Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Iraq Talk, American Al Qaeda, Raw Politics, A Cold Case Gets Hot, And Lindsay Lohan Spirals Down (Tuesday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. We've got Anderson Cooper back in New York tonight and I bet he's digging the warmer temp. There really wasn't much shown with regards to their Greenland trip, was there? So anyway, at this point it's pretty obvious they're hoarding footage for a special or whatnot later. Why they don't just tell the viewers that I do not know. What's up with that, 360? Maybe they want to keep it on the down low so MSNBC/Fox News doesn't find out, but whatever. We begin tonight with Anderson telling us the sucky news that we just lost 10 soldiers in Iraq in a single day. He then recaps all the other soul crushing numbers that go along with just a normal day in Iraq and then we're joined by John Burns of the "New York Times." Anderson starts off by noting that things seem to be even more deadly lately and he wonders what's going on. John says it's because of the extra troops we added (the surge) and I would guess it's also because they're living out more in the open now with the Iraqi troops. Anderson asks if there's been any political progress lately, but John says very little. In fact, he tells us diplomats and commanders seem to be lowering the bar.

Anderson points out that in the US there is a sense of urgency about Iraq and he wonders if that's the case in country. Basically John thinks the Iraqi politicians are looking past what happens with the US and are dragging their heels because they know it's going to come down to a force of arms for the country's spoils. Anderson brings up the popular narrative that after we leave there will be a huge bloodbath and he asks what the Iraqis think about that. John says they agree and some American officials are stating there could be a million Iraqis lost. And these are probably the same officials who would discredit the Lancet study if you asked them about it, so there's that. They then end the conversation by talking about how the Iraqi forces often collude or are a part of the sectarian militias. And thus endeth the most depressing part of your newscast.

Next up we have a Deborah Feyerick piece on the American al Qaeda Adam Gadahn's new tape. Yeah, that guy again. He's baaaaack. On the tape he makes all sorts of threats and even brings up the Virginia Tech shooting and yada, yada, yada. I'm totally shaking in my boots, y'all. Seriously, this guy looks like he's playing dress up or something. I'm sure he's hella dangerous and all, but he expects us to watch that tape and take his threats seriously? Pshaw. Anyway, in the piece we're told that the "tape is really a way for al Qaeda to make unreasonable demands, then justify any possible actions by claiming it gave the United States fair warning." How nice of them to think of us like that. After the piece we have Deborah in studio and she tells us he's a translator and also a video producer. We should look for his next collaboration with Justin Timberlake come fall. Or, you know, not.

From there we're also joined on the phone by counterterrorism expert Laura Mansfield. Anderson notes that Gadahn comes off like a "pompous bore" and like someone you wouldn't want to sit next to. Because he's a pompous bore or because he's a terrorist? Laura points out that he's throwing more current info at us so that we know he's up to date and he's also making unrealistic demands that act as a warning because under Islamic law you have to give a warning and opporunity to convert before you can attack. Anderson then brings up the technology al Qaeda has and its level of sophistication. Laura says no one knows how big the video arm of al Qaeda is, but it comes down to the skill of the person doing the tapes.

Erica then joins us with the headlines and tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" involves a Dutch channel that's going to feature three patients all competing for an organ transplant. I believe the words you're looking for are, "What the hell?!" Or, uh, something harsher. There's no mirror handy, but I'm pretty sure my face looks the same as Erica and Anderson's right now. That's just disgusting. And I thought reality tv here was bad. Moving on to some "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman and we begin with the news that Obama has just introduced his universal health care plan. Yay! Anyone want to take bets on when the smears will begin? Also, Newt Gingrich is running around burning all of his republican bridges. Apparently the "Newtster" has said the administration is living in "fantasy land" over immigration and he's called Karl Rove "maniacally dumb." I don't know Newt, I wouldn't mess with a man made of teflon. Finally, we learn that the Secret Service is going to have so many candidates to guard they're going to have to take people from immigration and airport security. Uh huh. Because that makes sense. Tom tells us it's "so all the candidates can safely tell us how much safer we will be when they quit campaigning and all those guys go back to work." God bless America!

