Friday, September 14, 2007

Bush Speech Fallout, Raw Politics, Predator Plane, Polygamy, And Unclaimed Bodies In Iraq (Thursday's Show)

Hi everybody. What happened to Wednesday's review, you ask? Well, thing is, Wednesday night the brother came into town after midnight on an orthodontically-related excursion, so I was up late talking to him, and then I had to get up about an hour before the sun to go to work, so basically sleep and I didn't spend a lot of time together. When I got home from the office all I wanted to do was lie down, so, sorry, no review. I thought about just being a day behind, but I kind of wanted to be timely with Bush's post-speech stuff. I will say, though, that Wednesday's show was good, but I kind of wished for more follow ups with the Petraeus interview. Oh well. Probably a time thing.

Anyway, we're kicking it off in Baghdad, but we're not at Camp Victory anymore. Anderson Cooper starts off by basically saying, hey, remember that sheik Bush met with in al Anbar? Yeah, he "was blown up today in a car bomb." Horrible, horrible turn of events, but I chuckled a bit over the phrasing because that sounded, well, like me. We're then joined by Candy Crowley for the low down on Bush's speech tonight. Did you watch? I did. Well...sort of. Okay, I might have fallen asleep. But I have to say, I think half conscious is the best way to watch Bush. So, Candy tells us there were no surprises in the speech, which is, uh, not surprising. Then we're joined by Michael Ware, David Gergen, and new-kid-on-the-block, Gloria Borger. Anderson notes that Bush talked of a long term commitment and that's not what the American people were told. Yeah, well, we were told a lot of things that weren't true. Anderson then turns to Michael for his impression, which, as it turns out, is "wow."

After that, Michael reads off a bunch of statements that Bush made regarding the consequences of leaving (apparently he needed to take notes to keep all the lies straight), all the while noting that everything he said is already happening now. Anderson and Gloria talk about how the Republicans didn't even want Bush to give the speech in the first place. I'm guessing they'd rather he just not even exist. Then we're played a clip of Bush stating all the stuff that Michael was checking off before, regarding what would happen if we left Iraq. And you know what? Bush has been wrong about everything. Why should be believe that all that stuff is going to happen. Anderson asks The Gerg if he agrees with Michael that all that stuff is already happening. The Gerg kind of brushes that off and instead talks about how it looks like we're going to have a Korea-type presence in the country for years to come. He's pretty boggled about this, but, you know, it's been clear to me for a long time now. As I've said before, we're never leaving, people.

Anyway, we then get a clip of Bush talking about both parties coming together. Yeah, because he's such a uniter. After yet another Bush clip about the Iraqi government, Anderson asks Michael if Maliki can be pressured. The short answer? No. We know this song and dance: Iran's got the power. I'm going to skip ahead a bit to Anderson having Michael respond to a Bush clip on improved Iraqi quality of life. I wish I could quote his whole answer, but basically he says that if by "ordinary life," Bush means standing in gas lines, having no electricity, and living in perpetual fear of being killed in some horrible way, then yes, life has returned to ordinary. I love Michael Ware. After the discussion, Anderson notes that they wanted to know which words Bush used the most in his speech, so, they asked their "producer, Rain Man, to count words." Ha! Aw, I hope they at least let him watch Judge Wapner afterward. I remember counting the words "freedom" and "liberty" during Bush's 2005 inaugural address and then laughing my head off later that night when I discovered the "Daily Show" had done exactly the same thing.

Next up, we have a Joe John's "Keeping Them Honest" piece on Iraq's morphing mission, from getting Saddam, to victory, to, I don't know, whatever the hell it is now. It kind of changes every month. We're shown a bunch of clips, so props for that, though one wishes they would have done this stuff years ago. One of clips is from when BushCo discovered that if you just say "victory" a lot, people will believe you're winning. So of course then they had to have the word all over the place and they even came out with a "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" (which, you know, one wondered why they didn't have one of those before), which sounded like something written by a PR firm...and maybe it was. Oh, and remember when they tried to change the War on Terror (WoT) to the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremists (GSAVE)? That lasted all of about a week. That actually wasn't in the piece, but I'm feeling nostalgic for the craziness.

On now to some "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman. We begin with Mark Warner going after the retiring John Warner's senate seat. No relation. Go, Mark, go! Let's see, Giuliani has taken an immigration stance that is sure to anger the base and Biden just got a big Iowa endorsement. Also, Mike Gravel, who is apparently still in the race (and still scary), thinks Americans are getting fatter and dumber. Hmph. Although really, he might be on to something there. After Tom, Chad Myers pops in to give us an update on Hurricane Humberto.

