Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Judiciary Scandal, Military Homophobia, Raw Politics, Alaska Bridges, Questions For Thomas Roberts, And Horrible New York Fire (Tuesday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. At the top tonight Anderson tells us that the response to the Sins of the Father special was enormous and he promises us more of Thomas Roberts later. But we're starting with hard news. Yay! For those of you still processing the Libby verdict you better catch the hell up because there's a new scandal a-brewing in Washington. I think this makes, what, 588 now? Can a girl not get a few days off in between? Geez. Anyway, a John Roberts piece breaks it down for us. Last year eight U.S. attorneys were fired and democrats believe it was because they refused to play politics with the law. The White House previously denied the charge, saying they have nothing to do with that and no, Karl Rove was not involved thank you very much. Yeah, well, the democrats have heard that song before, so the matter wasn't exactly dropped. And hey, surprise, surprise, it turns out there's like a boatload of emails between the Department of Justice and the White House. Oooh. Smoking gun. Apparently former Bush counsel Harriet Meirs (the one who lurved him so) wanted to fire all 93 attorneys, but that wasn't deemed practical, so the attorney general's chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, decided to cherry pick attorneys for firing. Bad move, dude. Now Sampson has resigned, but the democrats have vowed to not let him be the fall guy.

Alberto Gonzales says he wasn't involved, but it's not looking good for him. Oh, Alberto, remember when you were just the torture guy? Those times seem almost quaint and irrelevant right about now. Also, the White House is maintaining that Rove was not involved (You know, just like how he wasn't involved with Plame), but there's an email that implies otherwise. I don't care how it happens, but that little turd blossom needs to go down for something. After the piece we get some legal expertise from Jeffrey Toobin, who I'm sure is very happy not to be talking about Anna Nicole Smith. Anderson asks if the firings were illegal and Toobin says no. The president has absolute authority to fire people, but this is a big deal because of the political aspects. Toobin tells us that the judiciary is usually isolated from all that. Anderson wants to know why it was okay for Clinton to fire people and not Bush. Fair enough. Toobin again stresses that it wasn't that they were fired, but why they were fired. Anderson points out that another issue in this case is that "the Justice Department was saying one thing to lawmakers, but, in truth, they weren't giving them the full story." It's called lying Anderson. You can say it. It's okay. Toobin's not sure if Gonzales will make it through this, particularly if any republicans turn on him. As always, I don't hold my breath.

Next up we've got a newsflash that, apparently, Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is a total homophobe. He thinks being gay is immoral. Oh lovely. As you might guess his comments have caused a bit of a stir and now he's saying he should have focused less on his personal moral views. Whatever. To talk about this we're joined by Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva, who happens to be gay. Eric is of course shocked and offended by Pace's comments. Anderson brings up the fact that the don't ask, don't tell policy came about due to the idea that having openly gay people in the military would break down cohesion and he wonders if Eric buys that argument. Eric does not, and points out that they basically said the same thing about women and now women are over in Iraq right now fighting and dying. Anderson asks Eric if his fellow marines would follow him if they knew he was gay and Eric has no doubt that they would. That's cool. Okay, so can we bring back the gay translators now? Because I'm thinking we could really use them.

Moving on now to some "Raw Politics" with John Roberts. I love how 360 acts like they've been doing this segment forever. Now watch, in a day or two the segment will disappear like it never even happened. Other segments and things have gone by the wayside is all I'm saying. Show-wide ADD? Okay, so I guess what we're getting here is a quick run down of political stories. First up, it's Al Sharpton versus Obama. It seems Sharpton's a little jealous of the "Barack star." Get over it, dude. Also making news is Democrat Pete Stark, who is apparently getting "big props" for saying he doesn't believe in God. Well, he's got a lock on the atheist vote. What is that, like maybe 10% of the population? And finally, it wouldn't be politics without a Hillary Clinton mention. It seems she's again talking about the vast right-wing conspiracy, which once got her mocked. Follow the money is all I have to say. This segment kind of cracked me up. I wonder if it was suppose to be this punchy or if whoever wrote it was just in a really fun mood. I wouldn't think John Roberts could rock that kind of copy, but he totally went for it, though I am a little peeved at him for pooh poohing the vast right-wing conspiracy. Follow the money, John!

On now to a Joe Johns "Keeping Them Honest" piece. Hey, remember those Alaskan bridges to nowhere? They're baaaaack! You might remember that Congress got rid of the earmarks to build the bridges, but they still gave Alaska the money, so yeah, what good did that do? So now senator Ted Stevens and congressman Don Young are taking 450 million dollars of our money to build two bridges that matter to about 50 people. Also, Ted Stevens and Don Young are huge dicks. Even without the bridge thing. This is why I have to put the whole state of Alaska on notice because they voted for these idiots. I mean, did you see Ted Stevens screaming about this on CSPAN? The guy's insane. And he thinks the internet is a series of tubes, not to be confused with a big truck. See? Insane. Alaska, stop electing these people!

