Friday, October 17, 2008

Palin Causes (More) Controversy, On The Trail, Candidate Temperament, The Question Of A Large Democratic Majority, And Angelo Mozilo Gets Called Out

Hi everybody. Tonight we are not starting with BREAKING NEWS. No, for real! At this point and time, all news is apparently completely in one piece. No chips or anything! That's the good news. The bad news is that the funny from yesterday is over and both candidates are back to attacking each other in non amusing ways. At least they're talking about actual issues though (health care and taxes). That's something, right? The second string, however, is a different story. It seems Palin has found herself a back-handed way to call Obama supporters anti-American, which Biden did not take sitting down (though maybe he would have if there were chairs--I report, you decide).

Gary Tuchman joins us live from New Mexico with the lowdown. As we hear in an audio clip, Palin is so very gosh darn happy to be talkin' to her supporters who she notes are living in very "hardworking, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation." While they're cheering, the rest of us are going, um, what? Because if there are pro-America places, that means there must be anti-America places too. Biden didn't waste any time: " Folks, it doesn't matter where you live. We all love this country." Right on. Normally, Palin's comments on the matter would go unchallenged to her face , but a funny thing happened today. For some reason (stretching her legs?) the Veep hopeful took a little walk on her plane and discovered, hey, there's like a whole back section filled with people who work for newspapers and stuff.

Yep, that's right, Palin talked to reporters. They asked her about her comments, and what a surprise, now she's claiming everyone is pro-America too. "OK, clearly, she's backtracking from whatever she said, or trying to clarify," says Anderson Cooper. Yup. (And good on him for pointing that out. After his treatment of the stories on the angry crowds, I thought maybe the pointing out of BS was over.) In regards to a response from the other side, Gary tells us Biden hadn't heard the plane comments. "I told him what she said," he tells Anderson quite excitedly. Aw, somebody's thrilled to be doing more than shouting questions at someone who only waves--if you're lucky. So anyway, Gary got to actually, you know, talk with Biden and Biden says he accepts Palin's clarification. Good answer. Anderson asks about the mood of the Palin and Biden rallies and Gary tells us they are very different. The Biden supporters are excited, but the Palin supporters are even more so, and quite angry as well. Quite angry is right. Yesterday a reporter got kicked. And I don't think I've seen this video before, which was filmed last week. So disturbing.

Next up, we have a Candy Crowley piece on a whole bunch of stuff going down on the trail. Apparently Obama is trying to turn Virginia red, which he is doing by getting seniors riled up about their Medicare. Obama claims McCain will cut it by 20 percent, but Candy tells us that's misleading. I did a fact-check on Candy's fact-check (CNN hasn't exactly been inspiring confidence as of late) and the AP backs her up. We also learn that McCain is still on his Joe the Plumber kick, even though it turns out 'Joe' would get a tax cut under Obama, a fact Candy does not mention, though to be fair she does correct McCain's false claims about Obama's tax plan.

We then get played one of the robocalls the McCain camp is doing, but the audio doesn't work--at least mine didn't. This is what the call said: "Hello. I'm calling for John McCain and the RNC, because you need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers." You stay classy, McCain! And if you're wondering about ACORN, Palin has that smear covered. She's calling for an investigation. But guess what? Obama ain't having it. He's calling for an investigation too. A Democrat with a spine. Who knew?

As we come back from commercial, we're played a clip of Palin answering questions on the plane. "She says she doesn't question Barack Obama's love of America, though she has said he pals around with terrorists in the past," Anderson tells us. A wee bit contradictory, I'd say. This moves us into our nightly panel, with the current seat warmers being David Gergen, Bay Buchanan, and Jamal Simmon. Bay's back. Oh . . . yay. Of note here is when the subject of Palin comes up and Bay says this, "Palin may be one of the smartest vice presidential nominees in our history, I mean, certainly in my lifetime." Oh my. Bay done gone completely crazy. Even blank slate Anderson can't contain himself and tries to interrupt, "Wait a minute. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait." Bwah! But Bay blathers on a bit while Anderson blinks like Katie Couric when she interviewed the Veep hopeful. I wonder if that's the body's natural reaction when faced with astounding stupidity.

"Wait. Did you say she may be one of the most -- the smartest vice presidential nominees or the smartest choices?" asks Anderson. Bay clarifies she meant choices, which I guess is a little less crazy. Maybe? She then goes on to spout a whole mess of crap about why Palin's so great. "OK," says Anderson. Heh. Jamal suggests that maybe Palin is smart on the inside. Ha! Because we haven't seen it so much on the outside. Anderson next turns to The Gerg, who goes all "Gergeny" on us, talking all smart and rationally. And we can't have that! After The Gerg notes that Palin is causing conservative intellectuals to jump ship, Bay says this: "Intellectuals. They aren't the ones that are in there and fighting for our causes." "Down with smart people," says Jamal. Bwah! Yeah! Good for nothing smart people with their brains and knowledge of, like, stuff. They suck! Bay blathers some more and Anderson asks, "Intellectual is a dirty word now?" Apparently. It's the new 'elite.'

