Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Race Card And Continued Primary Coverage, Murdered Marine, Wesley Snipes Evades Taxes, And Pakistan Discussion (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. Happy new week! I, for one, am very happy it's a new week. Sorry for flaking on some posts, but last week was kind of high in pain for me. It happens. Anyway, before we get to 360, did anyone else catch the last minute of Larry King? The panel was talking about Britney Spears (insert requisite eye roll here) and their pessimism about her situation. I'm sure a panel of people discussing her life on national television and coming to the conclusion that they are pessimistic about her future is just what the woman needs right now. Jesus.

Anderson Cooper begins the broadcast with some rowdiness from the democratic campaign trail. Sniping. Verbal punches. And the accusation of throwing down the race card. It's getting ugly out there, folks. A Candy Crowley piece breaks down the pettiness, beginning with Clinton (as in Bill) smacking Obama on his experience. Clinton (as in Hillary) then made a comment about Martin Luther King and Obama took the opportunity to slam her with the charge that she was diminishing Dr. King's influence. And of course there's only one place to go from there: race card accusation! Clinton pointed the finger at Obama. Obama pointed the finger at Clinton. The surrogates hit the scene. Good lord. I think somebody needs to call a time out because it is clearly nap time. There's nothing I like in my candidate more than the maturity of a five year old.

Next up, we're joined by Candy, David Gergen, and Roland Martin for discussion. Candy predicts that the candidates will scale back their rhetoric and attacks, but no one can control the surrogates. Roland interviewed Bill Clinton on his radio show and he tells us how the potential First Gentleman arrived with his offense game. The Gerg points out that all this squabbling isn't in anybody's interest, but stopping it may be more difficult than it sounds. "You have to bring out the peace pipe, but then they have both got to inhale," says The Gerg. Silly Gerg. You know Clintons don't inhale. After this there's talk of how the polls are going to play out. How wrong will they be this time? Place your bets!

On now to a Dana Bash piece on the GOPers campaigning in Michigan, site of the next primary. So where can you find your friendly conservative hopefuls? At the Detroit Auto Show, of course. Because in Michigan it's all about the automotive industry and you needn't have read a Michael Moore book to know that it's not going well for the people. But it's okay, because the republicans are here to the rescue. For, like, a whole day and everything. Romney is totally pumped. "I have got Michigan in my DNA. I have got it in my heart and I have got cars in my bloodstream," he tells us. That sounds like something you should have looked at. Does your state's mandatory health insurance cover cars in the bloodstream? Romney says he's the one to get the state back on track. But McCain thinks he's Detroit's solution too; only he thinks the jobs are gone and wants to focus on retraining. Huckabee uses the situation to pimp out his sales tax plan and his dream of nixing the IRS. Because that won't be a disaster for the working poor.

Back to the panel now, they talk more about the horse race. Of note is when The Gerg brings up how Romney is going after McCain for his support of higher CAFE standards. Stupid McCain and his stupid climate change. I'm an American! I have a God-given right to drive my Hummer to my mailbox. (I love my Hyundai.) So anyway, The Gerg thinks this could turn into a battle between the economy and the environment and creating that kind of match-up is not really something the republicans are going to want to do. Roland then kind of disses on Romney a bit, noting he seems to be having trouble with that whole winning thing. And as for Giuliani, who has apparently been off practicing how to insert 9-11 into unrelated conversations, he may not do as well in Florida as he's banking. The Gerg tells us the support seems pretty soft. Well it is Florida. Anything can happen.

Erica Hill has the headlines tonight and our latest edition of "What Were They Thinking?" is pretty disturbing. A drag race in Birmingham, Alabama resulted in a man being killed and then a fight broke out over whether to help the man, which resulted in a second guy getting shot and killed. And a whole bunch of people just stood around and didn't do anything. Lovely.

