Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Live From Afghanistan Day Three And Analysis Of Obama's Address To Congress Regarding Health Care Reform

Hi everyone. Anderson Cooper kicks things off from Patrol Base Jaker with a little sum up of the patrol he went on today. Then he shows us a shot of Michael Ware and Sanjay Gupta, before completely switching subjects to health care and throwing us back to the states, where we're suddenly looking at The Best Political Team on Television (TBPTOT). Hey guys, long time no see. So anyway, we're all over the place! I realize I'm probably the only loser out there actually taking notes of this broadcast, but a little less schizophrenia would make my job easier. Okey-dokey?

Also? Aw, our anchor is tired. How do I know? Well, because when he tells us that Barack Obama is taking "ownership" of health care reform, "ship" is not how he ends that word. This leads us into an "extended" clip of Obama's address tonight. I thought the speech was very good, but I would have liked to hear him say the public option is a must. Mandates with no accountability is just a massive giveaway to the insurance industry.

Following the clip, Anderson gives things over to John King (sans Magic Wall-gasp!) for some TBPTOT-wrangling. The snap polls are out already (they don't call them 'snap' for nothing, people!) and things look good for Obama. But Candy Crowley grabs the position of parade-rainer, reminding us that Bill Clinton saw similar numbers after his address. And we all know how that turned out. Plus the poll is only of those who watched the address.

David Gergen doubts any minds were really opened tonight and I'd probably have to agree. It's not like the death panel camp is going to be all, "we were so wrong!" Ed Rollins is skeptical about Obama's claims regarding paying for reform, and again, I don't hear anything to disagree with. I don't really believe that reform won't add to the deficit. The difference with me is that I don't care, or rather, I think health care reform is more important.

Jumping back to Afghanistan, Anderson intros another clip, this time of Obama correcting falsehoods. Then we're flung back to the studio with TBPTOT and Paul Begala talks about how the address actually shored up Democratic support. John King notes that Obama called the death camps a lie, actually using the word "lie." Isn't it awesome when someone calls a spade a spade? Our media should try it once in a while themselves.

Then the convo moves on to the big buzz of the night, which was South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson screaming "you lie!" when Obama said his health care plan did not cover illegal immigrants. I mean, seriously, WTF? This isn't a town hall, dude. A few things: first, I don't think any of TBPTOT actually mention his name, which is weird. Second, oh my God, did you see Pelosi's face? I wasn't paying attention to her when I initially watched the speech, but that was some reaction. And it's probably hard for her to react to anything. I mean, I'm not saying Botox, but, uh,...yeah.

Later we learn that Wilson apologized, which is good, but he's still been branded one of the crazies of the Bachmann/Palin variety as far as I'm concerned. Oh, and in case you're wondering, according to David Gergen, no, Obama's statement was not a lie. We're then shown a clip of the Republican's rebuttal, given by Congressman Charles Boustany, who made such an impression that I had to go look up his name because I had already forgotten it by the time I sat down to blog. He's no Kenneth the Page.

Paul then talks a little bit about the bone Obama threw Republicans regarding malpractice reform and the political coverage wraps up with Tom Foreman, the poor sap charged with reading through the White House online forum. "In the end, there was plenty of talk about Nazis and socialism," he tells us. I'll bet. Just call "Godwin" and you win!

Anderson again. Again telling us what they will be showing us, which is basically what he's been doing every time we see him. C'mon guys. It's time to actually show us what you'll be showing us. Viewers are going to start to feel jerked around. Anyway, then we're off to Erica Hill with the day's headlines, one of which is the hijacking of that Mexican airliner. Good on them for just giving us the facts. Another night I could see endless segments of speculation. You regular viewers know what I'm talking about. One of their Achilles' heels.

Also? Ellen Degeneres on American Idol next season? I did not see that one coming. Erica takes the opportunity to do a little teasing of the Silver Fox: "I don't have any details on whether or not she will be judging some of the dancing portions. But, you know, maybe you could get in on that. Just a thought." Our non-dancing anchor has no comment.

On the way out to commercials, they're starting to show messages from the troops to back home. Sweet idea. A non sweet idea is the massive overplaying of their special Afghanistan graphic. Moderation kids. Try it. After some pics of illumination rounds being fired the night before, Anderson gives us some info about the raid performed by British commandos to rescue "New York Times" reporter Stephen Farrell and his translator.

