Monday, December 31, 2007

Live From Karachi: The Bhutto Assassination (Friday's Show)

Hi everybody. The regulars know I don't do Fridays (nor do I do windows), but I figured if 360 is going to fly 16 some-odd hours across the globe to bring us the news, eh, this week I can do a Friday review. As the title says, we've got Anderson Cooper coming at us live from Karachi, Pakistan and he gives us the rundown on the latest. We then get an Anderson piece that contains new video and recaps the assassination. Also, you know how she died from being shot? Scratch that. Well, maybe scratch that. Like a lot of things in life, it depends on who you talk to. Because Pakistan's Interior Ministry says she died from a skull fracture that occurred when she ducked down in the vehicle. This is contradicted by, well, everyone else--including rational logic. I'm no doctor, but I'm thinking that a skull fracture and a bullet wound to the neck are fairly distinguishable from each other. So now we've got a martyred leader and controversy about her cause of death, which is always fabulous when you've already got fire-setting protests going on. Also? Pakistan is pointing the finger of blame squarely at al Qaeda, specifically Baitullah Mehsud, a linked Taliban leader.

For discussion about this, Peter Bergen joins Anderson in Karachi and Nic Robertson is live from Switzerland, uh, doing some banking or something. So, okay, another horrible news story; another complicated name to learn. I guess they all can't be Mullah Dadullah, which still kind of cracks me up. You've got to find your fun where you can. Anyway, Peter tells us the Mehsuds are a tribe from Waziristan, which we all remember is not a happening vacation destination. Anderson notes that Pakistan really has no control over the area. He also points out that some think it's pretty convenient for Pakistan to suddenly name this guy (you can throw me into that some), yet he's also a likely suspect. Nic explains that Mehsud is associated with al Qaeda leaders and recently Ayman al-Zawahri said Bhutto was a US plant, essentially putting a target on her. Then they all talk about the peace agreement Pakistan signed with the tribes, which 360 talked about extensively last year when they went to Afghanistan (see my September 2006 archives). Nic then talks about how Pakistan's intelligence officials actually helped train some of the people that are fighting for the Taliban and al Qaeda today, only they were trained to fight a proxy war with India. Well, now that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Funny how those proxy wars always work out.

Next up, we have a David Mattingly piece where he and CNN security analyst Mike Brooks kind of analyze the video of the assassination. Basically, the gunman was able to get way too close. "With all the threats she has had and the attempts against her life, she should not have been out of that vehicle at all," says Mike. Thank you! I don't mean to blame the victim, but she knew the threat and was reckless. I understand that she didn't want to hide and she loved her people, but now what can she do for them?

Coming back from commercial, Anderson assures us that he will be back in New York for the New Year's Eve special, which I hope to be the case. Because man, I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that being stood up on New Year's Eve by your cable news anchor boyfriend that doesn't know you exist, might just possibly be the most pathetic thing ever. I mean, I'd have to double check the "Official Book of Pathetic", but it's got to be close. Sigh.

Moving on now to an Ed Henry piece for the latest from the White House. Some people may not realize it, but the Bush Administration had their fingers all up in this Bhutto situation. You see, Musharraf's power was slipping, so the plan was to bring home Bhutto and have them potentially share power. But like everything the Bush Administration touches, it all turned to crap. Okay, don't get me wrong; I'm not saying they had anything to do with the assassination (which wouldn't make any sense, anyway). I'm just saying their problem-solving track record isn't so hot. They're really more in the problem-creating business. So with plan B out the window, what's plan C? One option is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Sure, he's got "connections to Islamist parties", but who doesn't these days, right? Or, you know, maybe they'll just let Musharraf have his police state. I guess we only get really stubborn about democracy and rooting out terrorists when the country begins with an "I."

Transitioning back to Anderson and Peter, who are joined by Reza Aslan. Reza smacks down some conventional wisdom, telling us Bhutto really wasn't all that popular and because of that, the US might have compromised her by putting all their eggs in her basket. He further explains that now we're up a creek because in Pakistan, it's all about leaders with charisma, and there's nobody else like Bhutto. Apparently the Pakistanis also elect their officials based on who they'd like to have a beer with. The panel then talk a bit about whether the election will be delayed. Peter tries to go glass half full on us, suggesting that maybe now ordinary Pakistanis will put pressure on their government to crack down on al Qaeda and the Taliban. Well, not if they're too busy watching "Pakistani Dancing with the Stars." I mean, Americans slept while Congress took away habeas corpus, so forgive me if I don't have much faith in people rising up. Anyway, Reza then tells us that Musharraf is a "dictator in civilian clothing," who we're going to be stuck with for a while. Awesome. Also? The satellite delay during this segment was kind of bordering on the comical, but whaddaya going to do, you know?

We're next played Hillary Clinton's recent statements on the Pakistan situation. Let's see, she wants an independent international investigation, Pakistan has no credibility, Bush sucks, blah, blah, blah. Good luck with that first one. And the others? Duh. Moving on to an interview that Anderson had with Edwards, he begins by asking the candidate what he would do in this situation. First off, Edwards throws down that he not only called Musharraf, but also met with Bhutto. Look at that foreign policy cred! He then talks a very, very long time, yet manages to not really answer the question. After that he starts talking about why we shouldn't trust Musharraf and there's nothing to be snarky about.

On now to a discussion with Candy Crowley and Mark Halperin of "Time." Anderson begins by playing us a clip of Huckabee, who says that besides the Mexicans, Pakistanis are coming over our border in higher numbers than any other nationality. So be afraid, people! Be afraid...and vote republican. But Anderson tells us that, uh, that Huckabee claim is actually not true. Oh, good lord. I love how the media swooped on this guy like he was the second coming, but it turns out that if he has to say anything of substance, well, he's kind of an idiot. He's got the charisma thing, but not much else. Kind of reminds me of a certain eight-year mistake I know. Anyway, Mark is marveling at Huckabee's teflon-like abilities. He says it's up to journalists to hold him accountable. Well, crap. We're out of luck then, aren't we? Aw, 360, you know I'm just kidding you. Sort of. Candy tells us that voters still want to talk about domestic issues, but the candidates are insisting on flaunting their experience. We then get played a McCain ad and Anderson is so sick of this satellite delay, he wants Mark to take it right after. Anderson will defeat the delay, yes he will!

The hour ends with more talk from Peter....and that's it. You'd think that they'd do two hours after coming all that way, but then again, they probably didn't have time to have two hours ready. As for the Saturday night special that wasn't, your guess is as good as mine. Technical problems? Changing flights? Kind of weird though. I mean, at least give us a blog post or something, people. Anyway, I'm assuming the NYE show is still on. Obviously I'm not going to be reviewing it, but maybe I'll have something fun for you guys, depending on what happens. I mean, c'mon, Anderson and Kathy Griffin together for two hours? I don't see how hilarity wouldn't ensue. Shall we place bets on whether she keeps her hands off the anchor? Heh. Show was good. A-

Friday, December 28, 2007

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto Assassinated (Thursday's Show)

Hi everyone. Well, as you can see, I'm back to reviewing and Anderson Cooper is back to anchoring, but this is not a 'yay' situation. It seems bad things always happen around the holidays. Before I get started I should probably note that Anderson isn't live. We all know what that means. Field trip! Anyway, as I'm sure we've all heard by now, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today--an act that was shocking, but admittedly for many, not all that surprising. Anderson breaks it down further while we're shown video of some of Bhutto's last moments. The former Prime Minister got into an armored SUV following a political rally, but as the vehicle drove away, she emerged from the sunroof to wave to her supporters and that's when a man shot her in the chest and neck, before taking himself and at least 20 other people out with a suicide bomb. Bhutto was rushed to the hospital and later died in the operating room. News of her death caused Pakistan to erupt in violence, with fires being set in major cities. So, yeah, fun stuff. When I heard of the news, my reaction was summed up in one word, but which one I think I'll leave to your imagination. Can we go back to the tiger story being the big news of the day?

