Friday, February 16, 2007

Anderson And Jeff Corwin At Kraho Indian Village, More ANS Crap, Afghanistan Troop Increase, And Iraq Refugee Refusal (Thursday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. Well, tonight was interesting. I'm still scratching my head about the second hour. Either the whole show had massive problems or they don't have much respect for their viewers. Anyway, I'll deal with that more indepth next post. We begin tonight live in Brazil in the city of Imperatriz. Anderson then intros a clip from earlier in the day when he and Jeff Corwin went to the village of the Kraho Indian tribe, which is a protected reserve given to the tribe by the Brazilian government. The Kraho are hunters, gathers, and farmers-and pretty primitive at that, still hunting with bows and arrows. The 360 team is here because the Kraho are concerned about what's happening to their rainforest. Their drinking water is being contaminated with pesticides used by local farmers and they have to go on patrols to try to keep illegal loggers off their territory. One Kraho tradition is to use dye from a local fruit to mark up their bodies in celebration or for other significant events. Anderson himself was marked up yesterday, as was Jeff. That must have been a little strange. Nice to meet you. I will now draw on your arms. I'd be into it though. When in Rome, right?

Anderson then takes us on a little tour of a Kraho house and afterwards we have Anderson back live again. John Roberts, who is back in New York, asks how difficult it is for the Kraho to keep such simple lives with the modern world pressure. Anderson explains that there is a strong desire to keep their tribe together and what they're really worried about is the threat to their habitat. The protection from the Brazilian government is really on paper only. Anderson tells us that it was actually hard for he and Jeff to find large animals because a lot of them had been hunted, which I imagine is a problem. Apparently he and Jeff went out last night and Jeff had an awesome time, but Anderson was a little more reserved. "I don't really like bugs, so it was a little bit terrifying," he tells us. Well, I can't fault you there. What's weird though is I would probably be much more okay with the bugs in the rainforest than say a roach in my house. Because the roach is in MY HOUSE. Uninvited. You expect bugs in the rainforest. John then asks how the trip to meet the Kraho got arranged because apparently the copter that flew in Jeff and Anderson was the first one to ever land at their village. Anderson replies that they worked with a group that's part of the Brazilian government.

Transitioning back to New York for some Anna Nicole crap. Once again, I refuse to blog it. They start with a Joe Johns piece. Oh, not you Joe! But you're my "Keeping Them Honest" guy. Sigh. After Joe there's a long interview with...somebody and then they discuss the legal stuff with Jeffrey Toobin. I'm kicking myself for not noting the time when the coverage started, but I'm estimating this all lasted 15 to 20 minutes. Ridiculous.

Back now to Anderson and he again intros a clip that was taped earlier. In the clip Anderson asks Jeff to explain the markings on their arms. Jeff says, "I don't know. I just sort of woke up and they were there." Uh huh. And just what were you doing last night? I'm not an Animal Planet kind of person, but I'm really liking Jeff. He says that the markings are basically to celebrate the spirit of life. They then talk a bit about how simple the houses are and how they're built. Yeah, they're not getting CNN in this village. Jeff explains that the Kraho feel under attack and he says, "the challenge is to find a balance, to keep the cultural significance as an important part of the past and the present while taking on the onslaught of the 20th Century."

We're back live with Anderson now and he's got some "Raw Data" for us. Of note is that at least 80% of the world's diet originated in the Amazon. Also, because Brazil exports 50% of it's timber to the US, Anderson notes, "The sofa or the desk you're sitting at may have teak or mahogany or other woods from the Amazon." Hmm. If I remember correctly I bought this desk at Kmart, so I'm thinking that's a no. I'd actually be pleasantly surprised to learn there was wood in this desk. John then asks about all the species that Anderson saw while in the rainforest at night and Anderson gives a summary, noting that some of them he would just assume stay away from. He notes that he stayed very close to Jeff during the adventure. And now I completely get why CNN got Jeff Corwin for these trips. They need him for protection! Well, and his knowledge obviously. I mean, what the hell does Anderson (or Charlie, or Neil, or...) know about what's a harmless critter and what's not in terms of being poisonous. And it's always nice to be able to report specific information.

