Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Russia/Georgia Conflict, Swiftboating Obama, Reverend Wright Back In The News, Allegations Chinese Gymnasts Are Underage, and Kathy Griffin Live!

Hi everybody. You know that cease fire that Russia and Georgia agreed to? Well, we've got some BREAKING NEWS tonight that apparently that didn't take. Because Russia is pushing its way deeper into Georgia right now. In an Ed Henry piece we learn that the US is sending Condi Rice to see what she can do to fix things. Why don't I feel reassured? Actually, that region is supposed to be her area of expertise, so we shall see. The US is also sending aid to Georgia, which I think is nice of us. I guess I'm just happy when we're not the ones blowing things up. Obviously the Bush years have lowered my bar.

Anyway, there's a question as to whether Russia is even going to let the US help. And if they don't? I don't think we really want to know the answer to that, though I'm sure it doesn't involve hugs and candy kisses. Not that we really have a moral or military leg to stand on. I love McCain's recent quote on the conflict: "In the 21st Century, nations don't invade other nations." Maybe he thinks we invaded Iraq last century. It has seemed to just go on and on. Also? Kudos to Ed for bringing up the Putin's soul stuff. Our president is quite clairvoyant, huh?

We then move on to a clip of Mathew Chance from the region, pondering where the Russians might be going exactly. And then it's on to Zain Verjee covering the State Department angle. Russia's message seems to be "we're back, deal with it." Well! This takes us into a discussion with Anne Marie Slaughter of Princeton and Jill Dougherty in Moscow. This was a good discussion and much too involved for me to try to blog it. I'm glad 360 has mostly gotten away from covering the Russia/Georgia conflict strictly from the perspective of the US election.

I do kind of wonder though why we're not getting more on the ground stuff. Where are the interviews with the troops or civilians? If there's a reason they can't bring that to us (like maybe the Russians won't let them), they should tell us that. Also, I have no idea what's going on behind-the-scenes booking-wise, but it would be great to see Anderson Cooper in true interview mode about the conflict. It's been a while since he's interviewed a foreign leader, or really, anyone--not counting the panels or friends of missing girls.

Transitioning now to a Jessica Yellin piece on how that jerk Jerome Corsi is taking another stab at swiftboating--this time the smear is aimed at Obama. You might remember Corsi as the waste-of-space that was behind the infamous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads that ran before the 2004 election. He's got a book of lies out on Obama and we're informed it's number one on the New York Times bestsellers. This makes me cry sad, sad tears. But my sadness doesn't last long because 360 is being awesome in that they're totally calling this book out on the inaccurate piece of crap that it is. Cookie for them. Quite the contrast to four years ago. Oh sure, Corsi was eventually shown to be a fraud, but when it mattered, the media mostly acted as enablers. Yay for getting it right early this time (assuming everyone else is on the same page as 360 of course). John Kerry is in on the game too--he's launched a website to hit back against the smears.

After Jessica's piece, we have discussion on the issue with Candy Crowley and Steve Kornacki (he's been on a lot lately). The topic then changes to the rumor that Colin Powell is going to endorse Obama. Wha? I don't think it's mentioned, but this rumor comes from William Kristol, a man who has been wrong about I think literally everything these past few years, so, you know, grain of salt and all. I'm not saying he couldn't be right; I'm just saying I think Bill Kristol is an idiot. Colin Powell makes me sad. I used to have such respect for him. I don't think he's evil like the rest of that bunch, but that UN speech is not easily forgiven. I think he's probably a man that confused integrity with loyalty. Although really, he's not totally wrong in that aspect; he just seems to have forgotten that being loyal to the president and being loyal to the country are not always the same thing.

