I wish I could remember where this came from, but I've had it lingering around my various computer systems since 1982 or so. (Taken from the BBS of Roger Kaplan, who is probably not the author) ------
* * * * * * * THIS IS CBS...
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK ...
CUT TO: Man being strapped into electric chair: "But all those boys WANTED to die! I could tell from looking into their eyes. I was just trying to be NICE to them!"
CUT TO: Airline Mechanic: "Sure we use Crazy-Glue all the time for these here engine mounts. Save a fortune that way..."
CUT TO: Man at computer terminal being jumped by twelve policemen: "But all I was doing was playing ZORK! I don't unders...."
CUT TO: Dan Rather: I'm Dan Rather.
Morley Safer: And I'm Morley Safer. Welcome to another edition of Sixty Minutes.
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK ...
Announcer Voiceover: Sixty Minutes, brought to you by:
Voiceover #2: IBM, putting ideas to work for people.
AV: And by:
Voiceover #3: Stay-Free Maxi Pads, for the ultimate in feminine protection.
--- PLACE COMMERCIAL HERE ---
Morley Safer: Good Evening. Tonight, Sixty Minutes is breaking with out usual free-form format to present a special edition concerning the truly heinous crimes that have come to our attention in recent months.
Dan Rather: We will look at the story of Billy Joe Kupertino, who murdered 27 young boys after sexually molesting them with Tootsie Roll Pops and Trix cereal.
MS: And the story of shoddy workmanship at Herb's Airlines, which was responsible for the deaths of more than 3,000 people in the recent Hollywood Bowl crash of an elongated jumbo jet.
DR: But first, a story so unbelievable, so incredibly bizarre and hideous, that the Sixty Minutes staff, used to horror in real life, was completely shocked by what we learned. It involves a massive Department of Defense computer network, national security, and high school students. It also strikes right to the bone of the American way and apple pie.
MS: We call this story the TELENET TERROR, and you'll soon see why...
CUT TO: Extreme close-up of IMP display register. Lights flashing. Gradually the camera pulls back to reveal the entire unit. There is scribbled graffiti all over the gray outside cover, including such anecdotes as "CBS SUCKS" and "FREE PAT PAULSON."
MS: This is an IMP, not the sprightly little character you read about as a child, this IMP is Satin incarnate himself.
DR: Standing for Interface Message Processor, the IMP is a specialized minicomputer, with ENORMOUS processing power.
MS: Yes, this device could add up a series of 200 fourteen digit numbers faster than you could say "Neilson Rating."
DR: At least one of these devices sits in every missile base, military research establishment, and many private firms, universities, and other subversive organizations.
MS: And they are all linked together by these thin cables here (holds up twisted pair of red and white cable leading to clock radio on desk) to form the most insidious NETWORK of computers ever dreamed of in the worst of our nightmares.
DR: This is the TELENET. Operated by a little known organization in the Dept. of Defense, this network, originally designed as a research and development tool, has become the toy of high school students and the right hand of subversive organizations throughout the country.
MS: We first learned of this incredible story when a twelve year old boy called the Sixty Minutes staff complaining that he was no longer able to play his favorite computer game, called ZORK, due to the implementation of something called TIP LOGIN in his area. We sensed a big story immediately, and put the full resources of CBS behind the investigation. What we learned was truly incredible. After a series of interviews with high-school students around the country, we learned that 83% of the computer club high school students in the United States regularly use and abuse the TELENET. This was a larger percentage, by the way, than had passed puberty.
DR: And their power and influence over the department of defense could hardly be underestimated. This tape should demonstrate.
CUT TO VIDEOTAPE
Wimpy High School Kid: Yeah, I've just dialed the TIP phone number, and now I've put the phone into this modem.
DR: What is a "MODEM" ?
Kid: It stands for Modus Operandi Device for Evil Motives.
Kid: Now I have to log into the TIP. Let's see now, which name should I use? Oh, here's a good one (as he refers to a long list written on the back of a bubblegum wrapper).
KID TYPES ON MODEL 33 TTY:
Login Carter, Peanut
TIP Server replies: @
Kid: There. All done.
DR: That's all there is to it?
Kid: Yep. Now we can have some REAL fun.
DR: What are you going to do?
Kid: Well, watch this.
Open T R
@log guest Account: ARPA Password: ARPA
GUEST logged in
NORTH AMERICAN AIR DEFENSE COMMAND MISSILE LAUNCHING CONTROL PROGRAM ENTER ? FOR HELP
--> S(ET TARGET) LATITUDE: 40 deg 43 min N LONGITUDE: 74 deg 1 min W
TARGET CONFIRMED: LOCATION: NEW YORK CITY
--> M(EGATONS): 50 --> L(AUNCH TIME): NOW
READY FOR LAUNCH
DR: Uh, you are kidding with this, aren't you?
Kid: What? Me worry?
