Hi everyone. Happy new week! We're easing into things tonight by beginning with the political. Anderson Cooper intros us into a Candy Crowley "Keeping Them Honest" piece on the reality behind some of the "facts" the presidential candidates have been spouting on the stump. We learn about Romney and Huckabee's tax plans, as well as where Obama and Clinton stand on where they want to go with health care. While I really do appreciate the attempt to focus on actual policy over the horse race, that was a lot of info quickly squeezed into a short little package. In other words, I'm not sure anyone actually learned anything. But at least they're trying. Now would probably be a good time for me to bring up what was one of my must-read sites during the 2004 campaign season: factcheck.org
. It's non-partisan and an essential tool in finding out the straight scoop on what's really going on behind the candidate's statements. I mean, what else do we have to rely on? The media? Ha!
Next up, we've got discussion with Ed Rollins, David Gergen, and Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation
. I missed most of this (sorry), but I got down the stuff about Oprah. Apparently the queen of daytime television will be going on the campaign trail with Obama. Look under your chairs, America. You get a president! And you get a president! And you get a president! Anderson wonders if Oprah can do for Obama what she's done for books. Ed is totally down with the Oprah-love. But then Anderson brings up the fact that Oprah's presence could have the opposite effect because people sometimes resent celebrities popping up. The Gerg doesn't think this will happen and his interest seems piqued over a possible surrogate battle, pitting Oprah versus Clinton's slightly well-known husband. Katrina says it will be like two rock stars--one without baggage. Um, which is the one without the baggage?
Moving on now to a John King piece on how Giuliani's been a-flipping and a-flopping around the abortion issue. Funny story. See, back when he was mayor, Giuliani was all, woo hoo, yay women's rights regarding abortion! Now? Not so much. It seems he's gotten a wee bit more conservative on the issue. Why ever would that be, I wonder. Sure, taking a harder stance on a woman's right to choose would make him more palatable to the Christian Right, an important block of voters for republicans, but a candidate would never toss aside what he believes in just to get elected, right? Right?
Anyway, in the piece we get some old Giuliani clips, which I love. Well, I don't specifically love Giuliani clips, but you know what I mean. It's just nice to be reminded that there was a past, because I think sometimes cable news forgets. In any regards, I bet Romney's happy right about now that he's no longer the only one holding the flip flop title.
Transitioning now to the Randi Kaye piece that the website has advertised about a million times. I get that breaking news occasionally knocks stories back, but I don't understand why they even bother previewing the show on the site because it seems like 9 times out of 10 it's not what ends up airing--even when there's not breaking news. But whatever. Not a huge deal. Anyhoo, the piece is about the increasingly prevalent practice of religious doctors refusing to prescribe contraception or the morning after pill because it contradicts with their personal moral beliefs. Sometimes even in cases of rape. Surprisingly, the American Medical Association sides with the doctors and maybe even more surprisingly to some of you, so do I. In my opinion, no doctor should have to do something they're morally opposed to. That being said, if a doctor has a moral objection to something, it should be their responsibility to make sure they seek employment in places where there will always be another doctor there to step up. Because a rape victim having to travel to another doctor for the morning after pill is unacceptable.
Erica Hill brings us tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" and we're shown a picture of a nice Iraqi bride and groom . . . hey, that's not a bride! That's right, the female half of this couple is not a female at all, but a wanted militant. The two were busted at a checkpoint. It looks like the militants are getting more creative, or more desperate. Anderson tells us they're now honeymooning behind bars. "Probably not what they had in mind," says Erica. "Probably not. Or maybe," replies Anderson. Ha! I'm actually not completely sure his mind just went to the same place as mine, but we'll just assume it did.
