Monday, July 07, 2008

Obama's Perceived Centrism, McCain's Makeover, Colombian Hostage Rescue Update, Celeb Nonsense, Big Bertha, and California Fires (Monday's Show)

Hi everybody. I hope everyone had a nice holiday. I decided that fireworks and combustible oxygen do not mix, so I stayed holed up inside watching movies since my neighborhood tends to sound like Baghdad this time of year (and reek of sulfur). I also spent the weekend trying to explain to my dog that it was really okay and the world was in fact not ending. He was having none of it. Such a baby. And then today when I was driving to work, my car was hit with an American flag. You think that means something? I'm a bit disturbed by the possible symbolism. For the flag purists out there, I swear to God I swerved, but that flag was out to get me. Not the first thing you'd expect to see flying through the air at you.

Anyhoo, tonight I'm going to do a sort-of review, meaning I'm going to do this puppy in the present tense like I used to and sort-of go through the hour. Ready? We kick things off with Anderson Cooper playing us some sound bytes from the campaign trail. McCain claims Obama is going to screw up the economy even worse than it is by raising taxes, while Obama shoots back with a firm denial, or a, "nuh uh," if you will. The show then goes on to analyze both candidate's economic plans, explaining to us who is telling the truth and which plan will be best for today's current economy. Kidding! Kidding! That would be too helpful. No, like usual, 360 just gives us the standard he said/he said and then drops the subject all together. (This semi answers the tax question for those interested.)

Next up, Jessica Yellin tells us all about the "new" McCain and how he just had a staff shake-up. Hm, can they make him a good speaker, younger, less prone to gaffes, and not a republican? Because that might actually help. And though 360 isn't going to spend any time fact checking his economic plan, we do get a bizarre tax-related sound byte from some woman who has obviously mistaken the town hall for some kind of audience participation improv show.

We then move on to Obama. Unexpected Obama! Well, unexpected for my city, anyway. Apparently he had to make an emergency landing here in St. Louis after "an emergency slide deployed in flight inside the plane." I hate it when that happens. So anyway, Joe Johns has this piece and it's all about how Obama is, oh my God, moving to the center. Meh. This is so overblown. But we have to talk about it with a panel. Of course. David Gergen is totally on the he's-shifting-center bandwagon, but I don't think this is a stark a change as some are saying. The truth is, though Obama currently has rock star status with many on the left, he actually wasn't their first choice. Sometimes not even their second choice.

Look back at the polls done on at the beginning of the primary season. Obama was not liberal enough for most people there and there have been documented issues with him and some in that very left leaning community since back in 2005. Am I disappointed in his stance on FISA? A little. Do I feel some sort of betrayal because he's not the liberal candidate I thought he was. Um, no.
Besides, Anderson pretty much sums it up best when he asks, "As much as some on the left may complain about this move to the center, does it matter? Where else are they going to go?" Exactly.

Clinton was even worse with the centrism, but if she was the nominee the left would be fighting for her right now because there's no where else to go. Sit out? The netroots don't do that. Vote for McCain? What have you been smoking? The panel also discusses the "new" McCain and Anderson quotes Bill Kristol. The quote is irrelevant, but I've said this once and I'm sure I'll have to say it again, why why would anyone ever quote that man? He's been wrong every single time. I mean, drag some random dude in off the street and he's going to be right more than Bill Kristol. Quit rewarding incompetence, 360.

The review is going to go a lot quicker now because there's not much to say. We transition to coverage of the Colombian hostage rescue. There's some amazing footage of when the hostages first found out they were free and there's a great Karl Penhaul piece. Then we move on to Gary Tuchman bringing us the high profile world of celebrity breakups and Randi Kaye tells us how Madonna wooed A-Rod with Kabbalah. What, no panel for discussion? Jebus. Seriously, 360? On a day when a suicide bombing leaves 40 dead in Kabul, these are the kind of pieces you think deserve coverage?

Next up, we have the always awesome Chad Myers here to talk us through the looming threat of hurricane Bertha, or "Big Bertha," as she's already been dubbed. Then we're off to California to tackle another natural disaster: fires. Dan Simon brings us a piece on some guys that set a backfire in order to save their home, which they did. Problem? Setting backfires is totally illegal and now they are totally busted. What they did could have gone really wrong, but you have to feel for people who were just doing what they could to save their home.

The Shot tonight is this crazy guy who's flying around in a lawn chair being held up by balloons. Some people have too much time on their hands. As for the show, um . . . let me first say something positive: Beat 360 tonight was totally full of win. Oh, and I also am generally happy to see they seem to be trying to include a wider variety of topics lately. But . . . the political coverage is still not helpful and those two celeb pieces? What the hell? 360, I know your prior self is out there somewhere. Come back!


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