Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween Fright: 360 Shilling For The Republicans? (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everybody. I'm going to start things right off the bat. We lead tonight with Kerry's botched joke and I have to say this whole story is completely ridiculous and 360's coverage of it is extremely disappointing. I like to turn to 360 for a no BS approach to the news and quite frankly tonight I'm stepping in it everywhere. It starts with the intro. "Battle cry -- after joking about U.S. troops, John Kerry goes on the attack." Well, no, he wasn't joking about the troops, he was trying to joke about the president. Anderson then intros us into a Brian Todd piece by urging us to judge for ourselves. Unfortunately, the piece is poorly done with no context. This is the soundbite that is causing all the controversy: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, and you study hard, and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you -- you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." Conservatives are all over this, screeching about how Kerry should apologize to the troops. A little reporting from CNN's own website makes things a little clearer:

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the senator took the stage to roaring applause before regaling the crowd with one-liners, Bush barbs and tales of surfing at nearby Mission Beach.

He then said: "You know, education -- if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well.

"If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Comment mangle delivery.

A Kerry aide told CNN that the prepared statement, which had been designed to criticize President Bush, "was mangled in delivery."

Kerry was supposed to say, "I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq."

The piece also mentions how some democrats are furious at Kerry over this. Oh, boo hoo. These are the same guys that freaked out when Howard Dean got too far and they think they know everything-except, apparently, how to win elections. I certainly don't care that the big money strategist crowd is upset. Look, Kerry is not my guy for 2008-not even close-but this whole thing is ridiculous. It's a distraction. He mangled a line and has no reason to apologize. Bush has said much worse without near as much fanfare. Oh, and another thing, he's not even running! So what are we even talking about here?

Joining us to talk about this we have David Gergen (in studio) and Andrew Sullivan live and Andrew completely floors me by saying, "But it is also morally wrong, Anderson, and empirically wrong, to say that the U.S. military somehow is not educated. I mean, John Kerry is just plain wrong about this. And he should say so. He may not have meant it, but that's -- you can interpret it that way." I'm sorry, but this feeds the notion that Kerry really was talking about the troops when Andrew should know full well that he wasn't. In the same CNN article I linked to, Kerry is quoted as saying, "If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy," and he's right. Andrew has lost his mind if he doesn't know exactly what Kerry meant.

The reason I'm so ticked off is that the republicans and the White House know full well what Kerry meant. This is all a game that they and half of the media are playing. Meanwhile, this month we've lost 103 of our soldiers over there. It would have been nice if 360 would have stood up and identified it as the BS that it is. But no, they've chosen to play the game. You know, when Jon Stewart went on Crossfire, this was exactly the stuff that he was talking about. Anyway, back to the interview, Andrew claims that Kerry's refusal to apologize is all about ego and he even gets The Gerg to agree with him. Ego? No, try experience. Kerry knows full well that not slamming the swiftboaters back was the biggest mistake of his campaign. The chattering wingnutosphere and talk radio aren't going to shut up even if Kerry issues an apology and if he did so it would just give moderate voters who don't pay attention very well the impression that he did something wrong. That being said, now that he's fought back it's time for him to drop it so it will have completely blown over by election day. I really doubt this is going to have any effect on anyone's vote. Oh, Anderson also totally ticks me off by saying that Kerry seemed "elitist" for not apologizing. Elitist? Wow. Why don't you call him French too and then we can get all the 2004 republican talking points in. Geez. I'm going to be nice and blame that on your cold.

Transitioning now to a Tom Foreman piece on how Karl Rove makes flowers die and puppies whimper. Or something like that. Anyway, we all know that he's an evil genius. He's a master at message discipline, organizing, and firing up white conservative Christians. What this piece is missing is the evil part. Where's the coverage of all the dirty tricks he's been implicated in? I mean, there's entire books and a documentary film on the subject, I think they could have found something.

Next up, Anderson kicks me when I'm down by pronouncing my state "Missourah." Twice! Why Anderson, why? Look, you can switch your double t's to d's to your heart's content, but do not pronounce it "Missourah." Do people say "Mississippah?" No, they do not. Please don't do that again because you are killing the people that live in St. Louis. Candy then also pronounces it the same way. Oh I give up! Anyway, Candy is covering the Missouri senate race and it's freaking me out because it's in a dead heat. Of focus is the stem cell initiative, which democrat Claire McCaskill hopes will get people to the polls. Talent on the other hand avoids the issue, preferring instead to focus on the oh so important topic of gay marriage. I thought the gay hating got shelved during the Foley fiasco, but I guess it's probably mandatory to bring it out during the last week before the election. Not mentioned is that Talent is also avoiding the topic of the minimum wage amendment on the ballot.

