Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Brazil Plane Crash, Senate Slumber Party, Iraq Discussion, Katrina Shooting, Raw Politics, Dog Fighting, And Speaker's Surgery (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everybody. We begin tonight with the BREAKING NEWS of a plane crash in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that occurred when the pilot tried to land in heavy rain. Anderson Cooper informs us that over 170 people were on the plane and 200 are confirmed dead, making it the deadliest plane crash in Brazil's history. We're then joined by Tom Hennigan, reporter for "The Times of London," who is actually in San Paulo right now, and Miles O'Brien, both via phone. Anderson asks if any people on the ground were killed, and math has already told me the answer to that question is yes. Although really, it doesn't sound like anyone has any hard figures yet. Anderson notes they've recently been flying in Brazil and there are apparently problems with the country's air traffic control system and repairs have been done on the main runways. Tom tells us that water collects on the runways when it rains and though they closed them to resolve the situation, they hadn't yet done the grooving before officials allowed the runways to become operational again.

Miles then pops in and talks a bit about how the plane essentially might have hydroplaned. He also points out that some witnesses have reported it looked like the plane was trying to get back into the air, so there might have been a down draft too. Anderson then notes that they really don't know anymore, so, hey, they're actually moving on. No speculation for half the show? Wow. They're getting better at this. Because for a second there I thought we were about to have a repeat of the plane-at-Midway-skids-off-the-runway coverage.

Transitioning now to a Senate slumber party! The cots are out and the Senators are ready for quite a night. Oh, will there be truth or dare? Will the Senators use a ouija board to ask the spirits for advice on how to get out of the war? Will McCain braid Edwards' hair? Yeah, that last image is going to give you nightmares, isn't it? Okay, so, no, this isn't going to be like your average 13-year-old girl's sleepover. They're pulling the first all-nighter in the Senate since 2003 because the Republicans are obstructing a vote on Iraq. Dana Bash then joins us live for more and proclaims that there will be a vote in the morning and no one expects it to pass. This leads Anderson to ask why even do it then. Dana thinks they're trying to signal to their base that they're trying. Well, and it also shows all the people not in the base that the Democrats want to end the war and the Republicans are stopping them. What I want to know is, if they're going to be working so hard tonight, why the cots? I know some of these guys are old (hey, just saying), but can they not stay up all night?

Next up we have Anderson with the news that the latest unclassified part of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has found al Qaeda is getting stronger. No, really? We then get a clip of Bush spouting his usual crap: "blah blah blah, September 11th, blah blah." After that Tom Foreman joins us live to explain why what's going on in the Senate really doesn't mean anything. And he's got himself a graphic wall! I guess that's a nice consolation prize since he doesn't get to play with the maps as much anymore. Not on 360, anyway. So, okay, right now the Senate is basically split down the middle with a 51 to 49 Democratic majority, but you need 60 votes to break a filibuster. Basically what the Democrats need to do now is sway those few moderate Republicans. So far it doesn't seem to be working when it comes to votes. Also? There's some weird standing and camera work going on here. Just saying. Anderson brings up Michael Chertoff's stupid gut and how it thinks we're going to have a terrorist attack this summer. Tom says if that happens all bets are off. He's not kidding. Bush would probably try to postpone the election. Oh, I've just made myself very sad.

Moving on now to some discussion with Michael Ware, Peter Bergen, and General David Grange. Anderson begins by noting that the White House is making everything about al Qaeda and asks if they're the biggest enemy in Iraq. Michael says "not by a long shot" and in fact, they make up only about three percent of the insurgency. Anderson then points out that the new talking point is that the people that attacked us are the same ones we're fighting in Iraq and he wonders is there is a difference between al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq. Peter says that Bush seems to have recently rephrased his statements to make them more true, but al Qaeda in Iraq didn't exist before we invaded. They're small in number, but responsible for a disproportionate number of attacks. Anderson asks about how tactics in Iraq are being perfected and exported. David basically says that where ever there is a battleground, people are going to learn to fight. Anderson then asks if it's true that if we fight them over there we won't have to over here. David says they're coming after us and he likes that they're all over in Iraq. Hmm, sounds like he subscribes to the debunked flypaper theory.

