Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pirates, Tea-bagging, and Twitter--Oh My!

Hi everyone. Life's been a bit chaotic lately, so my great computer search has hit somewhat of a stall. Plus, everyone has a different opinion on what kind of computer I should get, leaving me in a technology-induced fetal position. My main prerequisite is that it doesn't catch on fire. Okay, I didn't actually witness any flames come out of my dead computer, but there was definite burning and computer-fixer dude was flummoxed. "Did you have a surge protector?" he asked. Of course I had a surge protector. "Did your house get hit by lightening?" Um, not that I'm aware of, but I think I would have noticed that.

Anyhoo, so I'm afraid you're going to remain reviewless for a little longer. I'll try to check in more often and give you a little sumthin' sumthin'. I've missed so much! And so many opportunities for blogging hilarity. First of all, pirates! Admittedly, a very serious story, but c'mon, pirates! On Twitter I slightly mocked Anderson Cooper's assumption that the military would simply take the sea scourge out with sniper bullets. I'm guessing it was a bit more complicated than what his inner 12-year-old was positing, but dang if that isn't exactly what the military did. Though I'm late to the game on this, it must be said: America, fuck yeah!

An added bonus to all this was we got to see Gary Tuchman being all badass with a big ole gun. One of the many moments these past couple weeks that I watched and cursed the fact that I wouldn't be able to review. Of course, the king of those moments was Anderson Cooper's, "It's hard to talk when you're tea-bagging." Oh. My. God. I almost fell out of my chair. Hilarious. But was it wrong for him to say it? Honestly, I'm not sure. I think the tea parties were moronic--beyond moronic. Yet I can't help but think back to the HUGE protest prior to the Iraq war and the infuriating lack of respect/coverage from the media. There's something to be said for dissent.

Finally, the Twitter war between CNN and Ashton Kutcher. I got into this way more than I thought I would. There's conspiracy musings now that it was all a stunt orchestrated by Ashton. Even if true, oh wells, charity won in the end. Did I take my TV News Boyfriend's side and follow CNN. No I did not. I went with the "Dude Where's My Car?" guy. Why? One dude versus a corporation? C'mon, no contest. Plus, I was rebelling against Anderson's subpar tweeting. Suck it, Cooper! Heh. Aw, I still love ya--you just gotta work on your technological skillz. I actually think there's a real chance that CNN would have won if Anderson would have taken his cause to the web in a hardcore way during the last hours like Ashton did. TeeVee pimping can only do so much.

I'll be around, dear readers. If you're missing me, catch me on Twitter. I give good tweet. And don't forget to show your love for Jack Gray by becoming a Gray Groupie! I want him to get to at least 360.

PS: Crap. I forgot to write about 360's improving quality. Yay for them! The discussions of the torture memos have rocked.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Hi everyone. Just wanted to let you know that I'm having major computer issues and won't be doing any reviews for the time being. Hopefully I'll be back next week. I'll check the comments/email and log onto Twitter when I can.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Binghamton Shooting, G-20 Wrap Up Talk, Iowa Says Yes To Gay Marriage, Malawi Says No To Madonna Adoption, And More Fun With Richard Quest

Hi everyone. Anderson Cooper is once again coming at us from across the pond, but tonight he's chilling in a studio. We kick things off with the BREAKING NEWS that North Korea has plans to test-fire a long-range missile that is capable of hitting the U.S. A crazy dictator about to shoot a missile at us should probably make me nervous, but it seems like Kim Jong-Il is always pulling this kind of crap when he's not getting enough attention. Me thinks someone's jealous about not being invited to the G-20 summit.

We quickly leave the little dictator and move on to the horrible story of the shooting that occurred today in Binghamton, New York. Another shooting. T.S. Eliot once wrote that "April is the cruelest month." Over the years I've begun to believe this to be true, and it seems to especially be true when it comes to massacres by gun. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Now Birghamton. And April has just begun. There may not be any more shooting, but I fear there may be more cruelty in store.

In a Randi Kaye piece, we learn that the shooting occurred at the American Civic Association while people were taking a citizenship test. The perpetrator, Jiverly Voong, walked into the building, shot two receptionists and then continued on with his spree. When the four hour ordeal was over, 14 people were dead, including Voong himself--killed by his own hand. Four were critically wounded. Awful.

After Randi's piece, Anderson has an interview with Anay Osorio, a woman whose mother was hiding in the center during the ordeal and kept in contact via cell phone. This was what I refer to as a "pulling-teeth" interview and I have to say that Anderson's framing of the questions didn't help much. He's obviously expecting her to elaborate and she's only answering exactly what she's being asked. For example, from Anderson: "Everyone must have been incredibly frightened." I mean, that's not even a question. "Yes," Anay replies. Our anchor catches on pretty quick though and starts asking things that require more than a couple words to answer. So...there's that.

