Thursday, October 09, 2008

Dow Closes At 8579, McCain Supporters Losing It, Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers Is Called Out, Palin's Fan Club, And Investigating ACORN

Hi everybody. Tonight we're kicking things off with some BREAKING NEWS. Of course we are. It wouldn't be a weekday if we weren't. Is this news perhaps related to an abundance of delicious candy magically raining from the sky? No. What we learn instead is that Asian markets are sliding, the Dow is down 39 percent from where it was this time last year, and the stock value of General Motors hasn't been this low since 1950. So, you know, significantly less fun than falling sweets.

Ali Velshi assumes his usual position at the big wall and we get to see the horror of the Dow's day played out in graphic form. He also tells us that the government is considering giving money to banks in exchange for stock. We've previously just been loaning money to banks that needed a bailout, but this new idea could actually result in a profit for the taxpayers once the markets go back up. They're going to fork over our money anyway no matter what, so I suppose we may as well get a piece of the pie. Although, if we're going to start taking these kind of steps, I want my damn universal healthcare. There's no excuse.

Ali then sticks around and we're also joined by financial expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, who does not freak me out as much as Suze Orman. The same advice we've been hearing since this thing started is given: don't pull out of the market now if you're in it for the long haul. Ali and Lynnette also answer questions from viewers, which total a whopping one each. I'm not really complaining about that though because I actually think these questions are just wasting show time. If they want to get creative, they should schedule a live hour chat with these guys on the blog and questions could be answered then. Other sites do it all the time.

Transitioning now to politics and in an Ed Henry piece we learn that the McCain/Palin supporters are freaking out. They know their side is losing and they don't like it one bit. We get a clip of one supporter who seems on the verge of popping a vein as he rails against socialists taking over the country. I guess that's my side, because we're all evil with our desire for good healthcare and tax cuts that don't favor the rich. It's kinda funny how flummoxed they are that they're losing. But their support of a failed ideology never enters their minds as a reason. No, instead they lash out at the media for allegedly giving Obama a pass on Ayers (I guess that Drew Griffin report never happened) and even focus their ire on the "maverick" himself, begging him to bring up Reverend Wright. Of course, McCain has kinda boxed himself into a corner on that one because months ago he stated he wouldn't go there. Though as Ed points out, he had also stated he'd never bring his son Jimmy into the campaign. And yet . . .

We're next played a clip of Obama's recent interview with Charlie Gibson, in which he notes his opponent seems to be unwilling to attack him to his face. This leads us into a Candy Crowley piece where we learn that the Obama/Biden campaign has got themselves some nice shiny new talking points McCain is "erratic" and "risky" and "lurching." Wait, "lurching"? Biden characterizes McCain as an angry man "who is lurching from one position to another." Ahhh, now I see. Well hey, more power to them. Because from where I'm sitting, those words ring pretty true. Candy also tells us that the Obama campaign is buying up 30 minutes of primetime TV time to be used at the end of the month. It's an interesting move. Only time will tell if it's a good one.

For discussion of all this, we're joined by David Gergen, Ed Rollins, and Paul Begala. Ed tells us he thinks the race is over, nobody cares about Ayers, and Obama is going to win in a landslide. Aw, he seems a little demoralized. Would it be rude for me to "woo hoo" right now? The Gerg disagrees with Ed because he feels race is still an unknown factor. He also talks a bit about the incendiary tone of the campaign and how McCain is "no longer the man who seems to be in command." That man checked out a long time ago. Paul thinks McCain's big mistake is that he's decided to adapt to his base, which has made him erratic, a fact evidenced by bizarre instances like when he called his audience his "fellow prisoners."

Poor Ed then really starts freaking out, noting that the Republicans could lose up to 10 Senate seats and 25 House seats, figures which seem to shock The Gerg. I'm not that optimistic, but I say bring it on, baby. Those are filibuster proof numbers. Anderson Cooper points out that even when McCain tried to move away from Ayers and talk economics, the crowd didn't really want to hear it. Ed thinks McCain shouldn't give them any choice because he is at a real risk of bringing his party down, which would destroy his legacy. Anderson also wonders how the next president is going to be able to bring the country together, what with all the anger that's out there now. Well, the same way Bush did. Oh, wait . . .

The Gerg talks a bit about the anger that's been building at the rallies and notes, "There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we're not far from that." "Really?" says Anderson. Yes, really! This stuff is dangerous. Paul then makes the really great point that both campaigns are not being equally angry and hateful. "Nobody at Obama's rally is shouting 'Kill him' as the Washington Post reported or hurling racial epithets at an African-American cameraman, as has been reported, or saying, 'off with his head,' as has been reported," he says. Thank you! And I specifically point this out because earlier in the conversation Anderson said that both parties were "throwing hand grenades." Look, I get the desire and need to remain a blank slate, but there comes a point where that can lead into the trap of fake balance. The McCain campaign is inciting violence. To brush it off as dirty politics as usual is a huge disservice, and quite frankly, dangerous.

