ATLANTA—Kicking around ideas ranging from an uptick in child kidnappings to a new link between laptops and cancer, senior CNN staffers held their regular daily meeting this morning to decide which topic viewers should panic about for the rest of the day. “It’s always kind of tough to get our meetings going each morning, but once we got some coffee in us, we were able to toss around a few ideas on what might absolutely terrify half a million or so viewers today,” said CNN Newsroom executive producer Eric Hall, adding that although the discourse was briefly derailed by a recounting of the previous night’s NFL game and discussions of staff members’ upcoming weekend plans, the team eventually spent 45 minutes debating which stories had the legs to prey on people’s anxieties for a full 24-hour cycle. “There was a lot of back-and-forth between those who really wanted to focus on scaring the hell out of people with a piece about the nation’s lack of preparedness for the next big earthquake and those who felt like we should try to stir up a frenzy over a potentially dangerous new teen trend called vamping, in which kids stay up all night texting with friends and posting on social media. Sarah pitched the threats posed by pit bulls, but she’s been pushing that thing since the day she started—at least she brought in Munchkins for everybody, though.” Sources confirmed that those objecting to going with a story about a horrific waterborne illness in Asia eventually acquiesced rather than let the meeting drag on into lunch.
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