Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Turkey, The Pope, A Russian Spy, And Pesky Technical Difficulties (Monday's First Hour)

Hi everybody! I'm all excited to be back reviewing. The break was great, but this morning I found myself talking away at the O'Brien twins, so it's about time. Because you see, if you talk at the television you're crazy, but if you just put all your thoughts in blog form, well, then you're just a part of the times. See how that all works out? I was very excited to see Anderson from Turkey tonight, but unfortunately the Gods were not smiling on Mr. Cooper. Let's just say that somewhere there is a CNN techie that is quietly weeping. Problems galore. A couple of times Anderson's mouth didn't match up with what he was saying. I thought he was going to go all bad Japanese action movie on Delia Gallagher, which, BTW, would have been awesome. The Faith and Values Correspondent could use to get taken down a notch is all I'm saying.

We begin live with Anderson in Istanbul and we're informed that Turkey is a pro-western/pro-democratic country that is 99% Muslim. Anderson then throws to John Roberts in studio and he basically throws right back. I guess CNN wants you to know that if you don't like Turkey there's something else waiting for you. The first piece is from Anderson and it's basically just a recap of the controversy over the Pope's speech. We know the story: the Pope gave a speech in which he quoted a 14th century emperor that dissed on Muhammed and said Muslims spread faith by the sword. Then Muslims everywhere reacted like someone drew a cartoon or something and lots of things ended up on fire. Even Al Qaeda got into it, although really they're always sending their videos out. At this point I'm surprised we didn't get one in reaction to the Britney/K-Fed break-up. The Pope eventually apologized, but only for the reaction and not what he actually said, which is so not an apology.

Next up we have a Delia Gallagher piece on the Pope and his relation to the church. When he was picked some were shocked because he was seen as very conservative. A lot of people thought he was going to bring about a kind of Reagan revolution in the church. However, now that he's in the position he's revealed himself to be more moderate. He's still against gays, abortion, and contraception though. You know, I just don't get the whole Pope thing. When John Paul came to St. Louis years back there were people in line to kiss his ring and I just didn't get it. He may be the leader of the Catholic Church, but he's still just a man.

On now to Delia and Reza Aslan live with Anderson in Turkey. And yes, I got all excited when I saw Reza. Didn't you? It's pointed out that while there are people protesting the Pope's visit, their numbers are smaller than expected. Reza says people are basically meh about the whole thing and kind of have a been there, burned that effigy mentality. Okay, I'm being a bad recapper here. What Reza actually said is that they care more about the economy and getting into the European Union (EU) than they do about the Pope's speech. Delia thinks that while people in Turkey see Europe in economic terms, the Pope actually sees it in cultural terms and thinks Turkey does not belong. She also notes that this Pope is not on the peace train like John Paul was and would rather have frank dialogue. Hey, dialogue is cool, but don't let stubborness get you into a big middle east mess. For reference on what not to do in terms of stubborness, please see: Bush, George W.

Reza thinks the Pope doesn't really know much about Islam and then he relates his argument to the EU, which the Pope doesn't think Turkey should join. Delia then tries to kind of defend the Pope by saying that he has said in the past that he admires a lot of things about Islam. He should probably lead with that next time. Reza then states that this is a very Eurocentric Pope who is all about a European Christian revival. I guess that's why he doesn't want Turkey to be a part of it. I can't see that turning out well, especially if it results in Turkey failing economically. All I know is we really don't need any more unstable mideast countries, so the Pope needs to tread lightly. As we go out to commercial we learn there are 70 million people in Turkey. And apparently someone left the prompter up because, God love him, Anderson just keeps on reading way after he should have stopped. Too funny.

Back from commercial we have another Anderson piece, this time focused on 2003 attacks in Istanbul that were attibuted to Al Qaeda. Anderson interviews the attorney for those accused of the attacks and he's pretty freaky. The guy thinks Bin Laden is a freedom fighter and he condemns any Muslim that doesn't have his interpretation of the Koran, which basically includes all non extremists. Reza is in this piece, but they kind of cut it off. I think there might have been technical difficulties.

