Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gadhafi Pitches His (Literal) Tent On Trump's Property, Flooding Continues in Georgia, Edwards Update, And Lindsey Graham Interview On Afghanistan

Hi everybody. We begin tonight with Moammar Gadhafi's quest to pitch his tent. Uh, it's not what you're thinking. Anderson Cooper tells us the Libyan leader hasn't been on US soil for 40 years because we used to consider him a sponsor of terrorism, but now we don't. So...he's here! And he brought a tent. Yes, as in something that you camp in. Except it has air conditioning. Fancy!

But this whole tent thing is not going well. Central Park said no to the pitching. Englewood, New Jersey? No squared. It's not so much the tent that has people riled up per se, as it is the occupant of the tent, who happens to be responsible for murdering a bunch of Americans. So you can see why people have their "no vacancy" signs out.

The crazy twist of the story--you know there had to be one--is that it turns out that Gadhafi has found a place to pitch that tent: on the property of Donald Trump. Yes, the Donald. Could this get weirder? Well, I guess it could have been Kanye. Anyway, Erica Hill has more details, including a quote from Trump Organization that talks nonsense about having business partners all over the world. It sound like they're trying to play it off that they didn't know this was going to happen.

But whatever, people do business with evil all the time in the name of the almighty dollar. Hello! Halliburton and Iran? Also, we learn that 360 tried to get Trump on the show, but he declined. Praise the Lord for small favors.

For discussion of this, we're joined by Brian Flynn, brother of one of the Pan Am Flight 103 victims, and author and television host Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who helped keep the tent out of Englewood. As you might imagine, Brian is not happy. It is noted that Gadhafi won't actually be staying in the tent, but using it to meet visitors. Rabbi Shmuley wants people to protest and make it impossible for the Libyan leader to use his "terror tent of shame" for this purpose. Terror tent of shame? Really? Okay.

Back from commercial, they talk a bit about Gadhafi's embrace of the terrorist just (supposedly compassionately) recently released to Libya. "He kissed Gadhafi's hands. And we Americans need to tell Gadhafi to kiss a different part of our anatomy entirely. The fact is, he does not belong on our soil. Donald Trump should tell him, you're fired," says Rabbi Shmuley. Okay seriously, is this guy auditioning for something? This is getting more bizarre by the minute.

Then Rabbi Shmuley advocates for a potential boycott of Trump Organization, depending on how things go. I'm on-board with that even without the whole terrorist tent thing. Brian says that he will protest. Finally, they bring in Bedford town attorney Joel Sachs by phone and he talks to us about zoning laws, which is riveting television. Just sayin'.

Transitioning to the awful flooding in Georgia, which has now taken at least nine lives. David Mattingly is again on the case, this time in Cobb County. The water is actually receding, but it's left behind massive devastation. We see some of this devastation in a subsequent piece from David as he tags along with a family returning home. To make matters worse, many of these neighborhoods were not in flood zones, so the home owners did not have flood insurance. We've heard that story before. After the dramatic video is gone, I hope 360 remains on the story for the disaster to come.

Moving on to the news that Elizabeth Edwards does not want her husband to cop to being Rielle Hunter's baby daddy because it would give him an excuse to see her. We're then played a clip of John doing his whole "I'm sorry," routine (from previously) and I literally cringe because I think we're about to get one of those "why do men cheat?" segments. But thankfully, no! Actually, what we get is a Joe Johns piece that I don't think has any significant new information from what we heard last night. Oh well. Beggars can't be choosers, I suppose.

Next up, Anderson tells us that the Pentagon has asked General Stanley McChrystal to hold off on asking for more troops for Afghanistan because the Obama administration is rethinking their strategy. Does it really matter if he formally asks for them? Everybody already knows he wants them, thanks to the leaked report from yesterday. But public support for the war is way down, so there's that.

Here to talk about the subject is Republican Lindsey Graham, advocate of more troops. He trusts the generals. Anderson points out that counterinsurgency requires a civilian component and we don't really have that on the ground in Afghanistan. Graham seems to agree, but notes that security is so bad right now that civilians couldn't do anything anyway. Fair point, I suppose.

Anderson then drums on the Al-Qaeda-is-not-in-Afghanistan thing, which we've been hearing from him quite a bit. Graham apparently falls in the camp that thinks that if we leave, the Taliban will take over and let Al Qaeda back in. Okay, but are we saying we have to wipe out all of the Taliban then? Given that they're a part of the population, that could take decades because it would involve winning over all hearts and minds. Plus, are we really prepared to commit resources in every country that could potentially harbor Al Qaeda? The Bush doctrine didn't work. Do we want to invade Somalia?

That ponderance falls in line with Anderson's next question: "is nation building something we really want to be involved with in Afghanistan?" This seems to go right over Graham's head, because he states that the surge of troops is not for nation building. But we can't win this militarily. Basically everyone admits that. So what is he talking about? Sigh. This interview was a good start regarding furthering the dialog (and Anderson did fine), but man, where's Michael Ware when you need him, you know?

On now to the "Prime Suspects" series. Tonight's topic: the Craigslist killer. Randi Kaye does the honors. Normally I hate this stuff, but I will admit to being slightly intrigued by Internet forensics, which is how they caught the guy. I will also admit to laughing and being weirded out that they had someone read the emails for voice-overs. To be filed under: "was that really necessary?" Anyway, somewhat interesting, nonetheless.

Next up, Anderson tells us that Tom Delay busted some moves on "Dancing With The Stars." "We'll show you his version of the cha-cha," he says. Oh God, do you have to?! We're later played the clip, which is just...horrific. Nightmares, people! Nightmares! If you really want to traumatize yourself, I'm sure it's on Huffpost. I'm not linking because I can't afford to be responsible for anyone's therapy bills. "Give him credit. He fully committed to it," says Anderson. Erica then alludes to the ass shots, which were...oh God. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

The "shot" tonight is a drug task force taking a little break to play with a suspect's Wii. Yeah, that's a no no. This brings Erica to ask if Anderson's Wii came with a bowling game. We all remember Anderson's rather awkwardly received birthday gift, don't we? Anyway, Anderson so clearly has not touched that Wii, which is evidenced by the face he is making. But he gives us an affirmative to the bowling anyway. Hopefully his Wii found a new home with people who will love it. (Rereading, this paragraph sounds rather dirty. Seriously, did they have to name it that?)

The show was okay. I understand the outrage over Gadhafi, but I kinda didn't get the intense tent focus. Also, it seems like the Edwards stuff could have just been a headline. Yay to the Lindsey Graham interview though. Not exactly groundbreaking, but a good start in what I'm sure is about to be a long national conversation. That'll do it.

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