CNN Still Releasing News Piled Up During Elián González Saga

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Area Man's Mother Sizes Up New Girlfriend's Pelvic Span

STILLWATER, OK–During an evening social call Monday, Emily Dahlgren carefully sized up the pelvic span of her son Matt's new girlfriend, evaluating her potential as a vessel for future Dahlgrens. "Kimberly [Hearns] is a lovely girl with a healthy, stocky build and wonderfully sturdy hips," Dahlgren raved after meeting Hearns. "I'll bet she can make some real nice babies." Dahlgren said she also liked the fact that Hearns comes from a good family with no history of heart disease or diabetes.

Network Executive Cancels Show After Ruining It In Development

LOS ANGELES–Fox vice-president of programming Jonathan Sohn pulled the plug Tuesday on the new sitcom Table For Twelve after rendering the show unwatchable with his persistent meddling during the development phase. "I was really sorry to have to cancel Table–I went to the wall for that show," Sohn said. "I heavily reworked the pilot, de-emphasizing the father's relationship with his sons and adding a talking dog. I hired away two writers from Just Shoot Me, which consistently leads its slot. I even personally came up with the show's catchphrase, 'Well, it ain't no Christmas ham, Pepe!' In the end, though, it wasn't enough, and I had no choice but to shitcan the thing." Sohn said he will now focus his energies on "fine-tuning" King Of The Hill.

Green Party Official Caught Embezzling Campaign Funds For Dime Bag

BURLINGTON, VT–Scandal rocked the Green Party Monday when it was revealed that a high-ranking Nader 2000 official embezzled $10 in campaign funds for a dime bag of marijuana. According to police, prior to a Sept. 29 rally in Burlington, finance director Jim "Patches" Lowell, 49, removed $10 from the Green Party cashbox and redirected the funds toward the purchase of approximately two joints' worth of marijuana from Pete Cudahy, a local hacky-sack vendor and part-time drug dealer. Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader has promised a full internal investigation of the misallocation of funds, saying that he has made it clear to party officials in the past that "the cashbox money is not for weed."

St. Christopher Statue Embedded In Motorist's Forehead

STERLING CITY, TX–A plastic statue of St. Christopher, the Catholic Church's patron saint of motorists, was found embedded in the forehead of local resident Duane Richardson Monday following a fatal collision with an oncoming van. "Although Mr. Richardson was wearing his seat belt and his airbag deployed properly, the dashboard crumpled in such a fashion that the plastic simulacrum of the third-century martyr was driven into his skull, piercing his brain," Sterling County coroner Leonard Reiver said. Reiver noted that St. Christopher is also the patron saint of sudden death.

Upheaval In Yugoslavia

After refusing to concede defeat in the Sept. 24 election, Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic finally stepped down amid mass protests Friday, ceding power to opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica. What do you think of the Yugoslavian uprising?
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CNN Still Releasing News Piled Up During Elián González Saga

ATLANTA–CNN officials announced Tuesday that the cable network is "making good progress" in its ongoing effort to release the vast backlog of news accumulated during Elián González's headline-dominating seven-month odyssey in the U.S.

CNN anchor Natalie Allen breaks the news of the Dalai Lama's death, which occurred four months ago.

"Ever since little Elián went back to Cuba on June 28, we've been working overtime to get through all the news we bumped during that gripping, emotional saga," CNN vice-president Susan Bunda said. "There are all sorts of stockpiled stories to report, and we feel the American public will find much of it interesting, informative, and even a bit surprising, considering all of it happened three months ago or more."

Among the backlogged stories to air during recent CNN "News You Didn't Hear" coverage: the formation of the new Eastern European nation of Molbania last December, the French government's Feb. 9 decision to sell the Mona Lisa in private auction and the painting's subsequent purchase by Ted Turner, the discovery of mysterious carnivorous plant spores in southern Missouri in early April, and the June 4 congressional vote to grant federal legislators a 400 percent pay hike.

Last Thursday, the network reported the annexation of South Carolina by North Carolina, which acquired its bankrupt neighbor in March in accordance with the terms of an obscure, centuries-old clause in the South Carolina tax code.

"This news is significant, in that it reduces the number of U.S. states to 49," Bunda said, "and we feel it is something the American people deserve to hear about. But it lacks the compelling, personality-driven storyline and heartrending video footage of the Elián crisis, so we had no choice but to temporarily shelve it at the time it occurred. We did get a few complaints from South Carolina viewers who were disappointed in the lack of coverage, but what can we say? Unfortunately, these things happen in television. That's just the name of the game."

Added Bunda, "Boy, that Elián sure was an adorable little fella, wasn't he? I wonder what he's up to nowadays, that little rascal."

Videotapes of backlogged, Elián-era news stories pile up in a CNN production room.

Other months-old developments which may come as a surprise to CNN viewers include January's Russian rickets epidemic, which left half the nation with the disease; the surprise April 22 eruption of a volcano in a remote section of South Dakota; and the sudden disappearance of the star Alpha Centauri, the sun's closest stellar neighbor, which collapsed into a black hole in late May.

"The South Dakota volcano thing, maybe we could have run that if there'd been some sort of huge disaster associated with it," CNN Headline News president Bob Furnad said. "But, unfortunately, there were no casualties. Also, there were no big jets of flame either, because it was one of those boring, magma-flow type of eruptions. So the best visuals we could come up with were some dull computer graphics of the new fault line, detailing the splitting tectonic plates."

"Likewise," Furnad continued, "if Alpha Centauri had gone supernova, well, then we would've had something. But, somehow, it just collapsed into a black hole, with no big, exciting explosion footage to give the story some 'oomph.' Scientists can't even explain why: They say it defies all known laws of physics. So that makes it hard to find a good hook, you see."

Reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon, who came out of hiding on May 17 to speak out on some sort of impending crisis, breaking more than 20 years of media silence, expressed hope that his segment will eventually reach the airwaves.

"Hello? It's me, Thomas Pynchon," Pynchon said. "I have J.D. Salinger here with me, too. We're here trying to raise awareness of this profoundly serious crisis. Is anybody listening?"

Those interested, Lang said, can learn what Pynchon had to say during CNN coverage of the May 17 announcement, slated to air sometime around Christmas.

"With any luck, that is," Furnad said. "After all, you never know when another doe-eyed waif will wash up on shore and set everything else back another couple months."

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