the back isn't a viable option, either. Would you attempt to catch a sandwich, falling at terminal velocity, from a release altitude of 1-2,000 feet--the minimum safe altitude for a drop in urban New Orleans.

But such concerns clearly didn't deter Mr. Cafferty. Perhaps he was inspired by that classic episode of WKRP in Cincinnati where the station sponsored a Thanksgiving Turkey Drop. Not realizing that turkeys can't fly, the 'KRP crew released them from a helicopter, with predictable results. Based on the laws of physics, Cafferty's sandwich drop would produce a similar disaster, although there's some doubt as to whether the CNN windbag ever took a class in physics or logic.

For stupidity on a grand scale, Jack Cafferty of CNN is the worth recipient of the Les Nessman/Golden Sow/Idiot of the Day Award.

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