Friday, September 29, 2006

A Failed War, Corruption, And A Do Nothing Congress (Thursday's Show)

Hi everyone. I guess Anderson is on his way to the Congo. I'm really looking forward to that coverage, though I didn't expect him to leave so soon. Anyway, we've got John Roberts tonight and he leads us right into a Jamie McIntyre piece on a civilian contractor that was ambushed in Iraq when he turned down the wrong road. Preston Wheeler was working for Halliburton subsidiary KBR when he caught the ambush on his personal video camera. What he went through was pretty terrifying. When the ambush began, he called for help from the military that was traveling in his convoy, but they took off and no one came back for 40 minutes. He was shot twice and witnessed another contractor get killed. Wheeler feels like he was abandoned by the military, but a military investigation found the soldiers did things by the book. You might think I'm going to blame the military on this one, but I think it is very possible they did everything right. Poor Wheeler was cowering in his truck and wasn't able to assess the entire situation and what the troops were doing out of his view. After the piece we get Wheeler live and John mentions that this incident happened over a year ago and CNN has had the tape since April. Wha? If they've had it since April, why did they wait until now to go with it? Wheeler says KBR told him not to talk, but I'm a little perturbed at CNN now. Seriously, why did they sit on this? Wheeler says KBR terminated him due to his injuries and he thinks, "they don't no more care about me than they care about a dog walking on the road." I can't say I disagree with him here. These guys are slimey and in my view they are the ones primarily at fault in the first place. They should have provided better security, resources, and accurate maps. Wheeler thought about suing, but has been unable to find an attorney willing to take on the KBR giant. I wonder if someday they could do a class action against these guys. Surely Wheeler is not the only one who wants to sue.

Next up we have Michael Ware live to talk about the new tape from Al Qaeda in Iraq's new leader, Abu Ayyub al-Masri. The tape calls for kidnapping of westerners and indicates they're trying to recruit nuclear scientists. The latter threat is pretty real and fairly terrifying. To get an idea of just how badly the US screwed up when it comes to this matter check out this Mother Jones piece from last year. It's what immediately popped into my head as soon as I heard Michael mention the nuclear scientists. A possible bright side is that Michael believes it's all just rhetoric. The recent poll is mentioned that indicates Iraqis want us out and Michael states that "US forces are simply unpopular in this country." He explains that in the beginning they gave us the benefit of the doubt, but it's been three years now and things are worse.

Transitioning now to Joe Johns and Suzanne Malveaux live to talk about Jack Abramoff and a new report that shows over 400 contacts between him and the White House. Hmm, but I thought they barely even knew who he was. Don't tell me they lied. Gasp! Joe tells us that nine of these contacts were with Karl Rove himself. Suzanne explains that the White House denies that Abramoff curried favor and they view the report as fradulent because it is made of billing records that they think are false. Suzanne notes that it's telling that the report hasn't even been released yet and the White House already has a response. Following this piece John gives us a little summary of the unbelievably big news that our Congress just did away with hapeas corpus for detainees. All we're getting on this is a summary?!! The foundation of our country just changed today and we're not even getting a full piece of coverage. 360 dropped the ball on this big time.

On now to a Dana Bash piece on our do nothing Congress. She ticks off the failures like immigration reform and privatizing social security, but really after the legislation they just passed I almost wish they would do nothing more often. The republicans of course blame all these failures on the democrats, which I guess makes sense since they control everything. Oh wait. No they don't. They don't control anything. Um, how is this their fault again?

Next we tackle the recent Bush speech where he claims the party of FDR has turned into the party of cut and run. Way to be a uniter there, dubya. And does that mean the party of Lincoln has turned into the party of preemptive war and torture? With us to discuss this we have democratic strategist Anna Greenberg and republican strategist Cheri Jacobus. Both women diss on the other party, but Jacobus says something really amazing. She believes Bush has been "very direct with the American people." Oh my. She's not drinking the koolaide anymore, she's having it IV'd in. She also tries to claim that immigration reform is currently being passed and John counters, "building a fence isn't immigration reform and there's no money to pay for it." Wow. Go John.

Transitioning now to a Tom Foreman piece on evil Citgo fuel. Citgo is owned by Venezuela and people want to boycott the company because Hugo Chavez called Bush the devil. I'm sorry, but this is stupid. First off, as noted in the piece, if we don't buy it, China will and this is actually going to hurt American owners. And do we really think that the other oil companies are pro-American? They're pro money. That's it. And if they could make more money selling out this country they'd do it in a second. Anyway, now 7-11 no longer sells Citgo fuel-though really they were going to stop selling it anyway.

