Sunday, April 01, 2007

British Hostages, Tal Afar, Sweet Homecoming, Chocolate Jesus, Cured Nun, Sex Sells God, Raw Politics, Pet Talk, And Fun With Erica (Friday's Show)

Hi everyone. I've decided that since there were so many repeats and retreading in the second hour I'm just going to skip blogging it. I'd never get to it anyway. I will, however, throw the Erica/Anderson banter at the end of this hour-because I know you love it. We begin tonight with an Anderson piece on the situation between Iran and Britain (or Bridden). Now Iran has released a tape with another captured sailor, as well as a third letter allegedly written by Faye Turney. Britain calls all of this propaganda. In any regards, there is currently a US carrier heading to the gulf to replace another one, so the situation remains dicey.

To discuss all this we're joined by James "Spider" Marks and Vali Nasr of the Council on Foreign Relations, but first I have to again point out that the dreadful animal-like sound effect is still assaulting our ears. Seriously, are we going to need a petition or something? Anyway, Anderson points out that the latest letter Iran has released doesn't even grammatically make sense. Ha! Seriously? So maybe they're not as diabolical as we feared? Spider doesn't know what the hell they're up to in regards to the letter. Anderson asks if it all plays differently in the region. Vali confirms that it does, noting the letters and tapes are more to show Iraq and the rest of the middle east that Iran is defiant. Anderson wonders if going after Britain might be a clever way at getting at the US. Spider thinks that it is and he tells us that the US is covertly working behind the scenes. Hey, I'm cool with that. Just no more 'axis of evil' speeches. Okay? Anderson points out that Vali has said the US was caught by surprise and Vali explains that there was the belief that Iran was becoming more likely to compromise on the nuclear issue, but clearly they've instead become more defiant. Vali also thinks that any step the US takes could bring us all closer to war. Spider thinks the longer this thing lasts, the more difficult it's going to become to gather intelligence. Oh, and he also tells us that while diplomats are working on it now, "the Brits, with the support of the United States, are making plans to use military operations." Oh God.

Moving on now to talk about one of the wars that we're currently fighting, we have Michael Ware live. Anderson tells us that 18 Shia officers were arrested for reprisal killings of 70 Sunnis in Tal Afar, but then released mere hours later. Michael says this is just a part of the civil. He explains that Tal Afar is 75% Sunni and after an al Qaeda bomb killed a bunch of people the Shia police just ran amuk slaughtering people. Oh yeah, sounds like things are just peachy over there. Anderson points out that last year Bush was holding Tal Afar up as a model and we're played a soundbite to confirm this. Good job guys. I love it when they go all Daily Show in calling people on their BS. Michael notes that Tal Afar was basically owned by al Qaeda and even though it's in the hands of government forces now, al Qaeda still very much has the capability to attack there. Anderson asks if al Qaeda is more emboldened. Michael says they're under pressure, but by no means marginalized.

On now to a mini story from Elisa Hahn of CNN affiliate KING in Seattle that totally melts this extremely cynical blogger's heart. Ensign Bill Hawes had been in Iraq for seven months and in the piece we get to see him surprise his six-year old son, John, at his school. As soon as John sees his father he gets up from his seat and runs to him, crying all the way. "I missed you daddy," he says. Seriously, the look on the kid's face almost made me cry. "Is that not the cutest thing ever?" asks Anderson. Yes! It is! Erica's there for the headlines and she and Anderson are basically squeeing out over this kid. BTW, speaking of things that almost make you cry, have you guys read this weeks "Newsweek"? Almost the whole thing is letters and stuff from the fallen and Eliza is having a hard time getting through it. Definitely worth a read.

Transitioning now to a Gary Tuchman piece on an artist that has made a life size, anatomically correct, naked chocolate Jesus. Oh my. Mmmm, sacrilicious! As you might guess, some Christians aren't too thrilled, specifically the New York Archdiocese and the Catholic League. The chocolate Jesus was created by Cosimo Cavallaro and it was set to be in a show in a New York hotel, but groups boycotted and now the gallery and hotel are backing down. Cosimo says he himself is a Christian and did it to get closer to his religion. Okay then. Others feel it's hate speech. Oh, c'mon. Honestly I think Jesus is probably too distracted by all the killing going on in the world lately to worry about how someone made his naked likeness in chocolate. After the piece we're joined by Cosimo himself and Catholic League president Bill Donahue. Bill Donahue? Oh noes. This guy is a...a...well I'm trying to cut down on my cussing, so let me just give you a sampling of his most amusing prior quotes: "Name for me a book publishing company in this country, particularly in New York, which would allow you to publish a book which would tell the truth about the gay death style." Or how about this one: "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret...Hollywood likes anal sex." Hey, I'm all for hearing different perspectives, but why people keep having this guy on is beyond me.

