Friday, December 12, 2008

More Blagojevich Fallout, Auto Bailout Failure, Anderson's Interview With Phelps, And Starburst Vs. Starbursts--A Candy Conundrum On The Webcast

Hi everybody. I think tonight's review is going to be on the fluffy side. It's Friday and I'm not really in a buckle down and get serious about recapping kind of mood. Shall we begin? You know what's coming, right? Yep, BREAKING NEWS kicks us off as per usual, the subject this time being one Mr. Rahhhhhm Emanuel and the fact that he is not a target of the Fitzgerald probe against Governor Rod Blagojevich. Hm. Well, I'm not a target either. Where's my BREAKING NEWS banner? This is, like, negative news or un-news or we-didn't-really-need-to-be-told-that news.

But Jessica Yellin joins us live to inform us that, yes, we did need to be told that because the non-news implies that Rahhhhhm probably did talk to the governor's people about something. Okay then. So...pretty much you don't know anything.

Next up, Drew Griffin plays the role of stalker in order to get a pointless soundbite and b-roll for future stories. You know the drill: reporter waits around Blagojevich's house until he comes out, then shoves a microphone in his face, and gets....nothing. Denied! Do we actually expect people to talk in that situation? In a subsequent Drew piece, we play a game of "just who hates the governor?" Answer? Everyone, apparently. The attorney general of the state wants him stripped of power, the legislature is working to take away his ability to name someone to the senate, and Congress is working towards his impeachment. Feel the love!

Then there's a snippet of Jesse Jackson, Jr related news, but I didn't really get that down.

Moving on to a David Mattingly piece on the auto bailout. The failed auto bailout. From David we learn that many of the Republican senators that caused the legislation's failure come from southern states where foreign brands--competition of the Big 3--are made. What a coinkidink. Also, almost all southern states have right to work laws. Then there's the even rawer politics involving campaign contributions from UAW over the years. Hm, do you think those getting the most cash voted yes or no? Do I even need to tell you; I don't think I do.

Our nightly panel is up next and we're rocking out with David Gergen, Jeffrey Toobin, and Joe Johns. They start out with speculation about Obama, which continues to tick me off. I know, I know, you guys love conflict and controversy. Makes a good story. Funny thing is, the administration of our current preznit (blessedly on his way out) was practically bursting at the seam with conflict and controversy--still is, actually. Yet the media feeding frenzy most of the time wasn't so much of a frenzy, as maybe a little nibble. Obama is not even in office yet. Can we maybe at least wait until he is before the massive speculation starts?

On now to a Gary Tuchman piece on the questionable sanity of the potty-mouthed governor from Illinois. Yep, we get some more "bleeping" from Gary and yep, it's still amusing. See, this dude has known he's been under investigation and even just recently said people could tape him and it wouldn't matter since he was always lawful. Perhaps he has a different understanding of the word 'lawful' than the rest of us. Or...he's frickin crazy. At least that's what some fellow Illinois politicians think. But they're not professionals. Sometimes 360 guest Dr. Gail Saltz thinks it's very possible he could be having an emotional or mental issue, though Gary is quick to point out that no real diagnosis can be made without a face-to-face evaluation. Unless you're determining whether or not a woman is in a permanent vegetative state. Then video is totally legit. Will Bill Frist jokes ever get old? No they will not.

Next up, we have a piece from Joe John on some corporate crook named Bernard Madoff. This actually looked like a good piece...but I totally didn't pay attention to it. I know, bad blogger! Bad, bad blogger! Did I mention it's Friday?

Transitioning now to Anderson Cooper's 60 Minutes interview with merman Michael Phelps. But first we begin with a clip of Anderson co-hosting Regis and Kelly this morning where the guest was, coincidentally, Michael Phelps. Well, that worked out nicely. Anyway, at this point everybody and their grandmother knows about and has seen the Phelps/Cooper race, but in this clip we learn that Anderson's little condition of only swimming under water actually helped the human fish. You know, I wondered about that. And I think it's hilarious that Michael didn't say anything until now.

From here we cut to the 60 Minutes interview and learn that Michael is tired, y'all. After non-stop appearances, he's so tired that it takes him under a minute to fall asleep while riding in the car with Anderson. Not really an attractive sleeper, I must say. Also? How anyone could fall asleep while sitting next to Anderson Cooper is beyond me. Just saying. We also learn that Phelps' training was insane. He took no days off. And no days means no days--not even Christmas.