I think Anderson is picking up on this too, because he kicks it to Peter so he can talk about how the tactics are spreading into Afghanistan. Peter states that he's going to have to differ with David (but throws it out there that he admires him, which is adorably polite-Fox News this is not) because he thinks Iraq has made the jihadi problem worse. We then get Michael in on this and Anderson asks if the war has "created jihadists who wouldn't have become jihadists anyway." Michael emphatically says yes and the whole fighting them over there so we don't have to do it here thing is "absolutely ludicrous." Whoa. Michael either hasn't been listening to what David said or he's not quite as polite as Peter. Ha! But you preach it, Michael! However, David doesn't really seem insulted. Agrees with him in fact. He just thinks they're going to come after us no matter what. And hey, may as well mess up someone else's country while we fight them, right? A country that, BTW, had nothing to do with any of that. I wonder if guys like David realize that's essentially what they're saying. Anyway, good discussion.

Transitioning now to the Drew Griffin "Keeping Them Honest" piece that we had previewed last night. To recap, after Katrina, Danny Brumfield was at the Convention Center with his family and tried to flag down a cop car for help. According to the police, he jumped on the hood of the car brandishing scissors and feeling threatened, they shot him dead. The twist is that CNN sued for the autopsy report and it shows that Danny was actually shot in the back. The family's own lawyer hadn't even seen the report until CNN showed them, which is kind of mind boggling. Drew wanted to talk to the officer that shot him, but he's been fired due to something unrelated and is now a strip club. Oh boy. But the district attorney has cleared the officer and is apparently going to stick by that decision. So...either Danny Brumfield somehow moved on the roof of that cop car in a way that would get him shot in the back, thus making the situation murky, or someone just got away with blatant murder in New Orleans. Again.

Coming back from commercial, we're grooving to Lionel Ritchie's "All Night Long," which Anderson helpfully points out is not an actual contender for 360's political theme song contest. And they're not even telling us when the finalists will be announced anymore, so they must be all tied up in legal red tape. Bummer. Anyway, Tom Foreman is actually live right next to Anderson for "Raw Politics" tonight, but I'm pretty sure everything but the intro is taped. I could be wrong, but I would expect to be able to hear Anderson laughing if he was doing that sitting next to him. Tom is very, um, enthusiastic, is all I'm saying. We begin with the news that the Republicans are not thrilled with their presidential choices. Eh, cry me a river. You brought us Bush; for that you must suffer. Tom tells us that people are saying Obama inflated his donor numbers by counting people that buy campaign merchandise, but in reality he's just trying not to break the law. That money goes into the campaign, which means he has to count them. So there. And finally, Bill Richardson is moving on up, to the east side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Okay, no, but he is getting closer to that top tier. I guess we'll see.

Next up we have a really disturbing piece from Drew Griffin on dog fighting. The name is self explanatory and the videos are upsetting. Apparently it's a pretty popular "sport," even among kids. Sick. Speaking of sick, we're moving on now to Sanjay Gupta's EXCLUSIVE from the operating room of Andrew Speaker's lung surgery due to TB. So for all of you that are sick of seeing this guy on your tv, well, now you get to see his insides. Oh, yay. And...ew. I did think it was interesting how Sanjay had to make sure his mask was on really good. I forgot that the organisms were suddenly going to be out in the open. That's probably a little nerve wracking for the doctors. But if you guys think this is the end of this story, oh, Anderson's got news for you: "...he certainly has a lot of lawsuits to face. We know about that. We'll be covering that, no doubt, down the -- down the road." Awesome. The Shot tonight is a mini Taj Mahal sailing up the Thames River. Erica and Anderson do some banter and then Anderson realizes there's actually a Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. "I've never been to A.C.," Erica says with a wink in her voice. Heh. But it flies past Anderson without him noticing. Oh well. Good show. Loved the Michael, Peter, David discussion. Bring in Reza Aslan and it'd be perfect. B+


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