Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Markets Still Tanking, Candidates On The Trail, Democrats Going For Florida, Another Reason Not To Support Palin, And Attack On Yemen Embassy

Hi everybody. We're beginning things tonight with the BREAKING NEWS that, financially speaking, things are still bad. Very, very, bad. In fact, you know what, don't even look, people. Because investors just lost $700 billion dollars today. Billion. Like with a "B." Everything is falling apart! Ali Velshi, who is no doubt having one of his busiest weeks evah, returns to 360 to tell us the markets are still freaking out, even after yesterday's AIG bailout. And, AND, apparently Wachovia might take over Morgan Stanley. Good lord. That's it. I'm putting all my money under my mattress.

Next up, we've got some bytes from the campaign trail and then some new polling data to throw us into a tizzy. Remember how a while ago McCain seemed to be ready to overtake Obama and everyone was clutching their pearls? Well, since last week Obama has gained seven points. Yay! Except, well, I'll say now what I said back then: it's still meaningless. The election may be mere weeks away, but it's still way too early to hand wring over polls. We've got a zillion more news cycles to go before people step into the voting booth. Last week we were talking about sexism charges and how Palin was a rock star. Now her numbers are down and all anyone can think about is the economy. Next week might be another story still. It ain't over till it's over.

Moving on now to a Candy Crowley piece that follows Obama on the campaign trail. Not much of note here, but Obama does have a new great zinger regarding McCain's promise of taking on the "old boy's network": "The old boys' network, in the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting." Oh, snap! After Candy's piece, Anderson wonders what the Obama camp says to Democrats who are worried about the closeness of the race. "You know, the one word, chill," says Candy. You mean like this?.

On now to a Dana Bash piece that tackles the other side of the partisan divide. McCain and Palin are back together again and the girl wonder is actually taking questions from the audience at town hall meetings. An extremely friendly audience, of course. Another little tip no doubt picked up from Bush. So yeah, this is mostly sycophantic and useless, but what caught my attention was a woman asking about economic improvement for women. Palin takes this very important question and uses it to start talking about sports, which she almost implies got her where she is today. What the hell? Maybe things would have been clearer if she had the opportunity to elaborate, but McCain had to butt in with stupid Palin trivia. Or maybe CNN cut off the real answer. Either way, not impressed!

Up next, we have John King continuing his battle ground state travels and tonight he comes at us from the trouble-making state of Florida. The Democrats are on a mission for the Jewish vote and it sounds like they have a real chance of getting it. In the piece we see video of home school kids working a Republican phone bank. Child labor! Okay, I'm exaggerating, but that is pretty messed up. After his piece, John tells us it's looking like Florida could be close enough that we might hear the word "recount." And then I cry sad, sad, tears.

We're moving to our nightly panel now, with tonight's seats being warmed by Gloria Borger, David Gergen, and David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. There's a lot of strategy talk here related to the economy and the candidates. Of note is The Gerg going off on Bush for not sitting down and explaining to us what the hell is going on with the markets and whatnot. Frankly, I can't believe The Gerg is surprised about the inaction. It's kinda Bush's thing. I say we just put him in the corner with a Game Boy or something until January. Less things get broken that way.

Ali Velshi is back again, this time to give us some terrifying statistics: unemployment is 6.1%, inflation is 5.4%, and home prices are down 20%. Oh, and if any of those look okay to you, Ali reminds us that raises and investments aren't keeping up with the rate of inflammation. Also, I'd like to point out that they don't count you as unemployed if you've given up looking. So yeah, that number's actually worse too. Uh, sleep tight, kids.

Erica Hill has our headlines tonight and I am ticked. During the past couple segments, Anderson Cooper has been teasing information about Hurricane Ike's aftermath, leading one to believe we were actually going to get a story on the ongoing disaster. But no, just a headline. Put the teases of the story together and they're longer than the frickin story itself! This is ridiculous. I don't understand. Some of the same things that happened after Katrina are happening right now. Back then Anderson Cooper didn't even want to leave the area--and he didn't for a whole month. Now the show is like, meh, whatever. I know we're in the home stretch of an election and the country is currently financially imploding, but c'mon media. At least MSNBC seems to be waking up a little (it was one of their top stories).

Moving on to a Randi Kaye piece about a sports complex Sarah Palin pushed for when she was mayor of Wasilla. Apparently she mucked the deal up so bad that it cost the city millions. I'm not going to go indepth on this because I don't see it becoming a huge issue. Don't get me wrong though, I'm very happy 360 is investigating this stuff and doing these kinds of pieces. If she left tiny Wasilla in debt, how much debt would she leave the entire country?

Transitioning now to Peter Bergen joining us to talk about the attack on the embassy in Yemen. This is a pleasant surprise. I mean, you know, not the whole attack part, but that we're actually getting coverage of it. And it's alway nice to see Peter. So anyway, the conventional wisdom here is that the attack was perpetuated by al Qaeda. The 2000 USS Cole attack is mentioned and Anderson brings up a recent jailbreak. Peter isn't sure how connected al Qaeda in Yemen is to al Qaeda in Pakistan, but he tells us the Yemen based group is thriving. As for al Qaeda on the Afghan/Pakistan border, there's a resurgence going on. But hey, according to McCain the real battle is in Iraq and we're winning. Don't worry about a thing, kids.

"The Shot" tonight is an elephant supposedly helping to clean up the zoo after Hurricane Ike, but it looks like he's engaging in some social loafing to me. Then we meet Izzy the baby squirrel, rescued by a family in Houston. Kinda cute. "Beat 360" tonight results in a surprisingly decent Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation from Anderson. I'm not sure why, but suddenly 360 is all about pimping their webcast. I guess not enough people are watching. Truth be told I don't watch it that much myself, though I do find it enjoyable. It's just that there's the actual show, and the blog, and I'm taking notes, and sometimes eating, and I got my own online stuff going on, and . . . too much!

But anyway, the highlights of tonight were Erica playing with the Palin kid name generator, which I was fooling with myself last night, and we also got to see Anderson looking completely uncomfortable. Me thinks he's liking that he doesn't have a mic yet. We see him fake pass out at his desk too. Being an anchor is tiring, people.

Okay, so the show was pretty good, but again, where the hell is the Ike coverage? That being said, I have to give massive, MASSIVE props to 360 for so far relegating the OJ Simpson trial to the blog. Now watch, tomorrow they'll run a piece. That's it from me.

PS: Did John McCain just cause an international incident with Spain?


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