Saturday, February 17, 2007

Thursday's 2nd Hour Discussion, Fun With Animals, Iraq Resolution, ANS Crap, Pastor Sells Church, And Stupid Teen Sex Law Update (Friday's Show)

Hi everyone. Instead of making two separate posts I'm just going to put what I wanted to say about Thursday's second hour at the top here. Needless to say I'm not all that happy with what occurred. I had actually wanted to blog Michael Ware's piece on the Kuds force because it was very good, but...it's not in the transcript. It's seems 360 is not the only one doing a kind of cut and paste job. Anyway, I took notes, but I was counting on the transcript to double check my facts, so I'm not going to be able to do it for fear of truthiness. I'll leave that to Fox News. So I guess the question of the night is WTF happened? They promo-ed that Anderson and Jeff bug piece over and over-promised it was coming up in the second hour-and then...Afghanistan? What could they possibly be thinking? I know several people who stopped watching out of annoyance. Actually I was pretty mad myself. The issue with me is not missing the segment, but the manipulation. 360 needs to have better respect for their viewers. Because guess what? They have smart viewers and if they keep this up they're going to lose them in droves. So message to the producers: don't pull that crap again. And also? If you're going to run a five month old special about a war that is currently happening you really need to put a date in the corner of the screen or something because you're going to confuse people that aren't regular viewers.

Okay, now on to Friday's show. We begin with Anderson in the city of Manaus and he's holding a cute little critter. Actually it's pie-faced tamarind and it's one of the most endangered primates in the Amazon. Before we go any further though, Anderson has someone to introduce. No, not another animal-a new CNNer. Her name is Kiran Chetry and she's our New York anchor tonight. I hate change. I really hate change that comes via Fox News. But I like to think myself a fair blogger, so I will try not to hate her right off the bat. Kiran notes Anderson's tamarind and says, "and that's the cutest little thing I have ever seen -- the tamarind, not you." Okay, so I guess we're going with 'awkward' for the first impression. She then kicks it back to Anderson who intros a piece on all of the endangered species they encountered and others around the world. We learn that over the past 500 years humans have pushed 844 species into extinction. Way to go humans. We're then shown a bunch of species. Of note is that there are only 1600 giant pandas alive right now. I know my readers are panda lovers. Oh and that salamander? Ew, slimey.

After the piece we're back with Jeff and Anderson live and Jeff is holding a three-toed sloth. I have to say I'm completely tickled by how excited Jeff has been this whole trip. The words "incredible" and "amazing" are being used a lot. Anderson pets the sloth and notes that it's really soft. Jeff tells us that the sloths actually have trouble regulating their own body temperatures and as I sit here in the freezing St. Louis weather I dorkily shout, "hey, me too!" The whole time Jeff is giving us sloth facts Anderson is petting the creature...until Jeff gets to the fact that they have bugs in their fur. Bwah! Anderson's hand kind of stops and you can almost see the wheels in his head go, "Wait, did you say bugs?" He apparently gets over it though and good thing too because Jeff's handing the critter over, so that he can get another sloth. As Jeff gets the other sloth Anderson I guess gets nervous about the dead air and brings up the subject of their arm markings. At this point Jeff's are much more pronounced than Anderson's. Apparently Anderson scrubbed harder. I don't imagine WASPs like ink all over them for long periods of time. Anderson then tells us, "We literally were just out with Jeff in the rain forest, running around in the dark, and barely, actually, got here in time to do this program." Control room panic! Hee.

Transitioning back to New York where Kiran seems to be having problems already. I think she was suppose to start with a piece, but there must be technical difficulties, so we're suddenly joined by Amy Walter of the "The Cook Political Report." She's here to talk about the non binding resolution on Iraq that just passed in the House. Finally! Amy notes that while 17 republicans defected and voted for the resolution, it's not as many as they originally thought. Okay, Amy here has bought the republican spin hook, line, and sinker. Because it's pretty well known that they purposely inflated the numbers, so when the vote occurred it wouldn't look as good. Boo on both of them for not bringing that up. Oh, and now I guess Amy's going to have to cool her heels because Kiran's piece is ready. We get some clips of politicos debating and are informed that the Senate is going to debate their own resolution on Saturday. Then we're back with Amy, and Kiran asks why democrats haven't gone for more than just a symbolic vote. She actually uses a Wall Street Journal editorial to ask her question. We've got to shake that Fox Newsiness off you girl. Amy says that this is just the first step and down the road they might go for something binding, which will no doubt produce some nervous democrats. But it will be different this time because they found their spine. Right? Right?

