Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mitchell Report Rocks Baseball, Democratic Debate, And WWII Veteran Injustice (Thursday's Show)

Hi everybody. This blog is coming at you from under a pretty blanket of wintery white, which I really hope is going to be cleaned up by Monday's commute. But anyway, we're beginning tonight with the uncovering of a big stain on America's favorite past time. It seems that John Fogerty left a few lyrics out of his song "Centerfield." It shoulder have been: put me in coach, I'm ready to play, today;...just as soon as I inject myself with massive amounts of steroids. Not as catchy, I know. Anderson Cooper notes that the revelation that players are shooting up is less "say it ain't so" than it is "well, duh." Such a way with words. This intros into a piece where we learn that former senator George Mitchell has issued a report to Major League Baseball that links 70 former and current players to performance-enhancing substances. That's a lot of juice.

Next up, we're joined by our senior legal analyst (and baseball fan!), Jeffrey Toobin. He tells us that there will most likely be no charges because the statute of limitations has run out on a lot of the report's revelations. Also, there has to be proof and a lot of this info comes from only one or two guys. Anderson thinks management must have known about all of this. Now it's my turn to say, well, duh. Toobin is also shocked that we're supposed to believe these guys didn't know. "I mean, there was a financial interest for everybody to just turn the other cheek," says Anderson. Yeah, that pretty much sums this all up. It's all about the Benjamins.

Moving on now to a Gary Tuchman piece that begins by Gary asking us if we remember the 1998 Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa home run race. Do I ever! I should probably back this up and explain that I come from a city where baseball is huge. A kind of city, where, during the playoffs one year, the actors in my high school play kept the audience updated by ad libbing the score into their dialog. A city, where, during college, some of my professors wrote the score on the board while we were taking our finals. And during that 1998 race it was even more intense. Most people here can tell you just where they were when McGuire hit his record breaking homer. I was slaving away at my then retail job and the news shot through the store within seconds. So to sum up, oh yeah, I remember.

Gary's piece basically focuses on what I touched on before: this is all about money. And that's pretty much why I personally am just your average baseball fan and don't get all that invested. Don't get me wrong, I like to go to the games, and winning the World Series the other year was really cool, but ultimately I can't get idealistic about something that's entirely for profit. The players have no loyalty. For most of them it's all about who will give them the biggest paycheck. I haven't been a fan of a specific player since I was a kid and I loved Ozzie Smith. (I still love Ozzie Smith, btw, and it better not ever come out that he did steroids because it will break my little heart.) But I have to have some love for baseball. Why? Because I am the daughter of a novelty license plate-having, good luck bracelet-wearing, Cardinal flag-waving scary superfan. And, well, if I didn't like baseball, she'd probably disown me.

As for the steroids, regular readers of this blog know I don't take kindly to liars and cheaters of the political type and I feel no differently when it comes to baseball players. If a player can't get accolades on their own, they don't deserve them. It disturbs me that as a society we've become so apathetic and accustomed to lack of accountability that some people see nothing wrong with cheating to get ahead. I'd like to know where the line is. If it's okay for a player to give themselves a little shot of help to improve their performance, would it be okay for a student to, say, copy down themselves a little help before a big test? Anyway, a lot of our 360 peeps weighed in on the blog with their views. Hey Drew, don't hold back or anything. I have to say, I'm loving the blog lately. First of all, it's active, which is always a good thing. And second, it's more bloggy now. Instead of the correspondents essentially just throwing up their package copy, we're getting more interesting posts. It's like they all took a class or something. Aw.

On now to an interview with All-Star and NFL All Pro Brian Jordan, who indicates that the steroid stuff pretty much happens on the down low. And I think that's quite enough blogging about sports for one night, so we're moving on to "What Were They Thinking?" Tonight's edition contains a super mouse that is not afraid of cats. Apparently Japanese researchers altered it's DNA or something to make it all fearless, but I'm not entirely impressed because years ago we had this mouse in our basement that ran across Christmas lights we had hanging up and then dropped itself right in front of my cat. What did my cat do? Ran away. Sigh. I was in charge of my younger brother that weekend and he wanted to keep said mouse as a pet. Needless to say, my foot had to come down for that one. Don't worry PETA, the mouse was released into the wild the next morning. Heh. Anyway, keeping with the weird animals, we're also shown glow-in-the-dark cats from South Korea. Craziness.

