Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Israel-Gaza Conflict Goes On, Clinton's Confirmation Hearing, Dude Crashes Plane To Fake Death, Obama Got Game, And Breast Talk (Because Why Not?)

Hi everybody. We start things off tonight with the BREAKING NEWS (told ya it would be back) that Israel is really pounding Gaza City. This takes us live to Nic Robertson on journalist hill along the Israel-Gaza border. He's hearing a lot of explosions and can see the place getting lit up. Word on the street is that the Israeli troops are destroying a lot of houses through bombing and bulldozing. I still fail to see anything good that's going to come out of this.

Switching subjects now, we bounce back to our own country to talk live to Candy Crowley about a little whoopsie involving Tim Geithner, Obama's pick for treasury secretary. Turns out he failed to pay some taxes. Okay, I know what you're thinking here: "The guy in charge of the country's taxes didn't pay him own? Wha?" But I think he was picked because he didn't pay his taxes. See, Obama knows this country has been living on a steady stream of hypocrisy and just all out BS for eight years now. He can't just cut us off cold turkey, people. We'll get the shakes!

Sure, Obama has promised to bring change to Washington, but he also knows we've come to expect that whenever someone is in charge of something, they're doing the opposite in their own lives. Relentless crusader against prostitution? Dude is throwing down $10,000 a night as client number nine. Strong advocate against child predators? Yeah, he's IMing pages to ask what they're wearing. Passer of anti-gay legislation? You know where this is going. My point is that Obama knows we need to ease into this whole honest and functional government thing, so he's starting us off slow. He even threw in a housekeeper immigration issue for us. Isn't that sweet?

In all seriousness, after the train wreck we've been enduring, a little I-forgot-to-pay-my-taxes kerfuffle pretty much fails to even get an eyebrow raise out of me. Who cares? Yawn. Move on. In a subsequent Candy piece, we learn out prez-elect has put on his get-tough face and already threatened a veto if the Democrats don't let him get his hands on the rest of the bailout money. Aw, look at him all growed-up and acting presidential. Although, I'm with Congress in that it would be nice if we could make sure this money isn't going to get disappeared like the last batch. It's just annoying that now that we have a Democratic president, they've found their backbone. I guess the whole rolling over and being totally useless was just for the Bush years.

For discussion of all this, we're joined by David Gergen, Gloria Borger, and Errol Lewis, who seems to becoming quite the regular in these panel discussions. He's non yelly and non crazy, so I approve. And...that's really all I have to say because there was noting of note here.

Moving on to a Tom Foreman piece on Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing today. Some of the issues she brought up was moving more troops to Afghanistan and making an Iraq withdraw a priority. Both sound good to me, though I'm going to be annoyed if we don't start hearing some specifics after the inauguration. Yes, Afghanistan is important and could seemingly use more troops, but what's the goal and what's the plan to achieve that goal? If Obama escalates, he's going to own it--though I'm sure he doesn't need me to tell him that. Anyhoo, it was smooth sailing for Clinton, except when it came to the subject of Bill's foundation. Always Bill, I swear. I wonder if there's ever been some shoe-throwing in that house.

For some pontificating about the hearing, we're next joined by James Carville and Bill Bennett. Um, why? We already had our panel. See, this is what I was talking about in my end of the year wrap-up. Anderson is always saying how the viewers don't want to hear opinions from a blow-dried anchor, but why does he think we want to hear the opinions of blow-dried pundits? Okay, the blow-dried part doesn't really apply to Carville, but you get the picture.

And this segment was a total wash because Carville didn't even say anything completely insane, which is his wont. Although he does get in a good line. Bill states that trouble follows the Clintons around and then insinuates there could be a Blogojevich pay-to-play issue at hand, which leads Carville to say, "what seems to follow the Clintons around are peace and prosperity and budget surpluses." Oh, snap. Then they talk about Sarah Palin, who is attacking the media. Again. Yawn.

