Friday, June 29, 2007

Immigration Dead Again, Supreme Court Tension, Raw Politics, Continuing Earmark Coverage, And Democratic Debate (Thursday's Show)

Hi everybody. Well, after a brief vacation, the news is back. Yay! We begin tonight with Anderson telling us that immigration reform is dead. Again. A Joe Johns piece then breaks down how much our government sucks. Okay, so there's been 26 hearings and hours upon hours of debate and what does our Congress have to show for it? Nada. Apparently there were so many calls to Congress about the immigration bill that the whole dang system shut down. The belief among some is that the American people just don't trust the government to do what was in the bill. Not trust the government? Pshaw. Yeah, we apparently can't even give out passports in a timely manner, but I'm sure we'll do just fine dealing with 12 million illegal immigrants.

After Joe's piece we're joined by Mike Allen of for discussion and Anderson asks if the government is broken. Mike thinks Bush will get credit for taking on immigration reform, but the votes simply weren't there. We also learn that Congress might not take the issue up again until 2009, which is ridiculous. Then Anderson makes me laugh by saying this: "Remarkable that, after so many years in office, this White House doesn't have the ability or the knowledge to figure out a compromise, to walk hand in hand with congresspeople." Oh Anderson Cooper, they don't even know what compromise means.

Next up we have a Randi Kaye piece on the immigration situation in Loredo, Texas, where there is 171 miles of border and not enough agents. To try to remedy the problem they've gone high tech with infrared cameras and sensors. Randi goes out on patrol and the sensors are triggered 20-30 times, meaning a big group of people is sneaking across. One problem though: the sensors, well, sense. They don't catch. So the group gets away. Does anybody else feel like we're caught in some sort of immigration loop? All these stories are starting to look the same to me. What's going on in Mexico? That's the source of the problem.

Transitioning now to some Supreme Court decisions that weren't loved by all. "In one measure of the tension in the room, one of the justices came as close as justices come to actually dissing some of his colleagues. That's right. I said dissing," says Anderson. Bwah! And the other day he said "props." Anderson Cooper, keeping it real. Anyway, our very own senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin was there for the decisions and he joins us now. "Anderson, it was as dramatic as I have ever seen the court. You know, at the end of the term, the justices are tired. They're kind of sick of each other. I thought five of them needed haircuts," says Toobin. Ha! Always with the entertainment, that one.

The decision that the court ruled today was that race cannot be a factor when assigning children to public schools and Toobin explains that Breyer was NOT happy. However, chief justice Roberts came to the decision because he wants to live in a colorblind society. Apparently he doesn't see race. He's like Stephen Colbert! Toobin also tells us that "Breyer used a phrase where he said, rarely in the history of law have so few undone so much so quickly. " Ouch. That one went out to Roberts and Alito, both Bush nominated, BTW. Yet another way he's screwed us over. Anderson wonders what this all means for affirmative action. Toobin tells us there can be no more busing of black kids to white schools and the days of any kind of management by race are gone.

Coming back from commercial, we get a little of "Help" from the Beatles, another entry into 360's political theme song contest. Hmm, who's asking for the help, us or the candidates? Tom Foreman then has our "Raw Politics" and we begin with the news that Latino voters are now more likely to vote for the democrats. They had been leaning republican previously, but I'm guessing all that "OMG, the Mexicans are coming!" stuff kind of scared them away. Way to go, Lou Dobbs. Tom also tells us that there's McCain dropout rumors, but he denies it. Dude, just give it up. Do you even recognize yourself anymore? Finally, we learn that Patrick Leahy might have a cameo in the next Batman movie. What?! Okay, you know what? No congressional movie cameos until you jerks fix health care! In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Erica tells us about this guy who got kicked off an Amtrak train because he was drunk and unruly...only, um, they got "drunk and unruly" confused with "diabetic shock." Oops. They just freaking left him at a railroad crossing. Unbelievable. At the time of the 360 broadcast he was still missing, but luckily has since been found.

Next up we've got a Drew Griffin piece and he's still on the earmark beat. This time the interns have been turned loose on the senate. Again calls were made to make the requests public and again, they didn't get very far. Only six senators said yes, while 19 flat out said no. One of the 19 was crazy Ted Stevens. Shocker. One of my own senators didn't even ask for any, so I guess that's cool. But like the house, the majority of the senate just hasn't reponded. We also learn that republican Mike Crapo seems to think that releasing his requests would violate federal privacy laws. Um, what? Seriously, how do these people get into office?

On now to a Candy Crowley piece on the democrats third debate, this time at the historically black campus of Howard University. Basically, it wasn't much of a debate since they all seemed to agree with each other. Well, except for Mike Gravel, but let's face it, he's basically just there for entertainment anyway. After the piece we're joined by David Gergen, Amy Holmes, and Donna Brazile for discussion. The Gerg thinks Edwards and Obama faired the best. Amy thinks the black vote is very crucial, but the democrats are playing it safe. Donna then talks a bit about education and Anderson wonders if the conversation will continue past this debate since it hasn't exactly been topic number one up until now. Donna thinks it will. Apparently Donna is not as cynical as me.

After the headlines, Erica and Anderson talk a bit about the iPhone and I have to say, I so don't understand. People are waiting in line for days! Am I missing something here? I mean, does it also cure cancer and fix immigration? Does it have the power to stop the war? Anderson tells us he just got a new blackberry and it occurs to me that I don't even really know what all a blackberry can do. I have a phone. It can call people. That's pretty much it. And yet I'm still able to live my life. Hell, I'm thrilled to death I just got DSL. The Shot tonight is a "72-year-old former Marine, fighting off a pick-pocket." Whoa. that guy chose the wrong pocket to pick. The show was fairly good. B

Okay, so you may have noticed (and I believe I complained about) the second hour being just tape recently. Apparently it wasn't a fluke. Inside Cable News is reporting that over the summer the second hour will always be tape, barring any breaking news. And my guess is, depending on the ratings, this could become permanent. Why they're doing it I have no idea. Maybe cutbacks. Maybe they're focusing on specials to be aired in the fall. Maybe burnout from doing a two hour show. Who knows? I should probably point out that just because they'll be on air half as much, it's not like their work hours are getting cut in half or anything.

Honestly, I'm not really annoyed about the change. I'd rather watch one solid hour of news instead of two hours that should have been one. What I am annoyed about is 360 knows they have loyal viewers, but apparently they figure they don't need to tell us about this change. I know it's not really positive news one would want to promote, but at least put it on the blog or something. Why do we have to go to ICN (assuming he's right) to find out what's going on? C'mon, have a little respect for your viewers. Speaking of respect for viewers, Glen Beck has invaded regular CNN and Joe Klein, who I usually don't like that much, had this to say about the situation:
The world is a bit of a mess right now and CNN gives us Glenn Beck? Please, Mr. Parsons, sir, is this any way to show respect for your--our--viewers? Can't we, like, try a week of smart? See how that works? Just asking. Your Devoted Employee, Joe Klein.
Word, Joe. Big fat word to that. That'll do it folks.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

CNN Gives Up On That Whole News Thing (Wednesday's Show)

Hi guys. Well...holy hell, that was bad! Anderson proved me wrong and actually showed up to host, but unfortunately, that was the only thing I was wrong about. Okay, so we knew this was coming. Now where to even begin? I guess at the beginning: "Well, here we go. There is plenty of news today. And, as always, we will be bringing it to you," says Anderson. "But we can't be above the news of the moment either." And why not?! I know there's suffocating ratings pressure, but Lou Dobbs put his foot down and as far as I know, remained Paris free. As I expected, that Larry King lead in was just too tempting for them to pass up. It's like when I leave food out within my dog's reach and he chows down. He knows he shouldn't, but he just can't help himself. Anderson then continues: "We have all been watching TV around here tonight. Probably, you have, too. I think we have heard a couple of you screaming at the screens." Were they screaming about how CNN has just tossed away what little credibility it had? Because that was totally me. Seriously people, they had a frickin Paris interview countdown clock on Paula Zahn! What is wrong with these people?! I can't even tell you what I said when I saw that.

So okay, Anderson Cooper was not a happy camper last night. In fact, through most of the broadcast he wore an expression that was half my-dog-got-run-over and half someone-really-did-get-shots-of-me-in-the-gym-shower. Not happy. But see, I can't really feel all that sorry for him or the show because they've been acting above it all, when they're clearly not. I knew it would go down like this, as I blogged before Larry King even had the interview:
Anderson Cooper, I can see you're outraged by all this and I'm right there with you, but I think once again you've boxed yourself into a corner. If 360 airs any footage of that interview or mentions anything she who shall not be named says, you've just made yourself a big hypocrite. I don't care if you cover it snarky or not. You can't get your outrage on about NBC and then still cover it.
I know, I know, CNN didn't pay. Which they keep telling us over and over like we're supposed to pat them on the back or something for not paying for crap "news". So CNN is a smidge less pathetic. Yay for them. Anyway, back to Anderson. Though it doesn't seem like it in this post, I really am a fan, so the blatant hypocrisy I'm about to point out, I do so with love. Not long ago a reader pointed me to a podcast interview Anderson did with The Jack Rice Show that they found via All Things Anderson. Towards the end, the subject turns to infotainment and Anderson says the following (paraphrased):
CNN, to their credit, they don’t want me doing the runaway bride and Paris Hilton going to jail. I’ve mentioned on Friday night on my program we had maybe 30 seconds talking about it on a two-hour news program. But to their credit, CNN doesn’t believe I should be doing that. (snip) My competitors spend 30 minutes on it and they lead off their newscast with it at 10:00.
Eating his words now, isn't he? CNN doesn't want him doing that unless it's going to bring in three times the viewers in the demo, baby! Then principles be damned! Okay, I guess I'm (mostly) done being mean to Anderson. Might as well get on with it. We begin with clips of the Larry King interview and if you think I'm blogging that, you're not a regular reader. After that, we've got a whole discussion panel made up of Court TV's Lisa Bloom, public relations consultant Ken Sunshine, Marc Lamont Hill of Temple University, and Jess Cagle of "People" magazine. I'm not going through all their discussion, but one thing I thought was kind of funny is that Paris couldn't come up with her favorite bible verse, which leaves us all wondering if she's even read it. Unfortunately this interview was done by Larry King, so, yeah, no follow up. Franky, we should feel lucky if he gets the guest's name right. Marc thinks "this is just another example of how American culture and how American society squanders really important and valuable opportunities to talk about the deeper issues." Deeper issues? Yeah, we don't do that here.

