Thursday, December 21, 2006

Massive Blizzard, A Bigot Congressman, Gates Goes To Iraq, Rosie/The Donald Steel Cage Deathmatch, And Praying For A Baby (Thursday's Show)

Hi everybody! Miss me? I am so excited because I don't have to work again until next Thursday. Happy dance! So I figured since I've got the time now I'd do a little blogging. And Anderson, suprisingly, was still there. Time to go on break dude. We begin tonight with a piece from Jerry Willis on the massive blizzard hammering Colorado and I am so glad St. Louis isn't dealing with any of that. The storm dropped two feet of snow in Denver making it the worst storm since 2003. The city has ground to a halt basically. Planes are grounded and roads are closed. Even Dr. Suess wannabe CNN reporters can't get in. I have to say, Anderson better step up his blogging game because Keith Oppenheim is threatening to edge him out as my favorite. So anyway, it's just a big old mess there and the grounded flights are effecting flights all over the country. I am so glad that even though the sister missed her initial flight she is now safe here in St. Louis. After the piece we have Reynolds Wolf for the latest weather update. I guess Rob Marciano is off getting his Christmas on.

On now to a Brian Todd piece on a controversial letter that representative Virgil Goode sent to his constituents. See, Virgil's got his briefs in a bunch because the US has just elected its first Muslim congressman (Keith Ellison) who wants to, gasp, use a Quran at his unofficial swearing in. Why this should matter to Virgil is unclear. Anyway, the letter is pretty nasty. It urges people to get behind his immigration policy or otherwise more Muslims might be elected to Congress. Uh, and? Has Keith vowed to impose Sharia law? No, he has not. All he wants to do is use his holy book at his swearing in, which isn't even official. A book isn't even required. I should point out that the piece kind of dropped the ball on the whole immigration angle to the story and the only reason I knew about it is because I saw this story somewhere else. Although Anderson does fill it in later.

Moving on to a taped interview with Keith Ellison and Anderson cuts to the chase, "Do you think this guy is a bigot?" Keith doesn't want to call him that. But I totally will. You're a bigot! And actually not only is he a bigot, but his argument makes no sense because Keith explains that he's not even an immigrant. He's a black Muslim that has been here the whole damn time. Keith thinks having diversity in our country makes us better and it's not something to be afraid of. Right on. Anderson points out the irony that BushCo has sent Karen Hughes all over the Muslim world to talk up how great we treat Muslims here and then this happens. Whatever happened to Karen Hughes anyway? I can see she's done an excellent job of winning hearts and minds. This was another one of those topics where Anderson's opinion sneaked its way onto his sleeve. The line of questioning kind of gave it away, but really I say good for him.

Transitioning now to a Jamie McIntyre piece on Robert Gates and his trip to Iraq. While there he asked a cross section of front line troops if the US should send more troops and they all said yes. Something about this seems off or wrong to me, especially since the commanders are saying no to more troops. I think it's great that he's asking front line troops their opinions, but I guess I have a lot of questions about the process. What do they mean by cross section? Where did these troops come from? What are their jobs? Do they understand it would be no more than 50,000? And so on. Also, there are the psychological aspects. Were they intimidated simply because he's the Secretary of Defense? Did they try to tell him what they thought he wanted to hear? Did they feel pressure to give the same answer as their fellow soldiers gave? Too many unanswered questions. Anderson wants to know if Gates has left the Green Zone and Jamie says not yet. Jamie also relates that some have suggested the troops were handpicked for this little exercise. Ah ha. Well that may be what feels wrong about this. I hope not though because we really need this guy to be completely unlike the administration.

Up next John Roberts takes us back to Haditha. Thanks, but I really don't want to go back. I didn't like it at all the first time. We're taking this brutal trip down memory lane because eight marines have been charged in the slaying that occurred there. You remember. A soldier was killed by a bomb and initially it was claimed that the bomb killed Iraqis too, but locals revealed that the civilians were actually murdered by marines who went into a rage after the death of their friend. All in all 24 were killed, many of them women and children. So sad. After this piece Anderson recaps all the top stories of 2006, which he delves into deeper in a special next hour.

Okay, here's what you've been waiting for. Don't lie. You know you were. As I'm sure you know by now, Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell are having a little tiff over comments she made about the Miss USA kerfuffle. It's all completely ridiculous and SO not worthy of news coverage, but everybody's getting ready for the holidays, so here we are. It's one of those fights where you don't exactly know who to root for. Hmmm, should I chose this loudmouth or...this loudmouth? I haven't seen much of 360 the past two days, but apparently Anderson has just been riveted. He then proceeds to show us clips of The Donald saying nasty things about Rosie. After the first clip we cut back to Anderson and he's chowing down on some microwave popcorn and comments with his mouth full and everything. Bwah! Now when did he have time to microwave that? After the second clip we cut back and he's sucking down a drink. I'm seriously cracking up here. After another clip he has a mouth full of candy bar and after a fourth barbed filled clip Anderson exclaims through a mouth full of twizzler, "Oh no he didn't. Did he just say that?" The only thing missing here is the snaps, but I guess his hands were full. Good Lord! When Anderson goes to the show he must spend a fortune at the concession stand. I swear, this had me laughing so hard I think I strained something. Now THAT is how you cover a retarded story. We end with a statement on the controversy from Barbara Walters. WTF? After that 360 cuts to commercial so Anderson can brush his teeth.

Continuing with the topic we have an Anderson piece on how Rosie and The Donald love to pick fights. Okay, we had hella fun last segment, but I think this is a bit too much. Anderson thinks they do this stuff for the PR. You think? Trump vs. Martha Stewart and Rosie vs. Tom Selleck are both recapped. Although to be fair to Rosie, I think that whole Tom Selleck thing was more a reaction to Columbine than attention seeking. They also play the clip when Kelly Ripa called into The View due to Rosie's comments about the whole Clay Aiken thing. I find it interesting that they would include this, but I guess Anderson wanted to give props to his BFF for remaining above it all.

Anderson then mentions how The Donald might sue Rosie and he starts to mention legal implications. At this point I literally yell at my television, "OMG, no they are not!" Oh, but they are. Sheepishly joining us live to discuss this are Jeffrey Toobin and Court TV's Lisa Bloom. Anderson says Toobin "can't believe we called him in for this." Well, at least they're aware this is completely ridiculous. What follows is a discussion that seems to confirm that these three have gotten into the egg nog early. In Toobin's legal opinion, "Donald Trump is a horse's ass." Anderson wants to make clear to Trump that it was Toobin that said that. There's some legal talk, but they all clearly don't give a crap. And, well, neither do I. This was one for Toobin's resume.

The Shot tonight is a picture on TMZ of Miss Nevada USA being naughty. I don't know. Don't much care. Then we're onto a Delia Gallagher piece on a church in Rome where couples go to pray to the Madonna of Childbirth. They really should have had this piece earlier in the show because it totally doesn't fit after all the Rosie/The Donald hoopla. Well, tonight gets an A+ for snark. The news only gets a B-

Screencaps by liberation337.

What do you think about the Virgil Goode letter? Do you think the soldiers that Gates talked to were hand picked? Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall during the meeting when they came up with the food bit?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Season's Greetings

Hi everybody. Okay, here's the thing. I deluded myself into thinking I was going to have time to blog Monday's second hour and Tuesday's whole show, when clearly I should have known there was no way. I had to get the sister from the airport, take my car to be fixed, and, oh yeah, the whole work thing. Plus I have Christmas stress, which I am trying to cure with an unhealthy amount of Christmas music. So anyway, no review for Tuesday and actually no review for Wednesday either because I've got some halls to deck and some fa la la la laing to do. I know, I know, I'm breaking your heart. But don't despair because I'll probably do Thursday night because that's my last day of work before a mini vacation. Yay! Although by that time we'll probably being looking at a sub. Oh well. Don't be a stranger though because even if I'm not reviewing I might still post. I didn't even turn on the show tonight until the last half hour, but that was an awesome amount of snark regarding the Miss USA debacle. Although why that is a story at all is beyond me.

Reminder: The press release I got from CNN regarding the sweepstakes says that the fan site remains live until December 20, so I guess download all the goodies now or forever hold your peace. I didn't download anything. Not really my thing. Plus the site isn't really the best for someone with a slow internet connection. Instead of pocket-sized Anderson explaining the features of the site, he just stands there quietly judging me for still having dial-up.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mrs. Bush & Cancer, More Climber News, Maybe More Troops, Slavery-Like Conditions, Christian CEO's, And A Preaching Teacher (Monday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. I have to say, I was surprised to see Anderson tonight. I thought he would have hightailed it out of there already. In fact if he wasn't on I wasn't even going to review tonight because I'm really tired. So sorry if this review comes off more crabby than snarky. We begin with the BREAKING NEWS that Laura Bush has had a malignant tumor removed from her shin. Except actually this all went down before the elections and we're finding out about it now because a reporter noticed a band aid on her leg, so...yeah, not really what I would qualify as breaking news. Suzanne Malveaux relays all this info over the phone and then Sanjay gets on the line to teach us about skin cancer because God knows anytime anybody in public life gets sick I need to know all about it. Apparently Dubya has also had lesions removed in the past. I guess I don't remember that. Somebody call me if they ever remove whatever it is that's making him act like an idiot.

