Tuesday, January 08, 2008

On To New Hampshire! (Monday's Show)

Hi everyone. A new week is upon us again. Tonight Anderson Cooper is coming at us live from Manchester, New Hampshire, where that whole democracy thing will be taking place in mere hours. And I have to say, it looks cold. Which is the complete opposite of here, where it is freaky warm. Last week we were in the single digits and now it's in the 70's. In January. In St. Louis. Wha? Yesterday we literally broke a record. But anyway, back in New Hampshire, Anderson is surrounded by Ron Paul supporters waving signs and chanting. Oh, sure, there are people there supporting other candidates too, but they are no match for the Paul people. They cannot be stopped. You try to squash them and they just multiple. Like ants. What do you think will become of the Ron Paul people after the election is over? Will they still just randomly show up at events, looking lost and forlorn? Aw. I may kid them, but they're still better than all those people that just sit on their butts and don't even vote. Say no to apathy, people.

We begin with an Anderson piece that kind of gives us an overview of where some of the candidates are at coming into this primary. Obama is the current crown prince, riding a wave of hope and enthusiasm. On the other side, McCain finally finds his Straight Talk Express rolling at the head of the pack, but he better watch out because Romney is in his rear view mirror. Edwards believes he is the true "agent of change," and Clinton? Well, today she caused a little pressgasm when someone asked how she dealt with the campaign and she, oh my Gawd, got emotional. Her eyes have the ability to produce moisture! What, no special graphic?

Next up, we have John King live with Anderson and he intros into a piece where we learn that the word of the day is "change." Can you say "change," children? I think you can. Ever since Obama kicked butt in Iowa, everybody wants to be the new candidate of change. This is a problem for republicans, who had their hearts set on riding into the White House on a horse filled with warm and fuzzy Hillary-hate. But oh no! Now it's all about change and being positive and uniting people and that is so not how they wanted this to go down. They don't even know how to do that! But Karl Rove is gone (or perhaps hiding in the dark somewhere) and this is a new era. Embrace it boys! In a confusing twist, McCain, who when compared to Obama has like a zillion years more experience and is not all that inspiring, is leading the republicans. So, do the people want young and inspiring or old and experienced? Why, oh why won't reality fit into that neat little low-effort narrative that my media keeps trying to report to me?

After his piece, John and Anderson talk and then they throw to a Candy Crowley piece on Clinton, but whoops, apparently we're going to watch John's piece again. That's cool. You know, I think I'll just do my own piece if you all don't mind. Okay, so once upon a time, the press was quite enamored with one Mrs. Hillary Clinton. They anointed her belle of the ball, and to hear them report it, she was going to be our next president. Fer sure. But oh, the campaign season was long and the press, well, they became quite bored with this story, so they turned to the role of one Mr. Bill Clinton to spice things up. But that too quickly fizzled, and once again the press found themselves doing their 57th story on retail politics with still no voting actually having taken place. And this made them very sad. But then, he arrived (well, on their radar in a serious way, anyway--he was always there). Son of a goat herder, one Mr. Barack Obama's politics of hope blew the Clinton's out of the water, and a new narrative was born. And that, children, is how babies are made. Or, er, how conventional wisdom becomes, well, conventional. Sorry Hillary, the media giveth and the media taketh away. Meanwhile, Edwards, Richardson, and others sit by and wonder, WTF about us?

So anyway, Candy, Carl Bernstein, and David Gergen then join us for discussion. Let's see, Candy and Anderson talk a bit about change versus experience and I have to wonder why we are now literally putting campaigns into single-word boxes. Then there's discussion of Clinton emoting and we're played a clip. CNN obviously thinks this is a super big deal because they currently have two clips of it on their website. First there's "Clinton gets emotional," and if that's not specific enough for you, you can watch "Senator Clinton tears up." So, was the emotion calculated? Sincere? Hell if I know. I think that's part of why can't really get rah rah about Clinton. I can't read her. And I'm good at reading people. The Gerg comes to her defense and says he thinks it was sincere, but he would, wouldn't he? Our little optimist. Okay, so now that we've all established that Clinton is, in fact, a human being, Carl would like to point out how the Clinton camp is basically running things like the republicans do, which is not a compliment. But on the flip side, other democrats are saying the same things about her that republicans say. Politics is a contact sport, kids. You might want to get a helmet.

