Thursday, June 07, 2007

Missing Girls, Jefferson Clings To Job, Pensions, Debate Talk, Raw Politics, Hot Summer, And Speaker Speaks, (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everyone. I'm just combining the hours again. I'll probably keep doing that for Wednesdays from now on. Wow. So, uh, I think I know what Larry King gave Anderson for his birthday. That's a very green tie. And trust me, I'm one of the few people that never usually notice that kind of stuff. Anyway, we're kicking it off tonight with missing girls. First up, a piece from Jason Carroll on Danielle Cramer, a teen they thought had run away, but had actually been kidnapped. They found her in a concealed room in the home of a business associate of Danielle's family, but say it doesn't appear she was actually living in the room. After the piece we've got Jason live and Anderson asks if anybody has heard from the family. Jason notes there's a producer at the family home. What, staking it out? Oh that's nice. Anderson then asks some more stuff, but you know what? Jason doesn't know anything, so we're moving on to missing girl number two, Kelsey Smith. Unforunately, Kelsey's body has been found. A David Mattingly piece breaks it down for us. Apparently she was taken in the parking lot after shopping. They were able to find her body by tracking cell phone pings. Right now the cops are looking for a guy on the store video. Sad. And while I'm not down on this kind of thing being the top story, thank you 360 for not making us sit through 30 minutes of speculation with "experts."

Next up we have a Joe Johns "Keeping Them Honest" piece on the fallout of the William Jefferson charges. The republicans are, of course, just thrilled to death to finally have a democrat to beat up on in regards to corruption. They were feeling lonely, I guess. However, Jefferson himself is doing the Alberto Gonzales thing. He's clinging to that job and he's not letting go. He says he's not guilty. You would think we'd just toss him out on his butt, but it's not that simple because he hasn't been convicted of anything yet and you need a two-thirds majority vote to expel him. Fortunately for Jefferson, he's got friends in high places, meaning the votes aren't there. So who won't throw him out? He apparently has friends it the Black Caucus who are sticking by him. I remember when they first found the money there was some angry blogging about that. That's one of the differences between the bases of the two parties: the republicans will defend their crooks to the very end; the democrats want theirs thrown out before there are even charges. And now there are charges, but still no conviction, which is another reason given for not kicking him out right now-some members of Congress don't want to expel someone before he's found guilty. Normally I would agree with that, but, um, they found $90,000 in his freezer.

Still on the Congressional crooks topic, we move on now to a repeat Drew Griffin "Keeping Them Honest" piece. Okay, I've got an issue here with the repeat. I should point out that I love the "Keeping Them Honest" pieces and this one fit in tonight really nicely, so I don't have an issue with the repeating itself, but sometimes these pieces mention a day of the week or a period of time with regards to when the piece aired. And that's a problem when a piece is six months old. For example, in this piece we learn, "just a month ago, the state of Illinois used its felony conviction clause to take away the pension of former Governor George Ryan, who was convicted and sentenced to six-and-a-half years for mail fraud, money laundering, and extortion." Except it wasn't "just a month ago" because this piece aired in January. See the problem? For all I know, 360 is very aware of this and they just decided to air it anyway, figuring no one but that annoying girl with the blog will notice (heh). And they'd probably be right. But I don't know, there's a hint of truthiness to it. My two cents.

Transitioning now to a John King piece on the debates. We basically know the story here. The democrats want us out of Iraq, while most republicans think leaving would be a disaster. The democrats want a compromise on immigration, while most republicans will implode if they think illegal immigrants will get amnesty. The democrats want some sort of national healthcare plan and the republicans are all, OMG, socialized medicine! And gays in the military? The democrats think it's time. The republicans think an openly gay marine is scarier than not having enough arabic liguists. After John's piece we're joined by him, Amy Holmes, and Democratic strategist Lisa Caputo. I think I'm going to just skip over this. We've heard similar before. I do want to say though that though I can't find it in the transcript (I think it changed), I swear I heard Anderson say "democrat debate." I'm just going to pass that off as a speaking flub because let's face it, that's not unusual for Anderson (aw, we love that about you), but dude, don't do that again. It's an insult. Even Andrew Sullivan will tell you that.

In tonight's installment of "What Were They Thinking?" Erica informs us that the people of London are none too happy with the Olympic symbol for the 2012 games. It does look pretty weird. Apparently there's a petition and everything against it. Also, the animated promo for the logo had to be removed because it was triggering epileptic seizures. Oops. That makes me think of The Situation Room. Seriously, am I the only one that can't watch the opening of that show because it's so headache inducing? Anyway, after we say bye to Erica, Anderson plays us a little clip of Barack Obama saying the following regarding hurricane Katrina: "And nothing really changes except the news coverage quiets down, and Anderson Cooper moves on to something else." No he didn't! Oh, but he did. Okay, to be rational for a moment, I don't think this was meant to be a slam against Anderson. He was just using the most popular name connected to the disaster to (falsely) make a political point. He wasn't slamming him; he was exploiting him. So, uh, still not good. And Anderson (and team) aren't taking it lying down. He's angry! Oh Barack, don't you know what happens to senators who tangle with Anderson over Katrina? Do you and Mary Landrieu not talk?