On now to the climber saga and unfortunately, Kelly James has been found dead. So sad. I didn't think it looked good, but I hoped that maybe, but I guess not. Dan Simon breaks it all down in a piece. I watched a bit of the coverage yesterday and I guess Dan got pretty involved in the story because he looked pretty broken up about it. Rob Marciano too. After the piece we're joined by Sheriff Joe Wampler and rescuer Derrick Brooks. Things don't look too good. I hope they find them...either way. I think the worst thing would be never even finding a body. Next up we're joined by some survivers of other incidents. Quinn Talley spent 18 hours in a snow cave and David Bishop spent one week trapped on a mountain. I think David wins. Anderson says it might be a "dumb question", but why didn't they go back down the mountain? David doesn't think this question is dumb at all. In fact he thinks it's an "excellent question" and he uses that phrase several times. I'm wondering if David here is a teacher. Anyway, the answer to the question is that in complete white out conditions you can't even see if you're going up or down. This boggles Anderson's mind. "Unbelievable."

Moving on to a Barbara Starr piece on how Bush is thinking about sending 30,000 more troops. Ahhhh!!!!! And that's pretty much all I have to say about that. Some commanders think adding more troops will just mean more targets. You think? Next up Anderson intros us into a Joe Johns Keeping them Honest piece on the "Democratic Republic". Except, uh, he means Dominican Republic. It's okay. Maybe Anderson is tired too. You know, have we ever seen Joe leave the country before? Anyway, the Dominican Republic is a very poor and crappy place to live, but apparently it's still better than Haiti because a lot of Haitians are coming over and basically performing slave labor work in sugar cane fields. Even kids. The fields are owned by Filipe Vicini and he denies that it's slave labor and that he's using kids. In any regards, for these poor people even the exploitive work is better than nothing. I hope 360 keeps up with this.

Transitioning now to a Dan Simon piece on Christian CEO's. We meet a businessman who is all about God and runs his company that way. They pray all the time and there's bible study. The works basically. He thinks that people who don't believe are wrong. 40% of his workforce are non Christian and he says they don't mind the work environment, but I don't really believe that. Although I kind of don't believe 40% are non Christian either. I'm a Christian, but I don't think I would like working for this company because you basically have the boss's form of Christianity shoved down your throat. If you don't like a church you can go to a new church, but you shouldn't have to quit your job if you're not a Christian or if you don't like how they're doing it. Apparently a lot of Christians are gravitating towards these businesses which is understandable, but doesn't this kind of thing separate us further? It reminds me of the news and how people now seem to go to whatever news reinforces their views. Pretty soon we're all going to be living in bubbles.

Sticking with the Christianity theme we have an in studio interview with high school student Matthew Laclair. Matthew was upset that his history teacher was preaching in class and stating his religious beliefs as fact, so he taped him doing it. During a meeting the teacher denied even doing it, but then Matthew whipped out the tape. Oh snap! I don't know if Matthew could have handled this in a better way and not taped him, but he's just a kid and the history teacher was definitely out of line. I wonder how he would feel if his child's history teacher started preaching about the Koran and stating his beliefs as fact. See, this is why we have a separation of church and state. Because when they mix they both screw each other up. Matthew tells us the guy has been teaching 14 years and he wants to know why it took this long to stop him. Anderson assures him that the "good thing about high school is that it ends." Well, not completely. Some of us still have dreams about it. And mine wasn't even that bad. Oh, no, wait, yes it was. After the piece Anderson tells us that Matthew has been getting death threats. Oh, well isn't that lovely. Who would Jesus give a death threat?

The Shot tonight is Tyson again. The Shot just loves it some Tyson. Anderson acknowleges that perhaps the whole live tv thing made Tyson a bit nervous, so after the show they gave him another shot (heh) and this time he was successful and completed it in just over two and a half minutes. Yay, Tyson! The show was okay. A few stand out pieces, but mostly just meh. And a lot of Christianity for some reason. I guess maybe since Christmas is coming. Anyway, B-

Your thoughts on Christian CEO's and taping the teacher?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

More Mt. Hood And Scary Weather, Buh Bye Rumsfeld, Duke Case Update, Partying Miss USA, And Friday Fun With A Rubik's Cube Whiz (Friday's Show)

Happy weekend everybody! We begin tonight with the climbers on Mount Hood. I guess I'm going to have to accept the fact that they're going to milk this story for all it's worth. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with them covering the story. It is a news story, but why is it the top story and why can't they just give us the facts and move on. It's fine for Larry King to spend an hour on the three men because that's the kind of show he has. I expect 360 to be different. Anyway, in a Dan Simon piece we learn that a note has been found that outlines all the supplies the men have with them. It's good news because now rescuers know they have the necessary resources to survive. Unfortunately, this is the second straight day of blizzard-like conditions and rescuers have been forced off the mountain. More crappy weather is coming Monday. Bummer. I hope they find them before then.

Rob Marciano then gives us a weather update. It's too bad we only get to see Rob when something bad is happening weather wise. After this we have the Rick Sanchez piece from yesterday and then an Anderson story on the climbers. Frank James, the brother of climber Kelly James, then returns to talk about the note. Anderson mentions that most of the country has been following the story. Really? I highly doubt that. The other day I mentioned the name "James Kim" to my mom and she said "Who?" Not to be insulting to the climbers and their families, but I'd wager half the people in this country haven't even heard about this story. Following the interview we have more repeat Rick and then move onto a Rob piece on the extreme weather that has wreaked havoc on the northwest and left four dead. The wind gusts were hurricane strength and power has been knocked out to a million people. My area of the country can really sympathize with the latter. Rob joins us live again after his piece. I hope my northwest readers are doing okay. It looks pretty brutal up there.

Transitioning now to Rumsfeld's last day. Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye!! Jamie McIntyre breaks down the day's festivities. Man, don't you wish we all could get a parade-like celebration after totally sucking at our job? Cheney says that Rumsfeld is the best Secretary of Defense we ever had. Wow. Is it opposite day? Rumsfeld is thinking to his legacy now, but everyone pretty much knows it's going hinge on Iraq. Oh golly gee Rummy, you go down in history with the legacy you have, not the legacy you want. In his speech Rumsfeld pledges to remember the fallen. Really? Just like you remembered the fallen when you let a machine sign their death notices? Good riddance and may history judge you harshly or forget you completely.

On now to a Joe Johns piece on the Duke rape case. Hey, remember that? Well, guess what? The accuser is pregnant. No word on the baby daddy, but the judge has ordered a paternity test even though no one is saying the father is one of the accused. Also, the district attorney has been accused of burying evidence AND it's been revealed that the line up the accuser looked at only had lacrosse players, which is not how you do a line up. Whew. This case has prooooblems. I don't know what to think anymore. I'll admit I was completely in the girl's camp at first because I hate those frat boy types and believed they did it, but now it's looking like she doesn't have much of a case. And did you guys hear about how briefly outed the accuser? It's like there's no low they won't stoop to.

Court TV's Lisa Bloom joins us after the piece to discuss the case. Argh. Well, at least they're not talking about OJ or John Mark Karr. Lisa thinks the pregnancy could damage the girl's crediblity if it's true that she had consensual sex not long after being gang raped. Anderson brings up the line up thing and states that he doesn't know anything about the law, but he's "obsessed with Law & Order" and knows that that's not the way you do it. I remember him referencing CSI once when asking Sanjay a medical question. I find it both hilarious and disturbing that Anderson views entire subjects through tv shows. I've heard he also likes 24, so Anderson let me just say that torture does not work like that in real life. Okay?

Next up Anderson laughs his way through the intro of a piece he did on Miss USA. Was Anderson drinking during the commerical break? Because I'm okay with that. I like how apparent it is that he doesn't know why this is a news story. That makes two of us, Anderson. Okay, so Miss USA is out of control, y'all! She's been out, OMG, drinking and socializing and she's giving The Donald a big headache. What does this have to do with Donald Trump? He owns the pageant or something. I don't know...does it even matter? The important part is that Anderson is urging us not to panic because apparently Miss California is on standby. Whew. Now I can sleep tonight.

We move on now to some Friday fun with the Rubik's cube guy from The Shot a day or so ago. His name is Tyson Mao and you can go leave him a message at his blog. See mine? Hee. And did you know he was on Beauty and the Geek? Anyway, he's on 360 because apparently a lot of people have been emailing to say they didn't believe he could solve the Rubik's cube blindfolded. Really people? This is what you've been emailing about? Tyson is going to try to do it for us live to prove it. He explains that it's about counting and he mentions something about how he would be good with phone numbers, but he would need to meet girls first. Anderson boosts his confidence a bit and offers, "God knows the ladies love a Rubik's cube master." That is so true. It's on my list right between sense of humor and nice smile. Seriously though, he's smart, cute, and dorky in a good way. What's not to love?