Apparently Bhutto wasn't completely naive, because in October she emailed U.S. spokesman Mark Siegel to state that if she was killed, Musharraf was responsible. Not responsible like he hired somebody to take her out, but responsible like he didn't provide proper security. After receiving this message, Siegel then forwarded it to...Wolf Blitzer. I also forward all of my important email to Wolf Blitzer. Well, I mean, since he is in fact a robot, it's probably pretty safekeeping. So Blitzer, or the Wolfbot, if you will, is given instructions not to report on the email unless she's killed, but now she's been killed, so...here's the Wolfbot! He tells us he was scared for her. Then we get a clip of Siegel basically listing all the security stuff Bhutto was denied by Musharraf. But the Pakistani ambassador to the United States see it differently. In his clip, he claims that if it wasn't for security provided by Musharraf, she would have died back in October. Why does that not make me feel better? And just in case we're not already a little on edge, the Wolfbot freaks us all out by almost emoting when he tells us that in this situation the "stakes are enormous." Anything can happen. And they have nukes. Sleep tight, guys.

Next up, we're joined by Peter Bergen and Anderson notes that ABC is reporting a claim of responsibility from Al Qaeda. So, does that sound plausible? Yes, it does, says Peter. Then Anderson brings up some reporting on threats against Bhutto from militants in Waziristan. So what about that theory? Yes, again plausible, says Peter. And then of course there's Pakistan security services, who Anderson notes have links with Islamic groups. What about them? Yep, add them to the list, says Peter. Oh boy. This is going to get complicated. Anderson then brings up the email that Blitzer got and asks about Musharraf's complicity in Bhutto's assassination. Peter thinks that clearly more could have been done, you know, her being dead and all. After Peter, we get an account of the assassination from John Moore of Getty Images, who I think has been used by every news organization by now. He actually heard the shots and saw Bhutto go down. The shots of the bomb aftermath are pretty horrific.

Transitioning now to John King popping out of no where with the headlines. Well, hello there, John. He then intros a preview of Nic Robertson's special next hour and just as I'm beginning to wonder what the heck happened to Anderson, they cut to commercial while poor John is mid sentence. Okay then. We then come back to a Peter Bergen piece on why we should all be very scared of Pakistan. The big fear of everyone is that Pakistan will turn into the same kind of situation that Afghanistan was in pre-9/11. And since Pakistan has nukes, that's, like, double the yikes. And as far as Musharraf's helpfulness? Not so much. Yes, Pakistan has provided some intelligence, but a deal made with tribal leaders has made things worse and he's totally wasting billions of our money that we could be wasting ourselves in Iraq. But still Bush stands by his man because, well, there's no one else to stand by.

Speaking of Bush, we next are joined by Ed Henry, who brings us the White House angle. In a Bush clip we're told the assassins must be brought to justice...blah blah blah. Sorry, but the phrase "brought to justice" coming out of that man's mouth is beyond laughable. Anyway, Ed tells us that officials are very concerned about the violence in Pakistan. And, uh, the nukes. Yeah, I'm going to take a wild guess and say those pesky little suckers are going to be getting a fair amount of ink this next week or so. Anderson points out that some believed Bhutto returning to Pakistan was plan B for solving our woes with that country and he's wondering if the Bush Administration maybe has a plan C. Uh, no, says Ed. Oh. Crap. Can I get a plan B 1/2? Also, I'd like to remind Anderson that these are the jokers that didn't even have a plan A for getting out of Iraq. So, you know, might want to lower those expectations.

Moving on to an interview John King has with Shahan Mufti, the Pakistan correspondent for "The Christian Science Monitor." Shahan tells us there was a rise in violence last night and Islamabad has been sealed off. There's also some talk of the upcoming scheduled elections and it's looking like now there might be a delay. From this interview we go into a discussion with David Gergen and Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. But I missed most of this, so sorry fellas, catch you next time--hopefully sans assassination.

Further confirming that absolutely everything really can be politicized, we have a Candy Crowley piece on how today's news is finding its place on the campaign trail. The economy, already in a weakened state, was easily tossed off the table and now the name of the game is experience related to foreign policy. Meanwhile, diner dwelling Iowans find themselves confused and mumbling, "Benazir who?" But the fact that most of the country no doubt have no idea who this woman was is apparently fairly irrelevant, especially if you're a republican. McCain even admits this horrible development will probably give him a little boost. Although poor Huckabee seems to be out of the loop regarding Musharraf lifting the state of emergency ban two weeks ago. Man, first he doesn't know about the Iran NIE and now this. Will someone please send that man a memo every once and a while? As for the other side of the aisle, Edwards tells us he just spoke with Musharraf himself. Oooh. He totally has his number in his Rolodex. Right next to his hairdresser's. (Yeah, I kind of hate myself for that one, but I couldn't resist.)

Next up, we have an interview Anderson did with Mitt Romney and...actually, I just realized I don't care. It's Romney. He'll just say the opposite next week. But of note is when Anderson presses him on a question about experience and he says..."if foreign policy experience were the measure for selecting a president, we'd just go to the State Department and pick up one of the thousands and thousands of people who've spent their whole life in foreign policy..." Dude, can we do that?! Then after Romney, we're on to McCain, who tells us he's known Musharraf for years. They're like this, people. He goes on to say nothing else worth typing. And that'll do it. Anderson ends the broadcast by telling us he'll be in Pakistan for Friday's show. Be safe 360 field people. You guys know I don't blog Fridays, and I actually won't even be home tomorrow, but I'll try to watch it later and maybe get a review up due to the special circumstances. The show tonight was good. A-

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post-Christmas Randomness

Update: Hi all. I've been in my work bubble all day and just heard about the Bhutto assassination. So I'll be watching tonight and should have something for you after the show. As for Wednesday's show, I really liked Jeffrey Toobin's Iowa caucus piece.

Hello, AC360 review readers! For those that had Santa drop by, did he bring you what you wanted? Eliza had herself a very gift card kind of Christmas. Barnes and Noble here I come! Glancing at 360's show page, it looks like there'll be a live broadcast tonight. But in depth coverage of whether caged animals are "ticking time bombs"? Pass. I might still watch some of it, but I'm not planning on a review. We'll see what I come up with.

But never fear, I have brought you entertainment. These last few days I've had a little bit of free time in between the eating and family merriment. Did I spend this time doing one of the half dozen tasks I have promised myself I will complete as soon as I just have some free time? Hell no. I spent it on YouTube. But before I go any further, I must make an embarrassing confession: I am tragically unhip. This has probably already been suspected by some of my regular readers. Now you know for sure.

My secret weapon is that I have two siblings that are currently in college, where hipness abounds. And they "hook me up," if you will. Almost every time the brother comes back into town he drops new music in my iTunes that he guesses I will like. He is shockingly good at the guessing. And on this last visit he introduced me to "Flight of the Conchords." Now, maybe this duo is old news to you, but if like me, you don't keep up with what's popular in New Zealand, I've just provided you with some hilarious random entertainment. (Some mild language issues--don't watch with the kiddies in the room.) Who doesn't love a gangsta-folk crossover?



We 360 viewers love when people talk about "the issues."



This one isn't intended for humans, but I think it's okay to watch.



And because this video will never get old: Let's watch Rick Sanchez getting tasered. It hurts!

Monday, December 24, 2007

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Hi everybody. That's right, I went for the PC greeting. I suspect those soldiers defending against the War on Christmas will be at my door any minute now. I hope everyone is having fun with their friends and families. Remember, imagining violence against a really annoying family member? Okay. Actually committing that violence? Not okay. But anyway, eat a lot, sleep a lot, laugh, take pictures, pretend you like your gifts, and whether you're celebrating anything or not, relax. I imagine 360 might be preempted all week. Maybe we'll get live shows on Wednesday and Thursday. If so, I'm not sure what I'll be doing review-wise, but I'll definitely try to get some posts in before the new year. So, don't be a stranger!





Sunday, December 23, 2007

Clinton On The Attack, More Primary Coverage, MySpace Hoax, And Holy Interstate (Thursday's Show)

Hi everyone. I know, I'm pretty late with this. Remind me to never again go shopping on the Saturday before Christmas. It's way too traumatic. Anyway, I imagine a lot of my regular readers are off doing holiday things, so this review will be a bit abbreviated. We begin with Anderson Cooper introing us into a Joe Johns piece on how the Clinton campaign has really started to open a can of whoop-ass on Obama. Supporters are making hay of that somewhat troublesome middle name (Hussein) and the Clintonites even registered two website domains to be used in attacks.

