Monday, August 18, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay, Veepstakes, Saddleback Forum, Musharraf Resigns, Grand Canyon Flooding, And Meghan McCain Blogs

Hi everybody. Happy New Week! We've got Campbell Brown doing hosting duties tonight for Anderson Cooper, who is . . . somewhere, possibly racking up frequent-flier miles. It looks like Mother Nature is going to kick things off for us because we have the BREAKING NEWS that Tropical Storm Fay has crossed over the Florida Keys and is making her way over the Gulf, with the expectation of becoming a hurricane. Like last time, we've got Gary Tuchman playing the role of our "hurricane guy," slickered-up and having a wet-n-wild time on Marco Island. The storm isn't suppose to be severe, but the conditions still look pretty miserable. Poor Gary. He gets yelled at by polygamists, pelted by rain . . . being a correspondent can be a hard knock life. Anyway, the main concern right now is flooding because they're at sea level . After Gary, Chad Myers joins us for the latest. Stay safe, everybody.

Moving on now to the endlessly-speculated-upon second-in-command position and just who might be vying for that role. The press corps is all a-twitter because the New York Times is reporting that Obama has made his decision and will be text messaging it to the world in a couple days. He's so down with the technology! In a Candy Crowely piece, the media-concocted short list is once again given a run through: Richardson, Bayh, Kaine, Biden, blah, blah, blah. They don't know. Flipping to the other side of the partisan divide, the chattering class is talking up Crist, Romney, Jindal, Ridge, and Pawlenty, whose soundbyte makes him my favorite: "I don't talk about the vice presidential stuff, because I think it's mostly speculation. And I just have stopped talking about it." Word.

For discussion about this--oh, you knew it was coming--we're joined by Candy and David Gergen. Of note is The Gerg pointing out that the McCain camp is probably going to announce the VP pick on the candidate's birthday, which is a smooth move because it will distract from the fact that, you know, he's frickin 72-years-old! Ever the man of unfaltering optimism when it comes to the integrity of others, The Gerg also states that, "I think the one thing that is sort of etiquette in politics is, you don't do your vice presidential candidate in a way that competes with the other guy's convention. You don't do it in a way that sort of rains on his parade." So that terror alert at the start of the 2004 democratic convention that turned out to be completely bogus was because of . . .?

Keeping with politics, next up we've got coverage of Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Forum, which McCain and Obama both participated in over the weekend. You know, I have to ask, who the heck anointed Rick Warren this country's values chief? And what happened to the separation of church and state? I'm a Christian, but this whole thing was just weird. Anyway, we're played some long clips from the forum, one of which has McCain claiming to be pro-life. McCain is not pro-life; he is pro-life with an asterisk. You cannot be pro-war and pro-death penalty and call yourself pro-life. I respect real pro-lifers, though I disagree with them on some of the issues.

We then move on to discussion with Tony Campolo and Tony Perkins and the first question that pops into my head is "why?" Why should I care one iota what these people think? Of note is Tony getting his boxers in a twist over tax payer funded abortion. Because I'm just loving my taxes going to that whole unjustified war thing. Life's not fair, Tony. Deal with it. And that's enough of that. I'm glad that they decided to spend their second hour more on the forum and not do blanket coverage in the first hour because that would have sucked. Although the fact that the "cone of silence" controversy never made it on the air in any meaningful way and was only brought up on the blog by The Gerg, makes CNN seem kind of cowardly. It's a legitimate part of the story and I have to wonder if their silence is because they don't want to receive any letters like NBC.

Transitioning now to the news that Musharraf is resigning as president of Pakistan, which feels like it should be a huge story, but when Peter Bergen joins us live, he's pretty much all, "meh." His opinion is that the move won't change anything because Pakistan's economy is in a free fall and everything is in a state of chaos anyway. Uh, yay? So, same old, same old, apparently. Except now there's probably going to be a power grab. I guess as long as the nukes are secure we should be happy.

Moving on to a Kara Finnstrom piece on flooding in the Grand Canyon, but I got distracted, so . . . sorry.

The last piece of the night is from Gary Tuchman and it's actually one that's been getting bumped for quite a while now. Anyway, it turns out that McCain has a daughter. And she blogs. Because she's, like, young and hip and stuff. All the cool kids are doing it! Meghan has a degree in art history and I was about to say, "good luck with that," but then I remembered her dad is John McCain. So, yeah, she's going to be okay. I actually read through her blog a bit last week and it's cute. It sounds like she's having a blast. And the fact that she voted for Kerry in 2004 is a definite plus in my book. Okay, so she seems very likeable. But does her blog make me want to vote for her father? Not a chance in hell.

The Shot tonight is a plane that gets caught in power lines. The surely-terrified pilot and passenger are then rescued by way of a cherry-picker. The show was just okay. Too politics-heavy for my tastes and the Saddleback controversy could have been addressed. Plus, if this is truly a 360 degree all-the-angles kind of show, where was the voice of those that are against the mixing of religion and politics?

I'm liking the webcast, but hate the delay. You can't watch without missing some of the broadcast. Oh, and let me do what I can to help out Erica: Dear powers that be, get the woman a new laptop!!! Thanks. Erica had said that she'd be talking to Campbell, but I don't think she ever did. I don't know if she's really shy or what, but to each their own.

Over the weekend I posted about a profile of Jon Stewart. And tonight AC360 Review has a special little Moment of Zen for you courtesy of those awesome folks at the AP, regarding McCain's possible VP picks (I hope they don't fix it):
His top contenders are said to include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Less traditional choices mentioned include former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, an abortion-rights supporter, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential prick in 2000 who now is an independent.
Who says the news never gets it right?!


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