Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: October 15, 2009 Archive

False or True?

Posted at 5:15 AM on October 15, 2009 by Dale Connelly (29 Comments)

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I see former Morning Show Chief Correspondent Bud Buck is trying to become a one -man news bureau, filing reports to be picked up and distributed by anyone on the Internet. Bud sent a sample of his latest dispatch with the following note:

"The serious news business is dead. With comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert topping lists as the 'most trusted' names in broadcast journalism, it's clear that the only money to be made in online reporting is with stuff you make up. If it's entertaining, folks will share it with each other and all that attention eventually leads to getting paid through book deals and endorsements and such. I love it because you don't have to waste any time doing actual interviews or thinking about accuracy. And if it has even the smallest grain of 'truth' in it, you can always call it 'commentary'."

Here's Bud's latest "report".

New York Man Says Economic Calamity Was "A Bad Dream" Thursday, October 14 Wall Street, NY By Bud Buck

When things were at their darkest, Wall Street trader Burton Healy Jr. thought his wife for the past 20 years was going to leave him.

"You have to understand, the whole charade that is our relationship has been kept alive by a huge surplus of money," he explained. "Everyone - Vivian, the kids, and even Bridgette, my 'close associate' from the office - they all agree I act like a selfish child, but they put up with it because I bring in enough cash to satisfy everybody."

But as he watched brokerage houses close and the Dow sink below 7,000, Mr. Healy felt his world unraveling.

"I couldn't sleep. Nothing was working. Investors were fleeing. Financially, I was getting killed, but not in a normal way. It was like I had fallen into the mouth of an active volcano and I was being incinerated and crushed simultaneously, 24 hours a day. And that's how it felt when it was bearable. I was sure everyone would leave me and I would soon be broken and destitute."

Today, however, Mr. Healy woke up and realized the constant fear and paralyzing anxiety he had been feeling over a "market meltdown" that went on for "what seemed like forever" had been nothing more than a bad dream - probably caused by something he ate.

"I opened the paper and saw that the Dow was above 10,000. Banks are doing well. Vivian is still here. The kids don't talk to me but what else is new? And my phone is ringing off the hook. All that gut-churning misery I'd been putting myself through about 'the end of the world' - it was nothing at all. Didn't even happen.
I shouldn't have ordered the Chilean Sea Bass, I guess."

As he left for the office, Mr. Healy said impoverished, jobless people in other parts of the country should stop feeling anxious about the economy. "This is a great time to buy stocks", he said, and he predicted that the market will continue its upward trend for the rest of 1999, and onward without pause into the next milennium.

I think Bud is going to be disappointed in this latest venture.

I mean, a get the joke about a 'lost decade' of investing, but in order to be funny, made-up news has to feel like it is based on truth, and I don't think Chilean Sea Bass was all that popular in New York in 1999.

What is your most trusted source of news?

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