Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Four Wars In Iraq: An Awesome Michael Ware Interview (Tuesday's Second Hour)

Hi everyone. Hey, remember when a week or so ago 360 showed us some clips from an interview Anderson did with Michael Ware and I said I could have watched that for a whole hour? Well, ask and ye shall receive! Next I would like to ask for our government to be held accountable for every bad thing they've ever done. Or, you know, a pony. The hour kicks off with some stuff from last hour, but really this is Michael Ware's show. I remember when I first saw him on 360. Anderson introduced him as an embedded reporter and I rolled my eyes, preparing for the spin we always get. But then he started talking and I found myself saying, "who is this guy who is talking so passionately and saying things I know to be true, but have yet to hear someone on tv say? Because I think I kind of love him."

This interview is broken up into four main parts, but first we have a kind of intro where Anderson asks where the war is now. Michael says American commanders think it is in a dire, but not yet hopeless state. However, there has been no progress in any way. Anderson points out that Cheney was recently touting the democratic elections and Michael replies that they were surfaces successes and common Iraqis say they'd rather go back to the old way if this is what we call democracy. Then Michael lays out all the horrors that Iraqis go through that we have all heard before. Michael thinks that this focus on Baghdad comes at a great cost because al Qaeda is becoming stronger in Anbar Province. Anderson notes Anbar is about to get 4,000 more troops and Michael says that's a drop in the bucket. Michael informs us that militias own the south where Iran's influence is greater. He points out that critics may point to the area being stable, but that's only because coalition forces have basically given power to Iran. Michael says the surge is not a new strategy because the "new" tactics have been tried before in other places of the country.

On now to the first war, which is with the Sunni insurgents. Michael explains that by and large this was the war the US expected to fight. The insurgents started out small, but then emerged stronger. Michael says that with the disbandment of the military and economic opportunity taken away (thanks Bremer!) the Sunni's felt dishonored when they were just sent home and the US underestimated this sense of honor. Surprisingly, they weren't actually fighting for the return of Saddam. Nor did they initially support al Qaeda. In fact there was great friction between the groups. However, as the insurgents began to feel strain with finances and in other areas, al Qaeda got stronger to the point that they were able to take over areas. This then leads to Michael's near execution story, which I blogged previously, though I did miss this great quote: "There's so much that we're told by all sides. I mean, this is one of the universal features of this war as in all others, is that everybody lies." The first casualty of war is the truth.

Next up we have the second war, war with al Qaeda. Anderson wants to know what was really happening at the time Bush was primping under his "Mission Accomplished" banner. Michael notes that before the war there was an al Qaeda presense in the country by name of a group called Ansar al-Islam, but they were holed up in the north and were not related to Saddam. Michael was up there at the time with the US Green Berets that were fighting them and they all watched them just hop on over to Iran. They were not wiped out like Bush said. Man, why have we never heard this before? Anyway, then Anderson brings up Zarqawi and Michael notes that the US invasion gave him a battle to join-a battle where he made his name because before that he was nobody. "So in many ways, the invasion played directly into the hands of al Qaeda," Michael says. Lovely. I know I always like to help people who crash planes and knock down buildings. It's like we couldn't have made this worse if we tried. So okay, Zarqawi's whole plan was to make Iraq the new Afghanistan. He wanted to start a war between the Sunni and Shia, so that the Sunnis would wake up from their supposed slumber and then rise up and fight. Well, hey, mission accomplished. If he wasn't dead we could let him borrow Bush's banner. Anderson points out that really, this is a fight against Muslims that aren't radical enough. Michael tells us that al Qaeda has declared western Iraq an Islamic state to be ruled by Sharia law-a country within an American occupation. I tried to think of a little retort to end the segment. I don't have one.

On now to the third war, which is the civil war. So is CNN finally calling it a civil war now? Michael talks a bit about stuff covered in the last segment regarding waking up the Sunnis to fight. Then he mentions that commanders say it's good that the civil war is only in Baghdad, but really that's no success because Baghdad is mixed and a lot of other places aren't. Anderson wants to know if the death squads are controlled by the Iraqi government. "Absolutely," Michael replies. Anderson then asks what Michael does when he gets stop at road blocks run by Iraqis. Michael notes that basically you're always rolling the dice because you have no idea who those people are really going to be. No where is safe-you can even be dragged out of your home. This makes me feel very scared for Michael, but I pretty much was anyway. Anderson notes that the adminstration points to the elections and he wants to know if they have decreased the violence. Michael says no. In fact, the democratic process have fueled the conflict because the Sunnis see the US as entrenching Shia power and that's why ordinary Sunnis are turning towards al Qaeda-they feel they have no other choice. "And the true winners of the war so far of the invasion and the occupation, at the end of the day, are the Islamic extremists on both sides represented by al Qaeda on one hand and ultimately Iran on the other. They're the winners so far." Enough said.

Next the fourth war is covered (proxy war with Iran), but I've already blogged that, so we're going to move right into the end segment where Anderson asks about our options. Michael then takes much too long to answer, which makes my stomach sink. He doesn't see any alternative that isn't ugly and difficult. Two of America's greatest enemies have become stronger and he doesn't see how that can be rolled back. Anderson asks what would happen if the US pulled out and Michael says it will be a nightmare beyond almost imagination. He notes there really is no Iraqi government-just militia forces. "Do you have an answer?" Anderson asks. But Michael doesn't see any road forward that doesn't involve spilling innocent blood. Partitioning? Not a solution says Michael. Anderson then brings up the new strategy and wonders how long it will take before we know if it works. Michael says we don't need time because "it's clear and abundant now that the strategy as it stands is not working and will not work." "So the wars within the war continue?" asks Anderson. "The wars within the war continue," replies Michael. Okay, so, I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to go cry now. Seriously, that was an amazing conversation, but so unbelievably depressing. There's no way out and I can honestly see the US collapsing itself just like the Soviets did when they fought in Afghanistan. Big, big, sigh. would you fix Iraq? Because I'm sure we can solve it on a blog. Anyway, your thoughts on the interview?

General Fallon, Ashoura, Iran Behind Karbala, The Fourth War, Border Battle, And OMG Psychic Drama! (Tuesday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. Okay, I've been afraid to mention this, but I think announcer man is gone. The last time I thought he was gone and I mentioned it he came back the very next day. So for right now I am very quietly saying, "yay." Anderson begins by scaring me because he's talking about psychics and a missing woman and I think we're starting back with the crap news again, but it's just a fake out. Instead we kick off with John Roberts live to give us the low down on the testimony today of Admiral Fallon, the man tapped to run Centcom. As it turns out, he's not sure yet if he's behind the whole surge thing. He wants to check it out more first. Hmm, somebody missed their memo from the Bush Administration. Things aren't looking good for our preznit here guys. Even Arlen Spector was all, "you ain't the only decider in this government bucko." I feel a constitutional crisis looming.

Next up we have a Michael Holmes piece on the shia religious ritual of Ashoura, which involves beating your head with knives and swords. Um, ouch? What's cool about his piece is that Michael and crew actually get to walk through the streets with the people. Normally westerners can't do that anymore, but security is really tight and more importantly, they have the support of a local Sheikh. This was a story about Iraq that was not completely depressing. Yay! Oh, I should probably point out that I would never want 360 to do a story in Iraq for the sole purpose of doing a "good" story. I hate that. But that's not what happened here. After the piece Anderson asks what would happen if Michael walked down the street without the soldiers and the local support. The answer is he wouldn't get very far. Okay so I guess this story isn't entirely void of depressingness.

On now to Christiane Amanpour live to talk about the charge that the Iranians were behind that Karbala attack. I have to say that I am so happy to see her because as soon as I heard that charge my skepticism sense got tingly. When it comes to this topic Christiane is probably one of the only journalists in the whole world that I trust to give me the straight scoop. So anyway, she thinks it's surprising if Iran was actually behind this attack behind Karbala is a holy site for Iranians too and it would be seen as an act of war, which Iranians have not shown interest in as of yet. Christiane also points out that the sources behind this charge are in the early stages of an investigation and there have actually been many other attacks similar to this that weren't blamed on Iran. Okay, so she's pretty much confirming my suspicion that the whole thing is BS. I'm not saying that Iran wasn't behind the attack, but what I am saying is that no one knows for sure right now and there are people who are going to say they were behind it no matter what. After Christiane we've got some of the Michael Ware interview talking about the Fourth War, but I already covered this on Friday's blog.

Transitioning now to Dan Simon live in San Diego, not far from that big tunnel that was discovered last year. Dan tells us the tunnel was capped off, but not yet filled with concrete. He seems like he's about to do that walking around the live shot thing that Anderson loves so much, but then we lose him to technical difficulties. Bummer. So instead we go to an old Anderson piece from when he was in the tunnel. I thought I blogged this, but I guess I've just seen it a lot. Anyway, the tunnel is 2400 feet-the largest tunnel ever found connecting the US and Mexico-and it comes out in a warehouse in San Diego. The tunnel people have gone all out, pumping in air, electricity, and cable. Hey, they need their CNN! Yeah, I kid about the cable. We spend the rest of the piece being amused at Anderson touching everything. One word: Purell. The Shot tonight is Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. This is news because we haven't seen Castro in four months. Okay then. After this we get a little Michael Ware clip where he's explaining about going into the Zarqawi controlled territory. Anderson asks, "Are you nuts? Do you ever ask yourself that?" "Often," Micheal replies. You know Mr. Cooper there have been times when someone could have asked you that too. Just saying.

