Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Romney Misstep, Iran NIE And Bush's Nonsensical Statements, Financial Analyst Death, And Adult/Child Sex Cult (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everybody. Up top, Anderson Cooper gives us the rundown and then states, "But we begin, as we always do, 'Keeping Them Honest.'" Uh, come again? As you always do? I don't think so, buddy. But since we're starting out with a real news story, we'll let Anderson keep his little fantasy and forego trudging through 360's least greatest hits. So okay, remember during the YouTube debate when Romney called New York a sanctuary city for illegals, and then Giuliani was like, "whatever, you have a sanctuary mansion because you have illegals working on your house!" and then Romney was like, "nuh uh!" and then Anderson was like, "time, time" and then the viewer was like, "oh, for the love of God!"? Remember that? Turns out the truth was a bit more on Giuliani's side in that little squabble.

For more, we go to John King live who tells us that Romney was just forced to acknowledge that illegal immigrants have been working on his house through a landscaping company for a whole year (a year!) after he promised he took care of the problem. Uh, oops? In fact, there were illegal immigrants working at his house the day after the YouTube debate. Oh, now that's embarrassing. He better hope nobody tells Lou Dobbs. Candy Crowley then also joins us live and states that this is going to play into the narrative Romney's critics have been trying to write. As for Giuliani, John says he's going to hold off on adding fuel to fire and just see how long it burns. Anderson notes that Romney has this big speech on his religion coming up and the timing is pretty bad. Yep, sucks for him.

Next up, Anderson tells us the major news that a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran has concluded that the country stopped working on nukes four years ago. Well, it's a good thing we didn't invade them then, huh? National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley claims Bush has known this information for four months, but you might remember there was some serious war drum beating during that time. This leads us to the very basic question of "WTF?" We're played a couple of date-stamped clips to further prove the war mongering. Very nice, 360. You get a cookie. And at this point we arrive at that age old question of what did the president know and when did he know it? As Keith Olbermann said on tonight's Countdown, Howard Baker ought to be getting royalties at this point.

Keeping on with the subject, we've got Tom Foreman with Raw Politics: The Serious Edition. No cute copy here because this isn't a joke. Thank you 360 for treating the subject matter appropriately. Anyway, we get more clips of Bush and his BS and they even note (with clip) that he said the same stuff about Iraq. The report is making it easier for Iran to accuse Bush of lying, which, um, he is. But they're not being truthful either. So basically they're still our enemy, but maybe we don't need to, you know, bomb them.

If you think Bush is looking pretty bad in this so far, you ain't heard nothing yet. We're played his "explanation" in which he states that back in August he was told there was new information on Iran, but he wasn't briefed about it until last week. As president, you would think that maybe back in August he would have, you know, asked what was up, but perhaps not. And now, We the People find ourselves yet again in a situation where we have to chose to either believe our president is a complete moron or a blatant liar. Decisions, decisions. For discussion, we're joined by David Gergen, Reza Aslan, and Christiane Amanpour. Best panel evah! Anderson begins by asking if Bush's explanation makes sense and the The Gerg says it does not. He's completely boggled by the whole thing, noting Bush's recent WWIII comments and how the war mongering even contributed to fears over oil prices. Man, it's like nothing makes The Gerg cynical. We go through crap like this over and over and he's flummoxed every time.

Anderson notes that the neocons like John Bolten are skeptical of the NIE and wonders if it underestimates the threat. Like we should be listening to crazy Yosemite Sam in the first place. Reza isn't worried about any underestimation and believes Bolten would find fault with anything Iran or North Korea related. Anderson then wonders how the NIE will impact building an international consensus against Iran. Christiane says Europe still wants to keep the pressure on, but the NIE debunks the idea that immediate military action needs to be taken. Also, she notes that Bush is always going on about Ahmadinejad, but the Bush Administration didn't work with the reformist government under Khatami either. Finally, Anderson brings up a quote from former CIA officer Bob Bauer who thinks the NIE has caused Bush to conclude that Iran is "a bridge too far." But The Gerg doesn't agree. He believes we wouldn't even be seeing this if it wasn't for Congress (hey, they're not totally worthless!). Again, good panel.

Transitioning now to, well, the crap. Last week a friend of mine said to me, "Hey, did you notice 360 seems to have implemented a new "crime and punishment' segment? Do not want!" Sigh. I do not want either. But Greta is kicking ratings butt and here we are. Oh, and the same friend had a big problem with Anderson's tease for this next story on the death of CNBC guest Seth Tobias: "Now, depending on whom you believe, he was either the victim of his own excess or the victim of murder. We will let you be the judge," says Anderson. My friend isn't really a fan of encouraging trials through the press. And really, neither am I.

So anyway, in a John Zarella piece we learn that this Seth Tobias guy was a financial analyst involved in hedge funds and living the high life. One part of he and his wife's high life was to visit a gay club where Tobias was very fond of a guy named Tiger. Okay, I did not see that coming. The marriage didn't last (I wonder why), but Tobias was still living with his wife when one day she came home to find him floating face down in the pool. When the police came, she wouldn't let them in the house. Now Tobias' brothers are alleging she drugged him and got him into the pool by promising sex with Tiger. The wife denies it, but she did have the pool drained and resurfaced right after Tobias' death, so...Anyway, this whole story leaves me asking, what the hell was that and how did it get on 360?

