They also serve who only stand before the camera and talk nonsense. As the Resistance pick through the rubble of the Trump regime, CNN anchors are counting the cost, and not only in dollars, tens of thousands of which they pocketed for jabbering histrionically around the clock.
‘As Election Night 2020 bled into Election Week, the talking heads on CNN became something like members of our families,’ writes Kate Storey at Esquire. Every family has its grandiose narcissists, its liars and sex pests, though not all have a 9/11 truther like Van Jones who can cry on cue.
‘I was getting a new coffee every half hour,’ says Jake Tapper, heroically risking simultaneously losing control over both his mouth and his colon.
‘I was hoping somebody would go to Starbucks,’ Wolf Blitzer sighs. Luckily Blitzer fixed himself a double shot of Blitz spirit. ‘We do have an excellent coffee machine that makes Starbucks black coffee, and you put some milk in it with one Splenda, and it may not be a Venti Skim Latte, but it’s very good.’
‘I know I look like I eat a lot, but I actually don’t,’ says gluttonous pig John King. To stay at his post and keep regurgitating his last segment like a cow vomits and then re-chews its cud, he forced Kind energy bars down his swollen gullet — ‘the peanut butter ones are great’.
The strain started to show. ‘My closet was completely destroyed,’ says Kaitlin Collins. Not by John King ripping her outfits as he tried them on, but by having to wear ‘three different outfits on TV’ in the same day.
‘I trim my beard usually twice a week, either Sunday or Monday, and then either Wednesday or Thursday,’ adds hairy pedant Wolf Blitzer. ‘It takes exactly two minutes. It’s a beard trimmer. It’s got a little safety thing on it, so you can’t cut it too short.’ When he missed seeing himself in the mirror on Thursday, Blitzer feared his beard would grow over his eyes.
‘I took a shower every day and changed my suit every day,’ says sweating hulk John King. I keep a couple of extra shirts in my office…every now and then you might spill some coffee on yourself. But that’s the way it is, and you prepare for that.’
With morale breaking down, the anchors tried to lift the mood by twerking. ‘At one point, Jake was playing music on his phone, and we were dancing,’ admits one shame-faced participant.
‘It was like driving on an empty tank of gas, and just hoping that you make it to the end, to the gas station before your car just dies,’ Tapper recalls. ‘Anyway, I did, I made it through, and asked why I couldn’t get coffee, even though I’d been asking for coffee.’
Nothing was harder for Van Jones than, as looked possible in the small hours of November 4, that Trump might win — except having to call an Uber.
‘They sent us home around 3 or 4 in the morning. We had drivers,’ Jones confesses. He was so devastated that when he met some actual working people, he couldn’t bring himself to discuss 7 WTC. ‘I remember walking through the lobby of my apartment building, and the security guys who I talked to the day before, who were very excited that Trump was going to get his comeuppance, looking at me for some sign of hope. And I had nothing left to give. I shrugged my shoulders and got in the elevator. I couldn’t even talk to them.’
When the news broke that CNN had successfully Resisted Fascism, Jones released his tension into a tissue. ‘I realized I hadn’t been in my body, my feelings, for years.’ From Wednesday on, Jones sobs to Esquire, he was ‘dropped into this endless, timeless hell loop of being on air’.
CNN’s viewers know the feeling.