Tuesday, October 30, 2007

California Fires, 2008 Talk, Gap Sweatshop, Genarlow Wilson Freed, Beef Recall, Raw Politics, And Sweet Jesus! (Monday's Show)

Hi everyone. Well, it looks like Anderson Cooper has skipped out on us, but never fear, we've got John King holding it all down. Things kick off with an update on those horrible California fires and it looks like things are much more under control. Now the focus is on finding the arsonist. For more we go to Ted Rowlands live. Well, sort of. Oh, he's there and talking, but technical difficulties leave us without a picture. B-roll to the rescue! Anyway, Ted tells us that authorities are interested in seeing video that people shot around the fires because it's possible the arsonist was caught on film.

Next up, we have a Kathleen Koch piece that explores whether or not people should live in areas that are prone to disasters. We learn that after the flood of 93 the the government bought out homes in flood prone areas. There's talk of doing the same thing now in New Orleans. But, um, it's been two years! You'd think they would have thought of that a little sooner. What's interesting is that when it comes to fire prone areas the government usually doesn't do buyouts because most people have fire insurance, whereas not everyone has flood insurance. And then there are those people that actually have the insurance, but the company still won't pay.

Back to John now, and he tells us about an adorable little game that FEMA played with the press. You might remember a bit of nastiness directed at FEMA regarding their response to Katrina. Well, one would guess they didn't like that very much, and everyone needs a pat on the back every once and a while, so what did they do? They patted their own back in the form of a staged press conference with FEMA employees asking the very soft ball questions. That, children, is a no no. But here's the shocking thing: Did John Philbin, the man who oversaw the press conference, get awarded the Medal of Freedom? No he did not. He lost the intelligence job he was supposed to take over. So, basically, someone in this administration screwed up, and he was held accountable. That never happens! I mean, seriously, when I heard that earlier, I literally gasped. Are we making our way to the real world? Please say we are! Oh, also? I'm pretty sure John said it was unclear whether Philbin resigned or was fired, but it's neither, right? He was denied the job, which I guess is more like getting fired.

Transitioning now to some political talk with Paul Begala, Gloria Borger, and Amy Holmes. They begin by talking about the Iowa caucus and how Obama and Clinton are neck and neck. That leaves Edwards in third and Gloria thinks that might be because Obama has been spending more time and money in the state lately. They then move onto the recent topic of Obama leaking his new "get tough" strategy to the "New York Times." Amy notes he needed to do that to have a sharper campaign because the press was starting to "write him off." Yeah, see, I said the same thing. The press already chose Clinton. Although Gloria believes that it's more the fundraisers that want "fighting Obama" and not the press. Oh, the press want a fight too. I think they're bored.

Paul then gets in on this and he thinks it's nutty Obama leaked his strategy first instead of just implementing it. He thought that kind of thing died with Bob Shrum's career. That line then gets a laugh because, oh, they're just all super-cool beltway insiders, aren't they? And they say the press is out of touch with normal Americans. Okay, and then Paul just...gets weird. He talks about wooing his wife and how he didn't tell her he was going to blow in her ear; he just did it. "No, you just blow in the girl's ear, Barack," Paul says. I bet that's a line you never thought you'd hear on CNN. Gloria asks Paul if he ever planted a story and he says not about strategy. "He left that to Carville, " says John. Ha! But again with the wonkery. The discussion moves onto the republicans now. Nothing interesting really. They got less time than the democrats. See how fair I am? I even point out when the republicans get shafted.

Moving on now to an Alina Cho piece on how the Gap has added some evil to their nauseating preppiness. It seems they've got themselves a little sweatshop issue in India. We see pictures of kids working in horrible conditions. Oh, that's lovely. For their part, the Gap is horrified. Horrified! They say all clothes from the shop have been destroyed and this occurred because their Indian vendor sub contracted out to someone not approved by the company. You gotta love outsourcing. Anyway, this is of course horrible, but really not surprising. And now I'm totally thinking of that Rage Against the Machine video. Psst, maybe a "Keeping Them Honest" on the sweatshops of the Northern Marianas Islands?

Transitioning now to John talking to Rick Sanchez, who talked to Genarlow Wilson. That almost made me dizzy. You might remember Genarlow as the guy who went to prison under some stupid law after he had consensual oral sex with a 15 year old while he was 17. Rick tells us he could have taken a plea, but he didn't want to be branded a sex offender because then he couldn't be around his sister. I can see that. Rick is also quite boggled that Genarlow is not bitter about the situation even though he tried to "dig deep" and "get some emotion from him." Yes, because I always like the interviewees to be manipulated. As for the bitter thing? It's really admirable, but give him time. Mr. Davis from New Orleans was singing the same tune after he got beat by those cops, but I believe since that time he's done some suing. Totally his right, though. I'm just saying.

On now to a Randi Kaye "Keeping Them Honest" piece on Topps frozen hamburgers and how they totally tried to poison us with e coli. Okay, not on purpose. The real kicker here is it took the USDA forever to get the beef recalled. The family that initially sounded the alarm bought the hamburgers from Wal-Mart (and I'm disturbed that Wal-Mart even sells hamburgers) and though the company took them off of their shelves immediately, they didn't warn people who had already bought them. Awesome. It almost makes a person want to swear off beef. But you didn't hear that from me. It was Oprah! Oprah, I tell you!

Tom Foreman has our nightly "Raw Politics" and he begins by totally pimping CNN's YouTube debate. Hey! Save it for the promos. We learn that the new Attorney General nominee is having a rough go of it (as I told you in my "NYMHM" post) and apparently going as Hillary Clinton for Halloween is scarier than Giuliani. Just don't show up on my doorstep as Bush and you'll be okay. But speaking of scary, Cheney went hunting this past weekend. Um, is everybody okay? Faces intact? Do you all know where your grandpas are? Oh, and the graphic for that was hilarious. Finally, we learn that president Ford thought the republicans should have gotten rid of Cheney last election. Is Cheney someone you can just get rid of? It seems like even if he's kicked to the curb, he's still going to be there, lurking in the bushes.

The Shot tonight is a football game and there's lots of lateral passes and...I don't know...something. I don't actually understand what I just watched. And you know Anderson would have said the same damn thing. Heh.

Finally tonight we end with Jesus! Yummy, chocolately, Jesus. In a Gary Tuchman piece we learn that Cosimo Cavallaro is back and he's again created the son of God in sacrilicious form. This latest Jesus is again anatomically correct and without a loincloth. Oh my! If you're wondering about the first Jesus, well, it got nibbled on by rodents. Ew. Okay, so once again, the catholics are mad, but it doesn't seem like they're as mad as the first time because this time it's not around Easter. So whatever. I certainly don't understand the art, but as a Christian I'm not offend either. More bemused, really. I mean, seriously, if you get your outrage on regarding chocolate Jesus here, you must be in, like, a perpetual state of outrage because this is on the low end of the spectrum of stuff that makes the blood boil. And dammit, now I'm hungry.

The broadcast ends with some blog comments regarding what people would do if they were president. One commenter totally sucks up by appointing our PiP three musketeers to their cabinet. Hm, I can remember when Anderson was nominated for Secretary of Take No Shit. Of course that was back when we wanted Ray Nagin for president. Things have changed a bit. Anyway, another commenter wants to do away with the IRS and yeah, okay, whatever, but what gets me is people agreeing with that on the account that it would make drug dealers pay their fair share. I am in no way defending drug dealers, but everyone realizes we lose much more tax money to corporations and the rich cheating the system, right? You never hear the same level of outrage about that.

The show was pretty good. B.


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