The Shot tonight is a classic. It's a float from the first mardi gras parade of the season in New Orleans. What's the subject of the float? It's Anderson dressed as a super hero! Ahem. Excuse me, I mean Cooperman! OMG Anderson in tights. Bwah! They just had Anderson live, why oh why did they not keep him to get his reaction to this? Maybe they felt sorry for the guy after the frog and other critters and decided to cut him a break. Because if you look closely, he's kind of being mocked as much as he is being honored. They've got him gazing into a mirror and the sides of the float say, "saving us one photo-op at a time," and "Are you getting my good side?" There's some other stuff too about him being handsome and photogenic, but I can't make out the whole thing. Something tells me Anderson probably isn't completely thrilled with the pretty boy portrayal. Still funny though.

Transitioning back to New York and John tells us that though Bush says there's been great success in Afghanistan...we need to add more troops. Okay then. To discuss this we're joined by Peter Bergen and Nic Robertson. Peter I've missed you! You too Nic, but I think Peter has been missing longer. John wants to know why the new troops if things are going so swimmingly (according to Bush). Nic notes that Hamid Karzai is still being criticized for not having a hold on his country and there's been no big drug busts to try to get the country's enormous opium problem under control. John points out that critics say Afghanistan has been neglected and wonders if this should have been done earlier. Peter replies that it should have been and "this was the most poorly-funded post-World War II nation building effort led by the United States." But you see we had to divert funds to go to Iraq to make us safer...from the terrorists that staged everything in Afghanistan. John notes that the Taliban is now taking control of border towns and Peter acknowledges that there is very little security between Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Afghanistan I used to be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but that bulb is about to burn out.

Our final piece of the hour is from Randi Kaye about why the hell we're hardly letting any Iraqi refugees in the US. I've been wondering the same thing. I've read that the government is afraid of refugees forming sleeper cells, but I don't know if that's true. In any regards, Randi's piece does not address the issue, though I'm still very happy to see this being tackled by 360. Last year only 202 Iraqis were let in the country and over the past four years it's been less than 500 total with most of them being supporters of the war effort. That's astounding. To give you some perspective, we learn that the UN estimates that today there are four million Iraqi refugees. Many now live in camps in Syria and Jordan. This is all very infuriating. Other wars we took in lots of refugees. My own city is home to a large number of Bosnians. We invaded the country and have a moral responsibility to these people. How many of them have been murdered simply because they associated with Americans? The US is planning to accept 7,000 refugees this year, but that's still a small number. Critics believe that if the US acknowledged there was a crisis by taking in lots of refugees it would be like admitting failure. And Lord knows we don't ever admit failure. Ever. Even if it kills us or others.

The show tonight was...bizarre. The first hour was solid except for the ANS crap, but taped special from Afghanistan from about six months ago? Wha? Anyway, I'll go into it more later. B-

How long until Anderson and Jeff get those markings off? Your take on Cooperman? Is there hope in Afghanistan? Should we be taking in more Iraqis?

Screencaps by rokukitty and jld1119.


Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

I distinctly recall saying "WTF IS WITH THAT HORRID FLOAT?!" In tights? Holding a mirror? COOPERMAN? O.M.G. They probably didn't show Andesron because he Which is about my reaction!!

My desk is from WallyWorld. And it's plastic. So, well, that's Chemistry in action.

The marks on their arms? You know, I've never seen Jeff Corwin's show either but I really like the guy and I'm totally going to watch his show now. I like Animal Planet, Discovery, TLC, National Geographic.... yeah, that's about all I watch. And PBS. Gotta have me some Sesame Street.

How come Jeff got more stripes? Maybe it was the ginormous grin on his face, they figured he was thrilled and slopped it all over him. Anderson looked rather serious and so he got... one stripe down the middle. Two skunk arms, way to go!

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night was a major disappointment. I still do not understand the way they run the show. It was frustrating waiting for a segment that they said they would show, only to find out they decided to switch to Afghanistan.

I thought John was very mean showing that float. Why did the staff pick that as the shot anyways? I just can't get used to his way of anchoring. I still don't understand why CNN has to pick him to anchor the show. Honestly, I enjoy Rick Sanchez more.

