Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Continued Coverage of Imus Comments, Raw Politics, and Anna Nicole Smith's Baby Daddy (Tuesday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. CNN's PR people sent me a press release on their new Anderson Cooper 360 Daily podcast and apparently Anderson will taping a little intro especially for each one. I'm going to kind of call their bluff here and state that I bet that won't be the case a few months from now. All I'm saying is that when the blog was new he was a blogging fiend. Now? Not so much. Anybody checked out the podcast yet? I'm on dial-up, so I probably won't even try until this weekend. Anyway, the PR person said let her know if I had questions, so I guess let me know if you have questions. Hey, am I the only one who thinks those Larry King text vote questions are completely pointless? Tonight's was "Can a comedian make it in politics?" When I heard that I immediately said (to no one in particular), "Aren't they pretty much the same thing?" Cut to Anderson who practically echos me. Bwah! So apparently we're on the same page.

Tonight we lead with more of the Imus flap. I guess they're trying to hang onto that Larry King lead-in. As I said yesterday, while this story is important, it shouldn't be the lead. First up we have an Anderson piece that focuses on Imus and Al Sharpton's "Today" show appearance. There Imus tried to deflect attention off himself by noting that the phrase he used originated in the black community. Yeah, he sounds real sorry. Why doesn't he just claim an addiction to Ambien and go to rehab? After the piece we learn that advertisers are starting to drop his show. Good. Not good is the fact that that horrible sound effect is still here.

Joining us to talk about Imus is Rutgers basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer and player Essence Carson. Anderson asks Essence how she felt hearing the comments and she was of course saddened and angered. Anderson wonders if the two week suspension is enough. Vivian isn't sure yet. She points out they'll be meeting with Imus and will see what happens there. Anderson asks Essence if she's nervous about the meeting, but she's not. In fact she's looking forward to hearing him out and hearing his side of the story. Wow. I'm not sure I could be so classy about it. Anderson asks if she thinks Imus is racist and again she states that she first needs to meet with him. Anderson points out that Imus seems to be making excuses now. Vivian has noticed too and she resents it. He may be sorry, but he clearly doesn't get it and I think anyone who thinks he won't do it again is fooling themselves. Anderson wonders what's the first thing Essence is going to say to Imus. Mostly she just wants to listen, but she will be asking him why. Why indeed.

Next up we have more talk with...Whoopi Goldberg? Huh? I actually like Whoopi a lot, but I have no idea why she's on my tv screen right now. Anderson mentions something about her being in similar trouble before, but they never go into it. Whatever. Anderson asks his standard, "is two weeks enough?" and Whoopi says they'll see. She then goes through a list of a bunch of other people that have been fired for comments they made and notes that a precedent has been set. Anderson points out that Imus said he was doing comedy. Whoopi says she didn't know he was a comedian. Me either. When's the part of the show where he's funny? Anderson wonders if Imus even gets it. No, he does not. We're then played the clip of Imus whining that the black community does it too and Whoopi points out that that is not a new argument by any means. Black leaders have been complaining about song lyrics forever. Anderson asks if it would have been okay if Imus was black. Whoopi thinks no and people would have been on him even faster. Her advice to Imus would be to make some allies with the Rutgers people and be honest. I have a feeling that latter thing is going to be a tough one.

On now to a David Mattingly piece where we learn that, gasp, "ho" is being thrown around all over the place. Good thing he didn't look into the word "bitch" because that would be a real shocker. We all know this stuff is ingrained in our culture now and David says as much in his piece. It's sad, but honestly I don't know how you fix it at this point. I mean, look at the women that the younger generation follows in the news: Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan. I mean, just last month CNN's own Glen Beck (gotta love that guy) called Hillary Clinton a "stereotypical bitch." And BTW where was the big flap over that? Does it have to be sexism and racism to merit wall to wall coverage and a suspension?

Moving on now to a three-way. Get your minds out of the gutter, people. Joining us for discussion we have Amy Holmes back from yesterday, radio host and CNNer Roland Martin, and Robert George of "The New York Post." Anderson notes that comments like Imus made are thrown around in the black community and he wonders if there's a double standard. Amy thinks there is and talks about some of the commentary she's seen about herself on websites. Oh hon, don't read that crap. I'm really liking Amy, but I have to say it completely boggles my mind that she worked for Bill Frist. Does not compute, you know? Because she is way too cool for Frist. Again Anderson asks if two weeks is enough and Roland says no. He also notes that we seem to have forgotten about the producer (hey, that's right!). Roland points out that it's ridiculous to compare Imus to rappers because he works on a different platform; one which has him talking with the country's top movers and shakers. "You don't see Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton sitting down with the Ying Yang Twins. You don't see Senator McCain rapping with Snoop Dogg," he says. Oh, there's some images I didn't need in my head. Robert then piggybacks off Roland's point and reinterates that the power structure is completely different because Imus has all this influence.