On now to a John King piece on the Tennesse race and it's noted that Harold Ford is actually pretty conservative for a democrat. Unfortunately, he's trailing his opponent. John says that Harold won't answer directly regarding the race baiting of that ad we've all seen. He thinks it's better for him if he doesn't address it. Probably right. Next we have a Dana Bash piece on the Virginia race, but first we are shown video of citizen journalist Mike Stark getting attacked by people from George Allen's campaign for trying to ask Allen a question. You can read Mike's response to the attack here. In Dana's piece we learn that once again the democrat isn't exactly a liberal. Jim Webb was Navy Secretary under Reagan and actually used to be a republican, but switched to democrat due to his opposition to the Iraq war. The Allen campaign is playing the gay hate card too and they're also bringing up the books that were mentioned yesterday.

Transitioning now to an updated piece from Jamie McIntyre on those extra Iraqi troops. Rumsfeld has made it official, so apparently we're moving the goal posts again. Jamie then joins us live to inform us that 2/3 of the police are loyal to militias, so really even if they increase their numbers it's not going to make any difference. So, um, why are we doing this again? Also, Maliki is taking orders from Muqtada al-sadr, so that's a pretty big WTF right there. Jamie says the US is not pleased, but willing to give the Iraqi government some time with this. Yeah, okay.

We then move back to The Gerg and Andrew and I have to say that after they ticked me off earlier I suddenly noticed just how imbalanced a perspective we're getting. We've got a disillusioned conservative and a moderate republican (who is probably disillusioned himself). When Andrew is criticizing his own party he sounds like a liberal, but I forget that he's not. His thinking comes from a conservative mindset and he won't be bringing any progressive ideas to the table. Ever. So where are the progressives? Where is Markos from dailykos? Or John Aravosis? Or John Micah Marshall? Actually I think John has been on once, but big deal. And it's not just this pairing right now. Last week Glenn Beck was on totally unopposed with no progressives to bring another view.

Anyway, this time around The Gerg and Andrew are talking about Iraq. Andrew states that we basically have a Shia government there now and since the US pulled out of al-Sadr's stronghold we've basically just abandoned the missing soldier. I didn't even think about it like that. We did, didn't we? The Gerg thinks that if the republicans keep control in the elections it will be confirmation to Bush that he's doing the right thing in Iraq. Well, then the republicans are obviously going to have to lose because we can NOT have him thinking that. My God, next thing you know we'll be in Iran. Anderson and Andrew then cryptically mention a good article in Newsweek about how we need to deal with not how we want Iraq to be, but how it really is. I say "cryptically" because they don't give the author's name. I just got my Newsweek in the mail today and am assuming it's Fareed Zakaria since he has the cover story, though I haven't read it yet. I like Fareed. He's a Daily Show rock star. The Gerg then confirms my guess and goes on to give some details from the article. No Gerg! No spoilers! Kidding.

As Anderson intros the next piece he again stikes a pose. That totally cracks me up. The piece is an oldie from Tom Foreman on Hell House, an extremely disturbing fundamentalist Christian haunted house that has become a national phenomenon. I was actually betting they would show this piece tonight. Does it make me pathetic that I remember this from a year ago? Don't answer that. Anyway, for those not familiar, a Hell House is made up of a bunch of scenes that are suppose to be related to life issues. For example, there is a mock gay wedding where a demon damns the couple to death by AIDS. Lovely, no? The whole thing is pretty disgusting and not at all Christian if you ask me. One of the guys running the show explains that when it comes to these issues it's black and white with no gray. Well, that's pretty much your problem right there, isn't it? I can think of another group of fundamentalists that also have trouble seeing the gray. Another pastor against Hell House sort of makes that point too and also brings up the hypocrisy in that they say they're against violence, yet use violence for their message. Also, maybe I'm making this up, but I swear this piece is recut. I could have sworn there was a part where Tom mentions that he's a Christian and not all that enthused with Hell House. I remember because I was surprised he talked about himself like that. Anybody else remember?

