Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hurricane Dolly Makes Landfall, Obama Overseas/McCain Screwing Up, and Black in America (Wednesday's Show)

Hi everybody. This will be a bit abbreviated in some places. The show kicked off an hour later tonight due to the "Black in America" special, but more on that later. We begin with Hurricane Dolly. Anderson Cooper informs us that the storm is weakening now, but that's probably no consolation to the residents of South Padre Island, Texas, where the storm came ashore at category 2 strength. And braving it all for CNN was 360's own Gary Tuchman, who could probably use a towel and a bed right about now. He's lookin a little wet and weary is all I'm saying. Gary tells us that South Padre was actually surprised by how much damage Dolly caused, but the good news is there have been no reports of fatalities.

In a subsequent Gary piece, we get the requisite footage of him battling it out with Mother Nature during the height of the storm. You know the drill: soaking wet reporter squinting through harsh pellets of rain, fighting to stay upright against the wind gusts, all the while telling us how "incredibly treacherous," it is to be there. But we love to watch it, don't we? And that is why Gary is very wet right now. I have to say though, watching hurricane coverage live is very nerve-racking. The only hurricane I ever watched live from start to finish was Rita because she conveniently made landfall on a Friday night. And I watched the coverage like it was a frickin horror movie--through my fingers.

Why, you ask? That's a good question. But I could not stop watching. And Anderson Cooper, who is very stubborn, would not go inside, even though I was actively willing him to. Rob Marciano went in and allowed me to stop worrying about him, but did Anderson? Noo. And don't get me started on Miles O'Brien. At least Anderson stayed put. Miles was walking all the hell around waaaay out from his live shot. So, note to any hurricane reporters out there: stay close to your crew and don't wander. A viewer worries. See, this is why I really shouldn't watch hurricane coverage. At least not live.

But back to Gary's piece, he didn't just brave the hurricane, he saved a guy from his own stupidity. This dude is just chilling in some building while the roof is collapsing. What's even more boggling, is when Gary points this out, the dude is like, "ah, it's okay" Gary then of course replies that, um, no, it's not okay, causing the dude to say, "for real?" No, CNN reporters get their kicks by going around and telling people their roofs are collapsing. Good lord. Anyway, back live, Anderson asks Gary how long he's been up. The answer from him is 24 hours. Good lord squared. Go to bed, Gary!

Transitioning now to a Candy Crowley piece on the Obama trip and then a Dana Bash piece on how McCain's trying to steal press coverage from the Obama trip. Our panel (there always has to be a panel) is made up of Joe Klein, David Gergen, and Tara Wall. My hat's off to Joe Klein here. You can't beat this quote: "The only person talking about losing this war is John McCain." And kudos to The Gerg for helping to call out Tara on her BS. She actually said that the only reason Obama could be there right now is because of the surge. Wha? So all those other politicians that went over there before was just a mirage? And will someone in the media please, please, ask McCain to define victory in Iraq. Seriously.

The last part of the show was discussion about the "Black in America" special. I actually wasn't able to watch the special, but I found this discussion interesting. I don't know that I agree with paying kids for learning. It seems like associating knowledge with cash might cause future problems, but hey, if it works. Anything to give kids a chance. This made me think of the daycare I worked at about a decade ago. The class I taught would be in junior high now. I had one little girl who was such a star--just like the kid they showcased during the special. I'm curious as to how she's doing, but a part of me doesn't want to know. Almost all the kids in the daycare were at risk and the public schools around here aren't the best. It's incredibly sad how easy it is for a bright kid to fall though the cracks.

That's it from me tonight. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have more time for snarking.


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