Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Russia/Georgia Conflict, Convention Talk, Wal-Mart Under Scrutiny, Gymnastics Controversy, Julia Child Was A Spy, And 360 Gets Their Fun Back

Hi everybody. Wow. What a show, huh? I am pleased. So let's get on with this puppy, shall we? We're beginning with the BREAKING NEWS that all hell of not good things are going on with this whole Russia/Georgia conflict. And who do we have coming at us with the lowdown from Georgia's capital, Tbilisi? Why, it's our Iraq expert, Michael Ware. Somebody's branching out, I see. I gotta say, seeing my Iraq guy in that part of the world leaves me feeling a little discombobulated. Of course, this whole extra war going on makes me feel that way as well, so there's that.

Anyway, Michael tells us the Russians have launched a two pronged attack: going into not only pro-Russian enclaves, but also pushing into undisputed Georgian territory. Apparently the troops are pretty relaxed because they know there's no real threat against them. We also have Jill Dougherty back for the Moscow perspective and we're played a clip of Mikhail Gorbachev from his stint on Larry King Live. So much news coming at me! This is great; though hard to blog. Michael reminds us that the US is pretty impotent in this situation because all our troops are currently occupado. Jill gives us the interesting tidbit that the mood inside Russia is that they're feeling a bit surrounded. Weird.

From here, Elaine Quijano joins us live for the skinny on what our dear leaders are doing about all this. The answer? Not much. Sure, they're puffing up their chests and talking tough, but have nothing to back up the bluster. Makes you glad we invaded Iraq on false pretenses, doesn't it? Hey, at least the whole so-called war on terror is going good. Oh, wait. Say it with me now: "Thanks Bush!" Oh, and to throw you a bit of random, Elaine calls Anderson Cooper "Russia." I wonder if that's the first time he's been confused with a whole country.

They're still running that #1 at 10:00 ad. Not to rain on the parade of a really good show, but that's a bit of false advertising going on there. Anyway, we're then on to Anderson introing a Tom Foreman piece by use of the phrases "shout out" and "diss." Yeah, that's how you bring in that younger demographic. Oh, 360, you're adorable sometimes. But enough mocking; Tom's got some important news. It seems the democrats have kinda sorta maybe worked that whole convention thing out. It has been decided that Hillary Clinton's name will be put in nomination. This means there will be a roll call vote, which apparently will let her delegates be heard. Hey man, they can dance the funky chicken at the thing for all I care just as long as we're inaugurating Obama come January.

It is at this point that Eliza finally gets the webcast doohickey working. I had clicked on what I thought was the right link at the top of the show, but the next thing I knew I was watching a fire, so I'm not really sure what happened there. Anyhoo, Anderson, despite having his name in the show title, still does not have a microphone. I smell a conspiracy. So it is up to Erica Hill to run this thing. She does a little interviewing of Anderson while he's trying to blog while at the same time having people talking into his IFB. So hey, are we trying to kill Anderson? I mean, it's very enjoyable for me to watch, but I imagine he feels like he's on some kind of warped reality show. Survivor: Multi-Tasker.

The online Anderson and Erica are still talking when I turn my attention to the TV and see that the television Anderson is back and there seems to be all kinds of drama going on. Oh noes! I shake my fist at you, evil time delay! So okay, they're just getting in this truly upsetting video of some Turkish press under fire in Georgia. You do not shoot at the press. Horrible. We learn that one reporter was hit in the eye and taken to a hospital. Later in the broadcast, Erica tells us that this actually occurred on Sunday and all are safe. Still really scary.

Glancing back at the webcast camera, it's going crazy! Don't know what's going on there, but just thought I'd throw that out. On now to discussion about the Clinton news with Candy Crowley, David Gergen, and Mark Halperin. I didn't follow this too closely, but there was some speculation over the convention deal details, which apparently have yet to be worked out (or announced at least). Of comical note, is when Candy Crowley mentions Clinton's "dead-enders" and Anderson asks, "Haven't I heard that term somewhere before?" Following with, "It wasn't true the last time." You can't go wrong with Cheney mocking, in my book.

When last we left our heroes on the webcast, they were, well, pretty much in the same place. Poor Erica is taking some heat from Anderson regarding a joke she made up on air on the fly. Aw. Boys are such meanies sometimes. To see if anyone is backing Erica up on her comic stylings, they both check out the blog to see what the chattering class is saying. This is kind of surreal, but cool. We learn that Erica and Anderson are both con "LOLs". Thank God! Maybe people will stop that now. (Of course, then they both post--possibly ironically--with smiley faces, no doubt ushering in a live-blog era of that. Not helping.)

Once again, the webcast is still going on, when I turn back to my TV to see that Randi Kaye has a piece on Wal-Mart's possible violation of election law. Ah! I want to watch both. It's like Sophie's Choice here, people! In the end, even though I'm very happy they're covering this story, I stick with the webcast until it stops. I am shame-faced.

