Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Taliban Talk, Air Marshals, Florida Fires, The Bystander Effect, Reconstructing A Face, Laura Bush Interview, And CNN Heroes (Monday's Second Hour)

Hi everyone. We kick off the hour with a repeat of the Hugh Riminton piece and then move into a Peter Bergen piece on the death of Mullah Dadullah. For those like me who like proof when we're told they killed a terrorist, well, we get to see the dead dude laid out on a slab. Although honestly I didn't know what this guy looked like to begin with, but still. Anyway, Dadullah was the Taliban's senior military commander in Afghanistan. So where's the top Taliban guy Mullah Omar? All signs point to Quetta, Pakistan. And why haven't we, you know, put him on a slab? Geography and politics. Everything's always geography and politics. After his piece Peter tells us that we haven't gotten Mullah Omar yet due to a lack of will or capability or both. It's amazing that we know right where he is, but can't get him.

Next up we have a Jeanne Meserve piece on the air marshal program. Apparently more marshals are being put on "U.S.-bound flight from airports in Frankfurt, London and Manchester, England," due to intelligence regarding a possible terrorist threat. In the piece we meet air marshal Tom (well we don't meet his face because he's undercover) and get an overview of what he does. Something interesting is that Tom sizes up all the passengers to see who he could count on to help him during an incident. I think Tom needs to watch the piece later in the hour about the 91 year old man who gets beat up while people watch. After this piece we have a Drew Griffin piece on the Florida fires. Yep, the state is still burning. Man.

Moving on to an Anderson piece about the 91 year old man that I just mentioned. What happened was a carjacker savagely beat up this poor man while five people just stood there and watched. Disturbing? Yes. Surprising? Not really. When they previewed this story I spent the commercial break thinking of how I should add the story of Kitty Genovese, as well as other psychological terms when I blogged it. But guess what? 360 is all over it. So anyway, Kitty Genovese was this woman who was murdered in New York in the 60's while her neighbors watched from their apartments. And if I'm remembering correctly some of them even turned on their lights, causing the attacker to flee, but then turned them back off again and he came back. What happened with her neighbors and the people that watched the man get beaten is called the bystander effect.

One explanation for this is diffusion of responsibility, which means that people assume someone else will help. Actually there's been studies done that have found you're more likely to be helped if there's just one person there rather than a group of people. Another reason people don't help is pluralistic ignornance, meaning everyone is looking to each other to see if a crisis is actually happening. After the piece we're joined by psych professor Harold Takooshian and he talks about ambiguity and how people just assume things are okay because they're not really paying close attention to what's going on around them. Anderson asks what you should do if you're being attacked in broad daylight. Harold says you need to tell people you're being attacked and be specific. Actually another reason people often don't help is they don't know how, so it's also good to tell the person exactly what you need them to do. And I'll stop with this because I'm using up all my blogging time, but this social psychology stuff is kind of my thang. I'm having lecture flashbacks now. If the 360 people are into this social psych stuff they ought to have on Philip Zimbardo, the guy behind the Stanford Prison Experiment. He's got a new book out called "The Lucifer Effect."

Transitioning now to a Sanjay Gupta piece on an Iraq War veteran that was crushed when his vehicle rolled, making his face unrecognizable. We then join him through the process of several risky surgeries to finally get a new nose. After that we're on to an interview Sanjay did with Laura Bush. He begins by talking about the HPV vaccine and I'm surprised to learn that Laura is for it. What will the Christian Right say? Doesn't she know if you give young girls the vaccine they're going to run right out and have sex with every guy they meet? Yes, that's sarcasm. Then they talk about smoking and again I'm kind of surprised to learn she was a smoker. It's almost like she's a person with faults and stuff. Not that I've ever smoked. Ick. After that they move on to the topic of stem cell research and she loses me. Oh well.

Next up we have one of the "CNN Heroes" segments and this one is on Queen Brown, a woman that lost her son to gun violence. She then turned that loss around and bought some radio time so that she could help the community come together and fight their violence problem. Pretty cool. The Shot tonight is Bush conducting the Virginia Symphony. You know, he's got his back to us, but I can totally picture the stupid look on his face. You know the one. Erica and Anderson use this opportunity to again show us the scary presidential dancing. "Who knows what next month will bring," says Anderson. Oooh, maybe competence? It's got to happen sometime. And...that'll do it.


Anonymous dannie said...

I'm just hoping Georgie Boy doesn't try his hand at singing next. He's already unleashed enough suffering on the world.

6:45 AM  

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