Transitioning now to a Candy Crowley piece on the recent democratic debate. The thesis of this piece is basically that all the democrats are promising the same things, just different ways to get them done. For discussion, we've got David Gergen, Joe Klein, and John King. The Gerg agrees they all sounded the same, but thinks voters look for themes. Like competence? Because, yes, I'm looking for that. Joe Klein thinks he hears fear in Clinton's voice, which is kind of creepy. And why is he talking about her voice anyway? At least he's not musing about her laugh. Good lord. Joe Klein also says, the president "is the most intimate office we have, and -- and a vast majority of people -- I think an awful lot of people -- make their decision on who they're going to be comfortable hearing bad news from and good news from." What? Okay, that's enough ridiculousness for me. Moving on to more of that CNN dial testing with Joe Johns. Apparently Edwards resonated the most, but when it's not statistically significant, I don't really know what to do with that.

Next up, we have a David Mattingly piece about an injustice committed against WWII veteran Samuel Snow. Six decades ago, black troops and Italian POWs got into it with each other, leading to a riot and then a hanging of one of the POWs. Samuel was one of the black troops charged in the crime. He spent over a year in prison and was dishonorably discharged. The twist is that Samuel couldn't have taken part in any of the criminal activity because he was knocked unconscious as soon as he left his barracks. This information is detailed in a book by Jack Hamann, which resulted in an Army review of the case. The Army then agreed an injustice had happened and Samuel lived happily ever after. No, actually, he didn't. Because the Army only saw fit to give him $725. David tells us it's the, "exact amount of Army pay Snow lost while in prison for 15 months. There was no allowance for lost benefits, inflation, or interest. At 8 percent a year, $725 would have grown to more than $82,000." Unbelievable.

Gary's back with the headlines and we learn that Madonna is getting inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll hall of fame, along with John Mellencamp, the Ventures, Leonard Cohen and the Dave Clark Five. Gary doesn't think some of us youngins are familiar with the Dave Clark Five, but c'mon "Do You Love Me?"? Okay, okay, I had to Google. But I knew I knew them, I just didn't know them, you know? Heh. Obviously my nights of playing Songburst 50's and 60's edition have not completely paid off. The Shot tonight is new pictures of face transplant woman. She's baaack. Man, 360 was so obsessed with that story. We end the night with Anderson telling us that his special New Year's Eve guest is going to be Kathy Griffin. Oh my. So I guess it's just going to be two hours of Anderson giggling then, huh?

Okay, so, my regular readers know I don't blog Fridays, but you know I totally have to comment on the "360 glee club and floor crew." The crux of my comment can be summed up as so: Bwah! For those that missed it, the floor crew opened the show with some Christmas song-stylins, accessorized with Santa hats and all. Except a little birdy told me they weren't all the floor crew. Was that periodic-awesome blogger and intrepid writer Gabe Falcon hiding in the back? Lookin good Gabe, but don't quit your day job. And "A Very Blitzer Christmas"? Bwah! He'd actually make a pretty good Santa. So anyway 360, just wondering, but why so happy? There's definitely something going on over there because the show has taken a very clear turn towards being, well, good. The broadcast is tighter, it's infused with more energy, they're leading with actual news, the blog has become enjoyable to read again, Anderson's even blogging (though I do have to say that writing a column and throwing it on the blog is totally cheating), and crap news has been relegated to it's own section. I don't know what's going on, but for once, I like the direction they're moving. Now watch, Monday we're going to get an hour on Britney Spears. Thursday's show was pretty good B.


Anonymous Duffy said...

The show has been much better this week. It really feels like they're enjoying themselves once again, letting Anderson be the kinda goofy, kinda dorky, whip smart anchor people fell in love with back during the 7pm 360 days. And horray for leading with real news all week, and getting rid of all that celebutard fluff. I hope they keep it up.

6:01 AM  

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