Lou Dobbs then joins us live because, well, why wouldn't he? Lou, of course, did not like Chavez's comments. You know, I see a snippet of Lou's show every now and then and one topic he's been tackling is electronic voting. Why can't he go on all the CNN shows and talk about that instead? I do however have to give Lou props for pushing energy independence. Amen to that.

Next up we have a Peter Viles piece on what they call the Day Fire because it's a huge wildfire that started on Labor Day. In the piece we see a fire tornado. That's right, a fire tornado. I'd never seen anything like that before. Doesn't it sound like some sort of scenerio you'd see in a made for tv movie on Fox? I'm vaguely remembering a movie called something like "Atomic Train". Anyway, The Shot tonight is Borat, aka, Sasha Cohen, going to the White House and trying to get a meeting with Premier Bush. Pretty funny. I think I'll rent that movie when it comes out on DVD. Tonight's first hour was pretty solid (save the missing piece on the torture legislation), but the second hour had a lot of repeats and a lot of rehashing, so I'm not even going to review it. Of note was some Israel/Lebanon conflict coverage and a piece on a church leader who thinks he's better than Jesus. Ooookay. B-

Also, my apologies to Mr. Cooper for the prior "hot date" comments. Apparently it takes a really long time to get to the Congo. They're in transit. Is everybody else looking forward to the Africa coverage as much as I am? And for discussion: What is your opinion on private contractors in Iraq and what do you think about a Citgo boycott?


Anonymous Sharla said...

*grape koolaide*

Well, YEAH, I figured his "hot date " was with the check-in counter at the airport. They've been yammering about this Congo thing for a couple of days.

Anderson put in a blog entry about it. I comment on that blog a lot, and actually, a few of them actually got put up. I was brave this time. I put something like "this story on the Congo is why I watch your show, Anderson. You're a caring, intelligent man and that's why I like you- keep it up" or something like that. I wonder if they'll put it up? We'll see in a couple of days. For some reason it takes that long for the 3rd level flunkies to sift through the submitted comments :O)

I wish he'd STAY HOME. I turn on 360 and there is what's-his-face and I'm like "and WHERE is Anderson wandering off to now?" Of course, I do like the other reporters as well, but Anderson is my favorite. Probably because I like his sense of humor. He cracks me up.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Sharla said...

Hey! Those HTML tags don't work!! That *"/*koolaide* blob was supposed to say GRAPE KOOLAIDE in italics. Stupid blogger....

11:56 PM  
Blogger midnite6367 said...

Preston Wheeler's experience was harrowing and terrifying. I tend not to watch 360 when John Roberts anchors, but that story was unmissable. I can't imagine the terror he felt when watching the person ahead of him being murdered.

12:48 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

RE: sharla

I post to the blog all the time. I just can't seem to help myself :) I post to the NBC Nightly blog sometimes too. Anyway, my comments get posted a fair amount of time and once Anderson even read my comment on the air, which was fairly awesome.

I love Field Anderson. Though I do admit I find it dumb when he goes someplace and doesn't actually do much reporting there. Why bother for just the live shot, you know?

3:17 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Re: Midnite

I agree about Preston Wheeler. I'd like to hear more about the contractors on 360.

Poor John Roberts gets no love. You know, news still happens even when Anderson's not there, guys. LOL

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Nth Degree said...

You know, news still happens even when Anderson's not there, guys. LOL

I'm only picky about AC360/Countdown. If Anderson or Keith aren't anchoring, I'd rather not watch. I know you're not supposed to necessarily watch the news because of the anchor's "personalities" but AC and Keith are unique and they make me want to tune in. I watched about five minutes of 360 on Friday night with John Roberts, but that's about all I can take of him. Plus, he comes across like it's HIS show when he's only a sub.

9:10 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

I agree that regarding 360 no one comes close to being as good as Anderson, but in terms of Countdown I actually think Alison Stewart and Brian Unger do a pretty good job of stepping into Keith's shoes. Of course I'd rather have Keith, but if he ever stopped doing the show I'd probably still watch if one of them were hosting.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alison Stewart used to work with Anderson on WNN, I think.

5:08 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

Yeah, I think she did too. Funny how all these people seem to know each other. It's like a warped version of high school.

9:54 PM  

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