Monday, March 30, 2009

North Dakota Flooding, Obama's Auto Plan, G-20 Summit, Madonna Adopting Again, North Carolina Shooting, And Michelle Obama Is Cool (Plus A Naked Guy)

Hi everyone. Happy New Week! Anderson Cooper and crew are safely back in the studio and we begin with the BREAKING NEWS that Mother Nature is being kinda a bitch to North Dakota. We know that Fargo has been trying to save itself from massive flooding lately and it initially looked like they were getting a break, but now a blizzard has blown in, posing a threat to the levees.

This brings us live to Gary Tuchman who is in Briarwood, North Dakota, and currently standing in the middle of the water. Anderson has totally jacked my mocking of this by doing mocking of his own in a later segment, so I guess I'll hold my fire. Anyway, Gary tells us he's never covered a flood that is accompanied by a snowstorm. It does seem pretty weird. And I live in a city where it is not unusual to experience three seasons in one day.

Moving on now to a clip of President Obama laying out his auto plan and we learn from Anderson that this includes General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner stepping aside. Pushed out by the prez. Ooh snap. We then go to Ali Velshi at his Wall of Doom, which lately has been transformed into the Wall of Explanation. But that sounds way less dramatic. Ali tells us that under Obama's plan, the government will back auto warranties and the auto companies will get more TARP money if they can come up with a good plan to save their businesses--i.e. something better than what they've got now.

For discussion of all this we're joined by David Gergen, economist Stephen Leeb, and ethics guy Vince Crew. Zoh mah God, an economist! Plus, according to a quick check of the Google, he appears to be neither insane, nor has a proven track record of being comically wrong, so...thumbs up! The big topic of conversation here seems to be the firing of Rick Wagoner and whether or not it is a double standard, seeing as though the bank dudes weren't shown the door too. This issue was mostly absent the last time everyone was talking about the Big Three, so it's good to hear it brought up now.

Yes, there's a huge double standard. Washington (and a lot of the media) apparently view Wall Streeters as equals. One of Them, if you will. Blue collar workers and their industries? Not so much. On the panel, the Gerg and the ethics dude, Vince, side with me, although I think they're against the firing (Vince actually wants us to let them fail), whereas I want everyone fired. Heh. As for Stephen, he doesn't see a double standard and thinks there was no alternative to the firing.

The subject then switches up slightly to the question of whether the government should be "firing" people in the first place. The Gerg thinks the decision was political and I'll have to agree with that. Just like the AIG bonus outrage. I mean, duh. Vince continues to say we should just let them fail and when Anderson brings up the notion of "too big to fail," he replies that, "if it was too big to fail, it wouldn't." Um, yeah, that makes no sense. Stephen then points out that Chrysler and General Motors are almost 2 percent of our GDP, so there you go.

Stephen agrees that the firing was political, but defends Obama and what he's trying to do with the company. "There's another crisis coming down the road. And I think President Obama definitely sees it, definitely gets it. I think he's making the right decisions," he says. That quote stood out to me because as I watch Obama, even though I'm unsure about or disagree with some of what he's doing, I have this very strong feeling that this guy gets it. He's playing a different game than Washington and the press, and neither institution knows what to do about that. Also, as far as firing Wagoner, I had stuff to say, but John Cole says it so much better.

On now to a Candy Crowley piece about the future G-20 Summit that Obama will be attending overseas tomorrow. Basically? The world totally loves him, but they may not love what he asks of them in terms of economic policy. We're told that reaction to him has been "cool to hostile," which is evidenced by the Czech prime minister going on a rant and the Brazilian president bizarrely blaming "blue-eyed white people" for the world's current financial state. I have brown eyes, so my hands are apparently totally clean here. Also? Wow, the Czech prime minister and the Brazilian president? Yeah, because the news loves to get those guys' opinions all the time.

The piece wraps up with the acknowledgment that Obama will be greeted with love, but oh noes, there might be a random protester. Seriously, we're shown video of one lone guy. Okay, while I've no doubt that Obama will be met with some harshness, this piece reads like they had no idea what angle to go with for the G-20, so they grabbed a couple of crazy soundbites from leaders we would otherwise never hear from and wah lah, story. After Candy's piece, Anderson notes that France is getting pissy too. Candy reminds us that these leaders are always playing to two audiences: the world and home. They then talk a bit more about the summit and out of the blue, Anderson asks, "Is this the one where they all wear the funny shirts?" Bwah! This is why we love him so.

Back to Gary now, and he talks about how the weather seems to be going all Old Testament on poor North Dakota, compromising their levees. In a subsequent Gary piece, we learn about the town where he's currently hanging: Briarwood. It only has 26 homes, 18 of which have been flooded. A couple of the non flooded neighbors walk through the water with a boat, calling up everyone who evacuated and giving them a report on their house. That's nice of them. I guess with only 26 families, they all know each other. Teeny town. Very sad. Also? This piece featured Gary waist deep in water.