Moving on to Roland Martin joining us to talk about Reverend Wright. Ahh! Just when you think the story's dead, it sucks you back in. Okay, so rumor has it that Wright is writing a book and going on a book tour right before the November elections. Now that would really make me cry sad, sad tears. But Roland says it's not true. Okay then. I appreciate them debunking this (and Roland taking New York Magazine to task for lack of attribution of the rumor), but couldn't this have been taken care of with the last panel. I'm just saying there's a whiff of Wright-ratings nostalgia (although good on them for not taking it out of control).

Next up, we have a Randi Kaye piece on some gymnastics controversy brewing at the Olympics. Last night the Chinese women's team took home the gold, but were they all even old enough to compete? The New York Times and famous gymnastics coach Bela Karoli are saying no. In fact, it's believed that three girls (or half the team) are under 16, which is the minimum age to compete. I watched the coverage and a couple of them did look pretty young. Of note is former Olympic gymnast Amanda Borden bringing up the fact that probably no one would be talking about this if the US won. It does sort of make it seem like sour grapes, doesn't it? Because the Americans had a fair number of falls and step outs. Then again, I heard of this controversy before last night, so there's that. The sport is amazing to watch regardless.

Finally tonight, we're joined by Kathy Griffin. Live. Oh boy. This was actually a great segment. She and Anderson start off serious, discussing her recent visit to Walter Reed. Fisher House is mentioned, a great place that I've supported in the past. Kathy talks about how hard things can be, not just for the soldiers, but the soldier's families. And, uh, she manages to bring up the Lohans and her Emmy. In fact, Anderson is ready for that last part and they have themselves a little Emmy-off. Bitter at being beaten (he's got four of those puppies!), she storms off camera. Bwah! This, naturally, leaves Anderson in a fit of giggles. They need to have her on more often. Seriously, this was a great idea because not only did they get to have some fun, but a really important subject that has been recently criminally neglected actually got a little airtime. Maybe next Kathy can go to Darfur.

The Shot tonight is preceded by the dramatic! animal video graphic. Hey, where's that been lately? They even have a new dramatic! kitty. And it's a good thing too because tonight we've got a snake in some pants and that definitely requires two dramatic animals. And get your minds out of the gutter people; I mean actual snake. So. Many. Jokes. Actually, Erica and Anderson note there are jokes they could be making, but they're "too classy" for that. Bwah! You are so not! You know they had themselves some office fun with that one. That's something you won't hear on the webcam.

Speaking of the webcam (like my transition?), just when you thought their online goodies couldn't get any more fancy-pants, oh, you would be wrong my friend. Because tonight they busted out some sound on the webcam during commercials with Erica revealing super-seekret show tidbits. And . . . I don't get it. I mean, I'm not knocking it--it was nice/interesting (except for the part where I had to download another plug-in. Grr!) , I just can't pin down the motivation. I don't mean to be so cynical and I'm sure the people of 360 are very nice, but that being said, I don't really see them or any show taking on extra stuff for the sole purpose of doing more for their fans.

Let's face it, the live-blog is to drive up web hits. I don't get the motivation with the webcam though. I guess it might be because they don't want people flipping somewhere else during commercials, but I really doubt the flippers are going to be watching the webcam in the first place. Heck, most of the fans I know don't even watch the webcam. I'm pretty sure the kind of people that do, are the kind of people that would never think about changing the channel. So . . . if anyone has any idea, I'd love to hear it because I sure don't. Unless it's simply them copying everything that Greta does because she has the ratings. And if that's the case, oh man, they've got problems. Anyway, it was fun to watch tonight. It should be interesting to see if they can come up with stuff to talk about every night.

The show was pretty good. A fair amount of topics, solid lead story, good debunking, and even some fun. And while I'm being complimentary, good on 360 for not going crazy this week with the Edwards story like I feared they would. Oh, and no missing girl non update! An all around pretty good job.


Blogger GyspyMan83 said...

The real question is who go to Wright to make him change his plans? Was it Obama, and how? Make no mistake, Wright WAS planning on writing a book. Real Clear Politics covered it.

Not WRIGHT for America has been all over this. Stay tuned...

3:57 PM  

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