Networks Can't Bear Thought Of Perry Quitting

Early afternoon Thursday, a tweet flashed across computer screens saying Rick Perry would be dropping out of the presidential race. What followed was mass panic among network executives.

A few minutes later, their emotions turned to anger. How could the Texas governor do this to them! He was just hitting his un-presidential stride, helping with ratings and Web traffic.

He would be depriving them of more missteps that have been feeding the news and late-night comedy departments. Perry, a man who promised to work for the people and restore America's greatness, had suddenly turned selfish.

Worst of all, he was heading back to Texas just when the Herman Cain mess might be cooling down. So, unless Rick Santorum went all Dick Cheney and shot someone, there was a serious threat: the focus of the campaign might turn to the issues.

As it turned out, the Perry-is-quitting tweet was a hoax. He would fight on. CNN and Comedy Central could relax.

He would be around for more debates, speeches to civic groups and a concession speech in Iowa – all of which could bring more of the wacky, wayward material he has been serving up.



Perry's been on a pretty impressive run, starting with hooking up a bit with Donald Trump in the anti-Obama birther movement. Perry then appeared to tangle with a sort of non-denial denail, before dialing up a joke mode. 

Then, there was the “Drunk New Hampshire Speech,” where he offered up such weird gestures and crazy laughs that even his ardent supporters might have wondered whether he had a flask backstage. Viewership of the tour de farce on YouTube has been greater than an NBC drama.

“Saturday Night Live” had low-hanging fruit for “Weekend Update." 

On Wednesday night, any cable news hosts or members of Jon Stewart’s writing team fearing Perry may be losing his touch had another early holiday present. Speaking about his plans for making government work again at a CNBC debate, Perry promised to cut three government agencies in the Commerce and Education departments and …

He could not remember the third. He looked at his notes and couldn't find it. He joked about it being the EPA. Fortunately, he didn't say Defense. No luck. He tried to laugh it off -- and actually did a pretty good job of it -- but the viral video was cast. (Later, it emerged he meant to add the Energy Department.)

Besides news and comedy executives, the sales departments at stations in Iowa and New Hampshire had to love it too. Perry's struggle lasted long enough to fill a 30-second spot with no editing needed, just clip and run.

It also caught the attention of the people at the David Letterman show. Perry apparently agreed to poke fun at himself by reading the “Late Show Top Ten” list Thursday.

It was not clear exactly what the subject would be.

But, the writers could recycle a line from last night’s top-10 Herman Cain pick-up lines: "Can I buy you a glass of whatever Rick Perry is drinking?"

3 comments about "Networks Can't Bear Thought Of Perry Quitting ".
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  1. Thomas Siebert from BENEVOLENT PROPAGANDA, November 10, 2011 at 6:51 p.m.

    Awesome. Possibly your best ever. Lotsa laughs.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 10, 2011 at 8:50 p.m.

    P.T. Barnum would be proud to own this crowd.

  3. T Y from Freelance Producer / DP, November 14, 2011 at 9:51 a.m.
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