Monday, July 21, 2008

Obama Overseas, VP Rumors, NYT Rejects McCain Op-Ed, Butcher Of Bosnia Captured, And Hurricane Dolly (Monday's Show)

Hi everyone. Happy New Week! Glenn Beck hosting Larry King Live? Why, CNN, why? And the guest was Michael Savage, which makes Glenn the reasonable one by default. I think they're trying to kill me. Anyhoo, 360 kicks off tonight with a little story called Obama and the Media's Excellent Overseas Adventure. So how's it going? They like him. They really, really, like him! Or, at least it seems they're down with his timetable plan. See, Obama has a 16-month plan to pull forces out of Iraq, and, what a coinkidink, Prime Minister Maliki wants the US gone in 2010. This is looking good for Obama. McCain? Not so much.

Ed Henry joins us live to tell us how shocked the Bush camp is by Maliki's stance. Oh yeah, because no one could see this one coming. A politician changing his tune because of his own self interest? No! And those Sunnis that we're currently paying off are never going to turn on us either. No siree. So, things are a bit of a bummer for McCain right now. And as Ed explains, it doubly sucks for him because he's been one of the ones propping up Maliki this whole time, all the while shaking his pom-poms for the so-called surge. We've had Rudy "9-11" Giuliani and at this point we may as well start calling the maverick John "the surge" McCain. That's how much he's pimped the strategy.

It's conventional wisdom now that the surge is working, but, uh, is it? No one can dispute that violence is down and no one is going to argue that's not a wonderful dance-in-the-street kind of turn of events. But is that more due to the presence of extra troops or the Sunni awakening, sectarian cleansing, and al-Sadr chilling out? And wasn't the entire point of the surge to decrease violence, so that there could be political reconciliation? Iraq is not there yet. So please media, I know this is difficult for you, but could you treat a nuanced issue, like, a nuanced issue? Anderson Cooper has been fairly good with this regarding the panels, but some of the correspondents? Not so much. I'm looking at you Ed Henry. Also? I'm amazed by this White House's ability to still bemuse me after all these years. A "time horizon"? Wow. How Orwellian. Although, actually, perfectly fitting. Because much like the end of our occupation, no matter how hard you try, you can never get to the end of the horizon either.

Next up, we have a Candy Crowley piece on how Obama is looking presidential. You know all those pictures/video I said the media would be taking on this trip? Here they are! Of note is that they showed the interview Obama did with CBS's Lara Logan and left the edit long enough that she was in the piece. Aw, everybody loves Lara Logan. Following Candy's piece, there's a panel with Candy, Peter Bergen, and David Gergen. Much of the convo focuses on The Gerg's feeling that Obama totally stole Bush's thunder by putting out a statement on Iraq. The Gerg seems to think Obama is going to be viewed as negotiating with Maliki when at this time only Bush should be doing that. Meh. I initially sort of agreed with David, but then I read the whole statement and I see nothing wrong with it. The Gerg may be a traditionalist, but hey, when has Bush ever adhered to his role? Or is shredding the Constitution, breaking the law, and destroying our moral standing in the world actually part of his job description?

Moving on to Dana Bash taking Peter's spot on the panel (Bye Peter! Thanks for playing!) to talk about probable second in commands. It's veepstakes time! Man, who ever coined that term needs to be shot. So okay, some in the beltway are a-buzz with the rumor that John McCain is this close to picking his number two dude (or dudette!). Yeah, and this has nothing at all to do with McCain wanting to steer some of the press away from Obama right now. Actually, our panel freely admit they might be being had, but they don't seem to care and continue with their speculation. Dana gives us the probable "short list," which includes Florida Governor Charlie Crist. The Republican nominee tapping Charlie Crist for VP? That . . . is interesting. Anyway, this whole segment is completely pointless. But we do get Anderson randomly noting dog barking coming from Dana's shot. "I'm a dog person. So, that's OK," he assures us. Ha. We know, Anderson. We know.

