Sunday, February 04, 2007

Deadly Tornado In Central Florida And The New NIE (Friday's Show)

Hi everybody! I'm just going to put both hours into one post because blogging about the weather isn't all that easy. Anderson is live tonight in Lady Lake, Florida because there's been some unbelievably devastating storms. He walks around his live shot showing us ruins and it's really shocking how much this looks like the aftermath of Katrina. The storm/tornado hit at 3:00 AM while most people were sleeping and there were no sirens, which means they literally woke up to the storm. Or maybe they didn't wake up at all because the death toll now stands at 19. I first heard about the situation this afternoon when I flipped on CNN and had a momentary freakout because the sister is in Florida right now going to school. But she's not near this. We first get an Anderson piece that lays out the basics and shows footage of the devastation, along with people's immediate reactions.

This coverage is making me think of all my Eliza-thinks-she's-going-to-die-in-a-tornado stories. Everyone from here either has their own tornado/severe storm story or knows someone who does. As a child, my mom watched a tornado from her basement window. As a young adult, my father was walking through the store he worked at and was suddenly knocked down from something unknown. When he got back up the roof was gone. I have several close-call, scary stories, but probably my worst one happened five or six years ago. I was working in a retail store and near closing time it started to storm. The storm then got really severe and brought with it hail like I had never seen before. It was soft ball size and that is not an exaggeration. The sirens might have been going off at that time, but we never would have known because the noise was deafening. We feared the hail would bust out the front window, so we all started moving back and that's when we heard it-the unmistakeable sound of a train. Nobody really even had to say anything. I guess it's instinctual that that sound means danger, so we all ran into the stockroom.

From there there wasn't much to do except wait. Nobody really said anything. One girl was crying. We had no idea what was going on outside, but something was making really loud noises on the roof. I thought for sure they were cars. I was scared, but not freaking out. For some reason during situations like that I can sometimes become oddly practical. I remember thinking, "I don't think I'm going to die here, but there's a really good chance that roof is going to come off. I should probably be prepared for that." But as it turns out, the noises soon stopped and the roof stayed on. I immediately borrowed someone's cell phone (mine was upstairs) and tried to call my family to make sure they were okay because I only lived five minutes away, but the call wouldn't go through. This of course completely freaked me out. All I wanted to do was go home. I then quickly got my stuff and tried calling again with my own phone and this time the sister answered. I immediately asked if they were okay and she answered with something like, "Um, yeah, what are you talking about?" What?! Apparently though only about five minutes away they hadn't experienced anything like what I just did. I then screamed at her about being hit by a tornado and ran outside to, thank God, see my car was still there.

The drive home was a blur because at that point I was freaked out. How freaked out? Well, upon arriving home I discovered something-I no longer had a back windshield. It had shattered into a thousand little pieces that were all over; I had even been sitting on some of them on the drive home, but was too focused on getting there to notice. Daylight later showed me that the entire body of my car had massive damage-mostly from hail-and it was later totaled out by my insurance company. In fact everyone who had a car on the lot that night lost at least one window and had other damage. But really we were all lucky. The weather people later determined that it wasn't an actual tornado, but a downburst, which is just as scary. So that's my big storm story. I have others, but I like to tell this one because it still boggles my mind that I drove all the way home sitting on glass with rain and wind pouring in my back window (well hole really) and yet noticed none of these things. That's what adrenaline does to you apparently.

Okay, so back in the show Anderson talks with some storm survivors that road it out in the bathtub. They say this was worse than a hurricane. Then we've got Gary Tuchman flying overhead in a helicopter to show us the damage. It's so widespread that even Gary compares it to Katrina. We then get Gary live and he says that he's already thinking about the insurance hell that these people are going to go through. Ain't that the truth? I guess CNN has become well versed in the trials and tribulations of dealing with insurance companies. Anderson than points viewers to the blog for numbers on how to help. I like how CNN does that. Well at least 360 anyway-I'm not sure if the other shows do it. I remember when I sent Jon Klein my angry why-did-you-get-rid-of-Aaron-Brown email I also urged him to take on a more advocacy role. And they've done that with these types of stories. Although I really wish they'd do it when it comes to legislation. I'm not saying picking sides. I'm saying tell us what votes are coming up, what they mean, who sits on the committees, who should be contacted (either for or against), and how to do that.

