Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Attorney-Gate Continues, Missing Boy Rescued, Sex Slaves, Injured Elephants, And Anna Nicole Smith?!!!! (Tuesday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. We're kicking it off from Bangkok again tonight and Anderson has ditched his usual field shirt for one of the tighter variety. And yeah, okay, that's all I'm going to talk about the man's shirts for now since this isn't that kind of blog. Right off the bat Anderson throws it to John Roberts in New York for more on attorney-gate. In a John piece we learn that Bush is digging in his heels. He warns the democrats against handing out subpoenas and threatens a constitutional showdown. Bush also tries to spin the whole thing in partisan terms, as if his own party isn't in disarray over this. The administration has actually given the okay for Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to testify. There's just a couple of catches: no public, no oath, no recordings, and no transcripts. Uh, yeah. That doesn't sound fishy at all. Senator Charles Schumer is not sold and wonders why there can't be a record and an oath if there's nothing to hide. Oh, c'mon Chuck. You let the oil company heads forego an oath and that situation is all better now, right? Anyway, the conservative base is all beside itself because they think the republicans need to get a spine. Welcome to the minority with an unpopular president. For now Bush stands behind Gonzales, but his "heckuva job," could be coming at any time.

Next up John has an interview with Senator Patrick Leahy and he begins by asking if he takes Bush at his word that nothing improper was done. Leahy reminds John he said there were WMD's in Iraq too. Bwah! That is exactly how I would answered that question. They need to keep saying that over and over. John asks Leahy if he thinks anything illegal went on and Leahy says that's what they're trying to find out. John then point blank asks if Gonzales should stay or go. Leahy squirms a bit and still doesn't give a straight answer, even when pushed by John. He tells us he will be issuing supoenas (thank you 2006 election!) and John wonders if he's ready for a constitutional showdown. Leahy says he just wants the truth. Then John yells, "you can't handle the truth!" Or, um, okay, maybe that didn't happen. They then talk a bit about the supoenas and Leahy states that he wants these guys under oath. To which John replies, "You're not concerned that they would not tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth in these off-the-record briefings, are you?" Oh John, that question was just dying for a sarcastic delivery. Because hell yes he's concerned! These guys like to have people lie for them. Just ask Scooter Libby.

Moving on now to some discussion with David Gergen. John says that he hasn't seen Bush worked up like this in quite a while. And he would know since I'm pretty sure he covered the White House for CBS. The Gerg is all confuzzled about why the Bush camp is pushing this so hard. He tells us that Gonzales and Miers testifying under oath would not be unprecedented and thinks they could compromise by having it be private, but with a transcript. Sounds fair to me, but The Gerg and I are rational. John wonders what would happen if this got taken to the courts. The Gerg says they might win, but it would be a big media circus and he doesn't get why they would want to go through that. You know, sometimes I don't think The Gerg gets these people at all. I sure don't understand them, but I know you're not going to figure out their next move by assuming they're rational. John then notes that he's been reading conservative blogs for a few weeks and the base is mad that the administration is rolling over. Oh John, why are you torturing yourself?! The Gerg thinks it's a terrible mistake to play to the conservative base. And yet they continue to do it for six years running. "Welcome to the NFL," says The Gerg. Heh. Seriously.

Transitioning now to Anderson Cooper popping out of no where already talking about attorney-gate. Okay. Anderson then intros us into a Randi Kaye piece on Michael Auberry, a Boy Scout that was missing for four days in North Carolina's Doughton Park. A search and rescue dog found him today. Michael was disoriented, hungry, and dehydrated, but for the most part okay. So, yay! Much better ending than James Kim. I actually turned on CNN earlier today and they were saying they had located him and he was going to walk out on his own. To me that sounded just like what we were told during Sago, so I decided not to be happy until I saw the kid. We find out that he survived by sleeping under rocks and stuff and he wandered away in the first place because he was homesick and was looking to hitchhike out of there. Um...that's not good. He's lucky he only got lost in the woods for four days and not ax murdered by a crazy that picked him up. Kids today, man.

