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?


Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

I saw the story about China and was like, "THEY WHAT?!" and what really ticked me off is that it happened LAST THURSDAY but they didn't say anything for a couple of days. OKAY. What are they hiding over there? ERG. As for this nuke race, I swear the whole world is going to be sitting like the Cold War again. You know, I blame it all on Einstein. So there. It's ridiculous. I understand the urge to protect yourself (it's practically impossible to have guns in New Jersey, and therefore I have a BAT)... but, hey! Let's blow up the whole world! Yay!

Sylvia Browne. Oh gimme a break. I don't believe in psychic powers. If you're talking to "the dead" I say you need your head examined. Or an exorcist. Now THAT I believe. And I also agree that having her stupid self on shows makes her more credible. I mean look at Dr. Phil. It's because of Oprah that people take that donkey seriously. Or Dr. Laura. I hate Dr. Laura. Long story on that one. I think I hate shrinks in general. Oh, off subject. Sylvia Browne. I think people just want closure, answers, SOMETHING because they can't find any. And, they're willing to believe something as bad as that just so they can get on with their lives. I'm just interested in the Shawn story because of all the weirdness that's coming out of it. WHY did this kid have internet access, talk to police officers, etc.? Aren't kids that are kidnapped usually locked in a basement somewhere? Brainwashing is a theory (THEORY). It could be that his captor convinced him that he wasn't wanted and Shawn was testing that theory. But it still doesn't make any sense.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's becoming increasingly clear that a nuclear Iran is a reality we're all going to have to live with. I'd like to say I can't imagine Bush invading Iran seeing as he's got himself in a real quagmire in Iraq but then I never thought he'd send more soldiers to Iraq. This cowboy diplomacy is really unpredictable... If the Sunni nations start going nuke too then the middle east will be literally sitting on a powder keg!

2:29 PM  

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