On now to a Gary Tuchman piece that actually ran on a Friday a little over a week ago, but I don't blog Fridays, so here we are. In the tease, Anderson says there's a new twist in the case, but after watching the whole story, I have no idea what he's talking about. This is actually a really horrible story. Megan Meier was a teen with low self esteem, who under the supervision of her parents, created a MySpace page in order to make friends. And she did. It wasn't long before she met a boy named Josh that changed her world. Then one day Josh was calling her names and saying horrible things, which sent Megan into a tailspin. Unable to take the cyberbullying, Megan hung herself in her closet and died the next day. This alone is horrific, but unfortunately kids being cruel like this is not uncommon. What makes this story worse is that after Megan's death, her parents found out that "Josh" never even existed--his account was nothing more than a sock puppet that was created by the neighbors down the street who were trying to get information from Megan. Adults. Adults did this to a kid. It's sickening.
In the piece, Gary goes to the offending family's house and the woman's father answered the door, but really didn't say much. CNN is not releasing the name of the family that did this to Megan in order to protect their daughter. I respect that (why ruin another kid's life, right?). But, um, in the future, if CNN wants to keep a name under wraps, they probably shouldn't put the police report with the name on screen. Just saying. Since the last airing of this piece the family name, address, phone number, business, you name it, is all over the Internets. And no, I'm not linking. I have no idea if the sleuthing originated with the police report screen grab (it may have even started before the story aired), but honestly I'm sure it would have made it out there anyway. This story definitely touched a nerve, though I have to say, the mob-like thirst for revenge is more than a little disturbing. Anyway, after his piece, Gary talks a little about the new law being passed in response to this incident. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it will bring justice for Megan.
Continuing with this story, we're joined by Toobin and Dr. Drew Pinsky for discussion about the evils of the Internets. Anderson notes that kids often give out more intimate information online than they would face to face. Dr. Drew chalks that up to the anonymity of the web. I can see that and I can understand how hard it must be for a kid navigating the web. Every once and a while I'll have a mini debate in my head over whether I should include a piece of personal information in my posts. I'm not sure a kid would give it much thought. With regards to MySpace, Dr. Drew recommends contacting the social networking site itself if there's a problem, rather than the cops. I wouldn't think they'd be helpful, but apparently they are. So, uh, yay, MySpace! On the legal end, Toobin thinks it would be really hard to prove Megan's suicide was caused by what happened. Hopefully the law will help future kids that are harassed.
Tom Foreman now brings us our "Raw Politics" and we learn that Trent Lott is retiring to begin a life as a philanthropist. Oh, no, wait. I meant lobbyist. We also learn that Bush just made a long-term commitment to Iraq.
Um, hold the phone! Okay, I love "Raw Politics" with its wacky delivery by the lovable Tom Foreman, but this kind of thing is a little annoying. The segment is light-hearted--great for the bickering of annoying politicians. A new commitment to Iraq is not lighthearted--that's big news. News that's worthy of a piece, not a laugh. People need to know when something is serious. Rant over. Tom also tells us that Bush and Gore spent some time together at the White House to celebrate Gore's Nobel Prize (awkward!), Oprah is campaigning for Obama, and the owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch is endorsing Ron Paul. I guess you take what you can get. You know, I'm going to go out on limb and say Paul might just surprise us all.
The Shot tonight is some dirty hijinks going down at the Miss Universe pageant. Apparently, someone spiked Miss Puerto Rico's gown and make-up with pepper spray, causing her to break out in hives. But a beauty queen is always a professional (except when she's, um, spiking the competition's gown with pepper spray) and composure was kept. Man, pageants are brutal! Erica thinks this is a good time to break out the clip of Tara Connor crying and promising to be the "best Miss USA that you've ever seen." This is then sufficiently mocked by Anderson, as it should be. Erica notes that Tara now has her own reality show. Oh good lord. Anderson wonders if it's like that Tia Tequila person, but Erica doesn't think she's looking for love. "I'm not sure what she's looking for, other than some sort of rash," says Anderson.
Okay, I don't have any idea who this Tia Tequila person is, but I think Anderson just kind of called her a whore. Also? I find it a little disturbing that a guy that has over a decade on me is more versed in the current offerings of MTV than I am. Heh. And while we're on the subject, why doesn't MTV play music anymore? Video killed the radio star and then apparently was murdered itself by the reality show. I'll stop whining now. I'm just saying sometime a girl just wants to watch a video. In regards to the show, not stellar, but at least no missing white girls or celebrity crap. B-