"Take a good look America!" "Take a good look, WORLD!" and "If THEY can get along, what’s OUR excuse!?"

What do these phrases and "Pack their Derms(?!)" have in common? They can all be heard on this smarm-a-thon CBS News video below. Why does every news bit with an animal have to be so DOGGONE lame?

Everyone and their BROTHER has sent this in, and the reporter’s cheesy stylin’ had kept me from posting it. So, now that you have my caveat. Watch it. I WASH MY HANDS!

I’m washing them again, Johanna S.

P.S. Extra points if you can point out MORE eye-roll-worthy phrases!



  1. Kristabelle says:

    Awww, but I LOVE this! I love the relationship…notsomuch the commentary.
    When pupper is injured and hefflump waits outside… OH! TEARS!! I was so glad the doggie did not die!!
    Too bad elephants (and us) live so much longer than dogs…wait, that’s backwards…too bad dogs can’t live as long as elephants (and us).

  2. Kristabelle says:

    The beginning of the story:

    Scroll down below the photo for the start of the story – A Match Made in

  3. And I should add, it’s still a great interspecies snurgle-a-thon story tho.

  4. Reminds me of Koko and All Ball, a bit.

  5. Not entirely relevant to the video, but CO is only 500 behind in voting right now!

  6. *CRY* I give all my extra money to this sanctuary. I love them so much!

  7. TamaraRose says:

    Thank you for making me cry at work….

  8. Pack their derms ??? Vysseh versa ?? Groaannn indeed!

    The best part is the elephant sounds of delight and anticipation Tara makes when Bella’s brought back to her.

  9. Twu wuv wasts fowevah.

    The reporter is yummy. Yum, yum, yum.

    CO is dealing a very nice hand this week…

  10. Come on – it’s not THAT bad. Just way too long.

  11. Elephants are the best thing ever.

  12. “They arrive here one-by-one, but stay here two-by-two”

    The quotes may be lame, but it still made me cry!

  13. awww…. thats so freakin cute!!! she pets her tummy with her foot hehehehe…

  14. “That’s pretty amazing, Steve”.

    Even his co-anchor brings the cheese.

  15. Barfing rainbows here….

  16. (crying at work)

  17. Gail (the first one) says:

    I saw this when it aired and admittedly I winced at the closing. But this guy generally does good stories, so I’m willing to cut him some slack.

    And the elephants are so sweet!!!!!!

  18. This is why YouTube has a volume control, Meg…

  19. Speaking of bad announcers, this guy is too funny. I especially like the (rear) end :

  20. ok i didnt get the whole deal because i listened to it without the volume. god i hate cheezy reporting.

    elephants and dogs as friends? too cute.

  21. *tears* awwww. For those who listened without volume, give it another try…you don’t get the full impact unless you hear the story.

    And in other news, I. Wants. An. Elephant.

  22. I almost recommended turning the sound off, but then you’d miss Tara’s Bellowing.

    Aw crap… where are the Kleenex.

  23. cellarmouse says:

    speaking of ellyfunts –

    one day a ellyfunt and a mouse come across each other in the forest

    they look each other up and down and back and forth

    Then the ellyfunt says “why are you so small?”

    and the mouse says “i have not been well.”


  24. I think this may be one of the most beautiful places on earth. To have 2700 acres and be able to do that with it. These people are on my short list of animal heroes.

    There is another tear worthy story I heard about this place, altho I don’t remember all the details. They take retired zoo and retired circus elephants too. Once they brought a newcomer there and another elephant immediately went nuts, happy to see her. They acted like they recognized each other, like they were old friends. You know what? They were. They had both been kidnapped at separate times from their herd and forced to live separate lives in two different parts of the world for over 20 years. But they were reunited here and they recognized each other. It took the staff much legwork to find out they were in a herd together, something the elephants already knew.

  25. Cheeese Gromit!

  26. Yeah, waterworks here when the elephant was crying for her buddy. Sheesh.

  27. Well, now I’m crying at work too. And if you listen with the sound off you would miss that the elephant is rubbing the doggies belly! OMG!

  28. awesome, just awesome!

  29. Who cares about the cheesy reporting, the reality is so beautiful! What a joyful feeling to watch these two very different animals become such great friends! To see the tenderness when Tara rubs Bella’s belly with her foot? Amazing! And how Tara waited outside for Bella, as close as she could get, for weeks? That is compassion, that is caring, that is friendship, that is love. Simply wonderful.