Moving on to Reynolds Wolf talking about how this is related to El Nino. Then we have a Rusty Dornin piece on a man who lost everything in the storm; well everything except his life. His neighbor wasn't that lucky. She was basically thrown over his mobile home and was later found dead in a field. Last year the man's insurance was canceled without reason, so he really has nothing. You know, maybe 360 could do a story on that because WTF? Insurance companies are in the risk game. They can't just go around canceling policies because they're afraid they might have to pay up one day. Anyway, all the man wants is the Michigan jacket his daughter gave him and he's actually able to find it, so yay.

After this Rick Sanchez suddenly pops up due to apparent techinical difficulties on Anderson's end. And when I say suddenly, I mean suddenly. That was jarring. What are you trying to do to me CNN? Rick always requires some sort of warning. We then cut to commercial and when we come back we've got Rob Marciano standing in front of a destroyed house. He's holding a hand mic and I'm imagining someone throwing it at him going, "Anderson's got problems, you go!" Rob then intros his own piece where he went out with a a rescue squad and found three bodies. Afterwards Rick asks him, "how is it possible that only 14 people died here?" To which I immediately reply, "It's 19 you idiot." Rob corrects him a little more politely. I know I'm harsh on him, but seriously, I just turned this coverage on and I know that. What's his problem?

Rick then intros us into a taped interview that Anderson did with Governor Charlie Crist. Anderson notes that FEMA is coming tomorrow and he wonders if he thinks they'll get what they need. Crist is optimistic. Really? And what exactly have you seen in the past that has lead you to this belief? The two men then talk about sirens and apparently they don't have them because the area is too wide for them to be practical. I guess I'm torn on the siren issue. I'm glad that we have them, but honestly I'm not sure that they've helped any. First of all, you can't really hear them unless your windows are open. And half the time they go off and there's not really much happening. In every severe storm we've had I have never taken cover because I heard sirens. In fact in every severe storm we've had I've never heard the sirens. However, when I do hear them I still go downstairs every time because I know the one time I don't is when Mother Nature is going to throw a car through my window. Better safe than sorry I guess.

On a related note, we have a Joe Johns piece about how there were no sirens. There were warnings on tv, but hardly anybody saw those because they were sleeping. People who had weather radios were at a great advantage. I need to look into those. Anderson then talks with Lake County Deputy Manager Greg Welstead and we learn that everyone is working together and the community is currently under curfew. As we go out to commercial the camera lingers on an overturned vehicle where someone has written, "I've fallen and I can't get up." Well, at least they still have their sense of humor.

Transitioning now to an Ed Henry piece on the new NIE on Iraq. Wow! You mean other news actually happened today too? So the NIE basically says the whole situation is FUBAR, which basically means we are SOL, yet the White House is still acting like everything is A-OK. Well alright, they're not saying it's okay, but they still won't call it a civil war even though the NIE suggests the situation is actually worse than a civil war. Worse! The report also acknowledges that Iran is intensifying things , but contrary to what the White House says, they are not a major factor. Oh, so they lied about that? Shocking. However, one thing that the NIE backs Bush up on is that withdrawing would be a disaster. So I guess we stay forever then.

The Shot tonight is an I-Report of a massive tree that was uprooted by the storms. This picture actually makes me go, "Oh!" out loud because back in July when we had massive storms here I watched one of my really big trees start to get pulled out of the ground. I could actually see the ground lifting up around the tree and let me tell you, there was some praying done in that span of about 10 minutes. And now I know exactly what it would have looked like if the winds were just a tad bit stronger. Plus the fact that it would have ended up on my house, so thank you God for not destroying my house and possibly killing me. We end with an Anderson piece about a church that got destroyed. But they're still having services because as one person says, the church isn't a building, it's the people. Amen sister. Okay, that's all I'm going to blog because it's a lot of repeat stuff and packages/interviews that really don't hold up after the immediacy is over. In terms of covering this story CNN/360 rocked it. However, CNN is not the Weather Channel and regarding everything else? Not so much. I'm not quite sure why this took up almost the whole two hours. C+

Ever been in a severe storm/tornado? Do you have sirens in your area? Was the coverage overkill?
Screencaps by stormi0611 and jld1119.