Anyway, Anderson starts out by asking Cosimo why chocolate. Cosimo replies that he wanted to celebrate the body of Christ in a sweet and delicious way. Mmmkay. Cosimo I have to choose your side by default because the other guy's a bigot, but you're not making it easy. Anderson wonders if Cosimo was trying to shock people, but he says no. Anderson then reads a quote by Bill in which he called the Jesus, "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever." Oh give me a break. What do you even say to that? Anderson asks Bill what it is specifically that offends him and Bill thinks it should be self explanatory. Then he says something about making a lifesize, naked, chocolate Cosimo momma. Oh! Bringing the momma into it now. That's cold. Then Bill claims Cosimo said he put a Fatwa on him, but Cosimo says Bill isn't that intelligent. Um, wait, did he just compliment the Taliban? Then they're both like, "you're not a Christian!" "No, you're not a Christian!" Blah blah blah. Anderson Cooper make it stop! Thankfully Anderson then does retake control.

Cosimo asks Bill where he thinks he should display the Jesus. "In New Jersey is where New Yorkers put their garbage. There's a big sanitation dump. That's where you should put it," Bill says. Damn. What did New Jersey do? Anderson then brings back some sanity by reading a quote from David Kuo that states as follows, "Instead of getting all amped up over this art, Christians should be spending time facing the real and very challenging Jesus found in the Gospels, and encouraging others to do the same." Seriously. As a Christian am I offended by the chocolate Jesus? Eh. However, I am offended by that whole GENOCIDE going on right now in Darfur. Why aren't we yelling about that? Anderson asks Bill if he's overreacting, but he empathetically says no. He tells us it would be different if it was going to be in a dump in Soho. Damn. Ah, I can see the love of Jesus shining through with each insult. Anderson tries again, noting that artists are suppose to provoke thought. Bill replies by saying something nonsensical about putting a swastika on a stamp. What? Anderson then gives Cosimo the final thought and he uses it to call Bill a Nazi. Oh boy. It always comes down to somebody being called a Nazi. This is followed by more arguing until Anderson cuts in and ends it. And I love the little look he gives us at the very end there. Yeah, like you didn't know what you were getting into by having Bill Donahue on. And the winner of that stimulating debate was...nobody. They're both idiots.

Next up we have a Delia Gallagher piece on a nun with Parkinson's disease who was cured by the intercession of Pope John Paul, II. Hmm. They we're on to a Ted Rowlands piece on a church that is promoting their sermon series on sex by using a billboard that advertises mycrappysexlife.com. There's a joke here somewhere. Anyway, the url actually takes you to their church and though complaints have made the billboard come down, it's greatly increased church membership. Whatever works I guess.

On now to "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman. First up we learn that it's the end of the first fundraising quarter of the year and everybody's out for the cash. We also learn that George Clooney wants to endorse Obama, but he's afraid it would cause a distraction. "Help me, I'm too famous," Tom jokes. Seriously. Is there a special endorsement ceremony or something because I think saying you'd like to endorse him is pretty much an endorsement right there. Finally we have a new poll from "Time" on which candidate Americans would most like to see on "Dancing with the Stars." Have the people at "Time" run out of things to do? Good Lord. Anyway, Clinton comes out victorious on this one. Tom then tortures us with move footage of Karl Rove dancing. "The gentleman from the White House, well, he's not a candidate, and that's not dancing. But it's funny to watch again."

Erica gives us the headlines and we learn there is a new Iraqi Idol. Seriously? Not even a war can stop this show. The Shot tonight is full of awesomeness. It's a picture of Kimberly Miller of Hiram College in Ohio and Herbert Gettridge at his house in the ninth ward of New Orleans. Yay Kimberly! Congrats on the shoutout from Anderson. My regular readers might remember that a couple of months ago this blog and some other people took up a collection for Herbert to get his house fixed up and bring his "old lady" home. A total of $640 was collected and put into a Home Depot giftcard that was then sent to Herbert. This all began when a friend of mine called up CNN in New Orleans to ask how to help. They gave her Herbert's info and he is BTW the sweetest guy ever. Kimberly knew she was going to the area and wanted to meet Herbert and help, so she then got Herbert's info from my friend and the rest is history. Yay, 360 fans. Good teamwork! Hopefully Anderson will get down there again soon and we can meet the "old lady" and see what Herbert bought with the giftcard.

The first hour ends with Anderson talking with a veternarian about the whole pet food scare. Switch to dry food and keep an eye on Fido, folks. Scary stuff. Okay, as promised, we're moving onto the end of the second hour where Erica has a piece on Wynonna Judd. That's right, Erica has a piece on 360. Interesting. Anyway, apparently Wynonna is getting a divorce because her husband has been charged with child battery from a previous marriage. Um, yikes. We're told this is one of the top stories at cnn.com. Now that just makes me sad. Does Anderson need to yell about there being a war on, again? After Erica's piece Anderson tells us that Britany and K-Fed are officially over now too. Ha! Shows how much I pay attention to this crap. I thought they were over a long time ago. Erica fills us in a little more and then Anderson asks if she's been watching America Idol. He notes the Sanjaya guy is all the rage, but is a little unsure how to pronounce his name. That kid has some freaking crazy hair. Anderson likes it. Thinks he's been watching "Rome" on HBO. Ha! Erica says maybe he is, but he can't sing. Apparently Howard Stern is getting people to vote for Sanjaya, though Anderson is careful to note that's not Howard K. Stern. Heh. All through the Anna Nicole stuff I still think of the radio guy everytime I hear that name.

