Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Chambliss Wins Georgia, More Bailing Out, Pakistan Fingered In Mumbai Attacks, New WMD Report, And OMG Pirates!

Hi everybody. We're kicking things off tonight with BREAKING NEWS of the actual legitimate kind: the Georgia senate race has been called and Republican Saxby Chambliss will keep his seat. Well...bummer. Buh-bye filibuster-proof majority. Hey, since we're not going to get to that magical number of 60, can we dump Lieberman now? Anyway, Dana Bash joins us live from Chambliss headquarters to fill us in with more.

You know all those annoying calls and advertisements you were bombarded with during the election? Remember how happy you were when they stopped? Well, for the people of Georgia, they never stopped. The nightmare that never ends, except, well, tonight it does. Not in Minnesota though. They're still recounting up there. Maybe we'll know by the time Obama is sworn in.

Next up, Dana Bash's hubby, John King, joins us live to talk about the reality of the senate situation. If the Democrats get Al Franken, they'll have 59 votes, which is one short of kabashing a filibuster, but there's no guarantee votes are going to go down party lines anyway. The Democrats can always get a Republican or two to cross over. And if they balk, well, Rahm Emanuel can send them a dead fish.

Anderson Cooper notes that the GOP brought out their big guns (Caribou Barbie) to stump for Chambliss, but Obama did not drop by for Martin. John tells us that he was trying not to appear partisan. That and the fact that they pretty much figured Martin would lose anyway. The rest of this conversation is a fairly obvious display of time-filling while they wait to see if Chambliss is about to speak.

On now to Ali Velshi at the financial wall of doom and...oh my God, I can't do this anymore. Seriously, pass. Important subject and all, but a girl needs a break. Instead, I shall take this time to do a little record-correcting. See, lately the media has been doing a sucktastic job when it comes to reporting the salary of the average autoworker at one of the Big Three. The conventional wisdom has become that they make upwards of $70/hr. I believe that I even blogged this "fact" a week or so ago because it was in a Randi Kaye piece. The problem is, the figure isn't true. The real number is $28/hr. What happened was that they took the cost of benefits for all employees--even retirees-- and then divided that by the number of active workers. Wah-lah! Lying with math.

Moving on to a Candy Crowley piece about more poor saps going to the government with their hands out. Who is it this time? Another bank? Big corporation? Nope. Entire cities. Well, their governors, to be specific. They're looking for money to build and repair infrastructure. For his part, Obama is being cool about it--even to the Republican governors! It's a new day, people. After Candy's piece, she joins David Gergen and Ali to talk about the Georgia win and financial mess. To be honest, nothing was said that I thought was interesting enough to even write down. Too much talk, not enough reporting.

Speaking of reporting, Nic Robertson is in India and we next get a piece from him on the continued investigation of the Mumbai attacks. There have been two new videos released: one of the gunmen beginning their spree and another of police hiding at the train station because they reportedly lacked weapons. According to Mumbai's police chief, there were 10 gunmen who were being coordinated via cell phone by a controller in Pakistan. India (and National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell) are blaming the Pakistani group Lashkar-e- Taiba. It'll be interesting (and possibly scary) to see how this plays out.

In the Headlines tonight we get some news about Jennifer Hudson's slain family. I only point this out because once again they significantly teased a story, which ended up amounting to about 10 seconds of information. Now, I was actually pleased there wasn't a whole piece on this, but I imagine there were some people out there who were waiting around to see the Jennifer Hudson story, only to get ticked off when they found out that's all there was. You definitely don't win loyal viewers this way. Yeah, you tricked them into staying tonight, but they might be too annoyed to come back tomorrow. Tease smart, 360. Tease smart.

Transitioning now to the news that a new report commissioned by Congress reveals the likelihood of a nuclear or biological WMD terrorist attack in the next five years. So, just in case you forgot, be afraid!!! I think I'm kinda over freaking out about these reports. Of course, that's not to say terrorism isn't very real and we need to take action and all that, but, I mean, how exactly am I supposed to react to my potential annihilation within the next five years? Anyway, Peter Bergen joins us live to get this all sorted out. Actually, he confuses me by pretty much saying the opposite of the report. In his view, the only true WMD is a nuclear weapon and he believes it's almost impossible for terrorists to get one of those. So...yay?

Okay, don't quote me on this, but I think what he's saying is that we're vulnerable to attacks like what happened in Mumbai and even biological and chemical attacks. However, it's unlikely terrorists will be able to get a hold of a nuclear bomb or weaponize something like Anthrax, which is how one would kill a whole lot of people. So, you still totally might get killed by a terrorist; you'll just be one of the few. It's good to see 360 actually covering this.

Next up, Bill Bennett is here to pimp his book. Seriously. He gives us lots of opinions, which I completely don't care about. So instead, I'm going to talk about the IFC Media Project. I brought the series up a couple of weeks ago and since then have watched a few episodes. It's really quite excellent. Definitely recommended and something all Americans should watch.

In tonight's episode we heard from Dan Rather, who had some great insights into the current state of the media. I'm pretty sure he was quoting someone else, but something he said stood out to me: "News is something that someone, somewhere doesn't want you to know. Everything else is advertising." That segues us quite nicely back to Bill Bennett's promotion, doesn't it? And you thought I went totally off topic.

Avaste ye maties! Our final piece of the night is from Erica Hill and it's about pirates! Okay, not really the eye-patch wearing kind. Even though this is super-serious stuff, it still makes me giggle a bit because pirates? Really? See, there's no real government in Somalia, so sailing around that horn can be dangerous due to the very real possibility of being hijacked for a ransom. And though it's weird to think of little boats taking over great big ships, it makes a little more sense when you find out the men on the little boats have things like RPG's. The pirates don't seem to be stopping anytime soon because apparently the money is pretty good--last year they collected an estimated $150 million in ransoms. Crazy.

The Shot tonight is a televised Romania debate gone very bad (and a little wet). The man is a Romania senator and maybe the woman is too, I don't know. But she knocks water on him and then he throws water in her face. Children, I will turn this debate around! Since we don't know what they're saying, Anderson adds his own little commentary, "And then she's just like, 'Really? Do you go there?'" The 360 kids are very amused by this video because they play it like five times. Also, I lied when I said we don't know what they're saying. Anderson doesn't mention it, but apparently the senator told the woman she has a face like a bidet. Oh, snap! That's cold.

I couldn't get the webcast to work tonight--or even find it, actually. So, sorry. That'll do it.


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