Sunday, June 10, 2007

H. Clinton Books, God & Politics, Colombian Hostage Update, G8 Conference, CNN Heroes, And Fit Or Fat, (Thursday's Second Hour)

Hi everybody. I've got some stuff to say about Friday's show that I'll tack on the end of this review, but for now we're kicking off the hour with repeat immigration coverage. After that we move on to an Anderson piece on Hillary Clinton and the books people have written about her. Two new books on the senator are coming out this month, bringing with them the revelations that Clinton wanted to destroy Jennifer Flowers, that the Clintons crafted a 20 year plan to get them to the White House (looks like it worked pretty well), and that Clinton is really a scary 60's type radical (be afraid!). What's true and what's not? Damn if I know. How weird must it be to have people you don't know writing whole books about you? Joe Klein of "Time" doesn't seem to think these books will have much of an impact. And we should listen to Joe Klein, why? I'm sure John Kerry would have been happier had "Unfit For Command" never been published.

Next up we have an interview with Carl Bernstein, author of "A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton." Oh, and he also played a hand in exposing that whole Watergate thing. You might have heard about it. Anderson wonders how someone so much in the public life can be, as her supporters claim, not well known. Bernstein thinks she wants it that way because she's controlling and has a different self perception than people around her. He tell us the key to understanding Hillary is her Methodism. That I did not see coming. Apparently she is all about the social gospel and her activism is religiously based. Anderson then switches it up and notes that back in 1989 Bill wanted a divorce. Seriously? Huh. Bernstein explains that in 1988 Bill was going to run for president, but before announcing, his Chief of Staff had him lay out all the women he'd seen and after doing so he decided not to run. Apparently he got around. Bernstein further tells us that after that Bill got really depressed, but then he fell in love with this woman named Marilyn Jenkins. And remember he's married at this time. Lord. So he asks Hillary for a divorce, but she refuses. I would have given it to him.

Unlike many of my fellow progressives, I've never been totally in love with Bill Clinton. In fact, I wasn't against his impeachment. Gasp! I know! I'm wasn't really down with the perjury or the cheating on the wife thing. Although it's funny how your perspective changes when the next guy runs the country into the ground. Bill, come back! Anyway, Anderson asks what kept the Clintons together. Bernstein admits he's not really sure, but he does know that Hillary fought to keep his cheating heart under wraps because she knew it would ruin him politically. Anderson then reads a passage of the book regarding Hillary's "toughness" and asks if it's a positive or a liability. Bernstein thinks she maybe goes on the offensive too fast sometimes and calls her a "warrior." Finally, Anderson points out that her critics will say she's a follower and not a leader. However, Bernstein doesn't think that's true. I guess we'll see what the voters think. She's still not in my top three. After this there's a repeat of the Ed Lavandera piece.

Transitioning now to an Anderson piece on how the 2008 candidates are stampeding all over each other to declare that they love God the most. Anderson tells us that "president Bush was mentioned just seven times in last night's Republican debate. God got three times more play with a whopping 21 mentions and we're not even counting God bless yous." For demonstration, 360 breaks out the God-o-Meter. Bwah! Apparently snazzy polling data says that Americans want their president to be a person of faith. I don't know. At this point I would just be thrilled with a workable Iraq plan and a solution for our healthcare crisis. But that's just me. Clearly I'm going to hell. Mike Huckabee says, "If [Americans] want a president who doesn't believe in God, there's probably plenty of choices," but as Anderson points out, um, not really. Unless I missed that top tier atheist. Anyway, Clinton, Edwards, and Obama are all trying to get their faith on and out to the masses. However, some think the God talk could backfire if they're not sincere because the American people will see through that. Um, don't count on it. I'm not even convinced Bush is sincere. And if he is, so what? Just look where that man of faith got us. Having faith does not equal being a good president. After Anderson's piece there's an interview with Jennifer Donahue of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