Anderson then points out that it's the big corporations that are making the money. He's actually hit on this before in relation to other stuff. So, Anderson, do I smell a big investigative "Keeping Them Honest"? How is the money broken down and where does it go? Do the people at the top have morals? What kind of sway do they have with the FCC? What kind of sway to they have with Congress? Remember, media has changed drastically over the past couple decades because media laws have changed drastically due to fierce lobbying. Anyway, Robert points out that Imus can't act like rappers gave him permission to make those comments because he made similar comments 15 years ago. Roland notes that it's not just a racism issue, it's a sexism one too and the discussion and outrage needs to broaden. He's right. I didn't even note the sexism angle yesterday. Amy agrees with Roland and brings up the comments Donald Trump made about Rosie O'Donnell. Anderson points out that people make money off of all this ugliness, "On television, on radio, getting people to yell at each over and argue with each other, that's part and parcel of -- frankly, of most cable news stations." Whoa, careful there, buddy. You're on a cable news station. But you're also right. Roland then makes the great point that there have been no national statements from any moral groups like Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America. Don't hold your breath there, Roland. Their definition of morality is very very narrow.

Transitioning now to "Raw Politics" with Candy Crowley and guess what. It's all about Imus. You have to be kidding me. Okay, since most politicians have gone on Imus, now they're all trying to lie low until this thing blows over, lest they step in a mine. Although the suspension and apology have made things easier for them to speak up. The White House made a comment, Obama issued a statement, Chris Dodd issued a statement...McCain says he believes in redemption. Dude, I guess so seeing as how you planted your lips on Bush's behind not that long after he smeared your family. Giuliani said he'd even go on his show again. Eh, what does he care I guess. I mean, there's video of him dressed as a woman on YouTube. He's got other problems. Clinton came closest to saying he should be kicked off air. In the end it doesn't matter what they think on this one. But seriously, there was no other political news today?

Next up we've got Anna Nicole Smith crap. Today the answer to the question everyone has been waiting for has finally been answered. And yes, children, that was sarcasm. So anyway, who da baby daddy? It's Larry Birkhead! Yay? Is this the least sleazy one? And is that the press cheering? What the hell? Anyway, you know what's coming, don't you? That's right, we're joined by Jeffrey Toobin and Court TV's Lisa Bloom because we need some discussion, yo. Toobin is all bummed because, "people have certain obligations, and in this case people have obligations to act like tabloid trash, to be a circus." Something tells me Toobin was a big Springer fan. So anyway blah blah blah. Actually all the coverage on the topic wasn't too bad. It clocked in at eight minutes, which means I lost the bet. That's right, Eliza and some people she was talking with when the news came down placed bets on how long 360 would go with it. I had 20 minutes, so yay for proving me wrong. No money to win, just bragging rights.

Anderson is very excited about The Shot tonight. Why? Because it's a new Seamanship commercial! Squee! It's chalk full of goodness, but no dancing this time. They then of course have to play the old one and Erica tells us to "check out that hip -- that hip action." Oh, I have. That will never stop being funny. So okay 360, I don't know what to do with you tonight. Using the second hour for a call-in was awesome and my friend Arachnae even contacted me after the show to urge me to be nice since coincidence or not you pretty much did exactly what she suggested in her guest blog. However, besides Erica's headlines there was no hard news in the entire two hours. It's like you can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Because there is important stuff going on right now. There's the Iraq war bill showdown, attorney-gate (which I see you're giving the same crappy inconsistent coverage you gave Plame), and just recently the news that 13,000 Guard troops are probably going to be deployed to Iraq. Now people are saying the Guard is broken. What happens if there's another hurricane? Look, I thought the show tonight was interesting, but please remember that what you choose to make important has consequences. C

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a random aside about Rudy G. You wonder why the footage of him dressed as a woman hasn't gone totally national? And what about the whole married-to-his-cousin thing? I find it impossible to believe that the repugs will run a campaign this year that's smear-free, and those things are so juicy they practically flame themselves. So what's up with that? Why isn't the whole country talking about it?

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. If a republican has to win, it'd better at least be him.

As for all this Imus crap, it feels to me like Anna Nicole Smith all over again. I gave up and watched Stewart and Colbert instead of the second hour of 360. All Imus All the Time is not okay. Things, you know, happened today. And yesterday. Hey, did you know it was the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad? Not by watching 360, you didn't. Did you know al Sadr was holding an anti-US rally in the street? Again, way to drop the ball, 360. Please remember we actually want to know what's going on in the world, as opposed to the world of entertainment. Please! I really, really want to love you, but sometimes you make it so hard :-(

4:48 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous-Well, I know CNN has covered the Rudy in a dress thing; it just never got blanket coverage.

Hey, did you know it was the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad?

Yes, I did. And I'm mad at myself for forgetting to mention that in Monday's review. You know who reminded me? Stephen Colbert. There's something really wrong when it's a comedy show that's covering Iraq.

Please! I really, really want to love you, but sometimes you make it so hard


3:07 PM  

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