Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Anna Nicole Smithapalooza, Raw Politics, Anderson's Simon Cowell 60 Minutes Interview (Monday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. So I watched the show on Friday and took notes with the full intention to blog, but...the weekend just got away from me. Sorry. It was a time thing; not a no Anderson thing. Wouldn't want John to think I didn't love him too. Heh. According to Larry King we've got Anderson in Gotham City tonight and he promises us some Simon Cowell. However, our top story is the cause of death of Anna Nicole Smith. Noooo!!!!! I probably should have seen this coming. Anyway, from Sanjay Gupta we learn that Anna Nicole died the way pretty much most people figured she died: from prescription drugs-nine to be exact. So now we know and we're moving on, right? Oh silly Eliza, we are so not moving on. Nope, apparently we need some discussion with Court TV's Lisa Bloom and forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht. As per usual, I'm not blogging it.

Throughout this segment I find myself yelling, "what the hell is that noise?" It sounds like a sqawking bird, which is confusing seeing as though Anderson is back in the states now and, uh, not even outside. After hearing the annoying thing a few more times it dawns on me that it is coinciding with graphics up on the screen. Oh my God it's a sound effect. That has to be the worst sound effect evah. And suddenly I'm realizing that this isn't new; it's just that when Anderson was in Cambodia I thought it was an actual bird. Bwah! Seriously 360, lose the sound effect from hell please. So anyway, after the discussion we have a Sanjay piece about human growth hormone because Anna Nicole was using it so now we have to know all about it. Obviously. The hormone is often used to combat aging, but it's illegal in the states unless being used for a deficiency. Following Sanjay's piece Anderson gives us some "Raw Data" on how people are cashing in on Anna Nicole's death by selling stuff on eBay. Hmm, what about ratings? Do those count as "cashing in" because you might want to add yourself to that "Raw Data."

Still going strong with this Anna Nicole stuff, next we have a piece from Rusty Dornin on the death of Anna's son Daniel. Then we're joined by private investigator Jack Harding , who suspects foul play. Ooooh scandal! This is never going to end, is it? Anderson brings up the fact that apparently Daniel had a dream about his mother dying. Oh c'mon. Seriously? I mean, are we going to be hearing from Sylvia Browne next because that's pretty much the road we're on here. This interview concludith the Anna Nicole coverage. Well, for the first hour anyway. For those keeping count that was just 30 minutes (with commercials) of your life. All for a woman who did...what exactly?

Transitioning now to some "Raw Politics" with Joe Johns, who I have never been so happy to see. First up tonight we've got Senator Webb's aide packing heat into the Senate office building. Wha? Apparently it was Webb's gun and he gave it to his aide who then in turn forgot about it in his briefcase. Oops. Maybe the NRA will shut up now about democrats and gun control? BTW, their title for this is "Oh, that gun." Totally cracked me up. We also learn that the DNC so enjoyed getting George Allen's "macaca" moment on video that they're tryinig to raise money to pay for video crews to track republican candidates. Youtube waits with anticipation. Finally tonight we're told that Monica Goodling, counsel for Alberto Gonzales will be pleading the fifth in the congressional investigation of attorney-gate. Oh, so we get 30 seconds of this and 30 minutes of Anna Nicole. Yeah, seems about right. Sigh.

Moving on now to the interview Anderson did with Simon Cowell for "60 Minutes." Anderson has a deal that he can show these pieces on 360, but for some reason 360 never aired the Kenny Chesney interview. And of course that's the one I haven't seen all the way through. I recorded it because I was spending time with my adorable two year old cousin and then delayed golf caused the recording to stop literally 1 minute after the piece started. And I should have known that was going to happen since I usually watch "60 Minutes" anyway. I was totally fine with missing it except then I was all intrigued by Anderson in a box. I mean, who's not going to have their interest piqued by Anderson Cooper in a rolly box? So I ended up downloading the first section of the interview, but that's as far as I got, because Kenny Chesney? Meh. I wonder if Anderson wants the puff pieces or if this is some sort of hazing for the youngin. All I know is that if he did the Edwards' interview I bet there wouldn't be all the criticism like Katie Couric is getting.

