Wednesday, January 31, 2007

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.


Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Man, I need TiVO. I watched the first 15 minutes and then practically died because I'm not a night person. GEEZ I would have loved to see that interview about Sylvia Browne. He really rolled his eyes? Serious? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! And involved himself in a personal question?! DANNGIT this better end up on YouTube.

Speaking of Google someone over there in CNN headquarters googled ME. LOL. And then they read my blog OMG. That's pretty stinking funny IMO....

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Patty said...

I missed the whole second hour because I was too tired. However, I did record it. Sometimes, I wish they would cut the show back to one hour and maybe put 360 on weekends as well. The show was good and I even enjoyed the piece on Sylvia Browne. Some rep she has got there...she just made Sylvia Browne look even dumber. Thanks for the recap. I agree that it was a good thing to remove that weird voice at the start. They should have done that a long time ago.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza-- I remember AC saying last time that he's inviting Sylvia Browne to the show to give her possibility to defend herself. some blogs were accussing him of giving just one side. So it made sense for him to check the facts on what the other side claimed as success. I'm not intersted in the topic and I did not expect it will be so much fun. I thought same thing -- I wish he would talk to politicians like he did to that psychic business manager. He can if he wants to. I don't quite remember anything that strange on 360. At least not yelling due the lack of arguments and not AC becoming so personally involved and maybe even defensive? Makes me wonder.

I liked Michael Holmes report a lot. As for iranian agents I see it as one of the steps in the govt campaign to prepare public opinion to the possibel conflict with Iran. I'm sure we'll see a lot more stories about iranian involvement in the nearby future. Whether there were any iranian agents involved or no, Amanpour is right, we never heard about this before. There must be a reason why all of a sudden there's iranian connection everywhere.

11:40 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@sharla-the eye rolling was really subtle-nothing major. And someone googled your name? You're being stalked by CNN! LOL This blog gets hits from CNN pretty often, but they're always googling stuff about the show.

@patty-sometimes I wish they'd make it an hour too, especially when there's lots of repeating. I'm a night owl, so staying up isn't a problem for me.

@ivy-what blogs were accusing him of giving one side? Does Sylvia have fans? LOL

I wish he would talk to politicians like he did to that psychic business manager

The interview reminded me of Oprah going after James Frey. The whole time I was thinking, "Whoa this is pretty awesome, but why can't you go after someone who matters?" I almost felt sorry for the woman because it was pretty clear Anderson just wanted to unload on Sylvia (and she was the next best thing). It was kind of an ambush-a really entertaining ambush. Randi didn't talk all that much and I think was mostly there for the appearance of balance.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Yep, apparently I've become interesting after all my comments on Sanjay's blog. I just sort of laughed in a horrified way because I think I said "Anderson Cooper" about nine hundred and sixty-four times in the last year or so.....

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Ivy. It concerns me to see all this rhetoric North of the border. Deja vu all over again!I hope this is not a pretext to start another war.
As far as the psychic crap, I decided "nuff is nuff" and flipped the channel to watch "the Daily Show".

9:35 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@ eliza-- it's a lot harder to find Sylvia Browne fans on blogs then Anderson's, that's for sure -lol. But not everybody is as skeptical about psychic powers in general as Anderson obviously is.

@gissou -- I watched Jon Stewart repeat at 1 am, it was awesome. I'll admit I didn't really follow Scooter Libbey trial and Stewart's "Libbey trial for dummies" got me all cought up! if you didn't watch Michael Ware interview you should, it's a must see for everybody in my opinion. I'm sure it's online already, if not on cyn's site then on youtube and it should appear on freakspeakers soon.

I don't get why Ware's interview with Maliki today was shown in the middle of the hour and not earlier in the show. I wonder if they'll show the whole interview.

11:19 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@ivy-I've been keeping up with the Libby trial pretty well (Keith Olbermann is all over it), but I have to say Jon Stewart has explained it better than anyone. Last night wasn't the only great segment he did on it.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

why did I put "e" in Libby? -sorry.
@eliza-- Stewart gave the best summary, It was like --"previously on..." -lol It was pretty easy to get lost watching "serious" coverage. Now I'm following it on Countdown. -)
Joe Biden was Stewart's guest just now --I kind of feel bad for the guy -)

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Bev said...

Someone has mentioned that Anderson is going after Sylvia because he's so against people that are grieving being taken advantage of by any professionals. His mother was taken advantage of by a psychiatrist and an agent after Carter's death and she lost a lot.

3:35 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@ivy-I just watched the Biden interview this morning. I don't really like the guy. He and McCain used to be Jon's favorite political guests, but they seem to both have fallen from grace.

@bev-oh, I guess that makes sense. It's true that preying on grieving people is beyond low. Luckily nothing like that happened to my family after my dad died suddenly. We were careful not to make any big decisions for a long while and I've got a great extended family that looked out for us.

5:25 PM  

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