  30. This story reminds me of Bill Murray’s closing words in “Larger than Life” (1996) in which he crosses the country with an elefriend. ” They say an elephant never forgets. What they don’t tell you, is you never forget an elephant.”

  31. catloveschanel says:

    On Talk Soup they modified the end to have Tara suction up Bela like a big old vacuum cleaner.

  32. who cares if the reporter is lame- THE STORY IS THE THING…meg- am surprised you don’t agree

  33. “protective of what, nobody’s really sure…” — come on, either you’re sympathetic to the story or you’re not; can’t have it both ways!

  34. Grxgrl — note that she *did* post it. Actions vs. words, y’know. 😉

  35. Yep, I cried.

  36. scooterpants says:

    OMG! but what happens when tara dies! bella wont know what to do! someone needs to get a puppeh in the mix asap, so that bella wont get all depressed! this is just too sweet. Meg! you’re not getting all synical on us are ya?

  37. Couldn’t he have gone with “pack their trunks?”


  38. This sanctuary is remarkable. You can check out their website at

    They do some pretty amazing stuff there with these beautiful elephants.

    The reporting may have been cheesy, but the story is wonderful. Any attention they can bring to the sanctuary will help bring in donations.

    Thanks for posting this.

  39. I’m glad I can type without looking at the keyboard. I rolled my eyes so many times at the end, they got stuck up there. Almost ruined a really adorable story.

  40. scooterpants says:

    ah crap. i cant vote, intranets wont open the page.

  41. I’ve got one for the bonus point offer: “their immense differences”.

    The tummy rub is the best part!

  42. Michelle S. says:

    I’d *much* rather a journalist handle a story like this one with extra cheese than with ice-cold objectivity or derision. Who cares if the guy’s a bit dorky? At least he’s not another dismissive “animals are incapable of deep emotions” idiot.

  43. Thank God for stories like this one. I got goosebumps thinking about the long term friendships the elephants have. Horses are the same way – when I had to put my horse down, his girlfriend of 11 years has been so sad. She stands at the fence every day right next to his grave. Sniff.

  44. I love this story! It brought tears to my eyes.

  45. Jeepers, (knocks on head) my dorky cheese radar must be off because I lurved this.
    My ironic humor radar is working though, and I think Meg’s is too.
    How’s yours?

  46. Shannon, the story about the two elephants at this sanctuary who recognized each other immediately after spending years apart was from an episode of Nature on PBS a few years ago. It looked at how elephants all over the world are coping (or not) with modern society. An excellent show, though very heartbreaking to watch. I’m not much of a crier, but I wept through the entire show, especially during the segment about the two sanctuary elephants. And now this dog and elephant have me crying.

    I found info about that episode of Nature (“The Urban Elephant”):

  47. i laughed, i cried.

  48. LOL I just got this in my email and sent it to Meg… LOL so one more in her email box. and come on CO and THere it is. But what a great story… goofy lines and all.
    P.s. I cried too.

  49. That Urban Elephant story had me weeping like a baby at my next so hard, I had to shut my office door.

  50. Here’s a link to the youtube version of the Urban Elephant documentary about the reunion between two long-lost elephant friends at the sanctuary….

  51. I gotta agree with Michelle S- I’d much rather a slightly cheesy guy report on this than some tool who looks down on animals as inferior creatures. This was a fantastic story..thanks for sharing it- made me cry! Oh, and Shannon, thanks for sharing that marvelous story about the 2 elephants getting to reunite! made me cry harder! Have a great day everyone!

  52. berthaservant says:

    About what I’d expect from American television “news” reporting — really, the worst part is the condescension at the end. (After all, far more billions of people are actually “getting along” on this planet than not!)

    But the story is AMAZING.

  53. Steve Hartman does a lot of amazing stories. He’s a fine journalist, and not cheesy, just more unabashedly sincere than you or me.
    Thanks for posting this video.

  54. The Elephant Sanctuary in TN is the coolest place on earth!
    Click on “Elecam” to watch elephants live!

    Shannon – The story you refer to is Jenny and Shirley’s reunion.

    Another page, put up for New Year’s Eve, has more videos and pictures.

    The woman in the report, Carol Buckley, is the founder and Tarra is her inspiration.

  55. “pack their derms” ugh!!

    ‘dorable story though.

  56. I don’t like most animal stories in tv either, the reporters either are childishly ignorant or – like berthaservant said – condescending. To non-animal-lovers anything concerning animals can be funny or is portrayed so by them. For example, a woman I talked to today was amused when she found out that animals can suffer from anaphylactic shock. “You mean just like humans?”
    I can’t fathom what’s remotely funny about anaphylaxia in anyone.

