"She just loves me for my big dictionary." —Faster Pussycat ---
In their continued push to "spread light" and attract a national audience, the Deseret News announced Monday night that they have appointed an "editorial advisory board" made up of 13 "thought leaders" who also have vast experience being appointed to boards. Initially, the announcement confused readers, especially anyone not drunk, stoned or filled with the spirit. However, after a Don Draper-esque morning with a bottle of Bushmill's and conversations with many poorly-placed staffers at the newspaper -- including the Spanish-speaking cleaning staff and ghosts of journalists past -- I have confirmed that, in fact, the paper is actually planning a reality show contest for the 13 "thought leaders." The winner will become the next star blogger, writing "The Bear Hug" blog to complement their current shining star, "The Big Lever." The losers, on the other hand, will be asked to serve on the next Governor's Commission on Ethics, which will meet once at an undisclosed Sizzler and never be heard from again.
Sources tell me that the show will be a mix of every great reality show/contest and general conference. Each contestant was selected based on a pre-conceived stereotype, as is required with all reality shows. The very helpful "Letter to Readers" gives a hint to some of those stereotypes, using the limited space for the "thought leaders'" biographies to highlight their religious affiliation and, wherever possible (limited though it is), alert readers that the "thought leader" is not white. Additionally, a great Google map demonstrates that the "thought leaders" come from all over the country and a separate batch of hyperlinks helps direct readers to, primarily, the hard-to-find Wikipedia.
According to my sources, all of whom have been loosened up with whatever Bushmills was still in my desk, the contest will follow typical reality show fare. Each week, the "thought leaders" will compete in challenges like Seth Godin or Book of Mormon trivia quizzes, Jell-o shot competitions, hymn-singing showdowns, the obscurely-named "editing for lightness" speed round, group dates with Mark Willes and, every week, the final "blog off." At the end of the week, the Quorum of the Twelve and a bonus celebrity judge (typically a Mormon with reality show experience -- don't worry, there are plenty of them) will decide which "thought leader" gets sent to Sizzler. The rest will stay for another week of light-spreading frivolity.
Not surprisingly, the announcement of the advisory board and follow-up buzz about a "thought leader" reality show has been exactly what was needed to lift the morale of the newspaper's staffers. It's that kind of forward-looking management that will surely push the newspaper to remain a premier source of news on a local and national scale.
In other news:
Governor's Race: Peter Corroon announces an education plan with stiffer education requirements. Gov. Gary Herbert says that Corroon lacks credibility since he sent his children to private school. Excellent idea, guv. From here on out, nobody can amend liquor laws unless they drink. And so forth.
Education, Part Deux: Completed unrelated, today Herbert hosted Jeb Bush's speech about how to improve the state's education system. However, Bush's two sons (at least) went to private school so you can all ignore his advice.
Punishing Pregnancy: Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-Bountiful, says that his suggestions to stop covering epidurals or c-sections for Medicaid recipients was only "informal." Well, senator, everything done during interim committees is technically informal. The fact you said it, however, makes it newsworthy. Sorry. Also, new rule: Unless someone has actually been pregnant, it borders on hypocritical for them to pass any law regarding pregnancy.
Punishing Smokers: Tobacco sales are down, but revenue still sees an uptick after the "not a tax increase" increase in the tobacco tax kicked in July 1. Another new rule: Unless somebody has actually smoked, it borders on hypocritical for them to pass any laws or not-taxes on tobacco.
Punishing Pot: The D-News' Josh Smith (no relation) gets all Rambo on an apparent embed with marijuana troops. New rule: Nobody can make any laws about anything without taking at least one bong rip. Trust me, the world would be a better place.
The Open Container Update is published every weekday, unless I get stoned and forget.