Transitioning now to a Randi Kaye piece on the female vote. According to psychology professor Elizabeth Osoff, Obama is the "new bright and shiny, " which I guess women go for. So, what, Obama is the rattling keys and we chicks are the easily amused cats? Thanks for that. As I'm sure you all realize, you can't pigeonhole an entire gender, so this is kind of dumb. Some women wouldn't be comfortable with a woman president, some think it would be the best thing ever. As for the Clinton tears (You didn't think we were going to stop talking about that, did you?), once again, depends on the woman. What about aggressiveness? "...other women are going to look at her and go, oh, I don't like that. It's a little too nasty. You know, I don't like it when they're nasty," says the expert. Call her Hillary. Ms. Clinton if you're nasty.

Next up, Anderson has a short interview with Romney and then an even shorter interview with Edwards. My initial blunt and kinda bitchy blogger opinion (sorry, bad back pain has me not in a good mood) is that there was really no point in these because they were too short and too softball. But after seeing this little behind-the-scenes video (actually, I liked the video better than the interviews), I can have some sympathy for what they were working with. Anyway, I found Romney's choice of the phrase "senator killer" to describe Obama as rather interesting. Isn't it lucky that he's a governor then, huh? As for Edwards, literally all I heard was change, change, change, change, change. If the show ever gets a chance to actually sit down with him, I'd love to know more about the public financing of his campaign and how he'll get through a general election.

On now to a Joe Johns piece on how McCain is very much still in this race. Apparently "Mac is Back!" is the new slogan. Well, it's better than "Joementum," anyway. So, where has Mac been? Well, first he alienated independents with his stance on the war. Then he alienated conservatives with his stance on immigration. And liberals? We were already alienated, thank you very much. His current secret to success has pretty much been to stand real still while everyone else around him trips. Apparently, it's working. After Joe's piece, there's discussion with Jennifer Donahue, John King, and The Gerg. From there we're on to Tom Foreman live at Dixville Notch, where 17 people are going to vote at midnight. That is beyond bizarre. And I want to do it. Anderson then pimps his video blog that I linked further up. "It shows what it's like for me and my producers on the road as we're stuck in a minivan together all day long," he says, making it perfectly clear how pleased he was to be in that minivan. Hey, I'm sure it wasn't a picnic for Claire, Charlie, or Neil, either. Heh.

Gary Tuchman has our headlines tonight and we learn that, oh noes, the Golden Globes have been canceled due to the writer's strike. Actually, not really a shocker there. Kind of a foregone conclusion that everyone was just avoiding talking about as to not hurt box office revenues. Unfortunately, the Oscars will probably be next. It's sad, all the first time winners will have to hear it go down at a news conference. Anderson asks if that's the show where everyone gets drunk and sits around tables. "Now they'll have to get drunk at the news conference," says Gary. That could be interesting, though I'm not sure it could beat this one.

Coming back from break, we get a wide shot and are treated to a rare glimpse of cameraman Neil Hallsworth and producer Charlie Moore, who apparently has just heard something funny. Hm. Perhaps he was listening to Ozzy Osbourne's audition to be the new Voice of 360. Personally, I'm holding out for Rita Cosby. Hey, she could use the job, right? Too mean? In tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" we learn that Dr. Phil is a huge douchebag. I've actually always held this position, but what he's done this time really takes the cake. Okay, so all of us with firing neurons know that Britney had a big meltdown, right?

Well, Dr. Phil went to go see Britney in the hospital and then released a statement about it on his website. He was also going to do a special on her on his show, but that got scrapped. "Dr. Phil, patient confidentiality. Hello," says Anderson. Indeed. What an opportunistic jerk. It's hangers-on like him that are probably part of Britney's problem in the first place. If you truly want to help the person, either do it in private, or shut up about it. And I'm looking at you too, Dr. Drew. Poor Gary looks like he might want to say something, but apparently we're done here. "And that's really all we need to say about it," says Anderson. Sorry Gary, thanks for playing. The show was okay. It's great they're covering actual news, but the coverage was pretty surfacey. B-


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