Next up we have an Anderson piece on Sylvia Browne. Again. Anderson hates her. I get it. I don't like her much either, but I don't see what the point is here. He could just as well go after O'Reilly, who last I heard is still talking about how Shawn Hornbeck must have liked his situation. That jerk has 2 million people watching him every night. I really doubt this psychic woman reaches that many people, but maybe I'm wrong. Besides, Faux News is already all over Anderson, so may as well go for it. Anyway, in the piece we hear Sylvia say how she cracked the cases of the ski mask rapist, the 1993 world trade center bombing, and Chandra Levy. In reality, the guy from the bombing was arrested before she even did her reading. To prove herself to CNN, she sent two examples of cases she solved. One apparently couldn't be verified and the other turned out to be wrong. You know, I think this piece was suppose to be some sort of big "gotcha", but it just wasn't for me.

We're then joined by Sylvia Browne's business manager Linda Rossi, and psychic debunker James Randi. At this point I literally say out loud, "this is going to be good." Anderson begins by asking Linda about the 1993 bombing guy, pointing out that he was all over google. Linda retorts that when Sylvia put forth her prediction she didn't know that. Anderson then brings up another case that she got wrong and Linda BS's and states that Sylvia is really a spiritual teacher first and foremost. Anderson's all, "uh, no, her website says psychic." Linda doesn't give up though and they go through a back-and-forth interrupty thing with Anderson pushing back on the point. Pushing back hard. Damn boy! Why can't you do this to a politician? Your opinion here is all over your sleeves and it's leaking on your pants. I'm not really complaining though. James points out that people like this will point out their successes, but never mention all the failures.

Linda then says that Sylvia is merely a vessel of God and that Randi is an athiest. Uh, WTF? Man, this train just flew right off the tracks didn't it? I didn't even see that coming. Anderson says that to attack the guy asking the question is like a high school debating tactic. Whoa. Zing! Anderson wants to know, "But so by me asking questions, am I godless, too?" She says no. Wow. I don't know that I've ever seen Anderson become personal with an interview in quite that way before. We then go to commercial break and I'm really wishing we could see what's going on. Probably Anderson is just on his laptop like always. Otherwise...awkward.

Back from commercial, Linda promises on her life that Sylvia has never charged anyone to find a missing person. Anderson then asks Randi what's so bad about Sylvia that he's dedicated himself to stopping her? Randi's basically against all psychics and Sylvia is just the major figure in the field. At this point Linda tries to interupt, but Randi shuts her up by screaming, "Would you mind!" Ahem. Anderson then brings up the test that Randi wants to give Sylvia, but Linda says she won't take it because Sylvia has nothing to prove. After this things just go from bad to worse and there's a lot of yelling with poor Anderson cutting in saying, "No shouting. No shouting. Let's just be calm." He does a little eyeroll too and says, "I know arguing is popular on cable news, but we just don't like it on this show." Well, actually I think somebody on the show must because you just bumped your missing girl story to continue with this interview. Not that I wanted to see the missing girl story or anything. Anyway, my God! What a train wreck! Pretty pointless, but I do have to say, highly entertaining.

The show started out strong tonight and then got crazy. The grade will only count this hour because the next hour special was amazing and I don't want to skew it. I plan on blogging the second hour, but probably won't have it up until late Wednesday at the earliest and then both hours of Wednesday's show will go up on Thursday. B-

Do you think Iran was really behind Karbala? Your take on the psychic interview?

Screencaps by stillife.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A New Group In Iraq, Iran, Homeless Vets, Field Medicine, Katrina Hearings, And Obama Ads (Monday's Second Hour)

Hi everybody. Hold on tight, this is going to be fast. We begin with an Arwa Damon piece on the fighting that occurred today in Najaf. It turns out there's this whole other group now that no one new about. They call themselves the Soldiers of Heaven and they're basically a Shia cult that's bent on bringing about the Shia judgement day. Yeah, because that always works out. It was a brazen attack that the Iraqis tried to handle, but they eventually had to call the Americans for back-up because they were up against 600 men and the fight went on for 24 hours. Apparently the goal of this new group was to create mass chaos by killing Shia clerics and leaders, including Al-Sistani. Oh, that would have been unbelievably bad. Ugh. We can't even handle the other groups we already knew about and now there's these people? Sigh.

Moving on to a bunch of repeat stuff from the first hour and then we have a Barbara Star piece about Iran. It is believed Iran is supplying Iraq with weapons, but we already know that... so moving on to Christiane Amanpour live in Tehran. She tells us the Iranian people are scared the US is going to war against them. Well, if it makes them feel any better, the US people are scared too. Also, Iran is about to open a bank in Iraq. So they're settling right in I guess. After this there is an Anderson piece about a homeless vet that ran before. After the piece Anderson updates that Joe is now renting a room, so that's good. We've also got an old Sanjay piece about field medicine too.

Transitioning now to a Susan Roesgen piece on Katrina and why the money just isn't getting anywhere. There was a senate homeland security hearing on Katrina and senators also took a tour of the devastated area. One of these senators appears to be Lieberman, but there is no mention of the fact that he totally backed away from his pre-election promise to hold the Bush Administration accountable for what happened. C'mon 360! You guys should be nailing him for that. Anyway, there's a whole bunch of back and forth blaming, but no real answers. Speaking of back and forth. All throughout the show Anderson's eyes kept going up and to the side. Is the prompter on the ceiling? What the hell? In any regards, it was kind of amusing to watch. It was like his eyes were playing ping pong.

Next we have a Jeanne Moos piece on weird Obama ads on youtube. People have too much time on their hands...said the blogger reviewing a news show. The Shot tonight is a news tech guy who drove his live truck onto a frozen lake and got stuck. Oops. Okay, that'll do it.

Our Wounded Warriors, Interviews with McCain And Clinton, And, Uh, Mountain Lion Attacks (Monday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. Is it spring yet? I can't take this cold. Anyway, Anderson is back and tonight we are in San Antonio to cover the opening of the Center For The Intrepid at the Brooke Army Medical Center, which is a state of the art facility for our wounded service members. In his rapid fire style, Anderson gives us a preview of what is to come and then we move into interviews he did with John McCain and Hillary Clinton. I usually hate the way 360 chops up their interviews, but actually this section coming up is kind of interesting. Each interview was done separately, but we're shown McCain and Clinton's answers to the same question back to back. Anderson begins by asking about the big battle in Najaf that just occurred. McCain thinks it was good it was a preemptive strike, but other than that really doesn't know what to think about it. Well, at least he's honest. However, Clinton comes to the question locked and loaded with talking points, talking about how we can't escalate the war and blah, blah, blah. Anderson brings up the point that Cheney has said he trusts Maliki and asks them each if they do too. McCain is disappointed with Maliki, which I guess isn't really a definitive answer-not like Clinton gives anyway. She flat out says she doesn't trust Maliki and actually while we're on the subject, she doesn't trust Cheney either. Ha! High five sister!

Up next we have a piece from Anderson that profiles Master Sergeant Daniel Robles and Sergeant Nathan Reed, both amputees. There's not really much I can say here. You kind of need to see the piece. We're then shown a video game type thing that helps the amputees learn to shoot their guns again. And check it out, it's Anderson with a gun! Oh my. Well that was quite a surprising little fangirl moment for me seeing as though I don't like guns. I wonder what he was thinking while holding it, "The Paris Hilton of news my ass!"

On now to some more of the interview, this time just with Clinton. Anderson wants to know why private funds are needed for this kind of hospital and Clinton admits it should not relieve the government of responsibility. Then Anderson refers to a previous Clinton comment about how Bush needs to extricate the troops before he leaves office and Anderson wants to know if she thinks the troops should be out of Iraq by 2008. Clinton hems and haws and to his credit, Anderson presses, but we still don't really get anything. Anderson then asks what the point is to her troop cap proposal and whether those kind of things send a mixed signal to the troops. Clinton doesn't think it does because she's talked to the troops and I guess they're on board. Funny thing is, I'm betting McCain will say he's talked to the troops too and they're on board with him. It must be fun to be stuck in a hell hole AND get continously exploited by both political parties. Anderson brings up the possibility of a genocidal bloodbath if we pull out and Clinton again spews a mouth full of talking points. Maliki is then brought up again and Anderson mentions how Bush thought he could see into Putin's soul or something. He wants to know if she thinks Bush is a good judge of character and Clinton is all like, "um, no." You forgot your favorite, Anderson. How could you not give Brownie a mention? This was a pretty good interview, though the answers were frustrating.

Okay, now it's McCain's turn. Anderson wonders if the full cost of this war is really known, especially in regards to those suffering from PTSD. Dude, I can totally take this one. No, no the full cost of the war is not even close to being known or understood. We will be dealing with this for GENERATIONS and things will come up that we can't even imagine right now. And another thing, about half of Iraq is under 18 and those kids have seen things that most of us have only seen on television. They will grow up some day and they will not forget what's been done to them. We may not pay for Iraq next year or even 10 years from now, but one day we will-whether we deserve it or not. And that's what we're leaving our children, along with a whole bunch of other crap.

Back in the interview Anderson mentions the theory that if we pull out the war can then just be between Shia and Sunni since they're already fighting anyway. McCain gives Anderson the most condescending smile ever and states that that would bring on full genocide. Anderson asks if McCain thinks a troop cap makes sense and he doesn't, but he can't tell us how many more troops are needed. Hmm, well Bush seems to know. You mean 21,500 won't do the trick? Gasp. At least McCain doesn't agree with Cheney that we've had enormous successes. Although I have to wonder why Anderson didn't ask McCain if he thought Cheney was delusional. He posed that question to Clinton, so it only seems fair.