In case you're wondering if the Rubik's cube has been tampered with, there's been a perfect stranger messing with it all hour. Anderson greets her with "hello perfect stranger." I'm telling you, he's been drinking. Tyson then starts with the solving and Anderson, in solidarity, works on his own cube and his expressions are priceless. However, he gives up after about 10 seconds and decides he better start talking to us before the viewers start "leaving in droves." Are you kidding? This is good tv! Tyson then seems to be hitting some difficulty. Houston we have a problem. After some counting out loud he takes the blindfold off's not solved. Oh noes! It's pretty damn close though, so I say way to go Tyson! Anderson also seems impressed. Okay, that wasn't newsworthy at all but it's the most fun I've had watching the show since the Mentos and Coke experiment. I feel bad giving the show a bad grade after the fun we just had, but in terms of news it was pretty crappy. So I'll give it two grades: C for news and A for adorableness.

Screencaps by bcfraggle.

Is this the last we've seen of Rumsfeld? What's your take on the Duke case? Did you leave Tyson a message?

Friday, December 15, 2006

More Climber News, Senator Johnson Update, The Dems Plan, Warren Jeffs, And Living Long (Thursday's Show)

Hello everyone. We open tonight with a Dan Simon piece on the climbers stuck on Mount Hood. The rescue efforts are being hampered by the sucktastic weather, but there is some hope because they got another ping from one of their cell phones on Tuesday. I think this update is definitely warranted, but as the lead story? We then move on to a piece where CNN tries yet again to kill Rick Sanchez. They drop his butt in snow again, but this time he's high up and man is it windy! About 60 miles per hour to be exact, which is "downright painful." Then why are you standing out there? Look, sometimes we need reporters in dangerous places to get the story. Iraq comes to mind. But this is just stupid and not even fun to watch like the hurricanes. Rick tells us that hypothermia can make you strangely delusional. Well that would explain this piece. Following the bizarreness, we have one of the climber's brother live.

Transitioning now to what should have been the lead story: an update on Senator Johnson. He has undergone a sucessful surgery to remove blood from his brain, but there is little info on his prognosis. Some good news for the family is that he's responding to stimuli and some good news for us is that senators can still serve even if they're gravely ill. This leads us into a taped interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta who explains exactly what happened to the senator. Johnson suffers from arteriovenous malformation (AVM) a congenital defect that results in a cluster of blood vessels that can become weak and then bleed into the brain. Usually people don't know they have it unless they have a brain scan or an incident such as this occurs. The symptoms are much like a stroke, the difference being is that a stroke involves the blockage of blood flow and AVM involves bleeding into the brain. The condition often warrants surgery, but sometimes it can also be treated with high beams of radiation. Sanjay is concerned because he believes the senator's bleed was in the left temporal area, which is the "highest price real estate" of the brain. You guys probably didn't want or need all that info, but sometimes I miss my psych classes. After this we learn it's safe to make a run for the border again. The great Taco Bell E Coli outbreak of 2006 is over.

Next up we have David Gergen live to discuss the democrat's leadership. They bring up the 100 hour plan and The Gerg points out it has a lot of stuff in it that is important to Americans, but the way forward in Iraq is noticeably absent. That's because there is no way forward in Iraq. Anderson points out that voter expectations are so high it must be tough for the democrats because if they don't bring change they'll be feeling the anger from voters. The Gerg thinks most of that anger will still be directed at Bush and maybe even McCain if he goes for this more troops thing. They then discuss increasing troops and The Gerg notes that while Bush seems to be all for it, the generals on the ground...aren't. He calls what Bush is doing a "doubling down bet." Oh Gerg. Please don't use that phrase. I already heard someone else use it today. It's like a memo went out or something. I think you're smart enough on your own without having to come across as beltway cool. Finally, The Gerg says that the democrats can't tackle Iraq as a silent party. But that's what they're good at. It's funny because it's true.

As we come back from commercial we're assaulted with a horrible noise. That awful singing can only come from one man. "No it's not Kenny G," Anderson tells us and that actually would not have been my first guess. Did I even know that Kenny G sings? I don't know. ANYway, the man making dogs howl and babies cry is none other than Warren Jeffs. Why 360, do you do this to us every time? You people have issues. The singing is because Jeffs plead not guilty today and Gary Tuchman was there to cover it. Unfortunately, the court video missed the actual plea, which I find amusing.

On now to another Gary Tuchman piece, this time on aging for the "How Far Would You Go?" series. I'm beginning to think this whole series is just one big exercise in slacking because all these pieces are repeats. I know it's a little sad that I know that, but it is what it is. In Gary's piece we meet Marge who is 102 and still very much kicking. She still drives and Gary even rode with her. Brave man, though he's probably too nice to turn her down. Honestly I can't say I'm on board with Marge still tooling around in her car, but watching the piece it's clear she is one awesome lady. Marge is a Seventh-Day Adventist, and because of their lifestyle, they tend to live longer than the average person. This kind of longevity can also be found in places in Japan and Italy and it's believed that diet, low stress, and happiness can go a long way in living longer. After the piece Anderson asks, "How cool is Marge?" Very cool.

Tom Foreman doing the headlines tonight and he tells us how a man with three foot arms reached into dolphins to pull out plastic. This was quite disturbing to Tom who thinks he will now have nightmares. Poor Tom must have had a bad experience with dolphins. Or plastic. Or a man with three foot arms. Anderson finds Tom's reaction hilarious and totally cracks up. The Shot tonight is a stray bullet that comes through the wall of a train station and almost hits a guy. Yikes. I think I liked the Rubik's cube better. We end the night with Anderson calling Soledad and Miles "the O'Brien twins." He must be in a good mood. There were a lot of little comments from him tonight. The show was just okay. I'm not reviewing the special second hour, but I did watch and thought it was pretty good. C+

Screecaps by stillife.

Is CNN trying to kill Rick? Will the dems live up to expectations? What did you think of the special on Christians?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sunni Vigilantes, More Snow Stuff, David Duke, And Organs From China (Wednesday's Second Hour)

Hi guys. We kick off the hour with an update from Dana Bash about Senator Johnson. The word is he did not have a stroke, but he had something similar to a stroke. Is that better? Yay? Moving on to a Nic Robertson piece on Sunni vigilantes living in Shia areas. The Sunnis are taking up arms themselves because they don't trust the Iraqi army and don't feel safe being surrounded by Shia. In fact, now ironically the only time they can sleep at night is when the Americans are there. However, all vigilantes are not volunteers. One man tells the tale of how he was pressured into it and he relates that he would be called a coward if he just wanted to stay home. For some Iraq talk, we're joined live by Reza Aslan and Anne-Marie Slaughter of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. Reza tells us at this point you can't trust the security forces. He also thinks the Saudis are trying to make their voice heard and a full blown proxy war is possible. Anne-Marie thinks we're going to have to talk to Muqtadar Al-Sadr and Iran.

Transitioning now to an Anderson piece on the three climbers, which is followed by an interview with Tim Dopp and his son, two climbers that were rescued after encountering more snow than expected. The kicker here is that they were sent a bill for their rescue, $15,000. I understand that people don't want to pay for someone else's mistake, but it just seems wrong to make people pay for their own rescue. And as Tim points out, it could make people less likely to ask for help. He thinks there needs to be a new system so that the small rural communities don't have to pay either.

On now to a Mary Snow piece on the latest BFF's in the spotlight. No, not Britney and Paris. It's David Duke and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad! They've been hanging at the (not) trendy Holocaust denier conference. We then get to see a previously taped interview where Duke gets all up in the Wolfbot's grill. Duke resents his introduction because the Wolfbot mentioned the KKK 11 times. He also attacks the Wolfbot for being biased when it comes to Israel because he is a former lobbyist for AIPAC. Hey man, if the Wolfbot is biased it's because he was programmed that way. Seriously, why can't non crazy people call the media out like this? Okay, not exactly like this, but I think you know what I mean. Duke then starts yelling about how Iraq is Israel's fault and the media is owned by Jews. He's a walking stereotype.

Next up we have some clips of Ray Romano and Brad Garrett from Larry King because awww, Peter Boyle died. That's so sad. But moving on now to another installment of "How Far Would You Go?" Tonight's piece is from Randi Kaye and we learn that a lot of people are going to China for organs, but it turns out the organs are coming from executed prisoners who may not have consented. Also, some of the prisoners aren't even dead yet when they take the organs and some prisoners are being executed for petty crimes. It's a pretty disgusting situation, but it all becomes different if you're desperate.

In the piece we meet a man who is desperate for a liver. Will he take a liver from a prisoner? We have to wait until after the commercial break to find out. Mini cliffhanger! Except not really because this is totally a repeat and I already know he takes it. Randi has added an update to the piece that China is now calling for a strict code of conduct in the process. Oh, I'm sure that will fix everything. I read some of the blog comments on this piece and found them fairly disturbing. Some people didn't even seem to find it to be a moral dilemma. Right now I'm leaning towards never being able to do that, but if I was really in the situation? Who knows?

We end the night with some blog comments on last night's Rubick's cube Shot and then Anderson plugs the sweepstakes again. "Ever want to walk around the 360 studio. I don't know why you wouldn't." I would LOVE to walk around the 360 studio. But I never win anything. That'll do it folks.

Would you take an organ from an executed prisoner?

Screencaps by sherynroyce.