The panel then moves on to discussing the diary that Paris apparently kept while in prison. "'Letters From a Birmingham Jail,' it is not," says Anderson. Bwah! Oh, don't make me laugh when I'm mad at you. Then there's some discussion for the upteenth time about how CNN didn't pay for the interview and we go into this weird alternate universe where the panel guests seem to be defending Paris. Jess tells Anderson "everybody here tonight among us actually sort of did like her during this interview, except for you." Busted! "Well, that's -- you know, I don't really -- I just don't understand her. I don't understand the appeal. I don't understand what she's done. But we can talk about that coming up -- showing my own bias here," says Anderson. Well, you stick her all over the news and suddenly everyone wants to see her. It's a self fullfilling prophecy. I should also point out that it's clear Anderson is still trying not to say her name, but he's not having the best luck. And after hearing Paris referred to as "Nicky Hilton's sister" and "another sequence of sound from L.A. County number 9818783," I'm imagining some poor producer put on the case to come up with this stuff.

Next up we have a Randi Kaye piece that explores the Hilton fortune. Oh, why not? If there's one thing that news doesn't cover enough, it's the rich people. Screw those thousands of kids that die every day from preventable causes. In the piece Paris is referred to as a "poor little rich girl." Hmm, that's what they called Gloria Vanderbilt. I wonder if Anderson was cool with that. Anyway, at the end of the piece Randi talks with some dude about Paris's brand and he notes, "you and I are making Paris Hilton's brand more valuable right now,..." Well, yay. CNN's always ready to help a heiress in need. Afterwards, we're back with the panel and Anderson admits he's maybe "being too harsh on [Paris]." He just doesn't get how someone "who is born into such privilege and given so many opportunities" doesn't do something good with it. Actually, Anderson hits on this a lot all hour and, well, we all realize he's totally talking about himself, right? Lisa even kind of briefly makes the connection. Anyway, yes Anderson, you done good.

Moving on to more clips from the interview and then Anderson has an interview with Larry King...about the interview. Good Lord. Larry doesn't really understand Paris either, but in her defense, that's not saying much (yes, I'm mean tonight!). Anderson notes that "she seems -- she seems to be claiming in this interview that you've done that it's a perception problem that she has, not a life problem, not a lifestyle problem." OMG, she's like the Bush Administration! It's not reality that's the problem, it's people's perception of reality. God, help us all. The interview ends with Anderson stating that tomorrow night Larry sits down with Colin Powell. Bwah! From Paris to Colin Powell. Wow. After Larry, Anderson has a piece on Paris. He had to do a piece?! Aw, he's really going to cry himself to sleep tonight, isn't he? Anyway, then there's some more panel and can I just say I love how Anderson totally ignores his in studio guests and goes to his laptop as they break for commercial. Awwwkward.

We're back with the panel next and Lisa points out that if Paris was a guy there wouldn't be as much criticism. "Think about the words that are used to describe her: airhead, bimbo, dumb blonde. I mean, in our culture, there's two professions where women consistently make more than men, only two. Modeling, and the other one is prostitution," she says. Hmm. She has a point. Anderson hates on Paris some more and Lisa notes thats she's only 26. Then Anderson brings up the fact that there are soldiers in Iraq who are only 18. Oh, could you imagine Paris in Iraq? Just when you thought the war couldn't get more messed up...Anyway, as we go out to commercial Anderson does not look happy. He is so done with this. The hour ends with a Dan Simon piece on the sheriff that initially let Paris go free. Whatever. At the top of hour two we've got about 10 minutes of Paris stuff.

Transitioning now to...actual news! OMG! Okay, it's flood and fires, so not good news, but news none the less. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to give the rest of the hour the fast treatment because I used up my time bitching about Paris. Heh. We get a Gary Tuchman piece on some horrible flash flooding in Texas and then move into Erica with the headlines, all stories that should have been covered instead of Paris. Next we've got some "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman and then a Candy Crowley piece on Fred Thompson's non campaign. From there we learn from Anderson that "today, CNN has been focusing on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans." And boy, I bet they're thrilled to be sharing their day with Paris Hilton. Geez. Also, if this is some network wide special, you would think the coverage would be, well, new. But instead we get repeat Gary Tuchman pieces originally aired during the "What Is A Christian?" series. Don't get me wrong, they're really good pieces (and I still can't believe that hissy fit that guy had with poor Gary), but why have a big special or whatever if there's nothing new?

Next up we have a Miles O'Brien piece on how eagles are coming back. Actual good news. Yay! We learn that 40 years ago when we killed bugs with DDT it made the eagle eggs too thin and they collapsed, thus decreasing their numbers. Stopping that and putting the eagles on the endangered species list has really helped bring their population back up. Miles goes out in a canoe to get us some eagle shots, which are shaky because of the canoe, but we understand. The big problem now is that even though the eagles themselves are doing better, their habitat is in danger and that spells trouble. After Miles, we have an interview with Jeff Corwin about that maybe new species they found. Jeff tells us it will take some time before they know for sure, but the experience is awesome and humbling. "If it is a new species, do you get to name it, like Jeff Corwinist or something like that?" asks Anderson. Jeff thinks it has a better shot being named "carrotopious." Oh, those crazy kids. "Jeff, I know carrot top and you are no carrot top," jokes Anderson. But Jeff is in Mr. Serious Save-The-Planet guy mode and stresses that it's not too late to save Madagascar.

The show ends with emails on Paris. One emailer notes it's nice to know Anderson dislikes her as much as the rest of us, leading Anderson to say " I don't really dislike her. I just don't -- don't get it. And if I seemed unfair in my portrayal, I apologize." Apologizing for Paris bias. Man. Another emailer jokingly chides him for saying the name of she who shall not be named. "Nicole, I slipped several times. I know. Like her, I'm trying to change," says Anderson. Now, you might read that as snarky, but that's totally not how it came out. He wants this night to be ovah! And now it is. D-

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lake Tahoe Fire, Immigration Coverage, The Dangers of Wrestling, Raw Politics, Smithsonian Waste, And More Madagascar (Tuesday's First Hour)

Edit: I just decided to skip the second hour since there was literally only like 10 minutes of blogable material. The review for the train wreck that was Wednesday night's show will be up Thursday evening.

Hi everybody. Guess what. The transcripts are back! And right after I typed that I knocked on wood, so I think we're covered. We begin tonight with the BREAKING NEWS of a big fire raging near Lake Tahoe. You know, I should start keeping track of the percentage of nights they begin with BREAKING NEWS because we're already two for two this week. Anyway, Kara Finnstrom (who?) is on the scene and she tells us that the fire has actually jumped a fire line. Houses have been destroyed and people are being evacuated. It's the same (unfortunately) increasingly common drill we've seen before. Another perk of our planet in peril, I suppose.

Next up we have an Anderson Cooper piece on the immigration debate and how nothing ever seems to actually happen. Oh, there's talk. There's even talk about talking. But actually dealing with the problem? Yeah, we don't do that here. I think 360 must be as bored with this issue as I am because they've resorted to video metaphors. Washington DC is said to blow a lot of hot air and we get a visual of a hot air balloon. Congress is represented by a hamster on a wheel. Ha! We learn that the virtual fence isn't working due to technical bugs and the real fence has barely been started. Then of course there's the requisite Lou Dobbs clip (it's in his contract, people!). And from Bush we learn that "amnesty means that you have got to pay, you know, a price for having been here illegally. And this bill does that." Um, what? After the piece Anderson says the White House has clarified, saying the president meant the exact opposite of what he said. Hey, maybe this is Bush's problem. I know I'd like him better if he actually meant the opposite of everything he said.

On now to a Gary Tuchman piece on criminals that are illegally sneaking into our country. Yes, I'm sure some would characterize anyone sneaking into the country as a criminal, but these are the bad dudes-murderers and whatnot. Obviously we really don't want them here, so Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is stepping up a program to catch the offenders and send them back home. Gary and team go with ICE on a raid to catch a man charged with murder in Mexico. They catch him, but don't tell him about the murder charge because that's Mexico's job. In fact, Gary and team have to keep mum about it too. ICE gives the guy a choice of going to jail in California or going back to Mexico. Of course he chooses to go back to Mexico because he thinks he'll be free there. Think again, buddy. You have chosen poorly. Once in Mexico, Gary finally gets to ask the guy about the murder, but he denies it. I bet Mexican prison sucks a lot more than California prison. Sucker. And yay to the taxpayers for not having to pay for him.

Next up we have an Ed Lavandera piece on a town in Texas where Spanish is the official language. Oh, Lou Dobbs is not going to like this. Okay, so El Cenizo is a little town of 6,500 people and the mayor (who is only 24!) has decided to translate all official business into Spanish, so that everybody can communicate. And now they're getting things done because they understand each other. Well, I guess whatever works. Most citizens of the town are legal Mexican immigrants, but a "local ordinance [that] prohibits city employees from turning in illegal immigrants" has caused quite a stir. As you might guess, the threats have been rolling in. For discussion on this we're joined by syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. and Rick Oltman, director of Californians for Population Stabilization. Basically Rick thinks this Spanish thing is a problem because the economy is in English and kids need to know the language if they're going to have a shot at the American Dream. Ruben isn't all that troubled by what people are speaking, but he is troubled about the ordinance because he thinks that's a federal issue.

