Monday, March 09, 2009

Stem Cell Ban Lifted, Economic Stuff, Massachusetts Insurance, Oprah Warns Rihanna, And Anderson Cooper's "60 Minutes" Mexico Drug War Piece

Hi everyone. Happy New Week! I'm a tired blogger, so we're going bare bones tonight. Hey look, no BREAKING NEWS. They keep this up, pretty soon they'll only be using it when warranted. What a concept! The show kicks things off with an Ed Henry piece in which we learn that not only is President Obama bringing sexy back, he's bringing science back, baby! The last prez's ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research has been lifted! Woo! Another bad policy bites the dust. Too bad we had to lose eight years of research.

Scientists are now able to study untapped lines, beyond what the last guy had okay'd. That always got me. I mean, if you think an embryo is a life, it should be a life no matter what, right? I guess that's why I don't play on that side of the political fence--too many nonsensicals. But speaking of the other side, the critics are howling, as is their wont. Nancy Reagan's happy though, which, you know, duh. You get a whole new perspective when someone you love dies from something that could be cured from the new lines. Finally we have a president who subscribes to a culture of life that doesn't stop at birth.

On now to Ali Velshi at the Wall of Doom talking TARP and other financially complicated stuff. I dunno. I like our little financial guru enough, but he blazes through these segments like he's just downed 15 cups of coffee. Given that he used to be American Morning guy (before the economy imploded), maybe he did used to do his segments on a caffeine high. I'm just betting that 80 to 90 percent of viewers aren't catching and understanding most of what he's throwing out there, and some nights that probably includes Anderson Cooper.

Our inevitable and let's face it, dreaded, panel tonight is being rocked by David Gergen, Gloria Borger, and newbie (and cutie) Ryan Mack of Optimum Capital Management. Eh, not really much of note here. Those comments made by Attorney General Holder are in the news again, but thankfully 360 barrels over the subject pretty quickly. Then there's some stimulus talk and I'm in agreement with the Gerg that we're going to need another one. I kept saying it wasn't going to be enough...because real economists were saying it wasn't going to be enough. Too bad we never got that point of view on the show.

Transitioning now to Sanjay Gupta giving us a little health care education, using the info he got from his Surgeon General talks with Obama. I like how he reiterates that the decision to turn down the job was personal and not policy-driven. Dude, it's cool. I think we're pretty much over it. Anyway, Sanjay's piece explores the universal health care plan that was started three years ago in Massachusetts. A bipartisan endeavor that saw the unlikely pairing of Mitt Romney and Ted Kennedy, the insurance plan now covers 97 percent of people in the state. The plan pretty much works by making people buy insurance. The poor are helped out with state money and those that don't buy will suffer a fine. Not my exact ideal plan, but a hell of a start.

After his piece, Sanjay heads to his own little wall and breaks down the costs for us. They've risen every year since the plan was enacted, which gives critics fire. But those who support universal health care state that the rise is just due to more people enrolling. So there you go. You'd think there'd be some stats or something to differentiate, but guess not. Anyway, good piece. I have to admit, I was cringing a bit in anticipation of how this might turn out. I'm just waiting for the inevitable bone-headed "balance" to creep our way.

Moving on now to a Randi Kaye piece on the sad case of Rihanna, and now it seems Oprah is all up in the singer's business, warning her that Chris Brown will beat again. I know Oprah is trying to help, but I don't all feels so exploitative to me. Then again, maybe she'll listen to Oprah. In regards to 360 though, this is clearly the ratings portion of our evening. And it totally cracks me up how they are ALL OVER IT whenever the Queen of Talk makes even the slightest newsy move. At least they didn't do a speculative interview with an "expert." Props for that.

Next up, we have Anderson Cooper's 60 Minutes piece on Mexico's Drug War. The 360 kids got to have themselves a lazy Monday because that's two segments they didn't have to worry about. But I'm not complaining. It's not like everyone who watches 360 also watches 60 Minutes. Anyway, it was some fine journalism from our Silver Fox. I'm glad to see him doing more hard pieces. Michael Phelps-type profiles are fine and all, but I like to see the more intense stuff. I think I'm going to forgo recapping the thing though. If I may engage in some shallowness, when he's climbing the stairs with the camera over his shoulder on his way to interview Sandra Avila Beltran? Guh. Ladies (and some gents!), you know what I'm talking about here. Also, I love that they ignored officials and just showed up on visiting day. Badass!

