Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More Hornbeck/Ownby Fallout, Obama For Prez, And Iraqi Casualties (Tuesday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. You might have noticed I never did Monday's second hour. It's because after looking over my notes I decided it wasn't really worth it. Most of the hour was rehashing of finding the boys. The John Robert's piece on Saddam's hanging and Soledad O'Brien's piece on MLK were both good, but my notes were crappy. Two crappily blogged pieces does not a post make. Also, I'm not sure if it got started with the anonymous comment to this blog or what, but somehow it got all over the internets that Anderson was doing the show live from my area tonight. If you watched the show you obviously know he was in New York. The fangirl in me is a bit disappointed because though it's too cold to try to go meet him, it would have been cool to watch him broadcast from my neck of the woods. However, the news critic in me is glad he didn't come because there is no newsworthy reason for him to be here. Besides, the coverage of this is getting pretty ridiculous. On a related note, I just found out today that a relative actually spoke with Shawn Hornbeck once when he was missing, though obviously didn't know it was him at the time. I figured someone I knew probably had contact with him at some point over these four years. Still, so weird.

We begin tonight with a Jonathan Freed piece and they still have that tacky "Taken" graphic in the corner. C'mon 360! We learn that Michael Devlin will be making a court appearance by closed circuit tv and the Ownby's have made an appeal for privacy. There's something ironic about the news media reporting a citizen's plea for privacy. Also contained in the piece is a clip of Mitchell Hultz getting honored at his high school. Mitchell is the teen that got the great description of the Nissan. He's a hero and boy he knows it. During one of the local interviews here he said he wouldn't let the experience change him, but he might gloat a bit for a while. That's right, Mitchell. You gloat all you want. You deserve it.

Next up we have a much too long interview with Devlin's attorneys, Ethan Corija and Michael Kielty. At least I don't know these guys, though I do know where they work. Anyway, we learn that Devlin is on $1 million bail, but really nothing else of note is said. Anderson asks about a rumor that Devlin had confessed and he had child pornography. Of course the lawyers can't comment. That was sort of pointless. Moving on to a David Mattingly piece on the search for Shawn in his town of Richwoods. Whoa, holy flashback there batman! They're showing clips from KMOV circa 2002 and I'm getting hit with memories. In the piece we're told that one of the theories of the case was that Shawn was hit by a car and then dumped somewhere by the freaked out driver. I cannot believe I completely forgot about that. I remember now that it was a very big theory; one many people subscribed to-including myself. I should note they're still showing the missing kids on the commercial bumps. They should do this all the time.

On now to another David Mattingly piece that really doesn't cover any new ground. Afterwards David talks again about the Ownbys plea for privacy and Anderson replies that he "hope(s) they get the privacy they need." Well, maybe if the media would, you know, leave them alone they could have some privacy. I mean, I'm not the one broadcasting a national show about them right now. After this we have a taped interview with Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart that went missing for months before being found alive. Ed talks a lot about not blaming the kid and giving them a lot of love to help them with the readjustment back to normal life, but ultimately I don't see much point in this interview. He's talking in such broad terms that there's not much of merit here and obviously he' s not going to get specific about what they went through because that would be damaging to Elizabeth. Plus Shawn is a whole other person who will go through this in his own individual way.

Transitioning now to a Dana Bash bash piece on Obama, but first I need to point out that when Anderson introed the piece he actually pronounced the 's' in Illinois. He did it last night too, but I thought I was just hearing things. Tonight I had several people confirm. So Anderson, the 's' is silent dude! Geez, you just start consistently saying Missouri right and now you gotta mess with my neighbors to the east. Oh, and don't get me started on Mississippi. Okay, back in the piece we hear more about how Obama has formed an exploratory committee for the presidency and might official throw his hat in the ring soon. Of course the issue of his experience comes up, as does the fact that a lot of Americans seem to have Obamamania. Also noted is that he's going to have some competition with Edwards and Clinton when it comes to hiring good advisors. We then move into an Anderson piece where it's pointed out that two and a half year ago no one even knew who this guy was. However, during the 2004 democratic national convention he gave a speech that put him on the map. Obama was a lawyer before coming to politics, he came late to religion, and he's tried both weed and coke. Hey, Dubya falls under two of those three categories. Maybe Obama really can be president.

To talk about his chances we're joined by Time's Joe Klein and republican strategist Mike Murphy. Oh 360, I call foul. This is totally unbalanced. A journalist and a republican strategist? Now granted I don't actually want a democratic strategist because all the one's that work for CNN are idiots, but still. Anyway, I also want to point out that though the media thinks they're being all objective when it comes to these races it is so completely clear that they LOVE Obama. They also love McCain even though over the past few years he's gone from being someone with integrity to a complete opportunist willing to throw away everything he believes in just to win. I guess the media hasn't noticed that though. Don't worry, it'll dawn on them...after he's elected. Just like with Bush. My point here is they need to cut the crap, stop buying into hype and conventional wisdom, and just tell us where these people stand.