Transitioning now to a David Mattingly piece on professional wrestling. No, really. It's actually a pretty horrible story. Pro wrestler Chris Benoit murdered his family and then took his own life. He was only 40. Steroids and prescription medication were found in his home. In the piece we also learn that pro wrestling is a rough gig. In fact, "professional wrestlers are 20 times more likely to die before age 45 than professional football players." Pro wrestler Brian Christopher says "Me being a wrestler, I think, if you can make it to 45, you're doing pretty good. " Yikes. After the piece we're then joined by Brian to talk about wrestling. Brian tells us he knew Chris, and wrestling consumed him-he was always wanting to bulk up. Anderson asks about steroids and Brian says they've actually cracked down recently, though in the past it was bad. Anderson then brings up the "USA Today" article that provided many of the stats in the piece. Brian kind of laughs because for all he knows those quoted could be retired. Also, he clarifies his quote that was in the piece: "What I meant was, if you're -- if you live to be 45 years old and still competing in wrestling, you're doing very good, you know? You know, wrestling..." Bwah! Well that was quite out of context, wasn't it? So to sum up, wrestling is rough, but there may be less of a story here than what we're made to believe.

Back from commercial we get a little sampling of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" from Tears for Fears. At least that pick for 360's campaign song contest was relevant. On now to some "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman and we begin with Giuliani kissing up to Pat Robertson. Oh Rudy, just when I thought I couldn't love you more. So okay, Giuliani is pro choice, Robertson is, um, not. What's a 9-11 exploiter to do? Well, he reinterates that this is not a one issue election. Well, unless that issue is what a hero he was on 9-11, of course. Next we have some new polls on 9-11's unrelated child, the Iraq war. Yeah, people aren't thrilled. Must be that whole death thing. Tom also tells us that Clinton seems to be wining and dining Warren Buffet. You're barking up the wrong tree there, Hillary. He gave all his money to Bill Gates, remember? Finally tonight, I think we're supposed to be all shocked that, "a big liberal advocacy group," has called a Democrat a dinosaur. But, um, he apparently was blocking efforts to combat global warming, so what's the what? After this we're live at the fire again.

Moving on now to a Joe Johns "Keeping Them Honest" piece on a cushy job at the Smithsonian. Okay, so tax dollars pay for the Smithsonian budget and it's just been discovered that we the people have been paying head guy Lawrence Small way more than we probably wanted to. A salary that got up to $915,000, a housing allowance, millions in stock, private jets...the guy had it good. And he didn't even work that much! He took off 64 days to serve on boards and 10 weeks (10 weeks!) of vacation. Dude, I want his job. But apparently this was all good under the Smithsonian's board of regents who so were not paying attention. But now they are and Small has resigned. I bet he's going to miss his lifestyle.

Next up we have a Jeff Corwin piece that continues the Madagascar coverage. Jeffs explains that scientists there are trying to assess the biodiversity of the area, so that they can provide proof of why the forest should be protected. In the piece we get to see Jeff attempt to catch a gecko, but it initially gives him a little trouble. Call Geico, Jeff. Anyway, he finally gets it and then we learn that they may have actually found a whole new species of gecko. This is very exciting to Jeff, but really, anything animal related is very exciting to Jeff. I kind of love it. Tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" is Paris Hilton's exit from the slammer. You know, everybody's laughing about the little strut they think she's doing for the cameras, but I think she's actually trying to walk like a normal person. Cat-walking for the cameras is so ingrained in her she simply can't do it! Bwah! Oh, and props to 360 for this being our only coverage tonight of she who shall not be named. Frankly, I was prepared to bitch them out. Heh.

The Shot tonight is two separate rescues. Now, about the show, what the hell is going on? Were regular viewers not supposed to notice that the show went to tape in the second hour after about 20 minutes? That's when I flipped off, BTW. And yesterday the whole hour was tape. So okay 360, excepting the specials, you're either a two hour live show or you aren't. Pick one. I don't even care which one you pick-just let us know. Man, I really hope CNN's not messing with primetime that much. I know Paula's probably out and Campbell Brown is probably in, but I'm still adjusting to no more O'Brien twins. Stop rocking my world! Well okay, not my world, but stop rocking the network that brings me the news about my world! Because it's annoying. First hour and 20 minutes gets an B.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lugar Flips On Iraq, Press Briefing On VP, Jessie Davis Update, Raw Politics, Tammy Duckworth's Husband Goes To Iraq, And Madagascar (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. Happy new week. We kick off the show tonight with the BREAKING NEWS that Republican Senator Richard Lugar has decided that, you know what, he's not really down with this war after all. This is big news and worthy of graphics because Lugar is very respected and one of the most influential members of Congress on foreign policy. Up until now he stood behind the president's Iraq policy, but now he's saying we need a new direction. Way to catch up to the American people there, Lugar. Dana Bash then joins us live with the details. Lugar is only calling for some troops to come home; the rest he wants to be redeployed in the region. Hmm, that sound suspiciously like what Jack Murtha proposed a blue moon ago. At that time everyone was talking about how well he was respected and what a big deal that was. And yet here we are. Sure, Lugar is a Republican and Murtha is a Democrat, so it's a little different, but I don't see how Lugar doesn't get smeared here, just like Murtha. Dana notes that now the Democrats have some red-state Republican cover to say that the surge isn't working. She says Lugar doesn't want to wait until September to do anything.

Speaking of September, Anderson reminds us that's when everything involving the war is supposed to come to a head, but recently there's been some backing away from that. Wait, were we actually supposed to be believing them about that whole September thing? I'm so cynical. I just assumed everyone knew that was BS. Nothing's happening in September, people. But a cool thing is happening right now. 360 is, like, holding them accountable for what they said. Anderson notes the new message seems to be morphing into something different lately and then we get played a bunch of clips "Daily Show"style. Yay 360! Do that more often. Because I don't know if you've noticed, but most everything they say doesn't match up to what they've said previously. The sad thing is I don't think they care. I mean, they have to know this stuff is on tape, right?

For discussion about all this we're next joined by David Gergen and Michael Ware, who is apparently back in Iraq. Michael doesn't really know what's with all this September talk stateside because everyone on the ground is downplaying that deadline. Not to mention the fact that all the troops for the surge have just arrived. Anderson notes that it seems the administration is trying to backpeddle. Well, it's one of the few things they do well. The Gerg agrees there's some backpeddling going on, but he thinks this Lugar thing is huge because it has the same kind of weight as the Iraq Study Group. Um, what? Psssst. Gerg, the ISG was ignored. Aw, what would we do without our optimistic-for-no-reason Gerg? Anderson then asks if any political progress is going on in Iraq. Michael says no and that actually on the ground there's not even any expectation the government will meet the benchmarks. And that's if you even want to call what they have a government, which, you know, you probably shouldn't. As Michael has said many times before, Maliki has no power to deliver. Anderson points out the US has no plan B. Hell, we hardly had a plan A.

Moving on now to our scary, scary, vice president. Anderson tells us that Cheney is trying to claim he's not a member of the executive branch (what the hell?!), but points out that he sure seemed to like the executive privilege when it came to his energy task force. That's right Anderson, you point out that hypocrisy! We then get played clips from the press briefing where poor Dana Perino silently curses Tony Snow for not being there to take the brunt of the questions against this ridiculousness. Somewhere, Scott McClellan is thanking his lucky stars it wasn't him. He was my favorite because he'd get all red. If they're never going to tell you the truth, you might as well get your kicks out of watching them squirm, you know?

Ed Henry, who was at the press briefing, then joins us live. He notes that the VP doesn't want scrutiny, but the legal argument he's using is "absurd." You think? And shouldn't we all be completely freaked out that our VP is suddenly declaring himself a member of a whole other branch of government? Lord, tomorrow he'll be claiming he's a judge. Ed also notes that Bush invited some high schoolers to the White House and they handed him a letter that asked him to promise the detainees are not being tortured. Bwah! Those are some awesome kids. Ed points out how even people like Secretary Rice can't seem to stand up to Cheney and here you have high schoolers doing it. If only high schoolers ruled the world. It's not like DC can get any more childish anyway. Okay, so the first 15 minutes of the show? Excellent. Let's see more of this.

Transitioning now to Jason Carroll with the latest on Jessie Davis. Unfortunately her body and that of her unborn child have been found. The father, Bobby Cutts Jr. has been charged with their murders and another woman, Myesha Ferrell, has been charged with obstruction of justice. Jessie's mother had the opportunity to stare them both down in court. There is a rumor that Cutts confessed, but he says he's innocent. And that's about all we know right now, but we still had to have an interview with reporter Todd Porter after the piece. Whatever.

Coming back from commercial, we're rocking out to Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," another entry in 360's campaign song contest. Okay, what does that song have to do with politics? C'mon people. Next we move on to "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman and I'm bummed because this is always a great segment to blog, but since it goes so fast, without the transcripts I'm going to have to half phone it in from now on. I love my readers, but I'm not getting carpal tunnel for you. Just saying. We begin with the news that Michael Bloomberg (who's not even running!) would be at 17% in the polls in three-way race with Clinton and Giuliani. I guess the media got tired about speculating about Fred Thompson. Tom also tells us Romney's most favorite contributer just might be...Romney. Also the Supreme Court has smacked down campaign finance reform. We also learn that Elizabeth Edwards is pro-gay marriage (yay!), and Ted Kennedy sang on spanish radio. I don't know why. To scare us, I guess.

Next up we've got some headlines and that's followed by some Anderson Cooper and Erica Hill pimping of Larry King's Paris Hilton interview. Through some banter that I'm sure was in no way suggested by the higher ups, we learn that CNN didn't pay one penny for the interview, unlike those media whores at NBC. So see, CNN is so above it all. Because obviously the money was the only disgusting thing about having a no talent drunk driver flood your news network when we're in the middle of two wars. Okay, in seriousness, if the coverage stays only on Larry King, which admittedly is a talk show, than maybe CNN is above it all. But I'm guessing that's not going to happen, so all this back patting is pretty pathetic. Tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" covers that $50 million pants lawsuit again. It turns out the suit has been thrown out. Well, there's a shocker. Anderson is glad because now there can be no more anchor laundry puns. He gives us his best Ron Burgundy: "Stay classy, San Diego." Ha!