On now to 360's new segment, "The 10 Most Wanted Culprits of the Collapse," or as I like to call it, "10 Assholes That Screwed Us Over." Last night they did AIG, who according to my sitemeter, were quite interested in what was said. Tonight's culprit is Richard Fuld, former Lehman Brother's CEO. So, why is he evil? In a Joe Johns piece we learn that even though Lehman Brother's went down, helping take our economy with it, Mr. Fuld here got to keep himself a cool $480 million. And like all these sleaze balls, he's not apologizing for keeping the cash. Joe tells us that Fuld "ramped up Lehman's business and mortgage-related securities" and then when the subprime market tanked he didn't back off, which led to disaster. Oh, and it looks like he mislead his investors because he didn't tell them the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Classy. Investigators are now looking into allegations of fraud. I think they're a little late.

It is at this point that my quiet 360 viewing suddenly erupts into chaos, with my little cul-de-sac covered in fire trucks, ambulances, and police. As you might imagine, investigating this development took priority over my news watching. Funny thing is, I still have no idea what the hell happened! Strangely, none of my neighbors came outside and then most of the vehicles left without appearing to do anything. One fire truck remained and the firemen were in full gear shining flashlights around my neighbor's yard, which I have to say, was quite disconcerting. So anyway, I'm assuming someone would let me know if my street was, like, at risk for blowing up or something. Bizarre.

Luckily, I happened to catch both of the next two pieces on Election Center, so with the help of the trusty transcript, I think I'm good to go. Next up, we have a Randi Kaye piece on a group of women who can only be described as Sarah Palin fangirls. The women are from Florida, are conservative Christians, and really love Sarah Palin. Why? Because she's "bold" and "authentic" and "tells the truth." Uh, come again? It's like we exist in a different universe. Basically, these women are feeling the love because they believe Palin is just like them . . . and that's about as deep as it gets. Policy is no where in the equation and the only issues really mentioned are abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

It is simply unbelievable to me that with all of the dire problems this country faces, there are people who will cast their vote based on personality. Anyway, one of the women of the group, Tami Nantz, created the blog Moms4SarahPalin and I actually found myself reading many of the posts and comments. It is stunning in its ignorance, but surprisingly, I didn't feel an urge to respond to all of the wildly inaccurate statements throughout. Really, I just felt sorry for her. I guess maybe I'm starting to let myself believe Ed is right that it's over, though I'm still cautious. I remember what November 3, 2004 felt like. If things continue on this path, Tami will know that feeling on November 5, 2008.

Moving on now to a Drew Griffin investigative piece on the community organizing group ACORN, which works to register poor and minority voters. He takes us to a county in Indiana where ACORN turned in 5,000 voter applications right before the deadline. The problem? Half are bogus. Dead people, signatures that look the same, business addresses being used as residences, you name it. But as the election board worker points out, no voter fraud has occurred because, well, people haven't voted yet. This would have been a good time for Drew to explain how ACORN works. See, as The Atlantic and Politico have noted, the group operates by paying people to collect signatures. As you might imagine, this leads to some people falsifying registrations in order to make more cash.

Make no mistake, this is still voter registration fraud. But there is no evidence that those people then go vote. Drew's lack of this explanation is an unbelievably glaring omission. Also, because it is noted that Obama's campaign has donated to the group and they have endorsed him for president, the lack of aforementioned context leaves the viewer with the feeling that something shady is going on involving the campaign, which is completely unfair. This is a narrative that is being pushed very hard by the McCain campaign and that's another fact left out of Drew's piece, though to be fair, Anderson mentioned it in the intro. Look, I'm not trying to defend ACORN here. The empty offices Drew found is disturbing and I encourage news coverage of their operation, which appears not to be all that well run. My problem is with the insinuations. Do the investigations. Readers of this blog know I love accountability and investigations, but they require context. Otherwise you're misleading your viewers. Oh, and I'm holding you to that voter suppression piece, 360.

"The Shot" tonight is a clip of Nancy Grace. Oy. "Erica, you know how much I love me my Nancy Grace," says Anderson. Ha! Lordie, I hope that's sarcasm. Anyway, apparently Nancy interviewed one of her friends who looks almost identical to herself and it amused (or freaked out) Anderson. It is rather freaky. And that freak factor is about to get upped massively because we cut to Erica donning an Anderson-style suit and wig. "Friends do that sometimes, look like each other, without even meaning it," she says. While Anderson feigns befuddlement, Erica mocks his BlackBerry addiction and then totally jacks his website-pimping spiel. Well, that was . . . interesting. Kinda funny? I think my problem is I was traumatized by the wig. That'll do it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it seem to you that Erica is getting less and less airtime and really doing nothing now but her webcast? Last night she didn't do a bulletin just the shot. Still no blogging from either of them.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post as usual eliza. I could've kissed Paul Begala when he pointed out that no one at Obama's rallies were 'kill him' or 'terrorist'. I completely agree with your point about how Anderson and other reporters need to just point out when something is absolutely out of line and wrong such as the horrible behavior of McCain's supporters with McCain and Palin encouraging it. I've tried to post that on the 360 blog, but they keep blocking every post where I've referred to it, I don't think they REALLY want to hear criticism from their viewers, unless it's that nutty Cindy person - she gets to say whatever the heck she wants. I also agree that Drew Griffin's reports aren't exactly fair and that 360 should look into the voter suppression issue.

6:33 PM  

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