Finally, The Shot tonight is some Halloween fun. First off, we have a picture of a pumpkin Anderson that can be seen on the 360 blog or on this blog where you can also find the pumpkin's creator. We are also treated to a picture of tricker treaters who look suspiciously like Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, and Lou Dobbs. Lou is even wearing a "Broken Borders" shirt. I gotta say, if I opened my door to that I'd probably have a heart attack. We also have a very pretty Erica pumpkin. Anderson seems to think there's something else of him too, but there's not. "It's all about me," he kids. Oh Anderson, isn't that obvious by now? He then scares us out with an, "Ooooooh." I'm sure it's apparent I wasn't happy with the show tonight. D+

Screencaps by bcfraggle and more probably forthcoming.

So what did YOU think about the Kerry coverage?


Anonymous Bev said...

I agree, the coverage about John Kerry was not very comprehensive, but in all fairness to Anderson he had to squeeze all the news into just 1 hour where ordinarily he would have 2.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe how they pounced on Kerry's poorly spoken sentence. The poor guy should have known every word was being analized and they were ready to devour the Democrats as soon as they got a chance.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Mathilde said...

Is Anderson trying to appease the right after snipergate? Shame on him. And I'm sick of looking at Andrew Sullivan's hairy mug. Some new (progressive) guests would be nice.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Sharla said...

The second Anderson said "Missourah" I felt you cringe. And then he said it again... and so did Candy, like you said. HELLO, it's not spelled MissouRAH, it's got a frakking "I" on the end, people. Now, my sister calls it "Misery" (due to living with her first husband there)....

Someone on the AC360 blog asked, "what's next, christmas ornaments?" (right under my comment). I've been merrily getting comments up lately... that makes FIVE!!

P.S. Who cares what Kerry says anyway.

9:23 AM  
Blogger phebe said...

Wow, you're in almost as bad a mood as me. I really couldn't bring myself to stick with 360 last night when I saw the tone it was taking. It was just too depressing.

2:37 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@bev-I don't think not enough time was the problem. They could have taken care of this and put it all in context in a three minute story and then moved on to real issues.

@mathilde-that's an interesting theory. I know journalists like to say that the criticism doesn't get to them, but I know it does. I'm reminded of the flack Anderson took for the Sago reporting and how the next day he was so careful about what he said that it was almost comical. If they are bowing to pressure it's probably not conscious, but I hope they realize what they're doing and stop it.

@sharla-yes, they're killing me with the Missourah. If Candy's still here I'm about to track her down to tell her to "stop it!" LOL. Okay, not really, but there's a part of me that wants to.

@phebe-And they had been doing pretty well lately. Last night was just infuriating.

3:26 PM  
Blogger xtina said...

Who do you think will switch their vote from Dem to Republican after hearing John Kerry? Are liberals that easily swayed?

3:47 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@xtina-huh? No liberal is going to vote republican. The conservatives are latching onto this as a way to motivate the base to get out the vote. They've got nothing to offer themselves, so they have to scare/anger people into voting for them. Personally, I don't think this is going to make a difference to anybody since it's such a nonstory.

4:40 PM  
Blogger xtina said...

Why apologize for something you claim you didn't say? Kerry has contempt for the military, that's not a secret. His "apology" is the equivalent of crocodile tears and only offered for political purposes after an outcry from the majority of Americans. He's a limousine liberal, who claims to be for the people. He tries to act as if he's above other people, he's an elitist, know-it-all. p.s. if it wasn't about votes, why did he back-pedal so quickly?

5:12 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@xtina-He's apologized for any offense he caused because the other democrats are all over him. Yes, it's about votes. But not liberal votes or even moderate votes. It's about removing an incentive for the crazy base to go out and vote.

Kerry has contempt for the military, that's not a secret.

Are you kidding me? As I said in the post, anyone who thinks Kerry actually meant that comment to be about the troops is crazy. If he really had contempt for the troops he'd send them to fight a war of choice without the proper equipment and no clear mission. Oh wait, that's already been taken care of.

It's disturbingly apparent that the White House and many republicans don't give a crap about the troops. Obviously you're just listening to the rhetoric and not watching the actual votes. Who supports the troops more? As it turns out, democrats:

6:13 PM  
Blogger xtina said...

"If you think I would have gone to war the way George Bush did, don't vote for me." -- John Kerry, Jan 2004

"Are you one of the anti-war candidates?" -- MSNBC’S Chris Matthews, 1/6/04
"I am - Yeah." -- John Kerry, 1/6/04

"With respect to getting our troops out, the measure is the stability of Iraq. [Democracy] shouldn't be the measure of when you leave. I have always said from day one that the goal a stable Iraq, not whether or not that's a full democracy." -- John Kerry on Democracy in Iraq, April 2005

What does that last quote mean? Does he make sense to anyone?