For discussion of this we're joined by John King, Jennifer Donahue, and David Gergen. And big news! The days of analyzing in sin are over. CNN has seen fit to make an honest man out of The Gerg and hired him on as their new senior political analyst. Now I just want to know what the heck happened to Fareed Zakaria? The guy gets hired, I get excited, and then he's never heard from again. Anyway, The Gerg feels these Clinton attacks have been clumsy. John tells us the campaign is trying to play them off as isolated incidents. Jennifer then brings up the race card, which causes The Gerg to put his hackles up and they go back and forth a bit. John's getting emails from democrats as they speak, suggesting he check out a site allegedly created by the Obama people. Man, talk about rapid response. After the panel, Anderson tells us that Tom Tancredo has dropped out of the race. Oh, what a shame. Buh bye!

Keeping with the political, Anderson plays us a clip of Romney claiming he saw his father march with Martin Luther King. The problem? Totally didn't happen. To explain the apparent, well, LIE, Romney gives us a little lesson regarding the definition of the word "saw." He then proceeds to parse the hell out of it. "It kind of reminds you of someone, doesn't it?" says Anderson. Yes, yes it does. To my delight, they then actually play the Clinton clip that we're all totally thinking of right now. "Now, we're not saying. We're just saying." says Anderson. Heh. We then move on to a John King piece on where Huckabee and Romney stand in the polls. Of note is Huckabee claiming Romney doesn't have a heart and then Romney responding with, "So, he thinks 1,033 pardon shows a heart? He thinks giving 12 murderers pardon shows a heart? He thinks giving a repeat drunk driver a pardon to get him out of jail shows heart?" Um, yes? Not saying I agree with it, but forgiveness and second chances kind of involve a heart.

Erica has the headlines tonight and she tells us about protests in New Orleans over plans to demolish public housing units. Hey 360, why no package on this? Don't forget your promise. Moving on to "What Were They Thinking?" It's time to lock and load the gum drops into the candy cane guns, because the War on Christmas has taken a sinister turn. This time the jolly man himself is being targeted, a fatwa on Santa, if you will. The intelligence behind the threat is rock solid: first we have the prior news of an adult woman trying to cop a Santa feel. Now we're informed a float-riding Santa was pelted with something, resulting in a concussion. And, and, some scrooges at Urban Outfitters have created a shirt that says "Santa Hates You." Gasp! It's time to raise that threat level to red and green. Keep vigilant, comrades!

Coming back from commercial, we're again "treated" to an impromptu announcing audition from Kevin, the stage manager. But this time he's sporting an accent that makes him sound like Michael Ware...after a few drinks...and a full mouth. We then get some more viewer suggestions for the position: Bart Simpson, Oscar the Grouch, and Celine Dion. I love how they're milking this thing for all it's worth. I'm still waiting for that feud with Brian Williams.

Transitioning now to a Dan Simon piece where we get to see pictures that were taken of those three kids and their father while they were lost in the California mountains. From there we move into the Crime and Punishment segment, with a piece from Jason Carroll on a MySpace hoax. Basically, a friend of Aaron White used his MySpace account to threaten a girl with rape. It was a joke, but friends of the girl thought it was real, and they threatened Aaron. The whole thing ended up with a gang of kid's at the White's house, which lead to Aaron's dad allegedly accidentally shooting one of them, who later died. Jeffrey Toobin thinks this story has so much mistaken identity it's like Shakespeare. Billy in the age of MySpace.

On now to a Gary Tuchman piece on Interstate 35, which is apparently holy. Or something. Anyway part of Isaiah 35 verse 8 reads: "A highway shall be there and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it." I can see that last part being a problem. Anyway, the point of all of this is that some Christians feel that to fulfill this prophesy they need to pray about the highway. Loudly. Seriously, is God hard of hearing or something, because why so loud? Apparently Pat Robertson is behind this. No shocker there. After his piece, Gary gives us some more bible verses and the way he's standing in front of the screen is totally "This Week in God". Just, you know, without the God Machine. Or the beepboopboop beepboopboop boopboop.

Speaking of The Daily Show, Erica Hill bring us a related headline. My boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble (Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend's back). That's right folks, it's time for the hypocrites and the liars and cheats to cower in fear again because Jon Stewart (and Stephen Colbert) will be returning in the new year. Ridiculousness, prepare to be mocked! Although in all honestly, I have major mixed feelings about them coming back with the strike still going on. Hopefully Jon and Stephen will use their shows to show support to the writers.

The Shot tonight is the "360 First Annual Shot Highlight Reel." Ooh, snazzy. Let's see, we've got Britney Spears and Britney Spear's psycho crying fan. Then there's the sage wisdom from Miss South Carolina on why Americans can't locate the US on a map. It's our lack of maps of course! No wonder we can't find the Iraq. "I know for a fact that, like such as, that most U.S. Americans in Iraq and the nation of America, such as like do have maps, including one of our beloved countries such as, like, U.S. America," Anderson deadpans. We then move on to "Thriller" being performed at a Philippines detention center and end with, what else, bears. Fairly good show. And thank you, 360, for that wonderful Christmas present of no Jamie Lynn Spears coverage. B

Friday, December 21, 2007

Family Survives Three Days Lost In The Snowy Woods, Holiday Political Ads, And Hurricane Rita Survivors Get The Shaft (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everyone. We're kicking things off with the BREAKING NEWS that this afternoon three children and their father were rescued after spending three days in the cold and snowy California woods. Good news! Yay! This is a much better outcome than James Kim. Anderson Cooper tells us that they had been cutting down a Christmas tree when their ordeal began and then we go to Dan Simon live, who is standing in front of the family's house. From him we learn that just moments ago the kids drove up in a van--still clad in hospital gowns. Anderson then tells us we're going inside, which I'm not completely thrilled about, but he preempts my initial criticism with the following: "Obviously, we give people privacy at a time like this. They seem willing to speak and want to get their story out."

We then go from Dan to a shot inside the house where Alexis, 15, Joshua, 12, and Christopher, 18 are still hospital gown-clad and bundled up with their mother, Lisa Sams, on the couch. What follows is a fairly long interview with Anderson being charming and the kids being adorable. There's much laughing throughout and probably the best exchange is when Anderson asks when they knew they were lost and Christopher replies that it was when they couldn't find the truck. Yes, that would make sense. Later in the interview, Anderson brings in Matt Pearce of Butte County Search and Rescue, Steve Ward of the California Highway Patrol, and paramedic Dave White for the rescue angle. It's fabulous to get a story with a happy ending, and like I said, the family is adorable, but--yeah, there's a but--there are other things that went on today that were more worthy of half a broadcast than this story. I know, I know. Just call me News Scrooge.

Transitioning now to political talk with John King, Jeffrey Toobin, and Jennifer Donohue of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College. Another day, another poll. Now it seems that Clinton is up again in New Hampshire, but John reminds us these things go back and forth. He thinks that the state is different than Iowa in that Iowa seems to be more about the candidate, while New Hampshire focuses more on what the candidate will do. Jennifer tells us there's been an influx of centrists, which is helping both Clinton and Romney. We then get played a clip of Romney slamming Huckabee and Huckabee's not pleased response. Toobin notes Romney has to take Huckabee on like that because he's stealing his thunder in Iowa.

Next up, we have a Joe Johns piece on how the 08ers are just so infused with the Christmas spirit they decided to spread their tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy. And how are they going to do that? Campaign ads of course! Let's see, we've got Edwards being all serious about poverty, Clinton getting cute with policy, Huckabee freaking everybody out with a floating cross, and Giuliani just being, well, weird. God bless us, every one!

Back with the panel, Anderson asks about the effectiveness of these kinder seasonal ads, noting we haven't really seen them before because the caucuses were later. John says that the candidates don't want to disappear during the holidays, but they don't want to attack before the holidays either. But after the holidays? It's on! Toobin seems a bit displeased about these ads. "Oh, please. Those ads are so revolting I can't even stand it. Please, do you think any of those candidates care whether you have a Merry Christmas or not? No, they don't care. They want your vote. That's why those ads are on the air. I mean, I just think this is a new low. They're a bunch of phony bolognas," he says. Really Toobin, don't hold back or anything. For the record, I don't think any of these candidates would care were I to, say, turn bright orange and spontaneously combust. Unless, of course, I could still vote absentee.

Anyway, Jennifer disagrees this is a new low and brings up recent smears against Obama. She thinks seeing some of the candidates with their families might actually make a difference. But Toobin is in full on Scrooge-mode. "Well, you know, shame on the voters then," he says. Bush got reelected in 2004; if the voters don't already have shame, they never will. But Toobin goes on, " I mean, you know, it's bad enough that Christmas has been commercialized. Now it's being politicized, as well." Despite the fact that I feel like Toobin is only a couple of steps away from busting out a Howard Beale moment, I kind of have to agree with his cynical outlook here. I think Toobin has had to watch one damn dancing Santa too many. It's about the baby Jesus, people! As they wrap up, Toobin takes us home: "On behalf of my family, Amy, Ellen and Adam, merry Christmas to you." What would we do without our crazy senior legal analyst?