Don't forget to donate to help Herbert Gettridge.


Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Okay, I'm originally from California, so I have EARTHQUAKE stories. Like the time that double decker bridge fell down on Los Angeles, I was in Biology class and the whole building felt like it was picked up in the air and dropped. Or when the whole ground shakes and shakes- terrifying! Ah.

Alright, now I'm going to say what I bet other people are thinking. Florida will be cleaned up quickly! Why? Because it's full of white people. Oh yes I went there. I bet you anything that in a few months it looks good as new, and New Orleans still looks the freaking same.

And I didn't forget Herbert.

Plus, I'm annoyed that the whole two hours was taken up (although cutie what's his face showed up and scared you) because I was eagerly awaiting the UFO story. Seriously :)

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Patty said...

Wow, your experience with the "storm" was amazing. Thank goodness you and your family were fine. I think these things can happen to anyone, so we just have to count our blessings everyday. I thought the show was good on Friday but it was nothing compared to Anderson at Katrina. It was really his work at Katrina that drew my attention to him. Sometimes, I wonder if we ever get to see that Anderson Cooper again. He was just an amazing field reporter. I had never seen such excellent and thorough reports from any journalist until I saw him at Katrina. He was a great advocate for the people and had the guts to say whatever was on his mind. I hope to see that Anderson again, although I do not hope for any diaster again.

It is funny that Rick Sanchez does not really bother me!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Jan said...

I may get tomatoes thrown at me, but I think the reason they covered mostly this story, is because they spent the money to send him there live to cover it. I think the reason so much of the second hour was duplicate of the first hour is so people on the west coast would be able to see the coverage as well. I sometimes think that is why the second hour is duplicated. Just my opinion.

I too, am a news hog and I sometimes wish that he would cover more of the days events. It is like he does for awhile and then they get lazy and think oh well we will just rerun from the first hour. A lot of nights I yell at the tv--repeat, repeat. Good thing I live alone as people would think I was nuts.

But even with all of the repeats, I still think his show is a good show. I like the way he throws funny in sometimes, depending on what it going on in the world. Granted I don't think he needs to make a whole show on funny, but sometimes with all of the bad things he covers, it is nice to see him "let" his hair down, so to speak and kinda of have a good time.

Just so you know I am older woman, so this is not a fangirl coming out to defend him. I just think there will be times some of us like his show a lot and sometimes we won't, but we keep coming back.
Personally there is something about the stories he does on and for Oprah, that I don't understand his fasination for her, as I don't think he needs her. His career is rising on his own. But I am sure a lot of your bloggers really like her and the stories he does for her. Everyone is entitled to their opinion

I hope I haven't offended anyone, because I like visiting this blog and posting from time to time. It is a great blog

2:16 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@sharla-I've never been in an earthquake, but I live really close to the huge New Madrid fault and they keep telling us it's only a matter of time before we get "the big one". Great.

It's my understanding that Florida has had a lot of problems with storm aftermaths and the government, but you don't hear about it as much. The only time FEMA was really in there doing an okay job was before the 2004 elections. Big shocker.

@patty-Yeah, Katrina was what really sealed the deal for me for being a fan of Anderson's-specifically his interview with Mary Landreui. I actually knew who he was since his Mole days, but never watched that show and may have actually made fun of him (sorry Anderson!). In early 2005 his profile began to rise and then when he went to Niger I took notice.

@jan-I don't think you're offending anyone. I totally agree that the reason they spent so much time on the story was because they sent Anderson because actually the second hour was originally supposed to be a special. After their accolades for Katrina coverage, CNN really jumps on any weather related story they can. I don't really agree with it.

I don't understand your comment about the west coast though because they get both hours live just like everybody else. Maybe you're referring to people not being home from work yet to catch the first hour?

The show is inconsistent. I agree that overall it is good, but some days it can actually be pretty bad. Last year at this time it was so bad I almost stopped watching for good. I thought they were still settling in to the two hour format, but here we are a year later and it's still inconsistent.