Next up we have an interview John Roberts did with "Hatchet" author Gary Paulsen because it seems it was Michael's favorite book and he drew on it to get him through his ordeal. I have to laugh here, but I'm sorry, this is kind of a ridiculous reason to have this guy on. Also, I am totally having memories right now of being in grade school and trying to get that book read before it had to go back to the library. I think every kid read that book at some point. John asks what Michael would have learned from the fiction book and Gary says he would have learned not to panic. Gary then basically points out that it was Michael that saved himself and I have to say, even he looks a little unsure as to why he's being interviewed. He's probably looking forward to that Amazon rank bump though. So anyway, not much here, so we move on.

Transitioning back to Anderson in Bangkok and he talks a little bit about why they're there. He then intros into a piece he did on sex slavery. It seems it's a booming business, with the State Department estimating between 600,000 and 800,000 people trafficked across borders every year. Half are children and 70% are female. These crimes are seen the most in Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma-all in southeast Asia. People fall victim to the sex trade because they're promised something better. Governments are trying to crack down, but obviously it's a huge international problem to overcome. So sad.

Next up we have Dan Rivers leaving his perch at the DMZ to give us a piece on elephants injured by land mines. We meet Matada, who had her foot blown off by a mine and now they're trying to fit her with a prosthesis. That's kind of cool actually. We also see a little baby elephant that has been mutilated by a land mine. Ohh! It will probably have to be in an animal hospital for the rest of its life, but really, I guess it's kind of lucky since many elephant land mine victims are shot by their owners. The elephants sustain the injuries because the border between Thailand and Myanmar is littered with land mines and the owners use them as workers. Poor elephants.

Moving on to an interview Anderson did with U.S. ambassador to Thailand, Ralph Boyce. Anderson asks why the trafficking of animals matters. Man, I wonder if they're getting email complaints about the animal coverage or if he just really wants us to care, because he's been all over that question these past couple days. I care, Anderson. I swear! (I know, most people aren't freak news junkies that watch every night). Ralph mentions the things we've heard before: spread of disease, extinction, messing with the whole ecosystem and the fact that it's illegal. Anderson wonders how the trafficking can be stopped. Ralph thinks we need an alliance between governments. Oh bummer, we're not very good at those. He also points out that a lot of people in the US might be buying illegal animals and not even know it. Anderson brings up the fact that if you look at the money you find that the same groups trafficking other things are also trafficking animals. Ooh look at you Mr. Reporter, following the money. Anderson is then momentarily out of questions and needs to pause to think one up. On the fly. I like it! He don't need no prompter!

Transitioning back to New York where Jeffrey Toobin joins John Roberts to talk about...Anna Nicole Smith. Oh noes! The 360 team has fallen off the no-ANS-coverage wagon! Oh guys, if you were feeling the urge you totally should have called me. I would have gotten you through your moment of ratings coveting weakness. Sigh. You're going to feel like crap in the morning. Anyway, Toobin has decided to sport the new title of "Bahamian legal analyst". Hell Toobin, might as well go all out: "Senior Bahamian legal analyst." Okay, as per usual, I'm not blogging this junk, but I will say it's a little comforting to know that it's obvious John and Toobin think this is stupid. Actually they're almost having too much fun with it. Kiran Chetry then brings us the headlines and afterwards Anderson has to make a clarification to the Anna Nicole story. It seems John got his facts wrong. See, this is what happens when you have too much fun covering a story that shouldn't be covered in the first place. I don't know whether to give John a gold star or a demerit. If you're going to get a story wrong, that was the one to do it.

The Shot tonight is an adorable little polar bear...that animal right's activists think should be killed. Wha? Yeah, that's not going to happen. This bear was even photographed by Annie Liebowitz, who Anderson calls a, "fantastic photographer." And you wouldn't be biased or anything. Heh. The show was pretty good tonight, though I think they spent too much time on missing boy related stuff and then of course there was the ANS relapse. B

Screencaps by cskitten.


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