Richard is wearing a balalaika to demonstrate how he was dressed when taken hostage by the “baddies” in Syria. He had to return the picture to the Props Department a few moments later.
He was to enter “fake journalism immortality” the moment he got the idea to set up a story to buttress the State Department’s media war on Syria. With the help of Wilbur Snade, former CIA psyops specialist and media maven, and Penelope Pfuff of NBC, he drew up a story that was sure to fascinate the public. Of course, it would have to be believable first. The only problem was that Richard suffers from dyslexia which caused him to misread the draft of his script and completely screw up his story, hence, his arrival here, at the gateway to stardom through journalistic fakery.
The story was supposed to involve his entry into Northern Syria accompanied by his “heroes”, the Fake Syrian Army. Instead, according to the script, which was obtained surreptitiously by SyrPer, he was handed over to the Army of the Islamic Caliphate commanded by Ali Abu Baba and his Forty Terrorists. They were Sunnis and, of course, for NBC, the “goodies”. Then, on a dark night, he and his production team were “sold” like slaves to the “baddies” who were “Shi’ites” roaming the north of Syria looking for Jewish and Christian children to kill. Once the Shi’ites had him, he was blindfolded and starved for five days. It was understood that NBC would announce his disappearance at the appropriate time to give the story substance and drama and, MOST OF ALL, believability. The last thing NBC wanted was to have a Danny the Syrian fiasco on its hand.
Then, the story goes, he was taken to a secret place where he and his friends were subjected to the most horrible of tortures. (These would have to be psychological to explain why he had no marks on him. Richard dreads any kind of physical pain.) The baddies played Russian Roulet with him a la the movie Deerhunter, which the the leader of the Shi’ite terrorist unit saw “fifty times because he liked seeing people’s heads go Boom!!” Then they were all told they would be killed by a mock firing squad.
The continuity editor missed that in the script since it was obvious that being told you were going in front of a fake firing squad would hardly be terrifying. Well, the party was subjected to mock firing squads anyway and, of course, survived but for “the terrifying knowledge that the next time the baddies might put bullets in their rifles for shock effect”.
In this photo taken by a photographer at Shepperton Studios in London, Richard projects the fear and anxiety of a man being told that he was going to be put before “a mock firing squad”. How convenient the terrorist captors did not seize their photo equipment and, even, permitted them to document the entire episode. Oh, my.
After the terrorists grew tired of tormenting the team with mock executions, they decided to move them to a place where they would be surprised by the “good guys” manning a road block. A firefight took place with the good guys risking their lives to save Richard and crew, so much so that a conflagration took place providing our hero with the opportunity to escape with his colleagues to tell this purely nonsensical tale to a presumably gullible public. The good guys killed all the bad guys to make sure no evidence of lying was left unattended to and their bodies disappeared like something in a John Carpenter movie.
Richard’s problems started when he began reading the script. He has always suffered from dyslexia and for that reason, his stories kept getting garbled by different versions, all of which were repeated in the Western Press. The Eastern Press, Russia especially, just thought he was a liar and didn’t give him much coverage. But, it is said, Hillary Clinton, America’s premier harridan, subpoena dodger and boule de suif, insisted that Richard’s phony story be “exalted like an American classic, a Moby Dick“.
The story has now been told so many different ways, each being more stultifyingly impossible than the other, that it has entered the aetherial realm of “myth” or “legend” – and all in a matter of three days! An amazing feat in and of itself. For this reason, Richard Engel is SyrPer’s Danny the Syrian Trophy Winner for Excellence in Creative Journalism and Fraud. Congratulations, Richard! Keep up the good work.
Danny Abdeldayem will be accepting the award for Richard who is in England filming a new story about the war against Islamic terrorist Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines. The Shepperton crew is working night and day to get enough plastic palm trees and white sand to depict war zone in Basilan. We can’t wait to hear this one.