Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Rumsfeld Memo, Iraqi Opinion, And The Poisoning Of A Former Spy (Monday's First Hour)

Hi everybody! We're kicking it off in New York tonight and Anderson's sporting his young republican tie. The rumor on the internets was the show would be broadcasting from London, but apparently not. I swear, sometimes it's like where's Waldo with these people. Anderson gives us a little summary of everything that is to be covered and then intros us into a Jamie McIntyre piece on Donald Rumsfeld by asking, "Remember him?" Hmm, not ringing a bell. Oh wait, isn't he one of those guys responsible for thousands of deaths and the ever imploding mideast? Yeah, I remember him.

Jamie's piece is all about a leaked Rumsfeld memo that basically says the war isn't working and changes need to be made. It even gives suggestions that look suspiciously like what John Murtha proposed. Fancy that. I guess it's only cutting and running if you're a democrat. What the motives were behind the memo and the leak are up for speculation, but I gotta go with Dana Milbank's theory. He was on Countdown tonight and said this was a huge CYA move. Rumsfeld basically threw out any suggestion he could think of, so now whatever happens in Iraq, he can point back and say, "see, I recommended that." Evil genius. Well, okay, maybe not genius. Because if that was the case he'd know how to get us out of Iraq.

Next up we have a Nic Robertson piece on a new survey done by Iraqi pollsters. More than half of Iraqis want US troops out of the country right now and the rest want them to start moving out. A shocking 19 out of 20 Iraqis believe the security situation was better under Saddam. My God, how bad do things have to be for people to be longing for a brutal dictator? The pollsters believe the US troops are part of the problem and the best way to disarm the insurgents is to offer them jobs. I wonder if it's too late for that, but I do think what was done economically to Iraq during the invasion is one of the most underreported stories of the war.

On now to a live interview with Michael Gordon ("Cobra II"). Anderson points out that up to the elections a lot of people were saying one thing, while it turns out they were saying something else in private. Um, duh Anderson. I mean, besides the 30% that is clinging on, is there anyone who really believes anything these guys say anymore? Michael says they have to put on an optimistic face. He's shocked that Rumsfeld put out a laundry list of ideas rather than a strategy. I'm telling you, this all about CYA. A specific strategy won't protect his legacy unless he gets it right and what are the odds of that?

Transitioning now to some headlines from Randi Kaye...and she's sitting right next to Anderson. Weird. CNN could have saved themselves a reporter and just had Anderson read a little extra copy. Randi mentions the massive storm we had in Missouri and says hundreds are without power. Well, that's wrong. St. Louis alone started out with a half a million without power and it's still in the thousands. I am so happy I was not one of those people this time. Between this storm and the two back to back in July, my city has been put through the ringer.

Next up we have a David Mattingly piece on Litvinenko's poisoning with Polonium. This is pretty much just a recap of stuff I've already blogged, but I do want to point out the totally cheesy reenactment they've got going on with David walking around like he's on 20/20 Downtown. The next piece is from Dr. Sanjay Gupta and I just knew they'd bring him in on this. It's funny because chances are Sanjay didn't know anything about Polonium before this story either, but he's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He knows everything! Or at least appears to. Anyway, we learn that Polonium can actually be found all over, but apparently Litvinenko got a really high dose. It's basically like instant cancer and is a horrible death. For a while doctors didn't know what was wrong with him, but then a toxicologist found a blip of the radioactive poison. Sanjay also takes us into a lab for a little Polonium experiment.

On now to another David Mattingly piece on Litvinenko. He is owning this story! We learn that Litvinenko initially worked for Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and then turned on the Kremlin in order to rid Russian security of corruption. Eventually he fled to London and wrote two inflammatory books. He continued to work from London against the Kremlin until the day he died. Next we have an Anderson piece on those suspected of the poisoning. First up is Putin himself and honestly that's as far as I got with the note taking because I couldn't stop laughing at Anderson. Poodin. I know. I know. I'm 12 apparently. And very tired. What can I say?

Moving on to a taped interview with Litvinenko's friend Alex Goldfarb, who blames the Russian Secret Service for the poisoning. He also believes that the Russian Secret Service commited terrorist attacks and then blamed them on Chechyan rebels, which sparked a war and ushered Putin into power. Wow. That's got some parallels to what some people believe happened in the US. Not necessarily me, but there you go. Goldfarb reinterates that this is not just a spy mystery. He thinks the implications go much further because Russia is drifting into a police state that could be a threat to the world. If Russia wants to be a threat to the world it's going to have to wait in line. All kidding aside, this is the reason I'm not angry that 360 is spending all this time on one sensational murder. There's definitely potential for wider consequences here. That being said, a couple of the stories were not needed and probably a couple more could have been combined to allow for more diverse topics. Other than that, pretty good show. B

So what's your view on the Rumsfeld memo, CYA? Do you think this poisoning thing will go away in a few months or will there be wider implications?


Anonymous Sharla said...

Puddin' head!

Geez. I was trying to sleep, but I got all cold and was dreaming I was in New York freezing my butt off and I woke up. Bleh. But that poisoning thing.... if they don't figure out who did it, I'm betting on one of those 'magic bullet' theories on it.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I miss something? I didn't hear him mention that John Bolton had stepped down. I figured that would rated a story.

I think you are right about Rumsfeld CYA theory.


6:12 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Jan-I was just thinking that they didn't cover the Bolten story. It's certainly more important than retreading through ways people have previously murdered with poison.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 360 Bulletin did mention the John Bolton step down. I heard nothing about Hugo Chavez winning the election. Unfortunately for a 2 hour news show, there is very little international news in general. For us international viewers, it can get a bit frustrating. I guess that's what BBC world news is for. Right?

2:53 PM  
Blogger midnite6367 said...

No doubt it's CYA. Naturally Rumsfeld wants to appear as if he had reservations about the disastrous Iraq strategy. Meanwhile, thousands of lives have been lost. It seems "legacies" are more important than trying to implement a policy in Iraq that works. The results of the Iraqi poll are not surprising.

The Russian spy piece turned out to be much more interesting than I'd expected, AC's interview with Goldfarb in particular. If what he theorizes is true, this story will probably be around for a while. Scary.

That Randi Kaye-at-the desk 360 'bulledin' thingy was silly, AC used to do all of that himself but I guess the big-time anchors don't have to do the grunt work anymore.

"Poodin", "Hey Laaaadddy!!!" In the midst of Monday's grim subject matter, AC still managed to make me laugh.

3:20 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Gissou-I didn't notice the mention of the Bolton step down. You'd think it would get more than a mention though. I'm frustrated by the lack of international news too. I really wish Al Jazeera English could find someone to air them in the US.

@Midnight-Meanwhile, thousands of lives have been lost. It seems "legacies" are more important than trying to implement a policy in Iraq that works.

Exactly. These guys care more about saving face than saving lives. It's abhorant. Sometimes I wonder if they even understand that people are actually dying.

3:40 PM  

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