And the tabloid story is sickening. The whole show was a disaster. I wish they would promote their shows properly, and tell viewers when they decide not to air a segment previously promised.

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the show, I didn't even mind the second hour being a repeat from Afghanistan. Anderson explained on his blog the difficulty in doing the show live from where he is so I was surprised we got as much as we did.
As far as the Mardi gras float goes, I think it was an insult to Anderson, more or less implying that he is all for show.
John R should never have shown it.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Yes, I seriously disliked that float. I've heard Anderson being called a god before, but I didn't think they were going to compare him to the Greek god Narcissus.....

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Just in case you would like it, here is Jeff Corwin's Animal Planet Page. I'm going to start watching him. He makes me want to run off to some weird place and poke bugs with sticks.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the float was tacky and quite inappropriate. However, it can backfire in their faces if CNN doesn't show it on 360. They have eyes, they can see it. Ignorance might be bliss, but for network news to shove it under the carpet isn't smart. The float was shown on local news in Chicago. Some 360 viewers from the area were in NO.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Christiane said...

Hi Eliza!
I'm having serious problems with the information they are presenting in the Amazon story, not once they have disclosed that the region they are - the Tocatins basin - is the area assigned for commercial exploitation.
It almost sounds as if they didn't make any Pre Production for the show and decided to just describe things as they encountered them... Hello, Charlie is that for what they are paying you?

12:21 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@sharla-I'm guessing that Anderson tried harder to get his markings off, which is why it looks like Jeff got more. Jeff is having the time of his life.

@anonymous 7:37 AM-Rick Sanchez over John Roberts? Oh bite your tongue! Heh. I actually kind of like John and it's not like it's up to him what they chose for The Shot.

@anonymous 9:37 AM-I wouldn't have minded the Afghanistan stuff so much if it wasn't for the fact that they relentlessly previewed a clip of Anderson and Jeff in the rainforest and then never followed through. It just felt like the whole second hour was thrown together on the fly.

@anonymous 10:16 AM-yeah, it's better to laugh at yourself than ignore stuff like that.

@christiane-360 often doesn't go in depth into technical stuff like that, which is annoying, but I guess I'm still just happy to get coverage from an area rarely seen on US tv.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

the float was cheesy and insulting, it's not news and they didn't have to show it. JR could have picked the shot, he made few other comments for the past days that point out to some kind of jealousy. Either way -- it would be ok for Anderson to snark about him himself, but having a sub (esp. JR) show that-- didn't look good, demeaning.

@anon 7:37 Rick Sanchez? No, let him stay in his current time slot and report for 360 -) but better him then their new Fox anchor.

@eliza -- I used to watch Jeff Corwin's show all the time and like it a lot. yEs, it's nice they are showing less known corner of the world --but here's a problem. They're not National Geographic. They're a news show, and cnn is presenting this report series as something serious and relevant. What I saw thus far is neither.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

I wonder if the bulk of the show is going to be shown on the Special Investigation Unit, when it is his time to be on that show. I wonder if they are just showing the fun and a little information of the tribe. Just my thought.

I see there is going to be a woman on tonight that use to be on FOX. Wonder what is up with that? I saw her on American Morning this morning and she was just all right.

I saw on another blog that supposedly the float in NO was suppose to be really a compliment to him. Supposedly when they make fun of someone on the floats during Mardi Gras, it is an honor. Don't know for sure. I hope that is true because it sure didn't look like a compliment to me.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I was so confused last night, apparantly I missed the part where John said the second hour was going to be "Afghanistan: The Unfinished War", so when we were suddenly there, I was a little lost. Seriously, what the hell happened there? I was all ready to go back to Brazil, preparing myself for a giant (or not so giant) spider to show up on the screen, and suddenly it's flashbacks to Afghanistan. Not that I'm complaining; I took it as a refresher course, but it was just so randomly thrown in there.

I've started a media blackout where Anna Nicole is concerned. I don't know what there's more of, father of the baby candidates or presidential candidates...I just cannot take any more on this sad, crazy story.

I want more on the Kraho, how do they try and stop the loggers? Every day they go out on patrol, and then what? And exactly what is it that the Brazilian government is promising, and why are they not following through?
Oh yeah, I freakin' love Jeff Corwin! To me he's just this big five year old kid that gets excited about...everything. Just don't show me spiders, man. That's all I ask.