Both were taken hostage on Saturday. Unfortunately the translator and a British commando were killed. Translators--or fixers--are sometimes treated as afterthoughts in the press. But they have names and they have stories. Meet Sultan Munadi. He just lost his life.

Moving on now to a Sanjay Gupta piece in which he tags along with an elite medical DUSTOFF crew--those charged with transporting a patient to the hospital. It's a tough job and the clock is always ticking because they only have an hour before the patient bleeds to death--the golden hour. The run Sanjay goes on is an effort to save two Afghan locals, who in the end will survive. The operation is led by Sergent Nate Dabney, father of three boys. It's sad he has to be away from them. Following Sanjay's piece, he gives us another update on the two-year-old we met on Monday. He's walking now (with assistance)!

Next up, we have a clip of Anderson in a vehicle in full on protective gear, including helmet. He explains that he's in the lead vehicle of a convoy on their way back from patrol. It's a slow dangerous process given that they're returning on the same road they used originally. Taliban could be waiting for them. In fact, we're later told that a short time after this clip was filmed, an IED was exploded on that very road. Man, the 360 kids are a lucky bunch. Let's hope they stay that way.

In a subsequent Anderson piece, he gives us a tour of Patrol Base Jaker, which houses about 50 marines at any given time. It is a place that can get to 120 degrees and the only AC around is the guy we're looking at. Food is all MRE's, which come with a bonus side of moon dust, the stuff that coats everything. Entertainment consists of working out with old weights and if you want to golf? Well, welcome to world's biggest sand trap.

As for the bathroom facilities, Anderson points us to a pipe sticking out of the ground without further explanation. "Well, it's obvious what the pipes are for," he says. Oh my. There are also four communal toilets for, uh, the other. Speaking of which, Anderson also talks with Lance Corporal James Steven whose has the lovely job of burning shit. And yes, I mean that literally. What does he think of his position? "It stinks." You don't say.

At the end of the piece we start to hear from another Marine about what he likes about the base, but they totally cut it off. WTF, guys? So we bounce back and forth between the states and Afghanistan a bunch of times just so Anderson can keep summing up the same info, yet you can't show us the whole piece? I feel bad for the guy that got cut off.

Next up, Peter Bergen explains that we got into this mess that we're in because we tried to fight the war on the cheap. Hm, that sounds familiar. Sigh.

Our final piece of the night is from Michael Ware. He travels to Kandahar, birth place of the Taliban and Michael's home before he moved to Iraq. The whole city is anxious because the Taliban are once again a big presence, which wasn't the case a few years ago. It turns out that Michael is friends with Ahmed Wali Karzai. Yes Karzai, as in brother of Hamid. Man, that Aussie knows everybody. Ahmed is now the leader of the family's tribe. I'm not really familiar with the tribe thing. There's a future piece for you, 360. Anyway, Michael also shows us the aftermath of a bomb blast and it's all pretty depressing.

To leave us with something lighter, the "shot" tonight is Sanjay's quarters and video of him sleeping. We see a snippet of it during a preview, but when it comes time for the actual clip, um, I don't see Sanjay. Did I blink? So...not really sure what happened there. Anderson tells us Sanjay doesn't even know they have the video. Didn't they once show video of him falling too (during Planet in Peril I think)? Boys are so mean.

The show was really good again, though I felt like there was a lot of wasted time tonight regarding teases. But given that they had less than an hour after Obama's speech ended before going live, you can't really fault them too much for rough edges. Keep it up, 360!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Anonymous PRESLEY said...

Well, I was admittedly distracted by the President' speech, I carried my pompoms around today. TEAM OBAMA! But Anderson just looked BEAT last night, *says BEAT 360 in mah brainz, laffs at self*, he was a bit slurry with his words. I caught the "ownership" faux pas. Thanks for review though, I kinda missed a lot.

5:53 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Presley: You're welcome! I too play for TEAM OBAMA and hope to defeat TEAM CRAZY. Yeah, the Silver Fox needs a nap. Last night still wasn't my favorite Anderson fumble though. That honor goes to a night a couple years ago when he called Bush "President Duh." LOL. Oh Anderson, I mock with love.

11:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from