Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Republican Identity, Mideast Peace Talks, NFL Murder, And Chicago Doctor Murder (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everyone. We're kicking things off tonight in Saint Petersburg, Florida, with Anderson Cooper coming at us from the stage of Wednesday's YouTube debate. After the recent changes the party of the elephant has gone through, tonight's question is "what is a republican?" Oh man, they really don't want me to answer that. These ponderings move us into a John King piece that focuses on the republican chaos. They're having an identity crisis, it seems. Will they go the moderate route and rally around the Giulianis of the world to keep the party viable with independents...or is their key to survival a continued lurch to the right? They better figure it out because two dozen republicans in Congress are retiring and voters are fleeing. This is what happens when you mix greed, power, incompetence, general suckiness, and then sprinkle it all with a dash of evil and crazy. I wonder if the democrats will ever become effective enough to be evil...

After John's piece, he and Gloria Borger join us live for discussion. John tells us there's a debate going on in the republican party right now concerning what they really stand for. Gloria then talks about how the candidates are trying to differentiate themselves from our current commander in chief "because nobody wants a third term of the Bush administration." Amen to that! Just thinking about it is enough to give me nightmares. Anderson then points out that the democrats have a lot more money than their friends on the other side of the aisle. Gloria chalks that up to democratic enthusiasm. Yeah, baby! care! John then gets all jealous of Anderson, saying he has the "best job in politics tomorrow night" because apparently the republicans are expected to start ripping each other's heads off or something. Sometimes I don't know if I'm blogging about politics or Jerry Springer.

Transitioning now to coverage of the Mideast peace talks in Annapolis. Last night Anderson promised they'd cover this today and I am now pleasantly surprised. Let's just say I had my doubts. Anyway, after ignoring the region for basically his whole presidency, Bush has decided to give Mideast peace the old (half-hearted) college try. First thing to master? Name pronunciation. I know everybody flubs, but the name butchering he did today was just embarrassing. Anyway, we're joined live by Tom Foreman, who gets the fun task of distilling an intractable several-decades old conflict into about two minutes. Actually, they did a fairly nice job with this. It's like Mideast Crisis 101. In regards to the current talks, Tom tells us most Mideast analysts don't believe there will be a deal. Also, Hamas was not invited, so even if a deal is struck, they'll just blow it apart, perhaps literally. Tom also tells us that feelings run so deep that some people at the conference won't even shake hands. That's probably not a good sign.

If you're wondering why you should care about any of this, CNN's own Ben Wedeman breaks it down for you (and after reading his last paragraph I kind of heart Ben now). Given our little adventure in Iraq, I've never understood Bush's totally hands off approach to the Mideast conflict (one of many things I don't understand about him). The fact of the matter is that much of the Arab world sees what's happening in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one and the same. You can't ignore one and solve the other. This becomes clear in a fascinating discussion that takes place between an Al Jazeera journalist and an American Lieutenant in the documentary Control Room (watch here for free). It's also why the Iraq Study Group strongly recommended active negotiations toward peace in the Middle East. Not that the administration listened to them about anything anyway.

For more discussion of what went on in Annapolis, The Gerg joins us live because he's been in those conferences before. He'd like to give Bush credit for getting this whole process started. What the hell? Yeah, it only took him seven years. But then Anderson's like, isn't Bush the same guy "who basically wrote this off years ago?" Thank you, Anderson! Man, I would have been ticked if everybody was just going to play like they have amnesia. "Come on, Anderson. You are in the state of South Carolina. People believe in redemption down there," jokes The Gerg. Hey, you're not allowed to be charming when you almost let history be rewritten--even if accidentally. Anyway, then they discuss how the leaders are weak on all sides and this thing is probably going to collapse into one big suckfest. Yay?

Erica Hill brings us the headlines and they contain something about Natalie Holloway. And it's only in the headlines. Yay! Let's keep it that way. Pleeeease. Okay, now onto tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" Remember last night's story about Miss Puerto Rico and her composure despite dealing with a pepper spray-spiked gown and make-up? It turns out she might have made the whole thing up. Gasp!!! How very Rovian of her. Police want to know how she stopped crying between camera appearances. "...for me, when I cry between camera appearances, it is very hard to recover," deadpans Anderson. Bwah! Aw, he's so very emo. Sometimes he just sits in the dark and plays track four of REM's "Automatic For the People." You know the one.

Next up, we're joined live by John Zarella who tells us about an NFL player that was shot by an intruder and later died. He was only 24, so that's pretty sad, but that's about all I really took in on this story. Is it completely horrible that every time I see John I think of drag queens named Sushi and dropping shoes? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, watch New Year's Eve. Anyway, we're then joined by Roland Martin live for discussion. Anderson lists some other NFL violence and basically asks what's up with that. Roland explains that pro-athletes are increasingly being seen as targets. Not to blame the victim or anything, but if it was just about robbery, wouldn't we see this just as prevalently across the board in other professions that make a lot, like actors? Just wondering out loud.

Moving on now to a Randi Kaye two-parter piece on the murder of a Chicago doctor. The twist in this case is that the killer fled to France, became a French citizen, and now they can't extradite him. Of note is that the dude says he didn't plan to kill the doctor, but rather was going to just cut off his hands and feet and then close the wounds with a blow torch. Because that's much better. After Randi's piece, we're joined by Jeffrey Toobin who tells us that the guy could be tried in France, but he'd only get a maximum of 20 years. Dude. Are we going to need to change the name of our fries again?

On now to some pimping of newbie Campbell Brown's attack ad special and then Erica is back with more headlines. We learn than according to the UN, Iceland is the bestest place to live in the world. Anderson does not concur. Apparently his night spent their was cold. I'm guessing the Icelandic Tourism Board will not be nominating Anderson for most favorite anchor. The Shot tonight involves hockey. Erica tells us that she went to a big hockey school, but did not play because she needed to keep her teeth. " I didn't know those are real," says Anderson. Ouch. Iceland and now Erica. Anyway, apparently a bunch of teddy bears were given out as a promotion and all these hockey fans got ticked and threw them on the rink. Or something. Basically, we're seeing a lot of flying bears. Oh, and Erica would like to make a clarification: "The teeth are real. I never even had braces. OK? OK. " Okay. She then plays us a clip from 1979 where White Sox fans watched disco records get blown up. This is followed by some talk that Lou Dobbs and the Wolfbot were actually there. "Well, Dobbs and Blitzer back in the day, they were big into the whole mosh pit scene," says Anderson. Oh, now that's a disturbing image to leave us with. Thanks a lot, Cooper. The show tonight wasn't bad. Yay for the Mideast coverage. I guess I'll see if I can get through the republican debate and I'll have something up for you on Thursday. B


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