Tuesday, July 17, 2007

John Edwards' Poverty Tour, Vitter's Troubles, NOLA Murders, Student Murder Update, Raw Politics, Speaker Again, And Helping The Gulf (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. We're back in NOLA tonight and Anderson Cooper has his live shot set up in Saint Bernard Perish in front of the home of Pat and Jeannette Hardy. The camera crew gives us a little tour inside their house, which is completely gutted. And it's going on two years out. I suppose at this point people have given up on even the idea that the government might actually come through. Anderson then notes that he caught up with John Edwards while he was in the Ninth Ward on his poverty tour and this intros into a piece on his time with the candidate. Anderson points out that the focus on poverty might not resonate with voters, but I don't know, it's actually one of the main reasons I like Edwards. While they're in the car they talk about fund-raising and Edwards states he would be on the phone right then if Anderson wasn't there. Anderson thinks "that's incredible." I think that totally sucks. No wonder nothing ever gets fixed if everyone is spending every waking moment trying to raise cash.

Anderson then goes into tough reporter mode: "Your campaign, raised $9 million this quarter, down from the first quarter. You're running third in the polls. Why aren't you doing better?" Edwards would like to "gently argue," with that and emphasizes his strong showing in Iowa so far. Elizabeth Edwards is also on the tour and Anderson asks her about her anger when Edwards get criticized for things like that $400 haircut. I like how he brought that up and sort of put it in the trivial light in deserves. Because I am so tired of hearing about the man's hair. After the piece, we're joined by Susan Roesgen live, who has news on Senator David Vitter's prostitution troubles. Today he broke his silence and publicly apologized. He's not quitting the Senate and apparently his wife is sticking by him. I guess that tough talk of going all Lorena Bobbit on him if he ever cheated was just talk. Although I'm glad she didn't because that would be the news story that would never end. Anyway, Vitter admits to some past allegations, but denies others. Whatever. Still a hypocrite.

Next up we have a Randi Kaye piece on the continuing murder problem in New Orleans. We meet Jeannette Kelly, whose boyfriend was shot and killed last month. The couple just happened to be neighbors of the slain filmmaker Helen Hill. Six months ago Mayor Ray Nagin promised to make decreasing the murder rate a priority, but things seem to still be bad. As Randi notes, "The police force is still down 300 officers. And the justice system is a mess. Witnesses are either missing or unwilling to cooperate." She gets an interview with Nagin and asks what's being done to fix the justices system, but he basically just talks a lot while actually saying nothing. It seems the blame game is still being played hardcore in the city, with the police, district attorney, and mayor all blaming each other. Can the federal government not lend a hand here? Oh, who am I kidding?

Moving on now to a teaser of a Drew Griffin report about a black man killed by the cops as the Katrina aftermath was unfolding. At first I thought they were talking about a different cop-shoots-Katrina-victim situation (which gives you an idea of how messed up everything was-that there's more than one). Anyway, do you guys remember this? The cop's story is that the guy came out of nowhere at the Convention Center and jumped on the hood of the cop car with scissors in his hand. So they shot him. Well, CNN sued for the autopsy report and it does says that he died from a gunshot wound...to the back. Dun dun dun! That was actually a pretty good teaser because it made me gasp. This calls for drama prairie dog. After the teaser we have a Randi Kaye piece that updates that story on Eastern Michigan University lying about a student's murder. After investigations, the school's president, vice president of student affairs, and the head of public safety are all gone. Good.

Transitioning now to Tom Foreman with tonight's "Raw Politics." It seems the democrats are kicking republican butt when it comes to fund-raising and McCain continues to be a sad, sad, man. He's broke and most of his staff have resigned. I think at this point he's become too pathetic to snark on. In other news, Congress is pulling out the cots because they're planning for a long debate on Iraq. How long are we talking here? And do they sleep in shifts or what? Finally, Tom tells us the celebs are doing their part to fill the campaign coffers. Ben Stiller gave to Edwards, Will Smith gave to Obama, Tony Sirico gave to Giuliani, and Mark Ruffalo gave to Mike Gravel. Hmm. Interesting choice for Mark. Perhaps he appreciates the artistic nature of Gravel's slightly freaky (okay, really freaky) campaign ad. Tom then hates on Mark Ruffalo. Obviously not into the independent fair. C'mon, "You Can Count On Me" was a good movie. And Anderson agrees with me, "Oh, come on, Tom. He's a good actor. "

Erica Hill is back and after giving us the headlines we have "What Were They Thinking?" which I guess we mostly just do with Erica (though I think they've done it a couple of other times too). Anyway, apparently some dude in the Netherlands has made a 50-foot Viking ship out of 15 million recycled ice cream sticks. He's sailed it on a lake, but really wants to take it across the Atlantic. Yeah, good luck with that. Can't say I'm scrambling to join him.

Next up we have Sanjay Gupta live in Denver to give us the latest on the Andrew Speaker TB case. Perhaps I should be referring to him as the embattled Sanjay Gupta. Have you guys been keeping up with the whole Michael Moore controversy? Poor Sanjay has had a rough few days. There's a lot of hating going on around the Internets and it seems some fans have turned. Aw, I still love you Sanjay, but I gotta say, I'm with Michael on this. The report was a hack job, filled with that fake balance like what we used to see regarding global warming. I don't blame Michael for taking offense (though I do wish he could articulate his points a little better.) But CNN has gone all out to defend their position. Unfortunately, all they're really doing is missing the point. And man, wouldn't it be awesome if they spent as much time and effort as they have on this on checking everything that comes from the administration? Hang in there Sanjay and ignore the hate mail, but next time keep the big picture in mind. Anyway, I just talked about Michael Moore because I am so tired of this Andrew Speaker story. He's just one guy. If they were going to use the situation to talk about broader issues regarding CDC response in a crisis I'd be all for it, but I don't really care about this guy's surgery. I guess it doesn't matter though because Sanjay will be back tomorrow to tell us all about it. Oh yay.

Our final piece of the night is from Anderson about a young couple that visited the gulf coast and were so moved by what they saw they decided to quit their jobs and move down there to help. Wow. I'd like to know how they can just quit their jobs, but, more power to them. Together they founded the St. Bernard Project, which restores houses with the help of volunteers. After the piece Anderson talks with Liz McCartney, one of the founders, and Les Scharfenstein, who lives in the Perish. Anderson notes Les is "still waiting on federal money from that so-called long road on, that Road Home program...," and I have to laugh at that initial Freudian slip. Well, at this point it should be call the "Long Road On" program. The rest of the interview is fairly distracting because someone's phone is going off. There's a reason for that vibrate setting. The Shot tonight is a very crazy guy who swam 19 minutes at the North Pole in 29 degree temperatures. Crazy! Erica then raises Anderson a scuba diver in a bunny costume going on an Easter egg hunt. You know, just because. And I do believe Anderson is practically speechless, so he just laughs. The show was okay. It's always great to get New Orleans back in the news, but I was hoping for a more indepth interview with the mayor. B


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I’m a volunteer here at St. Bernard Project (he came and gave us a visit and a little featurette). He was great, sat and talked with the volunteers and such. If anyone is interested in volunteering or needs more info, visit www.stbernardproject.org.

1:45 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous-Hi! I'm glad you had such a good time volunteering and talking with Anderson. I've got the url to that site linked up in the post too. Thanks for visiting!

3:50 PM  

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