On now to a Sanjay Gupta piece on Tammy Duckworth. You might remember her as the Iraq war veteran that lost both legs in 2004. Then in 2006 she ran for Congress and lost by less than 5,000 votes (which might have been due to evil robo-calling-Grr!!!) Now she's facing another challenge: her National Guard husband has been called to Iraq. This is the first time he's been deployed and they're being practical about it. In fact, they're planning for his death. God. Sanjay is also shocked, but, you know, it's the smart thing to do. Losing somebody is hard enough without having additional decisions to make and things to do. Tammy says that her hubsand is under orders to come home and she out ranks him, so he better do it. Let's hope he does.

Transitioning to a Jeff Corwin piece where we're taken high above Madagascar to get a gander at all the deforestation. It looks pretty bad in some places and we learn that without forests the soil just kind of melts away. Unsustainable agriculture is the primary cause of the environmental catastrophe going on. Aw, poor Madagascar. Looks like a cool place. The Shot tonight is the World's Ugliest Dog and man, they're not kidding. That's a face only an owner could love. So okay, the show tonight was pretty good, but what the hell happened with the second hour? The whole thing was a repeat. Very annoying. If I would have known that I could have flipped over to the Daily Show. And yeah, that's probably why they didn't say it was all going to be repeated, but way to alienate your regular viewers, you know? So for the first hour I'll give them a B+ with a side of Grrrr! for the repeated hour.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cheney Talk, Political Talk, Running Mates, Overcoming Bullies, Global Warming Report Card, And CNN Heroes (Thursday's Second Hour)

Hi everybody. So, did you hear the news? The Paris Hilton/NBC interview fell through and guess where she's going now? Larry King! Bwah! Should we put down bets on Anderson Cooper being conveniently off on Wednesday? Because you know 360 is going to cover it in order to try to hang on to some of that Larry King lead in. In fact, if they don't touch the story I will give out my first ever A+ for that night, no matter what the quality of the show. I have to admit, I had quite the little chuckle when I found out she was going on Larry King after all that righteous snark Anderson was doling out. I hope he is there though. Because the preview and handoff? Awwwkward.

Okay, so it's been a while since Thursday's second hour actually aired, but we're kicking off with earmark coverage again and then repeat stuff about how Cheney thinks he's king of the country. Then we're joined by John King and David Gergen for discussion. John notes that it's going to be really hard for Cheney to claim he's a member of the legislative branch when he's been claiming executive privilege this whole time. But The Gerg thinks he's going to fight this by just dragging it out forever. So if you were hoping to learn the extent of Cheney's true evilness (although learning that might actually kill a person), don't hold your breath. But, hey, maybe your kids have a shot.

After commercial we're back with John and The Gerg for some campaign talk. McCain isn't doing so great in Iowa and Anderson wonders what's up with that. John explains the campaign is basically playing it off as bad polls, but they're generally having trouble. The Gerg thinks this is because of the war and also because his POW years are catching up to him. Oh Gerg, I can't believe you said that. Are you a psychologist or POW expert? No, I don't think you are. Look, I've been saying on this blog for a while now that there's something wrong with McCain, but bringing up the POW thing is something the Bush camp smeared him with in 2000. What I'm wondering is if the man has any actual friends that would convince him to drop out of the race or if everyone he deals with is just a political hanger-on.

Anderson then turns the subject to the Clinton campaign by showing a picture run by the Washington Post of the campaign staff. All female. Anderson wonders if there's a downside to all this girl power. John doesn't really think so, but the Gerg questions the judgement of the campaign in letting all that estrogen hit the front page. He thinks it's going to give some male voters the willies. Pshaw! Oh c'mon Gerg, the men with the willies were never going to vote for Clinton in the first place. The conversation then moves on to a possible Michael Bloomberg run. I think the media is hyping so much on these maybe-runners because they're already bored with the campaign. Anyway, John tells us Bloomberg can't win today, but if he runs he would probably hurt the Democrats the most due to his liberal views. I say run. He'll be the first third party candidate that had a shot since the little crazy dude.

Moving on now to the latest edition of "Running Mates" where we meet the candidate's wives...and Bill, I guess. Tonight we're meeting Giuliani's wife. Which one, you ask? Let's see, I believe we're on number three at this point and her name is Judith. Like Giuliani, Judith has also said the vows more than once. Um, more than twice actually. But she conveniently forgot to mention one of her marriages. But hey, who can remember all these things, right? And apparently Giuliani's kids are not big fans of the current misses. They're now estranged from dear old dad. Yeah, the family values crowd is going to love that. After this segment we've got a repeat of David Mattingly getting whacked by a fish. Holy carp! Then we're played 911 calls from that South Carolina fire.

Next up we have a Dan Simon piece on Olivia Gardner, a 14 year old that was mercilessly bullied due to her epilepsy. It was so bad that she would hide in the bathroom, so the kids couldn't find her. She then changed schools, but some of the kids at her new school were friends with kids at her old school and it started up again. The brats even started an "I hate Olivia" club on MySpace. Olivia couldn't take it anymore and thought about suicide, but then two girls read her story in the newspaper and decided to write her in support. They got their friends to do it too and before long, thousands of letters were pouring in to Olivia. The letters changed her life. Wow, good story. Just like adults, kids can be incredibly cruel and incredibly kind.

Transitioning now to a Mile's O'Brien piece on the environmental friendliness of corporate America. Miles! Long time, no see. Anyway, you know how you're always seeing those commericals about how green companies are becoming? Well, I hope you didn't actually believe them. Miles tells us that a non profit has given a global warming report card, if you will, to 56 companies and guess how they did. Sucko. Most actually scored in the 30's, which for those that don't remember school, is an F. Not everyone was completely horrible though. IBM got a 70 and Cannon scored a 77. Still not the greatest. We also learn that Burger King got a big old goose egg, while McDonald's did slightly better, scoring in the 20's. Because McDonald's was the winner of the two, Miles takes a big bite of one of their burgers...then signs off with his mouth full. Oh Miles, no one wants to see that.

Finally tonight we meet CNN Hero Bob Nameng, whose Sky Center offers assistance to children in South Africa. And...that'll do it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Continued Earmark Coverage, NBC Paying For Paris, Raw Politics, Cheney Gets More Secretive, College Cover-Up, And Madagascar (Thursday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. Well, I am still a blogger without a transcript, so I guess I'll just have to make do. We're beginning with the subject of earmarks tonight and Anderson informs us that Obama has just become the first presidential candidate to disclose his earmark requests. Yay, Barack! We then get an update to the previously run Drew Griffin piece in which they called all 435 members of the House and asked for their requests. Apparently the report caught the attention of some bloggers and the Tribune and now 11 more representatives have made their requests public. So we're going slowly but surely here, people. After the piece, Drew says that the freshman democrats are frustrated with the leadership because they want to be more open. They also note that some viewers have been calling and Anderson tells us to let them know if we call and get a better response. I'm glad he said that. More people will call now because sometimes people just need a little push, or the idea in the first place. If you'd like to call, but don't know your rep or their number, just click here. And psssst, CNN, I'm digging that we can go to the site and see how our rep responded (or didn't respond), but how about a link to contact info for those that then want to call? As for me? I called. I politely argued. I got nowhere. I let CNN know anyway. Why not, huh? Next we have a Joe Johns piece that continues with the earmark coverage and we learn that basically the Democrats and Republicans are both calling each other hypocrites. Ah, the blame game. Because that's new.

On now to an interview Anderson did with Congressman Rahm Emanuel, who is not happy with the 360 earmark coverage. Anderson notes that Emanuel himself has disclosed his earmarks, but wonders what's up with most everybody else. Emanuel then talks about the reform the Democrats have brought to the whole process. He says they cut earmarks in half and in the past no one knew anything about the earmarks until way after they were in bills and now there's more transparency. You know, I'm no Emanuel fan, but he has a point. Don't get me wrong, I really love that they're getting down and dirty with investigating what our Congresscritters are up to, but 360 is slamming the Democrats pretty hard here. Yes, they made big promises and it's not like they're not working on it, but the mess the Republicans left behind is huge (and where were the phone calls back then?). I mean, they have the legislative equivalent of a toothbrush and they're expected to use it to clean up nuclear waste. Change is going to take time. I'm in no way saying 360 should back off the story, but they could make their language a little less "gotcha" and maybe explain things better. For example, not all earmarks are bad.

Back in the interview, Anderson notes that only earmarks that make it into a bill will be made public. Emanuel then says that those are the only ones that matter because those are the only ones that become law. But Anderson asks if the public has a right to know what their reps have asked for. Emanuel says something like the consituents will know, but I don't know what he's talking about. Anderson then visibly gets his outrage on, noting that Emanuel obviously thinks disclosure is important, but others seem to be ashamed. As he's saying this, Emanuel is smirking. Did I mention I don't like him much? He says that they made a pledge and have made things more transparent. Anderson asks if he will advise his fellow Democrats to put out their requests because it's the only way for the public to know if the requests are valid. Emanuel answers with some convoluted BS. Keep on it, 360, but don't forget the perspective.

Transitioning now to the news that the NY Post is reporting NBC is going to pay Paris Hilton, or "the convict," as Anderson refers to her, $1 million for her first post-jail interview. Apparently Jeff Zucker himself called to make the deal and Paris will be sitting down with Meredith Viera on "The Today Show." In a piece we learn that NBC News is saying they will not pay for an interview, but CNN media guy Howard Kurtz notes there are ways to get around that. He says it's a "squiggly line" and sometimes video is paid for. Actually, before CNN gets too high and mighty about this, I'd like to point out that it was reported they paid the Virginia Tech student for the video he filmed during the shooting. No, that's not disgusting like this is, but c'mon. Anyway, we also learn that MADD is, well, mad.

