After a weekend of searching, CNN President Jeffrey Zucker announced today the replacement for Piers Morgan in the cable network’s prime 9 p.m. time slot.
“Pompous, misinformed, liberal bombast from a foreigner has proven to be a ratings disaster, so CNN has decided to fill Piers Morgan’s timeslot with pompous, misinformed, conservative bombast from a home-grown American,” said Zucker in a prepared statement. “CNN has every confidence that American audiences will appreciate a true conservative who provides no more news than any other program on CNN, and someone who at least knows what football is.”
US Representative Paul Broun, a physician and member of the US House of Representatives, has suspended his campaign for the US Senate and instead will host a new show tentatively titled “Waaaaaaay Out There With Paul Broun.” The hour-long program will feature guest interviews and an interactive segment where callers describe themselves in three words and let Broun guess their nationality.
“They might say ‘polite, maple-syrup, and cold‘ so I would guess Canada,” said Broun. “But if they said ‘terror, turban and murder,’ I would guess Islam or Persia or someplace like that.”
According to Broun, CNN’s offer passed his four-way test: “I decided that it was moral, constitutional, necessary and affordable to accept the same $6 million salary Piers Morgan was making,” said Broun.
CNN’s selection of Broun was widely criticized by the entire political spectrum.
“Paul Broun’s views on evolution, embryology, geology, physics, history, organic chemistry, particle physics, economics and quantum mechanics are completely out of sync with those of most Americans who lunch at my club,” said Paul Krugman, a Nobel-award winning op-ed columnist for the New York Times. “Besides, he doesn’t know Mila Kunis from Ashton Kutcher, and probably can’t tell the Kardashians apart –what’s he going to have to say to America?”
Georgia Tea Party activist Debbie Dooley bemoaned the “loss” of a conservative. “Paul Broun has been a leading voice of the far right,” said Dooley. “But now that he’s on CNN, no one will ever hear him!”
Zucker said that other candidates for the top spot just couldn’t match Broun’s cross-cultural appeal. “The guy thinks the earth is 9,000 years old, sees Hitler under every bed and waves the Constitution around like he’s swatting gnats,” said Zucker. “What’s Don Lemon got –snazzy ties and black holes? Please. Broun will be as big as Stephen Colbert, only with more sincerity,” added Zucker.
CNN host Don Lemon, rumored to have been under consideration for the plum spot, described the choice of Broun as “straight-up racist,” and added, “This is bulls—t, man. Total. Bullsh—t.”
Broun brushed off his critics and said he was looking forward to getting to know the other CNN stars. “I think Wolf Blitzer has a lot to tell us about the other side of World War II and the military techniques he pioneered,” said Broun. “I’m also looking forward to hearing about Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s life on the reservation, and learning Mr. Anderson-Cooper’s first name.”
CNN was not the only network desperate enough for ratings to consider hiring Broun, who reportedly declined a similar offer from a bigger network.
“Fox wanted me to do that “Cosmos” show, but I don’t drink and didn’t want to be a part of a program named after a cocktail,” Broun said.
“Waaaaaaay Out There With Paul Broun” will air weeknights at 9 p.m., just as soon as CNN finds Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.