January 21, 2021

Easter at CNN

A conversation between Frank and Joe, weekend news producers in the CNN newsroom, Easter, 2009

Hey Frank.

Hey Joe. Watcha got?

Looks like we got……..we got a Sunday School teacher arrested in the murder of a little girl.

Yeah, I saw that. We can probably headline that for the whole Easter weekend, don’t ya think?

Yeah. Absolutely, but I do have this story of a priest- retired guy, older guy- running a car into a group of people outside his church. Accident, but still…..

Yeah…that’s pretty good stuff. Let’s run that secondary. Web links. Page 2. Filler on the broadcast. What else?

Let’s see….we got this comedian who went to the Philippines and got himself crucified for some kind of reality/comedy show. Good pictures.

We always do that Philippine crucifixion story. I think people are tired of it. Got some pics or video with that?

Uh-huh. Wig…..crazy crown of thorns. Some sort of nut job.

OK. Keep that for the Sunday shows and late night. How about the whole “questioning Christianity” bit we usually run on Easter?

Hmmmmm….Here’s some Youtube traffic on a guy named Bart Ehrman- some sort of former Christian scholar at UNC- who says the Bible is a bunch of nonsense. Colbert flips him pretty good. Gets a lot of laughs.

Youtube? Nah. Leave it there. Anything questioning the whole Jesus bit?

OK. Here’s some professor who says the whole route of Jesus walking his crucifixion is wrong. Has an alternative route.

That’s it? He’s just working on a theory of what streets Jesus walked on? But he still thinks it all actually happened?


Sheesh. This is thin. I mean, we can run it somewhere, but that’s not the stuff we’re looking for. We need someone saying the resurrection is a mental illness or the whole Bible was written by a guy in Antarctica in the 1600s. Something that stirs ’em up.

It is looking a little thin. We can always call that Bishop Spong if you want.

Nah…that guy gives me the creeps. Is there a woman somewhere at an Ivy League school? Some kind of radical feminist who says Jesus was a woman crucified by men?

We had that a couple of years ago, but now she’s a dog walker in Manhattan. Gave up teaching completely.

This is bad. We may have to pull up and rework an old story. Do we still have that story of Fred Phelps doing the “God hates Fags” thing on Easter at that church in Ohio? Can we put some new dialogue over that video?

I can work on it. Wait…here’s something. It’s a story about a church with one of those 40 Day Sex Challenge deals and they’re having some kind of testimony Sunday on Easter about how God resurrected their marriage by having 40 Days of Sex.

Can’t do it. Larry King has exclusive on all that sort of thing. It’s in his contract.

Hmmmm….I’ve got somebody recreating the crucifixion and resurrection with chihuahuas.

You want PETA all over us? This is terrible.

I agree. We got nothin’ fresh. I guess we could….we could….


We could go with this “Millions of Christians all over the world celebrate a joyous Easter” footage. Got some good shots of Christians in Iraq.

I don’t think so. Give me Bishop Spong’s phone number. Let’s see if we can get him to say the resurrection never happened. We’re a news network here. Christians celebrating Easter is definitely NOT news. “Hello….Bishop Spong…..This is CNN, the network of record…..


  1. LOL

    Happy Easter to all

  2. Too funny to be true, or too true to be funny? I wonder if Fox News will do any better, though.

  3. What if we stopped caring what CNN says and does? After all, that kingdom is not our kingdom …

  4. Sonja: But lots of people who are not believers and whom we ought to reach with the gospel watch this stuff and it fills their minds and makes them more resistant to the gospel …

  5. Fox news doing any better?

  6. I saw the headlines for this and immediately thought, “Oh crap, it just had to be Easter weekend!” Well great! All Christians are, once again, to be subjected to patronizing comments about our quaint but meaningless devotion to a religion that kills innocent 5-year-old girls.

    Who knows why this fool murdered a little girl, but I’m sure the media will tie it to this poor little baptist church somehow. Prepare yourselves for the annual onslaught, brothers and sisters, but don’t let it distract you from the celebration of Christ’s resurrection and the atoning sacrifice.

  7. “Fox news doing any better?”

    Is Fox News for profit? Are they trying to attract as many viewers as possible?

    I’d make an educated guess based on the answers to those questions.

