Media Matters

In the Crossfire and Out of It

All last week, actress Janeane Garofalo was the co-host on CNN's Crossfire. We were fortunate enough to obtain a transcript of the first test show.

8.25.03

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All last week, actress Janeane Garofalo was the co-host on CNN's Crossfire. We were fortunate enough to obtain a transcript of the first test show.

Producer: All right, Janeane, the main point of this is to relax now that the studio is empty, run through the show and get you comfortable with the way we do things.

Garofalo: Okay, that's great. Just remember, my hair is blonde now so I may not learn things as quickly as when I was brunette.

Producer: Ha ha. Very good. Ha ha. Tucker, you okay?

Carlson: Don't worry, we've been calling that "the dumb blonde chair" every since Paul Begala started. As long as you don't mention my bow tie, I won't mention how you worked with Sylvester Stallone in Cop Land.

Garofalo: Oh. Oh. Good one from the crypto-fascist imperialist conservative environment-raper.

Producer: Let's keep it a little lighter and I'll read the announcer open and off we go. "Today on Crossfire; Live from George Washington University --

Garofalo: They should call it "Evil Rich White Colonial Slave-owner University" but that's just me..

Producer: ...and keep going everyone, "It's Janeane Garofalo and Tucker Carlson!"

Carlson: Welcome to Crossfire. All this week, we've enlisted actress and political activist Janeane Garofalo to join in on the debate. Now, let's go to the best political briefing in television, our Crossfire Political Alert.

Garofalo: So I read my part now, right? Okay, here are the latest pictures from Iraq where, over the weekend, saboteurs blew up a Baghdad water main and set two oil pipelines on fire. The destruction was supposedly the work of pro-Saddam loyalists but I saw on some website that it was really done by the people of Iraq who the Bush Cheney Cartel has totally alienated and they now see us as a hated occupation force. Thanks, Bush Cheney Cartel, thanks a lot.

Trust me when I tell you that you don't want to alienate your audience. When I was doing Reality Bites back in 1994, there was all this buzz that it was going to be the Generation X movie but then the studio over-promoted it or something and there was a real backlash. Everyone was like, "This is such a bogus, packaged, focus-grouped Hollywood product" --

Carlson: Whoa, whoa, Can we take a moment here?

Garofalo: Was that too inside, the Reality Bites stuff? Because I was going to riff into something about how I worked with Winona Ryder and how Bush is trying to shoplift Iraqi oil.

Producer: Hm.

Garofalo: Wow. Look at all those serious faces.

Producer: It's just that we have a sort of rule here that the moderators stick to the issues and don't bring up any side projects or anything like that. And we're not just singling you out. We've had a hell of a time keeping Carville from mentioning his long distance phone service or bamboo steamer or whatever he's pitchman for these days.

Garofalo: Okay. Got it. Sorry about that.

Carlson: Really, you're doing fine. You know, we haven't even gone to air yet and you've still had more good moments than Connie Chung did in her whole run.

Producer: Tucker.

Garofalo: Meow!

Carlson: Remind me to put a quarter in the Chung jar for mentioning the forbidden name. Ha ha. I'll just pick it up from where we left off. Political Alert, okay, here we go. A hearing is under way to delay the California recall election until next year as the ACLU is arguing that the average California voter is too stupid to use voter punch cards.

Garofalo: We're talking about another right-wing conspiracy here as the voters of California have been duped by this circus recall election which was financed by conservatives. Thanks, conservative conspiracy people, thank you for ruining democracy. They claim it's all about democracy but there's another agenda at work. It's like when I was up for the girlfriend in Jerry Maguire and I literally starved myself trying to get thin enough to do that role which ended up going to Renee Zellweger. And now I know for a fact that they had her in mind for the part all along.

Carlson: You know, I think this might be a good time to take a break. I need to run out and make a phone call.

Producer: What phone call?

Carlson: To, uh, my doctor. I need to schedule an appointment.

Producer: Your doctor's name wouldn't be Fox would it? Dr. Fox? Over on News Boulevard and Fair and Balanced Avenue?

Carlson: No comment.

Producer: Now, Janeane...

Garofalo: I am not still bitter about that Jerry Maguire thing! And I know I broke your stupid rule but it was in order to make a good point.

Producer: You can't keep going off on these tangents.

Garofalo: Can I smoke while I'm on camera?

Producer: What?

Garofalo: I would be so much more relaxed if I could. Plus I can gesture with it. I'll do one of my mocking thank yous like "Thanks, conservative mainstream media for dumbing down the political process, thanks a lot!" then I'll gesture with my cigarette in a mocking way. It plays really well on camera.

Producer: I'm not sure, what with the second-hand smoke and all.

Garofalo: And when we talk about Iraq, I want to say "Where are the weapons of mass destruction and, more important, where are the good movie roles for women approaching 40?" That's a good line. And so true.

Carlson: Well, I'm back. Hey, I just talked to someone on the Lou Dobbs Tonight set and they said that all next week, filling in for Lou Dobbs, it's going to be James Van Der Beek from Dawson's Creek! Isn't that great? That should really enhance our news credibility.

Garofalo: That's really funny. You're a funny, funny man. Atlanta asked me to do this, you know, I didn't ask them.

Carlson: Next up on NewsNight, it's Aaron Brown with special co-host, that zany comedian, Carrot Top!

Producer: All right, everyone, that's lunch!

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