Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Larry Craig Reconsiders Resignation, 360 Takes Your Calls, And Steve Fossett Is Missing (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everybody. We're kicking things off tonight with Anderson Cooper telling us the BREAKING NEWS that Senator Larry Craig might be rethinking that whole resignation thing. Oh my. That's quite a little twist, huh? When this news broke while I was watching Countdown, I had to chuckle a bit, knowing that the Republicans are more than likely totally freaking out about this. And then the next people I thought about were our good friends at 360, who I knew were in the midst of scrambling to change the show. Anyway, we're joined by Candy Crowley and she notes that Senator Arlen Specter actually suggested that Craig could have fought.

Next we're played a clip of Specter, and Jeffrey Toobin and Joe Johns join us for discussion. Joe notes that Craig actually never admitted to anything in the police transcript. Also, he didn't have council so he could maybe argue that. But he's a senator! Toobin informs us that a guilty plea can be withdrawn in cases of coercion or incompetence. Now, he wasn't coerced, but Toobin thinks maybe (but he's not buying it) he could claim incompetence due to being flustered or whatever, but again, he's a senator! The dude is supposed to know his rights and the law. Anderson points out that initially Craig said he pled guilty to just make it go away, so it's not like he didn't know what he was doing.

Coming back from break, Anderson points out that Craig said he was going to resign effective September 30th, in order to give his staff transition time, but obviously he had other reasons for not leaving immediately. Gasp! A senator wasn't telling the truth? Dear me. Candy notes how Craig emphasized the word "intent" when he stated he intended to resign. Anderson admits that he and Toobin both overlooked that. Television news missing nuance? No!

Okay, yeah, I missed it too. We then learn that Craig left a message on the wrong voice mail, regarding inserting wiggle room into his resignation. So, now of course it's public. Oops. Man, this guy can't catch a break. Joe thinks the "Billy" he left the message to is his lawyer. "So -- so, was he lying in his so-called resignation speech on Saturday when he said that, well, it's September 30 because I want to give time for my staff to -- to regroup and, you know, find other work?" asks Anderson. Oh, Anderson. Yes! Kudos for using the "L" word though. Use that more.

Toobin then notes that some people on the political left are wondering why cops are busting guys like Craig anyway if they're just sending signals to each other. He uses the phrase "consensual tappers," which totally cracks me up, though it probably shouldn't. As for the point he brought up, I kind of agree that it's messed up to get arrested for just signaling to have sex. But then again, I'm glad this guy was outed. Public officials absolutely have a right to live their lives in private, but if they're going to legislate the bedroom activities of the public and then not practice what they preach, the public has a right to know. We're then played the post-arrest tape again in its entirety for those people that have been living under a rock. When it's over, Toobin blows my mind a bit, by informing us that Craig actually didn't plead guilty until about two months after his arrest. What?! So he had two months and he didn't consult about this with anyone? This guy is . . . not smart.

Moving on now to 360 taking your calls again on the subject. After the first caller Anderson asks why Senator David Vitter got off so easy. You might remember me pointing this out in a previous post. Candy says it depends on who you ask. The Democrats think the Republicans hurled Craig under the bus because their base finds gayness icky. The Republicans claim it's because he pleaded guilty. Candy thinks political timing had a lot to do with it. Eliza thinks all of the above, though mostly the gay thing. Jeffrey points out that the double standard extends to the police because they use their resources at cruising spots much more than places where straight people are known to have sex. Also? We will look back on this story as the time when middle America became familiar with the term "cruising."

Let's see, one of the callers had the very good point that maybe the people of Idaho should actually have a say in what happens with Craig. You know, this being a democracy and all. But, alas, the system isn't working for the people in this case. Actually nowadays the system isn't working for the people at all, but this one actually isn't Bush's fault. Shocking, I know. Another caller asks about the political fallout, and I have to say, political Eliza is saying, fight it, Craig, fight it! Because he is going to be a weight that drags the Republicans down. But nice Eliza thinks he oughta cut his loses now because this is probably only going to get worse, especially if he's ever done anything with another man. Because it will come out. Uh, no pun intended. Another caller is angry that the cop on the tape said he expected lying from guys in the hood. Hmm, different way to take the conversation, but okay. Anderson basically says he feels his pain . . . and then he moves on. Toobin doesn't think the cop was overly harsh or anything. You know, I can totally see the republicans realizing that they're saddled with Craig, and then trying to destroy the cop's credibility. Let's not let that happen, k?