Next up we've got our requisite Anna Nicole crap complete with Court TV chick. We're logging about 15 minutes tonight. Sigh. Then we're back to the rainforest where Anderson has a sloth attached to him. You just know that sloth is thinking, "WTF is this grey haired thing on me?" Anderson then intros another clip in which Jeff totally scales a tree to get the sloth. OMG! It kind of looked for a second there like Anderson was going to go for it too. Meanwhile the people back at CNN are watching the footage going, "they signed that release, right?" Winded from his amazing climbing, Jeff gives us some sloth facts. Next we're shown a pie-faced tamarind, which is 100% endangered. After the tape we're back with Anderson live and there's some discussion between Kiran and Anderson about how they were actually in a section of the rainforest maintained by a university to study the species. I thought this was way too brushed over. There should have been a piece or something to better explain what's going on. Kiran then asks about the markings and Anderson makes many a fan girl head explode, saying he keeps, "rubbing at them pretty aggressively in the shower." That's why his are faded. He doesn't think Jeff showers as much. Oh Jeff, even animals have a sense of smell. Well, most of them. Anyway, Anderson's been told he might be blue-manning it for about two weeks. Ha!

Transitioning now to a Dan Simon piece on a pastor that sold his church. Doesn't seem like much of a story right? Well, yeah, except that it wasn't his to sell. He did it by forging documents and then he bought a BMW! What would Jesus buy with money fraudulently obtained? He put money in his girlfriend's bank account too. Well, isn't that sweet. Anyway, the pastor has plead guilty to embezzlement and was to spend 16 months in jail. But wait! There's more. Apparently while in jail he befriends this murderer who confides in him and then the pastor uses this information to get out early. Oh WTF? This guy needs some smiting.

Next up we have an update to this Rick Sanchez piece. So to recap: Teen gets consentual blow job from minor. Teen gets slapped with a felony under stupid law. Up to speed? Now the Georgia legislature has changed the law, but not the teen's sentence because Georgia Senator Eric Johnson says the girl was raped while unconscious. Um...maybe he read the wrong case? Because seriously, what the hell? How can you be that wrong? The facts are standing all the way across the street from him. Hell, he can't even see the facts from where he is. So Rick confronts Johnson, who says it was a rape in his mind. Well maybe you should be charged with some kind of crime because you've got a violent mind. Apparently there are signs that he might change his position, so I guess we'll see. Meanwhile the poor kid still sits in jail.

The show tonight was just okay. Again we didn't get the bug piece. I really have no idea what to think about this whole Amazon trip. CNN obviously has spent a ton to send them there, yet it's not even being promoted that much. I mean, just look at the contrast between this and the Angelina Jolie interview or even the Oprah special. And though we're getting some good information, as someone pointed out in the comments, this could have been named "Anderson and Jeff's Jungle Adventure." To me it sometimes views more as a Tonight Show segment than CNN. Of course I can't comprehend the logistical hurdles they must jump through, so it's hard to criticize. I just hope they get it together a little better because I'd hate them to lose viewers over this. In terms of true newsiness, tonight gets a C+

Your thoughts on the whole trip so far?

10 Comments:

Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Yeah, well, you might decided to not hate her right away, but I did!!

O.M.G. Anderson with a three toed sloth. That was too cute. Even though he looked afraid of it. Or afraid of the bugs on it. And when Jeff climbed that tree I think I had quite a few shallow thoughts :) I am a total Jeff Fan now LOL!!

Jeff's stripes looked like he retouched them actually! I do have to give ONE point to the new anchor- she was actually listening to what he said because she made some comment about how Anderson's stripes might last two weeks, but Jeff's two months (because Anderson said he doesn't shower or something).

8:12 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

This trip has been a huge disappointment. It had such potential but they really haven't covered anything indepth. I'm sure it's a logistical nightmare down there, so maybe once they get back to New York, they'll do a comprehensive Special Investigations Unit report or something.

I don't even know what to say about Kiran. I'd never heard of her before but I wasn't impressed. She looked like she was having trouble staying awake during the political reports. If they need another anchor, Randi Kaye would have been a much better choice.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can picture Anderson scrubbing away at thr ink like Meryl Streep in "Silkwood". Lighten up boy!

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Patty said...

I agree. This past week has been a major disappointment. This is one trip that I wish 360 did not take. I did not learn anything new, and the segments hardly qualified as "news".

I hope that they will do better next week, or at least put the material together in a special and present the information better.

I don't think I have ever been this disappointed since I started watching 360. Well,I guess, maybe when they were covering the murder stories last year.