7:38 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@xtina-it's kind of hard to judge those quotes with no context and no links to confirm that they're real. In regards to that last one, if you're trying to get me to argue that Kerry is an excellent communicator in our soundbite world, well, forget it because that's a losing battle for me. ;) Yes, Kerry is wooden and sometimes takes so long to answer a simple question that I want to poke my eyes out, but it doesn't mean he doesn't support our troops.

Also, are you equating not supporting the war with not supporting the troops? Because by that logic the majority of Americans don't support the troops. I'm not being smart with that one. I'm genuinely asking for your point.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Sharla said...

I personally, support our troops. They sign their lives away- and they have to do whatever they're told, right now, no matter what, and it could kill you sometimes. I remember when I was in the Marine Corps I discovered that I am NOT one to take orders and not question them for stupidity. I joined during the Gulf War and therefore I can tell you with absolute certainty that it takes a lot of guts knowing that signing your name on that line may very well be signing yourself up to die.

As for supporting the WAR, that is a different question. I can see what the intent is- to keep the world from being overthrown and run by dictators/terrorits/crazy people- but I don't think it's working very well. I have NEVER understood how war worked. It doesn't make any sense- "we kill a lot of your people and so then you give up"- especially because the people in charge over there not only don't seem to care how many of them that we kill, but they think that dying for their cause is a good thing. It's pointless.

8:45 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@sharla-I think basically everyone supports the troops. The troops are a perfect representation of the American people. The war is a different story.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Mathilde said...

Ann Coulter is on Paula Zahn now bitching about Kerry which is ironic because she looks Kerry in drag. Thank God Anderson would never have her on. We all nitpick Anderson but he does keep it classier than most TV journalists.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Annick said...

looks LIKE Kerry in drag

9:12 PM  
Blogger xtina said...

But the debate was about Mr. Kerry's sincerity, wasn't it?- did he ever explain what the "poorly-stated" joke was? If he's such a stand-up comic, what is the joke that he supposedly botched? No matter how hard you play the original statement, it's stuck in Iraq. He now has tried five times to "correct" what he said, but never explained how the point or "joke" was related to Mr. Bush. If it wasn't about the military, what was he really saying?

9:42 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@xtina-Did you read my post? I don't know how it can be made clearer. This is what he was suppose to say:

"I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq."

He had been making slams against Bush in his speech and this was suppose to be another one. In context it's completely clear what he was doing. Unfortunately, Kerry is none to smooth and said this:

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, and you study hard, and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you -- you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Add the word "us" in front of the word "stuck" and there you go.

10:04 PM  
Blogger xtina said...

Oh, OK I get it. So he voted for the joke before he voted against it.

10:59 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Um, that doesn't make sense, but whatever.

11:14 PM  
Blogger xtina said...

I was making fun of :
"I actually did vote for the Iraq war before I voted against it," which ties in nicely and which is one of Kerry's most famous quotes.

11:37 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@xtina-LOL. I know what you were going for, but it still doesn't make sense. Anyway, you never answered my question re: supporting troops versus supporting the war.

11:48 PM  
Blogger midnite6367 said...

I'm too late with this comment, but I didn't appreciate 360's Republican shilling last night or how Kerry's words were misinterpreted, he made it very clear what he meant, but since the Repubs have nothing to latch onto, it was blown way out of proportion.

11:54 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Better late than never, midnite. ;)

Everybody, I can't stay up really late tonight, so just to let you know the review won't be up until Thursday evening.

12:20 AM  
Blogger xtina said...

No I think you have to believe the mission they're on is important and dangerous, and you have to believe in that mission as much as they do. Believing in the troops' mission is the support.

12:35 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@xtina-well then what about the troops who don't support the mission? They don't support themselves? The majority of this country does not support the war, so you're saying the majority of the country does not support the troops? And BTW, what the heck is the mission anyway? They keep changing it.

We went in because of WMDs, but there were no WMDs. For a while the focus was on Saddam, but now he's gone and we're still there. Then there was a big focus on the elections, but they've come and gone and things have gotten much worse. Some people tried to make it about liberating the Iraqis, but as it turns out they don't so much want us there. Then it was about security again, but it turns out our very presence is fueling the insurgency. So WHAT IS THE MISSION?

We'll stand down when they stand up is not a plan or a mission, it's a slogan. We're training the Iraqis by the thousands and it's not doing any good because they're all infiltrated my militias. So again, what is the mission?