The "shot" tonight is The Rock Obama. I had missed this, so I just watched it about 30 minutes ago. Funny. It is kinda freaky how calm he is all the time. I want to walk up behind him and make a loud noise or something to see if he jumps. But, um, that is not recommended. That about does it. The show was better content wise, but there was something still off. The word I'm coming up with is "deflated." Am I just really tired or does the broadcast have a bit of a phoned-in feel lately? Maybe it's just me. You can tell me in the comments. That'll do it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG,what a shock,there was a panel again tonight.
Honestly folks,can we get back to some international events on this show,for heaven sake?
I did not mean a 60 Minutes report that I have already seen.Or a few minutes of a bulletin.
Can we leave the Oprah/Rihanna?Chris stuff over at ET where it belongs?
What is wrong with these people?Are they blind,or just stupid?
Do they not see what a crappy show this is,and how it basically sucks?
Adding all the producers with their little comments on the Live Blog is not going to fix things,neither is adding more goodies,so try something else,360.
Perhaps actually READ that feedback from viewers about what we would like,not what YOU want to shove down our throats night after night.The economy is important,yes,but it is not the only thing going on.
These people are still thinking it is November,well,the election is over,can we move on.The rest of the world is still out there too,I believe.
They wonder why ratings are down.
A two year old could figure that one out.

Oh,and I was browsing some of the comments another commentor mentioned here,regarding the Live Blog,they were over at ATA.
Well,seems there is now someone who claims they correspond with not only David Doss,but Anderson himself.Oh,give me a break.
Yeah,sure,if you believe that one,I have some bridges and swamp I can sell you,too.
Are these wackos getting more creepy and scary?No wonder Anderson does not bother with the Live Blog much.
I doubt Anderson Cooper has time nor inclination to be ''best buds'' with anyone from the blog,live blog or otherwise!
With the troubles he had had with these ''people'' I would say that EVERYTHING going to him is screened,his emails,his mail,his telephone calls,all of it.For that reason,I doubt he is even allowed to reply to anyone, for security concerns,except perhaps close friends or family.
These people will say and do anything,and stating or putting those comments on their stupid site over there,only encourages their delusions even further.
No wonder the poor man has had problems with their kind.

Sorry for the rant.

10:32 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

Whoa. I'm annoyed with the show as much as the next person, but I think you might be a bit too invested, or a bit too angry, anyway. I don't think 360 is stupid, I think they're having trouble finding a balance between selling what is essentially a product, and being good journalists. In a perfect world, their success would not be based on ratings, but we don't live in a perfect world.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Eliza:
I am the previous anon 10:32 am,and I am simply expressing that a once good show seems to be going down the drain,because higher ups do not seem to see the obvious.
Am I the ONLY one to say this,or think this?I think not.There are plenty of others on various other sites who are stating the same simple facts that I am.What is wrong with telling the truth about the downward spiral of this program?Or the whole network,for that matter,with their lower and lower ratings.Does everyone see through rose colored glasses or something,and pretend everything is alright,including some viewers?
All I want is the good show back that USED to be.
IS that too much to ask,or give an opinion on here?Seems so.
So,give me a break with all the being too invested and too angry crap,and do not assume to think you know what I mean.
I am invested in nothing-that show,site or otherwise.
So much for an honest opinion.From now on I will keep them to myself,instead of having them analyzed and debated in the Anderson 'fandom world'.

3:59 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Of course you're not the only one to say that (I've said it too in so many words). I'm sorry if you feel like you're being censored in some way. You're not, obviously, given that I don't even have my moderation turned on.

But if we're being honest here, I just think your comment sounds much more angry that most of the criticism I've read other places, specifically the, "What is wrong with these people? Are they blind, or just stupid?"

Again, sorry if you feel like you're being run off. That's not my intention. I just think that if anyone from CNN were to read your comment they would dismiss it entirely due to the harshness and that would be a shame since you make good points.

5:36 PM  

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