Back in the studio Mike tells us that he believes people are in love with the idea of Obama, but don't really know the man. I completely agree with this. People are looking for a leader to come pull us out of the complete mess we're in right now. Obama talks like that person, but it's unclear whether or not he actually is that person. My view? There is no one person coming to save us. There will be no great leader. The person we're waiting for is ourselves. Mike also says that Obama may talk about how he hates politics as usual, but that's exactly what he's going to be dealing with once the campaign heats up. Ain't that the truth? It's going to get ugly. Joe points out that he has credibility with the base because he was against the war from the start, but he's going to need more than that. He mentions that his book, "The Audacity of Hope" really wasn't all that audacious. Mike then expands on this, explaining that Obama is very timid and though he has the rhetoric he doesn't yet seem to have the political courage. Again, I completely agree. One problem I have with Obama is he has such a spotlight shining on him, but hasn't taken advantage of it to make any real change. Real change takes risk and it appears that's not something he's willing to do right now. Still has my vote over Clinton though.

Next up we have a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Joe Johns on condolence pay to Iraqis. See, though the US government/military (and usually the media) don't like to talk about it, some of those innocent Iraqis that are killed and injured are done so by the US. They are what is known as "collateral damage." Lovely little term isn't it? I know I would just love to hear a foreign government refer to one of my family members as "collateral damage." Anyway, we don't know how many have been killed by the US because they say they don't count the civilians. However, it should be noted they also have said they don't count the enemy, yet everytime support for the war is really sagging the numbers of insurgents dead seem to find their way into press releases. Who'd a thunk it? The average "condolence payment" is $2500, which I think is just about right. I know I've always equated the value of Iraqi life with that of say a really used car or possibly a really nice computer. But shockingly this program isn't going so smoothly due to inconsistencies. Basically commanders are "the deciders" when it comes to who deserves what and it's all very ad hoc. Senator Patrick Leahy wants to make it an official program to get everyone doing the same thing and this would involve counting the civilians. It should also be noted that pay is suppose to show an act of sympathy not an act of guilt. So basically we're saying we're sorry your daughter accidentally had her head blown off, but we're not sorry that we're the one's that did it. Right.

On now to a Brian Todd piece on Lt. David Petraeus who is our new soon to be ground commander. He was in Mosul during the invasion. People say good things about him, so fingers crossed. The Shot tonight is a snow rodeo. That's right, we get to see cowboys on skis...and then we get to see comboys on their butts because apparently cowboys can't ski. Anderson gives us a "yee haw!" Oh, hon, no. Dork. The show tonight was frustrating. We had a great Joe Johns piece and some good reporting from Arwa Damon in the second hour, but once again we were dominated by the Missouri story and it's just too much. Why do they have to go so completely overboard with this stuff? There are other shows that cover it everyday that don't saturate like this and I'm not even sure that my local news is devoting the same percentage of time 360 just did on this. The families need their privacy; it's time to cut back. D+

What's your take on Obama? How about the piece from Joe Johns?


Anonymous ivy said...

I'm not sure media (at least cnn) loves Obama as much as they love sensation and "american dream". They all will want him to win so they could have a great STORY. Then they can just have Oprah on the show. Not that I have anything against Obama himself, especially considering that beach photo. I'm thinking, maybe we should see all candidates shirtless pics for extra guidance in our decision process.

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Obama whatever. I'm just sort of like... what experience does the man have? I mean I really just love following a leader that's never, um, lead.

Actually I was standing in the checkout line yesterday, and on the cover of one of those crazy paper mags (Globe or something) it said that Hilary picked her running mate - Bigfoot!!! LOL.

Actually, back to Obama (good god I almost said Osama, like they've been making fun of), there is a clip on YouTube from I think Fox, where an anchor is yapping about a child molester or something, and while he's doing that voiceover, you see "Obama for President" placards bouncing by :)

Oh and as for content... someone needs to spank Anderson's staff for turning his show into Entertainment Weekly.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Here it is:

(Sorry Obama, but I totally laughed)

6:49 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

I came across a very interesting blog post that also paid attention to AC's 2-hour "human interest" story coverage. I guess we're not alone wondering about the balance on a news show.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

sorry, forgot to put a link, blog is called Scripting News

2:15 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Ivy-Thanks for the link. I went to the blog and left a comment.

3:28 PM  
Blogger midnite6367 said...

They have gone overboard on the kidnapping story but I'm not really surprised, they've done it before and often, it would be nice if they would just give us updates and move on. Having lawyers on is usually a waste of time because they spend more time talking about what they CAN'T talk about rather than offering up anything interesting. I am sort of interested in how these kidnapped kids readjust to their families once they return, it has to be challenging.

Obama looks great now, but I'm sure someone's working overtime to dig up something to derail the whole thing. I'm on the fence about him, time will tell if all of the hype is justified.

The idea of condolence pay just seems so weird and I don't see how they can even put a price on a life lost. I'd rather hear them admit their responsibility for the death and give an apology and perhaps change the way they operate so that innocent civilians won't be hurt or killed in the first place, but that's not gonna happen.

9:02 PM  

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