12:59 AM  
Blogger xtina said...

What is our mission? How do we combat terrorism? Establish a democracy in the Middle East to eliminate the root cause of terrorism at its source. No one can predict how insurgency will affect the mission, no one can predict how the strategery has to change to get to the mission's goal, but the mission hasn't changed.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Christiane said...

I'm just amazed how easily the important facts are derailed.

His comments are irrelevant for such a big wave. More people are dying in Iraq now than under Saddam's rule. And the american people are making an unnecessary sacrifice sending their children for a war based on lies.

Iraq had nothing to do with 911, nor with Bin Laden, or WMD. Under Saddam's rule there were no space for insurgency. Sounds cruel but he had them controlled with a tight fist. And as Michael Ware explained, Iraq has become now a lab and training camp for terrorists. A big mistep and miscalculation in foreign policy from the Bush administration. And the Senate and Lower Chamber that have granted him umprecedented power and approved laws against civil liberties. And all that matters in the public opinion is a comment by John Kerry!

It is frustrating to see how a great country doesn't really count its blessings and gives everything for granted. I thought 911 was a wake up call for them, I guess I was wrong.
PD Eliza you were right, Im using that reference in the article among others.

2:12 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@xtina-Do you consider Hamas a terrorist organization? The US does and Hamas was elected. I think it's become pretty clear that democracy is not the end all and be all of combating terrorism. In Iraq we've now got a government connected to our foe Iran, when before Iraq was secular and acted as a check on Iran's power. Prime minister Maliki is taking orders from Al-sadr and it's his anti-american militia that's killing some of our guys. Democracy is not going to stop terrorism and I've heard many officials say they've given up on that whole idea anyway. Oh, and one more big thing: we didn't go in there in the first place to bring them democracy. We went to get rid of WMDs that didn't exist.

5:53 PM  
Blogger xtina said...

Firstly, shouldn’t we consider the fact that we didn't find Saddam's weapons stash cause for alarm, not cause for calling the Bush a liar? Some of us worry that Syria received these weapons... considering the amount of time we gave Saddam before we marched into Iraq he could have moved them. Obviously, we don't know.
Secondly, Palestine and Iraq might appear very similar to you, but I'm willing to give the people of Iraq a little more credit.
Thirdly, what do you think the proper reponse should have been after the blowing up of the World Trade Center, et al.
Do I need to remind y’all that Islamic-fascists attacked us and claim a slight interest in doing so again? We looked pretty weak on that morning in September... but never again.

8:33 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@xtina-There is no evidence from any credible source that Saddam moved his weapons to Syria. It's fantasy. Palestine and Iraq are not similar to me (though the Islamists connect them more than Americans know). I was using it to prove a point.

Do you need to remind me that we were attacked? Um, no. Bush does that enough thank you very much. But what's your point? Iraq didn't attack us. Iraq had nothing to do with it. It would be like if we attacked Germany and in retaliation Germany invaded Mexico. They had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11.

The real War on Terror was Afghanistan, which I and most liberals supported. Unfortunately, instead of getting Bin Ladin there when we had the chance we let him get away while we focused on Iraq. Afghanistan was/is necessary. Iraq was a war of choice that has hurt us probably more than any of us realize.

I have to ask, do you watch the content of the show? Because all this stuff has been covered ad nauseum.

10:05 PM  
Blogger xtina said...

If we had invaded Iraq right after the WTC and held back on Afghanistan, Democrats would now be pretending to support the Iraq war while complaining about Afghanistan! Hey, Afghanistan didn't do 9/11. If we go into Iran or N Korea, will the liberals flop over to supporting the mission in Iraq? Is the reason liberals are supporting the Afghanistani mission that they need to pretend to support some conflict in order to attack the war in Iraq with renewed disdain?

11:17 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@xtina-Um, no. And I'm really quite shocked at your statements. People support the war in Afghanistan because the Taliban harbored Bin Ladin who trained and planned the attacks there. You know, Bin Ladin. The guy who planned the attacks. Ring a bell? You do realize that Saddam and Iraq were secular, right? Saddam didn't like the Islamists. Where are you getting your information because some of the ideas you have are blowing my mind and I thought I'd heard it all. I had heard the Syria nonsense before, but you seem to not have any idea who planned and carried out the 9-11 attacks.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous observing the debate said...

eliza, thanks for having a clear head and actual FACTS.

12:47 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from