Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Iraq News And Al Qaeda Talk, Republican Infighting, OJ Update, Katrina Contract Corruption, Raw Politics, And PiP Amazon Coverage (Monday's Show)

Hi guys. Happy new week. We start things off with Anderson Cooper bringing us some good news out of Iraq. Um, what? Does not compute. Snark system malfunctioning. Anyway, apparently deaths are down. Great! Let's declare mission accom--well, let's just say we're done and go home. Oh, but not so fast. Jim Clancy is here live in Baghdad to totally rain on my very short-lived parade. He doesn't think we should count al Qaeda out and seeing as though he is actually in the explodey country, I think I shall believe him.

Next up we're joined by Peter Bergen, who has been away much too long. But it's not as though he's been using his time to catch up on "Desperate Housewives." Peter has a new piece in the "New Republic" titled "War of Error: How Osama Bin Laden Beat George W. Bush." And with that title, I hope he's installed a hate mail filter on his email. Because you know it's coming. Peter thinks that any kind of declaration of victory actually makes al Qaeda stronger. Dang, there goes my plan. He notes that yes, suicide attacks are down, but this is after they had increased. So, basically this is 1984 and they're messing with your chocolate rations. Double plus good! Anderson then asks whether or not we should make something of the timing of this new less-violence thing because after all, a general just came out and said the war had no end in sight. This is a most excellent question. "I'm not going to go there, Anderson," says Peter. Well! Shut that down, didn't he? No soup for you! We like them skeptical in these here parts, Peter.

On now to a piece of tape with Anderson, Peter, and "The Looming Tower" author Lawrence Wright. And they're sitting at the table! You know the one; the table that produced the awesome Michael Ware four wars interview. Seeing that table just made me very excited. I am such a geek. Anyway, Lawrence explains that al Qaeda used to want us out of Saudi Arabia, but after we left they still attacked. Basically there's no way to negotiate with them because they just want everyone to convert to Islam. And, um, sorry, we won't be doing that. Peter tells us that al Qaeda is still thinking big and are not in any way on the run. As for Bin Laden (that guy we keep not catching), Lawrence thinks he's still pretty important. After the discussion, Anderson notes that they'll be airing more of the conversation later. Yay! I know, I know, I'm a geek.

Transitioning now to John King in the studio and he intros a piece on how the Republicans are ripping each other apart. Ooh, I'll get the popcorn, you grab the drinks. Okay, so Thompson popped Giuliani over abortion. Then Giuliani fought back by crying 9-11--no wait, actually this time he cried "Reagan." Romney also got in on the Giuliani fisticuffs, but McCain decided to pretend like he was the one that got hit. Because I guess he's bored all alone on that straight-talk express--I don't know. So McCain swings at Romney and in the end they all have black eyes. After that ridiculousness, we have John and David Gergen for discussion. The Gerg explains that there are several strains of Republicans and apparently Bush just can't keep them together. Aw, and I thought he was a uniter.

In tonight's edition of "What Were They Thinking?" Tom Foreman brings us the tale of a hunchbacked almost-baby stealer. Don't ask me. I just blog what they report. Apparently this woman, with a hunchback, tried to steal a baby and other shoppers stopped her. Anyway, moving on to Anderson giving us the biggest grin ever as he introduces our "resident expert in all things Simpson." Yep, it's OJ time with Jeffrey Toobin and he tells Anderson he actually has a PhD in Simpson. Man, what a sad little degree that would be. So okay, they talk about people and things I really could care less about, but Jeffrey notes how highly ironic it would be if OJ got off for the murders (which he believes he committed) and actually was innocent of this latest charge, but got convicted. That would be some awesome, yet delayed, karma. Anderson is all disturbed because his eyes have been opened to the seedy underbelly of the memorabilia world. He wonders if it's the same way for Lucille Ball memorabilia. No, her stuff is squeaky clean, but Vivian Vance? Oh man, watch out. Toobin laughs about Anderson being a "naive guy" and is sorry to disillusion him. I'm telling you, you try to protect them from the world for as long as you can, but sooner or later, there's OJ. Sigh. Heh.

Moving on now to a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Ed Henry on shadiness that has gone down related to Katrina. I know, try not to be shocked. People in the ninth ward still can't get help, but Bush's housing secretary, Alphonso Jackson, gave out a $400,000 no-bid contract to a golfing buddy lickety-split. Funny how that happens. The little rumble here is that he testified to the senate that he's not involved in contracts. At all. And he challenged them to prove he had been. Oh, Alphonso. Seriously, do these people not watch the news? It's going to come out. CNN tried to get to the bottom of it all, but surprisingly, people are suddenly not so chatty. But whatever happens, don't cry for Alphonso. Rumor has it he's got big opportunities in the private sector, anyway. Ain't Washington grand?

Tom Foreman has our "Raw Politics" as usual. On the docket tonight we've got Clinton talking up the girl power, Edwards landing another labor endorsement, Larry "wide stance" Craig flipping out over Romney throwing him under the bus (and then apparently backing up and running over him again), and Giuliani gets stumped by a space alien question from a kid. No, the question wasn't about Mike Gravel--but an actual space attack. Ooh, perhaps they are coming to liberate us and we shall greet them with flowers and candy. Tom then whips out a flashlight to really get us in the space attack mood. Because 360 is high tech like that. I think the last time we saw the flashlight was when Erica lost the lights in her studio.

Next up, we have an Anderson "Planet in Peril" promo piece on the Amazon Rainforest, which we learn is actually a danger to our environment. How can this be? Well, carbon is naturally stored in trees and this is released when they're cut down. The forest is a little bit smaller than the continental US and over the past 40 years, 20% has been lost to deforestation. That's a lot of carbon being released. So sad.

After his piece, Anderson pimps his appearance on Conan O'Brien, which I have already seen at the time of this blogging (I also saw Lara Logan on Leno, so I got to see two of "my" reporters making the rounds tonight). It was a great interview and . . . stay away from the plastic surgery, Anderson! That is all. The Shot tonight is the B-boy championship in London. Yeah, I don't know. Looks like break dancing to me. Anderson notes they're busting a move and then wonders if the kids today say "busting a move." Only when we're being sardonic. Or if we spent our high school or college years in the 80's. Anyway, then we've got some blog comments and. . we're out. What a great show. Now why can't they all be like that? See, I don't even mind the OJ because it was prioritized properly--short and after the hard news. A-


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