Next up Anderson interviews two soldiers who will be using the facility: Corporal Aaron Mankin and Staff Sergeant Daniel Barnes. Mankin suffered injuries and burns from an IED and Barnes lost his legs to an RPG. This interview kind of acts as a PR commercial for the facility-it sounds like a nice place. Mankin is really optimistic. I mean, seriously gung ho. He could probably totally sell me something right now. After this interview Anderson interviews Bill White, one of the men behind the facility. Anderson wants to know why the government didn't help. Uh, because they suck? Bill is a little more generous, stating that they wanted to do this themselves to let the soldiers know the American people cared. Anderson then keeps at the government angle a little more, which I appreciate. I mean, they SHOULD be doing more.

Transitioning now to a Chris Lawrence piece on that guy who got attacked by a mountain lion. He's 70 and his 65 year old wife fought him off. Don't mess with older ladies man. They have big heavy purses due to years of collecting crap. Anyway, I don't know what the point is here, so allow me take this time to ask CNN a favor. Could you possibly leave up the names of the people being interviewed for more than like two seconds please? I blink and I miss it. I mean, you leave your ugly graphics up the whole show, I don't know what the problem is here. Thank you very much. Pretty good show tonight. B+

So what did you guys think about Hillary and McCain? And Anderson with a gun!?

Screencaps by liberation337.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Iranian Agents, Karbala Attack, Michael Ware Interview, A Stupid Sentence, And Mountain Lions-Oh My! (Friday's Show)

We begin tonight with me laughing at (and feeling a little sorry for) Larry King, who has just confused ESP and ESPN. I'll say one thing, that show is never dull. Anyway, John King is our anchor tonight because Anderson is...somewhere that is not here. I don't know. I'm not his mother. Our first piece of the night is from Ed Henry on the new US policy allowing troops to kill and capture Iranian agents inside Iraq. By one estimate there are currently over 100,000 of the agents in Iraq. Whoa, seriously? Well that's quite an underreported little bit of news. The democrats are suspicious that the new policy is meant to drum up war with Iran, so they can distract from Iraq. Oh, that's just crazy talk. Who in their right mind would start a war for a stupid reason like that? Oh, right. Yeah, I'll just be over here crying in the corner. But buck up comrades because there is some good news. It seems are preznit has given himself a little promotion. He's not "the decider" anymore; he's "the decision maker"! God help us all.

Next we've got some discussion with Christiane Amanpour on how the Iranians are viewing all this. Guess what. They're not happy. Shocker I know. Christiane states that the general consensus is that Iran is meddling in Iraq, but the Iranians say they have no interest in the country. Right. And I have no interest in winning the Power Ball. John wants to know why we waited until now to start kicking Iranian butt and Christiane thinks it's probably mostly due to the rise in Iranian power in the region.

On now to a Tom Foreman piece that acts as an update on the recent Karbala attack. Okay funny story, except not really funny at all. See, we were told five US soldiers were killed when men dressed as Americans made it through Iraqi checkpoints and open fire with guns and grenades. That in itself is fairly horrific, but apparently not the real story. As it turns out only one soldier was killed at the scene while the four others were abducted. This pretty much makes it worse because when you get taken in Iraq you're not going to play tea party. Anyway, after the abuction the men made it through another Iraqi checkpoint, but these Iraqi soldiers became suspicious and followed them. This lead to them abandoning their vehicles. Three soldiers were then found dead and the fourth died later. And here's my question: in our world of instant communication and technology how the hell did they get it so wrong? Unless of course they didn't get it wrong at all. Bush has a "surge" to sell is all I'm saying.

Transitioning now to an interview Anderson did with Michael Ware in which they sit down to play some sort of warped board game. Okay, actually what happens is Michael tells us his seriously scary story of how he was almost executed. Yes, executed. At the time of the incident Al Qaeda in Iraq had put up banners in the center of Baghdad, signifying their control. Michael wanted to go there, so he got an invite from a mid ranking insurgent commander. The insurgents are nationalists and don't much like the foreign fighters coming into the mix, but you won't hear that from Bush who likes to paint them all with one "evildoer" shaded coat of paint. On the day he went into the territory Michael was pulled from his vehicle by men who had grenades with the pins pulled out. They planned to film his execution with Michael's own camera, but the insurgent he was with balked. The insurgent believed that to kill Michael would be an insult since he invited him and in the end Al Qaeda opted not to get involved in a local war. So basically, an Iraqi insurgent saved Michael Ware's live. Craziness.

At this point the sheer magnitude of Michael's story causes my cable to momentarily freakout. Once it composes itself, Michael is talking about how after the incident he was reluctant to leave his room. Dude, if that happened to me I would still be in my room. Yet Michael returned to Haifa Street only a few days later. What a total badass. I mean, it's not like I'm saying he's the kind of guy that would kill a man in Reno just to watch him die...right after he bought said man a couple of drinks, actually, that's exactly what I'm saying. Somebody should make one of those Chuck Norris pages, except for Michael. You know: Michael Ware doesn't need to wear a kevlar vest; the bullets see him coming and reverse direction. Okay, I'm actually not very good at that. Someone else would have to do it. In any regards, I love ya Michael. Please stop making me be afraid for you.

ANYway, way off track there. Back in the interview Michael explains that Iran has actually been involved in Iraq since the very beginning and actually since Saddam launched his vicious war in the 80's Iran has had legitimate security issues with Iraq. Basically what happened is that under Saddam a bunch of Iraqi Shia fled to Iran and then Iran used these same Shia during the US invasion. At that time those that had fled actually went back in with advisors who were the equivalent of US green berets. Now those same Shia have pretty much taken over the Iraqi government. That's diabolical! And okay, how the hell did we let that all happen? It's like we got played by Iran! And did Ahmad Chalabi orchestrate the whole thing or what? One interesting thing is that Muqtadr al-Sadr never left the country, so he used that as a very powerful tool to win supporters. However, Iran is pretty much backing him now, so there ya go. The interview pretty much cuts off here, though it's apparent Anderson and Michael were still talking. I feel cheated. Seriously, I could have listened to that stuff for a whole hour. So interesting and some of it very underreported.

Transitioning now to a Rick Sanchez piece on Genarlow Wilson, a young man sentenced to 10 years in prison for, uh, how do I put this? When Genarlow was 17 he got with this consenting 15 year old girl and she performed what the kids these days are calling a type of job. Oral sex. There I said it. You see, in Georgia there is this outdated statute that anyone who recieves oral sex from someone under 16 will be charged with child molestation. What's funny is that if they had gone all the way and had intercourse Genarlow would only be charged with a misdemeanor. Makes sense to me. Man, what is up with our country and BJ's? Oh hold up, I just got an email from Bill Clinton. It says, "Dear Eliza, you are preaching to the choir." Strange.

Jeffrey Toobin then joins us for the legal low down. Apparently there are all sorts of stupid laws on the books; it's just that they usually don't get prosecuted. Jeffrey stresses that that's why those kind of jobs are so important. Poor Genarlow can't even get a pardon from the governor due to how Georgia's system is set up. That bites, but it sounds like with the press attention they might be able to get him a lesser sentence or off all together. The Shot tonight is of a dude who in Costa Rica who plays with crocodiles for a living. Okay then.

On now to a piece from Dan Simon on a mountain lion attack. We hear a couple of attack stories including one in which a woman beat the crap out of a mountain lion that was attacking her husband. Whoa, don't mess with that lady. We're then joined by Jeff Corwin for tips on how to stop a mountain lion attack. As someone who lives in the suburbs of St. Louis, I can't tell you just how relevant this is to my life. Okay, so the main thing you shouldn't do is run because that just turns you into a human ball of yarn and I assume that means the lion will unravel you. So instead you should do what the woman in Dan's piece did and just beat the crap out of it. I often find that when in doubt beating the crap out of something works in a pinch anyway. These attacks are really rare (like so rare the fact that we're talking about this makes me want to beat the crap out of something), but they're happening because humans are up in the mountain lions's pads. That's do it. Pretty good tonight and I loved the Michael Ware interview. B

Screencaps by stormi0611

Saturday, January 27, 2007

More Afghanistan, Libby Trial, Lebanon, Increased Nicotine In Cigarettes, Late Justice, And A Murdered Family (Thursday's Second Hour)

Hi guys. We kick off the hour with Peter Bergen again for more talk about the situation in Afghanistan. Peter notes that usually the fighting pretty much stops in the winter, but not this time. This is a make or break year for the country in his opinion. He thinks the additional troops will help, but what Afghanistan really needs is a political solution. I've heard that one before. I won't hold my breath, but they still like us, so I will be crossing my fingers. After Peter, Anderson reads us an email he got from the father of one of the soldiers that they met when they were in Afghanistan last September. The letter says that the troops are burned out and the father is very angry that his son now has to turn around and go right back. I don't blame him. This then intros us nicely into a repeat Anderson piece from when he was in the country.

Transitioning now to a Kelli Arena piece on the Scooter Libby trial. Cheney's communication chief, Cathie Martin, recently testified that the VP's office was obsessed with gathering information on Joe Wilson. She told of talking points and message control, which is all very different than the Libby defense that he just got caught up in other issues and really didn't pay any attention to Wilson. In the piece we're told that, "Wilson claimed that he was sent on his mission by the vice president." This is untrue and I'm tired of reporters being lazy when it comes to this whole story. Honestly 360 hasn't shown that much appetite for Plamegate. I don't know why. It's a huge story. Those interested should check out MSNBC. David Shuster has pretty much been on it since the beginning.