Anyway, Anderson then goes into quite a little speech about how, actually, besides NBC (and Brian Williams does do a nice job), they're the only newscast that has been keeping up with the story, thank you very much. He then talks about how though much of the country might have "Katrina fatigue," they're not moving on. For the record, if anyone's listening, I don't have Katrina fatigue. 360 can cover that story as much as they want and it won't get a bad grade from me because I still can't quite comprehend how we've abandoned an American city and I'm amazed that after 21 months just thinking about it still makes me so angry. And dang it if I didn't just make myself angry now. At the end of Anderson's speech he invites Obama to join them the next time they're on the gulf coast. To bring this back to the tone I started with, I'd like to add that I was going to suggest that Anderson and Obama could settle this with some good old fashion mud wrestling, but, you know, AC360 Review has standards. Ahem.

Next up we've got "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman. We're beginning with the news that Giuliani and McCain are skipping out on the Iowa straw poll...and 360 has fun with photoshop. We also learn Fred Thompson has a new website, fueling even more speculation about a run and Harry Reid is demanding a vote on immigration. Finally, Univision has invited the candidates to participate in their Spanish. However, most of them are saying no quiero. And aw, Anderson's still too upset to do the whooshing when he pimps the podcast. Thanks a lot, Obama.

Transitioning now to a Randi Kaye piece on our future summers of doom. A NASA climatologist tells us, "we're no longer living in a normal world. We're living in a warmer world." And this warmer world is bringing three to five more heat waves each summer, more infectious disease, collaping power grids, and year round brush fires. Yay, summer? Sheesh. Good assignment for Randi though, because she totally gets to hang out on the beach. Continuing with the weather, we're moving on to a Gary Tuchman piece set in South Dakota. Very, very dry, South Dakota. For seven straight summers there has been a drought and ranchers are feeling it. Because when your grass won't grow, your cattle can't eat. And when your cattle can't eat, they don't get as big. And that's money. That's a livelihood. And unfortunately, state agricultural experts aren't all that optimistic about the situation. Well guys, I'd send you our rain if I could. If only life worked that way. The Shot tonight is a guy jumping at the Pope. Don't worry, he's fine. Crazy people.

The second hour begins with repeat of the missing girls stuff and then we're on to a very long interview that Anderson and Sanjay Gupta do with Andrew Speaker (TB guy) and his wife Sarah. Anderson intros by stating that people have been pretty rough on Speaker. Um, you mean like this show? Anyway, Sanjay starts off the actual interview asking about his health and where he might have gotten the TB. Andrew is still asymptomatic and he thinks he got in from when he was in Asia. Sarah is positive it was not from her CDC doctor father. Anderson asks about why he wouldn't be treated in Rome and why he drove to the US. Speaker really doesn't give a straight answer for the driving in from Canada thing, but he explains that if his life was threatened he didn't want to be stuck in Rome for treatment. Sanjay states that the survival rate for something like this is about 30%. Really? Damn! And I bet Speaker loves being told that. The good thing is his doctors are optimistic.

At this point we lose Andrew and Sarah, so Sanjay and Anderson talk a bit. Once they get them back, Anderson asks about what life is like now for Speaker. He has to get bloodwork and stuff, but basically Speaker just tries to use his laptop to do a normal day's work. They also discuss the media coverage, which was pretty much a level eight or so on the freak out scale. Sarah tells us, "and we weren't -- you know, we weren't really -- we didn't know that the CDC was going to come out and do the press conference. And when they did, we just -- I guess we felt so out of control at what they were saying and we felt like we had no -- we just felt very strong. And then we were sitting there at Grady Hospital and there's news trucks lined up and CDC has these people in space suits and CDC is communicating with us to pack our car so we can sneak out and drive ourselves to Denver." So it sounds like there was a lot of miscommunication, red tape, and maybe some all out lying by officials. This is why you don't pile on someone when the details are totally murky. And it's interesting to note that officials bailed on going on "Larry King" with Speaker.

After the interview Sanjay says, "you know, I think more than anything, taking aside this specific case, Anderson, we're not very good at handling these sorts of situations as a public health community. He's one guy. This is one guy with XDR TB, a big problem. But imagine if it was 10 or 100 people or if it was small pox or some other sort of other contagion. We are not prepared in this country to be able to handle these sorts of public health problems right now." Exactly. The rest of the show is repeat stuff and then some blog comments. Anderson throws to a final commercial about three minutes to the hour, stating, "we're going to have a little bit more of 360 after this." And then upon returning: "Remember that little bit more of 360 we promised you before the break? You're looking at it. That was it. " Bwah! Well, I guess I can't call him a liar this time. The show was pretty good. B


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever Obama's reasons for calling out Anderson, it certainly doesn't make him look good as a candidate to not realize how much AC has focused on NOLA and the Gulf and how he continues to do so. I get a kick out of those extremely rare moments when Anderson responds to his critics on the show and his remarks were well stated.

I was surprised when Sanjay so casually mentioned to Andrew Speaker about TB patients life expectancy. I guess Speaker has heard all of that before, but it was a little weird.

2:38 AM  

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