Our colleagues at Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty show their journalistic creativity, especially when they are under great pressure. Instead of crying and whining when Charmin disappeared from their corporate restrooms in Prague, they took out their pens and produced a satire against their own management and the Broadcasting Board of Governors in Washington. If they can show just as much creativity and resiliency against Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Ayatollahs, perhaps there is still hope, even if there is no Charmin.

All views expressed are those of the authors.



Great Scott! Isn’t This Charmin?

By Resilient RFE/RL Journalists


At Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty it was reported today that s**t has literally hit the fan. What a surprise, we thought. The place has been spiraling down for months, apparently despite the proclamations of victory coming from the flaccid BBG. It began when a faint odour of…how does one say this gracefully…human byproducts wafting through the Russian service. The first screams came from the sacred fourth floor, where the few remaining corporate executives—the presidential office has been empty for almost two years—took offense at the green vapor descending over Central News and the atrium more generally.

Soon the reason was clear. No cleaning services, which translated to dirty commodes and no toilet paper. RFEL/RL management was Johnny on the spot. (Can one say that?) Scott Baker, Director of Prague Finance and (apparently) in charge of external contractors, explained in a memo to his peers:


Dear Colleagues,
After several unfulfilled promises by our Building Managers that the situation with the Cleaning Team/Paper Products for the Rest Rooms would be resolved, I have had members of the CPO staff purchase toilet paper, paper towels and garbage bags. These will be placed in the rest rooms shortly. We will also continue to pressure the Building Managers to fulfill their duties for the proper operation of the building.



Talk about pressure! Three people in the Balkan Service crossed their legs. A small handful of old employees, understanding the history of collapse, peered round the bushes on the building’s periphery, where, it was suggested, they might be engaged in some organic function. A mad dash for the facilities ensued. “It’s over!” exclaimed a member of the Ukrainian team. “The Russkies got us. Give up Donetsk!” Across Prague, people darted to their shelters. Yet the local TV station, when confronted with the evidence of complete corporate breakdown, calmly told their viewers: “This doesn’t pass the smell test.” Russian TV aired a documentary to illustrate the futility of the “foreign forces” sitting with their thumbs up their backsides.

At the BBG, Chairman Jeff Shell, who doubles as Chairman of RFE/RL, infused with Hermes, instructed future CEO John Lansing: “Get your butt over to Prague. And take these rolls with you!” Lansing wiped the smile off his face. BBG Governor Matt Armstrong confided to his Road Runner blog that things are piling up, but that victory is assured.

Meanwhile, L88, the parent of the Prague Freedom Foundation, which was allowed into RFE/RL headquarters rent free by a former RFE/RL president, sat on the pot. Its “management” of RFE/RL headquarters—including its responsibility to provide cleaning and paper products to the overflowing restrooms, was flushed out for what it is: an excrement of bad faith, and, it was rumored, an empty tank. Departing RFE/RL Acting CEO evacuated the premises under a fetid cloud.

The smell had not yet reached Washington when several members of Congress and, it is reported, the White House called for a clean sweep of the BBG. A member of the National Security Council was heard to utter: “What’s this crap? This gives new meaning to the term ‘international broadcasting’, and new urgency.”

This is all we can report for now. We gotta go!