To discuss the trial we're joined by Jeffrey Toobin and Court TV's Savannah Guthrie, who was in the court room. Hey, who are you and what have you done with Lisa Bloom? Just when she was starting to grow on me. Anderson wants to know if Libby will testify. Toobin's not sure, but notes that if he does take the stand then prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will get to have a go at him. Oh, that could be fun. Unless of course he trails off into another baseball metaphor. Seriously Fitz, what was that all about? Anderson notes that Libby claims he's being scapegoated, but wonders how that's even relevant. Savannah doesn't think it is relevant. Bummer for Libby. I guess we'll just have to see what happens. Maybe we will have a Merry Fitzmas after all. After this Anderson informs us that they're getting a ton of email telling them that the site is down. He then spells out the site for us and quite frankly seems a little annoyed. I guess he's a little sensitive about his inbox.

Transitioning now to a Nic Robertson piece on what's up in Lebanon. What's up is trouble. Hezbollah has been organizing huge street protests and massive strikes to urge for the prime minister's resignation. The situation today started when students loyal to the government clashed with Hezbollah supporters. The violence then spread out among Beirut. Rocks were thrown and cars set on fire. Soldiers tried to keep the peace, but in the end three were dead and 150 injured. After the piece Nic joins us live and we're informed it was silent all night, as people seemed to observe the curfew. That's good I guess. Hopefully things will improve, but it's really looking like that government is going to fall.

Next up we have a Drew Griffin "Keeping Them Honest" piece. Drew is taking a break from pensions to bring us the news that tobacco companies have been increasing the Nicotine in cigarettes in order to increase addiction. I'm confused. Didn't this story break like a month ago? Anyway, Drew points out that we also need to keep ourselves honest and admit that we all know that cigarettes are bad. Well, yeah, duh. I have sympathy for addiction, but honestly why the hell does anyone in their right mind start in the first place? My grandfather died from lung cancer, but when he started smoking no one knew they were bad. Nobody has that excuse anymore. I knew back in elementary school to turn down cigarettes, so I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. What's interesting is that what's actually inside a cigarette is not regulated at all, so the cigarette companies can do whatever the hell they want when it comes to contents. So now some people want to get the insides regulated by the FDA. The libertarians probably won't like that.

On now to a Rusty Dornin piece about the 43 year old murders of Charles Moore and another African American teen that were thought to have been commited by James Seale and Charles Edwards, reputed members of the Ku Klux Klan. The two teens were picked up by the white men, tied to a tree and beaten, and then thrown in the Mississippi river. Seale and Edwards were initally taken into custody, but then released. Throughout all these years Thomas Moore has been fighting for justice for his brother and recently with the help of a documentary filmmaker and reporter, the case got some press and James Seale was just arrested yesterday. Thomas and CBC documentary filmmaker David Ridgen then join us to talk about the case. David notes that when it comes to these cases you don't need a lot of people to get the ball rolling, just a lot of will.

The final piece tonight is from Randi Kaye on a family of five that was murdered as they slept. What makes this case unique is that the crime was covered up by setting fire to the house. Even the car was set ablaze. There aren't many details yet, but apparently the dad was using and dealing crack. As we go out for the night we get an update on the mysterious panda Shot. Emailers have informed 360 that the show is called "Shimora's Zoo." Okay then. That'll do it. I'll have Friday's show up sometime later this weekend.

Have you been following Plamegate? Are you a smoker?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cheney's "Delusional," Afghanistan Falling Apart, Border Issues, Skydiver Murder, And Living Long (Thursday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. Anderson begins tonight with his fingers in his ears. Perhaps I should explain. I didn't watch, but Larry King had people from American Idol on and apparently they were, um, not good. "Is it over?" Anderson asks. No Anderson. Unfortunately the season has just started. You know, one doesn't even need to watch the show to know all about what's going on. All you need to do is turn on the news or listen to the radio or just freaking listen to your co-workers as you're walking through the office. Has everyone gone crazy? It's just a show people.

We all remember yesterday when Cheney shockingly (or actually maybe not shockingly) claimed that we were having enormous success in Iraq. Well, sanity has come calling today in the form of Dick Durbin calling Cheney "delusional." Gasp! Of course this has everyone all a twitter, though really it could have been worse. I mean, he could have told Cheney to go f*** himself. Durbin then joins us and Anderson wants to know if he really believes Cheney is delusional. Durbin is all, "Duh! Delusional means out of touch with reality," and he then goes on to lay out the sad truth about the VP. Anderson wants to know if Durbin thinks Cheney really believes what he says. Does it even matter anymore? He's evil or crazy. Not exactly a great choice. Durbin states that if they don't debate Iraq then Congress will become irrelevant. Um, too late.

Next up David Gergen joins us from Davos. Hey, Gerg! How's Switzerland? The Gerg notes that Cheney is now a weakened figure, but he's sad that Durbin made that comment. He thinks Cheney really does believe what he says. The Gerg is kind of bumming me out here because he's all sad about the whole situation. Aw, where's my optimistic Gerg? I told you not to get your hopes up about everything. Buck up, Gerg. Tomorrow's another day and more importantly, another news cycle.

Moving on now to a Jamie McInytre piece about the resurgent Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Oh yeah, THAT war. Apparently the Al Qaeda training camps in Pakistan are full. Well that's excellent and not at all something to be alarmed about. Of course it's obvious why this is happening. Since Musharraf made that deal with tribal leaders last year attacks in the south of Afghanistan have gone up 200%. The US is stepping up to combat the problem and has proposed an increase in funding for the country that will focus on things like road building. Also NATO will finally send more troops and it should be noted they were requested last summer. Way to get on that guys.

To discuss all this Peter Bergen joins us live and notes that the deal Musharraf made was good for domestic politics, but not the wider war on terror. And now the Taliban is starting to act like Al Qaeda. Anderson points out that the US army is stretched thin and that soldiers that just came home from Afghanistan are being made to turn right around and go back. That can't be good for morale. There is some good news though. Peter states that the people of Afghanistan still seem to like us and that's very important. Yay for not totally hating us!

Moving on now to a Gary Tuchman piece on immigration, specifically the border of Arizona and Mexico. A lot of immigrants have actually taken to going underground and we find that if you go into the sewers from a strip joint in Mexico, you'll actually come out at a taco restaurant in Arizona. This has caused border control to scour the sewers and Gary decides to tag along. They find some people and there are some tense moments, but in the end they just leave. Gary then exits the sewers from a manhole and ends up in the middle of the street. And hey look, there's a camera just waiting for him! Oh Gary. Don't go pulling a Rick Sanchez on me. Back in the studio Anderson asks, "You took a bath, didn't you?" Ha! Maybe he's a shower man, Anderson. You don't know.

Transitioning now to an Anderson piece on skydiving and...MURDER! Too much? Okay, apparently what happened is two women skydivers were dating the same male skydiver and one of the women got jealous. So she then did what anyone in that situation would do-she sabotaged her friend's chute and backup chute. Oh, did I say anyone? I meant crazy people. The poor woman' s video camera caught her plummet to the ground, but they haven't released the tape and Anderson says that even if CNN had it they wouldn't show it to us. Fine dude. See if I ever send anything to your little I-report. I am of course totally kidding. For the love of God nobody ever show that tape. Please. The woman hit the ground at approximately 130 mph and they know if wasn't a suicide because the tape shows her panicking. That fall down must have been the worst minutes of her life and unfortunately they were also her last.

The Shot strangely comes early tonight and it's pandamania! Anderson acts like they're cute, but we know he really doesn't like them. So anyway, there's a bunch of pandas and people are supposed to vote on their names. We're also shown another clip from youtube of a girl with pandas in her room, but the crack 360 staff doesn't know really what the heck it is that they're showing us. Aw, it's okay. You know why? Because it's pandas!

Transitioning now to an interview with Dan Buettner, founder of He's here to tell us the secrets of living longer. Basically it all comes down to lifestyle: low stress and a healthy diet. An interesting tidbit is that people who eat nuts live two to four years longer than people who don't. Anderson is shocked and quite frankly I'm a bit skeptical. It's also a major plus to have a strong family and social support system. Dan explains that people who live long are not locked up in the air conditioning watching tv. "Uh oh," says Anderson. "Uh oh," says me. Apparently he's describing both of us, though actually I'm more of a locked up on the computer kind of person. Somehow I don't think that makes it better.

After a commercial break we're back with Dan and he tells us that the month in which a woman is born can predict whether or not she will live long. Oh c'mon. That's got to be BS. He also states that the best amount of sleep to get a night is seven hours. Now that I believe. I always feel best when I manage to sleep that long. When I sleep more than that I drag and less than that I'm tired all day. Of course it's virtually impossible for me to plan the amount of sleep I get so I guess it's neither here nor there. We're informed that there is a test on Dan's site to determine your longevity. Anderson is a little worried to take it. I'm flat out scared to take it. With my luck it will tell me I should have been dead last week. Besides, it could tell me I'm going to live to be a 100 years old and I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Life happens. Just go with it. That'll do it for the hour. Good show tonight. B+

So, is Cheney delusional? Did you take the longevity test?

Screencap by bcfraggle.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Iraq, Politics, Earmarks, Fact Checking The SOTU, And Alexandra Pelosi (Wednesday's Second Hour)

Hi guys. Sometime between doing the first hour review and now I've developed a headache, so I'm not going to go into the stories as much as I wanted for this hour. We begin with an Arwa Damon piece on a recent battle in Baghdad. We're again shown DOD video, but Arwa acknowledges it this time. After much fighting, the US finally just blows up the building the insurgents were in using precision guided missles. Kaboom! Damn. It just goes to show that the Iraqis still need us. This is followed by a repeat of the John Roberts piece.

