Thursday, February 01, 2007

Idiocy In Boston, Maybe Terror In Britain, Al-Maliki Interview, Iran, Iraq (Non) Reconstruction, And War Powers (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everyone. The second hour of tonight's show had a lot of repeats and conversations we've heard before, so I'm just going to chuck it. However, I'm going to tag John Robert's piece on the end because it was good. This post might get long and ranty, so be forewarned. We begin tonight with Boston in a panic. I actually flipped on CNN during lunch today, saw all the Boston terror graphics, and flipped right back off. You know why? I'm done. I'm done with this crap. I'm done with breathless reporters speculating about things they know nothing about. I'm done with misinformation, often given on purpose and politically motivated, affecting my life. I'm done with being scared. How many times have we gone through this? We were told they were going to blow up New York subways. We were told that a group of yahoos from Florida were capable of attacking the Sears Tower. We were expected to shudder in fear at a man who thought he could actually take down the Brooklyn Bridge with bolt cutters. It's ridiculous. I knew instantly that there was a 99.9% chance this would turn out to be nothing. I've called BS on every plot I've heard except for the one regarding blowing up the airliners. That one seemed like it had some credibility to it, and it did, though it's still been blown out of proportion. Not all threats are alike. Can people not see that?

As it turns out, I was right. This hoopla in Boston was nothing. We learn from an Anderson piece that the "bombs" all over Boston were actually promotional blinking circuit boards for the show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Upon hearing this news, Jon Stewart issued the following statement, "I quit. There's no point in doing the show now. I can no longer compete with the real news." That's right folks, the city of Boston was shut down for the day due to a cartoon. They even look like little cartoons! Oh, and here's the kicker that I'm not sure 360 even reported: they've been there for about two weeks. Unbelievable. And to make it all the more surreal for us, Turner Broadcasting is behind the promotion, meaning that we get to watch Anderson be shocked at the stupidity of his own parent company. Careful there buddy, they own you. By the way, though they did disclose that CNN is owned by Time Warner, it was so quick and subtle that I didn't even catch it until the story ran again during the second hour.

Next up we're joined by Howie Carr of WRKO-AM in Boston and Jarrod Moses, president and CEO of Alliance, an entertainment market firm. These guys are basically here to bash Turner. I've skipping over a lot of this interview, but Jarrod thinks Turner did this on purpose, because they knew causing a big terror deal would generate a lot of publicity I guess. Well, that's not massive speculation at all. Sheesh. Howie compares the devices to IEDS. Oh holy hell. So IEDs look like frickin Lite-Brites? Because if they did that would probably make things easier for our troops. Turner was stupid, yes. The fact that the city is out all this money now is infuriating, yes. But there are some major things that are not being said here. First of all, does it disturb nobody else that the first responders in Boston could not immediately determine "no, this little creature thing that's all lighted up like a cartoon is not in fact a bomb"?

And more importantly, what has happened to us?! People walk around saying if you do this or do that the terrorists will win. Well what the hell do we call this? We go to the airports and take off our shoes, carry our mouthwash in plastic bags, let ourselves be molested. How is that not losing? I understand that terrorism is real. They knocked down our towers. And it was horrible. Unspeakable. And I'll never forget watching them fall, and the look shared between my mother and I as we listened to a plane fly over our own house thousands of miles from the terror, and sitting down that night to hear what my president had to say. Yes, my president. Because in that moment he was. And we were all broken, but we were all one. They knocked down our towers. And it was horrible. Unspeakable. But what's come after has been worse because we've done it to ourselves.

We were one in that moment. But now we are not. We are blue states and red states. We are war supporters and anti-war advocates. And all the while a big piece of our southeast has been abandoned and forgotten, leaving the people there to wonder if these united states really even ever existed in the first place. And it's everyone's fault. The democrats forgot their spines. The media forgot their jobs. And we the people forgot that we come from brave men and not those who are afraid of a frickin blinking circuit board. Today a major American city was brought to a standstill because of Lite-Brites. The War on Terror is over. And they won.

Okay, so, I hope I didn't scare anyone away with my little rant there because in my next post I intend to ask for money. No I'm not kidding. It's all good, just wait and see. Transitioning now to a Nic Robertson piece on an alleged terror plot in Britain. Well, here we go again. Nine men were apparently planning to kidnap a British Muslim soldier and torture and execute him. While Nic explains, they play part of the Nicholas Berg video. Oh that's nice. I'm sure his parents appreciate that. It is not clear whether or not this is an Al Qaeda related plot, which begs the question, if these guys were going to do this all by themselves, why is this a big trumped up terror plot and not just a really gruesome potential murder? In any regards, I'm going to let this story percolate for a few months before I believe everything they're saying. I like to read all those facts that quietly slip out weeks later that usually change the initial story.

On now to Dana Bash live, who informs us that there has been a bi-partisan repudiation of the preznit's surge plan. Then we're on to Anderson talking about, "Senator Barack Obama, who is black." I'm not quite sure why, but I busted out laughing when he said that. That's like a Wolfbotism. The Wolfbot thinks we're all retarded and therefore points out the painfully obvious: "and for our viewers, when you mention Cheney, I want to clarify that you're referring to the vice president of the united states." Okay, not a real quote, but that's our Wolfbot. Anyway, Biden opened up his big stupid mouth and said some stuff about Obama that could be seen as racist. I'm not even going to go all into it because I think this is a nonstory. Biden's not racist; he's just an idiot. I was all proud of 360 for only briefly covering this, but then in the second hour they do a packaged piece, so oh well.