Transitioning now to the BREAKING NEWS (breaking all day, in fact) that Steven Fossett is missing. Oh noes! This is that crazy multimillionaire dude who's always flying around the world and doing weird crap. Except this time all he did was take a little plane on a normal flight and now they can't find him. Oh, irony. We have Ted Rolands live for more and then Anderson does a piece. I hope they find him. The Shot tonight is a speedy little Chihuahua winning a race in San Diego. Blink and you'll miss it.

Okay, so, obviously Inside Cable News was wrong or 360 changed plans because it's after Labor Day and they're still doing a taped second hour. I've said before that I'm actually fine with the just one hour show, but you know, if they're only going to do one hour, they really need to fill it with more than one to two stories. Tonight's show was fantastic . . . for the second hour of a two hour broadcast. But standing alone? Eh. We missed so much news! For example, they failed to "Keep Them Honest" about the latest wad of cash being requested for Iraq. Will we be seeing that later I assume? When there's breaking news like this, what happens to time sensitive pieces? It seems a shame and waste to just chuck them. 360 should totally put them up on the blog/show site. And then Anderson could guide people there during the show. The work doesn't go wasted and they grab some traffic. Win-win. Anyway, tonight's grade: C+


Blogger Natalie said...

"Consensual Tappers" cracked me up too.

Gives new meaning to "I would totally tap that"...well maybe thats just the same meaning..

The strange thing is that in with the arrest report is a summary of an encounter with Craig almost two weeks after the arrest, where he visited the police office at the airport.

The purpose of his visit was to get information on who his lawyer should contact regarding the charges. This was a month before he entered his plea by mail. It seems to me unbelievable that he didn't speak with a lawyer after that.

4:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a first generation immigrant from Korea. Even though I have lived here over 20 years and went to the college here and all, I had never known that the certain gestures can be a convictable crime. So this story is interesting educational point for me about American culture. And I agree with you that in this senetor's case, exposing his hypocracy (legislating gay-oppressing laws on one hand and doing secret act on another hand) is as important as discussing the culture itself.

Now aside from that hypocracy issue, it seems unfair to arrest people because they simply displayed certain (consentual)sexual gestures where no one actually got hurt nor was forced to a sex act or prostution. And we (our society in general) don't make a big deal about hetero-sexual gestures but we do whole lot when it involves homosexual act, don't we? I am not a gay (hmm, sounds familiar?) but I want to scream at the entire so-called "main stream America" that we have been profoundly cruel to homosexuals and it needs to stop.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig's a hypocrite but the whole thing seems silly. The cop did to me seem to be a little over the top in his interrogation - AC may have thought the cops mentioning of "the hood" insignificant, but I found it offensive, but that's a story for another time. It's the gay factor that's pushing this story. I'm all for hypocritical Repubs being caught with their pants down, but the undercurrent of homophobia in this whole situation bothers me.

360 should be two hours live. At least when TDS and TCR aren't on. ;)

2:08 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@natalie-Thanks for the link. I see Craig lied about being handcuffed too. Between that and the offensive way he told the cop he was a senator, I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for him.

@anonymous 10:14-Well, to tell you the truth, I myself wasn't really up on my "cruising" facts.

I agree that this case is a little unfair, but he still should have been outed for the hypocrisy.

@anonymous 2:08-I can see how the cop's comment is offensive, but I think he was just trying to say that he never expected a senator to break the law (though that's kind of laughable in of itself). It definitely wasn't the best choice of words, but I'd hate to see this become an issue about the cop. The issue should be Craig and his hypocrisy, and you're right, there is an undercurrent of homophobia to all of this.

I hope this story is still around when TDS/TCR comes back next week. Oh, what fun they'll have. Heh.

3:27 PM  

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