Next up we're joined by Marc Lamont Hill of Temple University for discussion about all this. Anderson notes that basically Paris is profiting off drunk driving. He asks what this says about all of us. Marc thinks our lives our permeated by bottomline capitalist desire and we love a good train wreck. Yeah, and it's killing us. Also? Speak for yourself, Marc. Anderson asks if he'll watch the interview. "Of course," says Marc. Ha! Good Lord. Then Anderson points out that maybe he's part of the problem. But Marc reminds him he said "we" and besides, he's watching for research purposes. Riight. Okay Anderson Cooper, I can see you're outraged by all this and I'm right there with you, but I think once again you've boxed yourself into a corner. If 360 airs any footage of that interview or mentions anything she who shall not be named says, you've just made yourself a big hypocrite. I don't care if you cover it snarky or not. You can't get your outrage on about NBC and then still cover it. So will 360 leave that interview alone? Time will tell. But I'll be watching.

Next we get to hear a little "Don't Feel Like Dancing" from the Scissor Sisters. Good song. We're hearing it because it was one of the entries to 360's political theme song contest. There were actually a lot of Scissor Sisters entries and I'm guessing that has something to do with them being one of Anderson's favorite groups. Let the pandering begin! After the music, we've got "Raw Politics" with Candy Crowley and this goes way too fast for me to do without a transcript. Although I did catch that Ron Paul was excluded from a forum and apparently his supporters are crazy hardcore. My cousin actually told me she was driving on the highway last week and from every overpass there was a sheet that said "Who is Ron Paul?" Crazy. In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Erica brings us the tale of an Indian doctor who let his 15 year old son perform a cesarean section because he wanted him to get into the Guiness Book of World Records. As you might expect, the whole thing didn't go over well. Mom and baby are okay.

Moving on to a Susan Malveaux piece on how Cheney just keeps getting creepier and creepier. We all know how the VP likes to be secretive, but he's taking it to a whole new level. Okay, so a 2003 Bush order states that all entities of the executive branch need to provide yearly documenting of documents they've classified and declassified. Simple enough, right? Well, Cheney's having none of that. He's been ignoring the order for years and then when the National Archives and Records Adminstration tried to enforce the order, Cheney attempted to abolish the whole freakin office. See, this is why I get mad about the missing woman/stupid celebrity coverage; our VP is a psychopath! We should have someone covering his evilness all the time. Oh, and get this. When Cheney couldn't get rid of the whole archives office, he said the order didn't apply to him because as president of the Senate, he's actually part of the legislative branch. Pay no mind to all that executive privilege he's been claiming all these years, I guess. Good Lord. So yeah, that didn't fly either. Something about it being in this thing called the constitution. I think I've heard of that. Though legend has it, nobody's seen it for over six years.

On now to a Randi Kaye piece on a 22 year old college student that was found dead in her dorm room at Eastern Michigan University. Her parents were told by the school that she died of natural causes. A 22 year old? In reality, she was found with a pillow over her face and semen on her leg. The school put out a public notice that the campus was safe and there was no foul play, but never updated once a suspect was charged with rape and murder. An independent investigation has found the school violated the law. Wow. Man, I hope her parents sue the pants off them. How horrible to have your child die in the first place and then be lied to regarding her death. After this piece, 360 promos a repeat of the David Mattingly getting hit by a fish piece, which they're going to show in the second hour. Before the fish shot, we get Rick Sanchez getting tasered. Bwah! I knew the fish whacking would be the new tasering!

Transitioning to a Jeff Corwin piece set in eastern Madagascar and man, he's in heaven. I'm amused that he's fairly dressed up for running around the forest. Jeff goes on a quest to find some indris, which are the largest of the lemurs, and when he does find some he is very excited! We also get to hear the indris call, which is very loud, and the look on Jeff's face when they do it is priceless. He deems it an "awesome call!" and notes that it's eerie. Damn, if Jeff makes me like him anymore I'm going to have to watch his show. After Jeff's piece we have Erica with the headlines and she brings us some I-Phone news. Anderson notes it won't work with their email system. That's weird. He also tells us that he just got a cd player. Anderson Cooper, screeching his way into the mid 90's. The Shot tonight is a lake in Chile. Actually it was a lake in Chile. Okay, who stole the lake? Seriously, this whole big lake just disappeared. Ooh, maybe it got raptured up. The theory is it leaked out cracks in the lake bottom. Erica would like to know then where the heck it ended up. China? She explains that when you're a kid the belief is you can dig your way to China, though she never made it there. "You lack commitment," says Anderson. Bwah! Aw, Erica. Well, she's raising a child. I think that counts for something. The show was good tonight. B+ But I want the transcripts back!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Refugees in Crisis, Jessie Davis Update, Bloomberg, Madagascar, And Jumping Fish (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everyone. So okay, I'm having a bit of a blogging crisis here. The transcript service has died! I don't know what's going on, but there are no more new transcripts. Oooh, perhaps this is all a diabolical plan to get me to stop blogging while they're covering missing white women. Sneaky little devils. Anyway, when I started this blog I actually didn't use the transcripts at all, but then people started telling me they were learning things from my posts and I freaked a bit because, dang it, I could be spreading truthiness! I was a great little note-taker in the beginning, but blogging has gone a bit how I handled college. I started out my freshman year trying my hardest to keep up with all the assigned reading and by senior year I was lucky if I had even taken the plastic off the book by the midterm. The problem here is I didn't know I wasn't going to have the transcript to rely on, so...oh noes. Therefore this blog comes at you with me flying by the seat of my pants.

Tonight is the Refugees in Crisis special and interview with Angelina Jolie. Remember last year's interview? Man, the lead up to that was quite the newsgasm, wasn't it? I couldn't even watch CNN for the week before because they were promoting my brains out. Stories were written up, accusations of payments were made, David Doss had to take to the blog to defend...what a spectacle. This year, things were thankfully much quieter. I'll try to go through the special in a second, but I want to say that I thought overall this interview was much better than last year's. Anderson Cooper came off a bit star struck last time and I think the intense pressure of the whole situation for both of them came across. This time things were more relaxed and informative. Also, in case I forget later, Angelina Jolie is awesome.

We begin by learning that there are almost 10 million refugees in the world, as well as many internally displaced people. Then we cut to the Angelina interview and she tells us that it was a trip to Sierra Leone that really opened her eyes. She states that seeing that kind of brutality made her feel unaware and want to educate herself about what's going on in the world with refugees. This leads us to an Anderson piece on Angelina and her work for UNHCR. We learn that she pays her own way for her trips and also donates a third of her own money. Some of the places she's visited include Pakistan, Namibia, a Chad camp, and Kashmir after the 2005 earthquake. On the personal side, she's got four children-three of which are adopted from other countries. Her biological child she had with her partner, who happens to be Brad Pitt. Not too shabby.

Next up we have a really good piece from Michael Ware about Iraqis who are trying to come to the US, but having a hard time. Basically all Iraqis who want to come here are having a hard time because the US has let in less than a thousand since before the war and most of them were fleeing Saddam, not the mess we caused. What's particularly infuriating is that a lot of the people trying to flee to the US worked for them in Iraq, which basically marked them for death, and now when they need help to save their lives, the US has turned its back. I mean, even Sweden and Australia have taken in thousands. Also, even though the US has spent billions on the war, we've only offered $150 million to other countries taking in refugees. This year the US has pledged to take in 2500 Iraqis (though previously the number pledged was about 7,000), but last month we only let Fears about terrorism shouldn't be discounted when taking Iraqis in, but as Angelina notes in the interview segment following the piece, vulnerable people are ripe for getting sucked into terrorism. People we don't let in today, may turn to a terrorist organization tomorrow because they're providing social services. Angelina is also very practical about needing to support Syria and Jordan. Then she tells us the sad fact that when she went on trips six years ago everyone wanted to come to the US. Now? Not so much.

On now to a Nic Robertson piece on Afghan refugees, which is the biggest population of refugees in the world. Most of them are living in Iran and Pakistan, but now those two countries want them gone. This is troubling because the expulsions could lead to Taliban recruiting and an increase in violence. In fact, some believe Iran is kicking people out for that very reason. After Nic's piece Anderson asks Angelina about the Afghan camps she saw and wonders why there's no stability. She explains that we have strategies to go to war, but not for reconstruction and peace. Amen to that. When she was in Pakistan she saw refugees being sent back to Afghanistan and she notes it was very upsetting for people because they were going back to a place that was not stable. Next there's some talk about Angelina's children.

Moving on to a Sanjay Gupta piece from a Darfur refugee camp. Hopefully most of us know the background here, but the nuts in bolts is that the janjaweed and rebels have been battling it out and now 200,000 are dead, not to mention all the displaced. It's a horrible, horrible situation and the Sudan government is part of the problem. Of course they won't admit to that. And hey, check out Sanjay doing a mildly confrontational interview with Sudan's Ambassador. Dr. Gupta is really branching out lately. Anyway, the UN won't call what's happening in Darfur genocide or level sanctions because of China. What's the deal with China? Sudan has oil, China wants it, end of story. Morality need not apply. In the interview segment after this piece Angelina talks a bit about a traumatized boy she spent time with and then gets her anger on when talking about how as a world community we don't hold people accountable. Anderson brings up the China and oil thing and Angelina stops using words and just communicates in frustrated noises. If you ever wonder what Eliza sounds like while watching the news, she pretty much has me down.

The last piece of the hour is from Jeffrey Toobin on the International Criminal Court (ICC). We learn that there are 51 charges against two janjaweed guys, but a trial may not even happen because the guys aren't in custody and the prosecutor has no police. Another big hurdle is, well, the US. Guess what. The US doesn't support the ICC. So there you go. Much like that general Anderson interviewed in the Congo, I think these janjaweed guys are, unfortunately, sitting pretty. After Toobin's piece, Anderson asks how all this has changed Angelina as a wife and mother. She then corrects him, stating she's actually not a wife. Whoops. Faux pas. A wee bit embarrassed Anderson then tries to cover with a "maybe someday," but it doesn't really go over. And yeah, I feel kind of bad that I basically haven't mentioned Anderson at all and now I'm pointing out his screw up, but, well, no one ever said life was fair.