So okay, I've noticed that they've been bringing Erica on for longer periods lately and I don't know if it's a fluke or not, but I think they're onto something here. My suggestion? Make a regular segment out of it. Anderson and Erica have great chemistry, so instead of giving us actual pieces of retarded celebrity or fluffy news, why not just let the two of them give it to us in a light hearted way kind of like they just did? I watch Countdown every night and they have 10-15 minutes of fluff each broadcast, but it doesn't bother me because it's not treated seriously and I know what to expect. Countdown is completely consistent and I know exactly what I'm getting each night. 360? Not so much. Relegating all the celebrity and fluff news to it's own short segment would definitely help the show's consistency problem. Not to mention prevent the show from being taken over by stuff that doesn't matter. Anyway, my two cents. The show tonight was fair. Props for two live hours on a Friday (wow!), but there were tons of repeats. B-

5 Comments:

Blogger Stacey said...

.
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Every time I saw that video of little John running to his dad, I just teared right up, what a sweetie!! I love that his dad said that when he got home, he'd pick him up from school. How fantastic was that? It makes me want to cry just thinking about it!!

Nice balancing act Anderson did between Cosimo & Bill, but I would have pulled the mic on both of them waaaaay before he decided to end it. I can't handle Bill - at all. And I'm probably going straight to hell for wanting to nibble on Jesus' ear, but I don't discriminate - that's where I start on my chocolate bunnies. Like I said, straight to hell.
And I'm glad Anderson didn't even try to hide that smirk he had on his face. It still 'boggles' my mind over what people choose to get their panties in a knot over. If chocolate Jesus' were the biggest issues in the world today, we'd have it pretty good, I'd say.

Re: Herbert Gettridge, when I heard his name, I was on the edge of my seat! I was all excited to meet his 'old lady', so disappointed that we didn't get more on that front.

I've got my pen ready, where's the petition to get a full 'Anderson & Erica' segment?

7:06 AM  
Blogger Arachnae said...

This whole 'sweet Jesus' thing is all over the blogosphere, where some of the commenters suggest it's not the exposed genitalia, or even the chocolate that has certain "christians" (and I use quotes deliberately) in an uproar, but the fact that the hue of the medium of the sculpture makes Jesus black. Some wags suggest that if Cosmo had used white chocolate, the uproar would have been muted considerably.

Other people suggest that a chocolate penis might make the innocent children want to... um... well, it's obviously a ploy to lure them in young. (And who should know better than the Catholic Church, originators of the concept 'give me a child to the age of five' and so on?)

I personally thought the artist was making a very cynical yet valid point about the commercialization of religious holidays, and would have respected him more if he'd just admitted it rather than waffle around about how 'sweet' Jesus is to him.

But the most important question remains unasked. Is it a HOLLOW chocolate Jesus? (I've never gotten over my childhood disappointment at discovering the great big chocolate rabbirts were not chocolate all the way through.)

11:00 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@stacey-
If chocolate Jesus' were the biggest issues in the world today, we'd have it pretty good, I'd say.

Exactly. We're fighting two wars and on the verge of another one and people are freaking out about a chocolate Jesus.

I was so excited to see Herbert Gettridge in The Shot too, especially since I had no idea Kimberly sent her pics into the show.

@arachnae-Oh wow, I didn't even think about the whole racial or sexual issues. So what, are people trying to connect this all to the 'evil gay agenda' or is it just about sex in general? Sigh.

I thought the artist didn't get his point (whatever it was) across very well at all. I would have respected him a lot more if it was a statement on the commercialization of Easter.

Heh. Wouldn't a hollow Jesus be harder to make? Less expensive in terms of chocolate costs, but I would imagine he just got big slabs and worked from there. Yes, I always found the hollow bunnies very disappointing, though really we rarely ever had store bought chocolate for Easter. My mom usually made her own special peanut butter flavored chocolate for us. Mmmmm.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

I'm not crazy about the sound effect either. What exactly is it?

The story about the little boy and his dad almost made me cry. It was so sweet and very touching. It also reminded me of how many kids are not going to have that reunion with their father or mother. But I'm so glad that John and his dad were able to have theirs.

Don't know what to make of the chocolate Jesus. I'm not offended by it. I would have been interested in hearing their different views on the sculpture but instead of speaking intelligently about it they resulted to name calling. I muted the interview after the first minute or so because both guys were getting on my nerves. Sounds like I didn't miss much.

That's great that Herbert was featured. It's nice to hear something good related to Hurricane Katrina for a change.

1:20 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Maddy-I don't know what that sound effect is suppose to sound like, but it's driving me insane. It's like a cross between a bird and some type of metal noise. When they were in Cambodia I thought it was a bird. All I know is it needs to die. Why do they need a sound effect anyway?

5:41 PM  

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