Transitioning now to a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Randi Kaye on that pregnant Marine that was murdered. So okay, this woman got raped by a fellow Marine and filed for protection from him with the Marines, yet they didn't see fit to mention this when she went missing. So would sharing the information have made a difference? Who knows? But it couldn't have hurt. After Randi's piece, Jeffrey Toobin joins us and gives us that same old tale of how agencies don't cooperate. This seems to be systemic. Like, everywhere. Anderson points out that the woman even still had to work with the guy, even after filing charges against him. Which is ridiculous. You hear stuff like this that's going on here and you have to wonder what horrors are getting covered up in Iraq. Speaking of Iraq, where has that coverage gone?

On now to tonight's "Beat 360," which is a new caption contest they're doing on the blog. I'm a little lukewarm on this specific addition, but I just wanted to say that overall the blog keeps getting better and better. I don't know what happened. Not long ago it was practically dead. Even I had stopped reading it. Now it's exploded with life. And I really hope they keep up and expand this new "Blog from the Back Row" thing. I'm surprised they didn't try this earlier. Not only does it give them something to post, but the more viewers are informed as to what goes into a broadcast, the more empathetic they'll be towards the show. Let's face it, right now everyone hates the media--they need all the help they can get.

Next up, we have a Gary Tuchman piece on Wesley Snipes and his tax cheating ways. No, I'm not kidding. And no, I have no idea why they're doing this. Just like I had no idea back in 2006 when they basically did the same story. 360 loves to give me deja vu. So anyway, Wesley owes a cool $38 million in taxes, but he ain't paying because he believes there is nothing in federal law that says you have to pay. Oh, please. Just pay them! I'm so sick of these celebrities. And you know, I can't even think of anything he's been in.

After Gary's piece, Toobin returns again and he tells us that if you honestly believe you don't have to pay your taxes, you won't go to jail. But he also says that you still have to pay them. This confuses me. If jail is off the table, can't you just say no? What are they going to do, flip him upside down and shake the change out of his pants? Maybe they can garnish wages. Toobin explains that some people think they can just not file a return and slip through the cracks. But Anderson points out that Wesley also allegedly sent the government millions in bad checks. "This is where his defense is a problem," says Toobin. Bwah! You think?

On now to Fareed Zakaria in the studio to talk about his recent interview of Pervez Musharraf. It's about time we see Fareed on 360 again. He's a crowd pleaser. Just ask Jon Stewart. Anderson begins by noting that half of Pakistanis believe that their government had something to do with the Bhutto assassination. Fareed explains that Musharraf is not popular and Pakistan is rife with conspiracy theories, but it's really not likely the government was behind her death. The family wouldn't allow an autopsy, which Fareed thinks is due to the desire to keep her death a mystery and paint her as Kennedy-like. He also thinks incompetence prevented Musharraf from simply ordering the procedure. Moving on to the topic of nukes, Fareed helps us all sleep a teeny bit easier, by stating that the Pakistan army has pretty good control over them. Let's keep it that way.

The Shot tonight is Florida, the trick-performing turtle. I like turtles. The show was alright, though I'm still scratching my head over Wesley Snipes. As I said further up, we could use an Iraq update sometime. Just because the politicians aren't talking about it doesn't mean the media's hands are tied. Also, I know we're in super busy election mode (and will be through November), but I'm a little disappointed in the lack of New Orleans coverage. I expect it from everyone else, but not 360. I don't think the show has even gone back there since the anniversary. But I am excited about the whole consistency issue--at least in terms of the rundown. I don't want to say this too loud (and I'm knocking on wood as I type this), but I think they're getting better. No, I know they're getting better. How long it will last is anybody's guess. B-


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed that Anderson and company have not been to NOLA,since August.

I know the election stuff is taking a lot of time,but it seems to me like,once again,they are forgotten down there,and to my knowledge,this has been the longest time in between visits.

This is just MHO,but if 360 can send Anderson and team all the way to Pakistan for a one hour broadcast(??),then they could make a visit to the Gulf Coast once in awhile to keep us informed!

But I guess Britney is more important than,oh the war maybe?

I just don't get it....

Thanks for letting me give my opinion.

9:05 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous-Yeah, they just haven't been keeping up with New Orleans lately. I'm not necessarily even talking about them going there (though I agree with your Pakistan comment), but there have been some developments that they're not covering at all. I'm wondering if there's anybody even still at the CNN bureau down there.

8:49 PM  

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