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Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed. The first in a series of Presidential debates happened this week, featuring Vice President Gore and Governor Bush, and excluding the candidates from the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and all the other parties. Included among those who were excluded was Senator Sam Spleen of the Enough! Party. But while the other snubbed candidates complained, Senator Spleen embraced a different strategy, announcing that he was delighted at his exclusion. Here he is, the day after the debate, in a speech given at the annual meeting of Person's Anonymous, a low profile advocacy group.
(sfx: cheering out)
Spleen: And let me tell you, my friends... I am SO HAPPY I was NOT included in that debacle Tuesday night!
(sfx: applause up and down)
Talk about bad television! Anybody here watch it?
(sfx: one or two people clap and whistle)
Just one? My sympathies to you, sir. I hope you get a social life real soon!
(sfx: crowd laughter)
That was just such a crummy show. I feel energized by it, like I just turned down the host job for "America's Greatest Pets!" Anybody ever see that show?
(sfx: mild applause up, hold)
See? That's the problem... one of the worst shows in the history of television. It's an honor to be left out of it!
(sfx: wild applause up and fade out)
Dc: Senator Sam Spleen, earlier this week. But at the same time the Senator was putting down the debate, he was also active somewhat behind the scenes, trying to take advantage of people's frustration politics and media. Our chief political correspondent, Jennifer Hampster, has more.
Jennifer: (miffed) Well I don't have MUCH more! You gave away the store with that introduction! There goes page one of my story!
(sfx: paper crumple up and toss)
Dc: Sorry, I...
Jennifer: Sorry? Next time, introduce me and get out of the way, all right?
Dc: Sure. And thanks for coming in.
Jennifer: Last week, Senator Spleen's campaign manager, Rhonda Alonzo, was painfully absent as criticism swirled over the Senator's comments regarding medical procedures for his mother in law and his dog. And now we know why. Ms. Alonzo was preparing an elaborate but technically deceptive tape related to the debates. She pushed all the networks, including this one, to broadcast the tape late this week. I spoke to Ms. Alonzo in her office.
Rhonda: What we're offering... is the debate as it should have been, with the Senator... digitally inserted INTO the event just long enough for him to get his all important sound bites.
Jennifer: So you've used technology to create a new debate?
Rhonda: Not a whole debate. What's the point in that? People will only remember a few seconds anyway. Listen to this...
Bush: Let me give you one example, the Strunk family in Allentown, Pennsylvania, I campaigned with them the other day. You ask the Strunks.
Spleen: Now just a minute, Governor. I know the Strunks. The Strunks are a great family. Don't try to be a Strunk!
Gore: There's a man here tonight named George McKinney from Milwaukee. He's 70 years old, he has high blood pressure, his wife has heart trouble.
Spleen: There you go again! Is it necessary for the president to know the name of everybody in the room? If you want memory tricks, fine! I think there's more to it than that!
Bush & Gore: (assorted spluttering)
Spleen: Let me tell you something. I know I'll be a good president because the president only stops speaking when HE wants to stop, and until then, other people listen. And that means you Mr. Public TV and it certainly means you two! Now I'm done. Go ahead.
Bush & Gore: (more spluttering)
Gore: Put SS in a lock box.
Spleen: Well isn't that just like a big nasty government. Putting these important programs in a heavy, steel lined lockbox! How intimidating is that! I would use something much nicer than a lockbox! I would put them in a festive basket, with Easter grass and festive paper, to say to the seniors, here, this is for you!
Bush: Put them in Texas.
Jennifer: But people will see through this. They'll know it's not real. I mean, the applause! There was NO applause Tuesday night.
Rhonda: We feel the applause really represents how it would have been, had Senator Spleen been in the debate. And as far as the voting public goes, we're TELLING them it's not real. So...
Jennifer: Well I don't see how the American people are served by this... It's a complete fiction.
Rhonda: Bambi is fiction, and I still get choked up when I think about it. We're hoping Senator Spleen's debate performance will be the same. More real somehow because it's not real. And if people take any message away from this, we went them to remember... our guy... he kicked butt!
Jennifer: (vo) So far, the major networks have refused to run the doctored Spleen sound bites, referring to their policy that all fictional programming must be fully sponsored before it can air. But the Spleen campaign seems determined to weather the storm as they battle to get their message out there, whether or not anyone is ready, or able to hear it. I'm Jennifer Hampster.