Transitioning to a conversation with democratic strategist Paul Begala and republican strategist Mike Murphy. There's a lot of barbing back and forth and talking points, but the funny thing is Anderson doesn't really say anything except, "mmm." Was he napping? Next up we have a Joe Johns piece on earmarks-those pesky little pork projects that are quietly slipped into legislation on the down low. The president wants to get rid of them, but if he does then Congress might threaten to start cutting agency's budgets. So...yeah. Our system sucks.

Moving on to a Tom Foreman piece on Bush's plan to reduce our gas use by 20% in the next 10 years. Sounds good, but you have to read the fine print. See, he's actually talking about what we're expected to be using down the road. It's not based on today, which basically makes the pledge meaningless. As we leave the piece we're shown a clip of President Carter talking about our dependence on foreign oil. This is supposed to show that it's the same old problem that we never fix, but really, Carter actually did do some stuff. He put a solar panel on the White House roof and, really, who could forget the sweaters? Sure he failed, but at least he tried leading by example.

Next up we have an interview with Alexandra Pelosi (yes, Nancy's kid) on her documentary "Friends of God," which is about evangelicals. She actually got to know Ted Haggard and filmed him before the whole meth and gay hooker thing broke. She notes that when the scandal erupted all the church leaders left him out to dry because the ultimate sin is bad publicity. Alexandra also points out that there really is no "evangelical" because they are 80 million strong and all different. She thinks what many people think of when they hear "evangelical" is just a stereotype perpetuated by Fox News. Amen to that.

The Shot tonight is this really nasty looking shark that lives 2,000 feet below the sea. Really nasty looking. On another note, since the Shawn Hornbeck story broke, the majority of the people coming to this blog via search engines have been searching for things related to the case. I got an email the other day from someone who set up a blog post on Heather Kullorn, another child that went missing from my area. Go have a look and see if you might know something. I also wanted to have the link here for future searchers.

Cheney Interview, War Discussion With Michael Ware, And A Special On Modern Day Slavery (Wednesday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. Tonight is one of those nights where they keep us on our toes. We go from live to a taped special and then back to live. I'm going to do the whole taped special in this post even though it went over into next hour too. We begin with clips from Wolf Blitzer's big interview with Dick Cheney. It's good they got the Wolfbot to do this because Cheney is much too evil to talk with a human anchor. It's kind of hard to judge this interview because 360 has it all chopped up and I didn't watch the original from The Situation Room. However, it does look like the Wolfbot did his usual hacktastic job. I'm sorry, but reading a statement or playing a clip and then asking the person to respond is not good journalism. Anybody can do that. I want them to ask their own questions. At one point the Wolfbot asks about the Iraqi government maybe turning against the US and Cheney growls, "That won't happen." Yes, and Saddam had WMDs. And they greeted us as liberators. And they're in their last throes. How must it feel to be so deluded?

The main part of the interview that gets hyped is when the Wolfbot brings up Mary Cheney. She's a lesbian doncha know? A pregnant lesbian. The world is ending! The Wolfbot mentions how some right wing groups are against her having a child and Cheney thinks this is all very out of line. Oh c'mon! The woman wrote a book. I think everything is very much in line. The Wolfbot short circuits a little bit and then joins us live to proclaimed how shocked! he is that Cheney would take offense. He's not taking offense, Wolfbot, he's spinning and changing the subject. Although from experience I know you're not very good at noticing that kind of thing. In another part of the interview the Wolfbot states that Saddam was contained before the war. Cheney, however, rejects this idea. Man, I wish I could just reject reality like that. My next car payment I'm sending sans check with the phrase "I reject this," over the slip.

Transitioning now to Anderson giving us a spiel about what when down on Haifa Street today. As he talks we see a b-roll of video labeled Department of Defense. This gives me pause because I immediately wonder why they're using that video. There is no verbal acknowledgement that this is not CNN's video. It bugs me because I view anything like that from the Pentagon to be propaganda. After all, the only reason we're seeing it is because they want us to. We then move into a John Roberts piece and they're still using some of the b-roll. The piece is about all of the bi-partisan nonbinding resolutions in Congress right now regarding the war. Since they're nonbinding they're pretty pointless. Congress, please do something real!

Next up we have Michael Ware in the studio and he informs us that we don't even need to wait until March to see if Maliki does what he promised because we already know how this will play out. Anderson points out that this time they say it's different. "They always say that,"Michael replies. Right on. Someone's been paying attention. Anderson tries again, this time mentioning that Iraqi troops will be living with US troops under the new strategy. Michael rolls his eyes and scoffs this off. Anderson then laughs that Michael didn't even let him finish. Save it Anderson. Michael ain't having it no more! He says that the changes are like a drop in a bucket and they might as well not bother. Michael also states that Cheney is spinning when he says he has no reason not to trust Maliki and that Muqtadr al-Sadr is now a movement that cannot be wiped out. Okay, everything he just said is totally depressing and terrifying, but can I just say that I love Michael Ware? There are very few places on the news you can find this kind of honesty.

Big transition now to the slavery special and Anderson kind of previews everything for us at the top. There are currently 12.3 million slaves in the world right now. Mind boggling. We begin with a Randi Kaye piece in Atlanta, ground zero for child prostitution. I did not know that. Apparently Johns like the young girls because they think they're cleaner (as in less STDs) and pimps like them because they're easier to control. We meet one young woman who was tied to a bed for two weeks in her pimp's house...while his family was there! What is wrong with these people?! Basically the way it works is that "scouts" go out and find vulnerable girls and then take them to the pimps. Former prostitute Rachel Lloyd then joins us in studio. Rachel has founded Girls Education and Mentoring Service and she notes that girls are trafficked from city to city based on demand. For example, more girls are brought in for the Super Bowl. That's just sick. Rachel explains that girls get sucked into this because it's exciting for a 13 year old to get attention and gifts from an older man. The problem is that soon the luring stops and the slavery begins. She urges us to see these girls not as prostitutes, but as victims and to stop glorifying pimp culture. I'm sure MTV will get right on that second suggestion. I completely agree with her though.

Next up we have an Anderson piece on Pulitizer prize winning columnist Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times. If you haven't been reading his Darfur stuff; you should be. Anyway, Nicholas has been covering the situation in Cambodia off and on for about 10 years now and four years ago when he went he actually bought two prostitutes for $350 and gave them their freedom. I know journalists aren't suppose to get involved like that, but I say screw that rule. What he did was awesome. One girl was named Stre-Mam (ph) and unfortunately when Nicholas went back to check up on her she was back in the brothel. Apparently these brothels get the girls addicted to meth so they have to come back. So sad. Another girl was kidnapped when a woman she thought was her friend gave her drugged ice cream. The drug actually caused her to be mute for a quite a while. Nicholas informs us that some men think that sex with a virgin will cure their AIDS and that the money for these slaves is so good that sometimes families will even sell their own daughters. I just can't comprehend that.

After Anderson's piece Nicholas is in the studio and he says that everytime he goes to check on Stre-Man (ph) she says she will go back to her parents, but he knows she never will. One interesting tidbit is that the brothel owner actually has a bond with all the girls, though she cheats them. Anderson mentions that one brothel is even run by the cops. However, Nicholas states that there has been some effort to crack down on the slave trade in Cambodia due to US pressure. Yay us! It's so rare these days that I get an opportunity to be proud of my country. Nicholas points out that the millions in slavery is too big of a number. The story needs to be told one face at a time. Yep. As they say: One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic. After this conversation we get a piece from Dan Rivers on Mam Somly, a former prostitute who runs a refuge in Cambodia for those previously in brothels.

On now to a Thelma Gutierrez piece on modern day slaves in the US who work without pay against their will. We meet a Thai woman who was offered a job in a California restraurant. She jumped at the chance to work in America, but once she got here her passport was taken and she found herself enslaved. Another woman went through something similar and was actually forced to sleep on a dog bed. Disgusting. Moving on to a Jeff Koinange piece on the Lord's Resistance Army of Uganda. The LRA is headed by Joseph Kony and the group states that they are based on the 10 commandments. However, I don't remember the commandment that says thou shalt invade villages, kidnap children, and force the children to become sex slaves and child soldiers. Perhaps it was an oversight. Anyway, the situation is so bad for Ugandan kids that they've taken to commuting from their villages every night to avoid being kidnapped. One girl tells us how she was made to build a fire using decapitated heads for support and another woman states that some of the kids were made to actually cook human beings and serve them up. There are no words. Komy is tired of hiding and says that he will stop his fight against the Ugandan govenment in exchange for immunity. However, his victims want him tried for crimes against humanity. I'd like that myself. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

The last piece is a repeat from Joe Johns. Great show tonight. A-

What did you think about the Wolfbot/Cheney interview? Did you notice the DOD video? Have you read Kristof? What did you think about the special?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

SOTU Aftermath

Hi everybody. Well, that was very nice of blogger to have technical difficulties during the SOTU. Thank God I wasn't trying to live blog. So did you guys watch the speech? I didn't watch, so much as listened while surfing the net. Every once and a while when Bush said something particularly outrageous I would turn and yell at the tv like your average crazy person. You see what he's done to me? I don't know why I was looking forward to all this hoopla because in the end I found the speech and the coverage very mundane. I've gotten to the point where I am just sick to death of politics because no one is saying anything new or noteworthy. It just breaks down to a bunch of empty rhetoric. As for 360, I didn't really enjoy the show, but I don't blame them for this one. They can't control what other people do or don't say. Anyway, there will be no grade for tonight because though I set out to do a recap like usual, that idea got thrown out pretty quickly. When there are no packaged pieces blogging the show becomes a lot more difficult. So in no particular order, here are my random observations from the show:

  • I like that Anderson was kind of tough with Obama. I've seen a lot of journalists under his spell and softballs are thrown. I like Obama a lot, but I want everyone asked the hard questions. Also, in a weird way I found Obama's story about having his face superimposed over Bin Laden's to be sort of comforting because it's evidence that he can handle what's about to come his way. Because it's going to get tough for him. Extremely tough.
  • Anderson asked both Obama and Edwards if they were surprised Bush didn't mention New Orleans. I'm guessing this was something that angered Anderson. It angered me too, but I can't say I was surprised. I actually wondered if he would mention it and guessed that he probably wouldn't. I honestly don't think the man cares at all about the ongoing recovery. It's ironic that this was a speech about the state of our union and the big gaping wound on our union wasn't even mentioned.
  • I really don't like Kit Bond. I know, that's not exactly an insightful or mature thing to note, but it's the truth. My senior senator usually keeps a pretty low profile in the national press, but I can tell you he's been pretty worthless for my state. And he either never emails me back when I contact him or his office will send a form email that doesn't address anything that I actually brought up. It irks me.
  • When Anderson asked John Roberts if anyone would remember this speech I yelled, "No!" There wasn't even anything in it that was blatantly mockable like a human-animal hybrid mention. Remember that? That was quite the WTF moment. Although I'm sure Jon Stewart and company will find plenty of more subtle things to snark on. For the record, John Roberts said the only way the speech would be remembered would be if Bush actually got something done. I'm not holding my breath.
  • I liked the Joe Johns piece that recapped all the previous Bush failures: social security, energy independence, permanent tax cuts, medical malpractice reform, and immigration reform. Not that I wanted all that stuff to fail, but it's nice to know someone is keeping track. I also liked how Joe pointed out that the SOTU is merely a wish list. It's kind of funny what a big deal is made over this speech when in reality it's actually pretty meaningless.
  • Paul Begala and Mike Murphy were okay. I think I actually like Mike a little better even though I don't agree with him. Something about Paul annoys me, though I did appreciate him pointing out how Bush used the slam "democrat" right after his nice moment with Nancy Pelosi. Anderson looked a little skeptical-like maybe Bush simply slipped up or something. However, I'm totally with Paul on this one. Bush sends coded messages to his base all the time in his speeches. It sounds completely crazy, but it's true. I actually never believed it until I heard him talking about the Dred Scott decision during one of the 2004 debates. I was completely confused what that had to do with anything, so I looked it up and found it was a code phrase for Roe vs. Wade.
  • Did anyone else get an image of Cheney with a shotgun whenever Paul Begala mentioned Bush not just being a lame duck, but a dead duck?
  • Paul's suggestion to send Clinton to Iraq was...interesting. Wouldn't it be awesome if Bush did send Clinton and he fixed everything? The winger's heads would explode. Did you catch Mike Murphy's Clinton slam/joke? He said that if Clinton went to Iraq there'd be a recession in the nightclubs of New York. This barb got absolutely no reaction from Anderson. Not even an eye blink.
  • It was awesome to see Michael Ware safe in Washington, although it's clear he was not impressed with the speech. I absolutely love how he just tells it like it is.
  • I'm liking Andrew Sullivan a lot better than I did before. I've always liked to read him in print, but previously found that he came off like a jerk on tv. Of course his stance on everything has changed since then, so that probably has something to do with it. I think maybe before he was still fooling himself and that came across to me. I don't agree with a lot of what he says, but I find him to be very honest now and that I value more than people having my exact views. And I loved that he backed Paul up on the "democrat" story.
  • It sounds like Jim Webb was a hit with the pundits. Usually they either ignore the democratic response all together or they slam it. So yay! I am a little curious though as to why Andrew thinks it's important for the speaker to have testosterone (he praised Jim Webb using that word). Because if that's something you have to have for the SOTU that could be problematic for Hillary. Just saying.
I think that will do it. So what are your thoughts and observations on the speech and coverage?

Screencap by liberation337.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SOTU talk, 2008 Candidates, Fixing New Orleans, And Radicals In Prison (Monday's Second Hour)

Hi everyone. We kick off the hour with a Nic Robertson piece on the Zawahiri tape. The whole piece boils down to the fact that the tapes are the same old, same old for us, but they're motivational for his followers.

Transitioning now to Ed Henry live to talk about the SOTU speech. Apparently they're trying to shorten it because it's too long. Added a few too many "freedoms" I guess. Ed tells us that Iraq will be a big part of it and adds that "let's face it, he's a lame duck president." Hey Ed, have I told you lately that I love you? Okay not really, but keep talking like that and who knows? After Ed we have a John King piece that explores the stress this war is putting on military families. I can't even imagine what it must be like to be in a constant state of worry.

On now to our political panel from the first hour. Nothing ground breaking here. Bush is stubborn. Bush has no credibility. Bush is trying to sell his strategy. Blah, blah, blah. Next up we have a Candy Crowley piece on the new candidates for 2008. Obama, Clinton, and Richardson (Governor of NM) have thrown their hats into the ring. These three candidates bring a lot of possible firsts: the first woman, African American, and Hispanic. We're asked, has Hillary peaked? Is Obama ready? I've got one: Is it way too early for this? Anderson is on my wavelength because he's wondering the same thing. Candy says that the reason is "money, money, money." Ah...democracy. She tells us that these candidates are going to have to raise about $100 million for this race. Just think of all the good things that could be done with that money. Instead it will be used to smear people. I just love our system, don't you?

Moving on to a Susan Roesgen piece on why things still suck in New Orleans. Apparently the federal money is there, but the city is blaming the state and the state is blaming the city and...oh for the love of God people! Shut up and step up. Sorry. Anyway, the state says the city hasn't filled out the proper paperwork, but Nagin flat out says they're lying. Nagin, your outburst during the height of Katrina was warranted and quite frankly a little awesome, but now that doesn't fly. The state admits the process is complicated, but I guess it is what it is. Can't they think outside the box or something? I just don't get this. And to top it all off, the city and state actually meet once a week and they still can't get things worked out. There are no words.

Transitioning now to a rerun of the Gary Tuchman piece on the stolen identity woman. After that we've got a David Mattingly piece on radicals in US prisons. There's an issue with people going into prison and then coming out religious radicals. One of the problems is that Muslims are most vulnerable to being corrupted into extremism because there aren't enough Imans to guide them. Another problem is overcrowding. We're shown a cell where two people are living even though it's supposed to be for one. It's the prison industrial complex. Locking people up is a booming business. After this piece we've got a repeat piece from Christiane and we're out. Time for the SOTU. I'll have some sort of post about the coverage of it later.

New Al-Zawahiri Tape, Karbala Attack, 2008 Politics, Smearing Obama, Sylvia Browne, And A Pension Update (Monday's First Hour)

Hello everyone. I hope you had a nice weekend. We're kicking off the broadcast with a new camera angle tonight. Interesting. It appears Ayman Al-Zawahiri is out with a new video and we go immediately to a taped interview with Peter Bergen to discuss the subject. Peter says Zawahiri is trying to stay relevant, which makes me wonder why they're helping him. Do these tapes really need to be news anymore? I mean, he's probably got enough for a greatest hits compilation by now and none of them say anything particularly interesting. Anderson points out that the Bush Administration has kind of helped their cause in that they are letting them speak for all Muslims. You know, the whole us vs. them thing. So basically, even though there is only a very small percentage of Muslims who believe in this extremism stuff, both the terrorists and the Bush Adminstration have been using broad rhetoric.

Next up Anderson gives us the low down on the horrible weekend Iraq had. A total of 27 US troops were lost with 25 on Saturday alone, making it the third worst day since the war began. That's probably not the news Bush wanted before his big speech. This brings us to a Tom Foreman piece on a truly brazen attack that occurred in Karbala. Iraqi officials and US soldiers were having a meeting about an upcoming religious holiday when gunman in at least seven SUVs attacked with gunfire and grenades. When it was over five US soldiers were dead. What's so unsettling about this attack is that the gunman had passed themselves off as Americans and were able to get through three Iraqi checkpoints. Now the question is whether the Iraqis let them through on purpose or not. This is even more important now as the US is poised to give more military control to the Iraqis.

For discussion we've got John Burns live in the studio, sporting a toned down version of his wacky hair. I guess when you're in Iraq you really don't think much about hair products. Although I have to say that Arwa Damon is always surprisingly put together-earrings and everything. Anyway, John tells us that this attack is like nothing we've seen before. That is not comforting. I'm dreading the day when we find out that it wasn't five soldiers, but five hundred. Anderson brings up Maliki and notes that he arrested one of Muqtadar al-Sadr's men. John seems to think that Maliki is acting on some stuff he promised. However, because the Madhi army is fractured, it's possible Maliki is just taking care of things that Sadr would have had to do himself anyway. Apparently everybody's got an agenda in Iraq. I guess the question is whether or not Maliki is being played or is actually in on the plan. In any regards, I don't envy him. Because I don't think it's just his job on the line if you know what I mean.

