Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dow Drops, Amazing Escape, Bagram Bombing, "The Secret", And Bob Woodruff Returns (Tuesday's Show)

Hi guys. We’ve got Anderson back in New York tonight. It’s been a while. We begin with the news that the Dow Jones average fell 416 points today. Yowsa! This is one of the very few times in life where being poor is actually an advantage. Well, sort of. I don’t have to worry about any of this because I’m guessing it’s not going to touch my savings account. Ali Velshi then joins us in studio for more. This must be a big day for him. I don’t imagine the financial guys have this much excitement a lot. For those wondering, Ali is an American Morning staple. He tells us that the whole thing started in Shanghai and then just triggered to everywhere else. I’m sorry, but the way Anderson and Ali are standing is kind of cracking me up. Don’t walk too close to each other guys. So what caused all this market chaos? A technical problem. That kind of makes you feel secure doesn’t it? We don’t even need terrorists to do us in; all we need is a glitch. Anderson mentions that Alan Greenspan was recently talking about a recession, but the people Ali has been talking to say it’s probably not a big issue. Don’t worry, be happy. Go shopping! Ali tells us the same thing might happen tomorrow. I guess we’ll see.

Transitioning now to a David Mattingly piece on the amazing escape of 13 year old Clay Moore. Clay was abducted at gun point while waiting for the school bus. His abductor then blindfolded, gagged, and tied him to a tree. But Clay here was thinking on his feet and put a safety pin in his mouth before he was tied. After the kidnapper left he was able to (slowly) use the safety pin to poke through the tape binding him to the tree. Amazing. We’re then joined by Family Safety Expert Bob Stuber. I can’t be sure, but I think this is the guy that has previously urged us to grab a trashcan if we’re being abducted. I know I always travel with a big trashcan. Bob does some talking about how kids seem to be more resourceful now, but he also urges parents to give their kids ideas on how to make these kind of escapes. Also, he’s a bit upset that Clay got in the car. You should never do that. Ever. Anderson points out that you should also run in the opposite direction of an abducting car. Then Bob talks about disconnecting the brake lights if you’re ever stuffed in a trunk. Man, the world we live in.

Up next we have a Tom Foreman piece on a suicide bombing that occurred at Bagram Air Force base. And guess who was there about a mile away? Why our own beloved VP. The Taliban is claiming they did it to take him out, but the White House is saying “nuh uh.” Tom then pulls out his maps (because it’s in his contract obviously) to show us that fighters have basically set up a trade route into Iraq. Also, we learn that these fighters are going into Iraq, studying the best way to take out Americans, and then going back to Afghanistan to try it out. Well that’s just awesome. We’re basically helping to show how to kill us. Hey, how about we not do that? Now if I could just get my time machine to take us back to March 2003. Screw that, November 2000.

On now to a Peter Bergen piece. Yeah, you heard me. Peter’s doing his own pieces now. He used to be a producer anyway, so I don’t know if this is a promotion, but I like to heap praise, so yay Peter! In his piece we learn that Afghanistan has gotten much more explodey in these recent years. In 2001 there was only one suicide attack, but last year there were 139. In the piece we meet former CIA Officer Art Keller and he tells us that what’s currently happening is the reverse of how the War on Terror is suppose to work. I’m telling you, we really are living in opposite world. Keller then talks about how all our resources went to Iraq, which made fighting and routing out terrorists in Afghanistan pretty damn hard. Thanks Bush. Thank you oh so very much.

Next up Anderson has an interview with the Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., Mahmud Durrani. Anderson talks about how crappy that peace deal was that Pakistan made and asks if he thinks the deal strengthened the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan. Mahmud then throws it all on Afghanistan and basically tells Anderson that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Because according to Mahmud, everything in Pakistan is peachy. Anderson tries again, relating his own experience of when he was in the region, noting that soldiers told him they saw people crossing the border. Mahmud says that about 200,000 people cross that border everyday and it’s hard to know who’s who. Well maybe you could, I don’t know, try to figure that out. He then once again throws it on Afghanistan.