On now to a Randi Kaye "Keeping Them Honest" piece about how people in Texas are still waiting for money to rebuild after hurricane Rita. To refresh your memory, it's been over two years. Apparently the state has gotten $43 million, but only spent $1 million and out of over 4,000 applicants, only 13 have received homes. The problem? Bureaucracy and not enough employees working on the applications. Bottom line is people are still, still living in FEMA trailers. Unbelievable.

The Shot tonight is this women who literally dresses in holiday lights and dances in front of her house. She goes by the name "Candy Strand," which I have to say, sounds like a porn name. Probably not what she was going for. That'll do it for me. Show was okay. C+

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Race For Iowa And Beyond, More Pork, Prison Escape, Afghanistan Ambush, And Wall Street Bonuses (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everyone. We're beginning tonight again with politics and the battle for 2008--or at least Iowa. Anderson Cooper notes that the Clinton campaign has hit somewhat of a roadblock lately in her quest for total domination and this intros us into a Candy Crowley piece. So what's a presidential hopeful to do? Bring out the husband and Magic Johnson, of course. Um, wait. Magic Johnson? He's not Oprah; that's for sure. Bill on the other hand is "like some kind of heat-seeking missile, programmed to hit the headlines" and that can actually be a problem. He kind of just does his own thing, even when in a supermarket. I guess Candy missed the little campaign stop where the Clintons went shopping. Bill wandered away and the look on Hillary's face was hilarious (Dec 18: Magic (Johnson) for Clinton). Another whoops was when Bill said President Hillary would send him and Bush the elder around the world to "tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again." Seeing as that's a big old diss to Dubya, Papa Bush was none too pleased. Also, those that might be Hillary's number two are leery that the job is going to come with a former president permanently peering over the shoulder and sucking up all the influence.

For discussion of this and the other political news of the day, we're joined by David Gergen, Roland Martin, and Carl Bernstein. Carl thinks the Clinton campaign has gotten desperate. Really, really desperate. But The Gerg is like, simmer down, Carl! She ain't that desperate. Though he does think she's in trouble. The Gerg then brings up the Bill factor and how it can appear he's "the power behind the skirt." Okay, Gerg. When I read that phrase on the blog I bit my lip and moved on, but I have to say I'm totally not digging the veiled sexism you've got going on here. It should be noted that The Gerg was also the one that thought putting a picture of Clinton's all female staff in the Washington Post was some kind of stupid move. Don't make me put you on notice, Gerg. Anyway, there's some more discussion on this, but it's time to let Roland have a turn. He thinks Bill needs to stop overshadowing Hillary.

Anderson then brings up that Huckabee Christmas-themed ad and points out that the bookshelf behind him was highlighted in the shape of a cross, which some saw as a subliminal message. When asked about it, Huckabee's response was that if you play the spot backwards it says: Paul is dead. Paul is dead. Paul is dead. Hahahaha...answer the question! The Gerg thinks that, duh, of course he's doing that to appeal to Christian conservatives. Next Anderson reads us an excerpt from Huckabee's 1998 book, in which he compares homosexuality to pedophilia and other lovely beliefs. Anderson notes Huck doesn't talk like that now. "Well, of course not, because he wasn't running for president then," says Roland. Duh. It's good to see them digging more into Huckabee though. Good panel.

Back from commercial, Anderson is interrupted by stage manager Kevin, who is apparently trying out for the role of 360 announcer. "Here he is, your host -- we know him, we love him -- gun metal gray -- Anderson Cooper," says Kevin. Gun metal Gray. Bwah! I believe there's a group, or a site, or a blog that sports that name. Anyway, back story on this little scene we got going on here is that Anderson is miffed about NBC's Nightly News getting Michael Douglas as an announcer. He took his (faux) annoyance and deadpan sarcasm to the blog today in what was one of the most amusing posts yet. A lot of the comments were actually pretty fun to read too, especially the ones that didn't quite get the whole thing was a joke. I wonder how many emails they'll get asking what announcer they chose. But anyway, insulting comments about Vinny and his bathrobe notwithstanding, Brian Williams is totally my network anchor boyfriend. So, I hope this whole announcer thing morphs into a feud that can only be solved with mud wrestling. Ahem.

Transitioning now to a Joe Johns "Keeping Them Honest" piece on earmarks. Joe tells us that technically Congress is being transparent this time, but the catch is that they've put 9,000 earmarks in a 3,500 page piece of legislation that has to be voted on. And if you think your friendly Congresscritter is actually going to read that before casting his/her vote, there's a bridge I'd like to sell you. The Republicans are crying foul at the Democrats, but seeing as how I actually remember their reign over Congress, I'm going to have to yawn right though any moaning they're doing. For their part, the Democrats say most of the specific provisions in the bills have already been debated and approved. Apparently we'll have to wait to see if there are any surprises. After Joe's piece, Anderson tells us that Drew Griffin's investigative work has earned him a business and financial reporting Emmy. Yay, Drew!

Take the kiddies out of the room for tonight's "What Were They Thinking?", which is brought to us by Randi Kaye. A shopping mall Santa in Connecticut was allegedly molested by an adult woman. Ho Ho No! Okay, I know molestation is serious and the guy in the video says we shouldn't laugh, so I guess I'm going to hell because I totally did. But I'm going to have company because Randi and Anderson are both trying not to crack up. And then Randi says, "You know, you are supposed to sit on Santa's lap and ask for what you want, right? Not just take it, like she did." Bwah! That's right ladies, if you want a little piece of Santa, you gotta play by the rules and ask first.

Next up, we have a Jason Carroll piece on some inmates that used a tool to chip away a hole in the wall and then covered it with a poster Shawshank Redemption-style. Then they were out of there! They even left their guards a thank you note, complete with smiley face. Needless to say, the Netflix subscriptions of the other inmates have been canceled.

On now to a Nic Robertson piece set in Afghanistan's Hindu Kush Mountains. The base there is tiny, remote, and regularly attacked. Supplies can only get to them by helicopter and the birds can't carry the heavier armor, making their Humvees more vulnerable. The soldiers that fight here are from Bulldawg Company and in their words and Nic's we're told the story of July 27th and a routine patrol that turned into anything but. A village assessment soon turned into a stakeout and the stakeout into a terrifying ambush. Seven hours later the company gets to safety. Two US soldiers are dead, including the company commander, and seven are wounded. The Afghans lost more. It's good to see 360 giving the "forgotten war" some coverage. This was a more personalized story; I'd like to know how the overall fight is going on too. Apparently lately there's been a push from some to move troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.

An interesting twist now to some business news with the up-very-late Ali Velshi. He's here to make us very angry about all the money The Man is making on Wall Street while we're trying to pay our rent. Numbers like "billions" and terms like "hedge fund" are thrown around, which basically have no relevancy in my little life. I don't get it. And neither, it seems, does Anderson. "But how does someone who's running a hedge fund make close to $1 billion? I mean, what do you actually do that earns you $1 billion?" he asks. Seriously. Ali says it's all about deals and transactions and it basically sounds like a lot of BS to me. Which is probably why I'm poor.

Anderson then previews the shot, which is Michael Jackson, but the picture doesn't come up on screen. So then he goes to Randi Kaye right as the Michael picture pops up. Randi makes it clear that ain't her. "There he is. That's not Randi Kaye." Bwah! So anyway, like I said, The Shot is Michael Jackson and he's looking weird. So nothing out of the usual there. Anderson shows us some older pictures of Michael looking normal. "Then and now. It's amazing what diet and exercise can accomplish," says Anderson. And a lot of plastic surgery. The show was really good. My only gripe is they've been MIA on the FISA stuff. B+

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2008 Endorsements, Huckabee Surging, Political Talk, Majoring in Murder, Eric Volz Update, And Witness Unprotection (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. I hope the weather is manageable wherever you are. As for me, it's always fun to kick off your week by body slamming your frozen car doors open at 6:30 in the morning. But other than that, all is well. We're beginning tonight with politics and Anderson Cooper tells us the endorsement fairy has made a visit to the 08ers. Ooh what did they get? A Candy Crowley piece breaks it down for us. Hillary Clinton got the backing of the Des Moines Register and Barack Obama is supported by the Boston Globe. Oh, Edwards was thrown some love too, but the media is apparently so done with him. Perhaps we'll hear more after his next haircut. On the flip side, John McCain picks up a little Jomentum, which I think we're supposed to think is surprising, but really it's totally not. The two men are actually friends and Lieberman never passes up an opportunity to get a little attention by cutting down the democrats. So what does all of this mean? Eh, nothing really. But endorsements give the media something to talk about during this long, long, oh my God will it ever end, election season.