Transitioning now to a Gary Tuchman piece that involves a killer priest and a beauty queen. Ooh, all future Lifetime Movie bases covered! Okay, so this is a semi-complicated two-parter, so let's see if I can not screw this up. In 1960, 25 year old schoolteacher Irene Garza disappeared in Texas. Five days later her body was found in a canal with evidence of rape. This may be a cold case, but the head of the cold case squad thinks he knows just who committed this murder: former priest John Feit. One major piece of evidence connecting Feit to Garza is a Kodak slide viewer that was owned by him and found by her body. Gary tells us, "the family believes the district attorney back then and the one now protected Feit in order to protect the church." Ugh, what is with the whole protecting the church thing? Thou shalt not murder. It's pretty clear. However, I don't recall learning anything about thou shalt keep a murder on the down low if it thou could damage the church. And yes, God would totally use the phrase "down low." Because He's cool like that.

ANYway, Feit has always been the prime suspect because after the murder he told police that he took Garza into the church rectory to discuss problems the night before and then later another priest noticed Feit's hands were injured. It was also found that another woman had been attacked the month before and she fought back by biting her attacker. Interestingly enough, the next day the church secretary had to bandage Feit's finger. Uh huh. So basically a whole bunch of people thought he did it. He then went to trial, but it was declared a mistrial and the next trial he made a deal that allowed him to stay in a monastery whle waiting to see if murder charges would be filed. While there, Feit confessed to a monk and then after that he was "sent on a most unusual field trip, to churches in other cities, to see if he could go out in society and not attack women." What the hell? This does not instill confidence in the church.

Flash forward to more present day and the monk and a priest are coming forward about what they know Feit did. This made the case active again, however, the DA deemed these witnesses uncredible. Oh, c'mon! The case did end up going to the grand jury, but it was all watered down and there was no witness testimony, so no indictments were made. Ridiculous. Oh, and I should note that in the piece we've got clips of Gary actually talking to Feit himself. At first I was all happy for Gary because the guy actually talked to him (unlike, say, polygamists!), but, yeah, don't get too excited. He gets blown off later with Feit saying all the accusations are lies. Although I think my favorite exchange is when Gary asks him if he committed the murder and Feit says that's an "interesting question." What? After the piece we have Gary live in studio and Anderson notes, "The question you asked him is the million-dollar question. Why would all these people be lying? Why would there be this conspiracy against him by a priest and a monk and all these other people?" Gary tells us the police would press charges today if they could, but they need another district attorney. Sigh. Those guys are apparently way too powerful.

Now on to the junk food portion of your news diet. Apparently Lindsay Lohan has been partying again, oh and look, there's pictures. With much eyebrow raising, Anderson recaps the sordid affair before introing us into an interview with Drew Pinsky. Anderson notes we've basically all watched her grown up doing this. Drew thinks she's acting out her disease and it's very hard to get a 20 year old in treatment. Anderson wonders if maybe she doesn't have a disease and is just being irresponsible. I think that gets my vote. Drew then talks a bit about family history and whatnot. I should probably note that during this segment they're showing pictures of Lindsay passed out and looking like crap, because that's helpful I'm sure. Seriously, what are we doing here? Are we mocking her? Because if we are what's Dr. Drew doing here? Or are we actually all concerned? Because if we are why is this girl being dissected on the national news while pictures of her passed out are being shown on the split screen? Yeah, she's an over privileged, irresponsible, idiot...who's only 20 years old and doesn't seem like she has the support system to deal with what the media is doing to her right now. Are we looking for another Anna Nicole?

Moving on now to Donald Trump's opinion on The View because...well, if anyone knows, you tell me. According to The Donald, Rosie is self-destructive, Barbara fails to make it look good, Elizabeth is not the brightest bulb on the planet, and Joy has absolutely no talent. Got that? Oh, and he hates your mother too, in case you were wondering. "So Joy, Elisabeth, Rosie and Barbara, I think we pretty much got them all.," says Anderson. Yup. Then he pimps out an interview Larry did with The Donald, which, oh, would be the reason we have to watch this. The pimping them continues with the podcast: "Whoosh, zoom. Whoosh, whoosh. You can download it at -- no," You got so enthralled in your whooshing you almost gave us the wrong address, didn't you? Silly anchor.

The Shot tonight is poor Miss USA first slipping and falling and then getting booed, though the latter I think was due to international politics. That whole falling thing would totally happen to me, though I have to give her credit for a fairly graceful fall. I mean, she could have landed right on her face. But Erica and Anderson have had enough of pageantry, so they whip out the good stuff: Dog show pictures! Oh, and those poor dogs are being primped to death by their owners. They do not look happy, people. "I love a dog show, but I have to tell you, really, I'm a mutt kind of gal," says Erica. Me too! Mutts are the bestest. Tonight's show was pretty good, but there was a lot of repeat stuff in the second hour. Plus the whole Lindsay Lohan stuff was kind of messed up. B


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