I like Oprah (to a degree), but I don't understand his facination with her either and I don't think he needs her.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have any tornado/hurricane stories but living in Canada we get our fair share of snow storms which can be down right scary. It's not uncommon to see cars skidding along the lanes or making a 180 facing your car in the middle of the highway. Needless to say, there's a lot of hand wringing before I get in the car on days like that.

4:54 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Gissou-Oh I hate snowstorms! A few years back we had one that wasn't even that bad, but I had almost bald tires and I went sliding towards someone's mailbox. I was able to avoid it, but then ended up sliding across the street and almost hitting someone else's mailbox! The whole time I was going, "no,no,no,no,no." LOL

During college there was this really bad snowstorm and it took me three hours to get to school and I STILL missed my first final. Being in the middle of the country there's a lot of slipping and sliding that goes on here during the winter.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I got goosebumps reading about your storm, that's crazy stuff! Knock on wood, not much happens here, especially on a large scale. I do have to say that as much as tornadoes scare the hell out of me, I love watching them. I share in your "Eliza-thinks-she's-going-to-die-in-a-tornado" feeling, when a storm comes, I always think it's going to be 'the one'. I dream about them a lot too, but that's besides the point...

I work in insurance, and I know it's different everywhere, but I don't understand how Gene's policy was cancelled for no reason, that just makes no sense to me.
I do like your idea of getting a story on the insurance angle, especially what with Katrina & all. Do they have such a thing as hurricane or tornado insurance, in high risk areas? Or are there pools set up where the companies all share the loss?

Also, it was great to see that the church held service today; that was a pretty fantastic sight.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Oh Gissou!

The Friday before Christmas we were hit with nasty freezing rain, I started to lose it two seperate times on the highway but regained control. Nothing like white-knuckling it!
I got home and channelled my inner-alcholic, broke out the tequila that night!!

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

Eliza--That is what I meant about the west coast. I have a sister and her family that live in CA and by the time they get home from work and get dinner fixed, they are usually just sitting down to eat at 7:00 when AC would be coming on at 10:00 on the east coast. The way she talks a lot of people eat dinner late out there. I don't know if it the traffic getting home or what.

7:19 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@stacey-I used to like the storms when I was kid, but it seems like they're more severe now. And plus it's different when you have to shell out an insurance deductible every time. Heh.

I completely forgot to mention that after the storm we had to get a new roof on our house-basically everybody in the county did. Insurance companies end up shelling out millions. It was a huge deal, but State Farm was actually pretty good to us.

@jan-I used to eat dinner to Anderson when he came on at 6 here. That would have been 4 west coast, so I guess hardly anybody got to watch him there when he was in that time slot. I still remember almost choking on my beef stew when he out of the blue made a crack about Harriet Meirs dotting her 'i's' with hearts. So funny.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous jr said...

I thought it was a fairly good show. My guess is that AC did not have enough time before his show to get more stories so he went with what he could get in the timeframe he had. Sometimes you luck out and sometimes you don't. NBC found a person who was a Katrina victim, moved to Central Florida, and now is a victim of the tornado! Now, there's a story for you!!!

I'm not much of a Soledad fan, but her coverage of Florida on Saturday morning was a lot more interesting than AC360's coverage. Perhaps it is because it was "live" and with AC360 broadcasting at 10PM ET, they can't do much "live" or people don't want to wait until 10PM to do anything "live".

I always get amazed that AC360 has a two hour show and yet most of their stories and reports seemed to be so rushed. Since I watch the show pretty much every night, the 2nd. hour repeats can be rather annoying.

@Jan: I actually enjoyed AC360 over the holidays, AC seemed more of himself, he added some "funny" and the show kept my interest.

@Eliza: I agree with you 100%. The show is just plain inconsistent. Not sure why. IMHO, none of the other CNN shows appear to be inconsistent.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be noticed nationally, he needs to be original, unique and fresh. There are so many available news venues, cable news has to set itself apart from the rest. He needs to identify traits he and CNN have that are stronger and more interesting than their competition. What makes AC360 special? Until AC and CNN can answer that question themselves, the network and 360 will continue to have tremendous issues. Using Oprah as sidekick doesn't help. She has her own audience. They don't need to see more of her, so they don't bother tuning into to Anderson. He shouldn't need her status to pull up the ratings for his show. I also don't think her viewers are similar to Anderson's potential viewers.
Unless Anderson finds strength in his own skin, 360 is going to show his personal inconsistencies.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...