Transitioning now to a Michael Ware piece and he got himself an interview with al-Maliki. Go Michael. Unfortunately, he doesn't get much because even Iraqi politicians have talking points apparently. One thing we do learn though is that he will not allow the US to attack Iran from Iraq. Hmm. I kind of hope that's true. After the piece we get Michael live and Anderson asks if Maliki has any power. Michael says that Maliki has promised to deliver over and over, but has always failed. He really has no authority, but he's the US key to getting out of there. So...yay? Anderson wants to know what Maliki is like. Michael explains that he's polished, but you can tell there is a crack in the relationship between him and the US.

Next up we have a John King piece about Iran. You may have heard the war drums beating recently and John says this is both strategic and political. We learn that two US carriers have been sent to the Persian Gulf. Wait, what?!!! Oh God. Politically the Iran rhetoric is to get support for the surge. Of note is that the Arab world now likes Bush less than the prime minister of Israel. Whoa. Now that's being hated. To talk about this we're joined by John Roberts and John King. The Johns. Heh. I guess I gotta go all professional now and call them by their last names. King tells us that moderate Sunnis are nervous and want the US to contain Iran, but not go to war with them. Roberts talks a bit about the fine line Maliki walks and then King mentions that all this is going to be a generational problem for the US. You think?

On now to a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Joe Johns. The inspector general for Iraq reconstruction has come out with a new report and apparently a lot of our money has been wasted. I'm shocked, I tell you! Shocked! Except not, because this crap has been going on for years. I mean hello! These guys are poisoning our troops with contaminated water and causing Iraqis to plung to their deaths in elevators. So anyway, there's been some shoddy work done and the US bought 1,000 trailers for a police project, but then canceled the project. Man! What is with the US and wasting money on trailers? Oh and we can't account for another $36.4 million worth of equipment. Sigh. Joe tells us that they're calling it potential fraud and they're investigating. Uh huh. I'm sure that'll go far. Keep on it anyway, 360.

In the actual show we would be transitioning to a Gary Tuchman piece on Esther Reed, but I'm swapping it for John Roberts's second hour piece on possible war with Iran. Joe Biden has said that there will be a constitutional confrontation if Bush tries to take us to war with the country, but the question is, who has the constitutional power? As it turns out, no one can agree. John Woo thinks Bush has broad power, which I know is shocking coming from Bush's own guy. However, constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley thinks the president's options are limited as long as Iran wasn't behind the Karbala attack-that would change things. Jonathan is my favorite law professor evah. Yes, I have a favorite law professor. He's on Countdown all the time and they're always great appearances. The conversation after this was good too, but I'm too tired at this point. The show was meh. They could have done much better with the Boston story. B-

Your thoughts on the "threat"?


Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Oh man. I saw the "threat" and was like, you're kidding, right? Who the hell could mistake a lite-brite figure flipping people off to be a bomb? And then they devoted all that time to it? And the cartoon totally sucks? And yes, I heard him say that Turner blahblahblah what a marketing ploy. look! They got on the news for quite some time- yep, they got what they wanted. And Anderson even pointed THAT out. Thank you very much.

I was checking him out when he was doing his POSE, goodgod someone needs to feed that boy. He's shrinking away. Also, I was paying attention- in one shot he's perched up on his desk, and you can see his laptop in the background. In this case, you can see that apparently he's watching himself! The laptop was showing the camera view. Of course, I've also seen it look like he's surfing the web, so you never know. I actually stayed up till midnight last night (half-dead, for sure) because Michael and Christiane's stories were so WOW. But I think that's the second hour.

Anyhow I must say, I am quite glad that announcer man is gone (although, we do have to think of his children). Dude sounded like a bad Don LaFontaine.....

10:07 PM  
Blogger Pati Mc said...

Eliza, your "rant" was well written, well founded and dead on. Please do not apologize for it. It is all true and I agree with you. Sad, very sad.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Ah, tonight he is talking about UFOs. I once said that I completely trusted Anderson, and if he said he personally thought aliens existed, I would go outside and look up at the sky :) even though I personally don't beleive in aliens. Heh- the power of being a highly intelligent, educated man- would make me question even my self!

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Hmmm... looks like he went to Florida instead....

11:38 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza -- I know it's frustrating that cartoon promotion can be mistaken for bombs, but in big cities any unattended or strange package is treated with suspicion. I'm in NYC, and if I would see anything lying arond without a person near it, on the street or a train, -- I'm giving it 5 min and notifying somebody. Cause you never know. Police has instructions and regardless of what common sense tells you they have to treat it as something dangerous before it's proven otherwise. That's the reality of life. Turner should have notified police as soon as they started to shut down the city.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Actually the big deal is that in order to have done this promotion, they were supposed to notify the police about it or gotten a permit or something to that effect. Then this wouldn't have happened. Of course, they would have been splattered all over the news and got that publicity they so desired either, which is the crux of it.

3:23 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@ivy-but it wasn't a strange unattended package-it was clearly a little guy that was lit up. I agree people need to be vigilant, but if we're suppose to think that Lite-Brite thing looked like a threat then I guess we've all massively fallen down on the job because those things were all over several US cities for about three weeks and not one person called. IMO, Turner was stupid, but Boston completely overreacted. They should have taken the call seriously, but the panic they caused was ridiculous.

4:06 PM  

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