Saturday, October 06, 2007

Continued Airport Death Coverage, Philadelphia Violence, Larry Craig Staying, Raw Politics, Illegal Immigrant Crackdown, And PiP (Thursday's Show)

Hi everyone. We're beginning tonight with the ongoing questions regarding Carol Anne Gotbaum, the woman who died in her handcuffs at the Phoenix airport. Anderson Cooper informs us that the surveillance video of her interaction with police has been made public and a Joe Johns piece breaks it down. There are three angles, but no audio. We can see Carol Anne causing an obvious scene, the officers taking her down and cuffing her, and then her struggling as she's led away. Honestly? I don't know, maybe I need my eyes checked, but I couldn't see what was happening well enough to provide a judgment. There was no camera in the lockup where she died, which the police say is policy to protect privacy. The family is going to do an independent autopsy, but to throw a little more weirdness into this story, some organs like the brain and heart (you know--the important ones) were not turned over. The Gotbaum attorney says they were told the reason was that they're busy. Um, what? But another medical examiner says that's not uncommon, so . . . okay then.

Next up, we hear a police play-by-play of the incident that was released with the video, so this is basically their side. The cop points out a lot of stuff that I can't actually see just by looking at this poor quality video. It seems pretty open to interpretation. Anyway, after that, security analyst Mike Brooks joins us and he says the cops did everything by the book. He says it looks like they did everything they could to calm her down, but . . . there's no sound! How can he know that? Mike also notes there was no taser or pepper spray used and in his opinion there was no excessive force. That's pretty scary if we've come to the point that force is no longer excessive unless you taser or spray someone. Anderson then plays us a clip of the witnesses they had on earlier in the week that claimed the force was excessive (and yay to them for doing that). But Mike brushes them off as civilians. He also subscribes to the theory that she choked herself trying to escape. Look, it is clear the woman was resisting, but something just feels wrong about this even if they did do it by the book (which I honestly don't know). I haven't heard anyone say they were afraid she had a weapon or something. She was just making a scene.

Next, Anderson throws us into the commercial break by saying, "First though, 360 takes you to the city of brotherly love, at least that's what it says on the T-shirts but these days you might want to be wearing some Kevlar underneath those T-shirts." Good lord. It's not Iraq! Anyway, in a Jim Acosta piece we learn that two security guards were slain in Philadelphia today in an armored car robbery and some of it was caught on tape, which we see. Horrible. After his piece, Jim joins us live and Anderson notes the city's police commissioner has come under fire for the soaring crime rate. Jim tells us that an idea the commissioner has offered is to have 20,000 volunteers patrol violent neighborhoods. Oh my God. Maybe I was wrong. It is like Iraq. They're forming their own militias.

Moving on now to a Randi Kaye "Keeping Them Honest" piece that confirms that when there's increased crime, the gun debate is not far behind. Okay, so apparently getting guns in Philadelphia is really easy and community volunteer Ray Jones is ticked at the state and their lax gun laws. Back in the mid 90's the state senate passed the Uniform Firearms Act, which critics say took power away from the cities. The supporters dispute this, but 360 has learned that back in 1995 there were 800 applications for concealed weapons and today there are 29,000 permits to carry. Um, wow. And the state doesn't require gun registration. That's just craziness. I don't want to take away people's guns, but can we at least be smart?

Gary Tuchman has the headlines tonight and he informs us that Marion Jones has admitted to taking steroids and lying to federal agents about it. Man. I'm reminded of a speech Bill Moyers gave last year that contained an anecdote about how as a kid he loved Tarzan and would try endlessly to replicate the famous yell. Later, he learned the noise was never made by the actor playing Tarzan, but rather by three other men putting their voices together. "This world is hard on believers," Moyers said after the story. That quote has stayed with me. Marion Jones is not a role model (though at least she's taking responsibility), but a liar and a cheat. This world is hard on believers.

Tonight's edition of "What Were They Thinking?" comes to us from China where a 10 year old girl struggled to swim the Shiung River with her hands and feet tied. Why? Her father tied them because he thought it would help her prepare for one day swimming the English Channel. Um, calling child services. What the hell? "And this reminds me, Anderson -- this reminds me of something I learned a long time ago. You need a license to drive, sometimes you need a license to fish, but you never need a license to be a parent," says Gary. If like me, Gary learned this lesson in 1989 from a young Keanu Reeves. No, really! Heh.

