A new reality show pitting teams of contestants against one another to see who can lose the most money to waste, fraud and corruption will have its premiere on CNBC. Dubbed “Missing Billions,” the show is inspired by news stories of rampant fraud and financial mismanagement across multiple sectors from government, the military, banking, finance and nonprofit organizations.
“The recent FTX scandal shows what’s possible when you put a group of enterprising young people in an apartment together and give them access to billions of dollars. The level of corruption and fraud is astounding. I mean, the company’s founder Sam Bankman Fried loaned himself a billion dollars in walking around money. Leave it to those nutty young people to do something so daring, so nakedly corrupt and stupid,” said the show’s creator Lanny Milken.
Missing Billions’ producers say they will not just limit the pool of contestants to private sector shysters. Teams from government and the public sector will be called upon to put their talent for fraud and abuse on display as well.
“There is a potential emerging scandal coming out of the Pentagon over possible mismanagement of billions in military aid to Ukraine. Of course, we’re all aware of the Pentagon’s ability to disappear billions of dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Congressional appropriators and the military are unmatched when it comes to shoveling dough into a black hole. We would be remiss not to showcase their talents on our show,” Milken said.
Missing Billions also plans to feature bad actors from the world of charities and nonprofits.
“Probably the hottest growth area for financial fraud is the nonprofit sector. It was recently revealed that 47 people in Minnesota were charged in a fraud scheme to steal $250 million from a federal program that provides meals to low-income children. Much of the misappropriation of funds involved a nonprofit called Feeding Our Future. Overall, the Department of Justice is investigating more than $8 billion dollars in suspected pandemic fraud. Turns out even the do-gooders are do-badders,” Milken said.
Missing Billions will feature all the secret schemes, dirty tricks and classic corruption. “All will be revealed,” Milken promises. “A wise man once said, ‘You don’t know who’s swimming naked until the tide goes out.’”
The Senate Finance Committee is set to hear testimony into why the price of a 6 ounce bag of Funyuns has skyrocketed from $3.49 last November to $5.19 today.
Senators are looking at a myriad of possible causes that range from potential price gouging by manufacturers and wholesalers to the dreaded Putin price hike, which has inflated the cost of so many consumer goods Americans depend on.
Administration officials expect to face tough questioning from Republicans on the committee.
Recently, Biden officials suggested Funyun manufacturers decrease the density of the puffy onion flavored rings to give consumers more fun flavor for their buck.
Industry officials are skeptical they can make the delicious onion snacks lighter or more flavorful. In fact, one of the great mysteries of modern science is that the crisp tasty rings are made up almost entirely of empty space. Scientists say If you took all the matter in all the Funyuns in the known universe, it would barely fill the bed of a pick up truck. So manufacturers doubt any more fun or flavor can be extracted from an already weightless airy snack.
“What does the current administration expect my constituents to do, munch on empty air and pretend they’re enjoying their favorite snack?” Senator Chuck Grassley asked the committee.
Senator Elizabeth Warren suggested unlocking the nation’s strategic Funyun reserves, but was reminded that the country doesn’t possess such reserves.
“Well why the holy heck don’t we?” the senator complained.
Analysts say Funyun prices could spell doom for Democrats. “If Americans are still paying five or six dollars a bag come November, the Democrats are toast,” said one pollster.
Now that a Trump coup in January seems unlikely, some members of the media are scrambling to figure out what they’re going to do for the next four years. Journalists and commentators at HuffPost, Buzzfeed, Vox and MSNBC face the very real threat of extinction now that they’ve defeated fascism with their panicked reporting and merciless tweeting.
But what if they didn’t topple the dictator? What if in some parallel reality Trump prevailed and the United States is still suffering under the capricious dictates of a ruthless authoritarian? That’s the premise of a new television series being shopped around by a group of intrepid journos who are currently out of things to lose their shit over.
“Man on the High Escalator should allow us to continue cashing in on Trump hysteria for years to come,” said one reporter connected to the project. “It’s pretty much going to be nap time at the White House for the foreseeable future. Anyway, criticizing Biden will get your Twitter account locked, as we’ve seen with the New York Post. So Man on the High Escalator gives us a creative outlet to continue to cultivate a high level of Trump induced anxiety.”
The story will focus on a band of scrappy resistance journalists, forced by a repressive Trump regime to confine their words and reporting to widely viewed social media platforms, popular cable news television programs and freely available digital media websites. Their stories will shine a light of truth on the Trump administration’s brutal authoritarian crackdown against any whiff of dissent, including the arrest of demonstrators who are often detained for hours and released without charges.
Fighting fascism can be a lonely business. Especially when your movement can rely only on the support of former Democratic establishment officials in exile, a number of the world’s largest and most powerful tech companies, and many current and former senior officials of the national security state. Yet somehow these meagre few heroes of the underground take up the fight day after day and aim their Twitter fury at the heart of the tyrant.
Look for Man on the High Escalator, coming soon to a streaming service near you.