Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's Iraq, Stupid (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everyone. Stupid blogger's server went down during my blogging time and now I'm cutting into my quick nap time. Seeing as I got up at 5:30 today, this makes for a crabby blogger. Anyway, I paid specific attention to the intro of the show and announcer man is gone! No over-the-top music or sensational lines. Yay! John King actually did the intro, so I don't know if this a temporary thing or what, but if anyone in power is out there listening, this new toned down intro is much better.

We begin tonight with a Suzanne Malveaux piece on Bush's latest speech, which can basically be summed up as blah blah blah lower taxes blah blah blah security. He's playing his well worn hand of scarying voters into voting republican. Call me crazy, but isn't he the president for the whole country? Shouldn't he be like, I don't know, governing instead of campaigning? Although we've all seen him govern so maybe it is best he's out there stumping for people. Two thirds of Americans now oppose the Iraq War, so Bush is working on reframing the issue in terms of security. Uh, good luck with that. He also notes that accountability rests with him. What does that even mean? They always say stuff like that, but then nothing actually happens. Meaningless.

On now to a taped interview with Joe Biden and I really hate to say it since I love John King, but he interviews just like the Wolfbot and that is not a compliment (though the Wolfbot does have his moments). I hate it when reporters simply play a video clip and then ask the person to respond. It's lazy and when you have an interview such as this one you have the viewer sitting at home answering the questions themselves. Bush says we're winning. What the heck do we think Biden is going to say? "I agree with the president. Iraq looks great?" I don't think so. It's all very obvious and a waste of time. Ask questions that are going to bring forth things I don't know. See, I told you guys I was tired and crabby.

Next up we've got James Carville, who coined the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid," during Clinton's 1992 campaign. However, this year it's not the economy. It's Iraq, stupid. I don't really like Carville much. I basically take the Jon Stewart view on all those Crossfire guys. And I'm still waiting for CNN to ask him about the allegation in Woodward's book that he sold out Kerry in 2004. It's pretty ridiculous that they've remained silent on this.

Joining us live we have David Gergen and he's kind of dumbfounded about this whole Bush press conference. Apparently there was suppose to be a signifcant announcement, but it actually turned out to be Bush flailing around, trying to save his party. During his speech Bush stated that Maliki had agreed to benchmarks and that we have a plan for victory in Iraq. The Gerg points out that Maliki was angered about the benchmarks and if there's a plan for victory it must be hidden. Probably in the same place as the WMD's. And our country's moral standing. Also noted is that republican candidates in close races don't want Bush around, but when he makes these speeches he goes into every district. Sucks for them.

Transitioning now to a Randi Kaye piece on congressman Mark Kennedy who is currently trailing 16 points behind his opponent. He wants to distance himself from Bush so badly he's created an ad that basically plays like a mea culpa on Iraq, but reinterates that leaving there would create a breeding ground for terrorism. Randi thinks this is just extraordinary and totally presses Kennedy to agree with her. I admire the aggressiveness, but it wasn't really a point that needed to be stressed. After this piece we have a Tom Foreman piece that also focuses on Kennedy. About this time I asked out loud, "Geez, how much free ad time is CNN going to give this guy?" And it should be noted that this is not the last time they run the ad. Not even close. At one point John King mentions something about how the ad is like a theme for the show (although I thought the theme was "It's Iraq, stupid"), but the story doesn't happen until halfway through, so...They try, I'll give them that much.

On now to a John Robert's piece on Iraq's security. Experts believe as Baghdad goes, so goes the nation. John likens Iraq to a carnival game: you bop some insurgents down and they just pop up again somewhere else. He also points out some divisions between the US and Iraqi governments. After a recent raid and fierce firefight, Maliki was angered because he didn't give permission for the raid. Also when troops recently confiscated weapons from a tv station Iraqi officials made them give them back. Things have gotten so bad that Iraqis are turning to militias for their security.

Again we view that pesky ad and then move to a Michael Ware piece that looks at who we're actually fighting. Michael notes that the only thing that unites the insurgents is their readiness to kill Americans until they leave Iraq. The two main groups are of course Sunni and Shia, but then they break down to factions within factions. Most are Iraqi Sunnis and they contain nationalist secular Iraqis who are focused on liberating the country from the US and Islamists that are more moderate than Al Qaeda. Both of these groups are willing to talk peace with the US, but Al Qaeda and groups aligned with Iran are not. This was a nice piece. Very informative.

Next up we have a Dana Bash piece that focuses on Iraq veterans running for Congress, specifically Patrick Murphy. It's a neck and neck race that probably wouldn't have been so close without the Iraq cred. After the piece we have a guy from to analyze the ads for us. He thinks Kennedy's ad is good and the race baiting Ford ad is horrible. Excuse me while I put my tin foil hat on, but I think the RNC knew exactly what they were doing. They got in the race baiting that they wanted and they make their candidate look noble for wanting it taken off air. Whatever. If that was the case I think it will backfire. The Shot tonight is a time capsule project yahoo is doing where they project pictures on a canyon wall. I'm not explaining it very well, but it looked cool. Just trust me on that. Tonight was okay. I like that they stayed away from fluffy stuff, but there's plenty of room to step it up. C+

I think the news networks should just stop covering Bush unless he says something significantly different. Think that would fly?


Anonymous Sharla said...

Pass the foil! Bush ain't gonna say nutthin' different. I just finished watching "Broken Government" on CNN (with that one eteranlly old fish lipped senator whats-his-face) and I've made up my mind on that one.

Hey- seeing as Anderson seems to be a panda hater, do you think he'd think THIS was cute?

Seriously the cutest baby hamster, ever.

10:22 PM  
Blogger phebe said...

C+ are we watching the same show? I have loved this week with Good John. He's not AC but he does offer great political perspectives.

2:30 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@sharla-Aw, I think that's cruel and unusual punishment. Poor hamster. Heh.

@phebe-I'm tough! ;) The grade has nothing to do with Anderson being gone. I like John King very much and try to be as fair as possible. However, I thought his interview with Joe Biden was poor and pointless and I was a little annoyed by the continous airing of the Mark Kennedy ad. The grade also takes into account my overall frustration with the media (which I have blogged about before) regarding their fixation with covering the horse race and not the actual issues.

Analysis is fine, but it would also be nice to have some real information because when it comes down to it, a lot this coverage is simply speculation. No one knows what's really going to happen on election day. That all being said, I have no statistical system for grading, which makes it all subjective. I second guess myself all the time because sometimes I'll go to give a grade and then realize I just gave that exact same grade to a show that was much better or worse in quality. So, anyway, your milage may very.

I thought the Michael Ware piece was excellent. Very informative.

3:49 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

I just wanted to ad that John King's special, which I thought was very good, was not factored into the 360 grade

4:04 PM  

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