Then we go to the requisite segment with the "experts" to help us try to understand what happened. We're joined by forensic psychologist Kris Mohandie, and former senior FBI hostage negotiator Byron Sage. I'm not recapping this. What's the point? How many times have we gone through this? All these shootings...maybe we're just not asking the right questions.

Transitioning to the goings-on in Europe, we get a clip of Obama doing a town hall with an audience of mostly French and German students. That's actually pretty awesome. The last guy wouldn't even talk to Americans who weren't pre-screened. Although I could understand him not wanting to talk to our foreign friends, given their tendency to sometimes, um, burn him effigy. But they loves them their Obama. As for our prez, he's trying to get NATO countries to pony up more troops for Afghanistan. That's probably not going to work out so well.

Hey, have you been feeling a little shaky lately? Like something was missing in your life? Well, sillies, it's because we've gone a few days without our Gerg! But that is being rectified right now, as we're joined by David Gergen for his take on how the G-20 went down. Tonally, the Gerg gives Obama a big thumbs up, but as far as actually getting stuff like troops and stimulus money? Not so much. Anderson points out that all the world leaders want to be seen with our prez, yet they're not helping him. Kinda reminds me of Eric Cantor, who rails against Obama on any cable show that will have him, then turns into a fanboy in the man's presence. Anyway, the Gerg deems this trip a success, so that's good enough for me.

On now to the news that the Iowa State Supreme Court just decided that gay marriage is protected by the Constitution. That's right, Iowa just legalized gay marriage. Iowa! New York, do you feel shame-faced? For discussion of the decision, we're joined by Ben Smith of Politico, and I'm a little bitter about that. I don't know, I don't really have anything huge against them per se, but I'm very suspicious of their Drudge-like quality and the media's seeming reliance on them. I would have rather seen someone from, you know, Iowa.

But anyway, Anderson points out that the whole "liberal activist judges" argument pretty much falls by the wayside here because the decision went down in a red state by a court made up of mostly Republican appointees. In a few weeks gay couples can start getting married. Also, Iowa is not like California, in that the legislature is not going to mess with the decision for at least this cycle and possibly longer, depending on who's elected. By that time gay marriage will be even more accepted, so I think this decision is a keeper. Didn't think I'd ever say this, but go Iowa!

Transitioning back to the case of the school shooting, we go to Susan Candiotti who is live in Binghamton and soaked by rain. She does some recapping and tells us a bit about the shooter. Apparently he had a valid permit for the guns. Sigh.

Next up, we have a Joe Johns piece on Madonna's attempted adoption. The Malawi judge has said, "no kid for you!" Okay, he wasn't that mean about it. The whole deal is that instead of meeting the 18 month residency requirement, the singer just flew in on her private jet. They're afraid breaking the rules for her could open the door to child trafficking or things of that nature. The Madonna camp will appeal. I think Madonna is an out-of-touch diva, but I can also see both sides of this. Hopefully whatever is best for the kid (and no one can really know what that is) will end up happening.

Time for our Michelle Obama portion of the evening. In an Erica Hill piece, we learn that she met fellow fashionista, French First Lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy. And oh my, how people talked! This whole piece was literally about what the women were wearing. Good lord. It's noted that Michelle likes to keep it real in some J. Crew and after her piece, Erica tells us that Oscar de la Renta had some words to say about that, specifically: "You don't go to Buckingham Palace in a sweater." Well! Sounds like someone is jealous.

Back to Anderson in the studio now and suddenly Richard Quest just pops out of nowhere. Well, okay, not nowhere. He was sitting next to him, but seeing as though up until this point I thought Anderson was back in the states, it was a little jarring. Like the last two days, Richard again brings his papers, and amusing-yet-hard-to-decipher accent. The gist of all this is that the British lurve the Obamas, especially Michelle. The next thing I know, Richard is berating Anderson for not being able to identify "kitten heels." Truth be told, I'd never heard that term either, and now I'm afraid they're going to take away my girlie card.

Richard hilariously never gives Anderson an answer, but apparently they are small heels. See, I always try to wear flats, because me plus heels equals disaster waiting to happen. Anyhoo! After commercial, Anderson does some pimping of Richard's Twitter, at the request of the Brit himself. You might remember that he has the goal of totally crushing Rick Sanchez, who let's face it, could afford to be taken down a notch or two. Last night I noted I would be holding off on following Richard due to some of my current tweets. Ahem.