[ENTER CLEARANCE CODE FOR LAUNCH] --> FOO
MISSILE IN POSITION IGNITION: SUCCESSFUL MISSILE IS AIRBORNE
THANK YOU FOR A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH. WHILE YOU ARE WAITING FOR IMPACT, HOW ABOUT A GAME OF ADVENTURE?
DR: What is this "Adventure"?
Kid: We won't bother with that, I already got all the main points.
DR: This is some sort of simulation, right?
Kid: Oh no. This is real. I never DID like New York.
DR: Well, this is horrible. Is there any way to stop it?
Kid: Well, yeah. If you really want to.
DR: Please. My paychecks come from New York.
Kid: Aw shucks. OK
IMPACT IN 15 SECONDS 10 9 8 7 6
@ ABORT @ LOGOUT
GUEST logged out
Kid: There. All over.
DR: Excuse me, I think I wet my pants.
CUT TO DAN RATHER
DR: Well folks, you saw it. A twelve year old boy almost obliterated New York City with a 50 megaton nuclear blast.
MS: Yes, and imagine what he might have done if he were angry!
DR: Too bad he can't just hit ABC with a small tactical nuclear...
DR: I was just kidding, Morley. Haw haw haw.
MS: You sound like Tom Snyder.
DR: Maybe we could get him with the same blast.
MS: Let's be serious, Dan.
DR: Yes. Well. Ahem. We decided to go directly to the top when we realized how serious the situation was. We went directly to the home of Senator Proxmire in Washington, D.C.
CUT TO VIDEOTAPE
MS: Here we are at the home of Senator Proxmire, the developer of the famous Golden Fleece Award, given to those government agencies that have done the most to waste the taxpayers' money.
(Dan and Morley walk up to door and ring doorbell)
(Doorbell rings to tune of "Funeral Dirge")
Seven Year Old Child: Hello?
DR: Hello. We're here from Sixty Minutes. Is your daddy home?
Child: Yeah. He's home. Come on in.
(Senator Proxmire is sitting at the kitchen table hunched before a Silent 700 terminal. He is cursing under his breath....)
Proxmire: God DAMN IT! I just DON'T see how to get around this snake.
Child: Daddy! Someone's here for yo....
P: Shut up, squirt. Can't you see I'm busy? Hmmm. Now maybe if I eat the bird as a snack....
DR: Senator? This is Dan Rather of Sixty Minutes....
MS: And I'm his lovable sidekick, Morley Safer.
P: HUH? Yes. Uh. (He reaches behind his back and covertly attempts to remove the phone from a Radio Shack modem and hang it up.)
DR: We're here in connection with out TELENET inquiry, Sir.
P: Oh yes. Well, since your office called, I've had my staff investigating this whole matter. And I was shocked. Simply shocked! (As he (speaks, he is rolling up the output from the terminal and crumpling it into a little ball).
MS: Sir, what do you intend to do about this situation?
P: Well, uh, it appears to be a very, very complex matter. Uh, we don't want to jump to any, uh, conclusions about this type of thing. After all, National Security IS at stake here, ya' know.
DR: Yes, Sir. But I thought you said you were shocked.
P: Well, er, yes.
Child: Daddy, can I play ZORK now?
P: Get the HELL away from here kid; you bother me.
DR: Did he say ZORK?
MS: Did he say ZOOORRRRRRKKKKKK?
P: No, he said, uh, Mork. That's it, he said, "Mork." It's a new game based on that "Mork and Mindy" show. You've seen it?
MS: I'm afraid not, sir. I believe it's on a competing network.
P: Oh, well. Whatever, I don't....
Child: Daddy! I want to get more ZORKmids.
P: Will you PLEASE get away from here. Go to your room and play with your blue box.
Child: OK, Daddy. (Child exits)
DR: Now Senator, if you will....
P: My how time flies. I just realized that I have an important meeting on the hill. Can't waste taxpayers' money, you know. Gotta get going.
MS: But Senator! What about the TELENET issue? We are very concerned.
P: Oh yes. Well, I suggest you just drop the whole issue. You know, hush it up.
DR: You can't be serious. ARPANETGATE?
P: Well, whatever you call it. I have to leave now, gentlemen, let me show you to the door.
CUT TO DAN AND MORLEY
DR: Confused? Not half as much as we were. Our meeting with the Senator caused more questions than it answered.
MS: And we were no closer to understanding the issue then we were at the beginning.
DR: We've decided to continue the investigation at another time, when more information is available. We certainly do not want to unjustly condemn a whole project simply based on a few minor transgressions such as the ones we've seen.
MS: (whispers) Dan, C'mon. It's time for today's SF-LOVERS digest.
DR: (whispers) Right, Morley.
DR: We'll be back in the near future with more on this important issue.
(Both rush from stage. Dan's lapel microphone rips off and falls to the floor, taking a chunk of lapel with it. Stage is empty. Stagehand rushes out, stares incredulously at the camera for a moment, then starts waving his arms madly. We see a burst of color bars accompanied by a steady tone, and then....)
TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK ...
----- Gabe Wiener Columbia University