The top of the next hour begins with an Anderson piece that recaps everything and I'm fairly impressed with hour they've managed to widdle down a whole hour to less than five minutes. Next we're on to a Christiane Amanpour piece on refugees in Jordan. We meet an Iraqi translator that fled there for her life and is now hoping to move to the US. But as we learned earlier, the going is slow. Very slow. Jordan is now asking for help due to the 750,000 Iraqis that have fled there. After the piece, Angelina talks a bit about a Miramar refugee named David and how much he wowed her. I was a bit skeptical of David's awesomeness living up to her praise, but in a Dan Rivers piece we get to meet David, who is living in a Thai camp, and he really is just that awesome. David is all about Agro forestry and recycling waste. Basically, he's using the tools he has to survive in an environmentally friendly way and then teaching everyone else. I mean, the dude's even fighting global warming. David is very cool.

Transitioning now, kind of abruptly actually, to the latest on Jessie Davis. And okay, as Anderson introed this he really inferred that Cutts was now a suspect, but he's not. I mean, maybe he is now as you're reading this, but he wasn't at show time. So that wasn't cool. What happened is that the guy had his house searched and they brought out bags. Oooh, bags! Yeah, I'm done with this. Next we're on to Anderson telling us that Hillary Clinton has chosen "You and I" as her campaign song, which they then play. This leads into a little gag where Anderson gets mad at Renee in the control booth for playing the song too long. Oh, sure, you can't stand Celine Dion, but you think it's just find to torture us with the song stylings of Warren Jeffs. Just saying.

Next up we've got "Raw Politics" with Joe Johns, most of which I will be skipping because of the no transcript thing. But I will tell you that Bush vetoed (will veto?) a stem cell bill. Because he's all about life, people. You know, except when he was executing people in Texas. Oh, and then there's that whole war thing...On now to a John King piece on a possible Michael Bloomberg run for president. Because obviously there aren't enough candidates yet. Anyway, Bloomberg has dropped his Republican Party affiliation, so we know he has some brains and he also has liberal views and digs balanced budgets. Plus he seems pretty rational. Hmm. I do like rational people.

On now to an Anderson piece on our "Planet in Peril." Tonight we're focusing on Madagascar where 90% of the country's wildlife cannot be found anywhere else. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world, which has led to deforestation-there are only 10% of forests left. The environmental crisis has also led to 550 species being threatened (threddened), including the lemur. After the piece we're supposed to go to Jeff Corwin for a live shot from Madagascar, but the satellite is down. Bummer. I'm having Jeff withdrawal. He's so enthusiastic! After we come back from commercial Anderson shows us the shot they have and...oh noes, Jeff is a blue blob! In other words, no Jeff tonight. Sigh. Technology giveth and technology taketh away.

Next up we have a David Mattingly piece on jumping fish, but I have to say, this one had Rick Sanchez written all over it. Okay, so there's some environmental information here, but we're skipping all that because the money shot is poor David getting whacked by the jumping fish. Twice. What's particularly hilarious is that by his reaction it clearly got him really good, but you can hear someone in the background (probably the producer) say "keep filming." That's right, pay no mind to poor David. Just get the shot! Ha! I'm not a reporter, but I imagine when they think about the dangers of their job, they maybe worry about being kidnapped or shot or blown up-not so much whacked by a fish. After the piece Anderson's got some time to kill due to no Jeff, so...we're watching David get hit again. Bwah! As the hour ends we then watch it one more time in slow-mo with Anderson providing the sound effects. I think getting hit by a fish just might be the new tasering.

The special tonight was really good and the rest of the show was just okay. A- for the special.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Continued Jessie Davis Coverage, Raw Politics, Firefighters Killed, And Fred Goldman Interview (Tuesday's First Hour)

Edit: I guess I'm skipping the second hour review because the transcript is weirdly MIA and I don't want to risk putting words in people's mouths. No truthiness for me! It's just as well anyway, because besides a nice John Burns interview, it was much of the same. The review for Wednesday's show will be up Thursday evening.

Hi all. We're beginning again tonight with the story of Jessie Davis, the missing pregnant woman. The new developments are fleshed out for us in a Jim Acosta piece. Apparently not that far from where Jessie went missing, a one day old baby girl just showed up on a doorstep with the umbilical cord still attached. Now that's interesting. They're in the process of testing the DNA for a match. The father of Jessie's children, Bobby Cutts Jr., is still not being called a suspect. We learn that he also fathered children with his current wife and with another woman too. Who is this guy, Kevin Federline? Anyway, that's all we know, but don't think the coverage is ending here. Come aboard the Speculation Express, children. It's going to be a long ride.

Next up we have an interview with Todd Porter, a reporter that interviewed Bobby Cutts. If you can't get the guy, you get the guy that talked to the guy, I guess. There's a fair amount of speculation here, specifically about the family's dirty laundry, which I'm sure they appreciate. BTW, this is part of that trial-by-media thing I mentioned yesterday. But perhaps my favorite part of this interview is when the reporter says, "you can hear the complete audio of these tapes on in a couple of hours." Good Lord. After reporter guy, we have forensic guy, Lawrence Kobilinsky. If we were on the Speculation Express before, we have hit our destination of Speculation Nation, and Lawrence here is the king. Lawrence thinks it could have been an abduction of the fetus by cesarean. Yeah, let's throw that out there. Why not, right? Watch it not even be Jessie's baby. Lawrence wants us to keep an open mind about the situation, yet here he is speculating about what happened. Here's a novel idea: how about we let the cops do their jobs and then when there are some of those things called 'facts' to report, the media can let us know. I know, I know, that's crazy talk. Next we have a David Mattingly piece on the life of Jessie Davis. I mean to take nothing away from her, but how many families of missing people have to fight tooth and nail just to get their loved one's name mentioned on the national news? What are we doing here, folks? That all was 15 minutes of coverage for less than three minutes of actual information. There's a difference between 'all the angles' and needless speculation.

Transitioning now to some "Raw Politics" with Joe Johns. We begin with the Clintons doing a little take off on "The Sopranos" series finale, which I actually found amusing. The video revolves around Hillary's contest to choose her campaign song. The winner? Celine Dion's 'You and I'. Hmm. Not to say I don't own a Celine CD myself (shut up! I have good stuff too), but that wouldn't have been my first choice. Next we learn that Fred Thompson is flexing his foreign policy muscle by saying we should keep the bomb Iran option on the table. So if he's a non candidate working a non campaign, can we expect him to use non bombs? Also, Michael Bloomberg has switched from republican to independent and he's making presidential noises. Intriguing. Finally, Harry Reid has warned that if the senate doesn't get their act together on immigration and energy, they're working over 4th of July. Ohhh, worst boss evah! Reid is a total hardass. (And I hope he does it.)

Moving on now to Anderson telling us that we can put one more representative in the 'yes' column for making their earmark requests public. So now that makes...31. Out of 435. Sigh. At this rate we should have them all public right in time for the 2008 election. Keep trucking, 360. Next we've got Erica with the headlines and then the latest installment of "What Were They Thinking?" which I thought had died a quiet segment death. Anyway, the prosecutor of Paris Hilton decided to apologize today because his wife also crashed a car while driving on a suspended license...but she wasn't drunk...and didn't know it was suspended. So what are we even talking about, again? Yeah, I don't know either.

On now to a Rusty Dornin piece on a horrible fire at a furniture store in South Carolina. As you might imagine, furniture burns quickly and the whole thing just went up. Nine firefighters died. After Rusty's piece we have a piece from John Zarella that explores the fire phenomenon of flashover, which is what probably happened in the furniture store. Basically, a flashover is wall to wall fire, from ceiling to floor. We get a sort of demonstration of this when John and some firefighters go in a simulator. I say 'sort of' because, well, the real thing would kill them. They all wear these sensors that chirp every 30 seconds and to turn them off they have to shake their butts, which I'm sorry, is a little amusing to watch. Anyway, the whole point is that if a sensor doesn't turn off, you know someone is in trouble. After John's piece we've got a snippet of Anderson's Angelina Jolie interview, but I'll save that for Wednesday.

Next up Anderson has an EXCLUSIVE interview with Fred Goldman, father of Ron Goldman, and his attorney, Jonathan Polak. Do we remember the story here? OJ Simpson writes vile book called "If I Did It," which causes public outrage, which causes the book to get dropped. But then Goldman wanted the book published in order to get some of the money that Simpson owes him from the civil suit. And now there's a new twist: TMZ got hold of the manuscript and leaked it on the intertubes. Ohh noes. TMZ, classy as always. And actually they might be in trouble this time because this isn't just about freedom of the press-there's copyright and bankruptcy issues here, hence the attorney . Anderson notes that Jonathan has filed a motion of contempt against TMZ and also points out that, "CNN is obviously owned by parent company Time Warner, which also owns TMZ." Disclosure. Yay! Two points for you, Mr. Cooper. And let me tell you, you're going to need them for this show's grade. Anyway, TMZ has no comment.