Well, today I checked my Twitter replies and guess who tweeted me? Yep. Richard! "Too late--I am now following you!" he said. Bwah! My first reaction was a WTF kind of confusion. Then I laughed for a good five minutes. So I went ahead and followed him. Well played, Mr. Quest. Very well played. Come on, everybody. Follow Richard. There's a Sanchez that needs crushing.

The "shot" tonight is a guy who proposes to his girlfriend on the Brooklyn Bridge. Aw, romantic. But oh, there's a twist: he drops the ring! No joke. He had to going running through cars, a suicide prevention van was called, the works. In the end though, he got the ring and the girl. And now we're back to "aw." Erica talks a bit about her own engagement, leading Anderson to rest his head on his hand and shoot us a look of faux whimsy. "Tell us about your moment you got your engagement ring. We have time," he says. Kinda reminds me of Jon Stewart, who pulls the two-handed version of that move all the time. Anyway, very cute and you can see the whole thing here. The proposal reminds me of the video "best man ruins wedding." When I first clicked on it I thought, "how could one guy ruin a wedding?" But then I watched and now I know. Poor bride.

The show tonight was okay. We had a lot of fun this week, but also a lot of fluff. I'm assuming they're going to be in studio next week and I'll be interested to see which way they go. I'm hoping for some harder news (hello! war coverage?), but one of the producers tweeted something about that bluezones longevity site (which they've actually done before), so that might not be in the cards. Maybe we'll get both. Anyhoo, that does it for me. Cheerio!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Day Two Live From London With Coverage Of The G-20, Protesters, An Interview With Geithner, And Rod "Crazy Hair" Blagojevich Gets Indicted

Hi everyone. Anderson Cooper is still chilling across the pond while our world leaders get their G-20 summit on. We begin with a clip of President Obama waving a big foam finger for the United States. Yeah, our country may be a bit down lately, but as our prez tells us, we're nowhere near out. We're number one, yo! We've got the largest economy, the biggest military, and the most people in prison in the world! Um, actually, we don't need to talk about that last one. After the clip, we catch Anderson a wee bit off guard and he amusingly turns from guy-smiling-at-something-we-can't-see to Mr. Serious Anchorman in a split second flat.

Next up, we have an Ed Henry piece on all that economic stuff. Yeah, it's not all about queen-meeting and gift-giving, people. After getting his world leader peeps to toss $1.1 trillion into the economy, Obama is calling this summit thingee a success. The money is going to the International Monetary Fund though, so it's anybody's guess as to whether real stimulating will occur. Also? Despite threatening to walk out of everything, France's Sarkozy was unable to get his wish-list financial regulatory body. Instead, they're going with a financial stability board. Board. Body. Whatever. To quote Keenan Thompson on SNL, "Fix it!"

For discussion of all this, we're joined by Ed, and yes, Richard Quest. They talk about the communique, which both Ed and Richard have with them, and we're told it basically lays the framework for future financial regulation. Ed reminds us that nothing is a guarantee and Congress could still balk at Obama legislation. "And bear in mind that these communiques are renowned for being ignored as soon as the meeting is over," says Richard. Maybe this really was just about the queen-meeting and gift-giving.

Anderson brings up Sarkozy not getting his global regulator and Richard says he thinks the communique actually does lay the foundation for that. Then Ed's all like, nuh uh, and the next thing I know they're hunched over their papers. Ha! Anderson asks if that's like a new world order, which, by the way, is also on the chyron. There are people in a deep dark corner of the Internets totally freaking out right now. Anyway, then Ed and Richard argue some more and they settle it by arm wrestling. Okay, not really. But that would have been cool.

On to a clip of Anderson on the streets of London asking people what they think about the protests. These particular Londoners sound suspiciously like Americans. Probably because they are. "This is like the '60s, where everyone was protesting then," says one of them. Yes, a bloody war/racial injustice versus the Bank of Scotland. Totally the same thing.

Next up, we have an interview Anderson did with Timothy Geithner. Ooh, a "get." We learn that not only is Timmeh totally cool with the Wagoner firing, he's prepared to chop off some more CEO heads as well. What's that noise? Oh, that's the sound of the Right going insane. Well, more insane. They then talk about accomplishments and finger pointing at the US. Anderson brings up how France and Germany were unwilling to play ball and Geithner plays it off, pretty much implying Anderson is mischaracterizing and our anchor does not push the point.