Transitioning now to some BREAKING NEWS. California is on fire. Again. Man, they are not having a good year. We then move into a Joe Johns piece on Bill Clinton and how he's going to influence Hillary's race for the White House. It's noted that some people's feelings about Hillary may actually be because of how they feel about her husband. I guess I can believe that. I'm meh about both of them. My dad really hated Clinton. Like really hated him. Although I'd like to think that given the chance I would have turned him into a democrat. The piece of course mentions the affairs and impeachment, but really those don't look half bad compared to what the guy currently sitting in the office has done.

Next up we've got some discussion with John King, Candy Crowley, and William Schneider; otherwise known as "the best political team in the business." You know, I was watching MSNBC earlier and they say the same damn thing. Obviously one of them is lying. I love how they can just label themselves whatever they want with no accountability whatsoever. Perhaps I should start referring to myself as CNN's "best primetime viewer." Am I their best primetime viewer? Well of course I am. You just read it in this blog, didn't you? So it must be true. Anyhoo, on the subject of Hillary, Candy says she's walking a tough line between accessible vs. tough, Bill notes there's still an amount of sexual stereotyping out there, and John indicates that her fans thinks she's misunderstood. Oh this is going to be a long, long election season.

Anderson then fills us in on a little Obama smearing that's been going on lately. Apparently Insight Magazine, which is owned by the Washington Times, printed a story that Obama attended a madrassa (radical Muslim school) while living in Indonesia. Basically they made him out to be a terrorist. Anderson notes that other news organizations ran with the story without checking the facts. Just say it Anderson. It was Fox News. Just say it. And it's not like this was just a case of lousy journalism here. This was a calculated smear. Follow the money man. All the right winger press is connected. The best part is that CNN actually sent John Vause to Indonesia to check the story out. Okay, he was probably in the area anyway, but color me impressed. John finds that the school Obama went to was just a regular old public school and there's nothing extremist about it. Shocking. After the piece Anderson says, "that's the difference between talking about news and reporting it." Well, listen to you. Okay buddy, let's not get too big for your britches. After all, you are about to do a report on a psychic. Just saying.

Next up we've got an update on the Missouri miracle story. Apparently some reporter from the New York Post was able to get in to see Michael Devlin. Now a gag order has been issued because that never should have happened. Man, that paper is slimey. Okay, see that was perfect reporting for the story. Something new happened, they gave us an update, and that was that. This is how it needs to be all the time. Although actually it's not perfect because then they rerun all the Sylvia Browne and psychic debunker stuff from last week. Anderson clearly hates Sylvia Browne. I wonder if she knew the Anderwrath was coming. Seeing as though she's a total fraud, probably not.

Transitioning now to a Drew Griffin piece that updates the pensions for Congress crooks story that he's been working on for three weeks. You know, for a show that often suffers from ADHD, keeping with a story for three weeks is quite an accomplishment. I know they've been on Katrina for over a year, but this is different because it's about specific legislation. Anyway, Drew does a whole recap, but I've already blogged all this stuff, so newbies can just search my previous posts. What's new is that the House was all set to vote on their version of the Senate's bill, but instead of a vote they had an ugly bitter partisan fight. Oh boy. So close and yet so far away. Drew then joins us live to explain. Apparently the republicans wanted to wait for a tougher bill, which of course lead the democrats to ask why the hell the republicans didn't pass a tougher bill back when they were in power. I would actually side with the republicans on this one if I didn't suspect they were being evil and just looking for an opportunity to let the bill die again. Sigh. The Shot tonight is CNN's "Warrior One" which is a Hummer that the network used to cover the war back in 2003. It was bought by the co-founder of Remax to benefit the Fischer House. I love the Fischer House. I send them phone cards every Christmas. The show was pretty good tonight. B

Do you care about the terror tapes anymore? Do you think that pension legislation will ever be passed?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Possible Nuclear Arms Race, Weather, Akers Interview, Sylvia Browne, Stolen Identity & Muslims In London (Friday's Show)

Hi everyone. We begin tonight with Hornbeck...OMG we're actually leading with something else! Anderson starts talking about the Doomsday Clock that Jeanne Moos told us about the other day and my heart drops. Now you're leading with the Doomsday Clock? Oh WTF? No, wait, he's actually just using the clock as a creative intro into real news. Man, that was a lot of ups and downs to go through in under 30 seconds. Okay, so we've got real hard news people! At the top of the show! Let us savor this moment. The first piece of the night is from Aneesh Raman concerning the goings on of the middle east. We learn that 150 members of Iran's parliament have criticized Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over his handling of foreign affairs. Ooh. Looks like Bush isn't the only one with trouble at home.

Also, Jordan has announced it wants into the nuke club. I kind of can't blame them. If my neighbors were going crazy I might want to get a weapon too. Or at least invest in ADT. Egypt, Saudia Arabia, and Kuwait are looking to go nuclear too, though they say it's just for energy. Okay people, if everybody gets them then there's not much point in a club now is there? So yeah, it looks like we might have a nuclear arms race taking off in the middle east. And if there's one place you want a bunch of nukes it's the middle east. Aneesh's piece leaves out a big piece of related news: China just freaking shot a missle into space and destroyed a satellite! So we're also looking at an arms space. And it should be noted that the US had a chance to sign a treaty against this ridiculousness and declined to do so.

On now to an interview with Vali Nasr, author of "The Shia Revival". Vali says it is very clear that Arab governments are teaming up against Iran. Anderson wants to know if Jordan's request to go nuclear is real or just a warming. Vali thinks it's both. He says they do feel threatened, but this also provides them cover to ask for something that they might have wanted all along.

Transitioning now to a Reggie Aqui piece on the continuing crappy weather. Ugh, if I've got to deal with this weather can I at least have the bad news delivered to me by Rob or Chad? No offense Reggie, but I don't know who you are. Anyway, it's still cold people. And there are STILL people with no electricity. We meet a woman who has actually resorted to making candles. No, really. Now that's somebody who knows how to roll with it. Over the past week 70 people have died in nine states due to the weather and there'll probably be more because as I type this my area is getting blanketed with snow. Wonderful. After the piece Anderson asks what FEMA is doing about this and then we all laugh heartily at his funny.

Next up we have a taped interview with Shawn Hornbeck's parents, Craig and Pam Akers. I really thought they would lead with this so I am pleased with the more appropriate placement. There's nothing really new here, but I guess some people appreciate hearing it all from them directly. Craig Akers takes the opportunity to state that no one has a right to judge Shawn because they haven't been in his shoes. Right on. I know of one Fox talking head who needs to go straight to hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Moving on to an Anderson piece on "psychic" Sylvia Browne, who can often be seen on Montel Williams. No, I'm not kidding. Why are we suddenly talking about psychics? Well, Shawn's parents went on the show and were told by Sylvia that Shawn had been killed by a Hispanic man. This misinformation caused the search for Shawn to be pulled back. Now that I don't understand. Even if the Akers completely believed it there must have been skeptical people on the case. It is alleged that Sylvia kindly offered them further help...for her normal fee of $700/hr. Of course. This whole piece is kind of ridiculous. I understand that 360 wants to expose this woman as a fraud, but don't most people pretty much already know that? Obviously the Akers were desperate and willing to try anything, but non-grieving people that would go to her aren't going to be convinced by piece on CNN.

Taking this even further, we're joined by psychic debunker, James Randi. There are professional psychic debunkers? James is not a fan of people who say they can talk to the dead. Oh, but what about Cole from the Sixth Sense? He was adorable. Of note here is that James infers that shows like Montel and Larry King are emboldening the fraud that Sylvia commits because they give off the impression that she's dependable. Ooh, I wonder if CNN is ticked about this comment since he basically just accused one of their shows of contributing to fraud. C'mon James, I don't think Larry even knows where he is half the time. Seriously though, this is a good point. Sure these kind of people pull good ratings, but there is such a thing as standards. James tells us that he invited Sylvia to take a test to prove she's a psychic and the prize was $1 million. She's accepted, but didn't follow through, stating she didn't know how to reach him. James finds that hard to believe. "A psychic didn't know how to reach me?" Ha! He's got her there. Sounds to me like she already lost. Okay, all that was pretty pointless. As we go out to commercial Anderson says "Shawn Hornby." Twice.

Transitioning now to a weird piece from Gary Tuchman concerning a 20-year-old named Brook Henson that went missing. The twist to this story is that one day her family was told that Brook was actually alive and well and living in New York. They were of course thrilled, but the problem was it wasn't really Brook; someone had stolen her identity. That had to be horrible for Brook's family. The let down reminds me of the Sago accident. Anyway, the identity stealer is named Esther Reed and she is currently missing too because she figured out people were on to her. Esther used Brook's identity to get into both Harvard and Columbia. Not too shabby. To make this all weirder, they're even investigating whether or not Esther might be a spy because she had money wired from out of the country. Gary tries to talk to Esther Reed's dad, but gets totally dissed at the door. Poor Gary is always being sent to have the door slammed in his face. We learn that the way Esther was found out was that she applied for a housekeeping job and the family googled her name. After they saw the real Brook was missing they called the police. You gotta love the google. It is not believed that Esther had anything to do with Brook's disappearance. After the piece Anderson gives Gary a Congrats on his 12-year-old son Daniel getting his blackbelt. Wow, that's impressive. Those are going to be some rough teen years for Gary.