Florida will be cleaned up quickly! Why? Because it's full of white people

-- I have a problem with making a disaster race-related. I could see that there was no help because of the social background of people there, but race had nothing to do with it, IMHO. I could agree our goverment cares about areas that can financially support and influence those in power, they don't care about anybody else regardless black or white.

@eliza -- my take on why they spent 2 hours on one topic -- it's cnn's responce to fox. Or rather them trying to use this disaster to sort-of back-up their "this is journalism" ad.

@anon 9:11 --I agree AC doesn't need Oprah and don't get the fascination. As for inconsistencies part of the blame should be on producers, they play as or more essential part then the anchor and I'm sure a lot of decisions about how to build a program, what fluff stories to cover and repeats is on them.

@jan -- being an "older woman" doesn't not prevent from being a fangirl of fangirls as I've seen plenty on some blogs -) just saying -lol seriously, I don't think anybody here would get offended by critics of the show, bring it on, keep them honest!

@jr -- The funny part of the show is a is a double-edge sort and I think part of the show inconsistency is because Anderson is cought in between human interest stories, snarky comments a-la Stewart or Colbert, hard news anchoring and desire to still be a serious reporter. I'm not sure they found the right format for him to do all that all in one show, so our eyebrows wouldn't be raised often enough.

12:08 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@jr-My guess is that AC did not have enough time before his show to get more stories so he went with what he could get in the timeframe he had.

But the other shows weren't live down there. Surely they could have run some packages of other news stories that originated on AM, TSR, or PZ.

The show is just plain inconsistent. Not sure why. IMHO, none of the other CNN shows appear to be inconsistent.

You're right. I'm not as loyal to the other shows as I am 360, but from what I've seen none of them have the consistency problem that 360 does. I mean, I even know about what time to tune into TSR if I want to catch Cafferty. I never know what the hell 360 is going to be doing when.

I watched an interview with Keith Olbermann once on CSPAN and he said that cable news is unlike regular network news in that it's all about loyalty to the show. He told about how at one time MSNBC had all these big names do shows on the network and they thought they would do great due to name recognition, but they flopped because there was no show loyalty. Sure Anderson and the show have it's fans, but the inconsistency is really making it hard for people to become loyal.

@ivy-I could agree our goverment cares about areas that can financially support and influence those in power, they don't care about anybody else regardless black or white.

Exactly. They don't give a crap about anyone that can't help with their agenda.

The funny part of the show is a is a double-edge sort and I think part of the show inconsistency is because Anderson is cought in between human interest stories, snarky comments a-la Stewart or Colbert, hard news anchoring and desire to still be a serious reporter.

The thing is, if you swap human interest stories for political scandals that show already exists and it's called Countdown with Keith Olbermann-and he does it really well. I know Anderson/360 are juggling a lot of balls in the air, but it can be done.

I would love for 360 to become more consistent (tighter?) like Countdown and it wouldn't be repetitive for me because I know I'm not going to get stuff like reports on Africa from Countdown and I know I'm not going to get stuff like really good indepth Plame coverage on 360. However, I do wish 360 would lay off the more sensational human interest stories.

12:57 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

I was thinking of doing a post on the weekends of links to all the news stories that happened during the week that we would have liked to see 360 cover, but they didn't. Would you guys be interested in that? I would need your help sending me links. I figure it would be a good resource for those wanting to catch up and also if and when anyone from CNN pops by they'll be able to see what we'd like covered.

1:00 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza -- that might be an interesting idea.

As for Anderson becoming more similar to Olbermann --that's exactly the problem. Right now Anderson is trying to be all different things in one show. Olbermann is NOT a reporter, he's a commentator. Anderson is, in addition to being a news anchor. There's a profound difference between the two. As a hard news show and a journalist he can't express his opinion as openly as Olbermann can. Unless he becomes that format. But then he can't be taken as a objective and serious reporter. I think a lot of times his inconsistencies have to do with that.