Moving on now to an Ed Henry piece on candidate temperament. Okay, see, while Obama is all cucumbery-cool and McCain looks like he might press "the button" to blow off some anger after losing a poker game, we totally shouldn't worry about that, because, like, Kennedy and Reagan showed more than one side of their personalities when they got in office. And, you know, the actions of two guys obviously means that we can predict that McCain and Obama will be, well, unpredictable. Wow. The CNNers aren't running out of things to report in this election. No siree. That was totally worth my time.

Back with our panel, the subject turns to what should and shouldn't be off limits in the campaign. Anderson actually gives Palin's speech to the Alaska Independence Party a mention, though he kinda sounds a little dismissive. But yay for a mention. Now where's the frickin coverage? Bay decides that she wants to one-up her crazy talk from last panel: "I ask you, Anderson, and the other panelists, if indeed John McCain had gone to David Duke's home for a fundraiser a year ago, do you think that would be out there as a key issue?" What's hilarious is that while she's saying this, The Gerg is sporting one of the greatest WTF faces you'll ever see. Anderson gives Jamal a chance to smack that down, but he doesn't really bite. Instead he steers the conversation to real issues, which is a good thing. The Gerg doesn't let the David Duke thing go though: "First of all, let's take the David Duke comparison off the table. That's just wrong. I just think it's -- I can't -- I can hardly even deal with that." Wow. I do believe The Gerg is appalled. Nice work, Bay.

Transitioning now to a Joe Johns piece that takes a look at the notion that the Democrats could control the presidency, House, AND Senate by a sizable majority come January. Oh my God, hide the children! Actually, this piece is mostly about math. Dems will probably pick up a fair amount of House seats, but they're at 51 (counting those who caucus with them) in the Senate now, which means they'd need to pick up nine more to hit the magic filibuster proof number of 60. It's not likely to happen because they'd almost have to run the board when it comes to vulnerable Republicans, but hey, it happened in 2006. Here's hoping.

On now to our nightly segment of the "Ten Most Wanted List: Culprits of the Collapse," AKA "10 Assholes Who Screwed Us Over." The latest culprit is Angelo Mozilo, founder of Countrywide Financial, who was a big player in the subprime mortgage mess. You know the story: greedy corporate crook has his company manipulate confused people into loans they could never pay, all the while he's getting rich. Mozilo makes off to retirement like a bandit; the little guy gets put into foreclosure. And the rest of us pay. Awesome.

"The Shot" is a clip of Tina Fey talking Palin on Letterman and then a clip of the hilarious Crazy Rally Lady sketch from Saturday Night Live. Anderson and Erica Hill crack up. "I like that they got the hair right," says Erica. Anderson concurs, as do I. Every crazy lady needs some crazy hair. After "Beat 360" I glance at the clock and see that they are early, so I am unsurprised when Anderson asks, "Any big weekend plans, Erica?" Turns out she's going to see Spamalot. I am jealous. Anderson says he's working, because, you know, he doesn't tell us about his weekend working nearly enough. Actually Erica is working too because she has that whole CBS gig thing, which I have continually forgotten mention. So belated congrats to Erica. "We're both working. How sad," says Anderson. Hey, I'm working too! Something tells me my experience will be much less interesting than his. Anyway, no webcast recap tonight. It wouldn't work for me and apparently I wasn't the only one. On Floor Crew Friday, no less. Le sigh. That'll do it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erica is done by 9:00 AM, so she's not working the entire weekend.

I like her much better on The Early Show, she is better suited for that.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eliza, even after watching 360 and knowing everything that happened, I always get a kick out of reading your take on it, you make me laugh as much as good old Jack Gray over there on the 360 blog, I really appreciate you taking the time to recap the program.

I didn't think I could have a lower opinion of Bay Buchanan than I already do, but she took the cake on Friday night with her bizarre commentary. Anderson's shock, his "wait a minutes" and Jamal's perfect "down with the smart people" remark really made clear how absurdly Bay twists reality in order to find some way of convincing us doubters how "fantastic" Palin is.

I thought Anderson was trying to brush off the Palin/AIP thing too, maybe he doesn't believe there's much to the story - one of those internet stories that get blown out of proportion and don't have any basis in fact, he said he tries to be careful about that, but the AIP thing is legitimate and warrants more reporting by CNN and hopefully AC360. If they're going to keep harping on Reverend Wright and AC's going to continually bring him up, then they should also report on AIP and Palin's crazy preacher problems as well. A few people on the 360 Live Blog were questioning why Anderson is always trying to bring back the whole Reverend Wright thing, I don't get that either.

The Shot was amazing, I don't know who the woman is on SNL who played that clueless woman with the bad hair and red McCain/Palin shirt, but she was fantastic.

5:15 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous 10:21 AM--No one said she was working the entire weekend. I've never seen her on The Early Show.

@anonymous 5:15 PM--A comparison to Jack Gray? That's quite a compliment. ;P Thanks.

I think Kristin Wiig was the one who played the crazy rally lady.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliza, Erica was the one who said she was working this weekend.

1:53 PM  

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