Moving on to a Joe Johns piece on those American hostages in Colombia. We know the story: the contractor's plane goes down and they're taken hostages by FARC, a guerilla organization. This was four years ago. The update on this story is that the Colombian president has released 50 FARC fighters from Colombian jails and says he'll release 100 more. Since this is what FARC wanted all along, it's brought hope to the hostage's families that this might come to a happy ending soon. Even Bush's uber stubborn stance concerning dealing with FARC seems to be softening. Unfortunately, there's a twist (there's always a twist). Joes tells us that "in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., Simon Trinidad, whose real name is Ricardo Palmera is on trial this week, charged with kidnapping for his alleged role in trying to bargain away the hostages." This is a problem because Trinidad is the highest ranking FARC official in US custody. They want him back; not in jail. And the worry is a jail sentence could mean death for the hostages. The families are questioning why the US is trying Trinidad now, but really, you could question why they do anything. Already the hostages have been paying for something they have no control over; hopefully they're not about to pay further.

Next up we have a David Mattingly piece on the G8 summit and how Bush doesn't play well with others. So okay, we all know global warming is real and the ice is melting and we sure as hell better do something about it before the people on the coasts wake up under water, right? All the other G8ers want to take steps to reducing greenhouse gases, but Bush is dragging his heels, saying it won't make any difference due to China polluting up everything. Funny, I remember when we used to be a world leader. Anyway, David Doniger of the National Resource Defense Council says, "Bush is increasingly out of touch." In other news, the sky is blue and water is wet. Well, for now anyway. Who knows what will happen to the sky if this whole global warming thing really gets going.

On now to an iReport of soft ball size hail. Oh, been there. Done that. Don't wish to do it again. In all honestly that looks a little tamer than the hail I saw. We're also shown a picture of a car with its back windshield knocked out. Yep, that's pretty much exactly what my car looked like after our big hail storm. Fun times. Next up we have an edition of "CNN Heroes" and tonight's hero is Wilbur Armstrong, a man who has been donating blood for 33 years. Wilbur is legally blind so he has to take the bus to donate-an hour and a half each way. It's estimated that his blood platelets have helped 600 patients. Way to go Wilbur! I wish I could do that. But I've been told to, uh, never come back. Apparently I need all my blood.

Finally tonight we've got one of those random "Fit or Fat?" segments with Sanjay Gupta. Oh, but thanks to Anderson's green tie I have confirmation that this was actually filmed recently. I always suspected they just taped a bunch at once to pull out whenever. Like "Wheel of Fortune." Heh. Guess I was wrong. Anyway, we learn that tuna is fit, being a vegetarian is fit (but you need protein!), the diet drug Orilstat is fat, and coffee is fit (in moderation). Erica then helps wrap up the hour by telling us the story of a guy in a wheelchair who got stuck on the grill of a semi and took a little ride for a few miles. At 50 miles per hour. OMG! He's fine, but as you might imagine, it wasn't a fun trip. And he got a ticket for speeding. Kidding.

That was it for Thursday and though that's all the reviews I do for the week, I wanted to comment on Friday's show. My comment is this: what the hell was that? Thirty-five minutes of Paris Hilton?! It was as if 360 tripped and fell in a big pile of suck. It was sick and mind boggling and I'd compare it to watching a parody of a news show, except the fake news shows I watch are actually good and do in fact contain real news, and this needed to be filed under...neither. Anyway, I could have a laugh about how after all his trouble of not saying Paris's name, Anderson Cooper slipped up at only four minutes into the show (they hadn't even had the first commercial break yet!). But I'm not feeling too jokey because everything just seems too pathetic. And the saddest part is that for a while now I've been trying to get someone to watch the show. When does she decide to finally tune it? Yep, Friday night. Before the first hour was even over I received an email that said the following: "I just saw some of that Anderson Cooper 360 thing. Paris Hilton? Oh come on. I was expecting something good." Pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? I guess I'll need to try and convince her that they do actually do news most of the time. Oh, and that picture of Paris crying that they showed five zillion times? Classy. I guess Paris is the new Anna Nicole. Sigh.


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