Fox 8 Goes to War

Cleveland's news leader gets the exclusive in Iraq.

Soledad Brothers, with Blanche and the Sun Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Road 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, $7, 216-383-1124.
Fox 8: The only local station with reporters live in - Baghdad.
Fox 8: The only local station with reporters live in Baghdad.

"Good evening and welcome to this Fox 8 pre-war special. I'm Wilma Smith."

"And I'm Tim Taylor. With the United States perhaps only hours away from a war with Iraq, Fox 8 is on the ground in Baghdad to bring you the latest developments. We lead off our tag-team coverage with Todd Meany reporting live. Todd?"

[Cut to Meany, wearing safari jacket:] "Tim, I'm here on a busy street in Baghdad. As you can see, commerce is taking place as usual. But an eerie pall hangs over this city. After all, this street, and many just like it, will soon get blown up. I asked residents if they are worried."

[Cut to bearded man, angry and waving his fist, wearing Death to America T-shirt:] "æÇáíæäÇä ÊÍ?Ñ ãä ÃÒãÉ . . ." [voice-over begins:] "I am grateful the U.S. will soon blow us up. Under the evil dictator Saddam, we are missing all the best shows, like Divorce Court and Joe Millionaire. Thankfully, Fox 8 is the only local station with reporters live in Baghdad to cover it."

[Cut to split screen, showing Meany on one and Tim back in Studio A. Tim:] "Todd, it sounds like a grave situation. Is it true Fox 8 is the only local station with reporters on the ground?"

[Meany, looking serious:] "Yes, Tim, it is. That's why I'm wearing this safari jacket, even though it's 118 degrees. It's to signify that I'm not reporting live from Lyndhurst, but from an exotic, faraway country."

[Cut to Wilma, full screen:] "Thanks for that breaking report, Todd. As you know, Fox 8 is Your Official School Closing Station. When the bombs start falling, we'll be bringing you the up-to-the-minute Iraqi school closings. We now go to Brandi Sauers, live in Basrah. Brandi?"

[Cut to Sauers, wearing safari jacket:] "I'm here at Ali's Pet Supply in suburban Basrah, and what I'm about to reveal will shock you. This store is filled with very cute, furry animals. They will also get blown up when the war begins. [Cut to close-up of poodle] It's a tragic situation, since sources tell me that it's difficult to find homes for exploded animals. Most Iraqis prefer to buy the entire pet."

[Cut to Wilma, on split screen in Studio A:] "That is shocking. Is there anything we can do to help, Brandi?"

[Sauers:] "There is, Wilma. If your pet is about to get blown up, experts recommend that you should seek immediate shelter, drink plenty of fluids, and eat a balanced, low-fat diet."

[Cut to Tim, full screen:] "Very helpful advice, Brandi. Our prayers are with them. Now we turn to Dick Goddard for the weather. Dick, what's in store?"

[Screen shows crowded streets with Goddard's voice-over:] "As you can see from our FoxCam Baghdad, rush-hour traffic is moving smoothly. But even though Iraq is a hot, arid country, a lake-effect storm could move in at any minute. Later in weather, we'll show you digitally enhanced images of what it would look like if two feet of snow suddenly fell on Baghdad. We'll also have our 30-day bombing forecast."

[Cut to Wilma:] "Thanks, Dick. In other news, a campfire raged out of control in rural An Nukhayb today. Though no one was hospitalized, firefighters report that a woman's soup was badly burnt."

[Cut to Tim:] "And in Akashat, a harrowing pushcart collision left one driver with a very sore foot."

[Back to Wilma:] "Critics of the Bush administration say the war is being fought over oil. But what Fox 8 has discovered will shock you. Science reporter Kevin Freeman has been following this story. Kevin?"

[Cut to Freeman, standing in desert:] "Wilma, if I took a cup of oil from this desert and poured it into my cherry red Saab 9-3 SE convertible, it would not run. That's because oil must go through a very scientific process before it's converted to gas. Only then can it be used to run an automobile."

[Cut to split screen; Wilma from Studio A:] "So what you're saying, Kevin, is that this war is not being fought over oil after all."

[Freeman:] "No, Wilma, it's actually being fought over gas. There's a big difference."

[Wilma:] "Shocking. Why haven't we been told about this before? Is it because Fox 8 is the only local station with reporters live in Iraq?"

[Freeman:] "Actually, Wilma, I'm standing only about six feet to your left before a digitally imposed background in Studio A. But high-level sources tell me that if I were standing in an Iraqi desert, it would look a lot like this."

[Cut to Tim, full screen:] "Thanks for that stunning report, Kevin. Our next segment will shock you even more. We now go to I-Team investigator Bill Sheil in our newsroom. Bill?"

[Cut to Sheil, wearing safari jacket:] "Shocking indeed, Tim. An exclusive I-Team investigation has revealed that there are Arabs in Cleveland. Even more astonishing, the U.S. government has known about it for two years. And Fox 8 has obtained an exclusive copy of the 2000 census to prove it. We'll bring you the startling details of this government cover-up in our exclusive report, 'Arabs: They're in Cleveland,' tonight at 10."

[Cut to Wilma:] "Great work, Bill. And now for our regular segment, 'Portraits of Black History.' African Americans have contributed much to our war efforts over the years. But did you know that black sidekicks are always the first to die in war movies? They've sacrificed a great deal to defend our liberty."

[Cut to Tim:] "Yes they have, Wilma. And after this break, American Idol finalists provide their expert Middle East analysis. Plus, we'll bring you an exclusive re-creation of what it would look like if we had real exclusive footage of Saddam's harem. That's coming next . . ."

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