Next up, we're played Huckabee's newest ad, which is, uh, kind of Christ heavy, thus raising some eyebrows. Anderson sort of implies that they're really going to look at this later, but unless I had a stroke during the broadcast, he only asked one general question in a future discussion panel and that was that. We're then introed into a Joe Johns piece about how Huckabee is all awesome now. Huck not only has that retail politician charm, he's also got mad social conservative cred to bring in the votes. Oh, and no mouth foaming, which is always a plus. But in the negative column he's way behind on the money and organization aspect and when it comes to foreign policy, Bill Richardson he is not. I would also throw in the fact that he has massively scary religious beliefs, which I really don't think are being properly reported on by the media. Forget Mitt's Mormonism, what does Huckabee believe?

For discussion of all of this, we're joined by the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, Candy Crowley, and David Gergen. Anderson notes that Huckabee speaks about Jesus a lot and wonders why the Christian conservatives don't seem to be endorsing him. Tony says it's not their role to shape public policy. No, it's not, but you've been doing it for forever, so stop with the BS. Anderson then partly calls him on this, bringing up how conservatives were just recently talking about third party candidates. Candy tells us that Giuliani would be cool with a Huckabee Iowa win because he wants a weakened Romney. Apparently the theory is that Huckabee will fizzle out in the other states. That might be a good theory because I predict some crash and burn days for the preacher before the vote happens. As David Gergen notes, there's somewhat of a conservative backlash against Huckabee. Yep, all you have to do is hop across the blogosphere tracks and read their message boards to see that. (Don't forget to disinfect your monitor after!) I also think we might see a surprise or two from Ron Paul before this whole thing is over.

In tonight's edition of "What Were They Thinking?" the Zuiikin Gals are back! When last we met our little Japanese friends, they were amusing us with their workout moves while repetitively, and quite cheerfully, relaying their current bout of intestinal difficulties. That's right, it's the "I have a bad case of diarrhea" girls. Tonight we learn that the ladies aren't just generous with the details of their digestive health, apparently they'll give us anything. "Take anything you want," they say...over and over. But oh, the girls are also a fickle bunch, telling us, "I can't stand the sight of you." And if you're thinking of having yourself a chuckle over those moves they're sporting. Don't. The Zuiikin girls have made it clear they do not care to be mocked. "Don't make fun of me," they sing. Oh, how we love the Zuiikin Gals.

Transitioning now to the Crime and Punishment segment and we have a David Mattingly piece on a serial killer. Okay, so there's this guy named Timothy Krajcir who is in and out of prison for sexual assaults and when he's finally released for good, it's with a court stipulation to get a college degree, which he does. Sounds fine, right? Wrong. Apparently this guy was no dummy and he decided to use his time in college to learn how to become a really good serial killer. You have to admit, that's pretty diabolical, in a really evil way. But one class that wasn't yet available was How To Not Leave Your DNA Behind 101 and 25 years later he was busted for the murders. Freaky.

Moving on now to an update on the case of Eric Volz, which Anderson has called a "360 Follow." That's new. I like that. Look at them getting all organized with their segments. So do we remember this story? An American (mostly likely) falsely accused of murder in Nicaragua. But now his conviction has been overturned and he's getting out. Or is he? A judge failed to show up this afternoon at a hearing to arrange for his release, so no one really knows what's going on. Eric's mother Maggie Anthony then joins us and says that the judge who has to sign the release paper is the convicting judge. You might remember that this case caused riots and there's been judge intimidation. Now Eric's safety might be in even more jeopardy because people on local radio are inciting violence. Oh, and also? Eric is sick. Let's hope help and release come soon.

The Shot tonight is Celine Dion's final bow at Caesar's Palace. Erica points out that Celine's son has freakishly long hair. Okay, that's me editorializing. Erica wants to make clear she's not anti-long hair. This all then leads to Anderson and Erica taking the opportunity to show off their French accents. Their very very bad French accents. Anderson reminds us that Celine was actually a part of his 2005 New Year's Eve special. You know, I watched that, yet have no memory of this clip. I must have blocked it out to spare myself the trauma. I kid! I kid! There's a possibility I even own a Celine CD...or two. You'll never get it out of me though.

The hour ends with a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Randi Kaye on Colorado's apparent abhorrent witness protection program. We meet a man named Scott who has been terrorized over his decision to testify about a crime he witnessed. Yet, instead of getting help from prosecutors, he was advised he should move. Scott ended up spending $10,000 on security for him and his family. The whole state witness protection budget is only $50,000, and on average the state spends less than $1000 per witness. Meanwhile, Denver spends more money on trees and flowers. Makes sense to me. Later in the piece, we learn that another witness, Javad Fields, was actually murdered for his testimony. And the prosecutors are trying to put the burden on him, saying he didn't ask for protection. Ridiculous. There's something rotten in Colorado. That'll do it tonight. B-

Sunday, December 16, 2007

News You Might Have Missed

Hi everyone. Welcome to my weekly attempt to bring you some of the news you might have missed. Let's get to it, in no particular order:
  • We pay them cost-plus for crap work, they sexually assault their employees. Now twenty-two year old Jamie Leigh Jones claims she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR contractors in the Green Zone and then held under guard in a shipping container for 24 hours amidst threats of job loss if she sought medical treatment.
  • Now what excuse will the administration make for not discussing the case? Scooter Libby has decided not to pursue an appeal of his conviction, citing the burden it would place on him and his family. If you listen closely, tiny violins can be heard playing in the background.
  • A witch hunt in the name of God. In an act of callous exploitation, Nigerian preachers are branding children witches in order to collect "deliverance" money from their parents. But in many cases, parents and even whole villages are turning against the child with unspeakable results. Make sure to watch the Guardian's accompanying video as well. This is a truly horrible story that seems to be right up 360's alley.
  • Somebody better tell Cheney, but not when he's hunting. Iraq's national security adviser has called the idea of permanent US bases in that country a "red line" that cannot be crossed.
  • Almost old enough to drink. Hamas celebrated turning 20 with a big rally.
  • Breaking the glass ceiling on the West Bank. An unusual occupation for their gender, female Palestinians are venturing into police work.
  • Terrorism touches another country. A New Delhi-bound train was rocked by a blast that killed five people and injured four.
  • Lock up your copy of the Constitution. There has been a 600 percent increase in federal spending on paper shredding under the Bush administration.
  • Spines wanted. The democrats roll over again, giving Bush his Iraq war money with no requirements for timetables.

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.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Republican Debate, Peterson Case Update, Clinton Woes, RIP Ike Turner, And Icy Weather (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everybody. Sorry I'm so behind. Tis the season to have a zillion things to do and not enough time to do them. We kick things off with Anderson Cooper introing us into a John King piece on the recent Republican debate. Anybody watch it? Yeah, me neither. What's up with having a debate in the afternoon, anyway? But it doesn't matter if you missed it because we're getting all the highlights right now, including a cut-a-way to Alan Keyes, which no doubt has the majority of 360 viewers crying in shock, "WTF? Alan Keyes?!" He's baaaack. And he's brought all that requisite crazy we know and love. Poor moderator. Maybe next time they'll learn not to tell Keyes where they're holding the debate.

For discussion on what went down, we're joined by John, Bill Bennett, and Donna Brazille. Of note is how Huckabee took a swipe at Romney by inquiring if Mormons think Jesus and Satan were brothers. Dude's supposed to know his theology, so that was no honest question. Bill thinks it's interesting how Huckabee talks about being a uniter, but then throws that bomb. Anderson notes he apologized, but I imagine that was his plan all along: put it out there and then CYA with an apology. Very Rovian...er, minus the apology. Donna thinks Romney did really well. He still looks plastic to me. Next, Anderson plays us a Giuliani clip related to what the Left has dubbed the "Sex on the City" scandal. This, of course, concerns how Giuliani is not only a big adulterer, but stuck the city with some of his affair-having bills. Anyway, in the clip he says he's been completely transparent about everything he's done. I'll pause for a second until you stop laughing.

