Dateline: WASHINGTON, DC, Year 2025—After President Trump left office in 2024, the mainstream news channels were deprived of their primary source of ratings. CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and the other major players compensated for that loss by showcasing the ravings of psychotic individuals, which the news channels broadcast from mental hospitals.
“We lost most of our audience right after Trump left,” said a CNN news producer. “It was tough there for a while. We had to scramble for equivalent footage, since Trump built up an expectation for the highest caliber of insane, clownish rants, of wildly-deluded braggadocio, and of childishly-petty revenge schemes. We had nowhere else to turn for that level of entertainment once Trump left Washington, since all of the remaining politicians naturally are adults who function at normal levels of human cognitive capacity.”
However, the news team realized there’s an untapped supply of Trumpian entertainment to be mined in mental hospitals.
The news producer outlined the new daily news-gathering process: “Instead of waiting for President Trump’s laughable tweets or his spouting of crazy nonsense with all of that helicopter noise in the background, we wire the rooms of the loony bin and pipe the twaddle to the editors at CNN headquarters for broadcast. We take the juiciest bits of wacko pronouncements and use them as platforms for our evening editorials.”
News anchors Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon used to ridicule President Trump’s embarrassing signs of mental unfitness. Now, with Trump gone, the anchors take on the arduous challenge of critiquing the mouth-frothing madness of a hapless sicko strapped to a gurney in a padded cell.
“The aliens are here,” cried the patient, named Bradley Mayhew, on CNN. “The aliens live in my teeth and armpits. We’re plotting to rob a Las Vegas casino with straws and empty tissue boxes. Plus, if I flap my arms I can reach Mars by midnight. Watch me fly away and away and away…”
“Intriguing!” cried Don Lemon, analyzing this breaking story on his nightly program. “Once again, can we trust that Mr. Mayhew? Day after day it’s the same thing from him. His craziness belittles his station—on the gurney in that padded cell.
“But don’t take my word for it! Here’s a Harvard physicist to explain why you can’t get to Mars by flapping your arms. Mr. Physicist, take it from here and set the record straight for the listeners, because I’m tired of having to deal with these insane rants. I’m embarrassed for that patient, I really am.”
“Indeed, Don,” said the physicist. “If we fact-check those remarks, it shouldn’t take us long to realize that Mr. Mayhew’s plan of flying to Mars in such a fashion doesn’t hold water. No, I shouldn’t expect him to get far by flapping his arms. Probably not even out of his cell and certainly not beyond the confines of the lunatic asylum.”
“Shame on everyone who’s supporting Mr. Mayhew’s delusions of grandeur!” said the news anchor. “And don’t even get me started on his dastardly plot to rob a casino. But let’s turn to the data—because here on CNN we deal with the facts, much to the chagrin of our competitors.
“So Mr. Physicist, is it feasible to get the upper-hand over Bellagio, say, or Caesar’s Palace, armed with just straws and empty tissue boxes? I mean, you tell me, because that strikes me as a pipe dream, no pun intended. I don’t want to just speculate on this, though, so please enlighten us with the cold, hard facts.”
“Well, you’re right, Don. I’m afraid the physics are lined up against Mr. Mayhew on this one, too. Perhaps if he got his hands on some acid and his straws were made of glass, that could prove a formidable threat if he threatened to spit the acid onto the guards. Then again, he’d have to risk swallowing the acid himself, which would prove challenging to the integrity of his internal organs. Plus, if all he had on hand were hydrofluoric acid, it would eat right through the glass. All around, then, no, I don’t see Mr. Mayhew getting far with that method. Mind you, I can’t speak to the capabilities of the aliens he says he’s roped into this.”
“Exactly!” said Mr. Lemon, “So now we have to dignify Mr. Mayhew’s boast that he has alien conspirators. It’s just disgraceful. But you tell me, because you’re the expert. In fact, let’s spend an hour or so pondering the chance that aliens are living in Mayhew’s armpits. I respect our audience too much to let this foolishness pass unchallenged.”