A Sick Senator, Troop Talk, The Saudis And Iraq, Climbers Still Missing, Mel Gibson Is Crazy, And...Polygamy! (Wednesday's First Hour)

Hi everyone! We begin tonight with the news that Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota has suffered a possible stroke. Oh noes! Dana Bash joins us live to explain. Apparently the senator was on a call when he began stammering and having trouble speaking. CNN plays the tape for us, which is oh so tacky. Seriously, was that necessary? Dana then tells us that if Johnson were to have to step down, the governor of South Dakota would appoint his replacement. And guess what? The governor is republican. A republican appointee would flip the balance of power in the senate to the republicans because Cheney would break the 50/50 tie. This is not happening! All over the country democrats are suddenly praying intensely. Even the atheists. Get better Senator Johnson!

On now to a Jamie McIntyre piece on the belief that Bush wants to send more troops to Iraq. However, General Abizaid recently testified that no more troops should be added, so... Yeah, they don't know what the hell they're doing. Moving on to a John Roberts piece on how Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah just read Cheney the riot act. The Saudis are pledging to possibly financially support the insurgency if we pull out of Iraq. Although it's noted that they are already kind of doing that. I honestly don't know what to think anymore, other than the fact that we all might be seeing a huge regional war soon. Next up we have Michael Ware safe and sound in the studio with Anderson. It must be nice to just sit there and not have to worry about the whole death thing. Michael talks about the possibility of regional war and also mentions that in private, commanders say they need more troops, but 50,000 or less is not going to be enough. Anderson asks if the security forces are getting better and Michael flat out says no. Well, that's encouraging.

Transitioning to a Dan Simon story on the three climbers that are stuck on Mount Hood. One of the three called his family with a cell phone, but they haven't been able to track him down yet. However, they are using technology such as drones to find their location. After the piece, Anderson has an interview with one of the climber's brother and a guy who climbed with them. This whole trapped in the snow stuff reminds me of when CNN and other networks fleetingly became obsessed with emergency landings. Remember that? For a week or so it seemed like the whole air system was imploding. Except for the fact that emergency landings happen all the time, they just don't usually get nonstop coverage. People get lost in the snow all the time too and I'm not saying don't cover it, but CNN clearly thinks they've found their new emergency landing type story. I don't get it. Next year something else will be going on and none of the stranded incidents will be covered. It would be nice if my favorite news network didn't have the same attention span as a five year old with ADD.

Up next we have an Anderson piece that sets up the interview he did with Mel Gibson. That's right. He did an interview with Mel Gibson. I have no idea why. It's not like it's newsworthy. Sometimes I think Anderson wants to be Larry King. I guess I won't complain though. Hey, I like to be entertained too you know. I don't think I need to recap Mel's anti-semitic drunken tirade. Anderson begins the interview by asking about Mel's film Apocalypto. Apparently there are stark parallels in the film to what is going on in the US today and Anderson asks Mel if he thinks we're destroying ourselves from within. Mel kind of downplays that, saying the film is just a warning, but he also mentions things like consumption and fear as a manipulation tool. He also states that we're in Iraq for "no damn reason" and he talks about the destruction of the environment. Man, I hate it when crazy people say things I agree with. I do think we're destroying ourselves from within. Why couldn't somebody like Spielberg tackle that instead of Mel?

Anderson then brings up the violence in the film (apparently it's pretty violent) and Mel dismisses it, saying critics have an ax to grind. Anderson also brings up "the incident" and Mel starts to act weirder. If that's possible. I mean seriously, he looking all over the place like someone who is very disturbed. Anderson asks why people should believe that he's not anti-semitic and Mel replies, "Beats me. It's not my problem." Well! Mel does not want to talk about this, but Anderson presses the issue and Mel gets really dicky and defensive. Poor Anderson had more quotes and stuff ready to go, but kind of just rushes through them because Mel is not amused. I wonder if the interview was suppose to be longer. Anyway, my overall and scientific assessment of the interview is that dude is weird. And what's with the cup? Who does he think he is, Christopher Hitchens? Well, he's got the drunken tirade part down.

Moving on to something saner: polygamists! We've got Gary Tuchman (who else?) on the case again. We've seen this piece before, not literally, but I think you know what I mean. Nice as can be Gary goes into FLDS town and gets yelled at and shunned when he tries to talk to people. What does CNN have against Gary? Oh, there's also a police angle to this story. The cops in Colorado City are more loyal to the church than the law. Lovely. After the piece Anderson echos my Gary love, calling him, "literally the nicest guy on the planet." Well, it's nice someone noticed! Gary is even overly nice in thanking Anderson for that comment. Note to CNN: send Rick Sanchez next time and give Gary a piece where people don't shun him. That is all. At the end of the hour we learn that the sweepstakes word is Austrailia. I hope you entered. Okay show. B-

Screencaps by stillife.

Who else freaked out when they first heard about Senator Johnson? What was up with that Mel Gibson interview? Why does CNN keep sending Gary?

Hikers, Taliban, and Blood Diamonds (Tuesday's Second Hour)

Hi everyone. While working on this review this afternoon my power went out for no apparent reason than that Ameren is evil. So...I lost it and now don't have time to do it again properly. Sorry about that. I do want to make a couple of comments though. I see they've moved on from James Kim now that they have three hikers to follow. The piece probably shouldn't have kicked off the hour, but other than that I had no problem with it. Anderson's piece on the Taliban was very good and I'm glad to see them keeping on that story. I also enjoyed the interview with George Packer, but I do have to nitpick the use of the term "jihadist". As my Muslim friend (I totally need to get a picture of me pointing at her like Stephen Colbert and his black ex-friend) Liberation337 points out, the word is not synonymous with terrorist. She gave me this definition:
Jihad: is an Islamic term, meaning to strive or struggle in the way of God, and is sometimes referred to as "the sixth pillar of Islam", although it has no official status.[1] Jihad has a wider meaning in Islamic literature. It can be striving to lead a good Muslim life, praying and fasting regularly, being an attentive spouse and parent or working hard to spread the message of Islam.
The news media as a whole needs to do a better job at understanding these terms and passing that knowledge on to the viewers. I wasn't sure what the purpose of the Gary Tuchman piece on the 1955 shooting spree was, but it was pretty appalling that guy only did five years in a facility and now walks free. The Jeff Koiange pieces were great, as always. The Congo makes me so sad, but it's good to see Botswana doing well. The "How Far Would You Go?" piece made me realize that apparently CNN won't go very far because it was a repeat we just saw. Geez. The Shot was of some guy on yahoo doing a Rubik's cube in less than two minutes. Blindfolded. I was never very good at those stupid things. My cousin could rock it though. Tom Foreman admits he used to peel the stickers off. Cheater! Actually, I think most people did that. Anderson said he doesn't have the mentality to do it, but he strikes me as one of those people who wouldn't be able to let it go until he solved it. Well, that's all folks.

Did the pieces on blood diamonds make you think twice about your jewelry? Who kicked butt at the Rubik's cube?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Delaying Dealing With Iraq, Joe Darby Is A Hero, Bugging Diana, Bad Breaking News, And Blood Diamonds (Tuesday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. The show was all over the place tonight, but I still thought it was a significant improvement over what we've had the last couple shows. We begin tonight with the announcement that Bush has decided to wait to change course in Iraq (if that is in fact what he's going to do) until after the new year. What's the hurry, right? We'll probably only lose, what, 30 or so soldiers between now and then. I'm sure their families won't mind. Did I mention how much our leaders suck? Ed Henry breaks it all down for us in a piece and we learn that Bush won't even discuss the reason for the postponing, though there is speculation he's waiting for the Baker/Hamilton report to just fade away. Ed then joins us live and states that the word in the beltway is Bush is actively considering actually sending more troops to the region. Apparently there's still a question of whether or not he's broken our military and he wants to make sure he completes the mission.

On now to a Nic Robertson piece on the violence that went down today. A suicide bomber collected a bunch of innocent people just looking for work and blew them up. 71 are dead and 220 wounded. Just another day in Iraq. In the piece we learn that unemployment is a huge problem in Iraq with anywhere from 20% to over 50% of people without jobs. Creating jobs is believed to be the key to fighting the insurgency. One of the people in the piece talks about economic areas and states that most people at home don't understand the economic situation in Iraq. I totally agree with that. Remember when I said that what has economically been done to Iraq is one of the most underreported stories of the war?

Next we have Nic and Michael Gordon ("Cobra II") live to discuss the situation. Michael states that it's actually not the commanders in Iraq that are pushing for more troops, but the civilians. Anderson wants to know if a small amount of extra troops would even be enough and Michael replies that troops by themselves are not the answer. Plus the Iraq government might not even want them. Nic points out the irony that now that Sunnis are under attack they actually are buddying up to the Americans. Michael thinks the ISG's proposal to pull out by 2008 is very unrealistic. So, what, we just stay forever? Oh, right.

The next piece is the piece Anderson just did for 60 Minutes on Joe Darby, the soldier that came across the pictures that launched the Abu Ghraib scandal. It was a really good piece, so I didn't mind watching it again. Joe tried to remain anonymous and took the pictures to the criminal investigation division, but he quickly found himself in a situation where the suspects were freely living in the same place he was. And they were armed. Fearing for his life, Joe slept with a pistol under his pillow. Soon however, the suspects were removed and Joe felt a little relief. It didn't last long though. Rumsfeld, living up to his reputation as a complete idiot and douchebag, totally outed Joe on television. Soon everyone knew and he once again felt fearful. The army quickly got him out of the situation, but he couldn't go home because the army determined that he wouldn't be safe there. Home for Joe was Cumberland, Maryland and it will now join Gretna, Louisiana on my list of cities that are dead to me.

