CNN Hearts Fishbowl!

Pbump comes through, again.jpgHere at Fishbowl we are clearly a fan of CNN’s snazzy red jackets — so we couldn’t have been more exicted to find out that CNN was just as big a fan of ours! Allow me to explain. A friend of mine — who shall remain nameless to pretect him from guilt by association — called me Friday afternoon in a tizzy. “You’re not going to believe this, but I just saw this huge cardboard poster in the lobby at CNN — of your blog!” He sounded excited. “It’s got the red rainslickers and everything!” I felt my heart leap. “Did Anderson see? Did he like it? Did he ask about me?” I asked breathlessly, hope welling in my chest. (He said he thought Anderson was out of town. I’d totally settle for Rob Marciano). Actually, I must confess that my first reaction was to start laughing and maybe fall off my chair. I had no idea that CNN had even seen our happy little rainjackets, let alone taken our gentle mockery to heart.

Which was how I found myself at CNN yesterday evening, high above Columbus Circle in the Time Warner building in the very beating heart of an international news organization, the place where the magic happens on such shows as “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” “American Morning” “Nancy Grace” and, of course, “Anderson Cooper 360.” Actually for a beating heart it was kind of like a ghost town; even though I was there with a real-live employee who signed me in and everything, it still felt a little bit like sneaking in, possibly because I had my camera and I had every intention of surreptitiously taking photographs.

Except that my battery ran out. I stared at my camera, dead in my hands, and looked at the beautiful Fishbowl poster, shining with the glow of lamination. “I’m going to cry,” I said.

My friend had to get home to his wife. I had to get home to this blog. It seemed that fate had not smiled upon the Fishbowl-CNN union. Or had it?

It turns out that some people don’t have very much to do on Sunday nights, which is why I went home, charged my camera, took a nap facedown across my bed fully clothed, and found myself back at CNN a few hours later. “Hi! I was here before with my camera taking pictures of a poster version of my blog at CNN but my camera battery ran out and I had to go charge it,” I said to the security guard. “Can I still use my access pass?” I smiled my most trustworthy smile and he waved me on in, as though semi-demented bloggers bounded through his lobby with such requests every Sunday night.

The guard on the 5th floor recognized me, bless his heart, so I only needed to get halfway through “Hi, I’m just here to take pictures of this poster of my blog for my blog,” before he was kindly snapping aOctober 2005 209.jpg shot for me while I posed proudly. Then I bade him goodnight, stepped into the elevator…and snuck up to the 7th floor. My friend had given me a tour through CNN and past the various Fishbowl posters, proudly displayed; we counted four, and I wasn’t leaving until I had photographed every one.

The 7th floor lobby version duly recorded, I looked with longing toward the cardkey-access glass doors beyond which lay the 7th floor studio and office space, where I had previously sussed out a Fishbowl poster literally around the corner from Anderson Cooper’s office. I may have swooned. I loitered; took a few arm-out photos of myself and felt like a dork, praying there were no security cameras around. No one came to let me in, so it was off to the 8th floor elevator lobby. Hi, familiar poster! There was no one around. I owned that elevator bank. It was fun cavorting around CNN alone in the dead of Sunday! I was an intrepid Fishbowl spy, stealthily riding the elevators on a mission from Blog, cannily infiltrating the enemy lair armed only with a camera and my wits. I believe I mentioned earlier that I was a massive geek.

Fortunately just then some dude came along and totally bought the whole “I need to take a picture for my blog” line. I offered to have October 2005 219.jpg
him escort me to the poster but he didn’t seem to care that much, really. I darted down the stairs, my heart pounding. Okay, now I was on the 7th floor but it didn’t look familiar — oh no! I was on the wrong side, only way to cross through the locked elevator bank. I prowled the hall. There must be a way — yes! A darkened room beckoned. Like a cat, I slipped through the darkness, for the first time noticing the glow of TV screens lining the walls, and a bank of monitors and controls at a console. COOL. I glanced at the door, where an ordinary printed sign was posted: “Control Room 71. Do NOT use as a short cut to the other side of the floor.” Oops.

All right it was time to leave before I actually did some damage. Then I’d have to answer to Jon Klein. Although I was pretty sure I could take him. Blinking in the light of the hallway I padded through the huge high-ceilinged office area with its open-concept desks (not a whole lotta privacy at CNN) and headed toward the final Fishbowl poster, offering a silent apology to Anderson’s dormant office (turns out Control Room 71 is for 360. Oops again). Snapping the last of my photos, I beat it the hell out of there. Seriously, who wouldn’t bust a nutty camera-wielding chick running amok in the hallowed halls of the most trusted name in news? I feared the security guards until I remembered who let me in in the first place.

I walked toward the elevator bank, approaching those implacably-locked glass doors from the inside. Beyond them, the familiar Fishbowl poster reflected the fluoerescent light as Larry King asked another incisive question on a flatscreen above. Oh, Larry. You and your suspenders. Larry was with us in the elevator as we rode down to the lobby, nodding wisely. Yes, I thought. We’d all learned something this night.

Next week: Join us when we break into Fox and TP O’Reilly’s set!

More proof that CNN likes Fishbowl after the jump. We’ll keep you posted on how long THAT lasts.

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Top left: 5th floor lobby. Top right: 7th floor, interior
Bottom left: 8th floor elevator bank. Bottom right: 7th floor lobby.

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Your intrepid blogger. Please refrain from making fun of her weekend attire. That includes the hair.