    This story did melt my heart, though.

  57. Okay… that just made me a little teary-eyed. Sometimes animals are just better people than people. For reals.

  58. Northern Tigress says:

    Do I get bonus points for “just like Best Girlfriends” or is that not cheesy enough?

  59. vegas vickie says:

    *tear running down face*

  60. Beth (in NC) says:

    Awwwwwww I don’t care about the cheese factor. This gave me the happy. 😀

  61. <3 Totally made my day.

    And totally made me cry!

  62. wannadance says:

    feh!!! terrible grammar. appalling syntax. bad makeup job on reporter’s nose.
    schmaltzy beyond words.

    great heffalump. great dawg. terrible story.

    if i ever write an op-ed like this, remind me to shoot myself…

    the cynical

    [Aw c’mon. All you’d have to do is add a 😉 at the end. – Ed.]

  63. That was incredibly sweet. I love Bella’s little paw on Tara’s giant foot!

    But “Pack their derms”? Seriously? Why didn’t he say that they pack their trunks? That’s a better pun.

  64. This is a great video,and you are so RIGHT!If animals can get along why can’t we.
    Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  65. wannadance says:

    @theo, i mean, can’t i be fervant? i hate anything that tries to suck my emotions, esp. when the topic and visuals are quite adequate. i write a lot of op-ed. they get published. but the ones that get published are usually the squooshier ones.

    i hate that.

    wink, my aunt fannie. hmmmph.

  66. Boomer's Babysitter says:

    Poohbear- That announcer link you posted was HIlarious!! Reminded me of something Monty Python might do. Thanks for posting that!

  67. the part that really got me was the elephant baroo…

  68. His Job was to catch your attention. Seems like he did his job! Who cares if the catch phrase was lame.

  69. Okay, while I loved this story, I didn’t cry until I read on the website that Jenny had passed away. *sniff* I hope Shirley has found another companion.

    I also hope Bella lives a long, long life because elephants live longer than doggies! Tarra needs her companion!

  70. very sweet. definitely glad it was posted, despite the ham-fisted commentary!

  71. Did it mention whether or not the dog suffered the spinal cord injury as a result of the elephant STEPPING ON HER?

  72. Oh man! That’s Steve Hartman. He got his start in Minnesota on our local ABC affiliate. He had a feature (which was basically this) called “Hart of the Cities” which was hilarious and heart-warming because of the stories he covered and his cheesy and sweet mode of delivery. I loved watching him as a kid.

  73. Boomer’s Babysitter – thought of Monty Python too. Now that you mention it, I wonder if it was a real announcer, it’s just too hilarious! Maybe it’s a skit, will try and find out.

  74. High fives to everyone here who support this sanctuary. It’s a great source of pride for our country and indeed all elephant lovers. If I remember correctly I believe Tara was the main subject of the ES documentary on Animal Planet. She like most of the rescued elephants there has a heartbreaking history. Poor, precious darlings! It feels so good to know how well taken care of they are now. Yay!

  75. so sweet – this is a video made by the elephant sanctuary showing Tarra and Bella playing around

  76. I LOVE this story!

  77. *sniff* I love this! I was so into the images that I tuned out most of the reporter (thankfully). I’m glad the doggie and elephant are reunited.

  78. Oliversgurl says:

    “Protective of what? No one’s really quite sure.”

    …. Oh I don’t know, Steve. Maybe she’s trying to keep CREEPS LIKE YOU away. Please, just go comb your hair, you 4th grade teacher.

  79. That is just so beautiful! *Unashamedly sobbing like a baby*

  80. If only humans could get along so well as these animals do without prejudice. What a better world we would have.

  81. temperance says:

    hey- i was just reading about them in BARk magazine! (i always enjoy a lovely cup of serendipity)

    and i don’t care that he’s the cheesiest, that story is still cutie-cute-cutetastic!

  82. *smiles and feels all warm inside*

    Now THAT is the BEST kind of cheese…EVAH!!

  83. Raemie L. says:

    I’m a cheesy dork myself so I enjoyed the vid *and* rolled my eyes at the phrases.

    “Protective of what? No one’s really quite sure.”
    Can’t help but think, “Paranoia. UR doin’ it wrong!”

  84. girlnextdoortn says:

    I love Hohenwald Elephant Santuary and their genuine love and respect for these animals. It’s not open to the public, and despite an elephant killing her handler two years ago, the elephant wasn’t euthanized like many wanted her to be. They truly *get* elephants there. I strongly recommend you check out their website, and I am so proud to have this here in Tennessee.

