Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Airport Death Coverage, Thompson Joins The Debate, Selling Illegal Body Parts, DC Sniper Preview, PiP Preview, And Raw Politics (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everyone. Anderson Cooper returns to his hosting duties tonight and we're kicking things off with the Carol Anne Gotbaum story. Oh. You know, when this thing first broke I was very much down with the coverage because I stupidly thought it might lead to examining whether or not the threat of terrorism has caused us to become more reactionary and quick to use violence to contain unclear situations. I also idiotically thought maybe we'd examine issues regarding the mentally ill and police. But no, apparently there will be no expanding of this story, so I am quite ready for the coverage to stop. Our friends at 360 though, have gone all out. Anderson sits down with Alina Cho to talk about her EXCLUSIVE report. Alina tells us that their "source" has informed them that Carol Anne's toxicology report will come back positive for alcohol and the source knows she was not drunk before arriving at the airport because she sent emails and was lucid.

Also, Carol Anne didn't lose it after missing her first flight. She apparently tried to get on a second flight, but that was overbooked, and when a man nicely offered up his seat, they wouldn't let her take it because it would be a security breach. That's why she was screaming about not being a terrorist. Alina talks about her "source" so much that you'd swear she just came from whispering in a darkened parking garage with Mark Felt. We then hear some audio of Carol Anne's husband giving the eulogy at her funeral. No, I'm not kidding. Anderson notes that they got the tape with the husband's permission, which I guess is supposed to make it not creepy and exploitive, but um, it's still totally creepy and exploitive. People don't think clearly when they're grieving and unless he literally went to them and said will you please record this and play it on the air, that was really uncool of CNN.

Next up, we're joined by Pierce Murphy, former president of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, and Mike Worley of Police Practices Consulting. They're here to examine two other police tapes. In the first tape we see a teenage girl punched and maced by the cop trying to cuff her and in the second tape we see a woman repeatedly tasered. Both are disturbing to watch and both in my opinion are way over the line. So anyway, there's discussion, but whatever. I feel like 360 was trying to maybe connect these three instances into a bigger issue, but basically it just came off like, hey, let's play all the tapes we have of people getting roughed up by cops. I hope they are done. Because there's that whole war thing that could use some coverage.

Transitioning now to coverage of the Republican debate. Did you know there was a Republican debate? Wait, better question, do you care there was a Republican debate? Yeah, me neither. I know it hasn't been that many, but it seriously feels like we've had a zillion of these debates for both parties. But this one is special you see, because it's Fred Thompson's debut. So how'd he do? Anderson plays us a clip where he . . . oh, I'm sorry, I just fell asleep. Let me put it this way; this guy is like the new Kerry, except possibly evil. But Anderson assures us he loosened up later on. Okay.

This moves us into a Joe Johns piece on Thompson and how he's just a big old disappointment to everyone now that he's actually running, and is no longer playing the role of some abstract savior. Gee, who could have seen that coming? He was supposed to be the next Ronald Reagan, but he's looking more George W. Bush. Social conservatives aren't happy because he just doesn't seem fully committed to hating the gays--you need passion for that apparently. And to everybody else he just seems out of touch. But hey, anybody could mistakenly think the Soviet Union still exists, right? I mean, sure, it's been 16 years, but he was probably too busy with that whole Law & Order thing to notice. Dun-dun! Anyway, it seems the only group actually excited to have Fred Thompson in the race is the media. Because now they have someone else to talk about and distract them from the mind-numbing task of covering an election for almost two years.

After Joe's piece, we're joined by Ed Rollins, who thinks that Thompson started out slow in the debate, but got better. He also thinks the new candidate didn't lose any supporters, but didn't gain any either. Perhaps he should have just taken a nap instead then. We're then played a clip of Giuliani dusting it up with Romney. Mr. 9-11 claims that Romney raised taxes in his state while he cut them in New York. Romney says nuh uh. After the clip, Ed explains that going at the issue that way is how the candidate's establish their credentials. You know what would be cool? If after two candidates argue over statements, there was some sort of organization or group of professionals that would then check those statements and tell us viewing at home, which candidate was actually telling the truth. Wouldn't that be awesome? Maybe in the future somebody will start something like that. For now I guess we'll just have a laugh over how those crazy kids establish their credentials.

Erica Hill has the headlines tonight and it seems Kiefer Sutherland decided to toss back a few and get behind the wheel. Awesome. " I -- I don't get it, why people drive drunk. It's so stupid," says Anderson. A thousand "words" to that. And in the latest edition of "What Were They Thinking?" we're shown surveillance video of a mother bonding with her six year old by encouraging him to steal change being collected by Mother's Against Drunk Drivers. Aw, isn't that sweet. Good lord. I'm sorry, some people just need to be slapped.

On now to a Randi Kaye "Keeping Them Honest" piece that really icked me out. Today this guy known as Frankenstein turned himself in on charges of illegally selling bone and tissue from corpses. Funeral directors have also been charged. Basically what allegedly happened is the funeral directors would turn over the corpses to Frankenstein and then he would strip the bodies and sell the parts to tissue banks and hospitals. So . . . ew. But there's a whole flip side here involving the living. See, not everyone can be a tissue donor, so if Frankenstein came across a corpse that had died of something that would disqualify donation, he just falsified the paperwork. And now people are getting letters that they got bad tissue and need to get regularly tested for a bunch of nasty diseases, such as HIV. This story is so messed up. I mean, they stole a woman's freakin leg and replaced bones in bodies with plumber's pipe. You decide to get buried and they steal your tissue; you decide to get cremated and maybe they don't actually cremate you. Or maybe they steal your tissue before they don't cremate you. Apparently, even being dead is hard.

Next up, we have a preview of the DC sniper special and at first I was all meh, but I actually was kind of fascinated with the interview Anderson did with Cheryll Witz, daughter of one of the sniper victims. Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the snipers, called her to apologize and she accepted the apology, but does not forgive. Anderson then talks a little about loss and makes me go 'aw.' But the fascinating thing about the interview is that apparently Malvo was like stalking this guy for three days before he killed him. And nobody knows the reason. I did not know that. Extremely weird. Cheryll thinks Malvo was brainwashed and since he was only 17 at the time, I guess that's possible. I still don't know if I want to go in their minds though.

Moving on now to a "Planet in Peril" preview piece. This time we're going back to Madagascar with Jeff Corwin. Again, we've seen some of this, but one can't really complain over repeat Jeff. He's just so adorably enthused! Seriously, watching the guy is like taking an upper--you can just suck up some of his energy. It's a lizard! It's a lemur! Wildlife has never been so exciting.

Getting tired, so I think I shall take a pass on our "Raw Politics." Sorry Tom. The Shot tonight is a kangaroo who has decided to take up racing. The Australian critter took a little hop along the track while cars sped (and swerved) by. Somehow, he made it through to hop another day. Anderson provides the narration in the form of some carefully read Aussie slang. So we get to hear a lot of words come out of his mouth that we never have before. Except for "gobsmacked." I believe that has previously come up. Probably brought about by something Katrina-trailer related. "No kangaroos or drivers were hurt in the incident. Only my reputation, perhaps, with Michael Ware," says Anderson. Eh, it's okay. If he gives you trouble you can just break his nose. Apparently it's pretty easy.

The show was meh. The airport story is played out I think and again, where is the hard news? Do we only get Iraq news now when there's a big to-do in Washington? Yeah, Michael's having some much-needed fun, but aren't there other people over there? And what about the other war--you know, Afghanistan? Not to mention the possible future war with Iran and all the crappy treatment our soldiers are getting and . . .I could go on and on. C+


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