One of Cumberland's residents and a member of Veteran's of Foreign Wars (VFW) felt it was wrong for Joe to put the enemy above his buddies. This man clearly has no idea what being patriotic is all about. Newsflash, we can't call ourselves the greatest country in the world if we stoop to that kind of level. If your child is acting out and being a brat do you just put up with it? No, you discipline your child because you love him/her and want him/her to grow up to be a happy and productive person. Joe Darby loves America and the military and he proved it. Unfortunately, members of his own family don't agree. Anderson plays devil's advocate, stating that some would say that Saddam did things that were worse. "We're Americans," Joe replies. Amen, brother. At the end of the piece Anderson reads a comment from VFW that states the guy in the piece was only stating his own personal views and not the views of VFW. Oh, I think that was a diss on false patriot man. This whole thing reminds me of Justin Watt, who I blogged about in late September.

Transitioning now to a David Mattingly piece on a report that is suppose to come out that says the US was bugging Princess Diana. The NSA denies the charges. Honestly it seems like the whole report might turn out to be crap. Who knows? Oh, but I'm sure 360 will tell us. On now to BREAKING NEWS! Does anybody else go "Oh God, what now?" everytime you hear the breaking news music? The New York Times is reporting that Saudia Arabia has given the US a warning that if we pull out of Iraq, they might back the Sunni insurgency. Oh...crap. If Iraq is in trouble, it must be Tuesday. That was my really lame attempt at another Buffy reference ("Once More With Feeling") for my pal cstkitten. She got so excited after the reference yesterday and I like to keep my readers happy.

Anyway, back to the incredibly crappy news. Up until this point the Saudis have been loath to support the insurgency since it has ties to Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda targets the Saudi royal family. John Roberts then joins us on the phone and explains that a lot of the Sunni majority countries around Iraq fear that they might fall prey to newly empowered Shiites, so hence the Saudi support. You know, everything I hear about Iraq I keep thinking it can't possible get worse, but it always does. Every day. We can't leave. We can't stay. We're living in a Clash song. Should we stay or should we go now? Should we stay or should we go now? If we go there will be trouble. And if we stay it will be double. So come on and let us know...when the time machine will be ready because that's the only way we're getting out of this mess. Where's Doc Brown when you need him? Great Scott!

On now to a snippet of a Warner Brothers documentary on blood diamonds. It should be noted that Time Warner owns Warner Brothers and CNN. It should also be noted that the major studio release, Blood Diamond (referenced during the broadcast) is also a Warner Brothers film. Don't you just love synergy? Before the clip, Anderson explains that diamonds are now put through what is known as Kimberly Process Certification to ensure that they are not blood or conflict diamonds. However, in the documentary a man goes undercover and finds many sellers willing to sell him diamonds that are not Kimberly certified. I'm happy I don't own any diamonds because I already feel guilty enough about my cell phone. One more thing about the piece, WTF was up with that skeleton on the corner of the screen? Way to make a serious story tacky. Tonights show was good. B+

Do you think Bush will really send more troops? What's your take on Joe Darby? Will this new Saudi news just be a blip or is this going to have major ramifications?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Princess Diana, Iraq Talk, Baby Stealing, And Oh My God More James Kim (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. Hope you had a nice weekend. Did you catch Anderson on 60 Minutes? It was a really good (and infuriating) piece. And didn't he look oh so professional? I took a nap right before the show tonight and when I got up and flipped on the tv I wondered if I had woken up in 1997. Princess Diana? As the top story? Really? And actually after watching the rest of the show I regret waking up at all. We begin with a David Mattingly piece on the results of a recent investigation into Diana's death. Apparently the US was secretly eavesdropping on her without British knowledge. So they were tapping her phone during the relatively peaceful 90's, yet liberals today are suppose to believe that the NSA isn't tapping anyone that's not related to terrorism. Right. We then move into a Paula Newton piece where we learn that the investigation has confirmed her driver was drunk. That took nine years? The piece then delves into all the conspiracy theories surrounding her death. I know Diana was kind of an icon to some people, but I never really had any strong opinion about her. In any regards, this is not top story material.

To continue talking about this nine year old story (hey, at least it's not JonBenet), we have a taped interview with author Dominick Dunne. Anderson wants to know if this new information will make the conspiracy theories go away. Dominick of course answers no because those kind of theories are always there no matter how much proof there is to refute them. Anderson informs us that he rarely believes in conspiracy theories because they require too many people to keep quiet. I agree with that. It's why I don't think the US government was behind 9-11. Do I think they're evil enough to do something like that? Yes. But hundreds, if not thousands of people would have been in on it and no way are they all keeping quiet. Anderson also points out that even though Diana was like this larger than life person she ultimately died due to a very simple and preventable accident. Yep, sometimes things just happen. It's like how on Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Buffy's mom died not from a vampire, but a simple blood clot. And yes, I really did just make a Buffy reference. What? If they can talk about Princess Diana nine years after the fact I can talk about Buffy. Shut up. Don't think I don't feel you mocking me.

As we go out to commerical, Anderson previews a story that he says people "just can't stop talking about." What story is that? Well James Kim of course. And honestly, I don't think most of the people I know have even heard of James Kim. They're dedicating the entire next hour to the story and I have to say it kind of makes me sick. It's no longer newsworthy and even worse, this is all becoming really exploitive. Does the family want their tragedy turned into a ratings grabbing cable special? It's not like he's still missing and media coverage might get him found. They found him and he unfortunately died. Let the man rest in peace and let his family grieve without talking heads speculating about what he was thinking.

Transitioning now to a John Roberts piece on fallout from the ISG report. Bush is "appreciative" of their advice, which basically means he's going to ignore it and do whatever the hell he wants. In fact, already he's working to marginalize the report by meeting with military leaders that are against its recommendations. All the neoconservatives are annoyed with the report as well because they're not really down with the whole diplomacy thing. David Frum ponders how the men of the study group, who are suppose to be so smart, could get things so wrong. Well David, why don't you look in a mirror and maybe you'll get an answer. Oh, unless in your world the Iraqis really did greet us as liberators. After the piece John joins us live and Anderson asks when we can expect to hear what Bush is going to do. John thinks sometime before Christmas. That's one gift I don't think I want.

On now to a taped interview with New York Times columnist Frank Rich. Yay, a liberal. It's been a while. Frank thinks we already lost in Iraq and then goes on to list all the reasons it's such a quagmire over there. Ugh, don't remind me. Anderson mentions how Bush thinks we're winning and he wants to know if he really believes that or if that's just spin. Frank says it's possible they're delusional. Bwah! That's what I keep saying. Except I take out the "possible" part. Frank believes the ISG is a fraud meant to pacify the public and after everything we've been hearing I'm kind of inclined to agree with him. The Gerg is going to be upset. I told him not to have that bar so high.

Anderson then tells us that on 360 they give us all the angles and don't take sides. Hmm, I beg to differ with that and I believe I've documented cases where that's not true. Plus the fact that for a while Andrew Sullivan was on all the time with no liberal voice for perspective. Anyway, Anderson gave that little spiel because now we've got the other side with us live: former Bush advisor Anna Perez. Anderson asks her if we're winning in Iraq, but she won't really answer. She does, however, talk about how great it is that Saddam's gone. Although really I think at this point some people would rather have him back. Anna thinks if the US leaves we'll just have to be back there again.

Anderson mentions that his soldier friend told him that a common belief among soldiers is that we should leave and let them sort it out. Anna then talks about how bad if would be if Iraq became a failed state. Okay, first of all, one might argue Iraq already is a failed state. But if we're so worried about failed states (and I think we should be) why are we doing so little to stop the conflict in Darfur? Because of it, Chad and the Central African Republic may very well soon become failed states. Are we just going to wait until a terrorist attack is planned there to do something about it? Back in the interview, Anna brings up the recent conference Iran had to explore whether or not the Holocaust happened. Anderson knocks down this strawman by pointing out that Ahmadinejad doesn't have full power in the country and students were actually protesting him (go students!) . I really don't understand the whole conference thing. The Holocaust was one of the most documented events in history. I'd like to know what all their excuses are for all that evidence.