Moving on to a Randi Kaye piece, we're told that the presence of US troops in the holy lands of Saudia Arabia during the 1991 gulf war gave birth to Al Qaeda. Finally! It's nice to see this actually being reported after years of peddling the whole "they hate us for our freedoms" nonsense. They don't hate us for our freedoms. They hate us for specific reasons. Whether these are legitimate reasons is up for debate, but freedom is a cop out. Randi then concludes the piece with a recap of all the blood shed between Muslims and Christians over the centuries. Man. And religion is suppose to be peaceful. Back to Delia and Reza now and they're discussing how some Turks think there's a kind of crusade going on against the Islamic world. Anderson then adds some confirmation to this thinking, stating that a man he talked to believes there is an alliance between the Pope and Israel against Islam. Everyone is so paranoid. I think all religions feel oppressed, whether they are or not. It's kind of built into them.

Transitioning now to John in studio, who just kind of appears after commercial. I guess Anderson is having more problems. John intros us into a Paula Newton piece on Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, a newly dead critic of the Russian government. Litvinenko went to a hotel to meet with another ex spy to go over evidence he believed linked the Kremlin to a terrorist attack. He then went to a spy catcher who told him the Russian mob was after him and shortly thereafter he got sick. For a while no one knew what was wrong with him, but it turned out to be radioactive plononium. On his death bed Litvinenko fingered the Kremlin for his murder, saying they were silencing him. A friend of the murdered spy thinks Russia is drifting into a dangerous state. Okay, you know what? No, Russian can not be drifting into a dangerous state. We have enough of those right now, so they will just have to wait their turn. Besides, didn't Bush says something completely retarded like he looked in Putin's eyes and saw he was a good man or some nonsense like that? What happened to that? Also, this is totally reminding me of Ukraine's Victor Yushchenko. Remember that guy and his poor face?

Next up we have a Matthew Chance piece on Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down by, most likely, a hired assassin. She had been working to expose government human rights abuses and Litvnenko believed he had evidence that linked her murder to the Kremlin. Wow. This just gets more and more interesting. But I really hope it all blows over.

Moving on now to an Anderson piece on Turkey. Istanbul is the only major city in the world to actually be in Asia and Europe. I did not know that. Apparently I learn my geography through wars and international incidents-just like a good American. Turkey is actually fairly westernized. They've adopted a policy of secularism and have all the western fast foods and shops. They're a part of NATO, but would really like to be a part of the EU. Some in the country think the westernization has gone too far because they're not allowed to wear their head scarves in certain places. I actually do think that's a little too far. Why would they ban them? Anyway, the Turks will be listening to the Pope to see where he thinks their place should be in the world.

We're still apparently having big tech problems because we go right back to John and we're shown b-roll whenever Anderson is talking live. Bummer. John then gives us the headlines. There's a story from Missouri and John says it right. Yay John! The Shot tonight is Iraq's Talabani and Iran's Ahmadinejad giving a warm greeting with kissing and everything. Geez, get a room. Okay, I probably could have come up with something more clever, but it's late. The show was a little shaky tonight because of the problems, but I'm not holding that against anyone. Good show. A-

Screencaps by stillife.

Should Turkey be let into the EU? Do you think the Pope will make the situation in that country better or worse? Anyone fear Russia is going to become our next problem?


Anonymous ivy said...

you're doing gread job with recaps, please keep doing it, especially next week, cause I won't be able to watch cnn -( and we can only guess where Anderson will be broadcasting from next, cnn's plans keep changing.

my take on your questions --
I don't think Turkey or Europe are ready for Turkey joining the EU. Economy is one reason, europe will face a wave of migrants from turkey to economicly stronger coutries (and turkey possible a "brain drain"), europe already has a lot of problems with immigration (turks and kurds in germany, among others), and I'm not sure there's a guarantee from part of turkish muslims getting radicalized even Turkey will join EU. Another thing to consider is how tight is contol for entering Turkey from countries that are breeding ground for terrorists and radical muslim ideology.

If Pope won't forget he should also be a diplomat I don't think his visit will have much impact on Turkey

As for Russia they won't be a big threat to US. Now they seem to be busy "eliminating" everybdy who dares to critisize Keremlin and can get proof of their accusations. But there'll be a problem if there'll be a conflit with Iran, Russia has very strong interests there.

10:28 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

Thanks Ivy. I admit I don't know much about the EU, but I'd hate to see Turkey become more radicalized if they're not let in. A Russia, China, Iran alliance worries me. The world is running out of oil (while demand skyrockets) and those countries will do anything to get it.

3:11 PM  

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