But enough about all that. In this piece we learn that Simon is mean. Or maybe that's just my opinion. I don't watch American Idol. I saw part of the first season, but in general I have a no reality tv rule for myself. I've never seen Survivor or even The Mole. These days you don't even need to watch American Idol to know all about it; you just need to be conscious. Because it's everywhere! Basically Simon's whole schtick is he guesses what will be popular and apparently he's pretty good at it. Simon thinks everything should be on tv. "Public executions?" asks Anderson. "Why not?" says Simon. "With commericals?" Anderson wonders. "Sponsership," replies Simon. Good Lord. Pepsi: the official sponsor of justice by death. Back in college, my Ethics in Media class was asked if we would air an execution and I was the only one who wouldn't do it under any circumstances. Seeing as though I also knew I was the only one who had no plans to actually go into news, it made me very sad. Anyway, if there's money in it, Simon will do it. Thanks for holding that culture bar high, man. Stay classy!

If you think American Idol is what brings home all of Simon's bacon you would be very wrong. The dude is like a music empire. Not only does he have other shows, he's a record executive for Sony BMG and has sold more records than Bruce Springsteen. In the piece Anderson also jets off with Simon, Randy Jackson, and Ryan Seacrest. Though on the show it looks like they might possiblly hate each other, we learn, really, they're total BFFs. Another little disturbing tidbit we learn is that Simon was once offered $100,000 to critique a couple having sex. Okay, ew...just ew. Simon loves to race go-carts, so Anderson takes him to race indy cars and they both get decked out in the proper attire. I totally don't get the whole driving fast in a circle thing, but whatever. After racing, Anderson surprises Simon with a panel of famous drivers/racers and they proceed to shred his performance. Bwah! At the end of the piece we learn that Simon really doesn't feel he's humiliating people and even thinks he's doing them a favor. Yeah, okay. You can give people a reality check without destroying them. Though he does make a good point when he says, "at the end of the day, if you've decided that you want to enter "American Idol", you want a short circuit to be rich and famous. If that means you take a couple of bits of criticism along the way, tough." Judging by the ratings, I guess America agrees.

The Shot tonight is a trekkie's dream come true. Some guy designed his apartment like the set of Star Trek and now he's trying to sell it on eBay. Anderson notes that the guy did the remodel after his divorce and now he wonders if he's remarried. If a guy brought me to that apartment I would burst out laughing. That's taking fandom to the extreme. Oh, and check it out. They changed The Shot speech. I'm totally claiming this as a victory...which means it will be back tomorrow. Tonight's show was bad, bad, bad. I realize they're getting creamed by Greta and probably don't want to do all this crap news. Anderson, bless his heart, has done his best to make it clear that he doesn't care about the story and I'm sure (hoping) David Doss and the other producers feel the same. The thing is, I really do think 360 could get some solid ratings without this crap if they would just get more consistent. The viewers are confused, people.

When I tune into 360 on any given night I never know if I'm getting an excellent news program or a night like tonight, which was (for the first hour anyway) essentially super-sized Entertainment Tonight. I didn't mind the Simon Cowell piece, but it should be pointed out that besides the few minutes of "Raw Politics" there was no actual news in the whole first hour of the show. How is that possible? I know putting together two hours of news a night must be amazingly difficult, which is why I always feel a little guilty criticizing. However, I also know that 360 is capable of a great show and there is an audience out there that is looking for that great show on a consistent basis. If only the two could come together. D+

I know the comments have been quiet lately, but if you're pulling your hair out over this Anna Nicole coverage now would be the time to let them have it.

Macro by merry_fitzmas.


Blogger Grace said...

360 received a lot of feedback from me yesterday and I really don't care. I'm usually positive with my feedback, but just not yesterday.

I am in total agreement with you, the show was bad. After about 30 seconds of ANS I sent a feedback email asking them to please stop the ANS junk and go back to reporting on real news. I saw the Simon interview when it originally aired and was not impressed, and this repeat didn't change my opinion. Hopefully the rest of Anderson's 60 Minutes segments will have more substance and less fluff.

So there you have it my 2 cents. Oh yeah I hated the new sound effects.

7:40 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

Well, his first "60 Minutes" segment was a hard news story, so there's that. I'm sort of wondering if this is what they hired him for. You know, bring in the young guy to do the fluff pieces to bring in the viewers.

I hope they got a lot of negative feedback for last night's show.

4:01 PM  

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