Sunday, December 02, 2007

Debate Talk, Decrease in Iraq Violence, Peterson Case, And Religious Extremism (Thursday's Show)

Hi guys. I don't know where all my time went lately, but not only is this late, it's also going to have to be a review on semi-speed. Sorry about that. Anyway we kick things off with Anderson Cooper pimping the fact that the "CNN/YouTube Republican debate last night was the most watched of this campaign by far." Wait, there was a debate? You don't say. We then move into a John King piece that breaks down the prior night's festivities, as well as adds in some nifty old clips that show how the candidates have, shall we say, wavered, in their positions. I loves me the old clips. It's like the past really happened!

After his piece, we're joined by John for discussion, along with Tom Foreman, former Clintonite and political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, and Ari Fleischer. Ari Fleischer? I barely recognized him without the podium . . . and circle of lies. These guys are like ants; you spray, but they always pop up somewhere else. Actually though, this panel wasn't half bad. They almost had an actual conversation. These things are almost always so forced and fake, but that came very close to honest discussion.

Transitioning now to a Michael Ware piece on Iraq. Finally! As you might have noticed, news out of Iraq lately has been hinting toward the positive. Violence is down and Iraqis are returning to their country. But before I even think of saying "yay" I need my most-trusted-name-on-Iraq guy to tell me what's really going on. Because I remember early 2005 when there were purple fingers and everyone was happy and even some liberals were murmuring about Bush being right. And then...kaboom! Civil war. So color me skeptical. Anyway, in a Michael piece we learn what he's been saying all along: when the American's leave the Sunni groups are going to turn on the government. Later, Anderson asks how you get the Sunnis to trust the government. "In one sense, Anderson, it's not going to happen," says Michael. So, uh, don't count your optimistic eggs before they hatch. Also? There's no plan for the returning refugees, which could lead to violence picking right back up. Round and round we go. How many will ultimately die, nobody's knows.

Skipping over a Randi Kaye piece about the Peterson case, we're moving on to a Paula Newton piece about a woman in Saudi Arabia who was gang raped. As a teen, the woman emailed a man she met on the Internet a picture of herself without the traditional head garments, which is forbidden. Time then passed and she eventually got married to someone else, but she wanted that picture back because she was afraid her new husband would find out about the photo. The gang rape occurred at knife point when she went to get the photo back from the man she emailed. Seven men participated in the crime and they were later each sentenced from two to nine years in prison. The woman herself was sentenced to 90 lashes for being with a man that was not her husband. When she tried to appeal, her sentence was raised to 200 lashes and six months in jail. Unbelievable. And Saudi Arabia is our "friend" and ally.

Keeping on the subject, Anderson has an interview with filmmaker and Islam critic, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I don't know if it was because her interview was so short or what, but I don't feel like her views were properly defined for the viewers. Because she has very, very extreme views about Islam and in my opinion she's not really helping the fight against extremism. I can't believe Anderson didn't ask her about her recent interview in Reason where she proclaims there is no moderate Islam and the entire religion (which, BTW, consists of 1.5 billion people) must be defeated. Exactly how does that help things?

The Shot tonight is a Cambodian boy and his snake. Erica Hill finds this a good opportunity to show some Planet in Peril footage of Anderson freaking out with a snake. This is then played in slow motion over and over. Aw, everybody loves to mock Anderson. Wolf Blitzer doesn't have to deal with this. Heh. Anderson swears the snake was going for his jugular. Uh huh. I believe he's said the same thing about other creatures. Anderson is obsessed with his jugular. He tells us he used to collect snakes as a kid, but now thinks they're creepy. Isn't it funny how our kid-selves were so much braver than our adult-selves. I used to jump off a swing and into a tree. If I saw a kid do that now I'd have a coronary. The show was fairly good. B.


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