Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Speechifying At The UN (Tuesday's Show)

Hey guys. Did you do a lot of pirate talking on Talk Like A Pirate Day? Just me then? Okay I actually didn't, but I did wear an eye patch...because I went to the eye doctor and had a fields test...so, yeah, I guess I didn't properly celebrate the day. Anyway, let's get this party started. It's about time for me to complain about the intro again. I would have written (wridden) down the specific lines of voiceover man to share with y'all, but I was too busy rolling my eyes. Seriously 360, fix this.

We begin tonight with a tale of two speeches at the UN. Tom Foreman goes first with a piece on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech and to no one's surprise he blames the West for everything and dismisses concerns about Iran's nuclear program. Tom says he's trying to portray himself as a voice of peace and reason. I think the whole Israel thing might throw a wrench in that. Also noted is that much of the American delegation skipped the speech. How sad is it that the UN is just like high school? Also sad is the fact that while I don't trust Ahmadinejad, I can't trust what my own government tells me about him either.

John Roberts then gives us the other side with a piece on Bush's speech, which aimed to burn bridges. Oh no, I'm sorry that was "build bridges." My bad. Burning them is what he does. Anyway, Bush talks directly to the people of the middle east, which is kind of funny since it really doesn't go all that well when he talks to the people of the US, and I'm guessing that's a tougher audience. Bush speaks of the "extremists in your midst," and now I'm wondering if he's still talking to the middle east people or if he's looking in a mirror. Oh, but his approval numbers are actually up. Who are these people that are so easily swayed?!

Next up we have David Gergen, or The Gerg if you will, and Anderson is very excited because he hasn't seen him in while. The Gerg says Bush's first audience of his speech was the people at home, but it's probably not going to work because conservatives will think he's gone soft on Iran and liberals will think the US is being too much of a bully. Also, our European allies are moving away from us on the sanctions talk, so bridges have definitely not been built. Anderson then brings up the fact that Bush insists this isn't a war with Islam, yet he paints all our enemies with a very broad brush. Fareed Zakaria actually had a good piece on this recently in Newsweek. Anderson then talks about how the public is being sold this monolithic enemy and the "US could do a better job exploiting," specific group's differences. Yes, they could. And it seems like there's a whole profession that might educate the public on this too. People with tv shows and newspapers perhaps. The Gerg points out that even Nixon knew how to divide and conquer our foes. My Lord, you know it's bad when we're wishing for Nixon.

On now to a taped interview with Frank Rich, New York Times columnist and author of "The Greatest Story Ever Sold". Wow, a moderate republican followed by a liberal and I'm not watching Countdown. Nobody tell newsbusters. I love Frank Rich. Damn the New York Times and their pay wall. Anyway, Rich talks about the lie of the Iraq war and how even the whole Mission Accomplished thing was staged like a scene from Top Gun. He says no one really knows why we went to war, but in his opinion it was mostly because it was a handy next front in an election year. I don't know if I would go with that for the main reason, but I definitely think it played in. Anderson wants to know why the Bush Administration is playing down Afghanistan now and maybe it's the media's fault. Well, yeah it sort of is the media's fault in that Afghanistan has been going bad for a long time now, but it wasn't until recently that anyone noticed in a major way. After Rich, we get a news update where we learn a military coup went down in Thailand today. That doesn't sound good.

Transitioning now to the semi-breaking news that baby Abby has been found alive. Yay. Anderson goes straight into a live interview with a sheriff that was on the case and they apparently just got this interview because Anderson doesn't even know his name. The sheriff tells Anderson that his name is Gary Toelke and he even helpfully spells his last name out for the poor graphics minion. We learn that the abductor had a miscarriage and baby Abby is fine and has been reunited with her family. Anderson then asks if she's been reunited with her parents. Um, what did he just say? It's apparent that this is all being done completely on the fly, so I guess I shouldn't nitpick that Anderson is clearly using his listening time to think up more questions. Oh hell, I'm gonna nitpick anyway. Basically I'm wondering why we need this interview in the first place. Really all I need to know is the baby is found and fine. No video even required. Whatever. Also, though sheriff Gary here seems like a really nice guy, he pronounced Missouri as "Missourah" and now I am unfortunately required to hate him. You don't say "Mississippah." This shouldn't be any different.