Moving on then to a Gary Tuchman piece on Predator, a small unmanned plane that is being used in Iraq to precisely take out insurgents and other evil doers. Sounds good, right? Yeah, well, I'm not a fan. It's war made easy and war should never be made easy. Because when you can fight a war like you're playing a video game, it gets harder to come up with reasons not to wage them. Don't get me wrong, I like that our people can take out threats (though one wonders if they're always right about who they're taking out) without being in danger, but trust me, this kind of thing should not be taken lightly. Also in the piece we see Gary and crew hitting the deck because of an incoming mortar, that thankfully did not hit them and caused no casualties. Good lord. And I just noticed that one of the colonels is named Charlie Moore. Heh. After his piece, Gary joins us live and Anderson says he's hearing explosions. Oh, great. Gary tells us their base has been hit by mortars or rockets seven times . . . and now he's being attacked by bugs. Iraq, man, it's a tough country.

Transitioning now to our apparent odd-man-out story of the night. We're moving from Iraq for the moment for a piece from KTVK correspondent Mike Watkiss on the trial of Warren Jeffs. He's accused as the accomplice to rape of a 14 year old girl who was married to a 19 year old. Under Utah law a 14 year old can give consent to have sex and that's what the defense said she did. That's so messed up.

Our final piece tonight is from Michael Ware on all of Iraq's unclaimed bodies. And there are a lot of them. Under Saddam, volunteers collected about 40 per month. Now the numbers are in the low hundreds. Wow. That really says something, doesn't it? And it's nothing good. Anyway, the volunteers treat the bodies well, knowing one day they might be the one being buried After Michael's piece, Anderson asks why so many are unclaimed. Michael explains that some are so disfigured they can't be identified, but still others are dumped in areas that it's simply too dangerous for the family to go. Jeebus. Your loved one is brutally murdered and you can't even go get their body. This is Iraq now. Mission accomplished.

We then check back in with Chad one more time and he tells us about Tropical Storm Ingrid. Dude, what happened to Humberto? I think that's enough for one night. The Shot tonight is little Youssif arriving in Los Angeles. Aw. If only we could bring all of them here. The show was good tonight. A- I think I'm just going to start making a separate post for news you might have missed.

In regards to the second hour, I kind of got the feeling that CNN was hoping if they were just really quiet, no one would notice that 360's second hour is now tape. Well, they shockingly pretty much got away with it for a few months, but now that Labor Day has come and gone, and they're still doing tape, the being quiet thing isn't working for them anymore. Variety is reporting that the show is permanently switching to a taped second hour (and speculating they might lose the hour altogether). I pretty much figured this would happen when they first started doing tape back in June. But the twist here is that a CNN spokesperson is vehemently (and really defensively) denying the change. Using spin that would make Bush proud, she states there is no downsizing and the show will remain a two hour program . . . except the second hour will be tape. Yeah, okay then.

Okay, that little semantic game I can handle, but I'm going to have to keep them honest regarding the spokesperson's claim that Anderson does 10 to 15 minutes live at the top of the hour. This is blatantly untrue. I know this because I watch the show every night, which I guess is more than I can say for CNN's spokesperson. So, CNN, what are you doing? You realize people can, like, check that, right? I imagine 360 has nothing to do with the statements being made, so for their sake, I hope none of the media outlets notice the truthiness of their spokesperson. Man. And this from the most trusted name in news?


Blogger Arachnae said...

Completely random? You know my old car, "Mark?" The one I loved until he died and I needed to find another one?

SEVERAL election cycles ago, before he was governor, Mark Warner ran for the Senate against... John Warner. So it was Warner versus Warner, and what DO you put on the bumperstickers? My sister got her hands on some 'limited edition' bumperstickers that said only 'Mark, not John'. I put one of those on my car and thus the car became "Mark, not John".

I loved that bumpersticker too - in later years, hardly anyone knew what it referred to, and probably thought I was making some abstruse apostolic declaration.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again I love your blog. Today your comments about the unmaned aircraft "taking out" supposedly-enemies: thank you very much for your insight. When I saw that segment, I also was amazed at the technology but immediately felt sad and disgusted how indifferent and distanced we had become at life itself. In a totally different note, I wonder what the so-called "pro-life" activists think about that air craft.

12:14 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Arachnae-Wow. Yeah, that is random. Heh. RIP Mark the car.

@anonymous-Thanks! Yes, there is something very disturbing to me about being able to kill people the same way you would play a video game. As for pro-lifers, who knows? After all, a lot of them don't have a problem with the death penalty either.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Arachnae said...

there is something very disturbing to me about being able to kill people the same way you would play a video game.

Eliza, that horse left the barn so long ago people have forgotten there even was a horse.

... and prolifers are supremely uninterested in what happens to people once they're born.

11:27 PM  

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