Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama Meets With McCain, Vetting The Clintons, Saving (Or Not Saving) The Big Three Automakers, And The California Fires

Hi everybody. Happy New Week! I'm back to reviewing, but I think some of my future posts are still going to be a bit lighter than usual. I've added some stuff to my schedule, so we'll see how this goes. Plus, the show hasn't exactly been giving me much to work with anyway. I was kinda expecting our anchor to be off somewhere using his frequent flyer miles. Not that I'm getting tired of his mug, but the election is over and it's been awhile since there's been an absence. Anderson Cooper does not like to be predictable, apparently.

Anyhoo, we're kicking things off with an Ed Henry piece on the slightly uncomfortable--okay, probably more than slightly uncomfortable--meeting that Obama had with McCain. Man, wouldn't you love to have been a fly on that wall? I can see it now: Obama was all, "dude, your VP pick? What was up with that?" And then McCain was like, "I knoooow. Don't even get me started." Or, you know, they talked about working together on immigration and closing Gitmo. Whichever.

This moves us into a Tom Foreman piece on Bill Clinton's charitable foundation. See, you may have heard that there's been a little talk lately of Hillary becoming secretary of state. Just a little talk. But before any official offers can be made, both Clintons need to be throughly vetted. You know what that means, right? Vetting is that thing that McCain didn't do with Palin. The issue with Bill is that his charity raises gobs of money, some of which comes from foreign interests, and as secretary of state, well, Hillary's whole thing would kind of revolve around foreign interests. The Obama camp is looking out for conflicts of interest. On the flip side, connections with foreign leaders could actually be a plus. We shall see.

Throughout the hour 360 plays us clips from Obama's 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft. I guess I'm glad I didn't watch it then. Anyway, the night's inevitable panel consists of Mark Halperin, Errol Louis, and Jennifer Donahue. There's a lot of speculation here about the possible Hillary Clinton pick. The only thing of note is Errol bringing up the fact that after William Seward was brought into Lincoln's cabinet, he went on to buy Alaska, which was known as Seward's folly. "It worked out in the end, I guess," says Errol. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it, but the "I guess," cracked me up.

Yeah, I'm thinking of Palin. Like you're not. Speaking of Caribou Barbie, this from Anderson had me giggling through the whole commercial break: "some words that excite book publishers, but may strike fear into the hearts of copy editors everywhere, Sarah Palin, author." Bwah! That book is going to need a hoard of copy editors.

Transitioning now to Andy Serwer in the studio, doing his best to scare the crap out of us. Okay, people. Unemployment is bad and it's going to continue to get worse. And then we're got the big three automakers to deal with. Obama wants to save them, but not give them a blank check. Andy thinks that General Motors has a systemic problem that's been lingering for decades. He absolutely is against a blank check, but disagrees with Obama in that he thinks bankruptcy should still be on the table. Ugh. Whatever decision is made, it's going to suck astronomically.

On now to Chris Lawrence live from Sylmar, California, where a fire still burns and homes have been destroyed. Lots of mobile homes have been lost and Christopher Lloyd's house burned to the ground too. Poor Doc Brown. And I'm guessing those mobiles weren't exactly vacation homes. So sad.

Back to the panel now and the discussion focuses on the deficit and the possible bailout of the auto industry. Economists are referenced and it makes me wonder why we're not hearing from one of them. Nothing against this panel, but I don't particularly care what any of them think regarding the crisis and what they think Obama will or won't do. What do they know? So basically all we have here is essentially speculation, which quite frankly, isn't even interesting speculation.

The only thing that got my attention was Anderson noting Obama looking older and had more gray hair. I had just been wondering if it seemed like he was getting grayer. After Anderson's comment, Mark asks, "What's wrong with gray hair?" To which Anderson replies, "No, nothing's wrong with gray hair." Did we just get sucked into an alternate universe for a second there? It's like they were saying each other's lines.

We're next told the news that there's a possibility Palin is getting a $7 million dollar books deal. This is in no way confirmed, but the 360 kids are obsessed with the woman, so not only did they have to mention it, they had to tease it throughout the hour too. Also? I totally should have seen a book deal coming, but surprisingly, I did not. Yeah, I just died inside a little.

On now to an Erica Hill piece on how the Obama family will deal with their new presidential life. The loss of unanimity is mentioned. Barack hedges on whether Michelle's mother will be living with them and they also discuss the most important subject of all: the puppy! It seems they're getting lots of suggestions. This is going to be the most popular dog ever. Sorry Taco Bell chihuahua; a new pooch is about to steal our hearts.

Our final piece of the night is from Randi Kaye on the United Auto Workers and their big fat contracts. The complaint is that the union is bleeding the auto companies dry because workers are getting paid up to $75 an hour, including pension and health care. Some are even drawing 96 percent of their salary after being laid off. That last thing is pretty ridiculous, but most of this story has me torn. People in these jobs are often low skill, but they're able to work hard and achieve middle class status. A strong middle class makes a strong country. On the other hand, the contracts are causing the companies to go under. Yet another reason why this country needs universal healthcare.

