At the end of the world, while you scavenge for shelter across the barren land, your chances of survival are slim, but at least CNN's got it covered, so you can still squeeze in some TV.

When billionaire TV producer, entrepreneur, and media company owner Ted Turner created CNN as the first 24-hour television news source, people didn't assume he meant until the very end of it all. But he did state at the company's launch, "Barring satellite problems, we won't be signing off until the world ends." 

Big hopes Ted, considering we can't get a good wifi connection at Starbucks on a regular day. 

Since the '80s, rumors of a doomsday tape floated around. Those rumors were true. Residing in CNN's archive system known as MIRA, the official title of the video is labeled as TURNER DOOMSDAY VIDEO. In red lettering located on the news source's intranet video database, reads "HFR," or "Hold For Release Till End of the World Confirmed."

In the video, a military band plays in front of the Turner broadcasting mansion in Georgia. Their song of choice? "Nearer My God to Thee," which, according to Titanic survivors, was the last song heard as the ship sank.

In all its eeriness, Turner has made it clear that the task of airing it will be left to the last surviving CNN employee, implying it will take their verdict to declare the end of days. But just how that decision would be confirmed remains unsolved. Calling it quits on humanity would be no easy choice, so no pressure to the last bearer of bad news. 

You're right to ponder how such an artifact became available to the public, let alone general information. And how would we know this video is real? As Jalopnik questions, is it just "the kind of thing that Ted Turner, the all-around 'eccentric billionaire' archetype, would mention offhand?" Well, the video was introduced publicly when an intern at CNN leaked the footage. According to Jalopnik, he was bored and stumbled upon the video, later confirming its existence with a longtime CCN worker he met there. The New Yorker provided much-needed fact-checking, and it was later found out that Turner himself had shown the video to his reporters, claiming, "I keep this tape around because when the world ends, it'll be over before we can say what we wanted to say. Before we can leave any final messages."

Turner's decision to make an end-of-days video isn't terribly surprising, as it has been a somewhat common method of newspapers to complete obituaries before the subject dies. It's just that the subject usually isn't all of us.

For more of Oona’s sarcasm and attempted wit, visit her website oonaoffthecuff.com.

Top Image: Altair78/Wiki Commons

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