Next up we have a piece from Anderson that pretty much recaps everything we learned last week from Afghanistan/Pakistan. This intros nicely into a taped interview Anderson has done with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai. Ooh, quite the get. Anderson asks him about the Taliban resurgence but Karzai doesn't think there actually is a resurgence. Uh, has he looked around lately? Then they talk about the Pakistan deal and Karzai said he was taken aback and that since the deal there has been an increase in terrorism in Afghanistan. Karzai then becomes about the 57th person I've heard say that Pakistan is the key. He has no doubt that is where Taliban leader Mullah Omar is hiding out. Finally, Anderson asks if he feels Afghanistan has been forgotten and this is where Karzai plays diplomat. He says they are very grateful for everything the US has done, but they would be even more grateful for more help. I can't really blame Karzai for failing to criticize the Bush Administration. If he goes too far out of line we'll just find someone to push him out and I'm sure he knows that all too well.

On now to more coverage of the Pope comment fallout and joining us are analyst John Allen and Fewaz Georges of Sarah Lawrence College. John basically defends the Pope, but Fewaz is very insulted. Fewaz also LOVES Anderson's name. So much so that he says it every five seconds. Anyway, these guys kind of battle it out a bit until Anderson points out that they're basically agreeing with each other. John thinks the Pope will end up going to Turkey if there's good security. I guess we'll see.

Finally tonight we touch on the scary news that something floated by the space shuttle Atlantis, which means they might have damage and are therefore holding off on going anywhere right now. If this shuttle is damaged like Columbia was they just might scrap the whole program. Geez. I really thought we were going to get a piece on this. Where's CNN space shuttle enthusiast Miles O'Brien when you need him? He would do a piece. And he'd bring spiffy props too. I guess I'm just perturbed the found baby got an unneeded interview while this story got snubbed. Maybe it's just me, but I think the potential shut down of the whole shuttle program trumps the safe return of a baby. Well that's all for tonight because next up we've got a taped special from their time in Afghanistan. I guess Anderson either has a hot date or he's hopping a plane to cover that Thailand coup. We'll find out soon I suppose. A mostly strong show with a few weak spots. I'll give out a little extra credit for the Karzai exclusive. B+

Screencaps by Stormi0611.

I almost forgot. This wasn't in the show, but a special envoy has been appointed to help stop the genocide in Darfur--just like George Clooney and his dad Nick wanted. So yay! It's a baby step, but a good development.


Anonymous Sharla said...

I wanted to smack the Fewaz guy for saying AndersonAndersonAndersonAnderson.....

10:23 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

People just love Anderson's name. He's certainly not the first person to say it 5,000 times. It's a good name, but geez. I don't know how Anderson keeps from cracking up.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous full circle said...

That was incredibly annoying. I love the name Anderson but I don't want to hear it a million times in succession.

It was great seeing Frank Rich on, Anderson's been getting some good guests recently.

I agree with your statement about the UN being like high school, that's exactly what I thought when I saw the US's section empty when Ahmenijahd was speaking.

Anderson's been asking nearly everyone he's interviewed lately about the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan and most have agreed that there has been one, but I guess I expected Karzai to say what he did.

The missing baby story was unnecessary and like you say, all we needed was the pertinent info (frankly I could've done without THAT too) and I would've loved to have heard what was going on with the shuttle.

I love the Gerg and his reasonableness (is that a word?)and I also loved when the camera cut to Anderson listening intently to the Gerg with this intensely grim look on his face and when he realized the camera was on him, he straightened right up and put on his "interview" face again. Anderson's so self conscious sometimes!

I thought it was a good hour.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Sharla said...

I noticed, like you said, that people DO love his name. It's unusual. It's Neo's real last name in the Matrix trilogy :)

Personally, I hate nicknames. My own son is named Jonathan, and I call him that, not Jon or Jonny. I would never, ever, call Anderson Andy- but I can see why people call him "Coop". That's kind of cute.

8:00 PM  

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