Lou Dobbs Hosts Moneyline From Window Ledge

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Vol 38 Issue 28

Family Dog Barking At Evil

MEDFORD, OR—Spraggles, the Reid family's terrier, was barking at evil again Monday, his canine instincts detecting the presence of an unseen sinister force. "What on Earth is he carrying on about?" asked owner Ed Reid, watching Spraggles bark at a hall closet. "There's nothing in that closet but Grandma's old wedding gown and a hammer." Spraggles then headed to the backyard to bark at more evil, this time in the form of a newspaper page swirling in the wind.

Cash-Strapped Michael Jackson Forced To Sell Off Pet Giraffes As Meat

NEVERLAND VALLEY RANCH, CA—Nearly bankrupt due to Sony exploitation and under-promotion, Michael Jackson was forced to sell more than two dozen of his beloved pet giraffes to exotic-meat suppliers Monday. "I will greatly miss Patches and Princess and the other giraffes," Jackson said in a statement read by his lawyer. "But Tommy Mottola has cruelly left me with no choice but to pawn off some of my dearest friends in order to survive." Jackson's financial situation is reportedly so dire that he's also had to make do with a bargain-brand anal bleach.

Police Seek Poorly Drawn Man

DETROIT—Four days after the murder of liquor-store clerk Bernard Golub, police announced Tuesday that they are seeking a poorly drawn man in his 40s. "All units have been advised to be on the lookout for a 5-foot-9 Caucasian with dark hair and a lopsided face that looks all wrong in the jaw area," police chief Jerry Oliver said. Oliver added that the suspect has a scar across his forehead, or possibly just a mistake that wasn't fully erased.

Man Runs Out Of Questions To Ask 4-Year-Old

CAMDEN, SC—Two minutes into the interaction, David Linn ran out of questions to ask coworker Ron Marcone's 4-year-old son Luke. "I asked him his name, his age, if he has any brothers or sisters, if he's started school, his favorite food, what he wants to be when he grows up, and at least 20 things about the truck he was playing with," Linn said Monday. "After that, I just hit a wall." Linn added that he has newfound respect for Bill Cosby.

I'm Really Going To Miss This Task Force

As I look around this table, I see a group of people dedicated to improving the quality of school transportation in the North Rochester School District. More importantly, though, I see a group of people I will be very sorry to leave behind. I don't want to sound too gushy or sentimental, but I'm really going to miss this task force.

Home Sex Tape Watched Once

ATLANTA—A 17-minute home sex tape made by Dennis and Tami Gilby in early May has not been watched since its initial viewing. "I guess I thought it was something we'd watch every so often to get our juices flowing, but we haven't," Dennis said Monday. "Neither of us look too good, and we move around a lot less than I'd imagined. Plus, it was a single, wide shot of the bed, and the picture wasn't white-balanced very well." Dennis added that he thinks he may already have taped over the footage with some West Wing episodes.
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Lou Dobbs Hosts Moneyline From Window Ledge

NEW YORK—Rattled by Wall Street's extreme volatility of late, CNN Moneyline anchor Lou Dobbs hosted the program from a windy ledge high above New York's financial district Tuesday.

Dobbs broadcasts from high above New York.

"The Dow was up 579 points today, rebounding sharply from Monday's 611-point loss," said Dobbs, as he struggled to simultaneously address the camera, retain his grip on the exterior wall of the Prescott Securities Tower, and prevent his tie from blowing into his face from the wind outside the 63rd floor. "Stocks plummeted early in the day, with the industrial average hitting a five-year low of 7,627 by noon, but by 3 p.m., bargain hunters moved in, raising the average to a robust 9,143."

Trying hard not to look down, Dobbs analyzed the day's wild fluctuations.

"This morning's plunge was largely attributable to breaking news of a massive accounting scandal at Cinergy," said Dobbs, causing panic among the crowd below as he leaned out to glance at the stock-ticker crawl on the side of the building. "Also shaking investor confidence was the 11 a.m. announcement that the U.S. consumer-confidence index had fallen from 106.3 to 97.1."

Added Dobbs, sweat pouring from his face: "Confidence was restored, however, at around 2 p.m., when President Bush signed a tough new corporate-crime bill, prompting a furious late rally that nearly made up for the massive losses."

On Monday, Dobbs alerted CNN by handwritten memo that he would be broadcasting from the ledge for "the foreseeable future." In the memo, Dobbs noted that, given the state of the economy, he had "no clue how long the foreseeable future might be."

Toward the end of Tuesday's program, Dobbs interviewed New York City police officer Jim Alland, with whom he discussed the recent erosion of mutual-fund-based retirement portfolios of civil servants, as well as the possibility of Dobbs coming down off the ledge.

"Not that pulling everything out of your 401(k) and taking the one-time tax hit is what I'd recommend," Dobbs told Alland through a bullhorn, while safety-net-bearing officers stood at the ready below. "Their relative stability and tax-free nature might be enough to offset the considerable short-term loss we've all been seeing that makes us want to just give up."

CNBC's Maria Bartiromo during a recent <i>Market Week</i> broadcast.

Dobbs' guests on the ledge tomorrow will include former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, AOL Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons, and "Mary Mumbles," a homeless schizophrenic who has been on the ledge since early July.

"And Friday on Moneyline, we'll be talking to SEC chief Harvey Pitt about the Adelphia scandal," said Dobbs, sliding to a sitting position on the 11-inch ledge. "Also on the program, Senate leader Tom Daschle will discuss the call for SEC chief Harvey Pitt's resignation for his role in the Adelphia scandal."

Dobbs' window-ledge appearance is regarded as the most striking display of economic anxiety from a media figure since "Black Monday," Oct. 19, 1987. On that day, the Dow lost more than 22 percent of its total value, prompting Louis Rukeyser to host an entire hour of Wall Street Week holding a gun to his head.

Market watchers say Tuesday's show contrasted sharply with Dobbs' broadcasts of the late '90s.

"This is a far cry from the Moneyline of 1999, when the NASDAQ, fueled by the booming New Economy, soared past 4,000, and the Dow was at 11,000," said Gene Sperling, a senior market analyst at Bloomberg Financial. "Back then, toga-clad nymphettes would feed an opium-sodden Dobbs peeled grapes as he broadcast from a pool high atop Caesar's Palace in Vegas."

"It's a rocky time for investors," said Chuck Hill, Dobbs' sometime co-anchor and "First Call" segment host, speaking from inside the studio bathroom where he locked himself Tuesday night. "And it's far from over: There's still a long way down, and many in the business world are wondering who will hose up the mess once this roller-coaster ride is finally through."

Dobbs, meanwhile, said he is committed to staying at his post.

"This is a crucial, do-or-die time, both on and above Wall Street," said Dobbs in Tuesday's closing remarks, during which he thanked the NYPD; intern Karen Gross, who repeatedly retrieved his loafers from street level; and CNN, "for all the good times which are now so much dust."

After giving away most of his earthly possessions to his staff, Dobbs concluded: "I want to close with a thought that, unfortunately, may not ease your worries. I never forecast the market on this show, and I'm not about to start now, but I think my position on this economy—and on this window ledge—speaks for itself."

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