Saturday, October 21, 2006

North Korea Being A Pain, The Politics Of Seats To Gain, and Iraq Violence Fails To Wane (Thursday's Show)

Hello all. I guess it's a good thing we've had some shows preempted seeing as though I had a hard time keeping up this week as it was. We begin with breaking news involving North Korea. Jamie McIntyre joins us live to inform us that the US is tracking a merchant ship that in the past has carried military equipment...and that's about it. Jamie here doesn't actually know anything else, so all he can do is speculate. The ship's destination is unknown, but the US won't try to stop it because they have no probable cause. For all we know it could be filled with Chia Pets, North Korea's number one export. Kidding. I like to hear breaking news, but it's kind of annoying when the breaking news basically boils down to, "something important might be happening, but we don't really know anything." This sounds like something that should go on the crawl. I mean, what the hell is the purpose of the crawl anyway? Did you guys see how Cafferty took it over during his special? THAT was awesome.

Anyway, to get the South Korean perspective we go to Dan Rivers live, who also doesn't know anything. Although he does inform us that the US has a large number of Naval assets in the area. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, then joins us and indicates that if the US were to stop the ship it could provoke a crisis. She also points out that it is very important for the US to maintain the unity of the international community because North Korea is trying to drive a wedge between the US and other members of the six party talks. What's interesting is that if the ship ends up at the port of a country like China who isn't exactly on the same page as the US in regards to North Korea, they may actually refuse to inspect the ship's cargo and that would of course cause a big problem for the US, which is probably exactly what North Korea wants.

Transitioning now to more Foley fallout brought to us by Dana Bash. It's looking to be a showdown between the house speaker and house majority leader because their stories aren't matching up. Also, Jeff Trandall, the house clerk that oversaw the day-to-day operations of the page program and who confronted Foley about the emails last year, just testified under oath for four hours. Hmm, this should be interesting. Following this piece we have a piece from Susan Candiotti involving the sexual abuse suffered by Foley at the hands of a priest. The priest has finally turned up and let me just say the dude is creeeepy. He talks about going skinny dipping with Foley, giving him massages, and taking naked saunas. Okay, ew. Yet the guy doesn't really even see anything wrong with what he's saying. Disgusting.

Next up we have A.B. Stoddard ("The Hill"), Joe Johns, and Candy Crowley live to talk politics. A. B. has been a busy little bee. I just saw her on Countdown. Anyway, she thinks Hastert has to stay through the election, but after that he's gone and maybe even John Boehner too. It's noted that the scandal is hurting specific races significantly and also feeding into the election as a whole too, though not as much. Joe points out that this is an easy scandal for voters to understand, unlike some of the other scandals out there right now. Anderson thinks the new election theme song should be Mary J. Blige's "No More Drama". Well that just came out of no where. In reaction, Joe totally has "WTF?" face. Bwah! See, this is why I love Anderson. He keeps you on your toes because you never know when you're going to get a comment like that. I'll never forget when he was in New Orleans with this real estate agent and out of the blue asked her if it was hard to walk in her high heels.

On now to a Jason Carroll piece about the first possible indictment for a Bishop for failing to report abuse. And that's pretty much all I've got because I wasn't really that interested. Sorry. Moving on to a piece from Jamie McIntyre concerning the new somber assessments from William Caldwell, the chief US military spokesperson in Baghdad. We all know things are FUBAR over there, but it's rare to here a spokesperson say it on record. It's mentioned that even the usually calm northern areas of Mosul and Kirkuk have seen casualties rise. Although I wonder if that has to do with Kurdish separatists. I wish CNN would cover that angle because apparently Turkey is so angry about these separatists using northern Iraq to stage attacks that are later committed in Turkey, that the country has actually been threatening to invade the northern part of the country. Poor Iraq, everybody wants to invade them. Anyway, Tony Snow predictably downplays Caldwell's assessment.

Next up we have a Tom Foreman piece, which can only mean one thing: it's map time! Not to be confused with nap time. Tom analyzes the idea of splitting Iraq into autonomous states, which I have to say is a bad idea. Right now Sunnis are mostly located in the west, Shia in the south and east, and Kurds in the north. The problem is there is hardly any oil in the west, meaning that Sunnis would be cut out of the oil money. Even proponents of the split contend that there must be some sort of deal to make sure Sunnis get a piece of the pie. The White House is against splitting the country. Oh my God we agree on something! Hell freezing. Pigs flying. World spinning. Help me y'all, I'm scared. Anyhoo, the White House reasoning is that the Sunnis would most likely end up cozying up to Syria and the Shia to Iran.

Transitioning now to a taped interview with Michael Ware and Peter Bergen where...oh my God Peter what is up with your hair?! It's just...oh my. The poor guy has hair issues, doesn't he? Remember when it was all slicked back in Afghanistan? I swear, every time I see him it's like, "Holy makeover, batman!" Okay, I'll stop being shallow. And actually I feel a little guilty now, so I shall pimp his book. Buy, "The Osama Bin Laden I Know". All the cool kids are doing it! Okay, so Michael tells us that the battle of Baghdad they've been conducting for a while now is not working and Peter says that Al Qaeda's strategy right now is to make a mini state in Iraq into just like how Afghanistan was before. Anderson asks Michael if he's scared when he stops at Iraqi checkpoints and Michael admits you never know whether what you're getting into is legit or not. Man, Michael must be incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. Probably a little of both, but God love him for it. After the interview Anderson talks about the sniper video they aired the previous day and why they did so. It's pretty apparent they got a lot of hate mail. I couldn't bring myself to read the blog comments. I've spent enough time wandering around on the wrong side of the blogosphere to be well aware of how horrible people can be. Imagine what they're getting that they can't even post to the blog.