On now to the media's favorite topic: the media! Time for naval gazing. The kerfuffle this time is that the New York Times ran an op-ed written by Obama regarding his plan for Iraq and when John McCain wrote his own op-ed, it was rejected because (according to the paper) it offered nothing new and apparently didn't lay out a plan like Obama did. And now, of course, McCain is screaming bias. In a Randi Kaye piece we learn that Reliable Sources' Howie Kurtz thinks the paper has an obligation to run the op-ed. Um, why? Are you talking about that journalistic responsibility thing? Because I think the media gave up on that long ago. Look, it's not like they've never published an op-ed from McCain. They just don't want to publish this one.

I can't really have a definitive opinion on this, having not read McCain's original piece, but if it was anything like his TV appearances of late, I am totally with the Times on this one. Because if that's the case, the whole thing probably read as so: "The surge is working. Obama has no experience. The surge is working. To leave is to admit defeat. The surge is working." Seriously, does the man have any plan besides making darn sure we stay in Iraq? If the piece did not at least define victory and what McCain planned to do to attain it, he deserved the rejection.

After Randi's piece, there's a "strategy session" with Alex Castellanos and Jennifer Palmieri. I have to say, the whole media bias accusation is kind of ridiculous here. Yes, Obama is getting more coverage, but does more coverage equal better coverage? No. The kid glove treatment of the early primaries is over. The Reverend Wright controversy. Is Obama black enough? Is Obama too black? Is Obama an elitist? Is Obama patriotic enough? Is Obama too inexperienced? Is Michelle Obama emasculating her husband? And on and on. Hop over to Fox News and you can ponder Obama's "Muslim" fist-bump. Is this really the kind of relentless coverage McCain wants? Because if so, bring it on. Is McCain too old? Could McCain's temper be dangerous? Is McCain hiding behind his war hero status? You get the picture. Oh, and kudos to Anderson for pointing out McCain has previously been the recipient of adoring coverage and has been a part of the Washington elite for decades. I think I shall give him a cookie. Chocolate chip?

Transitioning now to Christiane Amanpour on the phone to talk about the capture of Radovan Karadzic, the Butcher of Bosnia. It's about time. It's sickening how long he's gotten away with mass murder. Christiane brings up the fact that there were 60,000 NATO troops in country and they never went after this guy, which is kind of astounding. Apparently they were just overly cautious, but man. This was filed under "Crime and Punishment." Kind of weird that the Butcher of Bosnia is put in the same category as all the run of the mill sensational crimes.

Next up, hellllooooo, Dolly! Well, hellloooo, Dolly! Sorry, it had to be done. Anyway, we've got Chad Myers updating us on Tropical Storm Dolly. Looks like the US might be getting some hurricane action.

The Shot tonight is a van crashing into a diner and knocking a dude off a stool and into the counter. Miraculously, he's fine. This allows Anderson and Erica to engage in some comic book-style onomatopoeia. Anderson then gives his "Beat 360" spiel, almost running out of breath, noting that they need to shorten that at some point. I checked the transcript to see exactly what he said and here's what I found, "We've got a short memory at some point." Bwah! Well, that is true, though totally not what he said. Remember when poor Anderson used to trip all over giving The Shot a shot? Aw. That was cruel and unusual tongue twisting.

The show was okay. Lots and lots of time wasted on speculation and a big opportunity missed for real Iraq and Afghanistan coverage. I mean, even Peter Bergen barely got to talk at all. What more can I say? From the live-blog we learn that Anderson will be scuba diving for PIP, so there's wet-suited reporter in our future. Just saying. Like I'm the only one thinking that. Also, happy trails, Jamie Kraft. The AC360 senior producer is leaving the show for earlier-rising pastures at American Morning. Besides the producing duties, Jamie was (at least sometimes) the Morning Buzz guy. So, so long and good luck, Morning Buzz guy. Sorry I initially thought you were a girl.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

As usual, your review was entertaining. I am sick of McCain's "surge" Tourette Syndrome. It is just as bad as "9-11" Giuliani. The way he is hammering surge nonstop is annoying as listening to anything Gloria Borger has to say. The surge was a success it was done in conjunction with the other factors you mentioned. I find mystelf yelling at the lazy journalists who let his surge statemnt stand alone as if that was the only reason violence decreased. He and others goaded Obama into the trip, now they are still not happy. Anne D.

5:17 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Thanks Anne. Looks like Tuesday night we finally got some nuanced surge coverage. About time.

3:14 AM  

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