Next we get a sample from Paula Zahn's James Kim special. Good Lord. Then we move on to a John Zarella piece on a baby that was stolen at knife point. Police think the baby was taken as payment that the parents owed to coyotes that snuck them into the country. That's messed up. Next we have a piece from what I guess is a special series this week called "How Far Would You Go?" Oookay. Anyway, the piece is from Ed Lavandera about people who go to Mexico for plastic surgery. But uh oh! Some of them are coming back with deep scars and life threatening infections. Shocking I know. Who would have thought going to Mexico for cheap surgery might be dangerous? I actually don't understand the whole plastic surgery thing. I've had a few major surgeries in my life that were necessary and honestly to think about going under the knife if you don't have to seems crazy to me. I'd rather be unattractive. That'll do it for tonight. You can probably guess I didn't watch the James Kim special. Tonight was pretty bad again. Get it together 360! D+

Is the Bush camp delusional or just playing politics? Have you ever gotten/would you ever get plastic surgery?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Exploiting James Kim, Foley Investigation Ends, Wesley Snipes (Wha?), And Anderson Is Seriously Neurotic (Friday's Show)

Hi everybody. Wow. The 360 Team must have really been looking forward to the weekend because they phoned it in tonight. We begin on the topic of James Kim and I seriously can't believe they're still talking about this poor man. But you see, Drew Griffin has an EXCLUSIVE! He got to go to the very spot where the Kim's spent their time stranded and it's all very exclusively exclusive. And it's not exploitive at all. No sir. One actual piece of noteworthy information is that the road the Kim's drove down was actually suppose to be closed, but vandals broke the lock. What a cruel twist. Anyway, Drew and a sheriff walk around the site picking up trash that they assume belonged to the Kim's and speculating about everything. I seriously cannot believe they're doing this. After a kind of weird conversation with the sheriff we get Drew live and he goes so far as to even speculate what was going through Mr. Kim's mind. Nice. Anderson asks if there will be an investigation about the gate since, "I mean it's obviously over." Well Anderson, apparently it's not over until the media says it's over because here we are.

Next up we have a live interview with Luke Stone, one of the search and rescuers. I admire what Mr. Stone here does and am sure he is a very nice man, but the interview was pretty pointless. After this we have a Rick Sanchez piece. Well, he survived his night in the cold. Now we get to see the footage. See Rick drive in the snow. See Rick get stuck in the snow. See Rick act like he's going for help all alone and really doesn't have a news crew with him. See Rick, OMG, almost step in a creek. We're then shown a shot of Rick and he says he's been walking for an hour. He looks pretty cold. But don't feel bad for him. Feel bad for the camera guy who's doing the same thing backwards holding a big camera. I have no idea why they needed to have someone brave the elements for a night in order to give us 30 seconds of safety tips. The latter alone would have been just fine.

Transitioning now to a Dana Bash piece on the results of the bi-partisan Foley investigation. Man, doesn't that seem like such a long time ago now? The report language is very harsh and it was determined that Hastert and others knew about the questionable first emails, one will be punished. AND nothing has been done to better protect the pages. Your government at work. Following the piece we're joined by Lane Hudson, the blogger who broke the story. Lane explains that upon taking Congress one of the first things the republicans did was make the ethics committee partisan. He's really reinterating the word "republican" here and Anderson sort of tries to provide that fake balance we all know and love (to hate). Apparently Lane tried to get the LA Times to run with the story, but it fell through the cracks, so he set up a blog instead. This resulted in him losing his job and he now runs the blog News For The Left while looking for a real job. I hope things work out for him because he did the right thing. Help him out by checking out his blog.

Back now live to Drew Griffin, who talks about the trip out there. Then we get some tape of Drew talking to a ranch owner about the Kim's. At one point the owner looks away as he gets a little choked up, and I'm not even kidding, the camera man zooms in on his face. Nice dude. That wasn't incredibly tacky at all. The conversation with the ranch owner goes on way too long and includes massive speculation. Basically they just reinterate the same point over and over. It's remote! We get it! After this we go to Drew live again and he wonders why they just kept going because they should have turned around. Oh good Drew, let's blame them now too. I really hope no one who actually knows these people was watching tonight. I know it was a compelling story and I myself was more upset by the outcome than I am many other stories, but the coverage has gone way too far.

On now to a Randi Kaye piece on Wesley Snipes in trouble for tax fraud. Oh Randi. How far you've fallen in a period of 24 hours. Yesterday it was emmy caliber work and today you're talking about Wesley Snipes. The news business is quite a kick, isn't it? And why isn't Jeanne Moos doing this piece? It's a celebrity. Are we seriously suppose to take this as a legitimate news story. Oh, apparently we are because here's Court TV's Lisa Bloom to discuss the case. Good Lord. Lisa tells us that Wesley is apparently one of those tax protesters who think the IRS has no authority over them. Death and taxes, Wesley. You can't beat either.

Our final piece of the night is from Anderson on his hosting appearance on this morning's Regis and Kelly. Did you watch? This was Anderson's fourth time hosting and he painstakingly, yet adorably, runs us through the places one can get tripped up. Apparently the simple act of taking a drink in between talking can be difficult, as is greeting the guest. Today's guest greeting went well, but he whips out video from a time with Nicole Ritchie and proceeds to analyze the kiss/hug like he's a coach running through plays at a football practice. This was all very funny, but I kind of hope this was meant to be a joke and Anderson isn't actually this self conscious and neurotic. Because if so, the poor guy must spend every night tediously going through the day's perceived mishaps. Oh, he also makes fun of his laugh, calling it a "laugh/snort/chortle" and "annoying as ever". He then asks the crew, "do I really laugh like that?" Yeah hon you do, but we still love you anyway. Except when you do crap news like tonight. Don't think you softened me up with your endearing self deprecation. The Shot tonight is a picture of Erica Hill's brand new son Weston Robert, born on November 25. Awww. Congratulations Erica and Erica's husband! The show tonight was pretty bad and besides the Foley stuff didn't contain much news. I didn't watch the next hour, but I have dubbed it, "Rick Sanchez's Greatest Hits." D+

Maybe I'm being too hard on them. Was the Kim coverage exploitive? Anyone surprised the Foley investigation went nowhere? Okay, go ahead and gush about the Anderson piece if you must. ;)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bush's Reaction To ISG, Rick Sanchez In The Wilderness, Ameren Keeping People In The Dark, And Another Emmy For 360 (Thursday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. We start the hour tonight with the news that the Iraq Study Group report has hit #2 on Amazon. I think I'm going to pass on this one since I never finished the 9-11 Commission Report. We're then introed into a Suzanne Malveaux piece on Bush's press conference with the British press. We learn that he is disappointed with the pace of the success. Wow. Always spinning. Always. I wish we could have seen more of the questions from the press conference because the British press is awesome. It's like a room full of David Gregorys. The best line from the piece: "Bush didn't just drink the koolaide, he made it." Priceless. Bush then actually boasts about having read the report. I guess we're suppose to be an awe that he read something more complex than "My Pet Goat." Keeping with the Preznut, we have a piece from John Roberts that asks whether or not the White House is out of touch. Dude, where have you people been? This is not a new thing. The media may just be discovering what frauds these guys are, but some of us have known for about six years.

On now to David Gergen in the studio and Anderson asks if Bush is in a bubble. The Gerg thinks Bush wants to believe we're winning. Anderson then brings up the fact that a lot of military people weren't even consulted in regards to the final draft of the report. Um, come again? You have got to be kidding me. Even though it seems like the report is mostly about politics, The Gerg remains optimistic. In a noteworthy moment, The Gerg mentions how odd it is that the fate of the nation rests on one man changing his mind. Scary isn't it? Anyway, I said the moment was noteworthy because all pundits, even the good ones like The Gerg, are in a way always playing a role, but every once and a while one of them will drop the act for a second and just become a regular person saying their thoughts out loud. And that's what just happened, IMO anyway.

Moving on to a Thelma Gutierrez piece on James Kim and more details of how he died. I have to say, I'm getting a little uncomfortable about all this coverage still since he's been found. Obviously from a newsworthy standpoint this story isn't needed, but maybe even more important I'm wondering if the family wants this continued attention. Now complete strangers are debating on whether he did the right thing or not. Absolutely give us safety tips, but from now on leave the man out of it, so his family can grieve. This has shades of "oh my God Randy McCoy ate a cracker today" all over it.

Speaking of safety tips, oh my Lord y'all we've hit the motherload. Continuing with his series, "watch me put myself in pointless danger," Rick Sanchez is here to tell us how to survive the cold. CNN is dropping his butt in the wilderness for 24 hours and seeing what happens. This is hilarious. Rick Sanchez is the Mikey of CNN. I imagine the 360 team sitting around a table saying, "we should do a story on winter safety where someone stays out in the cold for a day. But who would want to do that? I know, let's get Rick Sanchez. He'll do anything!" Anyway, we watch Rick wander around and then climb into a snow and branch shelter. I seriously cannot stop laughing. I know this report stemmed from something horrible, but c'mon people, Rick Sanchez has his butt sticking out a hole live on CNN. I am but a mere mortal here. This is rivaling the taser piece. Okay, there was actually real information given out, such as the rule of threes. You can survive three hours without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Also, we're shown a car survival kit, which should include a cd to reflect light for help. At the end of the piece we learn that we can track Rick's night on the web. Oh. My. God. CNN you're killing me here. So I guess tomorrow night we'll see how it went, assuming he doesn't freeze to death.

Next up we have Rob Marciano freezing his cute butt off in Decatour, Illinois, where "it is just bone chilling cold." Decatour still has 25,000 people without power. Hey, remember in my last post how I said I thought I smelled a Keeping Them Honest in regards to Ameren and the power problems. Well, I guess I was right because look what we have here. Such service. Tom Foreman takes a break from his maps to tell us about the investigation that Illinois has launched. Ameren claims that most of the outages are due to trees tearing down the lines, but there are charges that Ameren isn't keeping trees properly trimmed. I'd like to know why we're having the same problem when we already went through this in July. They were criticized back then and you'd think they would have their act together by now.