360 should cover Libby in detail, just like Countdown does. It's two-hour show, and that trial is more newsworthy then a lot of other crime stories they talk about, IMHO. They are a 24-hour news network and in position to cover Africa and some other parts of the world, which they should be covering. I think they still didn't find the optimal format and direction for the show, that's their biggest challenge.

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When a news show features emails ridiculously dumbed down juvenile as those from LorieAnn & BettyAnn, a viewer with anything more than a GED might question what dingbats are also watching CNN. If and when that viewer looks at the AC360 blog, it doesn't take but a half open eye to see a train of idiotic remarks posted on the blog from moron Ann this and Ann that. After a second thought, an intelligent, financially successful potential viewer might decide to spare themselves subtle discomfort and embarrassment and go elsewhere. The major US cities have decent local news. It's consistent and free. Maybe AC's producers aren't aware of that.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1:16pm. Do send your exact comments to the instant feedback in attention to the attention of the show's producers.

2:59 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@ivy-I don't think of Olbermann as just a commentator. The "special comments" are kind of a new thing. I've been watching him since about November 2004 and he used to keep his opinion out of the hard new stories. However, sometimes things just get to a point where you can't anymore and I respect that he had the guts to start calling BS. Even Cronkite had his moment. When Anderson is in studio his job isn't any different than Keith's.

What annoys me is that there's this whole other international network that CNN has and we hardly ever get to see those stories. I think they air one hour of international news, but that's early in the day and I can't watch it because I'm working. CNN has such unbelievable resources all around the world and I wish they'd use them more for their US audience.

@anonymous 2:59 pm-Where is all this great local news? Mine runs down like this: a shooting here, a stabbing there, a robbery here, a local profile there, a smidgen of national news, some fluff, weather, and sports.

5:32 PM  
Blogger courtney01 said...

I hate tornadoes and feel bad for the people in Florida, but I guess I'm jaded. Tornadoes happen all the time where I live and while they are destructive and dangerous, they just don't shock me anymore.

May 2004 I lived in Springfield, Missouri. Sunday, May 3 (I think it was the 3rd) a major tornado hit the area and wiped out most of the town of Battlefield, Missouri, just a few miles down the road from me. I didn't see the tornado but saw flying debris in the sky and the sky itself was a weird orange-yellow color instead of the normal green-gray it turns during a tornado. A guy I worked with at the time hid with his wife and young son under a couch in their basement while the tornado completely destroyed their brand-new home. The couch saved their lives.

I have seen a funnel cloud drop from the sky just outside my back door. I ran for the basement as fast as I could--I'm not a big fan of tornadoes and when younger would hyperventilate anytime we'd have a tornado warning and the sirens would go off. Scary stuff.

5:36 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@courtney-Yeah, you guys get it pretty bad out there. I do too since I'm up north as opposed to say the city. It's actually gotten better here since they built things up. There was still a lot of farmland when I was a kid and I know once there was a twister that went right on down a street that was a couple blocks away. You do get kind of used to it after a while. I never get scared just because the sirens are going off. Although I do get a little nervous when they say hail because I've only owned two cars in my life and both have gotten major hail damage. When I hear it's coming I'm not so much thinking, "I'm going to die," as I am, "I can't afford this again!" Heh.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here. Here Eliza. I echo your sentiments about 360 not using their international resources. IMHO it always goes back to ratings. I think they think their audience want the sensational stories.
As far as the local news, I've watched
local Buffalo news and it is major el crapo, mainly local shootings and stuff about local schools blah blah...
International news consists of how many American soldiers died in Iraq and maybe some news about Palestine. You'll never hear anything about Africa, the far East... They'll make sure you know about Brangelina's baby's middle name and Paris Hilton's newest quote on some irrelevant topic. Canadian news media isn't that much better with the exception of CBC. I think if all viewers were galvanized and decided not to watch fluff news we'd make a change but that ain't gonna happen. I can only do my part.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Goodness I hate local news. Like Eliza said, it's all about generally nothing, plus what anonymous 7:42 said- celebrity moronic antics- plus a little bit of world news if it affects me directly. Whatever. I like knowing what's going on.