Transitioning now to Thomas Roberts sitting down with Anderson live. First they go over stuff that we already heard yesterday and then Anderson reads some email questions for Thomas to answer. Questioner one wonders if there are warning signs that someone is being abused. Thomas doesn't really think so and he notes that kids tend to over compensate making it hard to tell. However, once he told his family they were all great to him. Questioner two asks if Thomas will continue to fight to change sex abuse laws. Thomas would like to, but he says it takes a lot out of you and in fact he hasn't done any of that this year due to personal reasons. Questioner three wants to know if he thinks the justice system failed him. Thomas is pretty much just happy he got to hear Father Jeff say "guilty", although I think in the piece last night he did say the system had failed him. Maybe I'm wrong. Question number four is from Betty Ann (Good grief. What is with these Ann people?) and she wonders if Thomas is still a Catholic. Thomas hems and haws a bit here, but says he still has faith. Ah, I believe you are a lapsed Catholic, my friend. I know them well. That would be about one half of my extended family.

The final question is from a Suzanne, who claims to know (and speaks well of) Father Jeff. Oh, here we go . She wonders why Thomas kept going back to Father Jeff those years and wonders if his concern about getting kicked out of Calvert was worth the abuse. Okay, so I'm not a big fan of Suzanne. Thomas explains that he was only 14 years old at the time and doesn't understand why Suzanne would question him on this. He tells us that "the Suzannes of the world are the exact reason why in 1987 I didn't come forward. And in 1993, the Suzannes of the world are the 300 plus people that showed up to rally against Michael Goles and pray against him. And the Suzannes of the world today, in 2007, are the reason why there are kids out there right now that may see this and fear coming forward, because they're going to have deal with something like that." I think Suzanne just got served. Well done, Thomas. At first I was annoyed that he had to answer that question because it obviously was upsetting for him, but now I'm thinking it was done on purpose so he could do a smacking down of all critics. Thomas Roberts needs to anchor on regular CNN. I just can't see myself ever flipping to the Nancy Grace/Showbiz Tonight/Glen Beck wasteland that is now Headline News.

Next up we have a Gary Tuchman piece on that Bronx house fire where nine children died. It turns out that the families were Muslim immigrants from Mali who practice polygamy. What is with Gary Tuchman and polygamy stories? Polygamy is of course illegal in the US, but it hasn't been prosecuted for decades, except when minors are involved. After the piece we've got Erica Hill for the Headlines and there's even a little banter. Aw, Erica Hill and Anderson Cooper back together again. The Shot tonight is a sperm whale that gets stuck in a cove and then when fishermen try to help him out, he flips their boat over and one guy drowns. Maybe it's just me, but I would really appreciate it if the The Shot could be absent of death. Just saying. The show tonight was really good. A great mix of a bunch of topics with both hard and lighter news. Wah lah! A-

Will Gonzales resign? Is the military ready for out gays? Your thoughts on the whole Thomas Roberts special and interview?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliza, they were from MALI, not MAUI! And seriously, I thought that whole emphasis on polygamy was very inappropriate — the guy's kids just died, who cares how many wives he has!?! Geez, way to be compassionate!

9:41 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous-I originally had Mali, but then I changed it because the transcript had Maui. Stupid transcript. I don't know why I trust it. When Anderson and Jeff were in Brazil it had them out "haunting" with the locals, instead of "hunting." lol Anyway, thanks for "keeping me honest." ;) I don't know why 360 seems to be obsessed with polygamy.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliza, I suspect transcripts are made by voice recognition software, which would certainly explain stuff like "Maui" and "haunting", as well as the "(inaudible)" parts...

12:33 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

You're probably right anon. CNN's service is really quick (about an hour or so), whereas MSNBC I think takes 24 hours. Pshaw! And yeah, lots of times it says "inaudible" when I know exactly what they said. I don't think it can handle crosstalk.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Arachnae said...

I would LOVE to see TR move to main CNN and away from the HLN wasteland. And I liked the JR 'Raw Politics' piece too. I think they should put the 'Roberts Brothers' in as co-anchors at eight - Paula's getting killed there, poor thing.

1:42 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Arachnae-I could go for a "Roberts Brothers" show. We've got the "O'Brien twins," so why not? I'm not a fan of Paula either, but I don't want CNN primetime to be a boy's club. Perhaps save Erica Hill from the HLN wasteland too? You know, Jon Klein should totally call us. ;)

4:35 PM  

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