  8. Flatrocker says

    What a lame attempt at news reporting. Everyone knows the real story is in the iconic image on the potato chip or the cheese sandwich toast. Any fool can see that.

    C’mon CNN, we’re waiting to be entertained!

  9. Dan Crawford says

    Headline in the NY Times this morning – internet edition.


    Sometime the media unintentionally get it right!

  10. nice job your monkness.

  11. Too true to be funny! But as the others have already said, any one of the “news” networks out there would be the same way. And BTW, the Grateful Dead story was cool. I got to download 5 shows from 77′! URah!

  12. Monk, this is really funny. Right on the mark. Makes this crowd squirm a little so they have to drag Fox in to make sure that CNN is not guilty alone. I have noticed the same “how squirrelly can we cover Easter thing” in the media all weekend. Here it’s all been about a chicken give away for Easter.

  13. You might include all the poor homeless and grief-stricken souls crying during Easter mass (in a tent) in Italy. It was the one picture of an Easter service on the news sites I look at. Nothing about the video was untrue. But it was typical of trying to find the most awful (read that interesting) spin on Easter.

  14. Utter trivia –
    If you’ve never checked out imonk’s links, give it a try. From the sublime to the …

    Loved ’em.

  15. And yet, in reality …

    There’s the story of the hostage captain being released at CNN which has had all along a redemptive quality to it: one man surrendering for many others.

    And Fox News reported yesterday that Philips’s church in Vermont was praying for his safe release. And maybe one of the pirates no longer wanted to be party to this whole thing.

    “The Phillips family wants to thank you all for your support and prayers. They have felt the caring and concern extended by the nation,” McCall said. “This is truly a very happy Easter for the Phillips family.”

  16. Woozy Winks says

    So this is what Frank and Joe, the Hardy Boys are doing these days…

    Seriously, did you ever notice what subjects get repeated on the covers of Time / Newsweek / U.S. News every year? Bible themes for Christmas and Easter (Jesus, Mary, misc.), dinosaurs, cancer, which college to go to, what to do about your kids, and some random movie that the editors want to plug that year.

  17. Time / Newsweek / U.S. News?

    Do people still actually read those rags? (Yawn….)

  18. Colbert vs. Ehrman was a fun video to watch.

    Spong would give me the creeps too, except for I think we have to accept the fact that our understanding of who/what Spong is is corrupt and has no meaning in modern society…

  19. Its kind of sad but not really surprising that the BBC usually has better US news than do any of the American outlets. The religion reporting in particular is better, not because the Brits understand it better than American newsmen (in general, they don’t) but because they at least try to understand the stories they report as religion stories, not as a kind of culture-war epiphenomenon.

  20. On the release of Captain Philips:

    Fox News: USA! USA! USA!

    MSNBC: How is this George Bush’s fault?

    CNN: We’ll get back to this story, but first we have breaking news about Britney Spears…

  21. It makes you wonder why they identify her as “sunday school teacher?” Why don’t they identify others as the “non-church attender” burglar?

  22. Carol Ann says

    THis was funny and sad at the same time. However, to answer the question that keeps popping up about Fox News, I was gratified to hear Rick Warren’s entire Easter message on Friday night on Fox.

  23. You captured it Michael, next stop the Situation Room! Man it gets tiring!

  24. Woozy Winks says

    Bill: Only the covers.

    One of the funniest internet names I have ever seen was “SpongJohn SquarePantheist.”

    But thank God I’m not a sinner like Spong. (What’d he do, anyway? Anybody read his books?)

  25. Ky Boy but no now says

    “What a lame attempt at news reporting. Everyone knows the real story is in the iconic image on the potato chip or the cheese sandwich toast. Any fool can see that.”

    ET has the exclusive on those stories.

  26. You mean you missed the story on the Twittering Easter congregation? Why don’t you know? It is a form of evangelism! http://www.wtkr.com/news/sns-ap-nc–church-twitter,0,6306524.story

  27. ex-preacher says

    I honestly hope that this spoof is intended to show how paranoid some conservative Christians are.

  28. I don’t think a lot of us are paranoid; just disgusted. But then again, we really don’t expect news outlets to promote Christianity, do we? I’m just very glad that there are a lot of Christians who are living the Good News, and, doing what they can to promote it, however they can.

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