Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Imus Is Back, Celeb Comebacks, Toy Recall, Raw Politics, 360 Takes Your Calls, And Hurricane Flossie (Tuesday's Show)

Hi guys. Tonight we're beginning with a story that I thought was dead. Oh, naive, Eliza. It seems Don Imus is getting himself another news cycle. Anderson Cooper tells us that today Imus reached a $20 million settlement with CBS. You might remember he had been making noises about a breach of contract lawsuit. Also today, one of the Rutger's players, Kia Vaughn, filed suit for defamation of character. So I guess this is one of those 'you win some, you lose some' days for Imus. Anderson then intros into one of his own pieces that recaps the whole affair. We remember this, right? Imus calls Rutgers players something sexist and racist, media slowly picks it up, media explodes, Imus fired, everybody acts like they're going to talk about deeper issues of race and sex, the news cycle ends, everyone forgets, the end.

For discussion, we're joined by Roland Martin, Lisa Bloom, and Michael Medved. And if you watched this with a sense of deja vu, you're not alone. They're literally using the exact arguments we heard the first go-around. Oh how the media likes to talk about itself. Roland still keeps trying to get it through to people that it was black journalists, and not Sharpton/Jackson that started the whole thing and Michael Medved thinks what Imus did isn't a big deal. Lisa's got the legal angle (where's Toobin?) and she's not so sure the defamation suit will hold up. Kia Vaughn's attorney, Richard Ancowitz, then joins the conversation, but he really doesn't say much of substance and seems to like to say the "words speak for themselves," regarding what Imus said. I'm not sure I really agree with this lawsuit. Why not just let it go? At some point during the talk, Lisa wonders why they didn't just use the kill switch to stop Imus' comment in the first place. I think I shall use the kill switch on this segment.

On now to a Gary Tuchman piece about celebs who have come back from doing something idiotic. I guess we're framing Imus as the comeback kid here, so that's the reason for this. Let's see, we've got Isaiah Washington fired from Grey's Anatomy for using the "F" word. No not that one. The other more hateful one. But apparently he's bouncing back with new work. Then there's Rush Limbaugh, who got fired from ESPN. Of course he still has his radio spot and listeners will probably stick around even if he eats a puppy on air. Michael Richards had some sort of racist breakdown and he may overcome that, but I'm guessing he won't overcome the Seinfeld curse. Then there was Mel Gibson and his anti-semitic rant. He'll work as long as he makes money and most people will see the films if they're good. And especially if they're a rallying cry for the Christian Right. I'm skipping the guy I don't know and have saved the best for last: George "Macaca" Allen. Of course all that comment did was open the door to all of the rest of his racist past. But I don't think I need to tell you that life is more complicated than the tv version.

Transitioning now to Anderson telling us about a big recall of Mattel toys. This is the second one this month and the toys were made in...wait for it...China. Are you surprised? Anderson also tells us that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been scaled back under recent administrations (though they claim that's not the issue) and that totally sounds like something worth looking into, but apparently not tonight. Right now we're all about the safety stuff and I guess that's actually how it should be. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back from China and he will be playing the role of our toxic toy expert. The issue with the toys is lead poisoning and small magnets that can be swallowed. Lead isn't good for anyone, but it's especially bad for kids because it messes with development. The poisoning can be detected by a blood test, but its early stages are asymptomatic, so that poses a problem. Sanjay then talks a bit about the magnets, which I find fascinating. Apparently they can actually come together in your intestine and pinch a part so that it dies. This is of course not good because it traps bacteria, but still, interesting.

On now to a Batman-themed version of "Raw Politics" with Joe Johns because the "caped crusader's been sidelined in the Mattel toy recall." Aw, the writers ate their Wheaties today (or a lot of sugar). Anyway, we've got the music going on, as well as the graphics. Hey, it's the onomatopoeia I asked for yesterday. Heh. "Bam!" "Pow!" "Ooff!" First up, we learn that Bloomberg and Giuliani, "Gotham's dynamic duo," are taking on Romney over immigration. Then we've got Elizabeth Edwards calling out Obama for his "holier-than-thou approach to the Iraq war." Well, hey, better he be pretentious than a smearer. And finally, we learn Patrick Leahy is going to be in a (assumingly batman-related) movie next summer. Don't these people have to, like, work? Joe then throws us back with what we all knew was coming: "...tune in tomorrow for more "Raw Politics". Same bat time, same bat channel. " Erica Hill brings us tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" and it's sure to give you the heebie jeebies. You may of heard about this self-proclaimed pedophile that ran a website on where to find little girls. Anyway, he got arrested near a daycare center, which is a no no for people like him. And he had a camera on him, but claimed it didn't have batteries. So, you know, ick.

Back to the whole Imus thing now and 360 is taking your calls! It's been a while. The first caller is an Imus lover and then they start talking about all his charitable work, like that's supposed to okay everything. As Roland sarcastically says, "Wow! The sexist raised lots of money for kids." Whatever. There's some other callers, but I'm going to skip to Andrew, who I believe was my favorite because he took things in another direction:
My final comment is that, you know, you sort of brought the news up a notch. I've noticed, and what do you think about this hype news, you know? It's just -- it's all about ratings. It's all about the money. Even this show, it's about, you know you're going to get people fired up, you know, know, so that will bring people on and that will bring you more money from investors.

I want your answer on that. What do you think -- what do you think? Go ahead.
Okay (minor) ambushes aren't nice, but I still kind of want to give Andrew a high-five. Because why are we talking about this so indepth? It has to be about ratings. If it was about something deeper than that would have taken hold the first time we went through this story. Everything seems to be about ratings. For his part, Anderson does answer, but it's mostly a deflection:
I appreciate your call. One, on this show we try not to, frankly, have people yelling all the time, which is, frankly, what just about every other cable show traffics in. And we try to have people with different viewpoints, which is what we're trying to have now
Not that I would expect any different from him. What's he going to do, use the rest of the hour to explain how large corporations have ruined the news? I don't think so. Oh, and Mr. Cooper, you have had on the yelling people before. Not your fault, but I'm just saying. Different view points are great. No yelling is really great. But let's have the different view points and no yelling tackle something a little more substantive than Don Imus. Unless of course your going to look at deeper issues.

Moving on now to Reynolds Wolf updating us on Hurricane Flossie, the wimpiest named hurricane ever. Hmm, I wonder if Anderson is jonesing for some hurricane action or if he's tired of being that guy. The Shot tonight is extreme aerial bow fishing, an alcohol-inspired sport that will no doubt lead to many injuries and possibly it's own cable show. And if we're talking about fish, you know what's coming next. David Mattingly hit by a carp! I knew they couldn't resist. Erica then raises and shows Anderson the clip of that woman with a bazillion cats. Okay, I have two cats, which some days is two too many, so I can't even imagine. Anderson wonders why we're not seeing the dramatic animal video graphic. Hey, yeah, get on that, control room. Anyway, Erica doesn't know. "Listen, I just read. OK?" she says. Aw, but you look pretty doing it. The show tonight was...a time warp. I know new stuff happened regarding the case, but man. Hey, tomorrow maybe we can see what Paris is up to. I'm kidding. I am so so kidding. C+


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