Anderson tells him that no one is denying Afghanistan is part of the problem, but points out that Bush clearly thinks so is Pakistan. Then he asks if foreign fighters had actually been expelled. Mahmud tells him that most had been expelled. Uh, what? Who? What about Mullah Omar? Anderson does not ask this question, but he does follow up in a politer way, asking if he keeps track of the people expelled. Yeah, we want proof, man! Mahmud says he doesn’t have numbers (shocking!), but keeps involved. Right. Anderson would like to know why attacks are up 300% if the deal is going so well. Mahmud then metaphorically puts his fingers in his ears and screams, “Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan!” Then he says Pakistan is maybe responsible for five of those percentage points. Bwah! Out of 300%? Okay then. This was a good interview. Well done, Anderson. Afterwards Anderson kind of gives us a little talk about Afghanistan. He’s obviously feeling bad about the lack of coverage (not just on 360).

Transitioning now to a Randi Kaye piece on “The Secret.” Apparently there’s this whole huge Oprah-approved self help phenomenon going on, complete with New York Times best seller and DVDs. I knew nothing about any of this until today when I pulled my Newsweek out of my mailbox, skimmed what was on the cover, and said, “What the hell is, ‘The Secret’?” And since I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, how convenient for me that 360 has decided to explain. Basically it’s all about the power of positive thinking. You can have anything you want if you just want it bad enough and think positively. Uh huh. Something tells me the Bush camp subscribes to this theory. They’re all about making their own reality. Okay, so this is all crap, but after the piece Anderson wonders what’s the harm really. Randi explains that the danger is that people might start to blame themselves if things don’t work out like they think they should. She then gives a counterexample of a woman who thought positively and then got a job. Well that’s because she went into the interview with confidence. Duh.

Next up we have Jerry Adler, the author of the Newsweek story and John Assaraf, who is a big believer in “The Secret.” I had to laugh looking at these two because it’s so obvious who’s the believer. John is all plastic smile and scary optimism. Anderson then asks Jerry what’s wrong with being optimistic. Jerry points out that you kind of need to take actual action to change your life-not just visualize it. Turning to John, Anderson wants to know what’s different about this than other self help stuff. John rattles off a whole bunch of crap about how this is actual science, but I’m not buying it. Neither is Jerry. He points out that real science would be a controlled experiment, such as taking two groups of women with breast cancer and treating one group with chemo and one with “The Secret.” Okay, that would be totally unethical, but I’m with you in theory, man. Anderson runs with this, and asks about the danger that people won’t get treatment. John then pulls out his medical chart and talks about how “The Secret” helped him. Enemas are mentioned. OMG, man. TMI! He goes on about this forever, with Anderson trying hard to interrupt.

Kiran’s doing the headlines tonight, which is weird, but, whatever. The Shot tonight is a car that crashes into the DMV. Ooh and there’s a twist! Superman was there! But he didn’t help. WTF? I bet you wouldn’t see Batman just standing there not helping.

Most of the second hour is a taped special, but we do have an Anderson piece on Bob Woodruff at the top of the hour. We all remember that he was seriously injured in Iraq last year, along with (not as seriously injured) cameraman Doug Vogt. I can’t believe it’s been over a year since this happened; it seems like just a few months ago. Woodruff was in a coma for 36 days and when he woke up he couldn’t remember his brother’s name or the fact that he even had twin girls. Part of his skull had to be removed, so his brain could swell and his speech function was damaged. We see an Oprah clip of his wife and I can’t help but chuckle. Oh Anderson and your Oprah love. We also see a clip of Woodruff’s young daughters helping him with his speech. He’s having a little trouble with the word “belt buckle,” but after much adorable patience from the girls, he finally gets it. Even cynical me had to “aw” at that . Woodruff says he’s ready to go back to work. I wish him well. After the piece Sanjay pops up to give us the medical lowdown. The show was pretty good. B+

What do you think of “The Secret”? Anyone watch Bob Woodruff before he was injured?


Blogger Anne said...

I'm all about some positive thinking- in conjunction with action. I applied the power of positive thinking to Algebra, and along with an open mind and the willingness to work I now have an A in a class that I've never been able to pass before. Your frame of mind is very important for your success and health, but you have to be proactive. I hope that people will apply it to their lives as much as they can, but not rely on it completely just because Oprah endorses is.
I watched part of the Woodruff special last night, mostly the part about the other soldiers who are being treated (or not treated in some cases) for traumatic brain injuries like Bob sustained. I need to watch the rest- it's on ABC'c website. There was a case highlighted at the end, and it was pretty clear that if a reporter with a camera hadn't been involved, one soldier would not have gotten the care he was promised. His wife's face (when Bob showed up to check on him) broke my heart. She was obviously on the verge of breaking down under the pressure of caring for a husband who was like a child, plus their three children.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Whoo- Anderson ate that guy for breakfast! Awesome. I didn't feel sorry for Mahmud in the slightest.

