Veteran CBS News anchor Dan Rather became enraged yesterday after discovering, a full 15 minutes into his newscast, that somebody hacked into the computer which controls his on-air teleprompter.
Workers on the set of the CBS Evening News noticed something wrong from the start, but were afraid to speak up.
"I heard him open the show by saying, 'Today's top story--The raw oysters in my shorts--aphrodisiac, or disgusting habit of a perverted old man?'" This according to a camera operator who wished to remain anonymous, not to mention far away from Rather's chair.
"Right then, those of us on the set started looking at each other in confusion, but when Dan said that Yasser Arafat needed to be put into pumps and a camisole and given a good spanking, we were certain that somebody was up to no good with the teleprompter."
Among other things Rather said while blindly reading the doctored teleprompter:
"In an exclusive report tonight, Scott Pelley takes us inside Iraq, and explains that the first thing a visitor may notice is a distinct lack of gay nightclubs."
"Coming up next on the CBS Evening News... I pleasure myself while looking at a photo of Dyan Canon. Also, in our 'Eye on America' segment, Vince Gonzales tells you just how out of control my foot fetish has become, and what you can do about it."
"The anniversary of Amelia Earhart's attempt to fly around the world, and subsequent disappearance, acts as a constant reminder of why a woman should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle."
"There was celebration and glee at the winning candidate's election party--a level of joy I'd not seen since the night I shared a hot tub at the Bellagio with Roger Mudd."
The hacker also managed to get into the computer system that controls which clips end up on the air. For example, when Rather began a segment about new theories concerning the assassination of President Kennedy, footage of the Zapruder film was supposed to roll, but all viewers at home saw was grainy footage from Bob Crane's sex video.
During a mid break in the broadcast, Rather was informed of the hacker. Embarrassed, Rather fled the newsroom, leaving John Roberts to finish the show reading from handwritten notes, for fear of using the teleprompter.
It isn't known who the hacker is, but it has been learned that on the night of Rather's humiliating broadcast, workers at NBC overheard Brian Williams in his office, typing, and laughing like crazy.