Transitioning now to Anderson telling us that Larry Craig has decided to stay in the senate even though he can't get his guilty plea dropped. Oh, he's like the gift that just keeps on giving! Anderson then tells us that "Jeffrey Toobin isn't exactly surprised by this decision," but when Toobin joins and is asked about it, he says, "Well it sure does surprise me." Dude, mixed messages! Speaking of Toobin, during some recent random surfing of the interwebs, I discovered that our senior legal analyst has been cheating on the 360 blog! Gasp! Actually, you should check out his posts. And, man, enough people have recommended his book to me that I guess I'm going to have to add it to the embarrassingly large stack I have that are waiting to be read. More hours need to be in a day, know what I'm saying? Anyway, Anderson and Toobin then retread through a lot of what we already know because it pertains to the judge's decision to not allow Craig to drop his guilty plea. Then 360 does some hardcore pimping of Toobin's book. Like he needs it at this point.

As per usual, Tom Foreman has our "Raw Politics" and he's still in South Carolina--even doing the diner thing. We learn that GOP voters are unhappy with their choices. I can't imagine why. But they gave us Bush, so no sympathy from me. We also get some fundraising and primary date talk. Eh. I'm so tired of hearing about this stuff. Where do they stand on the issues?

Moving on now to the announcement that it's Hispanic heritage month and that "all this week" CNN will be "looking at what it means to be Hispanic today." And . . . the forthcoming piece from Soledad O'Brien is pretty much it for 360. I'm sure the other CNN shows did stuff too, but it's kind of funny that Anderson just gave us this whole spiel, when 360's coverage of the "series" amounts to this one piece. Anyway, Soledad goes to Hidalgo, Mexico. It used to be a ghost town with all the men going to the US to work, but now with tougher immigration enforcement, many have come back. When the men worked in the US (Florida in this story), money flowed back to Hidalgo and now that money has stopped, hurting families. Also hurting, are Mexican owned businesses in Florida, because the undocumented workers are staying away due to fear and the reverse migration. The whole situation is sad. Laws need to be enforced, but every action has a consequence.

On now to another "Planet in Peril" preview, this one has Anderson freezing his butt off in Greenland. We've seen some of this footage of Anderson and new island-discover Dennis Schmitt before, but this time we learn a little more about Dennis. It seems he's like some sort of frickin genius. He's a poet. He's a philosopher. He composes symphonies. And he walked across the Bearing Strait just because he could. Seriously. "There was nobody to stop me. There was no soldiers, no rifles shots, nothing. I just kept walking and I ended up on a Soviet Island," he says. Craziness.

Gary Tuchman is back with more headlines and he brings Blackwater news and a torture bombshell from the New York Times. The fact that 360 isn't covering these stories is mind boggling. But don't worry, I'll hook you up in my "News You Might Have Missed" post. I'm beginning to wonder where all the hard news has gone. It's been ages it seems since they've covered Iraq, though they've been pimping Michael Ware's coverage in commercials. (Note: I know Michael is currently covering rugby. I don't blog Fridays, but I did watch, and found his rugby segment hilarious. It helped me be a little less annoyed that Sy Hersh was no where to be seen on the broadcast even though he was promised on the website. Maybe he canceled, I don't know, but they didn't cover anything worth bumping him for. We need to be talking about Iran.)

The Shot tonight is a photographer in Maine who now has quite the story to tell. Russ Dilingham snapped a pretty amazing picture of a fugitive jumping from a third floor balcony, but that's not the whole story. After the suspect hit the ground, Russ was the closest one to him, so upon instruction from a yelling cop . . . he tackled him. All in a day's work. We finish the hour with emails. The show was okay, but lacking in really important hard news. B-


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to be talking about Pakistan. There is major political turmoil over there and if Bush is worried about Iran having "nucular" weapons, then why aren't we talking about Pakistan already holding this technology.
They're literally sitting on a powder keg and a growing extremist fraction of society competing for power.

3:21 PM  

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