No New Taxes, Jobs for All in 2009. Hey, a Guy Can Dream, Right?

By Dan GainorVice President, Business Media Institute, Media Research Center

My 2009 Wish List

* Hollywood gives up on movies based on "graphic novels" and decides to embrace something radical -- plot. * To quote George Bush the elder, "no new taxes." * Al Franken abandons his quest for the Minnesota Senate seat and decides to run for office representing people he really has something in common with -- Hollywood. * Aliens will land, ala "The Day the Earth Stood Still," and warn us of the dangers of global cooling. * Ground-breaking scientific study discovers donuts and cookies are actually good for you. * That everybody who wants one, finds a job. No wait, that wouldn't work. Unemployment would go up. OK, how about jobs for everybody? * Baltimore Ravens win their second Super Bowl. (Hey, it's a wish list, not a prediction.)

My 2009 Predictions

I have it on reliable authority some of this might even be true -- I saw it on TV.

* Budget cuts hit CNN causing Lou Dobbs to hire illegal immigrant labor to produce his show. * MSNBC loudmouth Keith Olbermann answers the call of his muse to appear on Broadway. He is cast as the Scarecrow in a remake of "The Wizard of Oz." * "Hardball" host Chris "thrill up my leg" Matthews decides to give up on running for Senate in Pennsylvania and, instead, becomes head of the Barack Obama fan club. * Following a new trend in newspaper cutbacks, The New York Times agrees to share staff resources and stories with The National Enquirer. The paper wins a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation into Dick Cheney's Area 51 cover-up. It is the first time in several years that The Times sees gains in circulation.

* The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun already have a similar staff sharing agreement. In 2009, the Post will cut a deal with The Washington Times to share Rev. Sun Myung Moon so he can pray over The Post's annual report. * Fearing the return of the Fairness Doctrine, National Public Radio cancels all of its liberal programming. New slogan: "Car Talk -- Nothing but Car Talk." * In an effort to defray costs from the CBS news division, "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric becomes a regular on sister network CW's "Gossip Girl." NBC embraces the concept and "The Office" welcomes new cast member "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams. * To better reflect the economic downturn, ABC replaces "Dancing with the Stars" with "Dining with the Stars." Guests buy large meals for washed-out celebrities, who then compete for the leftovers. * Brand-new Slim Fast Pitchman Al Gore gives up his global warming battle and decides to attack obesity. "Calorie credits" enter the lexicon. * Madonna admits that even she can't stave off the Father Time forever, so creates new clothing trend by embracing the burkha. * In an attempt to save his flagging popularity, President Barack Obama fires the new White House pup and replaces him with Marley. * North Korea's "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il is photographed in his bathing suit, forever ending the media's fascination with similar photos of the world's political leaders like Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. * ABC, CBS and NBC institute new "ethical journalism" policy and only allow journalists to cover Obama if they didn't vote for him. All three news divisions subsequently shut down their Washington bureaus due to lack of staff.

Favorite Moment of 2008

Without a doubt, my favorite moment of 2008 was the Blagojevich indictment. There's nothing like raining on the media parade celebrating a brand-new president than showing America what real Chicago politics are like.

I mean, this is the city that brought us Al Capone, so the idea that the Illinois governor would try to sell the President-elect's Senate seat isn't the exception, it's the norm.

I have no particular beef with Blagojevich, so this isn't so much schadenfreude as it is raw entertainment value. It's a nice morality tale that reminds us of the downside of unethical behavior. And watching Democrats who were trying to curry favor with the governor now flee like cockroaches from the light is just too amusing for words.

Especially funny is the silence from Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. According to the December 15 edition of The Wall Street Journal, it makes sense that he and Blagojevich were close. "Among those in Mr. Obama's inner circle, Mr. Emanuel had one of the closest relationships to Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat. He had succeeded Mr. Blagojevich in 2002 to the House seat that covered Chicago's near north side."

Maybe Rahm will keep out of the limelight, but if this had been a Republican scandal, he'd lead the news every night till he stepped down.