Thursday, February 28, 2008

Continuing Campaign Trail Battles, Roger Clemens, And Sharks!!!! (Wednesday's Show)

He everyone. We're kicking things off tonight again in the political trenches. Anderson Cooper tells us there's a new poll out from the "LA Times" that has a hypothetical McCain/Obama race in a virtual tie. Yeah, because that'll hold up come November. This irrelevant poll then moves us into a Candy Crowley piece for the latest campaign trail goings-on. Okay, so we're still on the Clinton's-on-the-ropes narrative, and a new development fueling that fire is civil rights stalwart John Lewis ripping his superdelegate vote from Clinton and handing it over to the currently-anointed Obama. Fab for him; demoralizing for her.

On the other side of the aisle, McCain seems to have sensed that the smart money right now is on Obamamania, and thus decided to play a a rousing early round of the quaint candidate's game: General Election Attack! Citing the junior senator's previous reported stance that he would send troops back to Iraq if Al Qaeda increased in strength after troops are withdrawn, McCain then did a little schooling on the stump, noting that Al Qaeda is already in Iraq and then claiming they'd take over if we pulled out. Ever unflappable, Obama schooled right back during his own stop, reminding the Maverick that actually Al Qaeda was never even in the country until we invaded.

And I myself would like to note that last year a Congressional Research Service report found that attacks from Al Qaeda make up a very small percentage of the overall attacks in Iraq and it's believed by many that if we did leave and the bloodletting did begin, Al Qaeda would be the first group to be crushed. Not to mention the fact that there's a whole other Al Qaeda that resides in between Afghanistan and Pakistan. You know, the one that actually attacked us. The one that could very well attack us again. The one that has absolutely nothing to do with Iraq. The one we totally dropped the ball on. So, McCain is either deliberately lying to the public (thanks media, for helping him with that, by the way) or he's really unaware of these extremely important facts connected to his signature campaign issue. Maybe somebody ought to find out which it is, no?

Next up, we have a John King piece on that sweet-talker Bill Cunningham. Yesterday the radio host warmed up a McCain crowd by attacking Obama, thus leading to a McCain apology. This did not go over well with Cunningham, who is skipping right over the Stephen Colbert "On Notice" board and going straight to declaring "Juan Pablo McCain" (en espanol presumedly due to amnesty rage) dead to him. (Well, technically he says he's "done with" him, but I don't think Stephen has a "Done With You" board.) So, uh, good lord. And because two crazy radio show hosts are better than one, Rush Limbaugh is now backing Cunningham up. Poor McCain has himself a right wing problem. Every time he thinks he's pacified them, something happens and suddenly they're foaming at the mouth again. For now, McCain is trying to downplay. But I'm guessing "downplay" is not even in Cunningham's vocabulary.

For discussion of all this, we're joined by Bay Buchanan, Roland Martin, and David Gergen. Anderson begins by asking Bay if she's surprised that McCain is taking hits now. She's not, but she does seem to be horrified that McCain would try to distance himself from a bigot. Um, okay. Anderson wonders if it might actually be a good thing that McCain has, you know, principles. Then Bay goes on about how it's the conservatives' turn to be mavericks and McCain didn't have to offend them. Okay, is she actually defending Cunningham? Man. The Gerg points out that McCain just had the conservatives on his side because of the New York Times story that played like a hit piece, and now they all hate him again. "It's like a Britney Spears marriage, it lasts like a day," says Anderson. Bwah! But aw, let's pick a less sad target next time.

The Gerg also notes that McCain has a temper. Awesome. That's just the quality I want in my president when he has his finger on the button. Roland thinks Cunningham has acted like a big spoiled baby and doesn't know how to behave when the big boys come to town. "All these conservative talk show hosts, what they want to do is be rabid and go on and on and on," says Roland. "Let me just say there are a lot of rabid liberal radio show hosts as well," says Anderson. Whoa, hold on there silver surfer. Name them. Because when it comes to talk radio, liberals are massively, massively outnumbered by insane conservatives (it's only been recently that liberals have even tried to enter the market). And to equate the things they say is also a big exercise in back bending. I'm not saying they can't be hella annoying, but c'mon.