Moving on to a phone interview Anderson has with Sue Redman, the woman who found the baby girl on her porch. They whip out all the BREAKING NEWS bells and whistles for this and I have no idea why. Dude, you told us this news at the top of the hour. It's not breaking anymore. You broke it already. Most of this interview ends up at the top of next hour, so I'm just ending here. The show tonight was...sucko. Really bad. But watch, the ratings will be through the roof. Because we live in opposite world. D

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, Mideast Meltdown, And Losing An Important Satellite (Monday's Second Hour)

Hey guys. We're kicking it off this hour with repeat coverage of the disappearance of Jessie Davis and that's followed by a whole bunch of speculation from Kris Mohandie, forensic psychologist. Then we have Peter Bergen again for discussion about the Taliban graduation. After that we transition to some coverage of Fred Thompson and Anderson says, "when it comes to the actor and former Senator, we haven't seen this kind of buildup since the Olson twins turned 18 -- badumpa, thank you. Be here all week. Try the veal." Ha! Such a dork. Anyway, a Candy Crowley piece breaks down the Thompson coverage. Basically, this guy is nothing special and if you ask me, if he actually declares, he's going to fizzle out soon after. Sometimes the unknown looks more appealing than the known. We learn that he didn't do much as a Senator and his abortion position is kind of wibbly wobbly. Presidential!

Next up we have an interview John Roberts did with Mitt Romney. For a good part of the piece they're in a car and I am very pleased to see seatbelts. Nobody's making that mistake after Corzine, huh? So okay, Romney has no foreign policy experience, but he does have lots and lots of money. And according to John he also has "movie star looks." Um, okay. We'll go with that. They also talk a bit about how Romney has to be "on" all the time because people are always watching...and possibly recording. The republicans learned a lot from "macaca" is what he's saying. Ah, George Allen, you're...not missed at all. After this interview we're joined by Mike Murphy for discussion. Mike thinks Romney is doing so well right now because he dumped so much money into advertising. Also, he thinks the religion thing is kind of going to be a problem for him in cycles. When Anderson asks about the flip flopping, Mike says that all politicians flip flop, "Otherwise you could train a chimp to be president if you wanted to lock in some of these opinions and never have them rethink them. George W. -- excuse me, George Herbert Walker Bush, Ronald Reagan both evolved," he says. Bwah! As soon as he said chimp I was thinking of Dubya and then he has to correct himself because apparently Bush hasn't evolved. Too funny.

Moving on now to Anderson noting that he should have mentioned before that Canadians are fighting in Afghanistan too. Man, you do not want to make the Canadians angry. (I love my Canadian readers!) After that we're joined by Ambassador Dennis Ross to talk about the mideast going to hell in a handbasket. Again. Dennis tells us the two state solution is out the window now that Hamas and Fatah have split the West Bank and Gaza. Anderson wonders what we do now, pointing out that Fatah has always had a corruption problem. Dennis thinks we should give money to the grassroots in order to deliver services. The talk then soon turns to Israel and Dennis says that the real issue is Palestinian identity. Are they a national or religious movement? He thinks Israel should help Fatah.

Our last piece of the night is from John Zarella and he's keeping NOAA honest. We learn that there's a satellite called QuikSCAT that has been a tremendous help in hurricane prediction and warning. But the QuikSCAT is only designed to last three years and right now it's in its eighth. Hmm. Bill Proenza, director of the National Hurricane Center, has decided to go public with this potential crisis and his bosses are none too happy. Basically, NOAA wants everybody to chill out. But a study published by NOAA itself seems to find QuikSCAT pretty important. Senator Bill Nelson thinks NOAA just doesn't want to ask for the money a new satellite will cost. Since when are people afraid to ask for money from the government? Something fishy there. And...that'll do it.

Missing Pregnant Woman, Taliban Graduation, Raw Politics, Calling Congress, Unneeded Planes, And More Lake Chad Coverage (Monday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. Well, I meant to do Thursday's second hour...and then I didn't. That's the way the blogging ball bounces sometimes. We've got Anderson Cooper back hosting tonight and we're beginning with BREAKING NEWS that has the potential to turn into Laci Peterson 2.0. In an Anderson piece we learn that Jessie Davis, ninth months pregnant, has disappeared from her home. Jessie, BTW, is white, pretty, and probably not the only woman in the country missing right now. Just saying. Anyway, after trying to reach her daughter all day Thursday, Jessie's mother went to her house on Friday and found Jessie's two year old son all alone. Not only that, but the house was ransacked, her comforter was gone, and there was bleach all over the carpet. That last part is particularly disturbing. Also disturbing is that the poor two year old boy keeps saying "mommy's in the rug," and Jessie's mom states he's referring to the comforter. So, yeah, not looking good. After Anderson's piece we have Jim Acosta live and then he intros into a piece of his own that hits on a lot of what we just heard, but also goes into a bit of detail about the father of the two year old. He's a police officer and just had his home raided by the cops, but they stress he's not a suspect. Well, he's about to get tried in the press either way. After this there's an interview Anderson had with Jessie's mother and sister.

Next up, it's graduation season! The speeches, the gowns, and mom and dad with tears in their eyes. You gotta love it, right? Well, normally yes, but the ceremony takes on a whole new meaning when it's Taliban fighters doing the graduating, as well as pledging to fight and die in the west. And a new tape shows exactly that. For discussion about this we're next joined by Peter Bergen. Anderson points out that the tape is propaganda and wonders if we should take it seriously. Peter says we should take the suicide mission part seriously, but is skeptical that they can launch many attacks in the west because most don't speak english. Anderson wonders why the Taliban let a journalist record the ceremony and didn't just do it themeselves like usual. Peter isn't sure, but thinks maybe they were going for more credibility. Anderson notes that one guy on the tape does speak english and Peter indicates that the leader of the London attacks trained on the Afgan-Pakistani border, so some of the guys maybe do have their sights on the west. Anderson then asks about Mansoor Dadullah, the man running the graduation cerremony. Peter tells us he's Mullah Dadullah's brother and he's taken over since his brother was killed. So now we still get to say 'Dadullah'. Terrorism's depressing, people. I gotta have my fun somehow.

Transitioning now to some "Raw Politics" with Candy Crowley and we begin with a couple of mea culpas. Obama is sorry, so sorry, that his camp circulated a paper on Clinton calling her the senator from Punjab because of her fundraising ties to the Indian community. So much for a new kind of campaign, huh Obama? On the other side of the aisle, Sam Brownback phones Romney to say sorry for forwarding an "e- mail from an interest group asking help fact-checking negative statements about Mormonism." Candy also tells us that the Clintons will be spending the 4th of July in Iowa. Hmm, I wonder why. We also learn that Fred Thompson continues to kick butt not campaigning for his non campaign. Man, at this rate he'll have the whole thing in the long as he doesn't actually do anything. Finally, we're told that during a commencement speech, John McCain confessed to graduates of having a discipline problem while in the Naval Academy. Candy says that students thanked him by giving him "what every 70-year-old wants..." Nap time? I kid. It was an Ipod. Yeah, I'm sure that's useful.

Moving on now to Anderson telling us that over the weekend Christiane Amanpour "was named a commander of the Order of the British Empire by the queen of England for her services to journalism." Yay Christiane! You continue to be awesome. Not long ago, Christiane was CNN to me. That was back when Anderson was just a gray-haired guy who liked to stand in hurricanes. Heh. And speaking of the gray-haired guy, next we have a clip of Anderson interviewing Angelina Jolie, though I shall save that for the special. Though I am pondering why he basically asked Angelina Jolie how to solve terrorism.

Next up Anderson tells us CNN has been doing some congressional investigating to find out where our money is going (regarding earmark requests). In fact, they called every member of the house-435 calls. Their fingers are bleeding! Drew Griffin breaks it all down for us in a "Keeping Them Honest" piece where we learn that those phone calls were actually pawned off on interns. Ha! Okay, so what did the slave labor produce? Thirty one sent in their requests, 67 refused, seven said they didn't have any earmark requests, and a whopping 330 never even responded. And some were mean! Congress? Noooo. Apparently word got around that CNN was calling and some offices didn't even let the interns finish their sentence before shutting them down. I love to see 360 really investigating this stuff, but I do kind of find it funny how they're sort of patting themselves on the back for doing something activist blogs have been doing for years now. Okay, so 360 is probably not going to be able to change that 330 number because the representatives don't feel they owe the media anything, but maybe individual constituents can change the number. If 360 was comfortable with that level of advocacy journalism they could urge the viewers to call themselves if their rep is one of the 330 and urge them to release the requests on the web or to 360. If a bunch of people make calls it could work. And of course viewers should also email 360 if they actually get a 'yes' or 'no', so then CNN can follow up. It's maybe not doable, but, hey, worth a thought, right?

Continuing with Drew Griffin keeping people honest, we move on to the tale of the C-17 cargo plane. The Air Force has asked for two more of these planes, but members of Congress have slipped an earmark in the defense authorization bill for 10 planes. Why? Well, surprise, surprise, the members that slipped it in have parts of the planes being made in their districts, two from my state of Missouri. It's the military industrial complex, baby! Oh Russ Carnahan, not you! He's not my rep, but he's well known around here. The other rep from Missouri actually tries to argue that he's helping out the Air Force because they really want more, but they just apparently don't want to ask for them. Uh huh. This causes Drew and gang to spice the explanation of this up a bit by having fun with editing. He's in front of the Pentagon. He's in front of Congress. He's in front of the Pentagon. He's in front of Congress. It's a stand up gone crazy! When you spend all your time dealing with Congress I guess you have to get your kicks somehow.

After the piece Anderson and Drew are just completely boggled about the whole earmark situation. "The fact that people would be rude, that is really annoying, you know. This is -- this is, A, what journalists are supposed to be doing but it's also what citizens should be able to do, you know, to the people who represent them," says Anderson. Apparently Anderson has never called Congress. I'm not really found of phone calls because I like a written document, but the other ways aren't really any better. It doesn't matter if I send off a one paragraph email or fax a three page strongly worded letter (I was a little mad after Katrina), you still get a form letter response that most of the time has nothing to do with the questions you asked. At least not in regards to my senators anyway (although I haven't really tried out McCaskill). My rep used to be pretty good at replying (probably mostly because we were always on the same page), but then I got mad at him about one of his votes and he didn't reply for a long time. Then he sent me a calender. Bwah! Congresscritters are so weird.

