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Memo to CNN: Free Ali Velshi!

Throughout the relentless storm last night, reporters in Washington and beyond expressed deep concern for CNN’s breakout star, Ali Velshi, who spent much of the day and night knee and waist deep in water. On his birthday, no less. At one point shirtless pranksters joined him in the water. TVNewser has the video. Let’s hope the network gave him a change of clothes.

“Ali, I’m glad to see you in one piece, quiet frankly,” remarked CNN’s Soledad O’Brien to Velshi early this morning in an interview with the correspondent who appeared to be in the exact outfit he wore last night — dark sports pants, red pullover, sneakers, baseball cap.

“CNN, please let Ali Velshi live.” — HuffPost‘s Sam Stein.

“I’m going to collect donations to help Ali Velshi with what is undoubtedly a serious case of swamp foot. #aliisahero#10hoursinthewater.” — Will Cain, CNN Contributor and columnist for TheBlaze.com.

“Why is CNN having Ali Velshi standing in the middle of a barren intersection?” — CNBC and NYT‘s John Harwood.

“Dear CNN, et al: get your reporters out of the water. You look stupid.” — NationalReviewOnline Contributor Greg Pollowitz.

“Now CNN is making Ali Velshi stand in the hurricane during a commercial break so they can come back to him afterwards. Amazing.” — Washington City Paper Editor Mike Madden at 4:14 p.m. At 10:30 p.m. Madden added, “CNN, seriously. You have tortured Ali Velshi enough. Whatever he’s done, he will never do it again. Let him go inside.”

“I’ve concluded that Ali Velshi has the world’s strongest legs, and a brilliant sound man.” — CNN’s Piers Morgan.

“ALI WE GET IT. IT’S BAD OUT THERE.” — Politico‘s Kate Nocera (who couldn’t get away from all-caps messages throughout the night.)

“I really want to hear Chris Christie’s reaction to what Ali Velshi is doing right now.” — NPR Elections Producer Arnie Seipel.

“Amazing reporting by Ali Velshi from Atlantic City under terrible conditions. (It’s also his birthday.)” — CNN Senior Digital Producer Steve Krakauer.

“Why can’t CNN just put a hologram of Ali Velshi in the middle of all that water?” — Blake Hounshell, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine.

“I’ve never had a desire to stand in the middle of a storm to tell someone else not to come outside. I can do that from a studio! LOL” — CNN Contributor Roland Martin.

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