"The Secret"- yipe. I blogged about it too. I gave it a few choice words, plus I threw in an Anderson reference that is apparently cracking people up. ...

Peter Bergen? Interesting. We sat there talking about him for about an hour afterwards. Mmmm... fun. Well, staying up till two am talking about the show, well, maybe not. I'm getting rather tired now.

Oh, and the DOW? Holy cripes, I watched my shares in Time Warner (and other stuff) take a dive. Did I freak? Nope. I went and bought some more cuz they went all cheap (how smart of me)!

And I'm pretty sure I'd seen Bob Woodruff from before. The video of him attempting to say "belt buckle" about made me cry. I mean, he was laughing, and they were all laughing, but it really jerked my innards because it was like, wow, the family stuck together through all of THAT.

9:45 PM  
Blogger jr said...

Regarding the "Secret"...I actually thought AC would have shown some "snark" on this topic but he didn't. Oh well...maybe next time. Some of the video scenes seemed so incredibly corny and cheesy to me. I, like others, believe in positive thinking but calling it a "secret" was nothing more than a ploy to capture people's attention. Got to give them credit, it worked.

12:31 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anne-I'm not down on positive thinking, but positive thinking alone is pretty meaningless. You need action too.

I didn't see the ABC special, but I believe it about the soldiers getting poor care. Have you been following all the Walter Reed stuff? I'm a bit disappointed 360 hasn't covered it.

@sharla-Chatting about Peter for hours? Are you lucky enough to have three-dimensional 360 friends?

@jr-Snark would have been nice, but oh well. Maybe he didn't want to piss off Oprah. ;)

1:13 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

Just to let you guys know, there will be no blog for Wednesday's show. Something came up.

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob and Lee Woodruff were college sweethearts at Colgate University. He actually began his career as a Chicago lawyer and was sidetracked from the getgo. Lawyering was not for him, yet he thought Journalism was his calling. While the tragedy probably had his family wishing he remained a dullsville legal eagle, news provided his "bliss."

1:26 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza --I'm with you on 360 not covering Walter Reed. Maybe the Brazil trip got in the way? I saw Bob Woodruff special, it was hearbreaking in many ways. I'm also dissapointed 360 doesn't talk about problems of our injured soldiers more. They did it once, but then opening of that center wasn't used at all to talk about the real issues. Why is Woodruff, a tv journalist whos extent of recovery is a miracle, taking on this problem, and not others? His brain functions might have been affected, but he has a spine. I remeber seeing him before the injury, but didn't watch his show regularly.

I'm happy Peter Bergen became a reporter, he's such an asset. Today's 360 was the best I've seen in a while. I hope it will become a trend with Anderson back.

2:30 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

@Eliza- why yes! I did find myself some three dimensional Anderson admirers with which to discuss the show! Imagine that.

The four of us sit there and IM back and forth while we watch 360 every night. It's really fun.

Of course, the occasional "nice tie" comes into play. Like on Tuesday, we were deliberating on whether he'd dressed himself in the back room with his eyes closed because he was wearing a blue and red tie, a lavender shirt, and a blue/black pinstripe jacket. Yikes.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Dannie said...

Mahmud then metaphorically puts his fingers in his ears and screams, "Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan!"

ROTFL — that's precisely what I was thinking!

8:06 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous-He sounds like a good guy and a good journalist. I wish I had time to watch all news shows.

@Ivy-I was wondering if maybe they didn't cover it because the story broke at the Washington Post (owned by different parent company), but that seems kind of ridiculous. Does anyone know if CNN covered it at all?

@Sharla-I've been doing something similar for over a year now. It makes the show really fun. But I've never met my friends in person.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

It definitely makes the show more fun. Another one of those reason I like having a laptop- I sit in front of my TV with it while we message each other.

And yeah, I've never met my friends either :) LOL- can you imagine saying stuff like that a few years ago? They're sort of like penpals, just in real time.

6:06 PM  

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