And I would like to post a definition. Social Inequality: a condition in which members of society have differing amounts of wealth, prestige, or power. Also. C. Wright Mills came up with the idea of sociological imagination, which is an awareness of the relationships between and individual and the wider society. The key is to view one's own society as an outsider would, as instead of personal problems, and what are the specific societal concerns?.

Now. The whole point of THAT is THIS: Imagine you are an alien. I mean like a MARTIAN, okay? Not of this planet. Then, take a good look at some disasters- Katrina (2005), the last Tsunami (2004), and then this recent tornado explosion in Florida. If you weighed in many factors on the differing responses to these disasters, you would see that there was a huge social gap between the impoverished people who live there, and the wealthier. The people who were hit the hardest were the poor, who had the greatest difficulty evacuating before the storm and have had the most difficulty recovering from it. The response here is not strictly race, per se, but it is an unfortunate consequence of our society that the race factor is rather obvious.

So what to do? Unfortunately, change is slow. I wish the whole world would embrace and love each other but I'm not about to go and hold hands and sing Kum-by-yah with my neighbors. The response to Katrina is disgusting and angers me a great deal. When Anderson returned to New Orleans I simply could not believe that it looked the same. And why? Why? That's the biggest question....

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 7:40pm was me. I always forget to sign off
PS How do you get your name to show up first? I guess you need a blogger name?

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

My thingie shows three selections for "Choose an Identity": Blogger, Other, and Anonymous. I chose "Other" and put in my name and website. You don't have to put in a website if you don't have one. However, your browser might not show all that. One of my browsers would only let me do anonymous. At the moment I'm using Firefox and it works fine.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ABC, NBC and CBS local news in Chicago covers international news, national news and a smidgen of local occurrences. There are exposes on each station at least once a week. The medical and health topics easily rival Sanjay. While I try to catch both a local and CNN, most people I know in the 24-59 demographic are devotee's of local news. Sadly, the majority of AC360 viewers I'm aware of watch as Anderfans.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, I can't even imagine how terrifying it would be to be in a tornado. Where I live we get wind storms from 50 - 60 mph hour fairly often, which causes trees to fall into power lines and houses, which sucks. But, compared to a tornado... that isn't much.

I’m a relatively new viewer to 360 (I started watching regularly about a month ago) so this is based off the show recently, but, I wish 360 could find a sort of balance between hard news and the other sort of news that it reports. Maybe devote the first hour and a half to the hard news of the day, and really devote that time to it, to try and cover as much as possible and go real in depth, without repeating the same segments over again. Then take the last little bit to other news that Anderson (or the producers, or whoever) find that they want to report on, because honestly I don’t really mind those stories as long as they don’t take too much time, or too much away from the more hard news stories. I also agree with you Eliza, I’d like to see 360 taking more time to go into the legislation as well.

That being said, I think overall 360 does a pretty good job. I find their stories, like the piece on the gorillas or the sex slavery story, very interesting and they aren't always reported on, or at least I haven’t heard much of them in my daily news travels, so kudos to 360 for bring attention to those stories. Anyways, that’s my two cents; you can take it or leave it.

“Afterwards Rick asks him, "how is it possible that only 14 people died here?" To which I immediately reply, "It's 19 you idiot."

Haha. I did the EXACT same thing!

9:28 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

I was so hopefull when 360 today started off with iraq and politics but 10 min into the program -- and they're back to the missing boys MO story. Can they stick to hard news for at least first half hour? I don't get it.

@anon 8:57 NYC local news are criminal news, weather and 5 min on international news. Maybe in Chicago you're luckier.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

You know, sometimes I cannot tell at ALL what 360 is supposed to be about. Everything? Nothing? They have poor Anderson report the weirdest, totally unrelated stupid/useless stories all interspersed with some real news. Then, if there is any sort of mass destruction and/or horrible weather coupled with death, they throw him at it and hope that something sticks.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous candy said...

