Thursday, July 19, 2007

New York Scare, Brazil Crash Update, Iraq Vote, John Kerry Interview, And God's Country (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everybody. We're kicking it off tonight with news of an explosion in Midtown Manhatten (Mahadden). From Anderson Cooper we learn that a steam pipe burst, causing a transformer to explode, causing lots of noise and smoke, causing everyone to, well, freak the hell out. And I don't think I have to tell you why. We're then played various clips that document the freaking. Mary Snow is live on the street with more and she tells us that one person died of heart failure and there were injuries too. Now there's a fear that asbestos has been released. But I'm sure officials will take care of that and be truthful about it. You know, just like with the air after 9-11. After Mary, we've got witness Nick Parish on the phone and I'm not exactly sure why. It's not like this is breaking. But they're in New York, it happened in New York, so dang it, they're going to cover it like it was terrorism. Eh, but they didn't go crazy with it, so it's all good.

Next up we've got a piece from ITV's Bill Neely on that Brazil plane crash. People are ticked! The runway is too short, it's slippery, and they resurfaced it without the grooves. So...this was pretty much preventable. Man, it's bad enough it happened, but the fact that it didn't have to makes it worse. Anyway, moving on now to a Jason Carroll piece about planes skidding off too short runways. Naturally. We're listed a bunch of different times planes have overshot, including the December 2005 incident at Midway that I just happened to mention in my last blog. Weird. But there is a point to this piece. We learn that the FAA has given safety standards an upgrade and now airports built in the last 20 years have to have a 1,000 feet buffer at the end of runways. What happens if you're flying into an airport that was built over 20 years ago? Well, sucks for you. But never fear. Some airports are now installing crushable blocks. Not perfect, but better than overshooting into a building.

Transitioning now to the Iraq problem. Well, the slumber party is over and now that everyone has come down from their sugar high, grumpiness abounds. In a Joe Johns "Keeping Them Honest" piece we learn that people are angry because the Iraqi government has decided, you know what, we're tired of all our hard work not doing anything helpful. They've decided to blow the joint (oh, not literally!) and take August off. Just like our government. Aw, we are spreading our democracy. In all seriousness I'm more annoyed at our government. I mean, hello, the Iraqis didn't ask to be occupied. Also? They're not going to get anything done anyway (though I could probably say the same for our government). What's the White House say about all this? They're standing behind their puppet. Besides, Tony Snow thinks it's okay because it's oh so hot in Baghdad. This comment lead Tom Friedman to respond in the "New York Times" with the obvious: "...130 degrees is, well, a whole lot hotter inside a U.S. military uniform with body armor." Oh Tom, who says they have body armor? BTW, we didn't get to see how the press responded to Tony's comment, so I'll just say that anyone in that room who didn't immediately blurt out some variation of the Friedman response...shame on them. After the piece, Anderson hits us with this: "We should point out U.S. soldiers who are fighting and dying in Iraq and Marines and others do not get to take the month of August off." Word.

On now to an interview with John Kerry. Hey, haven't seen him for a while. Anderson begins noting that there are Republicans who will say privately the Iraq policy is wrong, but not say it with their votes. "If that's true, isn't that incredibly hypocritical of them?" he asks. Thank you! I've been waiting for someone to ask this for forever (although next time I'd like to see it posed to a Republican). I mean, people are dying and these Republicans don't even have the courage to vote their beliefs. It's disgusting. Anyway, Kerry is way more muted than me, saying they're backing Bush and they need to find a way to pull the parties together. Anderson then asks about the benchmarks and whether the Iraqis get it. Kerry, like Michael Ware, tells us the Iraqis have a different agenda. We're then played a McCain clip regarding the consequences of withdrawal and Anderson asks if there would be potential for genocide if we left. Kerry thinks it's already happening to a small degree and, um, we're still there. Finally, Anderson wonders, "Is this the worst blunder in U.S. foreign policy history, in your opinion? " Wow. That's what I'm talking about. When those kind of thoughts, even in question form, go out into the ether they get people talking. For the record, Kerry says it's the worst blunder in modern history and possibly all of our history.

Erica Hill has the headlines tonight and afterwards we move into tonight's edition of "What Were They Thinking?" Remember all that ice that FEMA bought to apparently not help the victims of Katrina? Well, they've been storing it for almost two years now. And yeah, it's cost us a pretty penny-$12 million actually. But the best part is that I guess they got tired of storing it, so they paid a company $3.4 million to melt the ice. Should I pause so you can bang your head against the wall? Anyway,...why do we have to pay someone to melt ice?! It's hot out. Just frickin put it outside. Argh, these people. After this bit of stress, we're played a sampling of YouTube clips people made for the upcoming debate. I'm actually excited about the debate, which, well, probably means I'll be disappointed, but we'll see. Did I submit something? Um, no. Not for me. Besides, the only question I can think of is "why can you not fix anything?" So, yeah, probably not helpful. Honestly, I'd rather have the follow up. That's where you get your answers.

Transitioning now to religion talk in 360's new series "God's Country." Anybody else feeling deja vu? That's because back in May they did a similar series called "America Divided: God & Politics." Why not keep it consistent? Whatever. Anyway, Tom starts us off with some stats about religion in the country. Well, Christianity in the country, anyway. He's got his graphic wall again and, oooh, even some maps! Then he and Anderson do that weird walking up to each other thing, but, oh, not too close. It's like there's an invisible line they're not allowed to cross. Can you tell I'm getting bored of this subject?

Continuing on, we have a Candy Crowley piece about how conservative Christians are dealing with Giuliani and the fact that he's pro gay rights and pro choice. Okay, I like those positions, but I still think he's kind of evil. Some evangelicals, like Richard Land, say they won't vote for Giuliani, but others see him as their best bet to beat Hillary. Also, there are a lot of soundbites from conservative Christians that make me think they just want someone with a strong personality. After Candy's piece we've got Tom at the wall again and then we move into a Randi Kaye piece on the Democrats and faith. This has been done to death. Then Tom is at the wall yet again and I'm cracking up at the graphics with Romney and Obama with wings and gold halos to signify their deep religiousness perceived by voters. Oh 360, what am I going to do with you? After that we're accidentally played part of Randi's piece again and the funny part is I totally don't even notice until Anderson cuts in. Oh well.

Next up we have a clip previewing Larry King's interview with Tammy Faye Messner, who is dying of cancer . She looks pretty bad. Sad. Also? Have you guys seen the promos they're running for this interview? My God, they're horrible! I can practically hear the promo guy saying, "Come watch Tammy dying!" It's pretty sick. Anyway, The Shot tonight is a poor doggie getting run over during the Tour de France. Aw. Anderson and Erica are both upset by this. But no worries. Dog and biker are okay. Anderson then runs the clip of the ramen noodle hot tub treatment in Japan because it's his favorite and Erica missed it. Anderson is very fixated on the possibility of the kids eating the noodles. Oh yeah, you know they're totally going to eat them. Eww. The show tonight was meh. C+


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