Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rising Crime, Bastards Of The Party, Gingrich Hypocrisy, Afghanistan, And Georgia Bus Crash (Friday's Show)

Hi everyone. Sorry this is late, but your blogger is sick. Ugh. I've spent more of this weekend in bed than out. So anyway, since I bothered to watch and take notes I figure I may as well do this thing. We kick off the broadcast from Los Angeles for some unknown reason and Anderson informs us that it's getting scary out there, folks. Apparently a new report has found that violent crime is on the rise. You don't have to tell me twice. After all, I have the honor of living in the official most dangerous city in the US. Go St. Louis? Although how you can leave out all the counties (where most people live) when figuring the rankings is beyond me.

Tom Foreman breaks it all down for us in a piece where we learn that homicides are up 10%, robberies are up 12%, and assault with firearms are up 10%. New Orleans crime is mentioned, as is Houston's. Homicide rates are down in Washington D.C., but a 30 year old law banning handguns in homes has just been struck down. Yeah, well, if you think that's bad you should come to Missouri where concealed handguns are legal. I can't tell you how pretty all those "no guns allowed" signs look in the windows of all our financial institutions. So to sum up, crime is getting bad everywhere. This is why I don't watch the local news anymore. It's all, 'That guy got shot. That girl got stabbed. That place got robbed. That place was set on fire. Weather. Sports." And I have to admit I'm running out of malls that I feel completely safe at after dark. So what's going on? My completely unscientific theory is that there's just a general depression that has settled over this country these past few years. Or maybe it's the growing gap between the haves and have nots. Or maybe it's something freaky. Back in the 90's we were promised a horrible crime wave that never came. In the book Freakonomics, the authors postulate that this is because abortion eliminated a lot of the people that would have been commiting the crimes. Now, so we're clear, that's their theory, not mine. You can direct your hate mail to them. It's a fascinating read though and highly recommended.

Next up we have a Ted Rowlands piece on the rising violence between Latinos and African Americans. Apparently in Los Angeles, 206th Street is like a dividing line between the two races and if you cross on the wrong side there's going to be trouble. People from both sides have been murdered with a lot of the tensions blamed on a Latino gang called 204. This gang is all about hating blacks and their whole mission seems to be to get the blacks to move out of the neighborhood. Competition for jobs and housing is also part of the problem, but it sounds like most of this boils down to good old fashioned racism. Ah, what would we do without it? Besides, you know, live more peaceful lives.

Moving on now to an interview with Cle "Bone" Sloan, inactive Bloods member and documentary filmmaker of the HBO film, "Bastards of the Party." Anderson begins by asking about the violence between Latinos and African Americans. Cle thinks it's like a form of ethnic cleansing because in reality there is no black gang that is participating in the violence on the other side of 206th Street. Anderson wonders how the violence might be stopped and Cle points out that the youth nowadays don't even know that African Americans and Latinos used to be united. He thinks that educating people through his film on the history of gangs might help alleviate the tension. Then Anderson asks, " do you stop young kids, you know, with little money, little hope, who see gang members controlling their streets, and who hear, you know, rappers and these big corporations basically pushing a thug lifestyle in movies and music?" Cle recognizes this is a problem and admits that the best way to become an overnight sensation is to join a gang.

Anderson then references times that he has spent with gangs, noting that they all talk about a bond with other members, but in the end find that bond is a lie. Cle states that when you do time, you do it by yourself. He says that it used to be "me and my homeys against the world," but lately that notion has morphed into something else. Are we waxing nostalgic for the good old gang days? Anderson then brings up the corporations again that are pushing the rap videos, but gives us a disclaimer that he doesn't want to sound like "some old fogy." Well, you've got the gray hair. And I think using the phrase "old fogy" puts you half way there. In all seriousness, I'm glad he brought this up. I can't even turn on MTV anymore without my jaw hitting the floor. They should go into this further. Take on Clear Channel, 360! Oh, but don't do it Paula Zahn-style because, I'm sorry, so tacky. Anyway, Cle agrees that rap now has become all about women and materialism. This was a good interview.

Transitioning now to a Bill Schneider piece on hypocrisy, Newt Gingrich-style. So okay, remember back in the 90's when there was that whole little impeachment thing over an affair? (Well, technically, lying over an affair). Yeah, so guess what. One of the leaders of the pitchfork crew was having his own little affair. At the same time. Uh huh. Is it sad that I am not the least bit surprised? Newt's torrid tale came out in an interview with moralizer in chief James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Hey, you know what's funny? Out of all the leading republican candidates only one hasn't had more than one wife: the Mormon. Bwah! (Yes, I realize Mormons no longer take multiple wives). So looks like Dobson is going to have to focus on a lot of different families. Why is Gingrich doing this now? Most likely getting it out of the way early so he can move on with a presidential run. And judging by Dobson's warm reception, hypocrisy is okay if you're a republican. Gingrich claims that he only went after Clinton because of the perjury. So okay then, I guess we can expect him to be on the record in support of a long sentence for Scooter Libby with no pardon, right? Right?

To discuss all this we're joined by CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein. I guess David Gergen was unavailable. Anderson points out that actually Gingrich attacked democrats on the issue of family values all the time, even comparing them to Susan Smith (woman who killed her kids). Thank you, Anderson. Two points for that. Ron replies that Gingrich is a very partisan politician. You think? Anderson wonders if the public has moved beyond these kind of issues. Well, if they're all going to have affairs we don't have much choice, do we? Ron notes that the public acknowledges that people are flawed. Yeah, but we totally draw the line at preemptive war for no reason. Anderson also brings up the Internet and Ron notes that it has become "a partisan transmission belt for both parties, through talk radio, through Fox News, through these partisan blogs of left and righ." Bwah! He included Fox News. Ron brings the no-BS.

Next up we transition to a Nic Robertson piece in which he goes out with a British convoy that is on a mission to resupply the front lines. It's not an easy trip. Not only do they always have to be ready for an ambush, the terrain is rough and slows them down. After 12 hours on the road they still haven't reached their second drop off point. They finally decide to stop for the night and the next day they will do it all over again. Man. Meanwhile, the UN is reporting that this year's opium crop might be even worse than last year. This segways us into a repeat Randi Kaye piece where I am again reminded that St. Louis has a heroin problem. Oh, yay. After this there is a long preview of the Thomas Roberts special, but I'll do all that blogging on Monday.

Moving on to another preview, this one for Drew Griffin's special on the Georgia bus crash. I still don't know how they're getting a whole hour for that or why they would want to. I guess it was easy for them to get a lot of info since CNN is headquartered down there, but that's kind of a pathetic reason to do a special. Also, CNN, you can't just take a CNN Presents and slap "CNN Investigates" on it and expect me to think it's another show. When I first heard about the new series I got all excited that I was going to see some 60 Minutes type investigative work going down at CNN, but they're nothing different from what they were doing before. Don't get me wrong, some of the CNN Presents are great (the North Korea one, anything from Christiane Amanpour), but this name switch is kind of insulting. Just saying. The Shot tonight was sent from Yen Li in Malaysia and it's a monkey and a dog working out on Japanese tv. The animals need to stay in shape too, I suppose. Continuing with tonight's crime theme, the second hour is Anderson's Hollenbeck special. The show tonight was just okay. They actually wasted a fair amount of time previewing things. Anyway, C+

Comment moderation remains on for the time being. Relevant comments will be posted ASAP.


Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from