Modern Humorist - The Price of War
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TO: Chief
FROM: Office of Creative Budgeting
SUBJECT: War Financing

At your suggestion, we ran the numbers again, factoring in the cost of 36-SPF sun block for 300,000. (Good call on that, sir.) The revised bill for liberating Iraq will exceed $150 billion, and as Mr. Rumsfeld says, “that’s one dog dish nobody wants to eat kibble out of.” We in Creative Budget have a proposal that should make said metaphoric kibble more palatable, if not, as Mr. Rumsfeld says “gosh-darn dang-a-langed deliciously lamb flavored.”

The President’s post-9/11 speech pulled 82 million TV viewers, an all-time record. We estimate a three-week war on Iraq would consistently reach 100 million viewers… and clobber competition in the age 18-to-34 ratings niche.

So why should we just give this product away? The people who invented “American Idol” do rather well for themselves, and THEY never have to worry about what Nancy Pelosi will do if you don’t compliment her on her hair.

Consider: NBC paid $545 million for the Olympics. Over eight years, the major TV networks will shell out $18.3 billion to the National Football League. And for what? “Games”? We can offer bombs, mayhem and history. But with better graphics than the History Channel.

We believe the war effort could net $30 billion if we offer the following package:

1. Timing
Following an extended build-up, “Operation Desert Smackdown” would launch during the February sweeps. Host Network would get 24-hour access to White House meetings and Pentagon briefings, plus exclusive rights to the Opening and Closing ceremonies. War would end in time to prevent conflicts with March Madness.

2. Growth
We offer a three-war deal that extends through 2006, which includes an escape-clause in case of unforeseen escalation. This is critical. Should Desert Smackdown expand into a major conflict, we will keep the option to renegotiate. We will not sell the rights to World War III at regional mini-war rates!

3. Promotional considerations
Stars of Host Network shows could make cameo appearances in war situations. Example: that “Birds of Prey” lady, the one whose parents are Batman and Catwoman, could kick-box a POW. Similarly, we will consider paid product placements. (Colin Powell on one of those Segway scooters?)

4. Access
Host Network would receive unprecedented access to the President, to whom the entire country will no doubt rally. Viewers will see the First Family as they really live: Laura doing laundry! The President tinkering with the car! The twins studying, working out in Lycra body suits and rough-housing in their gauzy pajamas! Would the twins, by chance, like to attend Marti Gras? Low-bid networks will get twice-a-day sessions with Ari Fleischer, who will deny that a war is underway.

We are exploring other revenue sources, including the sale of naming rights and luxury boxes.

Also, Admiral Poindexter, through the expanded Homeland Security Act, has begun studying our “Secrets of the Rich, Famous and Public-Humiliation-Averse” insurance initiative. It looks quite promising.

We believe our proposals will insure that the streets of Baghdad run red with blood, NOT red ink.

More war stuff:
Comedy Under Seige

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