[Breaking News Graphic – High energy music plays.]
Announcer: Live from the WARN newsroom, it’s Anchor Neal Jurkison…
ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us. I’m Neal Jurkison. Our top story – the tragedy that has truly shocked the nation, if not the world. Three days ago, video footage surfaced of two as yet unknown men severely and aggressively assaulting what can only be described as a deceased horse.
[On Screen Graphic: Horse Whipped: Day 3]
ANCHOR: The motive remains unclear, but what is certain is that America is struggling to come to terms with this senseless crime and we here at WARN will stay with the story as it unfolds.
ANCHOR: Warning: what we are about to show you is unsettling. Viewer discretion is advised.
[Shaky and grainy handheld video of two men assailing a horse on the ground.]
ANCHOR: (voiceover) As you can see, the two men, still unnamed and of indeterminate ethnicity – the video is sometimes hard to make out – are savagely attacking a prone equine. It was at first assumed the horse was perhaps sleeping but by all accounts it is dead, and remains dead, throughout the onslaught.
[Camera zooms in on one man wielding a bat. He continues to slam it into the horse’s carcass.]
ANCHOR: (voiceover) The men have weapons – cudgels … um, sticks of some kind. It has not been verified but we suspect this may be a bat.
[In-studio two-shot. A Woman sits opposite the Anchor]
ANCHOR: We have with us in the WARN studio, veterinarian Amanda Breyvogle.
ANCHOR: [addressing vet] Dr. Breyvogle, tell us, please – what sort of damage is the horse receiving?
[Close-up of Veterinarian. On-screen key: Amanda Breyvogle, DVM]
BREYVOGLE: Tremendous damage, Neal. Mammalian flesh can only take so much punishment before it becomes torn and bloodied.
ANCHOR: So, would you say that the horse in question is being harmed?
[More of the video. The two men continue their walloping.]
BREYVOGLE: (voiceover) Well … yes and no. Yes, the amount of force the assailants are using is without a doubt unquestionably damaging. However, it is important to point out that the animal in question is – and I cannot stress this enough – dead.
ANCHOR: (voiceover) Is that your expert opinion?
[Video continues; on-screen caption: Just Say Neigh]
BREYVOGLE: (voiceover) My opinion as a veterinarian and as a person with eyes.
ANCHOR: (voiceover) If – and I must stress, this is purely hypothetical – if the horse were still alive …
BREYVOGLE: (voiceover) This beating would most definitely kill it. Without intervention …
[Sudden in-studio shot of Anchor. He looks startled and holds a hand to his ear]
ANCHOR: Sorry to interrupt you, Dr. Breyvogle, but I’m being told that we have conformation …
[Back to video. Close-up of man with bat as he strikes the horse repeatedly]
ANCHOR: (voiceover) It IS a bat! A baseball bat! Joining us now is WARN Sports Anchor, Skip Hunter. Skip, tell us – is a bat surprising?
SKIP: (voiceover) Not at all, Neal. A bat is an exceptional piece of sporting equipment, used not only for hitting balls but for random everyday violence.
[Video goes into slo mo with a close-up of the bat.]
ANCHOR: (voiceover) Are you saying a bat is a good choice for ….
SKIP: (voiceover) …for hitting pretty much anything, yes. I’m not a scientist but I believe that if someone uses a bat it essentially becomes a lever, one of the most powerful basic tools.
ANCHOR: (voiceover) A lever?
[back to shot of studio]
SKIP: Yes. And as Archimedes famously said, “Give me a place to stand …”
BOTH: “…and I will move the Earth!”
[polite chuckling from both]
ANCHOR: So, what kind of bat do you think this is?
SKIP: If I have to say .. it appears to be a Louisville Slugger. That’s one of the basic and most popular brands, used by many of baseball’s greats from Hank Aaron to Derek Jeter and current players like A-Rod and Evan Longoria.
ANCHOR: Do you think this means the equine shellacking is sponsored by Major League Baseball?
SKIP: Too early too say, Neal. Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manfred, is slated to hold a press conference later today, so we’ll see.
ANCHOR. Thank you, Skip.
SKIP: Thank you, Neal. Go Tigers!
[One-shot of Anchor]
ANCHOR. Skip Hunter, WARN Sports Anchor.
ANCHOR: If you’re just joining us, we are discussing reaction to the video of unknown men, one using a bat and the other utilizing possibly a medieval flail or mace, beating a dead horse. I repeat:beating a dead horse.
[Video of beating begins again. On-screen key: The Horse Whipperer]
ANCHOR: (voiceover) We will continue to monitor this incredible situation, as no doubt will all news organizations. Stay tuned for further developments.
[Video plays and repeats ad infinitum as “Mr. Ed” theme song starts.]
CUT TO COMMERCIAL.