The network news executives met to decide what politicians they would book for the 1991 season.
All the guests for the news shows had been used up in 1990, and therefore the executives were faced with renewing them or putting them on waivers for the new year.Blunt said, "Do we want to sign up Secretary of Defense Cheney for another 12 months?"
Blowtorch replied, "He's been on every program, including `People's Court.' Frankly, I think that he's overexposed."
"Who else can we get to speak for defense - Ollie North?" Notory yelled. "Let's renew Cheney until we find another spokesperson, preferably a tall blonde who looks like Jane Pauley."
"OK, we stick with Cheney. What do we do about Secretary of State Baker's contract?" Blunt asked.
"If we keep Baker as a guest, why do we need Henry Kissinger? They both say the same thing."
"Yeh, but with different accents."
"Why don't we hold on to Baker for television and save Kissinger for the radio?" Notory suggested.
"How about Baker for the Brinkley show and Kissinger for `Nightline'?"
Blunt said, "The last time we used Baker on the Brinkley show we got a three rating."
Blowtorch protested. "It's not the person, it's the job. Secretaries of state never get good ratings."
Notory said, "Are we renewing Sununu?"
"You better believe it. There is nobody with as much fire in his belly as Sununu. Barbara Walters would take him over Donald Trump and Marla Maples combined."
"I hate to think of what `Meet the Press' would be like without Sununu."
"Not to mention all of CNN."
"I know that this is a silly question," Noteworthy said, "but are we renewing Dan Quayle?"
"We have to lighten up Sam Donaldson somehow," Blunt replied. "Besides, our surveys indicate that the viewers like watching Quayle for the same reason that they enjoy watching a train wreck."
Blowtorch interrupted, "Let's move along. How do we feel about signing up Secretary of Treasury Brady as a guest?"
"Nobody knows who Brady is. You could put his picture on every milk carton in America, and they still wouldn't have any idea why he was on television."
"If we don't take Brady, we need one more person from the Bush administration to service `Face the Nation.' "
"There is none," Blunt retorted. "We're going to have to sign Newt Gingrich again."
"If we use Gingrich, we're going to have to invite House Speaker Tom Foley."
"I saw Foley talk about the budget on McNeil-Lehrer, and he took the show to the bottom of the sea. He died about the same time they did."
"So where does that leave us?"
"We still have one more possibility. Are we going to use Jesse Jackson as a guest on the `Today' show or not?"
Blunt sighed, "What choice do we ever have?"