Thursday, March 08, 2007

Trailer Troubles, Herding Democrats, Not Supporting The Troops, Unpopular VP, An Unusual Coma, And Praying For Sight (Thursday's Show)

Hi everyone. Well, I know there's been quite the kerfuffle on the blog these past few days, but the news cycle moves on and now so do I. Unfortunately, I was a bit tardy to the show tonight, so this review won't start indepth until about 10 to 15 minutes in. I know, bad blogger. From a quick read of the transcript it seems the hour kicks off with Susan Roesgen bringing news of why tornado victims in Arkansas are still homeless when there are FEMA trailers not far away. By law FEMA can't provide assistance unless the president declares the area a disaster and shocking as it may seem, Bush has not declared the area a disaster. Hmm, Bush twiddling his thumbs while disaster victims go without help? Why does that sound familiar? Apparently FEMA told the governor that the area isn't bad enough to get help, though I'm sure a simple sentence from our favorite president could cut through that red tape. It sounds like a deal is being made to try to get them some trailers, but my God this is ridiculous. We have the trailers. People need the trailers. This isn't rocket science.

Next up there is a John Roberts piece that was actually repeated at the top of the second hour, so I was able to see it. John brings us the news of political squabbling-pretty much your average day in Washington. We're focusing on the democrats tonight because they've been debating the war and what step to take next. Nancy Pelosi would like to bring the troops home by the end of 2008, but liberal democrats want them home pretty much right now. Hey, remember when all the stories were about how Nancy Pelosi was a liberal democrat? It's fun to put people into categories that suit the narrative, isn't it? So anyway, John takes us through how the democrats are playing the roll of the little engine that could, except this engine doesn't end up getting anywhere. First they couldn't agree on how to stop the surge. Then they tried to strip the Prez of his authority to wage war, but that didn't work out. And of course there was those that tried to end the war completely, which once again failed. The irony here is that they don't have enough votes for this stuff anyway, so basically they're just giving the appearance of doing something. Gee, if only those 3000 plus troops were only giving the appearance of being gone forever instead of, you know, actually being gone forever. After the piece there's some talk with Michael Ware and David Gergen and I am very bummed that I missed them. Oh well.

Continuing with the subject of our troops, we have a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Dan Simon about how crappy troop treatment goes beyond Walter Reed. This is the point that I noticed the time and turned on my television. Dan brings us the story of Sergeant Jane Sullivan, a wounded vet at Fort Lewis in Washington State. Jane suffers from migraines and back problems, but the doctors can't seem to agree what to do for her, so she just gets a steady diet of meds. She's already been in the facility for a year and feels as though she can't leave due to all the red tape. Sigh. Red tape again. Does no one have the initiative to go get some scissors? Jane's story is unfortunately all too common. Apparently, "determining diagnosis, treatments, and benefits," is taking about three times as long as it should. Dan found that other soldiers feel the same way as Jane too, but don't want to speak out due to fear of retribution from the Army. Seeing as though a CIA agent was outed when her husband spoke out against the administration, I kind of don't blame them. To combat the bad PR, commanders at the base opened it up to the media, but Dan and team still found "a couple cracking asbestos-wrapped pipes" and they weren't allowed to see the treatment of the wounded soldiers. So...yeah. Yay to CNN for not falling for the obvious attempt to spin and coverup.

Next up we have a Tom Foreman piece on the evilness of Dick Cheney. C'mon. You know you totally think he's some sort of cyborg. So anyway, Tom gives us some Cheney-as-VP background, beginning with how he basically propped up Dubya. The guy has had his fingers in everything, making him one of the most powerful Veeps in recent memory. However, it hasn't all been fun and games for our second in command. He's got his health problems for one and that whole problem with his daughter being a lesbian and his base being full of homophobes. Oh, and then there was that time he totally shot that guy in the face. Good times. Well, maybe not for Harry Whittington, but hey, the dude basically apologized for getting his face in the way of Cheney's gun. You can't even make this stuff up. Cheney doesn't really care about public approval and that's a good thing since his numbers are probably approaching the negative by now. This indifference is because he's not running for anything, but other members of his party are and they are not thrilled. Sucks for them.

Now onto an interview with Time's Michael Duffy who wrote an article on Cheney for this week's issue. Washington is all abuzz again about Cheney's declining power and Anderson asks Michael for some evidence. Michael says it's obvious the adminstration is going through a big course correction because now they're making deals with North Korea and talking with Iran. Plus they're not being so certain about threats, so we're not getting any more "axis of evil" speeches. This all sounds very good, but forgive me if I don't hold my breath. Anderson wonders if Cheney might step down or be pressured to do so, but Michael doubts it. Bush is nothing if not loyal. Besides, Cheney would probably kill him with his bare hands. I'm just saying.

Transitioning now to an Anderson piece on Christa Lilly, a 49 year old woman who woke up from a coma after six years. We're shown a couple of clips from the movie "Awakenings" because Anderson knows we love the flicks. I was actually just watching part of that movie this past weekend. Weird. So anyway, when Christa woke up she was talking like her old self, but unfortunately she has since slipped back into the coma. This wasn't the first time this happened with her, but it was the first time her doctor got to see it. This is all very bizarre and I'm sure heartbreaking for the family that keeps thinking they have her back, only to have her leave again.

