Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pakistan Blast, Wacky Weather, More O.J., Raw Politics, Carteret Islands-PiP, And Hippie Museum (Thursday's Show)

Hi everybody. Sorry about being so late with this review. I know I gave myself some wiggle room when I included an "ish" with my promise of a Friday posting, but I think even that's gotten away from me. Anyway we're kicking things off with the horrible BREAKING NEWS of a bombing in Pakistan. Anderson Cooper informs us that the Karachi bombing was actually an assassination attempt against former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was returning from exile, and though she is safe, so far 120 others are dead (at the time of this blogging the reported death toll stands at 136). The bombing was caught on tape, which we're shown and Anderson gives us a little refresher on Pakistan: "It's infiltrated by the Taliban and al Qaeda, dotted with terrorist training camps, gripped by fundamentalist fear, run by a dictator, and armed with nuclear weapons." But they're our ally, so . . . yay?

Next up, we have some taped video of Dan Rivers that filmed at the blast site right after it happened. He tells us he can smell the explosives and there are body parts still lying around. Horrible would kind of be an understatement at this point. Dan then joins us live to talk about the security of the motorcade, which obviously wasn't that great. Apparently Bhutto got lucky in that she just happened to go down inside the bus she was riding right as the blast occurred. Otherwise she might be dead right now because she had previously been acting pretty defiant regarding minding her own security. It's great she's not scared off by those that want to harm her, but there's got to be a happy medium.

Moving on now to some discussion with Peter Bergen, Reza Aslan, and Nic Robertson. Now that is what I'm talking about. If only something didn't have to blow up for us to get an awesome panel. In terms of who did the deed, Peter tells us it could have been a number of people: al Qaeda, Ramzi Yousef, the Taliban . . .you get the idea. Bhutto has the same enemies we do. Anderson then has Reza explain a bit what Bhutto's whole deal is anyway, since if you're like me, you really have no idea (hey, I can't keep up with everything). Anyway, she's returning to Pakistan after an eight year self-imposed exile following corruption charges and her goal is to be prime minster. Apparently she's trying to work out some power sharing deal with Musharraf, though I admittedly don't understand the specifics.

Nic then talks about the stability of Pakistan or rather, the current lack thereof, given the growing strength of the radical Islamists. But remember, Pakistan is our ally and Iraq is the problem. Because Bush said so. Peter also pipes up about the new violence in the country, but then brings us the bright side (though relayed with the same intense face) that the Islamists actually aren't all that popular in Pakistan. Anderson wonders what will happen if free elections don't take place. Reza thinks it would be a disaster and then piggybacks off Peter's previous comments, stating that there's no reason to think Pakistanis would vote for the jihadists in free elections. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

On now to Anderson informing us that Bhutto's father was actually executed by the last Pakistani dictator and then that guy ended up dying under mysterious circumstances himself. Man. "Pakistan, safe to say, does not have a great retirement plan for leaders," says Anderson. Bwah! Yeah, they'd probably rather have a 401K. This intros us into a Peter Bergen piece on Bhutto, who we learn is a pro-West progressive. She's adored by a lot of people, but when she was prime minister she and her husband were accused of stealing money from the treasury. This lead to her exile, but now she's back and trying to strike a deal for power with Musharraf. The Wolfbot had her on his show recently and we're shown a clip. I actually watched this interview, though at the time I don't think I knew exactly who I was watching. Random CNN watching. Heh. After this piece, Peter rounds out this coverage with some in studio talk.

Transitioning now to a Randi Kaye piece on the severe weather that's been hitting the country. Twisters! And unfortunately, two dead here in Missouri. After her piece, we've got Chad Myers for the latest . . .and I'm sort of in the red box again. God dammit. After we saw Chad the last time, my shutter blew off, so I'm not pleased. He then tells us about a bunch of tornado watches that are going to last all night, which sucks. "So, you're going to go to sleep. You are not going to stay up until 5:00 a.m. So, what do you need to do tonight?" asks Chad. Um, open my window so I can hear the siren? Because that's what I do. Either that, or sit in front of my tv in the middle of the night like a zombie, watching the counties scroll across the bottom of the screen. But in any regard, according to Chad, I am wrong. He then makes me feel guilty for not having a weather radio. Sigh. Chad, I feel your disapproval and I accept it.

Next up, we're joined by Lisa Bloom to talk about OJ. Hey, where's Jeffrey Toobin? Okay 360, I appreciate you positioning the OJ news at a more appropriate place in the broadcast than you sometimes do, and Lisa actually is growing on me, but if you expect me to stomach OJ crap without our crazy-yet-lovable Simpsonologist in residence, well, you've got another thing coming. Hmph. Anyway, I don't know, there's some stuff about guns and then Lisa mentions they have enough stuff to go to trial, which kind of makes me cry inside a little.

Tom Foreman brings us our usual "Raw Politics" and oh lookee here, the GOP pool of 08ers just gone smaller. Buh-bye, Brownback! Even though we hardly knew you, we're really not too sad about that. But Tom notes he won't be going home empty-handed. The "Oval Office" home game, anyone? Next, we learn that almost 50% of the country thinks we're in a recession. But are we in a recession? We are way too obsessed with polls. Tom also tells us that Bush and some republican congress critters continue to hate sick kids. Okay, there's a chance I put an editorial spin on that, but the fact of the matter is the prez vetoed SCHIP and there weren't enough votes for an override, proving once again that Bush's pro-life stance only applies to fetuses and those in vegetative states. Finally, Obama apparently believes that people give him a hard time about not having experience because he looks so young. Or, you know, it's because he doesn't have much experience. But I think at this point all we're looking for is not completely incompetent and/or criminal, so really, it's all good.

Moving on to a Sanjay Gupta "Planet in Peril" promo piece on the Carteret Islands. It's scuba diving Sanjay! He goes down 60 feet to check out the reefs, but it is not good news, people. Sigh. After Sanjay's piece we go back to Chad for more weather and he once again pimps the weather radios. Dude, Chad, you got stock in the company? Kidding. He knows we love his concern.

Our final piece of the night is from Dana Bash on a $1 million earmark for what's being dubbed a "hippie museum." The museum aims to preserve 60's memories and the earmark was requested by New York senators Clinton and Schumer, who defend it as a job creator. Even though pork is plentiful in Washington, the earmark was actually killed in a not at all usual move. Hm. You know, I'm not a fan of pork, but I don't have a huge problem with this museum. It's really not that much money compared to most stuff. And who doesn't love the 60's?

The Shot tonight is a controlled implosion in Atlantic City and then we have blog comments. Anderson also gives us a couple of program notes on stuff that got bumped. I like it when they keep us informed like that. It let's us know that they're actually paying attention. Because sometimes? That's not so clear. In regards to Friday's show, all I have to say is David Copperfield? What the hell? Anyway, the show tonight was good. B+


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