April 17, 2003 12:54 AM   Subscribe

CNN's future obituaries the credit obviously goes to FARK and the Smoking Gun
posted by magullo (13 comments total)
It's incredible how death can improve one's reputation. As someone once said "it's a great career move."

Death dignifies; focuses; forgives; suddenly remembers; even glamourizes.

Good call, magullo/Miguel.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:30 AM on April 17, 2003

Most of them are simply the picture and years, with all the links from the Queen Mother's death. Or are all these guys going to be well-covered by the "Life as Queen Consort" link?
posted by meep at 2:48 AM on April 17, 2003

*grabs template, starts working on MeFite obits*
MH - "Life is just a ColdFusion template, so start the querying."
Q - "Life is just a drug-fueled, booze-soaked subterranean midget orgy, so start lubricating."
posted by planetkyoto at 2:56 AM on April 17, 2003

Oh, I just remembered that Harry Shearer, who likes to snag stuff off satellite feeds, has a Real Video clip of Tom Brokaw announcing Sinatra's death from cancer a few months before Sinatra died of a heart attack. Brokaw anticipates.
posted by planetkyoto at 3:09 AM on April 17, 2003

A journo friend (I'm being deliberately vague here to protect him) managed to access the ultra-secret bit of the obituaries file of a major British newspaper: that is, the obits that are written by people high up the editorial food chain, rather than either your common-or-garden ones, or your lavish ones (i.e. Queen Mum) that require the work of the entire features desk. Anyway, suffice it to say that we were all placing requests to read what the paper's editor had written about the late lamented Margaret Thatcher.
posted by riviera at 3:15 AM on April 17, 2003

planetkyoto: whoa...amazing link. Somewhat creepy, seeing Brokaw "anticipating" Sinatra's passing...

Which reminds me -- anyone else remember the SNL skit, with Carvey as Brokaw, doing pre-obit intros on Gerald Ford? He did several takes, in order to cover different causes of death, including Ford being mauled by a lion.
posted by davidmsc at 4:33 AM on April 17, 2003

Which reminds me -- anyone else remember the SNL skit, with Carvey as Brokaw, doing pre-obit intros on Gerald Ford?

How about the Mary Tyler Moore Show episode where Mare had to stay up all night updating the obituary file, and got quite punchy while doing it (with Rhoda's help).

Unfortunately, the next day, Minneapolis' oldest citizen died, and his comical obit got on the air.
posted by Oriole Adams at 6:33 AM on April 17, 2003

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Hemingway got the chance to see all of his obituaries after his plane went down in Africa. After not surfacing for two days, the papers went ahead and printed his obituaries. Upon return to the United States, he collected them and left them on his coffeetable.
posted by jon_kill at 6:36 AM on April 17, 2003

So, then ... why does Fidel Castro's obit talk about Ronald Reagan? Just curious.
posted by ScottUltra at 7:16 AM on April 17, 2003

So, then ... why does Fidel Castro's obit talk about Ronald Reagan? Just curious.
It's being used as a template. Copy, paste, change the details.

One time when I was still in the newspaper business a friend had to write an obit on a young priest who died oncourt while playing basketball with the parish kids. Being a sarcastic bastard, I offered 10 really good headlines that never got used. I can't remember now, but there was one about spending "eternity in the key", another with a scriptural reference to traveling, and other inappropriate comments. Everyday stuff, BUT WE NEVER jokingly wrote it in live copy or put it anywhere where it could POSSIBLY get mistakenly inserted. This is dumb, putting it on a server. No reason for that.
posted by planetkyoto at 7:43 AM on April 17, 2003

I just LOVE how Dick Cheney is "the UK's favorite grandmother."
posted by Vidiot at 8:03 AM on April 17, 2003

david: The Brokaw Pre-Tapes.
posted by dhartung at 4:59 PM on April 17, 2003

OgreLawless: Thanks! For those who don't know what we're talking about, here's a very brief snippet:

Tom Brokaw: Alright, fine.. what's next?

Voice of Producer: The double story.

Tom Brokaw: Alright. [ graphic of Ford and map of France ] "A fireball destroyed France today, and Gerald Ford is dead." Now, what are the odds of that?

Voice of Producer: Fine. We'll get Stone Phillips to do it. You know, I'm sure Stone Phillips would be thrilled to break a story like that!

Tom Brokaw: Alright. Let's keep moving.. [ graphic of Ford and the corpse of Richard Nixon ] "Stunning news from Yorba Linda today, as Richard Nixon's corpse climbed out of his grave and strangled Gerald For to death."

Voice of Producer: Excellent.
posted by davidmsc at 11:19 AM on April 18, 2003

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