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Fox Sports, FEC in Secret Negotiations

LOS ANGELES -- Sending shock waves throughout the news industry, Fox Sports is rumored to be negotiating with the Federal Elections Commission for exclusive rights to coverage of the 2004 Presidential primaries and general election. These actions, eerily similar in nature to their coup over CBS when they secured the National Football League rights that put them on the map as a player in major league sports broadcasting, has traditional news media outlets alarmed and outraged.

"This is simply unacceptable," declared Rob Reiner, 'Meathead' from the hit sitcom, 'All in the Family,' and acclaimed Hollywood movie director. "This is our country, our democracy we're talking about, for crying out loud, not some Roman spectacle of steroid abusing muscle heads."

While details are sketchy and the normally effusive Fox Public Relations Department had no official comment, the upstart network is said to be proposing sweeping changes to accommodate a format similar to their number one rated FOX NFL Today Show and highly touted play-by-play coverage. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is the front runner for the flagship pre-game show in a role similar to Terry Bradshaw's, to be paired with one of the candidates on the short list of potential co-anchors, which purportedly includes Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Dion Sanders and George Foreman. In another controversial move, FOX Sports will recommend replacing the current volunteer poll workers with boxing ring card girls in an effort to increase turnout at the polls. Also under consideration are polling place promotions, such as presidential bobblehead doll giveaways and SSI check raffles.

"It is the 'Superbowl' of American politics, yet it pales in comparison to every major league sport in terms of ratings, fan loyalty, spectator -- I mean voter turnout, merchandising and sponsorship revenue generation," said an unnamed source inside the Los Angeles headquarters of FOX Sports. "We believe FOX has much experience that we can bring to the table to rejuvenate what is one of the most premier, yet unclaimed and under realized properties in the world. I think we can turn this thing into another NASCAR."

Reaction has been swift and surly. ABC's Peter Jennings declared he would leave the country ala Alec Baldwin and return to his native Canada, if FOX was successful in their bid. Dan Rather commented cryptically and incoherently, apparently still reeling from the initial impact of the news. Tom Brokow was unavailable for comment, as he is working on yet another follow up to his best selling book on the voices of American men and women who came of age during the Depression Era and World War II, this one entitled, "The Greatest Generation Doodles."

Scrambling to play catch up, CNN and ESPN are interviewing various personalities for both anchor and color commentator positions. while MSNBC is said to have quietly signed a consulting agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment promoter Vince McMahon. CNN has contacted the agent for WWE wrestler and action movie hero Duane "The Rock" Johnson to work with Aaron Brown. ESPN has been focus group testing the team of Diane Sawyer and ABC Monday Night Football analyst John Madden.

"Tim Russert did make quite a stir the last time around with his marker board -- and, really, no one is better with on-screen Xs and Os than Madden," said his play-by-play partner Al Michaels, "But I just don't know if John is as interested and enthusiastic about politics as he is about football."

Local Poll watcher, eighty-nine year old Edwin Gabrowinkzor, is in favor of the proposed changes, "Yeah, I'd like me a couple of Hooters girls to help pass the time. It's can get a tad tedious sitting there all day long waiting for folks to come in and vote."

Fellow Poll Watcher, eighty-eight year old Emma Grabrownikzor, Edwin's wife of fifty-four years, does not share his enthusiasm for the changes, "Bull. This is politics. It's not supposed to be fun and sexy. And I don't need to be dabbing away Eddie's drool every five minutes cause he been panting over some hussy."



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