The shot tonight was some dancing lady. I don't know. It wasn't that amusing. I was able to get the webcast to work for about one minute tonight. What did I learn? Erica broke her $7 necklace and Tony was wearing a new--scratch that--old hat. So . . . yeah, life changing stuff. But actually, my logging on was made worth it when Erica, apparently wanting Frank to help her fix her necklace, yelled, "McGruber!" Bwah! I'm not sure she even knew that the webcast was still live. So, did "McGruber" fix the necklace? Dun dun dun! Tune in tomorrow and possibly find out (though probably not).

Okay, about the show. I guess I'm just wondering if this is how it's going to be now. Throughout the election, I often wanted to complain about things they weren't covering, but I decided to not even mention that stuff until after the election. Then the election came and went and now there is a cabinet to fill, so I thought, well, I'll wait until that's done. But you know what? There will always be something. After the cabinet is picked, there will be the inauguration. Then after the inauguration, there will be the first 100 days. And so on and so on.

Obviously I want them to cover all that stuff, but at some point this show changed from being majority news to sometimes majority speculation/discussion. Don't get me wrong, I do like to hear from the panels sometimes. And if they take away my David Gergen, I'll be pissed. I'm not even playing. But every night? Many nights I get the feeling that the panels are nothing more than filler. It's kind of ironic because this is a show that prides itself on being about facts. If they looked closely, they'd realize that a good portion every night is nothing but speculation. Some nights it's more educated speculation than others, but speculation none the less.

I guess I'm wondering why so many things seemed to have been dropped: New Orleans/Gulf coast, Iraq, Afghanistan, pretty much any international news at all, anything the current administration has been doing, and so on and so on. What about our troops? Do their issues only get a mention on Veteran's Day now? I do think the show has become tighter and more consistent over the last year or so and I do think they're doing a relatively good job with this bailout stuff, but I'm wondering if this formula they're now using is going to be what they stick with.

Why doesn't Anderson do any real interviews anymore? I see all the other CNN shows having on news makers left and right, but 360 rarely has on anyone besides panel guests (I guess I'll give them Perkins and Savage). I realize the show is broadcast late, but they can't do tape? Anyway, by the looks of it, the election ratings party might be over. I hope 360 does a little retooling. That'll do it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough with Obama's hair---dyed grey!

Stop the sensationalism and stick to business! Oh by the way, tell the transition team they are are not fooling anyone (but the illegal immigrants) with Obama's "all of a sudden" grey hair.

Why can't the media and politicians cut the faking the public. It only proves that we are STILL being lied to.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Pati Mc said...


I wondered the same thing about Anderson and the interviews and stuff. What the heck? And I really want to know why they sent Soledad (whom I love BTW, but still) to do the story on NOLA? Why not Anderson? He has hardly been in PIP II. He rarely goes back to NOLA. I guess it was all about the election and they wanted him there. I am guessing that he is as unhappy as we are about that, but that is just my opinion. All I know is that if they keep that talented man behind the anchor desk 24/7 it is a CRIME and I will cry salty tears. *sniff*

What have they done to "field Anderson"? Why is he not doing stories on Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, et al? It makes me really sad, that is all I know.

Like you, I was hoping that this would be over and we could get back to the real deal. Um, that would be a no. I agree with what you said, it will just keep going and going with no end in sight. There again, it makes me very sad.

I adore Anderson, but I just cannot take much more of this. It just wastes his talent to keep him in that studio. Now I am repeating myself. LOL. I am done. *sigh*

8:42 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous-Are you alluding to a hair dyeing conspiracy? Beware of black helicopters.

@pati mc-Isn't the NOLA thing a special? Those take a while, so I can see them having her do it since she doesn't have a nightly show to contend with. But I don't understand why 360 can't at least do a story on the region every now and then.

Right now Anderson has Heroes and PIP promotion coming up, so it's probably not the best time for a field trip, but I'm concerned about the show's focus on panels. Maybe their head booker changed or something. Whatever the deal, it would be nice to see Anderson actually do a real interview every once in a while. I think his last big one was Scott McClellan and that was about six months ago.

3:47 AM  
Blogger Pati Mc said...

@ Eliza - excellent point about the special. He is busy with a lot of things coming up. Now I feel guilt at being too hard on him. Aw! I am sure he will live. LOL.

Anyhow I agree with your panel concerns as they are mine as well. At least we had The Gerg last night. Love me some Gerg. Good to know that I am not alone, and/or just being cranky.

Surely you saw the Daily Show joking on JK and The Illustrious Magic Wall. OMG - hysterity!

"Beware of black helicopters" - you crack me up!

7:23 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Eh, don't feel too guilty about being hard on him. His show could definitely use a revamp, though I was pleased to see the interview tonight with Gavin Newsom.

4:04 AM  

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