Next up, we have a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Tom Foreman that fact checks the candidate's claims. Oooh, I like fact checking! So let's see, John McCain believes he can get us off foreign oil, but that's apparently just a pipe dream. It's going to take a lot longer, people. Hell, we can't even get a 9-11 memorial built in that time and he thinks he's going to get the country energy independent in five years? Please. Romney claims he's going to greatly reduce government programs that aim to reduce teenage pregnancy because they're not working that well. The context that Tom says we're missing is that teen pregnancies have been on the decline over the past two decades. But the context Tom isn't giving us is that recently the teen pregnancy rate has begun to rise again, which many attribute to abstinence only programs. Tom would have known that if he read my "News You Might Have Missed." Sometimes the honesty-keepers need to be kept honest themselves.

On now to Joe Johns and he's got the results from the CNN/dial meter focus group. Basically, they have people watch the debates and they're able to gauge their feelings about what the candidate is saying in real time. CNN thinks this is nifty, but I'm not impressed. It's not statistically significant at all, but whatever. What else are they going to do with their time, go in depth on the details of where every candidate stands on each issue? I don't think so. That would be much too helpful.

Gary Tuchman has our headlines again tonight and he ends with the news that somebody bought a lock of John Lennon's hair for $48,000. Ew. I wouldn't want someone's hair even if the person was still alive. Whatever happened to autographs? "It's kind of creepy," says Anderson. Seriously. In tonight's edition of "What Were They Thinking?" we have cats in wigs. No, seriously. There's an honest to God company called kitty wigs. Unless it's a joke, which is what I'm hoping. Man, that's going to result in some ticked off cats. And since we're talking about wigs, Anderson takes this as an opportunity to show Gary's picture where he sporting mucho hair. Me thinks Gary's going to have to steal that back if he wants this to stop anytime. Apparently the picture is from about 1982 and Anderson wonders if Gary has any memory of the early 1980's. Hey, just what are you implying there, mister? Of course our Gary remembers. And he's very adamant that he remembers. "I love rock 'n' roll, but I remember it very distinctly," says Gary. Now, if he was that age in the 1960's, well, that might be another story...

Transitioning now to the Crime and Punishment segment, which I begrudgingly accept since they've been treating this crap a bit more appropriately lately. Anyway, you know that weird Drew Peterson guy that the media has on trial for killing his wife? Well, he's set up a website where you and I can send him money for his defense fund. Yeah, I'll get right on that. I was going to send phone cards to the troops, but helping out a creepy maybe-murderer is so much better. In a Gary Tuchman piece we get more on the case and then Anderson has an EXCLUSIVE interview with Stacy Peterson's sister, Cassandra Cales and her legal guardian, Pam Bosco. And it's pretty painful. Another one of those pulling-teeth exchanges. Of note is that Drew Peterson says he's going to hire a private investigator to find Stacy. Oh, almost like OJ! And that's enough of this for me. As Anderson teases us out to commercial he stumbles and calls Hillary Clinton, "Hitlary". Bwah! Oops. Somewhere, an overly sensitive Clinton supporter just popped a gasket.

Back to politics now, we have a Candy Crowley piece on the unraveling of the Clinton campaign. Or is that all just willful perception? Who the hell knows? But reporters are happy because the race has opened back up and people are getting snippy. Apparently they love that. Rumors abound of Clinton campaign unrest and Bill agitation. Couple that with Clinton's NH co-chair ridiculously going after Obama's past dabble in drugs, and one can smell a whiff of desperation rising from Hillary Headquarters. Or not. What do any of these people know, anyway?

Next up, we have an Anderson piece that looks back on the life of Ike Turner. Many consider his "Rocket 88." to be the first rock 'n' roll song ever made. Though he had an amazing career, drug abuse held him back. And for some, including myself, his abuse of wife Tina Turner painted a stain over him that's impossible to get past.

We've got Gary back now for an update on the nasty icy weather out there and then Chad Meyers pops up to bring us more. I am so happy I only got a little bit of this. Last year, my area got hit with a nasty ice storm that left half the city in the dark and trees snapping down left and right. So I sympathize. "Here in Atlanta, 70 degrees today," says Gary. Quiet about that. Some of us are freezing our butts off.

In order to preview The Shot, we're "treated" to the 360 crew busting a move to the music of Ike and Tina Turner. Oh my. It's a good thing the FCC is hands off when it comes to cable, because some of those moves? Definitely fine-worthy. I kid! Sort of. The Shot is a dancing traffic cop in Rhode Island and if you're like me, you're having massive deja vu. But apparently this guy does this every year, so that would be why. This calls for more moves from the 360 crew, who Anderson identifies as Bob, Frank, and Kevin. Oh, it's a dance-off! Don't quit your day job, guys.

Anderson then moves to some New Year's Eve pimping: "It is almost party time, you need to start to thinking about where you're going to be spending your New Year's Eve and we hope it's with us." Well, Anderson, you can consider me RSVP-ed. Unless of course I get one of those life things. But even then I'm still probably staying in. I've never been a fan of going out in the cold where a bunch of drunk people are trying to kill you with their cars. What's sad is just a few years ago I was mocking this special. Yep, tis true. I clearly remember saying, "Who is going to watch Anderson Cooper do a New Year's Eve special?" And I said his name really snooty too. I'm sorry, Anderson. That was before I knew you were filled with awesome. Joke's on me. The show was good. B

Friday, December 14, 2007

Is Junk Media Making You Sick?




Wednesday's and Thursday's reviews coming soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

CIA Destroys Torture Tapes, Experiencing Waterboarding, Colorado Shootings, Immigration And Spin, And Raw Politics (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everybody. We kick it off tonight with Anderson Cooper telling us about the latest scandal to hit Washington this year. I believe this is number 289. So okay, it's just come to light that the CIA destroyed tapes of "interrogations" of terror suspects after they told officials who requested them (including the 9-11 Commission) the tapes didn't exist. Obviously, this does not look good. In an Ed Henry piece we learn that CIA head Michael Hayden got raked over the coals by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill today. Also, former CIA officer John Kiriakou has come forward to make things even stickier for his prior employers. He claims waterboarding was used on al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah and it amounted to torture. But he also said it worked, so you kind of have to question his motives. Everybody's got an agenda.

As for the White House, they're still sticking by the ridiculous "the U.S. does not torture" line. Because if they just close their eyes and click their heels three times, it's true. Press secretary Dana Perino says the interrogations performed were done within the "legal framework." But she won't comment on waterboarding. Except of course, one has to assume that if Kiriakou says they waterboarded and Perino says the interrogations were legal, than the administration must believe waterboarding is legal. But we don't torture.

While this itself is a lot to take in, there's even more that's kind of been overlooked. You know that Abu Zubaydah guy? According to Ron Suskind, he's crazy. And I don't mean thinks-he-can-blow-up-stuff-and-end-up-in-heaven-with-virgins crazy. I mean, keeps-a-diary-written-by-his-multiple-personalities crazy. No, I'm not kidding. The Columbia Journalism Review gave the media a little swat for the lack of context the last time our "interrogation methods" were on the front page. When the dude is more Sybil than he is Bin Laden, it kind of makes him less scary, doesn't it?

Another angle not getting much play might seem a little tin foil hatty, but hell, I can't believe half the stuff that's actually happened these past seven years, so who knows. Anyway, everyone assumes the CIA destroyed the tapes because they show torture. But what if they destroyed them because of what the suspects said? In his book Why America Slept, Gerald Posner also takes a look at the interrogation of Zubaydah. Posner relays the story of how, in an effort to scare out more confessions, Zubayah was drugged and taken to fake Saudi inquisitors. But upon being presented to these fake Saudis, he wasn't scared at all--in fact he was relieved and proceeded to give up three Saudi princes and a Pakistani as contacts. Why have we not talked with these men? We can't. They're dead. All of them. The three princes all died within days of each other and the Pakistani seven months later. One official cause of death was "thirst." Seriously. I remember first hearing about this over two years ago when Posner was on The Daily Show. Apparently the story went no where back then. Round two?