  85. Thanks to Aoife and everyone else who reminded me where I heard that. I thought it was from “Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul” which was so absolutely bawl inducing I gave it away. I was never going to read that again. An excellent read I recommend on this subject is When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (anything by him really)!

  86. kibblenibble says:

    *sniff* So heartbreaking when doggeh was injured and elliefant waited outside lookin’ sooo sad. Glad doggeh recovered. BTW,Yethica, I’m with you. I’m always thinkin’ animals are better than people. Not that people aren’t pretty great for the most part.

  87. Steve’s puns aside, Since when does sincerity need to be mocked? From watching many of his the stories he reports, he is always earnest and respectful of his subjects. No less so than with Bella and Tara.

  88. Sahrawi Wife says:

    Awwwwww! Now My tears are rolling !! How very sweet even with the cheese !

  89. *CLEARLY, CBS news is suffering from a Cute Underload, if you will.

    Note how they marvel at inter-species snorgling when CO hit the nail on the head months upon months upon eons ago. Sigh.

    I also appreciate the re-enactment of bringing the pup to the ‘phant. Dog’s all like, “Dude, I can totes walk. I busted my spine, like 14 dog years ago! Meh.”

  90. You’re calling them lame? Pot, kettle. 😛

  91. totalee puppy says:

    If you focus on the elephant and the dog, it’s a pretty special story. I can appreciate how Tara felt, waiting outside, missing Bella.
    I felt like that when my
    Mom was in the hospital.
    Sometimes I sat outside her room, hugging myself, trying not to cry. Wish Mom could have gotten better, the way Bella did.
    Sometimes love hurts, but it makes, like, tracks in your soul. there’s a place for love to grow again…

  92. Holy Monkeys! That reporter is my ex-husband.

  93. Gail (the first one) says:

    @Totalee: What you wrote is really touching. I think your mom must have been a wonderful person, based on the impression I have of her son (sons? Is Cachorro really your brother?)

  94. That brought tears to my eyes…. awww! 🙂

  95. You say lame; I say beautiful. I never get tired of seeing this story. The snark I could have done without.

  96. Mocking sincerity is absurd.
    Mocking sincerity and real emotion is cruel. Mocking pomposity is fun. Mocking insincerity is fun.

    Mocking has become an over-used way to view and integrate things, IMHO.
    Sincerity and loyalty are both to be savored, and yes, even cried over when they are as gut-wrenching as this is. Tears are to be respected.

    People have really lost sight of honest, true emotions these days. It seems that it is easier for many to mock rather than to feel the essence of the moment. I have to wonder about the emotional capacity of people sometimes. Mocking and making fun is not for everything. As someone said “House” works as a show, but it is a show. Monty Python works because it comes from people who know the truth about a situation and then give us something as emotionally satisfying as an alternative. Some of it goes into satire, but mocking-just-because-you-can and using juvenile words and shock to get us to laugh- where is the thought process in that? That isn’t satire. Satire has a deep appreciation for that which is being satirized. Bad satire is emotionally unsatisfying and/or pretty-much emotionally void.

    Cruelty is never funny, and ignorance towards the emotions of the context of the moment is inexcusable in an adult. Tittering at a juvenile prank is very different from the rolling on the floor, soul-reaching laughter we do when confronted with an absurd or very odd mixture of different things. This is the essence of comedy, in my opinion, and well, I see the Peeps as creative and sensitive people who are also screamingly funny. Not just reactive, but sincerely and deeply funny.
    Maybe the deeper we can feel, the funnier we can be?
    Open to debate. Comedy is also sharing the moment, it can be very intimate, actually, and we all do that exceptionally well.

  97. so sweet. 🙂

  98. Vanessa The Animal Rights Advocate says:

    Any publicity given to the sanctuary is great, even with the cheesy reporting.
    The Elephant Sanctuary is heaven for those lucky elephants who end up there, many from horrendous situations.
    Don’t support the need for sanctuaries – start by boycotting the circus.

  99. Thank you, thank you, thank you Cute Overload. I thought the reporter was lame too. I liked the animal story, ‘though. The reason I thank you is that, as a conservative, it is difficult to find a website with pictures of cute animals without being blasted with constant political garbage from the left. I used to check out this blog about golden retrievers because it had the best stories and videos. I finally had to take it off my bookmark list because she would constantly sing the praises of feaks like Olbermann and MSNBC loons. She was also a fanatic Bush hater. Just stick to the cute animal pics! And, that’s what you’ve done, Cute Overload. And I thank you.

