Hi everyone. The broadcast opens with some Larry Craig news. It seems he's decided to get chatty. But before we get to that, Anderson Cooper gives us a little recap of the ever-amusing saga that started in a Minneapolis bathroom. Okay, so, the story begins with Senator Craig foot-tapping his way into a sex sting and then pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, all the while telling no one. When the proverbial, uh, stuff hit the fan, he said he would resign from the senate. Then he said he "intended" to resign. Then he said he'd resign if he couldn't overturn his guilty plea. And when a judge refused to do just that? Well, then he basically said, screw all y'all, I'm staying. NBC's Matt Lauer is the lander of the first post-bathroom interview, and we're played a clip. But, oh noes! Technical difficulties. Damn, and I was all ready with a "you're glib" joke.
With Matt out of commission, we're moving on to second string interviewer Mark Johnson of CNN affiliate KTVB in Boise. In his interview, we learn that Craig is not running for reelection. Gee, I wonder why. They also discuss the media frenzy surrounding the story and Craig plays a tiny little violin as he likens himself to a political hurricane. He's under the impression that "Americans aren't used to this, attack the individual, and keep attacking, and see if you can knock him down or knock her down and knock her out." Dude, what country has he
been living in? Yeah, Larry, I mean, it's like that guy that went on Meet the Press and called Clinton a "nasty, bad, naughty boy." Oh, wait. That was you!
After the interview clip, we're joined by Mark, and Anderson points out that it was disingenuous of Craig to complain about the media frenzy when he himself jerked everyone around with the will-he-or-won't-he resignation game. Mark tells us that Craig says this is just all about semantics. So I guess it depends on our definition of "intend." We then get a clip of Craig's wife saying that after questioning everything, she's come to the conclusion that her husband was never unfaithful. It might be cliche, but denial isn't just a river in Egypt. Anderson then asks about public opinion in Idaho. Mark tells us that the polls "overwhelming" show the people want Craig to leave. Well, way to listen to your constituents, senator.
At this point, 360 has fixed Matt Lauer, and we go to the taped interview. Matt asks if Craig might be bisexual. But no, Craig is still holding fast to the I-am-not-in-any-way-gay thing. He is very, very not gay. So not gay. He doesn't even like rainbows. Anyway, then Matt tries to get Craig to give us a little Seinfeldian not-that-there's-anything-wrong-with-that, by asking if being gay would be so awful. But Craig very snottily informs us that he does not agree with the lifestyle. Actually, most of what he says is in a kind of snotty tone. You'd think a dude that got caught tapping for sex in a public bathroom might have a better attitude if he wants to keep his job.
For the political angle, we're joined by Candy Crowley and she tells us what we already know: the republicans are not pleased. Meanwhile, the democrats think Minneapolis bathrooms are like the best thing evah! What's funny, is that the republicans aren't totally freaking over this because they already suck in so many ways without Craig. Anderson brings up all the talk of ethics investigations and wonders if that's going nowhere now. Oh, Anderson. That was so
never going to happen. Candy explains that any investigation gives the story new legs and the republicans just want it to fall down the memory hole. And it most likely will, but man, it's fun now.
Moving on now to a Candy Crowley piece that asks for the 387th time if Hillary Clinton is electable. She's softening her personal image, but toughing up on policy. Blah, blah, blah. We also learn that Iowa is running really close between Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. Also, Thompson is peetering out (shocker!) and Giuliani is still the republican front-runner. Nothing really all that interesting here. It still feels too early to me.
For more political talk, we've got John King, Paul Begala from the left, and J.C. Watts from the right. Anderson begins by asking if a Clinton nomination is inevitable. Paul says it's likely, but still too early to say inevitable. Well, good. Because otherwise what's everybody going to do for all the time left? Anderson wonders if the GOP is excited to have a Clinton nomination, given how much their base, well, hates her. J.C. points out that Clinton actually energizes both bases. Plus, she's got Bill. After Anderson notes that Clinton is in a statistical dead heat with Giuliani, John points out that she has a problem with independents.
Then Anderson asks what Obama is doing wrong. What kind of question is that? It's not like he's tanking McCain-style. But if you think the question was bad, wait until you hear the answer. "I think the problem he's got is, he's too ethereal. He's too cerebral. You know, I -- I'm probably a pretty typical Democrat, in that I don't really like smart people very much," says Paul. What. The. Hell? This explains a lot about you, Paul. Okay, he's trying to explain that Obama needs to become more accessible, but what a stupid and insulting way to say it. Anyway, then J. C. talks about Giuliani and how he doesn't have a lock on the nomination because the moderate republicans have never done well in the general election.
