Friday, March 16, 2007

Rove In Deep, Rising Crime, Political Talk, Sanjay Gupta Is A Hero, And Raw Politics (Thursday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. We're kicking it off right off the bat tonight with the attorney-gate story (yeah, I think it's time to give it a "gate") and Suzanne Malveaux bringing us the news that an "e-mail shows that Karl Rove raised the idea of firing all 93 U.S. attorneys nearly a month before the White House previously acknowledged." Oooh. Democrats are all over this, while the White House says it's just politics aimed at damaging the administration. Uh, you're like at 30ish percent-there's not much damage left to do. Anyway, if the Senate makes Rove testify the White House will probably invoke privalege. Suzanne expects this to be "quite a battle." And I'll be here watching.

We then transition to a double execution, which Anderson calls their other top story. The incident in question occurred last night in New York's Greenwich Village and it was all caught on surveillance video. We then get an Anderson piece and the video is played. In it we see a man shoot and kill two unarmed auxiliary police officers, who were volunteers. We're told that he himself is later killed also. This whole thing is horrible, but I've got a couple of issues here. First off, this is most likely the "other top story" due to the video, which means this is about sensation. Also, when it comes to stuff like this I often wonder how much location has to do with the coverage. 360 is in New York, so obviously this is a big story in their lives (and the horrible granny beating for that matter), but I'm wondering if this happened in say, Ohio, if it would have gotten this kind of placement. I'm not saying the shooting shouldn't have been covered, I'm just wondering why it was singled out at the top of the hour. Unfortunately, I'm sure lots of other crimes occurred all across the country last night.

So apparently tonight's theme is the rising violent crime because next we've got another Anderson piece that gives us the basics on the situation. We get lots of stats and reasons for the surge include reduced police, easier access to guns, and a rise in meth. Joe Biden puts the blame on Bush because he cut funding for the community policing program. I could probably blame Bush for literally everything if I thought about it hard enough. To talk about all this crime, we're joined by criminologist James Alan Fox. Anderson asks what's going on with all this and James totally puts things in perspective. He kind of knocks down some of the scary stats and while he acknowledges that crime is on the rise, he urges us to take the reports with a grain of salt. So in other words, don't freak out, people. Anderson notes that it's not just killing, it's over-killing (over-killing?), meaning more shots fired than necessary to kill someone. James thinks this is because all the successful programs we had for youths in the 1990's have since been cut. Hey conservatives, how's that small government working for you now?

James also says the NRA has been allowed to run roughshod over Congress. To which Anderson replies, "I should just point out, a lot of gun supporters will say, you know, that's bunk, to be blaming the NRA. But -- but I -- let's not get into a debate..." I know he's trying to play devil's advocate here, but it's really not cool to call someone's point "bunk" and then say you don't want to debate it. On the other hand, I also know the NRA supporters would not have been happy if he were to just let that go, so...tough one. Probably should have gone with better phrasing, but it's live tv-what are you going to do? Anderson then asks if we have a culture of violence and he brings up movies and music. He also notes that he doesn't want to "sound like an alarmist or reactionary." Or perhaps an "old fogey"? James agrees there is a culture of violence, but it's not a new thing. He thinks we need to get back to the things that worked in the 1990's-more cops and social programs.

Next up we have a Rick Sanchez piece on a 13-year old with 128 felonies. OMG! But he's just a baby! So again we're talking about youth and violent crime. One reason for the rising numbers is that there are simply more youth. Well, that makes sense then. Also there are more guns and less community involvement. Movies, music, and video games are blamed, as they always are when there's teen crime involved-especially a school shooting. Rick tell us that the message in a lot of this entertainment is that it's cool to be bad and that in itself might be fueling the crime. Maybe. After the piece we've got repeat John Walsh from yesterday and a repeat Ted Rowlands piece on tension between blacks and latinos. During a news update Anderson brings up his "irritating laugh" and Erica Hill tells him he should own it. He should. That's right Anderson Cooper, you own that dorky laugh!

Transitioning now back to attorney-gate, we're joined by David Gergen for some discussion. Anderson wants to know what this has to say about the White House. David says it "raises the question of is this incompetence? Or is it just an intent to lie and deceive?" Well that's the question, isn't it? I've been saying for a while now that it really doesn't matter anymore. Either they're evil or they're not even competent enough to flip burgers, so it pretty much sucks for us either way. The Gerg again states that he thinks Gonzales is on the outs. I guess we'll see. Anderson wonders what the worst possible outcome in the adminstration's eyes would be if Rove testified. The Gerg believes if that happens the democrats will make a pinata out of him in other investigations to come. And you know he is not filled with delicious candy. The Gerg thinks they'll give up Gonzales to save Rove, but then that might open the floodgates and calls for others to be let go. He tells us, "I'm just floored at the fact that this White House and this Justice Department have been so incompetent in the way they have dealt with this." Seriously, Gerg? Have you been napping these past six years? The Gerg says this makes them look "like not only they're incompetent, but they're liars." Which might just be what they are.

On now to a Sanjay Gupta piece on how he totally saved the life of Jesus Vidana. Jesus has shrapnal in his brain from a sniper bullet and Sanjay did surgery in really poor conditions. In the piece Sanjay gets to see Jesus again and he gives him a hug. Aw. Sanjay then explains to Jesus exactly how he saved his life. They were in a tent and after getting the bullet out the only sterile thing to cover his brain with was an I.V. bag, which he sewed to his head. Unfortunately Jesus has been struggling with depression since that time and even says in some ways he wishes he hadn't lived. Oh. That's so sad. Even though the VA mental health system sucks, Jesus has good care, but he's worried about the future. He previously had all his benefits taken away and had to fight to get 70% back. But he's looking to the future and I take that as a good sign. Hopefully he'll always get the care he needs. And maybe Sanjay can follow up. Isn't it a saying or something that if you save someone's life you're responsible for them from now on? After the piece we see that Anderson is in awe of Sanjay's life-saving skills. And I am too.

Moving on to some "Raw Politics" with Candy Crowley. I figured John Roberts wouldn't be able to do it every night. First up, we learn John McCain is getting desperate and has dusted off the straight talk express and took it for a spin. He should call it the pander express now. We also learn that Howard Dean is meeting with foreign leaders in order to build relationships for when the democrats take office in 2008. Okay, good to be prepared, but let's make sure you actually win the office. Our Obama news today is that he is not going to make "anybody's marriage or marriages a campaign issue." Well you say that now...Finally, Clinton has had to fix a little mess she made when she failed to say she disagreed with homophobe Peter Pace that being gay is immoral. Oops. Anderson asks Candy what McCain said about Pace's remarks and she tells us that he won't answer those kind of questions. Anderson seems a little surprised by this and then he gives us a, "hmm." Not thrilled I see.

Erica's back again for more headlines and we learn that Sago was caused by friction and not a fire after all. Also, after the business news Anderson tells us he invests all his money in gummy bears, "because when -- you know, when the bottom falls out, you still have something to eat." Bwah! What is it with him and gummy bears? The Shot tonight is a clouded leopard, which is now officially a seperate species from leopards. Interesting. The show again was strong. So okay, all week so far we've had lots of hard news, a great mix of stories, no taped specials, few repeats, and not a peep of playmate baby daddy talk. I don't know what's going on over there at 360, but I like it. B+


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