Wednesday, July 23, 2008

McCain Finally Called Out On A Gaffe, Dolly Update, Warren Jeffs Indicted, And Police Brutality (Tuesday's Show)

Hi everybody. You know how yesterday McCain was kinda crabby because the media was all about Obama with their coverage? Today some of that coveted coverage landed on McCain's plate. Think he's happy? Well, I'm happy. McCain made a major blunder and, oh my God, it's actually getting coverage from someone other than Keith Olbermann (who's only choir-preaching, anyway). Hooray! They've even got the story on a BREAKING NEWS banner. Normally I hate that, but tonight it just makes me smile.

The low down here is that Obama has claimed, and rightfully so, that the surge is not the sole reason for decreased violence in Iraq. McCain, who is apparently married to the surge (sorry Cindy!), countered this by saying that Obama doesn't know what he's talking about because the surge was what actually lead to the Sunni Awakening. Well, someone in this little back-and-forth doesn't know what they're talking about, but it's not Obama. See, it turns out that McCain's whole argument is blown out of the water by the fact that the Sunni Awakening actually started before the surge. Anderson Cooper helpfully points this out by employing the use of quotes, dates, and those pesky little things called facts.

Next, we're on to a Candy Crowley piece that is all about Obama in Iraq. The 16-month drawdown is again at focus, especially since it seems General David Petraeus isn't so hot for the idea. Obama plays it off more as a semantical disagreement, though he does admit that some Sunni leaders in Anbar Province are nervous about the US pulling out. But Obama assures that the drawdown will be steady and not precipitous. Candy also notes that the Obama camp is doing their own filming and might use some of the footage for future ads. Oh. Not a good idea. It's tacky (as it was when McCain used his POW footage) and he'll get pummeled by the Right. I hope they rethink that one.

On now to an Ed Henry piece about how today McCain basically called Obama a traitor. Great guy, that McCain. But before I go further, what the hell is up with this piece? They've got a whole boxing theme going on with fight bells and Ed starting out by saying, "in this corner . . ." That's just . . . no. Look, I know I do that kind of stuff sometimes, but I'm not a frickin journalist working for CNN reporting on how one presidential candidate has just accused the other of putting winning over the country. It's not a game. No cookie for Ed's producers. Anyway, McCain has charged that Obama would rather lose the war than a political campaign, which is just a disgusting thing to say and I think really says something about McCain's character. I don't know which is worse: that he really believes that or he's just saying it to help his campaign.

For discussion, we keep Ed around and add Joe Klein and David Gergen. There's a lot of great nuanced talk here about the surge (yay!). Anderson starts out by saying he doesn't like to play "gotcha" because everybody slips up, but then in his second question he notes that this goes to the heart of McCain's main attack on Obama, which to me automatically makes it bigger than just a slip up. The Gerg agrees a mistake was made, but thinks the traitor accusation is a much bigger deal, which will eventually lead to the issue of age popping up. I'm not really comfortable with attacking McCain on his age, but you know what? If he's losing his mental faculties, I don't really want him in the White House with his finger on the button, you know?

Anderson then plays devil's advocate, bringing up the never-stopping nature of the 24/7 campaigns and the inevitability that candidates will get caught screwing up. This is not the same. Sure, the candidates are going to screw up. I think just today Obama said that Israel is a friend of Israel, leading comedian Richard Lewis to crack that Israel just has really high self-esteem. But McCain did not say the wrong word or flip two countries or any other mistake that would be easy for any person to make. What McCain did was get the entire timeline for the surge wrong and he did it while claiming Obama didn't know what he was talking about. No, this is not the same at all. Finally, Anderson kind of backs McCain up in that the awakening really was enabled by the surge, but then Joe Klein smacks that down. I'm not really sure what happened there.

Next we're joined by James Carville and Bill Bennett, but I am pooped regarding pundit pontification. Of note is Bill alluding to Obama's walk-on-water rock star quality and stating that if he's able to go over and achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Jews, even he'll vote for him. Okay, that actually made me laugh. Also? I sort of want to rub Carville's head. You think you get three wishes or something?

Transitioning now to Chad Myers with an update on Hurricane Dolly. Look out Texas/Mexico, she's coming! We then go to Gary Tuchman, donning the red CNN slicker on South Padre Island. He currently appears dry, but that's not going to last. At least he's not up to his nipples in floodwater this time (yes, I will keep bringing that up--thanks Jon Stewart!). Joking aside, Gary tells us there's levee concerns. Ugh. Always levee concerns. Stay safe, Gary!

Because our normal polygamy guy--er, coverer of polygamy--is currently busy preparing to get wet and windblown, David Mattingly is live to tell us the news that Warren Jeffs and five others have been indicted. Woo! That's really all there is to say. Justice served.

Erica Hill has our headlines tonight and we learn that actor Christian Bale is it hot water for maybe assaulting his mother and sister. What?! Aw, say it ain't so. I know, I know, I'm always bitching at 360 about covering celebrity crap and here I am talking about a celebrity that they rightfully relegated to the headlines. Bad blogger. Any other Baleheads out there? He's a great actor, but apparently the intensity he brings to films like "American Psycho" (not for the kiddies!) might have bled a bit into real life. One of my favorites though--and don't laugh--is Disney's musical flop "Newsies." And I'm realizing right now that my fascination with all things news started early. Seriously though, my hat's off to the director; wrangling all those teenagers, no thank you. And all the imperfections kind of crack me up. Notice the clearly visible hands pushing the chairs up in this clip about 40 seconds in.

Okay, back to reality. Next up, we have a piece from Drew Griffin regarding some seemingly police brutality going down in Winnfield, Louisiana, with a racial twist. A white police office tasered a young black man repeatedly, resulting in his death. Oh, and the guy was handcuffed, so there was absolutely no reason for this to happen. Police are claiming the guy was on drugs, the corner says no. I guess we'll see what happens. After Drew's piece, we have an Erica Hill "Crime and Punishment" piece, but I'm passing.

Erica was the staff winner for "Beat 360" tonight, one-upping her over Anderson. But Joey apparently kicks both their asses. Maybe this can be remedied by giving Joey more work to do. Just a suggestion. As for Eliza, well, I'm holding hard and fast at zero. I suspect I will stay there until I, you know, attempt to play. I maintain that it's no fun if you can't be dirty. Anyhoo, kudos to the show for going nuanced on the surge and fact-checking McCain. But dude, so much punditry! Bleh. The broadcast actually continued live into the second hour, but The Daily Show was calling me, so this is where I get off. Speaking of TDS, why are they covering the congressional hearings and 360 is not? Lose a pundit or two and there'd be plenty of time.

Edited to add: Hey, where was the CBS cover-up angle related to the McCain gaffe story? For a show that promises 360 degrees, I'm missing, like, at least 30 degrees here.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

Finally, the media cannot ignore McCain's history gaffes anymore, though CBS tried. Now the other factors preceding the surge are being discussed. I didn't get the need for the fight bells in Ed Henry's story. It reminded me of old Hard Copy shows. I agree with Klein and the Gerg, McCain has gone too far with the political campaign/war remark about Obama. By the time Carville and Bennett came on, I was ready to tune out. Why Bennett is on anyone's pundit list is a mystery to me. The taser has been abused so much by police that it has defeated the purpose of what it was intended. Instead of being used to subdue, it has been casually handled like it's a water pistol. Earlier this year there was a video painful to watch of a woman being tasered at least 7 times, while she was writhing in pain. You would think 360 would like to show the CBS cover-up. I bet if others do, they'll jump on the story. Anne D.

5:56 AM  

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