Anderson next asks about Sarkozy and the global regulator thing, which Geithner firmly says will not happen. "He said that was nonnegotiable," says Anderson. Good little follow up there. The interview ends on a light note with Anderson asking about him meeting the queen and whether or not he practiced his bow. For the record, he did not. Pretty good interview, especially since it's seems fairly apparent Anderson wasn't given much time to talk to him. It's nice to see these kind of interviews on the show again.

Next up, we have a piece from ITN Channel 4's Alex Thomson on the protesters. I guess none of the CNN peeps wanted to mingle with the unwashed masses. I find this whole situation immensely frustrating. On the chyron we have the question "protesting what?" And it's true that the disorganization is pretty ridiculous. You've got your people protesting about human rights. Genocide in Tibet. Dying polar bears. Joblessness. You name it. I'm sure there's some "free Mumia!" people in there somewhere too. I just really hate that the absurdness usually overshadows the causes and in a way gives the media permission to dismiss the police brutality that usually accompanies these kinds of things.

On now to a whole piece from Anderson on Michelle Obama, gasp, touching the queen! It seems there are some who still have their knickers in a twist over it. But then there are others who say the queen did the touching first. Zoh. Mah. God. What if someone accidentally knocked the queen down? Would London collectively have a heart attack? Would the world implode? Anyway, I liked Anderson's amusing reading of the blurb from the paper that was bemoaning the broken protocol. Also? Dubya winked at the queen (and molested Merkel) and she got over it. I think it's gonna be okay.

After Anderson piece, we have more wacky British fun with Richard, who tells us the queen is used to this stuff, but he does wonder how Michelle managed to be on the side of her majesty. "The mind boggles," he says. Okay then. We're next played a clip of Richard meeting the queen and he talks about that a bit. Anderson admits he would like to meet the queen as well. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. "I would blow it," he says. Sorry Silver Fox, step away from the royalty. He would totally break protocol. But then again, you know she'd find him adorable, so there you go.

Transitioning now to the BREAKING NEWS that Rod Blagojevich has been indicted. Big surprise there, and, uh, not really breaking. Jeffrey Toobin is back for the legal lowdown and we learn that Mr. Scary Hair is very confident. Well, good for him. "I mean, he may be crazy. In fact, there's a good argument for that, but he's certainly confident," says Toobin. Anyway, he's looking at at least 10 years in prison if convicted on most charges. A twist is that Raaaahm Emanuel will most likely be called as a witness because he was apparently extorted in all this. They extorted Rahm? Are they nuts? Oh man, there's going to be a lot of dead fish in the mail.

Actual BREAKING NEWS now of a gunman at large at Radford University. CNN has no real information, so they're moving on. Good for that. Apparently the suspect shot a man off campus and then fled onto the grounds.

On now to a Dan Simon piece of a convenience store robbery. Not something you'd usually see on even ratings-driven cable news, but this is different because the guy did the stick-up with his nine-year-old daughter in tow. Classy! The dad ran off and the girl is with her mother now. Some people just shouldn't be parents.

Then we're onto a Randi Kaye piece about Michelle Obama visiting and getting emotional at a girls school. I really like Michelle and I know her approval rating is very high, but I'm starting to get sick of all these pieces about her. They're all beginning to look the same.

Back with Anderson and Richard and the Brit is again reading us the tabloids. Tonight it's the "Sun," which he attempts to open "without giving viewers a nasty shock," leading Anderson to explain that this particular rag has some nakedness going on inside. Hm, I did not know that. Anything for cash, huh Murdoch? Anyway, the paper is opened without incident and then we move on to clips of Richard over the past two days making Anderson giggle. This segment totally needed subtitles.

Finally, we learn that Richard has a goal: he wants to crush Rick Sanchez on Twitter. He needs you to follow him, people! On the off chance that he might follow back, I'm going to have to take a pass on that right now since I, uh, kinda tweeted stuff about him. Ahem. "People would love to Twitter with you," says Anderson. Oh man. I'm going to let that one go here, but if you want to know what I had to say about that comment, well, you're going to have to follow me. Sneaky, I know.

Also? The Cult of Jack Gray has finally come into being. There's now a Facebook fan page called Gray Groupies. Go be a groupie!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Live From London For Coverage Of The G-20 Economic Summit, Protests, And Meeting the Queen!

Hi everyone. Anderson Cooper has skipped across the pond and is coming at us live from London tonight. "Shizzle my nizzle," says Anderson. No wait, that's not right. Let me try again: "Jolly good evening to you." Theeeere we go. Speaking of our anchor, he has the first piece, which is all about President Obama's day. The commander in chief had quite the itinerary. There was a private meeting and then joint news conference with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a sit-down with Russian President Medvedev, a class picture with all the other world leader peeps, and oh yeah, meeting the queen. Nice.