Back to the show, we've got some legalese with Jeffrey Toobin. Anderson begins by basically asking what the hell is going on. Dude, I ask myself that every day. Toobin notes that after all this time the basic issues concerning torture still haven't been addressed. Such as, uh, what do they define as torture? You know, stuff that would be nice to know. Anderson points out that when other countries did this kind of stuff we'd say they were committing torture. Ah, double standards. Toobin brings up how the new Attorney General almost didn't even get confirmed because he went all wobbly on his torture beliefs. Anderson then talks about how torture got good results from Zubaydah and I start to get my hackles up, but then I forgive him when he says "this is only information we are hearing from authorities, who have a vested interest in saying that it work." Thank you. Because torture only produces whatever the person thinks you want to hear, which Anderson and Toobin subsequently acknowledge. Our officials might waffle on waterboarding as torture, but it's good to see our anchor and senior legal analyst mince no words. It's torture.

Next up, we're joined by former Navy Seal Kaj Larsen of CurrentTV. Kaj has actually undergone waterboarding. Voluntarily. We're then shown the video while Kaj tries to explain what is was like. Basically, he felt like he was going to die. But he still was able to last for 24 minutes before his producer called it off. That's pretty amazing, though Kaj reminds us that someone undergoing it for real would have been exposed to cold and be sleep deprived beforehand--not to mention the fact that they don't know the end result.

Transitioning now to an update on those Colorado shootings and 360 is still using that tacky graphic. Sigh. In an Anderson piece we learn that prior to the shootings Matthew Murray posted a rant on the Internet blaming Christians for the problems of the world. Also, it turns out that he killed himself. Now, while some on the Christian Right are placing blame of the attack on the secular media, 360 points out something that group would like to (and did) overlook: the New Life Church was once headed by Ted Haggard. Yes, meth-buying, male prostitute-hiring, Ted Haggard. It seems the hypocrisy did not sit well with the already very troubled Murray. Anyway, we then get another piece from Anderson on Haggard. Just because, I guess. But I'm not complaining. Show the hypocrites for who they are every chance you get. We do get an update though. Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Haggard are studying online for counseling degrees. "Ted Haggard, a counselor," says Anderson. Heh. he just said a whole lot more than the five words that came out of his mouth.

Gary Tuchman has the headlines tonight and, oh, health scares for $100, Alex. We learn the Jeopardy host was hospitalized after a minor heart attack, but don't worry, he's going to be fine. This bit of news sooooo predictably leads to a mention of Anderson's stint on Celebrity Jeopardy. Gary's the one that brings it up, noting Anderson's modesty. Yeah, right. Anderson probably told him to. "I -- not only did I win. I swept the floor," says our anchor. "OK, you are not that mod -- you are not that modest," admits Gary. Anderson is totally one of those people that throws the disk while playing Catch Phrase. He plays to win, people!

In tonight's edition of "What Were They Thinking?" we first have a nativity thief. Somebody stole mother Mary and a sheep out of nativity in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Wait, a sheep? They didn't even do it right. You're supposed to go for Jesus. No, I've never stolen anything from a nativity. But I thought that happened pretty often. No? Anyway, we then get another video of this dude just blatantly stealing a car in broad daylight right in front of a cop. People are unbelievable.

Moving on now to some immigration talk and we're joined by John King to discuss the current battle between Huckabee and Romney on the subject. Anderson points out how this is all just politics and they both have basically the same views, yet attack each other anyway. John agrees, but notes that Romney emphasizes employer verification and Huckabee emphasizes border security. Anderson has his BS-detector set on sensitive tonight, stating, "This is all just politics. I mean, it's manipulation. It's focusing us, the media and voters on minute parts of an issue to try to avoid talking about the larger issues, on which they're really the same, as you said, going forward." Um, pretty much. John doesn't seem as annoyed. That's okay, Anderson, we hear you.

Keeping with immigration, we have a Gary piece set in Marshalltown, Iowa, where the population is a-changing. In 1990 there were no Mexicans and now over one in five residents are Mexican, some of them here illegally. The mayor says that if the illegal Mexicans are sent back, the town will be short workers. I'm starting to have deja vu with this immigration stuff. And actually the war...and the torture issue...and well, everything. Ever notice how we don't actually solve any problems? We just talk about them in cycles. But for one man, the immigration issue never goes off the front page. That's right, Lou Dobbs! Anderson and Lou then have a conversation with each other where they both just agree back and forth that everything is spin and hype on this issue. I can't watch Lou's show anymore. He's become one of those yelly pundits. I can only stomach one of those and I already watch Olbermann (and he really doesn't yell all that much).

Tom Foreman, as always, has the "Raw Politics" and tonight we're talking about the economy. It seems your political affiliation has a lot to do with whether or not you think we're in a recession. Saying yes to the "R" word are 70 percent of democrats, 56 percent of independents, and 38 percent of republicans. I wonder what would happen to those numbers if, say, Clinton was suddenly magically president, but everything else was the same.

Anderson then previews The Shot, which is Led Zeppelin and he gives us a "Woo!" Dork. On to more headlines from Gary and we learn that Dana Perino heard about the show last night. You might remember Anderson and Gary had some fun with her lack of knowledge of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Well, now she says she was exaggerating and we catch her on camera saying, "Anderson Cooper thought it was funny. He was making fun of me." Aw, that actually endears me to her a little bit, dammit. She doesn't want Anderson to think she's stupid. And you know she has a crush on him. Because she's breathing. Heh. Anderson denies he was making fun of her. Uh huh. Gary points out that with the comedy writers on strike, somebody has to have a little fun. Exactly. We need you guys to pick up the slack. I miss my Jon (Stewart). We haven't been apart this long in five years. Sob! And you know the poor guy is going crazy. So much stupidity not being mocked! Pretty soon he's going to have to do what the rest of us poor schmucks who are tired of yelling at our televisions have done: create a blog.

Anderson intros The Shot by telling Gary to "rock on, man" and we're shown footage of the Led Zeppelin reunion. As it turns out, Gary is a huge Zeppelin fan, "I'll ramble on. And that's my philosophy of life," he tells us. Anderson then reveals that Gary's wife has given him some photos of Gary from "back in the day." Ha! Wow, look at that hair. I'm sorry I don't have a screencap. Can't you just picture Gary with a lighter, yelling, play "Stairway to Heaven"? Poor Gary. A guy thinks he's just doing the headlines and next thing he knows a blast from the past is on national television. "I cannot believe my wife gave those up. This is a total surprise. I'm telling my viewers right now. And I will have to talk to her when I get home. But those are authentic photos, yes," says Gary. Mrs. Tuchman is in trouuuble. Oh wait, the wife is always right. Nevermind. Rock on, Mrs. Tuchman.

Suddenly they're showing Anderson's appearance on "To Tell the Truth" and he explains that he believes two game show appearances qualify him to go "go mano-a-mano" with Dana Perino on a history quiz. Oh! He's throwing down the gauntlet. Booyah! I would be there with popcorn. Anyway, then Gary and Anderson awkwardly start talking again about Anderson's "To Tell the Truth" appearance. Man, I don't know quite what the heck all that just was, but it was adorably hilarious. Or maybe I'm just easily amused. In any regards, Erica better watch it because the boys are having way too much fun. The show was pretty good. B+

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Church Shooting, Oprah And Obama, Raw Politics, Huckabee Scandal, Back From Dead, And Michael Vick (Monday's Show)

Hi everyone. We begin tonight with Anderson Cooper expressing his shock at Victoria Beckham's Larry King revelation that she sleeps naked with her soccer playing husband. Gasp! You know what's sad? When I flipped on the end of Larry King and heard her say that, I knew Anderson was going to comment. I think I watch this show too much. Heh. But unfortunately, the levity ends there, because our top story tonight is a shooting. Another shooting. A Sean Callebs piece brings us more. We learn that 24 year old Matthew Murray killed two people and wounded two more at Youth With a Mission ministries in Arvada, Colorado and then continued his spree at New Life Church in Colorado Springs where he killed two sisters. The killing was brought to an end when he himself was shot dead by a volunteer security guard.

And um, is that a stained glass window in that graphic that says "Colorado Shooting"? That is messed up. Hey 360, do me a favor. The next time a tragedy happens and you're coming up with the graphics, just sit for a minute and really think about it. Okay? Because I think you need a time out. Continuing with this story, we're joined by Larry Bourbannais, a church member that was shot and injured, and Richard Werner, the shooter's former church group roommate. Oh, did I mention these are EXCLUSIVES? Nothing like pimping out the tragedy. Larry goes on to describe how the shooter was finally taken down and I feel like I'm hearing about a scene in an action movie.