Our final piece tonight is from Sanjay Gupta about Lake Chad. Sanjay notes that now that the lake is shrinking the people who live around it have to find a new way of life. It's pretty rough there now. The people have to rely on the government for help and even camels have floppy humps. Sanjay digs through the sand to show us that if you dig deep enough you can sometimes find water, but still, the region has seen better days. The Shot tonight is an Australian Black Hawk slamming into a Navy ship deck and then falling into the ocean. Oh! The pilot and a crew member were killed. No deaths in 'the shot' please. The show was alright. B

Friday, June 15, 2007

Immigration Reform Back, Political Talk, Killer King, Possible Libby Pardon, Raw Politics, Family Murdered, And Two Princes (Thursday's First Hour)

Hi everybody. John King's still doing anchoring duty for us and we begin with the BREAKING NEWS that immigration reform has gone zombified. It's back from the dead! Dana Bash joins us live and intros a piece that breaks down what I find to be actually surprising news. We learn the bill is going back to the Senate floor and now "opponents will be allowed to offer some 20 amendments to change what they don't like about the bill." Only 20? Do I hear 21? Apparently what breathed life back into the debate was Bush convincing conservatives the bill would actually help secure the border. However, as Dana notes after her piece, this bill is in no way ready to take to the bank yet. John points out that Bush seems to have changed his tone a bit and Dana agrees, noting that a couple weeks ago he gave a speech where he basically said if you oppose the bill you're un-American. As you might imagine, the Republicans were not happy. Yeah, people don't tend to enjoy being called un-American. I'm a liberal. Trust me, I know. After this we're joined by Chris Simcox, president and founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, and Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. No surprises here. Chris doesn't like the bill and Frank is very "rah rah" about it getting passed.

Next up we've got some political talk about our awesome president and Congress with Joe Klein and Candy Crowley. Oh look, three beltway insiders here to tell us what the average American is thinking. Geez. John begins by noting Bush's really sucky approval rating and wonders if the immigration bill will help him. Candy doesn't think so since most of the disapproval is due to the war. Joe points out that Bush isn't a lame duck because he's still the president and has lots of important decisions to make. He's the decider, dammit! John then plays us a clip from Dan Bartlett, who plays off Bush's poll numbers as something that's systemic to Washington right now. Candy then informs us that us little people outside the beltway don't care much for Washington. I'm glad I have someone to tell me how I think. John gives us some examples of government getting things done on the local level and wonders if that's the way to go now. Joe uses that to talk about big ideas and totally pimps out his new "Time" article, which I'm guessing calls for politicians to tell us the things we don't want to hear. I'm actually down with this, but I doubt most other people are. I'm totally ready for Jimmy Carter in a sweater telling me things suck (because that's reality), but everybody else wants morning in America. Candy thinks it's dangerous for everything out of your mouth to be broccoli. Well yeah, I don't want just broccoli. I want broccoli with solutions. Broccoli with dip, if you will. "The Bushes don't like broccoli," John quips. Oh John, I don't think the Bushes even know what broccoli looks like.

Transitioning now to a Ted Rowlands piece that follows up on the death of Edith Rodriguez at Martin Luther King Jr. Harbor Hospital. It seems she's not the only one treated horribly by what's been dubbed "killer king." Juan Ponce was diagnosed with a brain tumor and then forgotten about in the ER for four days. When it got so bad that he couldn't see or speak, family members were able to get the staff to move him. Damn. Ted speaks with an anonymous ER employee (his face is blurred) who says that incompetence is a big issue there. I guess so. After this we've got Gary Tuchman mixing it up with the headlines and then we're on to my favorite story, the trials and tribulations of Paris Hilton. Once again, I am amused by John seeming to almost crack up while talking about it. He has an interview with some reporter and...I so don't care. At the end John says (referring to Paris being in prison), "If she's released, do you think we'll stop talking about her?" Well you know, you could always just decide to, um, not talk about her. Just a thought.

Speaking of jailbirds, it seems Scooter Libby will not get to appeal his case out of prison. Aw, I'm playing a tiny little violin for him. Next we're played an interview that John did with outgoing White House counselor Dan Bartlett. John asks about a pardon for Libby and of couse Dan won't really answer because he says the appeals process is still going on. It's the whole "ongoing investigation" meme with a tweak, basically. John then tries again, but gets nowhere, so he switches up and asks about what Bush is like in the morning when he reads the newspaper. Oh John, you don't want to know about that. Bed head. Morning breath. It's not pretty. Or, actually, maybe John was referring to how he reacts to what he reads in the paper. In that case, Dan says he keeps it all in perspective and blah blah blah. John then notes Bush is reading about Lincoln and asks about that. Why do people always ask about what Bush is reading? We don't care. Really. We're only concerned with what he's doing. Dan tells us what's great about this president is that when all is said and done he can look in the mirror and know that he did what was best. Man, he's gonna need to find him one majorly revisionist mirror.

On now to some "Raw Politics" with Candy Crowley. First up, Bush is out there raising money again, though he's not pulling in the same dough as he once could. That's what below 30% will do to you. Next we learn the White House has got their ire up because Harry Reid may have called Peter Pace incompetent and criticized David Petraeus. According to them, it's outrageous to issue slanders in a time of war. Which leads one to wonder if it's okay if it's not a time of war... and if the White House knows what "slanders" means. It's not slander if it's true. Candy tells us that Bill Clinton made $10 million giving speeches last year. Good gig. Next we meet Obama Girl, a viral video that's taking the Internet by storm. Yes, these are the same people that brought us the lovely "my box in a box." (Google if you don't know). They say they're Obama supporters, but I'm not sure how thankful he is to have them. They do up the amusing factor though.

Next up we have a Randi Kaye piece on a family stabbed to death in a quiet little neighborhood. The only survivor was the 20 year old daughter that ran across the street for help. So far there are no motives. Scary stuff. Moving on now to..."one, two, princes kneel before you
(thats what I said, now). Princes, princes who adore you (just go ahead, now)." Okay no, it's not a Spin Doctors concert (I used to love them!), it's a BBC interview with William and Harry. And man, I guess I really haven't seen an interview of Harry in a long time because he's all growed up. So what's the point here? It's because Diana died about a decade ago and they're holding a concert to commemorate her life. That's nice of them. The Shot tonight is a cow in a swimming pool. I guess it got hot. The show We get Paris before we get the mideast implosion? And this is subjective (actually most everything I say is subjective), but all the immigration stuff is starting to bore. Not the breaking news aspect, but all the pieces in the second hour. C+

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Crossing The Border, More Mideast Troubles, Soldier Survivor, Virginia Tech Report, Honor Killings, And Chinese Immersion (Wednesday's Second Hour)

Hi everybody. Have I confused my regular readers by having the first hour up earlier than normal for Wednesday's show? I worked from home today, so I was able to bang it out last night before bed. Anyhoo, we're kicking it off this hour with an Ed Lavandera piece on those three National Guard soldiers that helped smuggle Mexicans into the country. It seems they've done this on eight different occasions. So far there is no evidence that they were recruited by a cartel, but apparently that's something that happens on occasion. And the corruption investigations seem to be rising. Last year there were 66 and so far this year there's already been 52. I'm not sure how we're suppose to secure the borders when the guys doing the securing are so easily bought.

Keeping with immigration, we have a Jeanne Meserve piece that tells us a tale of two crossings. In the first story, a Mexican family crosses the Rio Grande and are caught by Border Control. However, instead of following procedure, one of the family members claims the border agents forced them all back into the water, resulting in three drownings. Border Patrol found no evidence of misconduct, though it is curious that the government settled when the family sued. For a different view of Border Control, Jeanne next brings us the story of Border Patrol Agent Daryl Lee. When Lee approached some illegal immigrants that he had seen on his camera, they fled back into the water and one of them started drowning. Lee then jumped in the river and saved his life, which we get to see on Border Control video. Today's lesson is that Border Control agents have the capacity to be good and bad. Illuminating.

Transitioning now to a Ben Wedeman piece that comes at us from the West Bank. So it's not a happy one folks. All hell is breaking lose between Fatah and Hamas and I'm just going to move on because things have already changed a lot. After the piece we're joined by Ben, Brett Sadler in Beirut, and Hala Gorani in Baghdad. Ben tells us the Palestinian authority is basically going to be split. Hali talks about the bombing of the mosque and isn't sure what's going to happen when the curfew is lifted. And from Brent we learn another Lebanese MP has been killed and things are getting critically dangerous. Okay, so I don't have much time and I'm kind of phoning this in, but I do want to note Hala's final comment: "These three conflicts -- because of all the actors in Gaza, in Lebanon, in Iraq that have a hand or interests in it, is really exacerbating a situation across the regions. So these conflicts are separate, but they're related. Solving one without solving the others is becoming increasingly difficult."

I don't know that most Americans know that people in the mideast see the conflicts as connected and something like this could probably use further coverage. Also, while I really appreciate 360 never dumbing things down, more explanation of what's going on with Palestine and Lebanon would probably be helpful. You know, kind of like a 101 course. Because I know that while I know enough about the players to follow along with the discussion, most people don't consume news like I do and are probably just zoning out. One reason why the special with Michael Ware on Iraq was so cool was that it really broke the whole thing down in a simple and understandable form without making us feel like we're retarded.

Transitioning now to an interview with Marcus Luttrell, author of "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Red Wing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team Ten." Okay, so Marcus fought in this battle in Afghanistan where it was four of them against 100 Taliban. Wow. The other three didn't make it, but after being shot, Marcus was able to get himself to a village. And here's the cool part: due to tribal customs they totally took him in and protected him from the Taliban. They no doubt saved his life. After this we have a Randi Kaye piece on a new report following Virginia Tech and then a repeat of the Ted Rowlands piece. From there we have a Paula Newton piece on an honor killing committed in London and then a Dan Simon piece on this cool kindergarten that's teaching their kids in Chinese only. I don't think Lou Dobbs would be down with that though. And that was it. Sorry for the rush job. I need more hours in my day.
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