Don't like the new host either. Somehow, not looking forward to next week's 360.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza --I missed AC saying he hardly made it for the show on time. He looked like he wished he didn't. Could it be a message to his NY producers? Hee -)

I also gave Kiran a chance, but it wasn't even 30 seconds into the show I had a pessimistic vision of the future. Oh boy.

If the amazon trip was presented "Anderson on a trip with Animal Planet" I could understand. My impression is that this it's a last minute thing. And that there are major issues with the show, not just technical. If they're doing it for a solid special what's he need to have unprepared broadcast? Something must be going on behind the scenes.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Maddy said...

I love Jeff Corwin's input and I believe he is contributing exactly what he is supposed to be contributing to this series; however, I am still waiting for Anderson and the 360 producers to show up and start providing some actual coverage. You know, to start showing the interlocking pieces that are putting our planet in peril.

So far we are getting a lot of screen time with Anderson & Jeff holding cute animals and A & J in the jungle looking for animals, etc. I expect to see some of this because it's a part of what the series is about but WTF? Where is the other side of this - the more in depth comprehensive view?

I realize they may be traveling with a light crew and may not have the resources to provide this kind of in depth coverage right now but if that is the case I think that is bad planning and shows a rush to put this program on the air without due preparation.

Here's hoping that by the time they leave Brazil on Tuesday they have enough footage to come back and due this series justice.

So far I have gotten more information about deforestation and the Kraho tribe from a quick search on the Internet than I have from the Planet in Peril series.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous gissou said...

Eliza,
I'm with you on this whole A&J jungle adventure. This week's AC show has left me scratching my head wondering if they had major logistic problems.Having said that, this is CNN we're talking about not some school project. How could they screw up so royally? I hope they can save face. I have to say, I do appreciate the effort to take us,the viewers,to corners of the world most will never have a chance to witness.
I agree with the criticism about the segments not being hard news but I'll take Jungle adventure over ANS crap any day of the week. I BEG of you CNN, for the love of God, no more ANS crap! What did we do to deserve this? I also have to thank you Eliza for refusing to cover that nonsense on this blog.
BBC world news covered Britney Spear's shaving her head and this morning CNN made a comment like oh we have news that this happened and we'll bring you pictures as soon as it becomes available to us! Is this news people? I'm sometimes confused about what I'm watching-excuse-me is this Entertainment Tonight? Who the F- is B.S. that I should care about her shaving her F head. Excuse-me for ranting, but this just makes my blood boil.
Ahhh, I feel a little better now... This blog sure saves me from spending big bucks on psychotherapy.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

Did AC want to avoid covering ANS by showing us fluffy animals far away and thought it's less of a fluffy coverage? Even though it's easier on the eye-)

2:32 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Okay, I'm going to try and give her a chance, but jesus...I'm hoping all the fidgeting and watching the teleprompter was just nerves. And can we please leave the lame jokes to John Roberts? That's his department.

I am so in love with that sloth Jeff took out of the tree, I wanted to touch it & hold it so bad. It was funny watching Anderson, he barely took his eyes off the sweet little thing!

The Amazon trip started out interesting, but now I'm just feeling let down by it. I guess I expected so much more.

What I want to know - is there so little going on in the world that we keep losing the second hour to repeats? What's going on? I think they should give the second hour to Michael Ware, until they can pull things together.

7:00 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@sharla-Yeah, Kiran said it would take Jeff two months to get his marks off. She was trying very hard. Now that Fox is completely trashing her in the press I almost feel sorry for her. That network is horrid in every way possible.

@lee-I'm a little disappointed too, but this is a long series and they may still be working out kinks.

What's weird is that I swear I read somewhere Randi Kaye was originally hired as an anchor.

@anonymous 10:46 AM-It's the Type A baby.

@patty-eh, I've been more disappointed. I'll take this over neverending Neil Entwhistle coverage anyday.

@ivy-I imagine there's always something going on behind the scenes.

@maddy-I agree we need less "look at the cute animals" and more facts (not that I don't love the cute animals).

@gissou-They'll probably never stop with the ANS crap because it's their gravy train now. Ratings through the roof. So the viewers are to blame too.

This blog sure saves me from spending big bucks on psychotherapy.

If you want to kick a little of that saved money my way I wouldn't argue. ;)

@stacey-Heh. Looks like poor Kiran is becoming our anchor to hate. John Roberts must be relieved-though I never had a problem with him in the first place.

Michael Ware is running 24/7 as it is. I don't think he could do a whole hour of 360.

12:57 AM  

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