I interrupt this AC360 Review for a special news bulletin. Okay, here's the thing. I started blogging and then I got distracted for a while, and then I got a headache, and then I really didn't want to finish. But instead of just trashing what I have and leaving you without, I shall forge on. Fair warning though, it's going to be pretty half-assed. Sorry. I now return you to your AC360 Review, already in progress.

We then move on to Ed Henry and Richard Quest joining Anderson at his live shot and all the men are gussied-up for the occasion. They talk economics and global balance and stuff, but dude, that so does not compute when you have a headache. Moving on!

Next up, we have a Nic Robertson piece on all the protests going down. It turns out those stodgy stiff upper lip Londoners really know how to get their rowdy on. The main target was the financial district. Yeah! Down with capitalism! Up with violence! *Sigh* Besides those that were smashing things, there were also the requisite Code Pink-like antics and general idiocy that gives protesting a bad name. BUT that is no excuse for the cops to herd people like cattle and make them stay there.

In the prior segment, Richard and Anderson were kinda laughing over this. They won't be laughing when their asses are detained. I mean, hello, a man with diabetes died. The coverage of the protests is interesting to me because it makes me think of how the coverage of the protests at the RNC in our own country was basically non existent. No, no banks were attacked, but journalists were arrested for God's sake. Of course, the MSM would have had to go outside to know that...

Anyway, then we're on to a clip of Obama, basically saying we should avoid the blame game regarding the global recession and that leads us into a Tom Foreman piece all about...who we should blame. Turns out? It was us! No wait! It wasn't us. Ah, I'm so confused! Heh. Basically? Our greedy Wall Streeters made things all FUBAR, but other countries have their greedies too, who weren't exactly dainty about joining in on the fun.

Back to our sharp-dressed mini panel, Richard Quest is now reading us London's tabloids regarding the Obamas visit. I kid you not. Quest just turned CNN into your grocery checkout lane. Giggles from the Silver Fox are abounding. I still can't believe this dude is supposedly a serious business reporter. How are we supposed to take that persona seriously about the economy? He sorta reminds me of Richard Simmons, without the scary little shorts, but WITH the over-the-topness. Then there's the whole meth/sex toy in the boot thing. Oh yeah, I'm not letting that go. The sad part? All that and I'm still loving the segment.

On now to an Anderson piece about the moment we've been waiting for: meeting the queen! Ooh, I'm clutching my pearls. The literal kind. We're meeting the queen, I gots to look nice. Remember how yesterday I said Obama had learned his lesson about gift-giving electronics? Well, he brought the queen an iPod. Her Majesty. An iPod. Bwah! Obama had it loaded with a video of her 2007 trip to the US and a bunch of Broadway tunes. Actually not a bad gift for a woman that has everything. All in all, not a bad meeting. Except for when Michelle touched the queen. Oh. My. God. International incident! Way to go, Michelle. Now we have to invade London.

Richard tells us that the British press is making much ado about nothing, or specifically, "the queen ain't gonna be worried." It kinda sounds like the queen might actually be much more laid back than all these etiquette experts advising people on how to talk to her. Anyway, then they whip out the "class picture" that was previously taken and Richard asks Anderson if he knows the rhyme and reason of the seating chart. Anderson does not. Turns out, neither does Richard. But he has a theory. He then starts feeding us a line of bull, which Anderson calls him on, noting he's just making stuff up. Tabloid reading and making shit up. Nothing but the best from the most trusted name in news.

Transitioning now to the news that the Ted Stevens conviction is being overturned due to apparent prosecutorial screwing up. What?! Noes!!! For the legal analysis, we're joined by Jeffrey Toobin who calls the whole thing a disgrace. It seems even Attorney General Holder couldn't stomach what went down. Jeffrey and Anderson talk about the implied shame it is that Stevens pretty much lost his reelection over the charges that are now being overturned. I'm sorry. If the legal system did not work correctly for him, then yeah, changes need to be made here. But I'm not playing my tiny violin for Ted Stevens. Dude is corrupt.

There's a bit more London fluff, but I think I'm going to pack it in now. The show was definitely on the lighter side, but at least it was amusing. And I do really give them props for following up on the Stevens case, seeing as though they've been covering it up until now. So, all in all, not bad, I guess. Sorry about the subpar review. I actually did live tweet the broadcast, so more wit and wisdom awaits you if you click the link. Well, maybe not wit and wisdom, but more from me anyway. Cheerio!
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