Coming back from commercial, we're back with our panel and Anderson asks how McCain can use Iraq against Obama. Bay basically says he should be painted as a surrender monkey, which, you know, is a lovely and dignified way to run a campaign. Because the fact that Obama wants to get our troops out of the country that never attacked us and focus on the real Al Qaeda obviously means he wants us all to be speaking Arabic and living under sharia law six months after he's elected. The Gerg agrees McCain will play the surrender card, but he's not so sure it's going to work. The way Obama's going, McCain is likely to find all his attacks come flying back at him like a boomerang. The topic then moves to John Lewis switching his support to Obama and Roland explains that Lewis is actually going to be challenged in the next election and his district went heavy for Obama. Things suddenly get clearer. The dude's afraid of losing his job. Look for more Clinton defections for the same reason.

Transitioning now to a little coached banter between Anderson and Erica Hill over Anderson's haircut, which eventually leads to showing Erica's sixth-grade picture. Again. I think it's time to leave the poor girl alone. Tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" involves the campus of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina where they had a drill in which an armed man threatened to kill a classroom of students. The issue? Nobody knew it was a drill and this happened right after the real college shooting we just had. Needless to say, everyone had the crap scared out of them. Not cool, people. Not cool.

On now to a Joe Johns piece on how Bill Clinton has been doing more muted campaigning lately. And this apparently makes the media sad. Because remember when he was out in full force, attacking Obama and supplying the press with soundbite after soundbite? Wasn't that the bestest? But now he's being a spoil sport and quietly standing behind his woman. No fair. Where's the zing in that story? Hey, I know! If we did a story about how Bill Clinton is all quiet now, we could totally use it as an opportunity to play all those clips of when he was that wild and crazy guy. See, we don't even need angry Clinton. We can make him angry on our air whenever we want.

Transitioning now to a David Mattingly piece on Roger Clemens. Well, surprise, surprise, congress thinks he lied during his testimony and now they want the Justice Department to look into perjury charges. Andy Pettitte's testimony is what kept McNamee (trainer) out of the same perjury boat. After David's piece, we're joined by Lisa Bloom for the legal low down. She tells us DNA will be a key factor and that investigation of perjury cases is rare. Lisa thinks there will be charges, but this whole thing could take years Meh.

Next up, we have an Erica piece on a shark attack. This particular attack involved a man who willingly got into the water with the sharks. "In fact they even pay for that privilege. But one man recently paid with his life," says Erica. Dun dun dun! Okay, so apparently these people do cageless dives in shark invested waters. On purpose. Crazy. Hey, remember back in the summer of 2001 when there were all those shark attacks and even people who lived in landlocked states were freaking out? It was dubbed the "summer of the shark." Then on a Tuesday morning in September we forgot all about the sharks. And when we remembered them again, if ever, we felt rather silly. Because we learned that there were much bigger and more relevant things to worry about. Kind of like now.

The Shot tonight, back by popular demand, is the dancing prisoners from the Philippines. This time they're shaking their groove thing to some Soulja Boy. I've heard some, uh, interesting things about the lyrics to this song, so I'm not endorsing the music, but I found this video pretty fascinating. What have they done with Winnie the Pooh?! We also see the prisoners getting down to MC Hammer's "You Can't Touch This." Ooh, early 90's flashback! Fess up, people, I know I'm not the only one that spent hours perfecting the moves to this song. Remember when he decided to become just "Hammer"? And of course the running joke was it was only a matter of time before we'd be calling him "Ham." Whatever happened to that dude? Anyhoo, we round the night out with the classic "Thriller" and that'll do it. Okay show. B


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