Moving on to Chad Myers live for the latest on our weather. Washington and Oregon got walloped. After Chad, we've got tonight's edition of "What Were They Thinking?" and it's...bizarre. It's a Japanese video of women dancing and singing "I have a bad case of diarrhea." No, really! The video is supposed to teach English or something. When someone would ever say that phrase out loud, I do not know. Oh, and if you think what 360 showed was weird, you should see the whole thing. All this Japanese dancing leads Erica to whip out Anderson's favorite: Seamanship! "Some poor tourist is going to come up to you on the street, by the way, and say, 'I have a bad case of diarrhea.' And you'll just laugh," says Erica. "And I will break out the aerobics moves," says Anderson. Riight. Sure you will.

On now to 360 trying to up their sensationalism factor even higher with a Randi Kaye piece on an adult/child sex cult. Ew. Obviously child abuse is always serious and the leader of the cult is still out there, so maybe this story will help catch her, but blogging one of these kinds of stories per night is plenty for me. So on to The Shot, which is some guys noodling. What is noodling, you ask? Well, it's fishing by throwing your arm down the fish's throat. Probably not how I would go about it, but to each his own. And since we're talking about fish, that's right, it's time to watch poor David Mattingly get whacked with a carp. That will never get old. Poor David.

The first 20 minutes of tonight's show were excellent. Then we descended into the sensational stuff that can compete with Greta, but really isn't relevant to anyone's life. But I'm not particularly outraged by it tonight. Don't be shocked, people. My biggest criticism with 360 is, and has always been, their unbelievable inconsistency. This show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann are the only two cable shows I watch regularly. One might point out that on any given night, Countdown contains 25-50 percent fluff/partisan commentary, yet that show doesn't frustrate me anywhere near like 360. Why? Consistency. When I sit down to watch Countdown I know I am going to get real news that is important to this country and possibly the world as a whole. Sure, half the broadcast might end up being filled with crap, but 99.9 times out of 100, when I flip on at the top of the hour, I am going to find hard news.

360? Not so much. I know change is good and variety is the spice of life and yada, yada, yada, but man, I never know what I'm going to get when I turn on 360, including whether or not the broadcast will contain any hard news at all. Will they lead with celebrity hijinks, an update from Iraq, or the latest murder mystery? I don't know! It could be any one of those. Honestly, if someone asked me to describe 360 in a sentence or two, I'd have a hard time. And I've been watching this show for over two years. Anyway, there's always plenty to say about 360's consistency problem, but we'll leave it at that tonight. Weigh in in the comments if you feel so obliged. B-


Anonymous Duffy said...

Couldn't agree more about the consistency issue. I love Countdown because I know that every night I can generally expect two to three hard news stories in the first half of the show, followed by some Bill O. bashing and one celebrity fluff piece. 360 can be total garbage or an hour of true excellence (and is usually about half and half . . . if we're lucky), and you might have to sit through a whole hour of crap for the news that matters. It baffles me how they can spend twenty minutes talking about some random true crime and then give 30 seconds in a Headline News Update to critical policy changes or major news about the war. Grr :(

5:05 AM  
Blogger Arachnae said...

It's not so much the 'trial by the press' aspect of the Tobias story - TV is always asking us to decide if a defendent (or even a suspect) is guilty or not. It's that TV viewers are now supposed to decide whether or not he was even murdered that is a little startling. You know, there are professionals whose job it is to view the evidence and determine these things - I'm really creeped out by the suggestion that those of us watching at home should have any input into this process.

And I've got to side with Romney on the whole landscaping issue, much as I hate taking any Republican's side on anything - it would simply never occur to me to ask a lawn service company to provide me with citizenship papers of all their employees before hiring them. I mean, if someone stopped you on the street and asked you to prove you were a citizen, could you? I couldn't.

5:08 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@duffy-Yeah, it is soooo frustrating when I sit through 20 minutes of sensationalism, only to see the real news has been relegated to the 30 second headline.

@arachnae-Oh. Sorry. I guess I didn't totally understand what you were saying; just that you wanted me to yell at them. Heh. But I think they only phrased the copy like that to put emphasis on the fact that they're not about opinions. They're very proud of that. Heh.

In regards to Romney, I'd agree if he was just some John Doe. But he's a presidential candidate courting votes by exploiting fears of Mexicans. It's like with Larry Craig--I would have felt bad for th guy if not for the fact that he championed anti-gay legislation. Bottom line is, the landscaping issue looks very bad for Romney.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Arachnae said...

Eliza - 'letting you be the judge' is now apparently one of CNN's new mantras. I was watching during the day (unusual for me, but it's snowing here!) and Sanjay did it too. It was in reference to new fears that the lining of the cans of infant formula might contain a dangerous chemical.

And here's the thing - I'm pretty sure that what he meant was that the viewer should decide, in light of the possibility of potential toxicity, whether or not they wanted to buy and use canned infant formula. But it SOUNDED like he was saying we should be making the call on whether or not the chemical was THERE, or if it was, if it was dangerous. And that's the job of food-safety people, not us. And it's CNN's job to tell us what the food-safety people discovered.

Clarity, people. Clarity in sentence construction is a GOOD thing.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what do you think of the very popular view by a leading Israeli analyst Obadiah Shoher? He argues (here, for example, www. ) that the Bush Administration made a deal with Iran: nuclear program in exchange for curtailing the Iranian support for Iraqi terrorists. His story seems plausible, isn't it?

5:28 PM  

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