Okay, back to another Regis and Kelly clip and this time Kelly is mocking our anchor's rather grandpa-like swimming attire. Aw, he was just being prepared. You never know when you might need a parachute. Kelly then shows a photo of Anderson wearing a Speedo, which she allegedly found on the Internets. It cracks me up how he immediately starts to deny the authenticity (saying "that's not..."), as if we're really going to believe that the worst photo-shopping in the world is actually him. Back in the 360 studio, live Anderson quips that it's actually Wolf Blitzer's body. Oh, dude. Mental image! Do not want!

In the rest of the 60 Minutes piece we learn that Michael Phelps is so hot that even his mom and dog--yes, dog--have sponsorships. Though I have to say that it's very cool that his mom remains a school principal. Also, Anderson makes her cry. Because he's a meanie. Or because he told her nice things her son said. Whichever. We then get a little look-see of Michael's apartment, which is messy and not very nutritionally stocked. Speaking of which, that 12,000 calories a day rumor? Lies! All filthy lies! The actual number is only 8,000 to 10,000 when training. Because those numbers aren't at all shocking. Finally, there's the race--talk of the interwebs, which I've probably seen a few more times than I'd like to admit. Oh, like you haven't. Don't play.

The shot tonight is a vice-presidential puppy. The Obamas may not have yet made up their minds on their new pooch, but it turns out that Joe Biden had been wishing for a furry friend himself. He's adopted what is quite possible the cutest German Shepherd puppy ever. I had heard that our VP-elect had been asking his wife for one, which in of itself is rather adorable. But the news that he got the puppy through a breeder causes Erica Hill to get on her soapbox. Anderson notes that this is a "point of contention" with her and then sheepishly admits he got his dog from a breeder too. Gasp! I totally have Erica's back on this. Go to the Humane Society, people! That's where I got my dog and besides being overly clingy and petrified of thunderstorms, he's as perfect as can be.

The show was actually much better tonight than I thought it was going to be. After being busy with the Planet in Peril hubbub and it being a Friday, I was pretty much expecting the suck. Of course, they did have a nice long quality profile all produced and waiting to be dropped in as filler, so that probably helped. But no Caylee Anthony coverage?! Is it my birthday? They deserve a big cookie for that. I'd also like to give them a zillion cookies for Planet in Peril because, well, I feel bad.

The ratings are in and...not good. Not good at all. There hadn't been as much promotion this time around--I know it's hard to believe, but it's true--so I was expecting lower numbers than last year. But Jeebus, third in the demo? They even got beat by Headline News in the second hour, I guess proving that one little girl in peril trumps a whole planet. Depressing. I don't know what to say, PIPers. You done good. Don't let it get you down.

On now to the webcast with perhaps the most hilarious edition of Floor Crew Friday ever. We begin with what might be life's quintessential question: what is the plural form of Starburst candy? What follows is the most lively debate over a chewy treat that I think I've ever seen and it had me cracking up the entire show. They were serious about getting to the bottom of this, y'all! Crew members came out of the woodwork to make elaborate defensives of their positions using inordinate amounts of vending machine goodies as evidence--Skittles, Snickers, Kit Kat bars, you name it. Seriously, I bet they have to restock the machine now.

At one point I thought we were going to have a Starburst fight! Different methods of persuading were used. Frank metaphorically broke himself up into Franklets, while Ed went all scientific on our asses. Erica, meanwhile, casually munched on some "evidence" while the fellas quickly handed the microphone off to each other like they were doing closing arguments in a court room. I believe the words, "I rest my case," were used. The debate also spread to the blog where Anderson said more than he has in weeks, and even The Gerg weighed in before he got on with his serious analyzing. But in the end, when it comes to the floor crew, Kevin is king--or at least judge. No 's.' Kevin has spoken. And that, my friends, is that.

Okay, maybe it's my warped since of humor, or the fact that I pondered almost this same question when including Zagnuts in one of my prior posts, but they should think about putting this on the web. It's a classic. I felt like I was watching a sketch on a satire show, but they were serious! Well, mostly. Thanks for the laughs, guys.

Lay-off Watch: >Kathleen Koch, Kelli Arena, and Jamie McIntrye are out. So, is CNN replacing all their reporters with holograms or what?


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