Next up, we have a David Mattingly piece that contains new details about that dude who crashed his plane. Then we get actual real "breaking news" that they allegedly just found the guy and he slit his wrists. I guess I can see how this story would be interesting, but I just can't get invested. It's just some doofus, you know? I'd wager nobody will even remember this happened six months from now. I appreciate that they didn't kill the rest of the Gaza coverage to linger on this. Speaking of which...

Transitioning now to a phone interview with New York Times correspondent Taghreed El-Khodary, who is in Gaza City. She backs up Nic's reporting from earlier that many houses in the city are being destroyed. She likens the current situation to a game of hide-n-seek, with the Israeli's trying to pull the fighters out of the city and the fighters trying to lure the soldiers in. Taghreed also relays that when reporting in a hospital, she witnessed a fighter demand to be treated for a minor injury, despite the fact that there were critically injured people all around. What's particularly sickening is that amid the death and destruction, this same fighter apparently found the situation smile-worthy. These people are completely disconnected from the devastation they cause.

Finally tonight, Erica Hill once again provides us with some Obama fluffiness. The dude--ahem, president-elect dude--loves his hoops, but unfortunately the White House court is outside (brrr!) and too small. Never fear. Him being the president and all, he also is bestowed the power of reconstruction. Bowling lanes out, new b-ball court in. Oh, the bowlers will not be happy. Seeing as what an excellent bowler Obama is, I'm guessing he was quite pleased to have an excuse to get rid of those lanes.

"The shot" tonight is boobs! No, really! I loved Anderson Cooper's tease for this: "You won't believe what Oprah said to Kate Winslet about her breasts." Bwah! Is this CNN or a junior high slumber party? So anyway, apparently Kate Winslet shows a little skin in one of her new movies and Oprah very much approved of the naturalness of her assets, as Anderson calls them. Uh, what more is there to say after that? I certainly didn't expect to be recapping a critique of Kate Winslet's boobs tonight, that's for sure. The 360 kids are just full of surprises.

The show was just kinda meh, I thought. They're doing a great job keeping on the Israel-Gaza stuff, but there was too much punditry. Also, I realize this is really just a personal taste issue, but I hope they lay off the guy-who-crashed-his-plane story. Unless there's something deeper I'm not seeing, I'd rather the coverage go to something with a little more meat on it. That being said, I hope they do better in the ratings tonight. Last night they got spanked by Countdown's rerun. Ouch. I felt that sting. And it was a good show too. That's the way the news ball bounces.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

I am getting overkill on the pilot from cable and the Florida local news, FL news just because that's where they found him. One would think from the coverage he ranks with Madoff. Speaking of Bill Bennett, besides being blow-dried, he needs to go on NBC's biggest loser, he takes up half the screen. I like Errol Lewis.
Back when Lou Dobbs wasn't so full of himself and crazy, Lewis was a regular pundit there. He was the same, no yelling, no rudeness. That's interesting about Geithner, he's got lots of company, from the rich to those barely making it (including me years ago) having their issues with taxes. Eliza, I read your rant in response to my rant and from Anonymous. There can't be a better proposal on what to do with Bush than yours. Now AC says "breaking news" with the same tone as "good evening".
Anne D.

5:50 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Anne: Yeah, the pilot story is annoying. And frankly, I'm tired of hearing about how this economy is affecting the relatively well-off. What about everyone else? Barbara Ehrenreich had a piece that got picked up by the 360 blog not that long ago in which she said that stories about the poor getting poorer just aren't very interesting. Pretty much sums it up, huh?

In regards to your Bennett comment, ouch! Heh. I can't stand Dobbs for more than 30 seconds at a time, so I've never stuck around long enough to see Errol. He doesn't really seem like he would fit on that show.

I guess we can only hope that Bush gets his in the afterlife. Perhaps he'll get to spend the rest of eternity on a roof, waiting for rescue that never comes.

I think even Anderson is realizing the stupidity of the constant BREAKING NEWS.

4:24 PM  

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