One last thing: I want to be Jeff Hutchens.

7:48 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@ivy-well in all fairness The Shot is rarely news anyway-it's just something they find interesting. Aw, I think you're being a little hard on John. :)

I agree the coverage has so far been more on the shallow side, but they're not done yet, so I'll give them a break for now. We don't know what kind of logistical issues they're dealing with. Plus we have to remember that they're dealing in the medium of television and not print, which would allow them to go more into things.

Also, whereas in Afghanistan they had Peter Bergen with them for expertise, this trip they have Jeff Corwin. I love Jeff, but he's more about the animals than environmental policy or anything like that. That being said, so far their Congo coverage was much better. We'll just have to wait and see.

@Jan-I suspect they are saving some footage, but they're short changing their viewers now.

I've heard that about Mardi Gras too, but then again, didn't they have FEMA floats last year? Maybe I imagined that.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Maddy said...

Well crap!!! I was just finishing typing out my nice, well thought out post when my computer suddenly turned off. Interestingly enough it happened right as I was typing out "I like John Roberts as an anchor and a sub on 360." Hmmm...

Don't really want to retype the whole post again, not sure I could remember it all anyway.

Not impressed so far with the Planet in Peril series - I know it is just beginning and I'll give it some time but I was hoping for a better start. Seems like it was put together at the last minute and hasn't been thought out very well...might explain some of the logistical problems they are having.

Also, I'm a little confused about the grave title Planet in Peril. With the coverage so far seems like Anderson & Jeff's Jungle Adventure would be a better title.

And yes, I know it may not be popular to say but I do like John Roberts. I think he does a good job.

Wonder how the new sub will do tonight?

8:51 PM  
Anonymous gissou said...

I'd have to agree with Eliza. I don't think JR gets to pick the shot. BTW, let me get this clear, you're complaining that the shot was not news but you think the death of ANS was newsworthy?
Honestly, I don't see why so many bloggers tend to throw tomatoes at this poor JR. Give the poor guy a break. He's just doing his job.
I fell asleep as soon as the show dipped into the ANS crap again and when I woke up I saw Anderson in Afghanistan. I was so confused!

9:02 PM  
Anonymous gissou said...

"With the coverage so far seems like Anderson & Jeff's Jungle Adventure would be a better title"

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

I'm voting for "Anderson and Jeff's Jungle Adventure (complete with girlie screaming!)" as the title.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Maddy said...

OMG...Did Jeff Corwin actually just say Who needs Pilates when you have the rainforest? LOL

He cracks me up.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The float is from Muses, an all-female krewe. Don't get mad, I'm sure the ladies of Muses are Anderfans. I'm sure Shep Smith and Keith Obermann would kill to have a float poking fun at them.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@gissou -- I didn't complain Shot is not news --it shouldn't be! -) And 'cause it's not they should have picked sometihng else. Not one that's insulting for the host of the show without him even being able to present it. Whoerver picked it has very poor taste. JR is a good journalist and a decent anchor, I like his show. But on 360 he is arrogant and jealous and doesn't bother to hide it much. Though it pales in comparison with the new anchor. I feel bad for Anderson --that' all I have to say.

11:11 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Ivy-How is JR arrogant? I'll admit I didn't have the best first impression of him due to his first ever blog post (regarding Tom Delay) and he fit in awkwardly with the show at first, but I think he's fine now. I kind of like him actually.

12:02 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza -- I would take JR over Kiran any time.

1:34 AM  
Anonymous jr said...

Let's just hope that JR's career at CNN is not in jeopardy now that Klein has hired Kiran. I thought JR did a fairly good job also. If blame needs to go anywhere with the show, it shouldn't be with JR but more with the AC360 producers! I agree with Christiane on this one.

Perhaps there is more to it that what we are seeing but I'm not sure why AC360 rushed into this assignment as though it was some "Breaking News" report.

As with most of us, we learn from our mistakes and move on and I'm sure AC360 will take to heart some of their key learnings this week for future reports on this topic.

4:52 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@jr-John Roberts has his own show "This Week At War". I think he's safe.

5:16 AM  

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