Finally tonight we have a Keeping Them Honest from Joe Johns on Kurt Weldon. The congressman is still in hot water over charges he steered contracts to his daughter's firm. Weldon is a big promoter of Russian relations and it seems that he met with a big Russian energy company and that same year the company became a client of his daughter's firm. Joe breaks it down for us further too and I have to say it was a pretty good piece. Tonight's show was fairly good. B

Screencaps by stillife.

Is it just me or is anybody else feeling kind of meh about all this North Korea stuff? I feel like I should be more nervous about it, but I'm just not. Also, admit it, who laughed (and then felt bad about it) when they saw Peter?


Anonymous Mathilde said...

I've been waiting to hear your take on this Eliza! I can understand why some might have reasonable objections to the "sniper video"(tho I think they were right to show it) but a lot of thse bloggers are scary-insane and the personal attacks on Anderson are disgusting. What is the media supposed to do, pretend no Americans are being killed and the happy Iraqis are throwing flowers at them? I can't think about N. Korea right now but Bush & Condi are sure to f- up. BTW, Jack C. is getting blasted by the nutters too. But he probably enjoys it. Go Jack.

6:19 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Yeah, I think Jack can take it. :) I'm not even worried about Anderson so much as I am about Michael (and also Arwa and other CNNers over there) because he's ticked off a lot of people over there on all sides. A lot of armed people. I'm sure the majority of the US guys on the ground with Michael respect what he's trying to do, but there are always a couple of wackos. Plus I guess there's a chance that rival groups of the Islamic Party of Iraq might be angered by the tape and, who knows, maybe that party itself is angered by CNN identifying it as propaganda. And then there's always the general threat of being kidnapped or killed. Basically what I'm saying is I wish I could coat Michael in head-to-toe IED proof kevlar.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Sharla said...

OH! Didn't you know? It's so OBVIOUS- he stuck his finger in a light socket.

I agree with mathilde- the personal attacks on Anderson are quite disgusting. I, personally, respect the guy (and, he makes me laugh). I ALSO read the 160 comments on that blog (about the sniper video) and GEEZ I'll put most of them in the nutter catagory. And no, mine didn't make it in. Most likely because I called JMK an idiot.

And N. Korea? I don't feel alarmed either! I just saw a movie preview (with Matt Damon) about being across enemy lines in a nuke-happy N. Korea. I rolled my eyes. Kim Jong Il might be all power hungry and crazy as a LOON but I just don't see him trying to nuke us or China or anyone else. I just think of that map (ha! I paid attention!!) where they were showing the difference in the night between N & S Korea. N. Korea had LOTS of darkness and very little light. I guess to say that they are really really rural? Kim might have a nice big army, but mainly, he's got a lot of farms.

Oh yes, and his double rainbow. Dear Leader is twice blessed or something.

11:18 PM  
Blogger midnite6367 said...

The blogosphere has some INSANE people in it. Anderson and CNN are really getting slammed over the sniper video, but some of these people are so far off the rails that their arguments almost can't be taken seriously even though they are.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Mathilde said...

True, Midnite, it's just depressing that these loons are the people who are being pandered to by those in power.

12:39 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@midnite-yeah, sometimes people are so over-the-top with their insults all you can do is laugh. Like when I used to try to have civil debates with right wingers, which I soon found out can't be done. I mean, when they call you a communist because you like the idea of universal healthcare or they call you a terrorist sympathizer when you come out against torture, it's kind of ridiculous. I finally had to stop going to the forums when Cindy Sheehan was at Camp Casey. You can agree or disagree with what she was doing, but the names they were calling her was abhorrent.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza --great post. I've read reaction for different blogs to the "snipergate" as some blogs are calling it -- the level of hate is just insane. It's really disturbng. And i want to discount some crazy statements but it's hard to discount the widespread traitor rhethoric and calls to send journalists to Gitmo or worse.

I agree that Michael Ware is in the most dangerous position. It was pretty rough for him there as it is and it sure isn't any better after airing this tape. As for him being too brave or too stupid-- I would think the first, he was a lawyer and then an investigative journalist before becomming a war corr. So I doubt he's stupid :-)

A hate wave like this it sends chills down my spine. You never know what other reporters will go to Iraq in the nearest future. Plus there are enough crazy people in our country .

And I'll admit, I did laugh when I saw Bergen, however shallow it is -) I'm happy every time they have him on.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

Actually, John Roberts is already Baghdad.

11:57 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@ivy-snipergate? Jeebus. My advice is just to step back and let them have their hate. You can't counter those people. I didn't really mean Michael might be stupid in the general sense, but rather in the macho guy, "I'm going to put myself in a dangerous situation kind of sense." Sometimes I think Anderson also has a little of this kind of stupid-I think all guys do. ;) I love Peter and feel bad for snarking on his hair, but I just couldn't help myself. Let's pray that everyone over there gets back safely.

2:43 PM  

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