If you guessed Sanjay Gupta would pop up next to give us the medical low down, you're a regular 360 viewer. Sanjay tells us this is definitely a rare occurence, but he wouldn't call it a miracle. Thank you, Sanjay! That word is getting thrown around much too liberally these days. Ooh Sanjay brought props. He whips out a brain for a little neurological lesson. Anderson and Sanjay then discuss minimal consciousness, which is when you are aware of things, but can't interact. Anderson wonders why Christa would slip back into the coma. Sanjay says it's possible she was brought out by a combination of medications or neurotransmitters and slipped back because those were no longer present in her system. Anderson brings up Terri Schiavo and Sanjay notes that that case was very different because though she looked awake, she was brain dead. I'm glad he brought her up for Sanjay to smack down any comparisons. Anderson asks if they could bring Christa out of the coma again, but Sanjay doesn't really know since it's unclear what made her come out before. Man, our brains are something.

Oh, we've got some BREAKING NEWS. Apparently the FBI violated Patriot Act guidelines. Not mentioned is that the Patriot Act violates the Constitution. Oh well. Moving on to a Jason Carroll piece on a man who was blind...but now he sees! It's a miracle! Here we are with another miracle. Actually literally again because I swear I've seen this piece before, though maybe not on 360. So okay, Phil McCord was legally blind for decades and then one day he went to St. Mary of the Woods College and decided to do a little praying to Mother Theodore Guerin. And wah lah! The next morning he could see. Awesome. Then the Catholic Church did some investigating because it seems that Mother Theodore was in the running for Sainthood. And she got it. Canonized by the Pope and everything. So everybody wins! Yeah,...that was weird. Who knows what happened?

Moving on to some pimping of 360's "Sins of the Father" special with Thomas Roberts. They've been heavily previewing this, so I'm guessing it's something they're pretty proud of. It looks good. Kiran doing the headlines in the same studio tonight. So I'm guessing we've officially lost Erica Hill. Aw. Okay, Anderson and Kiran, you guys get to work on that banter. The Shot tonight is a big steer roaming around Texas. There's always an animal roaming around somewhere. This one even went through a McDonald's drive thru. Ordered a chicken salad and a shake. I kid the poor steer. Next hour is that awesome interview that Anderson did with Michael Ware, which in my opinion should be required viewing for every American. See CNN, you don't need flashy graphics and sound effects. Just give us good information through intelligent conversation. Please. The show was good tonight. There was too much "miracle"coverage for my tastes, but still good. B+

The comments will remain on moderation for the time being. All relevant comments to this post will be released ASAP.


Blogger Brian said...

Excellent run down of the show, I only saw the Michael Ware part which was tremendous. Very straight forward talk about the different factions, Iran etc. 1 of the best interviews I have seen about the state of Iraq.

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,you're back! Thank you

7:57 AM  
Blogger Dannie said...

If they're going to be presenting "specials" during the second hour, then the interview with Michael Ware about the hidden wars in Iraq is as good as it gets. Since I'd already seen it and have it on tape, I was going to switch the TV off, but I simply couldn't pull myself away!

11:13 AM  
Anonymous anonymous said...

It's really good to have you back and giving us the run down of the show.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous annick said...

glad you're back

6:11 PM  
Blogger gray angst said...

Welcome back.

The mind boggles when thinking about the FEMA trailer debacle. I can't believe they still haven't gotten it together and most of the trailers are sitting around unused.

The "special" repeats in the second hour of 360 are really bugging me. The Michael Ware interview is excellent but I think they've shown it a couple of times already. I don't know what's going on with the show, but the repeats need to stop.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

Eliza--I am glad you are back and hope you are doing okay.

I was interested in the story about St.Mary's of the Woods collage because I don't live to far from there.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re the FEMA trailers according to the Associated Press FEMA is buying more trailers and mobile homes. That's the government for you.

7:38 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Thanks everyone for the welcome back.

@Brian-Michael Ware does an excellent job of explaining what's going on in Iraq. He's my Iraq guy now. Whenever the administration makes some sort of claim of what's going on over there I have to wait for Michael to tell me if it's true or not.

@Dannie-Yeah, I was going to turn it off too, but then ended up leaving it on in the background. I think at this point I could give some sort of presentation on the four wars.

@gray angst-I don't know what the heck is up with our government and trailers. It would be one thing if we didn't have any trailers for the victims, but they're right there! I will never understand these people.

I didn't mind the repeat special last night, but I really hope they don't package up all that 'monster next door' crap for a special. Too sensational. And I don't know when it's airing, but I'm curious as to how CNN is getting a whole hour out of that GA bus crash.

@jan-Oh, you should go pray for something! End the war, Jan! ;)

@anonymous 7:38-Yes, it is. Sigh.

7:53 PM  

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