Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lying About The Troops, War Bill Debate, And Stop Snitchin (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everybody. Ah, Larry King's tie gave me a headache. We begin tonight with testimony on Capitol Hill from Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman's family. You might remember the story of Jessica Lynch: pretty young private attacked , fought back like Rambo, was taken captive, and then rescue in a daring military mission worthy of a made for tv movie. Actually there was a movie. And it was a great story, but none of it was true. Also not true, was the story of Pat Tillman battling the enemy like some kind of superhero. A Jamie McIntyre piece takes us further into the Tillman story and we also get some nice long testimony clips from both Lynch and the Tillman family. We learn that one soldier who was there when Tillman died was ordered not to tell Tillman's brother it was friendly fire. No criminal charges have been filed and still it is not known who started the lie or why.

Although the why is pretty easy to guess. They needed these stories to sell their war. There are plenty of reasons to hate those behind Iraq, but I think the lies about Lynch, Tillman, and God knows who else are near the top of my list. It just kills me that these soldiers gave their all and it obviously wasn't good enough for them. They had so little respect for them that they made something up. They used them. It reminds me of that movie "Flags of our Fathers". It should also be pointed out that this testimony wouldn't have happened with the republicans still in power. These lies have been well known for years, yet we still don't have answers. But the administration really supports the troops.

Next up we have a Dana Bash piece on the war of words over that pesky Iraq bill. So okay, in the lastest round Harry Reid said the war is already lost and that then caused Cheney to go crazy. Well, crazier. Then he had to come and drag out that old talking point that the democrats are defeatists and blah blah blah. Isn't he like -20% in the polls? Ultimately it doesn't matter what either of them say because everybody already knows Bush is going to veto the bill. You know, because he supports the troops. That's why he's blocking their money. Wait, what? And of course Congress doesn't have the votes to override the this isn't going away folks. Stay tuned.

Transitioning now to Anderson's "60 Minutes" piece on the "Stop Snitchin" phenomenon. It's kind of a shame the Imus thing didn't break at the same time this thing ran because those two stories would have really been great together. Close, but no cigar. Oh well. So basically now in some African American communities there's this kind of code that you don't talk to the police about crime you've witnessed. Any crime. This is being lead by rappers who are in turn marketed by corporations. A guy from the entourage of Busta Rhymes was gunned down and even Busta won't talk about it. The general feeling is talking to the police destroys one's street cred. Anderson talks with the rapper Cam'ron and hypothetically asks him what he would do if a serial killer lived next door. Cam'ron tells us he sees no point in telling the police, but he'd probably move. Did that cause anyone else to burst out laughing? Apparently this whole thing is so bad in some neighborhoods they've basically lost the rule of law. I believe it, actually.

For discussion about this we're joined by Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Children's Zone in Harlem. Anderson notes that "Russell Simmons has now proposed eliminating the word bitch, ho, and the N-word from the so- called clean versions of rap songs." Hmm. It's okay to say the misogynistic words, but not the racist one? I'm actually not picking on Anderson here. I would have said it that way too, but isn't that interesting how our cultures does that? Anyway, Geoffrey isn't really down with Russell's idea because he thinks that the kids already know what word goes in there anyway. He also points out that he's not talking about older teens, but rather eight, nine, and ten year olds. He's right. I used to work at a daycare and was blown away when one of my barely four year olds sang TLC's "No Scrubs" to me. Anderson asks if people should target the records companies to fix the problem. Geoffrey notes that these records are probably the cheapest way for the companies to make money. Then Anderson informs us that an off the record source told him that the record companies actually encourage beefs to make sales. What?! That is so messed up. I guess the rappers are living such a high life now that they don't notice or don't care that they're nothing but pawns. It's also brought up that Geoffrey's family was worried about him speaking out like this. I don't blame them, but I hope he doesn't stop. He's obviously very passionate about the issue, as evidenced by the way he talks.

The "Raw Data" tonight is who's hot on the rap charts. And I'm tragically unhip I guess because I haven't even heard of these people. Akon? The Shot tonight is Nora the cat playing us a little diddy on the piano. Crazy cat. After all that we've got an interview with Russell Simmons who attempts to defend rap lyrics by throwing every world problem he can think of onto the table. Mmmkay. Anderson says the last time he checked, 50 cent wasn't rapping about the environment. I guess Anderson missed his new hit single, "Recycle, yo!" "It's like a battlefield," says Russell. "Wait a minute. He lives in New Jersey. He lives in New Jersey in a gated community. That's a battlefield?" says Anderson. Ha! Oh, I guess I should point out that somebody apparently ate their Wheaties before this interview. Anderson is ready to go! Russell says 50 cent is a product of his environment. "But you know what?" says Anderson. "We all are a product of where we came from, and we evolve." Then Russell starts talking about charities rappers are involved with (and brings up Alicia Keys for some reason), but Anderson wants to know if that's enough.

Russell's whole thing is that people are blaming the messenger and rappers are just reflecting the streets. He mentions Run DMC and Anderson notes, "But Run-DMC wouldn't get a contract today because the language he was using isn't rough enough." Big Run DMC fan, Anderson? He's right though; rap back then was much milder. Anybody remember Kris Kros? Anderson brings up the stop snitching stuff and what Cam'ron said. Russell thinks he was just making a point and he himself would personally snitch in a second. Right. So anyway, wow, I guess we know how Anderson feels about this. Afterwards he tells us that we'll hear more from Russell and Geoffrey next hour and if he means "more" as in basically the same thing, then he's not being deceptive. And that's it for the hour. I'm skipping next hour because there was a lot of repeat stuff and a storm prevented me from blogging last night.


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