Next up, we have a Joe Johns "Keeping Them Honest" piece on what Anderson calls "a kind of calendar cold war." Okay, so this whole primary thing is totally out of control. New Hampshire is always the first primary, but this time around, no one knows exactly when that will be because it's being kept on the down low due to other states trying to cut in line. Joe and crew wonder "who appointed New Hampshire king of the presidential primary calendar anyway?" And as it turns out, New Hampshire did. Well, that's a pretty good system they got going for them. I think that's how Bush got to be king too. But the politicians love it because the state is easy to get around and practice retail politics--you know, all those diner visits. The thing is, when it comes to race and ethnicity, New Hampshire isn't exactly a snapshot of the rest of the US. This is just fine and dandy for racist, er, anti-immigration advocate, Tom Tancredo. Not too many Mexicans in those diners. After Joe's piece, there's a bit more political discussion.
Transitioning now to a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Jason Carroll on the eviction of some elderly nuns. Yeah, you read that right. We all know about the catholic church's problem with pedophile priests. Well, now they have to pay settlements to some of the victims and in order to come up with the money, they've decided to sell some of their property. One piece of property the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is selling is the Bethany Convent in Santa Barbara, home of elderly nuns who minister to the "poorest of the poor." So to recap, in order to pay for a crime that they enabled by turning their backs for decades, the catholic church has decided to kick out elderly nuns that help poor people. That sounds too over-the-top to even be real, doesn't it? This story would be more believable as some kind of "Daily Show" skit. Unfortunately, it is real. The Archdiocese spokesman pooh poohs the situation, like the nuns are just switching houses, when really they're being reassigned. The sisters have been order not to speak to the media, so Jason and crew "went straight to the top." God?!! Okay, no. Actually they tried to get a hold of the "mother general," but she's in Guatemala and CNN couldn't reach her. Anyway, a kind of hardcore "Save Our Sisters" group has formed, but other than that, it sounds like the nuns are on their own. Unless someone
would care to come through with a miracle.
It's time now for our Tom Foreman fix of "Raw Politics" and he begins by telling us that the democrats are none to pleased that hate crime charges are not being brought in the "Jena Six" case. Then there's some fundraising talk and from there we learn that Bush met with the Dalai Lama, but on the down low. Why? Because China is ticked at him for promoting freedom in Tibet. So, we need to fight for freedom in countries that explode, but we're too afraid to even be seen with leaders that fight for it in other countries? Makes sense to me. Finally, Paul Simon is getting on the SCHIP bandwagon, helping democrats push for children's health care. "There must be 50 ways to dis the president," says Tom. Ha! Oh, and David Crosby and Graham Nash think Bush is a dictator, leading Tom to say, "So what you're saying is our White House is not a very, very, very fine house." Grooan. Yep, with these clowns in the White House, it's getting hard to teach your children well. Ba da bum.
Normally I hate the graphics, but as Anderson throws to commercial, he teases the Larry Craig story and it's accompanied by "Stance and Deliver." Totally cracked me up. Anyway, moving on to a "Planet in Peril" promo piece, where we go with Anderson to the doctor for a body burden test. This requires a blood draw, which Anderson is none too thrilled about. Can't say I blame him on that one. I just had blood drawn last week, and amused my drawer by my proclamations that I was "not looking" and then a minute later, "still continuing not to look." They're taking almost a pint of Anderson's blood to check for chemical exposure and afterwards he inquires about people passing out from having so much blood drawn. He may be a small guy, but I really don't think there's any danger of that. Me on the other hand, well, after my incident years ago when I puked in the blood bank's towel, I was told not to come back. Heh. But they get Anderson some OJ (the beverage; not the murdering ratings-spiker) and he's good. In the piece we also meet a family who got tested. So, what were Anderson and the family's results? Tune in next week. Oh, it's a cliffhanger!
The Shot tonight is Anderson on Sesame Street. And yes, it's kind of adorable. It was also the shot about a year ago
(there's a picture!) when he first filmed the segment. "It was a good time," says Anderson. "Even though they treated me like trash, quite frankly." Ha ha. Wow 360, the show was good again. I'm shocked and currently knocking on wood. A-