California successfully finished its 10th annual "Burn the State to the Ground" publicity fire Saturday.
"This was our best fire yet!" proclaimed Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The annual arson was first conceived in 1999 by executives at Universal, News Corp. and International Jones, Inc.
"It was a genius stroke of cross-promotion," explained Vladimir Himler, VP in charge of synergy at IJI.
"They all had brand-new cable news networks that no one had watched since O.J. or Lewinski." said Himler. "They also all had pyro-technics experts at their studios itchin' for something to do."
Accordingly, Universal, Fox and Gemstone special-effect experts started fires that MSNBC, Fox News and DNN all covered.
"They didn't mean to burn it all down the first time," said Himler, "but it all worked out."
The three conglomerates agreed to rebuild the state -from the Hollywood sign to every family's home- each year after the fire.
"We rebuilt Rome for Gladiator," said director Ridley Scott. "Re-doing California each year is nothing."
Residents in Calfornia have adjusted to the annual perils of wildfire.
"We lost our cat in the fire last year," said Cathy Jelnick, receptionist, "but it beats living in Ohio."
While 9/11, war in the Middle East and political polarization have lead to increased cable news viewership, the companies have kept the annual fire to garnish sympathy for California from "Middle America" and to push their summer movie line-ups.
"People say a lot of things about us 'Hollywood-types,'" said director/producer Michael Bay, "but they still showed up for Transformers 2."