On now to a piece on the baseline killer and I couldn't be less interested, so there's that. Then we're on to a newly emmy winning piece from Randi Kaye. Just in case we missed the mention of the emmy, 360 lingers on a visual of it long enough for everyone to see. I remember this piece. It's on the infertility black market. Because fertility drugs are so expensive, people are hooking up and illegally buying them from people who have extra. This is of course a risky move, but since most health insurance won't cover the treatments, some feel it's their only option. Randi points out just how ridiculous it is that insurance will pay for you to have sex (Viagra) and get rid of a product of sex (abortion), but not help you have a baby. Following the piece, Randi does the headlines and Anderson congratulates her on the emmy win. The Shot tonight is that French spiderman dude who climbs buildings. This time it was a 23 story glass building. That guy needs another hobby. The show was only one hour tonight and it was just okay. Some of the ISG stuff is becoming repetitive and I've made my views known on some of the other pieces. Obviously the Rick Sanchez piece while highly entertainly, is a blatant stunt and should never have been done. I do, however, appreciate the Keeping Them Honest. C+

Screencaps by bcfraggle, jld1119, and liberation337.

Will you buy/read the ISG report? What did you think of the Rick piece?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Obama, More ISG Stuff, And It's Freaking Freezing Here (Wednesday's Second Hour)

Hi guys. We kick off the hour with some repeated stuff and then move onto a taped interview Anderson had with Barack Obama. Barack thinks the report is a rebuke of Bush's policies, that ultimately it's up to Bush, and that Iraq is a distraction from other issues in the middle east. Nothing all that noteworthy here. And no, he's still not answering the 2008 question. Speaking of being cagey, next up we have a piece from Ed Henry on Bush's reaction or really, nonreaction, to the ISG report. So far he hasn't endorsed any of the 79 suggestions.

Up next Anderson has a taped interview with Bush counselor Dan Bartlett, who actually thinks we're winning in Iraq. Oh my. We have a live one. Anderson asks why we can't talk to our enemies and Dan replies that the issue actually isn't talking to them, but when we talk to them. You spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baby. Anybody else dizzy? Dan then whirls Anderson in circles for the rest of the interview, leaving him no doubt frustrated and maybe a little nauseous.

Transitioning to Nic Robertson now and he states that Iraqis don't really have high hopes. There's an effort to close down civil society and people are showing up dead all over the place with no hope for justice. Basically Iraqis are doing good if they can find their loved one's body. Again, good Lord. After this we get another piece about how stubborn Bush is, this time from John King. I appreciate them reinterating this point, but I think we got it. Tom Foreman then pulls out his maps to discuss the diplomatic end. These suggestions include closing Syria's borders, getting Iran to stop selling groups arms, and working on Israel/Palestinian issues.

We then learn the horrible news that James Kim, the man who left his stranded family to go get help, was found dead. This is just so sad. He died not knowing that his family was okay. Keeping with the weather topic, next we have Kim Lah live in Chicago to talk about how freaking cold it's going to get. She also talks about what's going on here in St. Louis. It's been rough, people. First off, it's freezing! And thousands are still without power. Ameren claims they have to work so slow because of the ice, and to be fair there is A LOT of ice, but what was their excuse when we went through this in July? There are many angry people in this city right now and an investigation is under way. Do I smell a future Keeping Them Honest? Carbon monoxide poisoning is also becoming an increasing problem here due to the storm. And yes, someone really did try to burn coal in a wok. And they paid for it with their life. I think it's suppose to get warmer this weekend, so I'm hoping the solid sheet of ice that is my front yard will be a little mushy by then.

The Shot tonight is a baby born in a minivan. Apparently the family couldn't get to the hospital fast enough and guess what? They named it after me. Little baby Eliza. I feel so honored. Okay, so it's not actually my real name, but still. Hmm, should I tell you the code word for the contest? Oh, okay, you convinced me. The code word tonight is Iraq. Wow, original. So did you all enter? I did. I never win anything, but I could use a new copy of Anderson's book since somebody has had mine since July. Mother. Seriously, how long does it take to read that book? Anyway, I hope one of the readers wins something. That's all folks.'s the weather in your neck of the woods? Also, I forgot to mention it before, but what was up with John Roberts' eye? Did Anderson deck him for messing with stuff in the studio while he was away?

Screencaps by sherynroyce.

Baker/Hamilton Interview, Report Fallout, And Guess Who's Having A Baby (Wednesday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. We're in Washington D.C. tonight due to the official release of the Irag Study Group report. It's in book form and everything! It actually looks a lot like the 9-11 Commission report and seeing as how a lot of those recommendations still haven't been implemented over five years later, I'm not feeling too hopeful right now. We begin with a piece from John Roberts and it is made clear that this report is a harsh critique of Bush Adminstration policy. It contains 79 alternatives. 79! You'd think one of them could help get us out of Iraq.

Moving on now to a taped interview with the report's co-chairs, Lee Hamilton and James Baker. The general consensus between the two of them is that we're not winning, but we're not losing either. Anderson notes that the US has been training Iraqi troops all along and wants to know what's gone wrong in that area. Hamilton thinks there hasn't been enough manpower behind the task and the job doesn't have the incentives to attract the best and brightest of the military. I didn't think people actually got to chose their jobs, but I don't know much about the military. Anderson also brings up the fact that there are a lot of qualifiers in the report (in relation to the situation on the ground) and Baker kind of laughs. WTF? Hamilton states that Al Qaeda is not the chief cause of violence in Iraq. Uh, somebody wanna tell Bush that? Baker then says that we can't completely leave the region because it contains our national interests. National interests is spelled "O", "I", "L". Hey, at least he's being honest. It's no surprise really since it's all pretty much laid out in a paper from the Project for the New American Century. We will never completely leave Iraq. I should point out that during this interview Anderson quoted The Weekly Standard and Charles Krauthammer, a neoconservative and a neoconservative publication. What's up with that? First of all these are people that are right now advocating regime change in Iran. They have no credibility, so quoting them is pointless. Secondly, if it was simply a devil's advocate quote, why two from one side? There are plenty of people/publications on the left he could have gone to. I do not feel like I got "all the angles".

On now to a Candy Crowley piece about how Bush is a stubborn little child who doesn't want to listen to anyone. He's the decider! Most likely what will happen is he'll wait a few weeks to do anything about the report, hoping people will forget. Then he'll pick and choose what he wants to do. And he'll totally get away with it...if the media lets him. Let's hope no pretty blond goes missing in the next month or so. I mean it CNN, stay on the ball. After the piece David Gergen joins us live and he's pretty chipper about the report. He thinks Bush is going to be under enough pressure that he'll have to do something. The Gerg says this was a good day for America and the report is a Walter Cronkite moment. Oh Gerg, you better lower the bar a bit before you get your little heart broken. Anderson thinks that the democrats and republicans making politics out of Iraq is inappropriate. Can't argue with that.

Transitioning now to Nic Robertson live in Iraq and he tells us that just today 10 soldiers have been killed and 30 so far in the month of December. He also goes through what is a very long list of the day's violence. Good Lord. And NBC got flak for calling it a civil war. BTW, still waiting on CNN to do the same. Next we go to a taped interview with Former Secretary of Defense, William Cohen and Anderson brings up the Israel/Palestinian conflict. Cohen thinks the US hasn't done enough to help Abbas. He notes that extremists have been providing social services, thus winning the hearts and minds. Same thing with Hezbollah. You'd think we would learn by now that people like food better than exploding things. That reminds me of a Calvin Trillin poem: "At night our bombs rain down on them/By day we drop them bread/You think that they'd be thankful/Unless, of course, they're dead."

Up next we have a piece from Mary Snow on the fact that Cheney's having a baby! No, not THAT Cheney, silly. Mary Cheney. Yeah, the gay one. Somewhere, Rick Santorum is quietly weeping. There's no word on the father, but Cheney's partner will have no legal rights to the child, which is just completely messed up. To discuss all this, we have openly gay journalist Dan Savage and Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women For America. Apparently the concern these women have is all about kids not having a mother and a father because Janice here thinks the pregnancy is unconscionable. However, I'll wager she's also pro-life, so I'm wondering how she can think a pregnancy is unconscionable. Anyway, she spouts out that there are all these studies proving that kids that don't grow up with both mother and father turn out worse. Oh, WTF? My dad died when my brother was only 12, leaving him to go through his teens all alone in a house with three women. Yet shockingly, he's not an ax murder, but in fact a well adjusted college student. Dan backs me up here, stating that Janice's studies have all been debunked and children fare just as well with gay parents as they do with straight. He notes that Mary's child will most likely be in better shape than Britney Spear's spawn. Bwah! So true.

Janice keeps harping on the mother/father thing and Anderson acknowedges that having both is great and all, but sometimes it's just not going to happen. People get divorced. People die. Stuff happens. Would you rather be the child of two loving gay parents or two abusive alcoholics? Her argument is so ridiculous. And it's apparent Anderson feels this way too. See, this is one of those times where his blank slate gets betrayed by his true feelings coming through. It's funny because though both guests were talking over each other, Anderson kept making sure Dan got his comments in. I don't blame him one bit. Pretty good show tonight. B

Screencaps by stormi0611.