Moving on, we're joined by Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller and Sanjay Gupta to talk about the age controversy of the Chinese gymnastics team. I have to say, seeing Shannon Miller is bringing on some major nostalgia for me. When I was a kid, my friends and I would watch her compete and then run out and perfect our back bends and cartwheels. She was definitely someone we all wanted to be. Shannon tells us that younger gymnasts have an edge in that they can flip around more, but the drawback is that they're less experienced. We also learn that in 1991 she lost the gold to an athlete that was violating the age rules, but Shannon maintains the younger athlete deserved it because she was the best. She thinks the rules need to be changed so all ages can compete. Sanjay gives us the medical perspective (duh), noting that sometimes the rigorous training of a gymnast can cause changes in a person's hormonal balance that can actually make them appear younger longer. Interesting.

Next up, we have an Erica Hill piece on today's confirmation that Julia Child worked for the OSS, the precursor to the CIA. You know, when I sleepily logged onto the 360 blog this morning (as I totally always do-heh) and read the headline, "Julia Child a Spy?," I initially thought it meant she had been a spy for the Russians and the whole cooking thing was just a cover. Then I woke up a bit and coherent thought took over.

On now to some fun with the 360 floor crew. Yay! Our star of the show is Frank, who is here to read us a little something from San Jose State University's "Annual Bad Writing Contest." By candlelight. Oooh. Except he initially reads from the prompter. Oops. But with script finally in hand, he makes it up with a stellar performance. I have to say, Frank puts the 'steam' in 'steamy.' For a second there I thought this segment was going to require a disclaimer, but then he brought in a little Joisey accent for the finish. Ta da! Give this man an Emmy! (Hey, Anderson can spare one.)

It is at this point that our train really starts to come off the tracks. The Shot tonight, because they are obsessed, is a Yeti (or Bigfoot or Sasquatch). Actually, it's a dead Yeti in a freezer. Oh noes! That's disturbing on many levels. The dudes who took the picture allege to have found it in "an undisclosed location in north Georgia." "We're not sure if that's also where Dick Cheney stays," says Anderson. Two Cheney jokes in the same broadcast? Anderson, you spoil me. Erica reminds us that her friend Scott is a Bigfoot hunter and true believer, but is also apparently MIA. Perhaps he's hunting right now. Anderson wonders if this discovery will take away the meaning of Scott's life. Oh Scott, I may have only seen you for 30 seconds on TV one time . . . but you have so much to live for! Besides, somebody still needs to figure out what the hell that Montauk Monster is.

So wow, really good show. Started out with good coverage of hard news, didn't go overboard on politics, did a good story on Wal-Mart, a few interesting and lighter segments, and ended with some fun. And man, they take "extras" to a new level. I didn't realize that on top of the webcast, they're still doing the webcam. You have to have three web browser windows open to fully participate! They still want us to watch the show, right? Craziness. But if they can keep it all up like tonight, I'm definitely not complaining. I actually felt tired after the show was over. Granted, I always feel tired (not being able to breath will do that to you), but that was multi-tasking to the max. So okay, 360, don't look at the ratings okay? Because Greta was all over that Caylee Anthony story, so. . . just don't look. Because you did really well and deserve a big cookie.


Blogger Pati Mc said...

So Eliza, great post.

Wow, I agree with everythng you said. As ususal. Good Lord, are we sharing a brain or what? Heh heh.

I agree with your comment. I was exhausted after live blogging, watching the webcam AND the webcast. 360 overload. And here I was thinking that I had finally prepared myself for a job there. Yikes. May have to reconsider that a bit. My head hurt! Of course we all know that what does not kill you makes you stronger, right? I am hoping that is the case. I had a BLAST with all of this, and here I was all naysayer about the live blogging. But shoot, that was some good, clean fun.

Great content on the show, interesting pieces and great info. I too pray that they keep this up. Nice blend of material. I was happy. *does the happy dance* And whoa, Michael Ware was back AND we got some Dr. Sanjay too. Yes, by all means the gang earned their cookie. Maybe a whole box of them.

Let's hope it continues. Never in my life would I have expected that the news could be this much fun.

Julia Child a spy, AND the sasquatch. I commented on the live blog exactly what you said....hey Anderson, can you say "obsessed"?

Happy Weekend all. Looks like he is off tonight and we are getting a taped VP special thingy. Meh! I think Friday night is THE night for all of the extracurriclar activities, but he deserves his time off as well. Drat!

1:12 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

I've got my fingers crossed that this keeps up, but I'm not holding my breath (I have very little breath to hold as it is--heh).

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, I thought Anderson said a few months ago (or many months ago) that he stopped using smiley faces in the fifth grade;) I wasn't able to catch the webcast so I missed the whole thing. What did he mean when he said he and Erica "had a moment" over the joke? I'm guessing more bantering.

6:50 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Anonymous, I do remember him saying that. That's why I'm thinking there was some ironic emoticon usage going on. ;P (I can do it too!)

On the webcast they were basically just bantering about the live-blog and Erica's joke. It was cute, but I think he only made the post about their "moment" because he's trying to drive people to the webcast.

10:05 PM  

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