Just my humblest opinion, but I feel that the 'inconsistencies' of 360 have less to do with any sort of ineptness on Anderson's part or the producers and writers, and more to do with the fact that:

a. The show underwent a pretty major transition after Katrina propelled Anderson into mainstream popularity. While I didn't watch the show as much in its earlier years, all of the clips and transcripts I've read (and the comments of longtime fans) suggest that 360 was a vastly different show before being put into its new timeslot. It's only been a little over a year since that change; I'm sure adjustments are still being made, and that everyone involved is trying to produce a more serious news broadcast, while still maintaining the personality and lightness of the former 360. That can't be an easy task.

b. '360' is just that: a big, round sampling of a multitude of topics. I don't feel that the show is necessarily trying to identify itself with any one genre or any one way of telling a story--it's about hitting as many angles as possible. Human interest topics seem to be a strength of Anderson's reporting, and of the show. I personally enjoy the fact that the show is a bit freelance in design, and also personally enjoy human interest stories, so maybe this kind of show is just my cup of tea. But I don't see it as inconsistency; rather, just a different format of news reporting, with a very distinct and diverse anchor at the forefront of it all.

Going back into lurk mode...

10:51 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@candy Human interest topics seem to be a strength of Anderson's reporting, and of the show.

I'm not sure it's a compliment for a primetime NEWS show, culminative for the day.

I don't know if it is at all possible to have a serious hard news show and maintain the lightness of former 360 without sacrificing the show's integrity. At least it's not successful the way they're trying to do it now.

@sharla -- I wonder how much saying Anderson has. I gave up, switched to O'Reilly, what a surprise, NBC bashing in progress- )

11:40 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous 7:42-I think if all viewers were galvanized and decided not to watch fluff news we'd make a change but that ain't gonna happen.

You're right, it's not going to happen. I've given up on people watching what they should. It used to be that when it came to the news the most important thing was the news. Now the most important thing is the bottom line and we're much worse off for it.

@sharla-I agree that the poor are often the most vulnerable when it comes to storms and such.

Then, if there is any sort of mass destruction and/or horrible weather coupled with death, they throw him at it and hope that something sticks.

Sometimes it does seem they're just looking for what sticks. Like how Paula Zahn seems to have found her calling exploiting racism.

@supergeek14-thanks for your two cents. It's always welcome. I also like when 360 tackles the stories you don't normally hear about. Oh, and I know you're a new viewer, but you will probably soon learn that CNN is trying to kill Rick Sanchez. ;)

@candy-this time last year the show was really bad, but I cut them some slack because I knew they were still transitioning (and Anderson was working on his book), but IMO they've had plenty of time to settle into the new format. I like that 360 is a little different than the normal news show, but the fact of the matter is that it's CNN's primetime show and therefore I think should have a lot of hard news. Oh, and please delurk whenever you like. :)

@ivy-don't know if it is at all possible to have a serious hard news show and maintain the lightness of former 360 without sacrificing the show's integrity.

I think it is possible. They can do hard news and throw in silly stuff here and there like that gag they pulled with the Rosie/Donald feud. That I don't mind. It's when they take it too far or too seriously that it gets ridiculous.

O'Reilly?! Oh girl, no! It's not THAT bad! Heh.

1:15 AM  
Anonymous candy said...

from ivy: I'm not sure it's a compliment for a primetime NEWS show, culminative for the day.

You're right--it may not be a compliment, if one is expecting 2 full hours of hard news on a primetime news show. But a network placing Anderson at the head of said primetime news show, having full prior knowledge of his strengths and interest in human interest topics, tells me that they are purposefully taking that route for this show, and that they believe in its fresh, more humanity-driven direction.

In other words, perhaps it's not meant to be 2 straight hours of hard-hitting news, just because it's in a primetime slot. And I doubt very much that it can be fully cumulative, because of the way they try to thoroughly investigate each story, talk with experts, tape segments, etc. 360 seems to take a few broad major topics and special interest items, and examine them thoroughly. If they did this with every news story of the day, the show would be 9 hours long every night.

The non-cumulative aspect may turn off some viewers who want the customary this-is-the-straight-news, no-chaser format, and I can understand your frustration if that is the case. But the show is what it is. And I believe CNN's intentions read loud and clear.

2:23 AM  

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