Saturday, September 01, 2007

Larry Craig Tape Released, 360 Takes Your Calls, Raw Politics, And Exiled Hamas Leader Interview (Thursday's Show)

Hi everyone. Well, Anderson Cooper is missing again. He's up to something, that one. Anyway, we've got Soledad O'Brien holding down the fort and we begin with the case of poor misunderstood not gay Senator Larry Craig. If you're still snickering over his "wide stance" bathroom antics (check out Countdown's hilarious Dragnet-style reenactment), you're going to love this. There's an audio tape of the post-bust interview! In terms of stories that totally make you laugh even though you know you probably shouldn't, this is edging in on Cheney-shoots-a-dude-in-the-face territory. We're played the tape in its entirety, which is bizarre, hilarious, and a little sad all at once. Craig lets the excuses fly and the officer, who knows he's being lied to, gets more frustrated and disillusioned with every passing second. "Embarrassing. Embarrassing. No wonder why we're going down the tubes," says the officer. No wonder, indeed.

Next up we have a Candy Crowley piece about people pushing for Craig to resign. My late blogging has sort of made this all moot because it has been reported Craig will announce his resignation on Saturday. You know who must be thinking himself a lucky duck right about now? David Vitter. I realize Craig pleaded guilty to a crime, which is a big deal, but there's also a part of me that wonders if Craig got thrown under the bus and Vitter did not because Vitter was doing his dirty deeds with a woman. Things that make you go, hmm. For discussion of all this we're joined by Candy, Jeffrey Toobin, and Criminal Defense Attorney Jayne Weintraub. Candy thinks this is different from the other scandals because Craig pled guilty and now the republicans need to get rid of him because he's politically toxic. Soledad wonders if he could have won his case in court. Toobin's not sure, but says it's happened in the past. Of course he pled guilty, so that's off the table now.

Soledad then brings up the issue of entrapment. Jayne says that these types of cases generally aren't prosecuted because it's one person's word against another and the cop is probably going to make things up. Now, when I was watching this, I thought I had misunderstood what Jayne meant, but apparently I didn't because Toobin pipes up that it's unfair to say the cop is going to lie and given past reporting on Craig, this does not seem out of character for him. Right on, Toobin. What kind of person goes on national tv and proclaims the cop is probably going to lie? Soledad points out that he wasn't some uneducated person off the streets that didn't understand what he was doing by pleading guilty; he's a friggin US senator.

But Jayne, who obviously doesn't have much respect for the system, tries to claim that cops bust people in bathrooms to make quotas. What?! And she compares it to people getting tickets for just barely going over the speed limit, which, doesn't even make sense. Either Craig was wanting the sexin or he wasn't. You can't just barely commit lewd behavior. A clearly exasperated Soledad, then points out that if he didn't do anything wrong he should have known better than to plead guilty. Jayne thinks that was a matter of convenience and Toobin and Soledad have full on "WTF?" faces now. Toobin wonders why someone with financial means who was in the spotlight would plead guilty to an embarrassing crime. Jayne says because then people would be talking about how he "lawyered up." Okay, seriously, this woman is something else. She's got me missing Lisa Bloom.

Moving on now to 360 taking your calls on the issue. I'm not going to go through all of these, but there's a bit of talk about Larry Craig's hypocrisy, which I think needs to be hammered home. But what really stood out during this segment was when Soledad asked Jayne if she would ever advise a client to plead guilty to make something go away. And shocker, she would. Even a US senator. She notes it would be a matter of convenience and you don't want it to end up on the front page of "The National Enquirer." "Well, guess what? Guess where it is now?" says Soledad. I completely love how Soledad and Toobin are freely calling BS on this woman. Anyway, there's also a caller that wants everyone to just leave Craig alone. What? He pled guilty to a crime and proved himself a total hypocrite. Sorry, no one will be leaving him alone.

In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Erica Hill brings us a convenience store robbery tale of the bizarre variety. It seems a crack crime duo came up with a diabolical plan to steal beer: one dude gets naked and does a hula dance and the other dude grabs the beer while everyone is distracted. I can't imagine how these two geniuses were caught. Well, actually, I don't need to imagine. Somebody got their plate number. What makes this even more amusing to me is the crime occurred in Desoto, Missouri. My family has property in Desoto and we almost moved there when I was a teen. I could have known the naked hula dancer! Hee. Moving on now to some "Raw Politics" with Tom Foreman. Let's see, Romney has a new ad, McCain is putting his war hero face forward (because that worked so well for Kerry), Joe Biden is broke and needs donations to make ads, Thompson might finally be getting in the race (now that no one cares), Clinton has to give away some campaign cash because the guy that raised it committed fraud (oops), and Congressman Charlie Rangel wants to spend $64,000 on a picture of himself. Oh, Charlie. It's not tax money, but still, that's more money than a lot of people make in a year.

Our final piece tonight is a Nic Robertson EXCLUSIVE and I have to wonder, if it's such a big deal, why are they dropping it at the bottom of the hour like this? Anyway, Nic traveled to Damascus, Syria, to interview Halid Mashal, the exiled leader of Hamas. A decade ago Israeli agents tried to kill Mashal and apparently he's still paranoid about getting taken out, which meant Nic and team had to jump through some hoops. First they met a contact in a hotel where they had their pictures taken and cell phones confiscated. It probably goes without saying they were not allowed to film this meeting. When they finally get to talk to Mashal he tells them that the upcoming peace talks will fail if Hamas is not invited. Of course Mashal has demands of Israel and he says if they're not met, he will continue to target Israeli civilians. Sigh. That conflict will never end, will it? Oh, also, during the interview Mashal takes a call from (he says) an Arab leader. Whether he's telling the truth or trying to prove to the west that he's relevant is anyone's guess.

The Shot tonight is a collapsing candy factory in Chicago. Holy massive explosion, Batman! The factory is actually playing the part of Gotham General Hospital in the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight". Cool. Speaking of cool, check out the Planet in Peril trailer. Very impressive. Also, this is off topic, but everyone should watch this short video from Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone on how contractors in Iraq are totally stealing our money. The show tonight was pretty good, but I am wondering why they've stopped doing such a variety of topics. I used to have trouble fitting everything in the title of my posts (and even when it was two hours I split them, so that's not the issue). Now? Not so much. B-


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you so obsessed with a gay senator?. Why is it illegeal anaway in the U.S.? Let this man live his life on his own terms.

4:51 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous-Well, if you ask Senator Craig, he's not gay. NOT gay! But seriously, the issue here is twofold. First of all, sex in a public place or solicitation of sex in a public place is illegal. And Senator Craig actually pled guilty. A US senator has pled guilty to a crime-that's news.

Secondly (and maybe even more importantly), this is also a big deal to a lot of people due to the hypocrisy. I'd probably just feel sorry for Craig if it wasn't for the fact that he has done everything in his power to work against gay rights. Shouldn't people be held accountable when what they preach doesn't match their actions? You say let this man live his life on his own terms. Well, I'm sure there are plenty of gay Americans that would like to live their lives on their own terms, but they can't. And it's because of people like Senator Craig.

5:27 PM  

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