    [Hmm… what do you think, peeps? Should I tell her? – Ed.]

  100. Cynical? Yes, I am cynical is this case. People are CRYING over this stupid animal video! If you’re going to cry, cry over things that are more important. What about all the babies and children in this world that are suffering and need our help? I get angry when people equate animals with humans. Humans are more important. Sure, I saw the video and said, “Aw…isn’t that cute…” But crying? Sheesh…

  101. Shoot, I guess I like cheese. The reporting didn’t bother me at all. And yep, it is a tear jerker…unless you’re CE.

    I’m amazed that people can see footage like this yet it still isn’t obvious to them how much animals and people are alike. People are animals, and though animals are not people – they deserve respect and regard.

    By the way, since when is helping elephants hurting suffering babies and children? We can generate enough love to spread around to all if we don’t get caught up being disgusted with people who are touched by something we aren’t.

  102. metsakins says:

    CE, people cry over videos like this because if they cried over the really important stuff in the world they would never stop. It catharsis.

    I, for one, loved the elephant sounds when they brought Bella out and the tail wag.

  103. fatcatgnat2 says:

    Meg–Queen of Snarkiness–You are wrong about Steve Hartman. He is one of the kindest reporters out there and I have watched him for years.

  104. simply beautiful – I cried, didn’t even care about the cheese reporting … I then went on to spend (can’t call it waste) hours watching all the TES YouTube videos (elephantsanctuarytn) … more tears – animals are so beautiful, people are well … we’re not NEARLY as nice, compassionate, loving, caring…

  105. CE – Yeah, I SO get what you’re saying! But this time I want to wear the tutu and you sing like Pierce Brosnan. You *always* get to have all the fun.

  106. Alice — yes and no. You can’t really generalize like that; it doesn’t work.

  107. Pyrit — no, Pinky, we’re trying to take over the world.

  108. fatcatgnat2 says:

    Steve Hartman is a wonderful guy. I have watched him for years and always look forward to his work. Perhaps you are over-reacting to the Christian the Lion viral videos.

  109. Pyrit, fill me in on the Pierce Brosnan analogy. I think I’m laughing already, but I’m not sure why.

    Everybody else, I’m a dog lover and I was touched by the elephant’s relationship with the dog. But CRYING? Get a grip! Y’all sound like ‘lil Stuart Smallies.

    I guess I’m supposed to tear up about stuff like this so I don’t have to cloud my mind with images of starving children. WTH? (what the heck?)

    [Hey, Stuart Smalley’s a SENATOR now (or near enough, Mr. Coleman, ahem). Compare me to Al Franken all you like. I’ll say “Thank You Ma’am” – Ed.]

  110. so for those who watched the video of shirley and jenny, oh man that made me cry, but has anyone red the book Hannah’s Dream. its about an elephant and her keeper and the journey to get her to a sanctuary just like this one. The two have so many similarites. Even Shirley’s keeper was just like the keeper in the book. does anyone know if the two are related?

  111. CE — that’s a reference to “Mamma Mia”. Meryl Streep can’t sing either.

  112. An Al Franken fan? He hasn’t been seated yet. Cutesy blogs should not be political if they want to be successful.

  113. I loved Mama Mia! I don’t remember that scene. I’ll have to watch it again. Meryl was a better singer than Pierce, but I give him credit for trying.

  114. Oh, I think we’ve done OK, CE.

  115. CE – I was just messin’ with ya. I don’t mean to get personal, but you seemed a little tense !

  116. Er… CE, since you seem to be new, I should probably say that I’m “Ed.” (for “Editor”). And I live in Minnesota; hence the Coleman/Franken interest.

    No worries, we’re quite aware that Cute Overload isn’t Daily Kos.

  117. Theo – With our rubber pants on, nothing can stop us!

  118. OK I’m starting to get a little afraid now, Pyrit.

  119. (puts on rubber glove) This wont hurt a bit…

  120. [is absent]

  121. Oh well. It’s time for my weekly jell-o bath anyway. I’m thinking blue-raspberry.

  122. Wonder how a dog that happens to hang around really big elephants gets a back injury?
    The elephant feels bad for stepping on the dog!

  123. totalee puppy says:

    Gail (the first one) “He ain’t heavy…” Thank you
    for caring.

  124. This is a beautiful video/story. I don’t see why it’s cheesy, that’s cynical. The reporter just seems totally into it to me.

  125. I justlove interspecies snorgleing!!!
    we could learn a lot from them…….

  126. Mama-mia! says:

    What IS our excuse?