Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Obama Takes Mississippi, More Spitzer Scandal, And The Ongoing Campaign (Tuesday's Show--Well, About Half, Anyway)

Hi everybody. We're starting things a few minutes early tonight, with Anderson Cooper already talking in the Election Center when I flip on my television. But he's still apparently working on kicking out Blitzer, who's giving us a wrap-up of the Mississippi primary. As expected, Obama is taking home that prize. I kind of love this one because we get to hear Anderson say "Missippi" over and over. He doesn't have time for all those syllables, people! It seems 360 has decided to give us two live hours tonight. But Eliza did not get that memo, so I'm still just reviewing the one.

Forget the election though. That'll still be there for a while. Right now the news needs to milk this Eliot Spitzer scandal for all it's worth. In a Jason Carroll piece we learn that the Associated Press is reporting the governor might have paid as much as $80,000 for his trysts and the question right now is whose money it was. Meanwhile,
New York State Minority Leader Jim Tedisco is threatening to impeach if Spitzer doesn't resign. Oh, c'mon. Look, the guy needs to go, but impeachment? Haven't we already done that in this country? Also of note in the piece is that Wall Street is feeling mighty happy right about now. Spitzer won't be cracking down on their corruption (or looking out for the little guy) anymore. Great. When this whole thing is over it won't just be the call girl that got screwed.

Moving on now to some discussion with Lisa Bloom, Jeffrey Toobin via hotel Webcam in Hawaii, and Alan--wait, you know what? I think I'm going to need to go back to Toobin for a second. Because, bwah! What's he doing? He's just chillin outside his hotel. Is that a banana mango smoothie? Okay, I'm kidding about that last part, but you know he's looking at Anderson and Lisa in the Election Center right now (assuming he can see them) and thinking, "suckers!" But anyway, bringing this train back on track, we're also joined by Alan Dershowitz, who just like last night, thinks the Spitzer thing is way overblown.

Lisa hits hard on the hypocrisy angle and Toobin, well, I'm sure Toobin says something lawyerly, but I am totally distracted by his live shot. At first I confused his white shirt for a robe (I was far from my tv). Oh man, he should have worn a robe. That would have definitely rubbed things in. Alan wants an investigation of how the Spitzer story was discovered because he thinks the governor was targeted by republicans. It's a legitimate point, but man, he needs to learn not to be so annoying so people will actually listen to him. Lisa brings up how actually investigators thought they were going to find bribery or something and then, surprise, prostitution ring. That's like when the progressive blogosphere was investigating Jeff Gannon to see what his ties might be to the Plame outing and if he was a White House plant. One day some pictures got leaked and, surprise, he's a gay male prostitute, and, oh my, there are pictures! That was quite an interesting day.

Next up, we have a Tom Foreman piece that's all about following the money of this case and then we're back with our panel. Anderson uses the live-blog commenters to point out to Alan that this case is a big deal, but Alan ain't having it. He starts going off about gamblers and drug takers and I guess how we're okay with not cracking down on those things or something, but he's not making a huge amount of sense. Lisa gets to the heart of it, which is that Spitzer brought it on himself. It's still illegal and nobody made him do it. Piping up from paradise, Toobin can't believe the argument Alan is trying to make. He notes that you can argue that prostitution should be legal, but it's not here and you can't prosecute the prostitute and not the John. Exactly. Don't forget to send us a postcard, Toobin.

On now to what Anderson calls a "'Special Investigations Unit' report" from Drew Griffin, which looks into the business of high-priced call girls. Really, CNN? This is what you're special investigating? Iraq contracts, Katrina fraud, oooh, Cheney energy policy...none of that? Call girls, huh? Ooookay. And actually this isn't even an investigation. We just learn how an encounter goes down and, I kid you not, there's a semi-reenactment. Oh, that's bad. Drew might want to stick with the earmarks.

Or perhaps they could have just scrapped that piece all together and given us something on the resignation of Admiral William Fallon, which was relegated to the headlines. Kinda important. Anyway, we're switching things up now and have Dana Bash in the studio to talk some potential news on Florida. It seems senator Bill Nelson wants to re-vote by mail and he thinks they have a deal. But, uh, news to him, House dems are saying nuh uh. So...that's pretty much where things stand. Awesome.

Next up we have Candy Crowley live to talk about Obama's win. She also hits on the comments made by Geraldine Ferraro, but totally glosses over the situation. For a show that's been pounding all things politics into the wall, I'm kind of flabbergasted here. Anyway, what happened was, Ferraro basically suggested that Obama's only in his position because he's black, which, obviously is a completely offensive thing to say. Ferraro is a Clinton fundraiser and for her part, Clinton distanced herself from the comments. Candy is with us up until this part, but never does she note that when Obama aide Samantha Power called Clinton a "monster" she resigned. Clinton does not ask the same of Ferraro.

Also, Candy then kind of takes a pox-on-both-their-houses approach, noting Ferraro said she was taken out of context and both sides went back-and-forth. But, um, now Ferraro is apparently claiming reverse racism. I don't blame the candidates themselves for something their surrogates say, but one, she should resign just like Power, and two, it's ridiculous to claim that pointing out an offensive statement is an attack, or a going back-and-forth. After Candy, we talk to Suzanne Malveaux about the upcoming Pennsylvania race and then it's on to some fun with John King's Magical Board.

Moving on to our sometimes loud panel of David Gergen, Lanny Davis (Clinton supporter), and Jamal Simmons (Obama supporter). Lanny actually does the right thing and says that Ferraro was wrong. Maybe we'll forgo the yelling tonight yet. Jamal is pleased with Lanny's answer, but is still disturbed by what he calls a pattern of recklessness (in their talk) by the Clinton campaign. The Gerg thinks the Ferraro comments were offensive, but he takes Candy's lead and notes that it's coming from both sides. Okay, but shouldn't Ferraro have to resign just like Power?

The Shot tonight is a car flying through an intersection and narrowly missing a whole bunch of other vehicles. Really amazing, actually. Then we have a bonus 'Shot', which is a tire that flies off a tanker truck and smashes the windshield of a van. Yikes. We got two tonight because they're trying to redeem themselves from last night's debacle, which I think viewers just found amusing. Anderson notes that he was going to call out the producer responsible for what happened yesterday, but he didn't want to make her feel bad. "A little late for that, isn't it?" asks Erica. Aw. Yes it is. Anderson Cooper has a little mean streak in him, doesn't he? Heh.

Okay, so this is the end of the first hour, but I watched a little bit more. Airing Letterman's "Top 10"? Struggling to fill two hours, guys? Also, I've never been a huge fan of Lisa Bloom (though she's grown on me over time), but I have to say I was offended by how completely rude Alan was to her during their second hour panel. That guy doesn't deserve any more airtime. The show was okay. B-


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