Anderson asks the question I've been wondering since the shooting: why were there armed guards at a church? Larry's not sure, but thinks they might be there every Sunday. Anderson's trying to verify if they were there because of the earlier shooting, but it looks like no confirmation tonight. As for Richard, they always do this, but I really get nothing from these "I knew him" interviews. But anyway, Richard tells this story about how they had this Christmas bizarre and Murray played two songs that freaked everybody out: a song from Marilyn Manson (oh, shocker there--at this point he's a required part of these stories) and Linkin Park. Linkin Park? Oh c'mon, Linkin Park is not scary. I have Linkin Park albums. The songs he played maybe weren't appropriate, but they didn't cause a shooting.

Transitioning now to a Candy Crowley piece on the Obama campaign and the influence of Oprah, Oprah, Oprah!!! That's right, the queen of daytime television has read the book of Barack and stuck one of her seals of approval on his head. Now she's on the road with him in full campaign force. The O-blitz is on! In the clips we see she's all about being positive and hope and all things that make one feel warm and fuzzy. But I have to wonder what her response would be if she was asked a question about any of his specific policies. Any journalist out there want to give that a whirl; make things more interesting? After Candy's piece, she joins us live, along with John King. Candy explains that though the Obama campaign isn't necessarily counting on Oprah to get them direct votes, her presence has allowed them to get information from voters, which can turn into votes. John thinks Oprah is all about bringing the energy; something the Clinton campaign is currently lacking. Looks like Bill needs to get out there and start giving away some cars.

In tonight's edition of "Raw Politics" Tom Foreman focuses on the subject of celebrity endorsements. As you might remember, John Kerry had a lot of celebs on his side and that didn't turn out so well. So basically, stars can get people to look at a candidate, but not necessarily get them to vote for one. Tom then takes us in the wayback machine to tell us a little story about Frank Sinatra and JFK. Apparently, Sinatra originally endorsed Kennedy, but when mob mumblings came up, the candidate distanced himself from the crooner, causing Frankie to go republican. No word on the rest of the Rat Pack. Tom wraps up by reading us some wisdom from Pat Sajak's website, but I'm too busy pondering over the fact that Pat Sajak even has a website, to hear what he says. Anderson is also amused. "I didn't even know Pat Sajak had a blog. " I actually checked it out (I was intrigued) and it's got all this political stuff. Who knew? Think Vanna has one too?

Keeping with the political, we next have a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Anderson on Huckabee's recent problems. He's being accused of paroling a rapist that then went on to assault and murder another woman in another state. For Huckabee's part, he claims that governors don't parole people in Arkansas. However, a parole board member says he pushed for it. And I'm going to stop this right here because 360 has totally dropped the ball on this story. The lede that's being buried is that the original rape victim was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton and the "people" advocating for the rapist's release were right-wing anti-Clinton zealots.

So the big question is, will Huckabee always bow to pressure from the Right. Is this how he plans to govern as president? C'mon 360, you're better than this. Afterwards, we're joined by John and Candy again and Anderson brings up a comment Huckabee made in 1992 where he basically says people with AIDS should be quarantined. We then get a clip of Huckabee's response to the snafu and, well, it pretty much sounds like he's defending what he said. Candy reminds us that the experts at the time said AIDS was not communicable like Huckabee seems to be implying in his statement. Eh, those are just pesky facts. After all, as late as 2005, Bill Frist didn't seem to know that AIDS could not be transmitted through tears or sweat. And he's a doctor. Oh, those crazy right-wingers.

Speaking of things people should know, Gary Tuchman brings us the headlines and he ends by telling us that White House press secretary Dana Perino admitted she did not know what the Cuban missile crisis was. What?! She works in government! This is like when those FBI officials didn't know who was Sunni and who was Shiite. Gary thinks it's surprising she didn't know, but "we'd have more concern if it was her boss who didn't know what it was." Well, uh, has anybody asked him? Place your bets now, people. I'm guessing the odds are about 50/50.

On to tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" and, oh my, it's a doozy. Former Major League pitcher Mark Littell is promoting an athletic cup that, as Anderson says, protects your "bits and pieces." We then get video of Littel testing the product on himself with a pitching machine, and let's just say that all male 360 viewers just crossed their legs. Gary says he's traumatized. Oh, and the best part is the product is called the Nutty Buddy. Ha! Anderson says he and the staff will be trying out theirs tonight. Yeah, I feel like we did not get the true 360 degrees of this story. Where's the demonstration? Hello, paging Rick Sanchez. (Don't tell me you weren't thinking of him when you watched this.) Anderson then punches up the transition a bit: "Here's now John Roberts, who is coming up, no stranger to Nutty Buddy himself,..." Bwah! Aw, no fair making fun of pre-tape John, who is assumedly sleeping and can't currently fight back.

Next up, we move into the "Crime and Punishment" segment of the show. Meh. But I do appreciate their stab at consistency and the fact that this is at the bottom of the show. In a Gary Tuchman piece we learn that this dude John Darwin disappeared five years ago while canoing in the North Sea. Everybody thought he was dead, but then suddenly this month, he showed up claiming he had amnesia. Dun dun dun! But this is no medical story and the coolness factor goes way down when we find out the dude is just a jerk that faked his death to cash in on his insurance policy. Nice. But I was amused when Gary referred to him as the "formerly dead John Darwin." Kind of reminds me of when that spokesman had to announce that Yasser Arafat was not dead. Still cracks me up.

BREAKING NEWS coming in and...it's a picture of Matthew Murray. That's the big BREAKING NEWS? Sigh. Stop the presses! We then move on to Anderson and Jeffrey Toobin talking about Michael Vick, who just got sentenced to 23 months. Yet that dude who stole the donut is facing 30 years. They weren't kidding when they said life wasn't fair.

The Shot tonight is a foam filled Philadelphia airport. How did it get that way? Anderson tells us a kid "could not resist the sign that said, 'Don't hit button unless in an emergency.'" Well, c'mon now, that's tempting. You'd think they'd have it behind glass or something like they do some fire alarms. Speaking of fire alarms, Gary tells us that as a 12 year old, he hit a fire alarm and was almost put in jail. Gasp. Our Gary was a little troublemaker. I never did anything of the sort. I was a perfect angel. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Anderson apparently does not want to confess his childhood sins, so he whips out the dramatic animal video! graphic and shows us some footage of the long-eared jerboa, an endangered rodent, taped for the first time in its natural habitat of the Mongolian Gobi Desert. Then he puts up video of Bill Schneider doing an outside stand-up and wearing a very interesting and, uh, tall, hat. "Apparently, the long-eared jerboa was found nuzzling up to Bill. It was so cold in Washington, he didn't even feel it. The top of his head was frozen," says Anderson. "I thought Bill actually was a Soviet premier," says Gary. Bwah! And I recall Gary's hurricane Wilma get-up causing Anderson to brand him an Oompa Loompa. So it all comes around. I am a plethora of completely useless information. Anyhoo, that'll do it. Good variety tonight. And hey, did you check out the 360 blog? It's alive! And organized. B

Monday, December 10, 2007

News You Might Have Missed

Hi everyone. Welcome to my weekly attempt to bring you the news you might have missed--though admittedly, an abbreviated version. It's been one of those weekends. I didn't do a review for Thursday's show because, well, it was only 15 minutes long! Shortest 360 ever. The "Heroes" special was pretty nifty though. When it first started I thought, "aw, it's like the Oscars." And then it went 45 minutes over and I thought, "wow, it's really like the Oscars." It took me a while to figure out why they made poor Christiane Amanpour stay outside. But then I realized she was playing the role of the post-Oscar speech "Entertainment Tonight" interviewer--except, you know, likeable. Too bad the ratings sucked, but it was a nice thing to do. Anyway, on to your news:
  • FEMA officials aren't the only ones who like fake press conferences. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had an aide plant a question with a friendly journalist in order to direct attention from her less than stellar stint as National Security Adviser.
  • We couldn't just give him the Presidential Medal of Freedom? Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz is back...and he's overseeing classified intelligence on WMD issues. (to be filed under, WTF?!!)
  • Homeland insecure and up for sale. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have released a report illustrating how the Department of Homeland Security have wasted and mismanaged billions over the last five years. Watch this short five minute video for more.
  • Thank you Christian Right! Teen births are on the rise again after they had been falling for the past 14 years. Good to see that abstinence-only sex-education working.
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