Have you ever, while watching cable news, felt embarrassed for (even, insulted by) an anchor and something he said or wore or a visual aid or prop he used to ostensibly enhance his reporting? Of course you have.

Today, CNN’s Allan Chernoff decided his viewers might better understand some of that complicated ol’ stimulus stuff— particularly those “toxic assets” everyone seems to be focused on — if he talked about it while holding aloft a small pink “I Heart New York” piggy bank and speaking in slow, child-friendly sentences, like so:

Let’s use a little piggy bank as an example. I’ve been using this today. This little piggy has been a very bad banker. Filled with toxic assets, right? A lot of bad mortgage loans made. Well, we’ve got to get those mortgage loans out of the bank, out of the piggy. It hasn’t happened yet, but the government is saying we’re going to put private investors to work here, give them loans, give them an incentive to buy those rotten loans from the bankers. That will…

….at this point Chernoff pulled the plug on the piggy and change jangled out…

…free up the banks and then they’ll be in much better shape to make new loans and to get the flow of credit running again.

Fellow anchor Kyra Phillips announced that she felt like she was “back in elementary school” but added that “now I can visualize the whole thing.” If the pink piggy could help just one person, I guess…

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.