Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tenet Pimps Book/Spouts BS, Raw Politics, Beltway Madam, And Immigration Issues (Monday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. So the whole blogging Friday's show isn't working out for me. I think from now on I'm just going to pretend like I'm "The Daily Show" and only do reviews Monday through Thursday unless something particularly noteworthy happens. We're kicking it off tonight in Los Angeles because there's immigration stuff going down tomorrow. For now though we're focusing on George Tenet and his new book. Anderson breaks it down for us in a piece. Basically it goes like this: Tenet was the director of the CIA during the build up to the war and his infamous "slam dunk" quote was taken as proof that the case for WMDs in Iraq was solid. Well, we all know now that wasn't the case and as it turns out, Tenet knew back then, but apparently chose to keep his mouth shut. Now he's whining about being a White House scapegoat. Whatever. I'm still furious from the "60 Minutes" interview. Where was he four years ago?!!! Oh, and we also learn that though Tenet claims Richard Perle brought up Iraq the day after 9-11, it turns out Perle was in France at that time. Now Tenet says he might have been off on the dates. To steal from Keith Olbermann, the man can't even get his facts straight in his book preface.

Six ex-CIA officers have written a letter to Tenet calling his book an "admission of failed leadership." Joining us are two of those officers: Larry Johnson and Ray McGovern. They are also both members of "Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity," a name that always makes me giggle. Some of you might remember Ray from his totally awesome confrontation with Rumsfeld regarding all the former SecDefs' lies. Anderson notes that Larry has stated Tenet's hands are bloody (they are!) and then plays of clip of Tenet basically saying they did the best they could with what they had. Larry totally doesn't buy this and notes that one month Tenet was denying a relationship between Saddam and al Qaeda and the next month he was sitting behind Powell who stated that very thing. He states that just because Tenet is getting $40 million doesn't mean he can pick and choose his facts. Anderson, who is on the ball tonight, corrects him and notes that the book advance was for $4 million. Thank you, Anderson. That would have bugged me for the rest of the interview. Ray is upset that Tenet allowed himself to be part of the conspiracy to deceive the American people and the Congress.

Anderson then points out that in regards to the whole "slam dunk" thing Tenet now claims he was talking about making a case to the American people. He wonders if it's even Tenet's job to make a case like that. Ray says no and then brings up the Downing Street memo, which shows he was bent on going to war. BTW, that memo would have never made it into the US press if not for many, many emails from the online community and ombudsman arguments over about a month in mid 2005. Ah, memories. Anderson notes that now they're saying there's no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda, but that's not what they were saying back then. Larry explains that doing that shaped public opinion and that's what angers him. He believes Tenet has done some good things at the CIA and this isn't personal. Then Anderson brings up Tenet's ridiculous claim that we don't torture. "That doesn't seem to be supported by the facts. And -- and I say that with great reluctance. But, from all of the facts that have come out so far, it's hard to really make that case with a straight face anymore," he says. Anderson gets a total gold star for simply telling it like it is. Actually, he's done a nice job with this whole interview. Ray points out that even though Tenet stated five times that we don't torture he then went on to try to basically justify torture. I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed that. Even Scott Pelley ("60 Minutes") , who did a much better interview than Larry King, didn't really hit on that.

Next up we've got discussion of the political aspects with David Gergen, who thinks this is going to further tarnish Bush's place in history. But seriously, how much worse can it get at this point? The Gerg also notes this further confirms critics claims that there was a rush to war. So to all those who called us nuts and paranoid and even worse, thanks for that. Anderson points out that most of Tenet's ire seems to be directed at the VP. Yeah, but who doesn't hate Cheney? Besides, I imagine being given the Medal of Freedom tends to sweeten a relationship. The Gerg says that Tenet was appointed by Clinton, so he must have had a special chemistry with Bush. Eh, no, I'm still thinking it's the Medal of Freedom. Anderson wonders what this means for the 2008 election. The Gerg believes the democrats will actually want to use Tenet to attack the administration. Maybe. But I have to say, even though I loves me The Gerg, he doesn't have the best track record. Aw, remember when he thought the Iraq Study Group would save us? How is it that The Gerg actually works in politics and he's less cynical than I am? Anyway, then The Gerg takes some time to remind us that Tenet was a good guy too. You know what, call me cold, but I don't care. Thousands of people are dead. He could have resigned and spoke out. Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neil weren't enough, but the head of the CIA might have been. BTW, while we're on the subject of speaking out, why is it that "liberal" Keith Olbermann has been the only one I've seen really take Dick Durbin to task for his silence about what he knew back then? Anyway, Anderson asks The Gerg if this adminstration is more arrogant than others. The Gerg then goes on to talk about infighting, which really doesn't answer the question and Anderson doesn't really follow up.

Moving on to some "Raw Politics" with Joe Johns and he's at the computer too. Ha! I bet it's the same one. I can see somebody telling them, "Just sit here. It makes the segment look hip." Anyway, first up we learn that Iraq spending bill should be hitting Bush's desk tomorrow-right on time for the fourth anniversary of "Mission Accomplished." Are time tables the standard gift for a four year anniversary? Next we learn that that whole immigration thing? It's baaack. Ooh let's see how much we can not get accomplished this time. Finally we've got some health news with Tony Snow returning to work and Tim Johnson and John Corzine leaving the hospital. Dude, I totally forgot about Tim Johnson! Though I still totally, um, prayed for him and stuff. Damn. Okay, so everybody get all better and Corzine? Cars have seatbelts for a reason.