Following the piece, Anderson notes that Gary is, "engaged in the time-honored tradition of cable news, standing in water for no real reason." Ha! Our anchor then plays us that Daily Show video from last year of Jon Stewart mocking Gary for standing in water up to his nipples. I have to say, that pops in my head every time I see him standing in water now. Heh. "Gary, thankfully, it's nowhere near your nipples tonight," says Anderson. "No. It is not anywhere near my nipples right now," says Gary. I bet that's a statement he never thought he'd make on national television.

Gary then goes on to give a very emphatic defense of why he stands in the water, and while it's kinda adorable, he's really not making his case. Just use a stick, dude! Also, Anderson, YOU of all people have no room to mock when it comes to crazy shot set-ups. Or was that some other silver-topped anchor who stood in snake and rat infested water for two hours after Hurricane Ike? That's right Mr. Pot, you're black!

Transitioning now to a David Mattingly piece all about the Material Girl picking herself out another kid from Africa. It's like her and Angelina Jolie are in competition to beat the Octomom or something. Anyway, of course there's a bunch of controversy because it's Madonna, so how can there not be? The group Save the Child thinks the little girl is better off being raised by her own people in Malawi, but Malawi is totally impoverished, so yeah. I kinda just don't want to hear about it anymore. We went through this with the last kid. Don't believe me? Look. Nobody would be talking about this if she wasn't a celebrity.

On now to a Joe Johns piece about that horrible nursing home shooting in North Carolina. We're played the 911 calls. In the end, seven residents and one nurse lay dead with three wounded. It was a town of only 2,000 people, so they're obviously devastated. Very sad.

Moving on to something happier: the awesomeness of Michelle Obama. In an Erica Hill piece, we learn she's joining her husband overseas and will be wowing our foreign friends with her dedication to education and down-to-earthness. It's funny how now when the first family goes overseas, I actually want them to come back.

The "shot" tonight is a naked pole vaulter running through the streets of Paris. Yeah, you read that right. Gotta give props to Anderson for his total deadpan of the line: "why is this man running naked through the streets, holding his big pole?" I think I would have had to laugh. Anyway, we learn from our anchor that it wasn't CNN who covered his bits and pieces, so searching for the full monty will probably be in vain. Sorry.

I actually logged onto the webcast tonight. Haven't done that in forever due to laziness and computer issues. Erica Hill is back, so, hopefully people can chill the hell out now. As for her whereabouts, my guess was crime fighting, but apparently she was just in Europe or something. Anyway, she talks to Anderson and the elusive microphone is brought up for the 567th time. Anderson then tells us he's being told that it would cost $3,000. Yeah, right. Then he pretty much admits he just doesn't want one. No, really? Because that's not at all apparent.

The subject of Twitter also comes up and he tells us that, "I Twitter." Oh, Anderson, you adorable liar, you. It's not that he doesn't like us, people. He just doesn't want to interact with us. Heh. Hey, it's cool though. It's fine. We don't need no Silver Fox. We've got Jack Gray, who gives awesome tweets. Suck on that, Mr. Cooper!

The show wasn't bad. Save the Madonna piece, everything was pretty relevant and even that was short and relegated to the end of the broadcast. Friday's ratings were less than to be desired, but I think it's going to take some time for them to find their place again post-election. They were clearly failing at that a mere two to three weeks ago, so these signs of improvement are a big plus.

Follow me on Twitter. I sometimes tweet delicious cookies. You don't want to miss cookies, do you? Do you?!


Anonymous Toronto Realtor said...

Thanks for the breaking news. Funny thing about Mr. Obama firing GM's CEO. Maybe they should rename it to "Government Motors" now, certainly would fit a lot better now.

Take care, Elli

8:39 AM  
Blogger Pati Mc said...

"Suck on that Mr. Cooper"! Oh Eliza, what you say...LMAO.

The reason that made me laugh so hard was that I said "Suck it Anderson" at the same point. A ha ha...

Dude porting pole in Paris? Guess what? My BFF who lives there KNOWS the guy. Honest to God; I almost wet myself.

3:40 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Elli: Eh, I don't have much of a problem with the Wagoner firing. This shouldn't be a one-way street. GM is the one asking for money from the government. They shouldn't get it with no strings attached.

@Pati Mc: Heh. Yeah, when it comes to twittering, he's no Jack Gray.

Freaky! Does he run around with those black boxes in front of his bits and pieces all the time? ;)

5:15 AM  
Blogger Pati Mc said...

@ Eliza - Nope, he trots around town with his junk right out there. And get this...he is also selling himself on eBay. Too bad I am broke. Dude it cute as hell.

12:46 PM  

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