Transitioning now to a Chrisiane Amanpour piece on Muslims in London. We learn that minority radical groups prey on young Muslims and right now it's even easier for them to do so because some believe the British government is scapegoating them. Hanif Qadir is a youth worker who has found that he's on the frontlines of fighting the radicals. It is noted that mosque elders are still stuck in tradition and they need to engage with the young people in order to counteract the radicalism taking hold in the country. Haniff sets up a pool tournament between the neighborhood's youth and the police that often arrest them. It's a way for them to relate to each other differently than they're used to. This is actually a really good idea. A lot of hate comes from ignorance and misunderstanding. Haniff notes that the biggest threat to Islam is from enemies within. Good piece. The Shot tonight is a twofer. First up we've got a beat down in the Taiwan legislature. You got to love the Taiwanese. Next we've got a pillow fight league. Hmm. Okay. That's it for the night. It's great they seem to be winding down from the Hornbeck story, but what was all the psychic stuff? C

So what do you think, are we looking at an arms race in the mideast and space? Do you believe in psychics?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Pedophiles, Maliki, Loans For Katrina, 9-Year-Old Runaway, Grey's Anatomy, Fit Or Fat, and Londonistan (Thursday's Second Hour)

Hi everyone. Do I even need to tell you what this hour leads with? No I don't think I do. After the repeat coverage, our own resident doctor, Sanjay Gupta, gets in on the Hornbeck action in a story about pedophiles. Are they criminals or are they patients? Sanjay notes that pedophilia has been diagnosed as a mentail illness for decades, but we also tend to medicalize bad behavior. So basically the question is pretty much up in the air. We then move on to an interview with forensic psychiatrist Helen Morrison. She explains that to the pedophile, their behavior is not abnormal. Anderson tells us that he followed around pedophiles years ago and they were the most manipulative people he ever met. So it's clear, he followed them as a journalist people. Anyway, coming from a man that regularly interviews politicians, I guess that's saying something. Next we have a repeat of the interview with Arlin Henderson's mom and then we are done with this story for the hour. Thank God. You know, if they absolutely have to give this story so much coverage they could spend all the time they've given to speculating experts and instead show more missing kids.

On now to a Suzanne Malveaux piece on the latest going on between the Maliki and Bush administrations. Uh oh, apparently Maliki is now blaming Bush for not providing enough weapons for the Iraqis. Meanwhile, US soldiers in Iraq say, "hey man, you're preaching to the choir." Bush spins at the charges. The piece ticks off some recent stuff Maliki has done on the ground, but to me it sounds like he's distancing himself from Bush.

Transitioning now to a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Jeanne Meserve on the Small Business Administration's disaster assistance loan program. Obviously this is a very important program for Katrina victims. We learn that one man applied for an SBA loan, was approved, but STILL hasn't gotten anything. But this piece really isn't about the slowness or incompetence of the SBA; it's about the fact that if Congress doesn't give the SBA more money they're going to have to shut the whole program down. What happened? Some blame Congress for failing to pass a 2007 budget and others blame the administration for poor budget planning. In any regards, a lot of people are depending on this program.

Moving on to a Dan Simon piece on a nine year old boy that stole a car, got chased by cops, fooled Southwest Airlines into giving him a plane ticket, and flew out of the state. His mom says he needs a father figure. Um, I think he needs more than that. How did he get the plane ticket? Kids don't need a photo ID in security, so he simply pretended to be someone else, specifically: Frank Williams. If they were going to do this story, I wish they would have focused more on the security aspect and less on oh isn't that kid precocious. Anderson is all concerned whether the real Frank got to travel. He urges him to, "give us a call." No Frank. Please don't. Your story is not newsworthy; though no doubt annoying for you.

Next up we have a piece on the tv show Grey's Anatomy. No wait, I must have hit my remote and turned to Entertainment Tonight on accident. Seriously, am I being Punked here? Is Ashton Kutcher hiding behind my monitor? Apparently there's some bigotry against gays on the set. The guy who plays Dr. Burke called the guy who plays George a f*****. Nice. Suddenly the reason for this piece is clearer. That must be one tense set. Do you guys watch this show? I do, but don't think it's as great as people say. Possible unpopular tv opinion: I hate Merideth. She's so whiny! Oh, and nobody spoil me because I haven't seen this week's episode yet.

Now we're back to Sanjay and this time he's playing a game called "Fit or Fat?" We learn that egg whites are fit, diet coke is fat, occasional ice cream is fit, and detox diets are fat. Okay, what was the point of all that? It feels like it came out of no where; like maybe they taped it a while ago and aired it today as filler. Unless he was live, which I didn't actually notice. Whatever. After this we have a Christiane piece that sort of previews her special this weekend. It was a very good piece, but I was so busy watching I barely wrote anything down. So...sorry. Just watch the special. That'll do it.

What do you think Maliki is up to?

Yet More Hornbeck, Arlin Henderson, Stopping Oil Subsidies, and Steve Irwin's Last Special (Thursday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. We begin tonight yet again with the Shawn Hornbeck story. You know what's funny? When I watched this story break on my local news early Friday evening I wondered if it might get a mention on 360 come Monday. Oh what a naive little blogger I was. Anyway, Anderson tries to lead off with Shawn and his family on Oprah, but there are technical difficulties, so they go with a taped interview with Dr. Sharon Cooper of the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children and Dr. Marylene Cloitre of New York University Child Study Center. Neither story should be the lead. The women are here to discuss Shawn's readjustment, but exactly how many speculating experts do we need to here from? It just feels really exploitive to me. Although the family did go on Oprah, so maybe they're okay with all this. I'm just really happy that Shawn has said he does not watch the news. If I heard people I didn't know talking about me or a member of my family like this on national television it would make me sick. Anyway, they had interesting things to say, but I'm not taking part in their speculation. They're experts, but when it comes down to it they don't know what he's going through and how well he's going to come through it.

Next up we have the Anderson piece on Shawn and his parents Oprah appearance. Anderson covering something involving Oprah. Shocking. Shawn has gotten a haircut, but what I notice the most is he makes basically no eye contact with Oprah. We learn that it was him who posted under the name Shawn Devlin on his parent's website. Damn. I was hoping it wasn't because that's really heartbreaking. Shawn's parents say he has not gone into any detail about what he went through, but they believe he was sexually abused. I have to wonder why they answered that question. Obviously everyone in the country was wondering, including me, but you know what? It's none of our business. It's just seems like having that out there is going to make it harder for him. In fact, I'm kind of bothered by the fact that they're on Oprah at all and I'm a little worried the media is taking advantage. Obviously Shawn has been through 4 years of trauma, but him being found had to be a major trauma for the whole family-though a good kind. All I know is that after a major life stressor you're not suppose to make any big decisions because you're not in the best frame of mind to do so. The media needs to give them some breathing room.

On now to a Jonathan Freed piece on Scott Kleeschulte, a nine year old boy who disappeared 19 years ago in St. Charles. Now Michael Devlin is going to be interviewed about this case. We then segway into an interview with Arlin Henderson's mother and uncle. Like Shawn, Arlin also disappeared while riding his bike. We learn from his mother that in 2001 someone actually falsely confessed to killing Arlin and the poor woman had to sit in court and listen to all the things he allegedly did to Arlin. Why are people so cruel? I hope someday soon she finds out what happened to him. On a related note, we have a Randi Kaye piece about how people are not always what they seem. It's pointed out that serial killers can look and act quite normal and could be anyone. Why, they could even be living next door! Be afraid people! Be very afraid! Mary Kay Letourneau and Ted Haggard are also brought up. Okay, what was the point of all that?

Transitioning now to a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Joe Johns. The special 100 hours agenda is over with and if that didn't feel like 100 hours to you it's because it wasn't. They actually finished early. A fairly productive Congress? My head is spinning. Today they tackled Big Oil. The kibosh was put on those cushy oil subsidies and they also voted to try to undo a massive blunder that occurred during the Clinton years. You see, major oil companies have leases with the government to do deep sea drilling, but they forgot to include royalties in the contract. If the production grew or the price of oil shot up the companies should have been paying royalites, but it wasn't in the contract and the government lost $10 billion or more. Republicans are of course taking Big Oil's side, saying it wasn't their fault the government made a mistake. If you want to learn more about this, last June NOW on PBS did a good story on it and you can watch that here.

Next up we have an Anderson piece on the Discovery Channel Documentary that Steve Irwin was working on when he died. They shot it off the coast of eastern Australia. This then brings us to an interview with Philippe Cousteau who was working with Steve when he died. They talk about the special and then about Steve's death. Philippe tells us that they worked on him doing CPR and such for an hour and a half. Wow. That's a long time to do CPR. In this interview we learn that Anderson has dived and the last time he snorkled he saw a shark and got out of the water. Ha! I don't know why I'm laughing though since I can't even snorkel. I can't breath like that people. I am obviously a land only person. Normally I wouldn't mind this Steve Irwin stuff (it is a two hour show), but when it's coupled with all the Missouri story coverage, I get annoyed at all the hard news I'm missing. The Shot tonight is a deer stuck on ice. Aw. But get this, a helicoptor overhead actually uses wind from its rotor to push the deer to safety. That was creative. They should get some sort of deer saving trophy. Speaking of winners, we finally have the winner of the 360 Sweepstakes. Congrats to Leigh Penny! Though I had actually forgotten about the contest I am now a wee bit jealous. Although really if I'm going to win something I'm holding out for the powerball. So Leigh, if you happen to read this, drop by after (or even before) your trip and tell us all about it. I'm serious. You can use the comments or send me an email and I'll make a special post just for you. Well, that'll do it. Tonight was pretty bad. I think I counted only four hard news pieces. D+

Do you think the media is exploiting Shawn Hornbeck and his family? Now that the 100 Hour agenda is over, what should they tackle next?
FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from