Debate Transcript Released One Day Early By Andy Borowitz

Face-off Overly Choreographed, Critics Charge

A full transcript of Thursday’s presidential debate between President George W. Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry was released today, sparking criticism that the debate has been overly choreographed by the committee representing the two major parties.

The transcript, full of pre-planned quips and sound bites from both candidates, is a verbatim reflection of what the actual debate will be on Thursday night, a committee member confirmed.

“We have shared the written transcript with both President Bush and Senator Kerry and warned them to stick to the script,” said Davis Loudon of the Presidential Debate Steering Committee. “If they stray one iota, we’re threatening to turn the heat in the room up to 71 degrees.”

According to the transcript, the debate will begin with opening statements by both candidates, after which Mr. Bush will turn to Mr. Kerry and ask, “Where’s the beef?”

Mr. Kerry, totally prepared for this witticism, will reply by saying, “I’ve got your beef right here,” to which Mr. Bush will reply, “Beef this.”

After Mr. Bush goes on to extol the legacy of Ronald Reagan, Mr. Kerry will respond, “I served in the Senate under Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was an enemy of mine. President Bush, you’re no Ronald Reagan.”

Jonah Traylor, the Washington correspondent for the Toledo Blade, said that having a written transcript of the debate a day in advance means that he can skip the event altogether: “I might TiVo it, but probably not.”

Elsewhere, after an earthquake in central California failed to cause any serious damage, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called the 5.9 temblor “a girlie quake.”

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