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. ;)


Anonymous Daisy said...

No way are you being to hard on them for last nights newscast or lack thereof. I did a lot of yelling at the tv last night.

The only thing I found newsworthy in Drew Griffin's endless report was that vandals broke the lock on the gate that should have closed the road the Kim's got stuck on, that was it, the rest was just speculation.

Didn't really feel the Wesley Snipes story was big enough to have Lisa Bloom on to discuss.

Anderson's critique of his performance on R&K was funny but not so much as to make up for the rest of the newscast.

I just thought there were more important stories that could have been reported on like Sen. Gordon Smith's comments yesterday about how he will not support the president's Iraq policy anymore and how he believes what the president has done might be criminal. Coverage of Rumsfeld's final town hall and more in depth discussion on why no one is being punished for the Foley scandal.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Bev said...

I loved the show. Its not often that we see Anderson that lighthearted anymore. I did find it exploitive on James Kim though. I'm surprised at AC, he says in his book he hated that part of being in the public eye re- Carter's funeral.
3 hours of Wolf Blitzers doom and gloom was enough for all the other anchors covering the political scene. The wolf-bot goes on and on and on about it all repeating himself constantly.

11:36 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Bev-Yes, but some of us aren't able to watch 3 hours of the Wolfbot. If I'm going to watch two hours of news I want to see, well, news. I really enjoyed Anderson's piece and have no problem with them having something short and fluffy like that, but as daisy pointed out, there were some important things that didn't get covered last night. Thank God for Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hope after the holidays, Anderson Cooper 360 gets back to news. I have been so disappointed this fall and most of the stories he has covered. It almost like he is getting burned out.


1:21 PM  
Anonymous Courtney said...

You make me laugh, Eliza. You're so snarky and funny.

I didn't watch last night--went Christmas shopping, which was a pain in the butt--but sounds like I didn't miss much. I do think they need to let go of the Kim family story and let the guy rest in peace, but looks like they're going to try to get everything they can from it. Paula Zahn has a special about him Monday night.

2:54 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Courtney-Thanks Courtney. Sometimes I worry my snarkiness doesn't come across on a computer screen. I saw the preview for the Paula Zahn special. Simply amazing. I wonder what the poor family thinks about all of this.

Ugh, Christmas shopping. I'm starting that today. Don't tell anybody, but I haven't started yet. ;)

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Sharla said...

I couldn't believe they're still yapping about Foley. And the Kim thing? Oh, now that's just going overboard.

Anderson and Kelly. Ok, I don't like Kelly- she's so bouncy she's practically on springs. And yeah, the laugh- it makes ME laugh when I hear it. Snort/chortle? I was thinking more of Tigger making a 'har har har' sound out of his nose. But it's cute. I like it anyway. Most likely I would find it irritating coming out of someone less... Anderson like.

4:56 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@sharla-I didn't mind the Foley stuff because actual news happened, rather than them just harping on it.

Kelly is growing on me. She's still too perky for my tastes, but I don't hate her or anything. You wanna know what's scary? Larry King has a laugh that is very similar to Anderson's.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous jr said...

Eliza: I 100% agree with your opinion on last night's broadcast. I realize that the video from Drew Griffin's report was not even reviewed before airing, but, it just dragged out too much. The hype around making Kim appear like a "hero" is getting old. Let the poor family grieve in private.

I also agree with Daisy that there were other stories that could have been covered. How about the shooter in Chicago? That was breaking news and it got 1 minute on the 360 Bulletin.

It seems to me that the Friday AC360 shows do not get the focus as their other shows during the week. I'm guessing it's because not as many viewers watch the show on Fridays. I was surprised AC was even broadcasting live. They normally just run repeats on Fridays.

Last point...I don't think Anderson's laugh is annoying and I totally agree that it is similar to Larry King's...great catch!!!!

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

I love Anderson's snarky side. I just wish the show could be more balanced - covering all angles of a news story as well as some fluff pieces with some of Anderson's snarky comments thrown in. Just seems like there would be room for both in a two hour broadcast.

8:06 PM  
Blogger midnite6367 said...

I thought another story on the Kims was unnecessary and Wesley Snipes? C'mon people! That was the definition of a non-story and any story that brings on Lisa Bloom has my wrath, she is uber-irritating.

I did enjoy the Lane Hudson interview.

Anderson's critique of his R&K stint was great to see, it's weird that he would spend so much time worrying about how often he picked up his cup to drink and whether or not he was successful at greeting Diane Sawyer and shaking hands with Brian McKnight. That Nicole Ritchie mishap must've been bugging him for MONTHS, poor guy! It was funny hearing him mocking his own laugh after the piece aired and hearing his camera guys in the back reassuring him that his laugh was not annoying. His laugh is unusual but it's also endearing.

8:49 PM  

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