Friday, April 18, 2008

Post Debate Analysis, Inside An FLDS Home, And Interview of FLDS Attorney (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everybody. Well, they kinda screwed me up for tonight by going two hours live. Eliza has a booked schedule and I was not prepared for that. You know how some doctors still make you pay for your appointment if you cancel with less than 24 hour's notice? I think I'm going to need 24 hour's notice as well or else...yeah, I got nothing. Also, I found a lot of the post-debate discussion not really worth blogging and at one point I got distracted by three-dimensional life stuff intruding on my viewing. So basically, this blog will not be complete, to say the least.

We kick things off with Anderson Cooper telling us the BREAKING NEWS that Democratic debate #389 has just ended in Philly. Because after having Obama versus Clinton shoved down our throats for the past few months everyone said to themselves, "You know what we need? Another debate." And apparently it was a clunker. I wouldn't know from first hand experience because I didn't watch. At some point there's nothing new you're going to learn. Actually, I think that point was debate number 16 or 17. But anyway, this debate seemed to be chock full of ultimately irrelevant silliness that makes the 24 hour news cycle go-round: Reverend Wright's comments, Obama's "bitter" comments, Clinton dodging snipers that double as poetry-reading little get the idea.

For discussion, we're joined by Candy Crowley, Mark Halperin, and David Gergen and I'm just going to pull out the stuff I want to talk out. Hey, my blog. One of the things brought up is that Clinton said she would bring the troops home if the Generals on the ground said she shouldn't, and Obama pretty much agreed with her. The Gerg thinks this was pandering and I completely agree. I physically cringed when I heard that clip because it was so politically stupid in terms of the general election, something Candy kind of goes into, though without the "stupid" part. The majority of Americans may want the troops home, but on a visceral and even unconscious level, not listening to the Generals is going to feel off somehow and that just leaves the door open for John McCain to get in there and convince them the Democrats are wrong.

Anderson wonders if it will make them look anti-military and as much as I loath that GOP talking point coming out of his mouth, the question is valid. Although speaking of anti-military, you'd think that someone who supports the troops would want them to have the best, but free-pass McCain opposes expanding the GI Bill. Why? Because he's afraid it would lead to more members of the military leaving the service. That's right folks, apparently some things are too good for our troops. We want to keep things just crappy enough that they feel like they have to stay. We then move on to the "elitist" topic and The Gerg brings a well deserved smack down to Clinton, noting her reaction to the situation seemed completely manufactured. You think? If she wasn't running against him she'd be defending what he said. Finally, Anderson notes (via a post from Andrew Sullivan's blog) that when these controversies spring up, Obama explains, rather than going defensive like an average politician. I've noticed that too and it's one of the things I love about him. How that's going to work in the general (assuming he's the nominee), I do not know.

Transitioning now to an episode of Cribs: FLDS. Continuing with the polygamy PR, we're invited to check out the digs of Marilyn, a soft spoken mother with fascinating hair. (Do you think they use hairspray? How does she get it so high?) And the place looks like a boarding school. But the most noteworthy part is Marilyn's commentary. She wistfully notes the empty beds, missing shoes, and quiet eating room. "My little girl's name is Marla. She's such a lovable little girl. She loves school. She's in third grade. She comes home, 'Mother, I got an A-plus today.' I grab her and hug her: 'Good job, Marla, good job.' She is my only child," she tells us. This is what they call an oversell. Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt that she loves her child, but one gets the picture that last night she was running through this little performance, script in hand. Even seeing the camera crew out is one big show, with her mournfully looking at her church, stating it desecrated, and then bursting into tears. Wow.

Next up, Anderson has an interview with Rod Parker, attorney for the FLDS. How'd you like that job? Anderson begins by asking him about underage marriages and FLDS practices, but he doesn't seem to be able to give concrete answers. They then get to the legal argument and Rod tells us the abuse allegation is uncorroborated and the girl who allegedly made the initial call, Sarah Jessop Barlow, doesn't exist. Well, according to those in the compound anyway. He also notes that they've taken a whole community of kids based on one case. That part has bugged me a little bit. Does every man in that compound marry young girls and abuse his wife and kids? Maybe. But maybe not. This was a huge thing for Texas to do and I just really hope this whole thing doesn't fall apart on them because it's obvious there are horrible things going on behind those gates.

Annnd this is pretty much where I checked out. I'm a little bummed I missed Erica's McCain piece, though it seems part of it is online. No grade tonight since I missed some and didn't pay the best attention to the stuff I did watch. Although I will leave 360 with a question: How come The Daily Show has covered the recent and extremely news-worthy torture revelations more than you have? Who is the real news source again?


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