Transitioning now to Washington D.C. scandal number 543349. Ooh, but this one's about sex! Anderson tells us that a woman named Deborah Jeane Palfrey is the "... alleged madam of a prostitution ring that may have catered to thousands of clients, including perhaps high- power and high-profile client." I'm intrigued. Already the scandal has taken down this state department dude named Randall Tobias and basically the beltway is all a-twitter wondering who's next. It's like when the house that Jack (Abramoff) built was about to come down-only with sex. To talk about all this we're joined by Jeffrey Toobin and Amy Argetsinger of the "Washington Post." Anderson wonders if people are actually nervous about all this. Amy says that they might be if they were clients. Yeah, that would probably do it. "Who knew there was so much going on in D.C. besides politics?" Anderson jokes. Me! D.C., it's a seedy place, man. Besides haven't we already covered the prostitute thing lately with Dusty Foggo and of course Jeff Gannon. Anyway, the madam has given phone numbers to the media and basically asked them to find the clients. Jeffrey thinks it's legal for her to do this since it doesn't involve national security. Anderson points out that in all her defense she failed to mention she ran another ring in California. Yeah, that's probably not going to help her case. "But, as they say in Washington, mistakes were made, OK?" jokes Toobin. And I need to point out here that all three of them are having way too much fun with this. I kind of love it.

Toobin then points out that the Tobias guy is a total hypocrite because he was a pro-abstinence zealot and he oversaw a policy that required groups receiving anti-AIDS money to take anti-prostitution loyalty oaths. Oh Toobin, don't you know that IOKIYAR (it's okay if you're a republican)? This is how the world works now. Co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus? You can find him texting your teenagers dirty messages. A moralizing minister who rails against homosexuality? You can find him buying a little meth...and a little male sex. Really people, are we surprised anymore? Here's a lesson for you children, whatever they are screaming about the loudest, that's what they're totally doing themselves. Anyway, Amy then takes a moment to get nostalgic for those great scandals of years past. "Thus far, we're not hearing about abuse of office, abuse of official funds. Back in the day, when you would hear about these sex scandals, it would be a congressman who was sleeping with a subordinate, sleeping with a lobbyist, putting a girlfriend on the payroll." Um, hello! Wolfowitz ring a bell? They then get jokey again, "Well, Jeff, by the way, as far as I know, massage does not cross the abstinence line. But I -- what do I know?" says Anderson. Ha! Different massage there, Anderson.

The Shot tonight is a train hitting an 18-wheeler. Ah! It's okay though. Driver lived. Yes, let's please keep the death out of The Shot. We're moving on now to the subject of immigration and Gary Tuchman joins us from Hidalgo, Texas. He tells us that arrests are down on the border and this is attributed to increased border patrol and national guard. We then get a clip of Gary interviewing a Mexican about how hard it is to get in the country now. I forgot Gary speaks Spanish. From there we move on to a Soledad O'Brien piece (I'm still adjusting to my Soledadless mornings) about an illegal Mexican woman with a son that is a US citizen. While working a cleaning job the woman was nabbed by agents and ordered deported. Now she seeks refuge in a church. So far the goverment has not come after her because they say she's not a priority. Following all this we have a filler Anderson piece about their Planet in Peril trip to Brazil. Not that I don't love to watch Anderson Cooper and Jeff Corwin have fun (or actually not fun) with animals, but, wow, this was random. No biggie.

Finally tonight we have a debate over immigration between Rick Sanchez and Lou Dobbs. Oh good Lord. Hmm, who should I root for? Rick begins by saying that sometimes when he watches Lou's show he feels like he's not valued. He brings up a story Lou did about employees speaking Spanish to each other in the back room and how Lou seemed horrified by that. Rick then tells us that his parents don't speak a "lick" of English because they worked so hard to give their kids a better life. Lou then pretty much changes the subject and goes into how he's mad that we take in all these legal people and people still say we're not a welcoming nation. Rick steers it back to the two guys speaking Spanish and asks if they should be fired for that. Lou finally agrees that would be absurd, but says for him it's more about following the law. This argument always gets me. Everybody breaks the law. You can't tell me Lou Dobbs never went over the speed limit. You might then argue that sneaking into the country is a bigger offense and I would say that even for murder we have varying degrees depending on intent. Shouldn't circumstances be taken into consideration when it comes to this issue? Right now we're treating illegal criminals the same way we're treating someone that just wants to work for their family. Rick also has a problem with Lou's use of the word "illegal" and Lou argues with him so much that he never gets to fully articulate his point, but I know what he means. Lou then suggests that they apply for citizenship. And while they're waiting for the next decade what do they do? Okay, so I just took Rick's side and I felt myself sympathizing with him. Excuse me while I go reassess everything.

Great show tonight. Several different topics. Lots of smart discussion. Few repeats. Great job, 360. And that Friday off did Anderson good. He was in a fantastic mood. A-

Screencaps by stillife.


Blogger tinkerbelle said...

I missed most of the show last night, did they ever say how bad Jeff Corwin's arm was hurt?

I have to admit Rick Sanchez and Lou Dobbs going at it was great amusement for the evening! I hope they're going to it again!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Phebe said...

I felt the same way about the Planet in Peril clip. Very random.
Great write up and a really good 360.

11:24 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@tinkerbelle-No, the segment was seriously random and we never have gotten an update on Jeff's arm since he came back to the states.

@phebe-It was a great show and enjoyable to watch after some of the mediocre (and even downright bad) stuff they've been doing lately.

3:27 PM  
Blogger tinkerbelle said...

@Eliza-thanks for the update.

I wish they'd do a PIP piece on all the smog in LA - wouldn't that be nice?! It looks like instead of Rick Sanchez & Lou Dobbs discussing immigration, we get CA Attorney General Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown against Lou Dobbs. This ought to be good, both are very passionate about their views.

4:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com