Okay, give me your take on the Savage/Crouse interview. You know you wanna.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gates Gets Confirmed, Al-Sadr's Influence, Surviving In The Cold, More Spy, And The ISG Report Is Officially Released (Tuesday's Second Hour)

Hi all. We kick off the hour with Anderson recapping the Gate's confirmation hearing and this intros into a Dana Bash piece on how the hearing is a great place for 2008 hopefuls to lay down their markers. Okay, to all those with their eye on the prize, let me explain something to you. This hearing is not about positioning yourself to be commander in chief. This hearing is about the person that will hopefully lead us out of what just might be the worst blunder in US history. People are dying. Every. Single. Day. Do you get that? DO YOU GET THAT? Sorry people, but sometimes these politicians make me sick. Joe Johns then gives us a piece that goes through who's on the Baker Commission. Can't say I much care because I don't think it will matter.

On now to the panel from last hour with Steven Cook, James Carafano, and John King. There's a lot of stuff we've heard before and John says the word is Bush will cherry pick from the report. Can't say I'm surprised. Then they talk about the possibility of a regional war. Apparently if the US pulls out the Saudis will most likely step up their support of the Sunnis, which will lead to a big conflict. It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? Then Anderson says that he knows people are sitting at home right now listening to this and shaking their heads. OMG, can he see me? My house isn't always this dirty Anderson, I swear. But seriously, that was weird. Psychic Anderson. Although technically I guess the odds were pretty good that someone was shaking their head at that moment.

Okay, in the midst of writing this review I had a pilot light issue in my house that ate away all my blogging time. So the rest of this hour will be brought to you on speed. There was a good Nic Robertson piece on Moqatada al-Sadr and to learn more about him you should really read this Newsweek piece. We also get some stranded in the cold tips. Basically you should never leave the car unless you know no one knows where you are. There's some more Russian spy stuff too, including a good piece on the possibility of Putin's people being behind the 1999 terrorist attacks. The hour ends with the breaking news that the ISG report is finally out.

Thoughts on the hour?

The Iraq Study Group, A Family Stranded And Freezing, And More Spy Stuff (Tuesday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. I actually missed the first few minutes of the show tonight because I was chasing a mouse. I know that sounds like a unique take on the dog ate my homework excuse, but it's true. After dealing with spiders a couple of weeks ago, now I have a mouse. At least it's cute because it was too fast for me. So now I've got an extra roommate until I get some traps. Anyway, after giving up on the mouse I turned on the tv to find Anderson in the same tie as last night. He also seemed pretty worked up, but the talk was about Iraq, so it's no wonder. So the first full piece I got to see was from John King on the Baker Commission report. We basically already know what's in it and at this point it's clear there will be no silver bullet. James Baker himself has great credentials as a diplomat, but he's not superman. Iraq could really use a superhero right now.

On now to a Gary Tuchman piece on the democratic plans for Iraq, which mostly center on time tables to pressure Iraqis to step up. To discuss Iraq, we have John King, Steven Cook, and James Carafano. The latter two were advisors to the Baker Commission panel. James thinks things will be much worse if we pull out. Anderson notes that they've been talking about training Iraqi forces for years now, but things never seem to change. Steven thinks we shouldn't even be talking about withdrawling because we don't have enough troops there now.

Moving on to a Tom Foreman piece that I'm pretty sure I'm seen before, but maybe not on 360. Tom gives us some sobering math. Basically even if we only had 15 troops to provide security for every 1000 Iraqis, we would need about 400,000 troops. That would mean doubling the number of troops we have over there and we just don't have them. Maybe we have 20,000 to 30,000, but that won't do much. The draft has been mentioned, but it's political suicide and would most likely never pass. After the piece we go back to the live panel and James states that it's not the quantity of the troops that's the problem, but rather the quality of what they're doing. That sounds like BS to me and sort of like he's blaming the troops. Steven notes that while everyone keeps saying the US needs to pressure the Iraqis to stand up, the US actually put Iraq in the situation it's in, so the troops need to stay. Anderson then gets kind of upset as he recounts all the people that told him over these past years that they had enough troops. "Were they all just lying?" he asks. Yes! Yes! OMG, yes! But major kudos to you Mr. Cooper for using the "L" word. John King then gives us a devastating little recap of everything this war has cost us.

Transitioning now to a Thelma Gutierrez piece on a family that got stranded in the snowy mountains of Oregon for nine days. The mom and two young girls were found still in the car and they're okay, but the dad, James Kim, went to get help and is still missing. There is now a massive search and rescue effort underway and I really hope they find him alive. Thelma tells us that authorities have found his pants (extra pair) and they're interpreting that as a good sign, thinking that he left them to mark his trail. Let's hope.

Next up we have a Tom Foreman piece on Mario Scaramella, the man Litvinenko had lunch with before he fell ill. Scaramella told the spy that they were both on a hit list and he himself was exposed to Polonium, but he's okay. Some of Scaramella's critics say he is nothing more than a wannabe 007. This intros us into an exclusive interview Matthew Chance had with Scaramella at his hospital bedside. I have to say the man's "uhhhhs" drove me crazy. We all know Anderson has an "uh" problem, but he's got nothing on this guy. Anyway, after seeing the interview I tend to believe his critics. After the piece we have Randi Kaye in studio again to do the headlines. The Shot tonight is from youtube (where else?) and it is an octopus pushing it's way through holes. Apparently students in Bermuda are studying what kind of holes they can push themselves through. Or something. I don't really know. What I do know is that I could say something dirty right now, but I will not. Anderson then ends the hour by talking about this sweepstakes that they're having and I guess I'm suppose to talk about it too since they sent me a news release. So...go to the website and check it out. There. My work here is done. The site actually looks pretty cool, but I haven't had much time to check it out. I did, however, play the quote game and totally rocked, thank you very much. Tonight's show was just meh for me. I'm not all that into the ISG stuff because I honestly don't think it's going to change anything and my interest is starting to wane on the spy mystery. I'm not saying stop covering it, but not so much maybe. B-

Will Bush listen to anything the ISG says? How many days do you think you would survive in the cold?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Poisoned Spy, Bob Gates, Rick Sanchez Shocks Me, And Bad News For Pfizer (Monday's Second Hour)

Hey everybody. This hour has a lot more of the poisoning story, soI'm going to blow through it pretty quickly because I'm short on time. We start the hour with a Matthew Chance piece on how the radioactive trail has led the British police to Moscow. This is followed by more of the taped interview David Mattingly had with Litvinenko's father and then we're back to Matthew Chance for coverage of how the murdered journalist fits in. After this, David Satter of the Hoover Institute joins us and indicates that all circumstantial evidence points to the FSB. Again the theory that Putin was able to take power due to terrorist attacks that were carried out by Russia itself is discussed. I find that angle fascinating. And scary. Anderson puts the poisoning into perspective for us, noting that people are gunned down in Russia left and right. Wow, lovely place. Anderson also brings up how Bush looked into Putin's eyes and read his soul. Thank you Anderson! I was beginning to think I made that up. The interview is followed by a repeat of the Sanjay piece and then Randi Kaye gives us a piece on poisoning deaths that is basically just filler. There's really no point to it, except maybe to help people carry out a poisoning. Way to go CNN! Anyway, that'll do it for this subject tonight.

Transitioning now to a Jamie McIntyre repeat and then onto a John King piece on Bob Gates. The guy has a questionable past, but he'll be confirmed. Then we move onto a piece by Rick Sanchez (so appropriate) about how some beat downs went on during Mexico's inauguration day. See, a lot of people in Mexico believe the election was fraudulent and unlike another country I know, the Mexican people got angry and did something about it. Not that I would encourage violence or anything, but it's nice to see people care about democracy. It's noted that the gap between the rich and poor is growing in the country due to NAFTA. Rick then joins us live and takes this point further, explaining that NAFTA has driven farmers out of business and this had lead to the US immigration problem. OMG, finally! I have watched so many hours of immigration coverage just waiting for this to be discussed and...nothing. Lou Dobbs almost pops an artery yelling about broken borders and Anderson plays in tunnels, but when it comes to one of the main reasons behind the problem...nothing. And now here's Rick Sanchez out of the blue just laying it all out there. Rick Sanchez! The taser guy! Oh man, what is this I'm feeling? Is that respect? It's so annoying when you can't group people in black and white categories. My mind is boggled, people.

Finally tonight we have a taped interview with Sanjay about how Pfizer has had to stop a clinical drug because too many people died. The drug aimed to raise good cholesterol and it did a pretty good job...except for that whole people dying thing. Sanjay has come to us with cool graphics. Anderson is all concerned since he's on cholesterol medication. Just something random I know. Randi then joins us for more headlines and Anderson shares The Shot, which is models wearing chocolate dresses. Don't ask. Randi notes that the dresses won't just make you look fat, they'll actually make you fat. Anderson gets a kick out of this and does his whole, "Hey Laaaady!" thing. About that? Um, stop. Don't worry, I still love fun! Anderson, just not that. And we're out.
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