Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Racism In The Tea Party Movement (With More Craziness From Mark Williams), Joe Wilson Gets Pwned By Congress, And Investigating Medical Malpractice

Hi everybody. We begin once again with the sense-assaulting "breaking news" graphic. Since that seems to be their default show opening now, regardless of what's actually "breaking," I think it would be more productive if I only noted it when they didn't use the thing. Way to make something utterly useless, huh? Anyway, Anderson Cooper tells us we're awaiting a police conference on Annie Le, but we'll get to that in a bit.

Right now we're talking race and politics, with a former president thrown in for good measure. Apparently Jimmy Carter did a little chatting with Brian Williams (BriWi to the cool kids) and he thinks a lot of these tea party people who we've been seeing get their crazy on have an issue with our prez's skin color. Ruh roh. Don't get me wrong, he totally has a case here, but mix racial accusations and a former Democratic president, and you've got all the ingredients needed for a full on news cycle freak out.

To begin said freak out, we're joined by Roland Martin and, oh look, tea partier Mark Williams is back. His appearance last night was quite popular. Given 360's new tendency to ratings pander, and the fact that Mark is clearly a fame whore, you should see my totally shocked face that he is once again on my television screen. Oh well. Buckle up kids, it's gonna get bumpy.

Anderson first gives the floor to Mark, who has to get in his requisite Carter diss. He of course denies the racial accusation, but does admit there is a fringe to his movement. I guess that would be fringe-fringe. Roland, not surprisingly, agrees with Carter, and starts name checking all the people in the conservative movement who have recently said or committed racist acts. Example: Glenn Beck saying Obama has a hatred of white people. It's also noted that threats against Obama are up 400%. I'm actually not sure if that number is accurate, but I would believe it.

Mark thinks that's it's not race that's different about this administration, but that Obama is a big old thief. Taking all our money AND borrowing from China. Wait, how is that different from the last guys? He's also got his undies in a twist over Obama supposedly bowing to the Saudi king or whatever. Um, hello, Bandar Bush ring a bell? All this nonsense goes on while Anderson, I dunno, takes a nap or something. Wake up, Cooper! Finally our anchor cuts in to tell them to stop talking over each other.

Roland then gives a long explanation as to why this is all racist, but I'm not really sure he's selling his point. I suppose that's okay though since Mark is back to freaking out about the socialist gardening he brought up last night. I don't even know what the hell we're talking about anymore. Earth to Anderson. Bueller? Roland asks Mark if he would denounce the witch doctor signs and he says he would. But dude, you called him an "Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug," on your own blog!

Then Mark tries to act like he bears no responsibility for inciting all these wackjobs. Oh, and he implies Roland is a race-baiter. That about wraps it up. "Good discussion," says Anderson. Dude, what have you been watching? So, um, yeah. That was fairly dumb. I take back my comment from yesterday that they should have this joker on to hang himself with his own rope. This is just about sensationalism now. More reporting, less idiocy please. Here's the video, if you're interested.

Speaking of idiocy, today Congress took out their big ruler and smacked Representative Joe Wilson on the wrist. Joe Johns has the latest: Okay, we all remember the "you lie!" incident, right? Well, today the idiot got formally punished. But was it all a waste of time? Joe's semi-snarky copy would imply that it was. I'm pretty meh about the situation. Was it a fairly pointless thing to do when they should be working on more important things? Yes. But I've seen them to do worse. You know, like that whole war thing.

For discussion of this, we're joined by Alex Castellanos and Paul Begala. I'm just going to cut to the good stuff. Alex actually tries to claim that if we're going to censure Wilson, we should also censure Obama, since he also used the word "lie" during his address. Oh. My. God. He can't be serious. Anderson is a bit more awake during this segment and is sporting his trademark "even I can't take this BS" smirk. He points out that, um yeah, Obama was talking about allegations about death panels, which uh, were factually inaccurate. "Are you equating that to some guy, a congressman yelling out at the president?" asks Anderson.

But Alex seems to deny that what Obama said was accurate. This is the problem, nobody can even agree on what's a fact. "Alex is entitled to his own opinion. He's not entitled to his own facts. There are no death panels," says Paul. Booyah! Just keep saying it. Later Paul brings up how Kanye West said Bush didn't care about black people and how Democrats distanced themselves from that statement. Man, that guy is coming up everywhere these days.

Anyway, Alex tries to claim that none of this racial subtext was around before the election, which leads Paul to be all, uh, did you see the Sarah Palin rallies? Seriously, have these Republicans suffered some kind of collective head injury? Next they all talk about the asshattiness of Mark Williams. The segment wraps up with Alex talking fiscal conservatism, a legitimate issue to disagree with the president on. Too bad most of the opposition insists on focusing on insanity.

Transitioning now to Tom Foreman talking about the latest in the Annie Le murder case. He tells us that the police have a person of interest in custody. (The suspect has since been arrested.) For discussion of all this, we're then joined by forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht and criminologist Jack Levin. Why, I'm not quite sure. These kind of things continually frustrate me.

This is a show that defines and prides itself on being fact-based, yet here we are with two segments of speculation. Cyril even goes as far as to peg this as an "if I can't have her, no one can," crime of passion. And he could be right. Or he could be widely widely off the mark. That's the funny thing about spouting shit when you don't know all the facts. The show is better than this, or at least they pretend to be.

From one missing girl to another, we're next joined by Dan Simon, who tells us the cops are searching the Garrido property where Jaycee Dugard was held. They're looking for a link to two other child abductions in the area. One girl looked a lot like Jaycee and was her age, so of course everyone goes, "ah ha!" About 15 years ago two young girls went missing in the St. Louis area and later turned up dead. They were almost the same age with the same blue eyes and blond hair. Parents were freaked that there was a serial kid killer on the loose. There wasn't. The cases weren't connected. Let's not jump the gun here.

Our final piece of the night is from the always awesome Gary Tuchman. He's tackling the subject of medical malpractice and does so by sitting down with two of the nation's top trial lawyers: Les Weisbrod and Todd Smith. The attorneys aren't very big fans of capping malpractice settlements and they don't think it would help costs anyway. I am not shocked that I am hearing this from trial lawyers. Apparently punitive damage malpractice verdicts are way less common than everyone thinks. In fact, Weisbrod claims he's had seven or eight over a 30 year period. What? That doesn't seem right, but wow.

Gary reminds us, however, that settlements are often paid before cases get to a judge. Doctors claim this leads to defensive medicine. Gary brings up his orthopedist friend who "takes care of (his) broken bones." Just how many broken bones has it been? This is because of the roller-blading, isn't it? Anyway! Ortho friend's main sentiment is that sometimes life just sucks even when everyone does their job right. Amen, ortho friend, amen.

My opinion? Um, I agree with everyone! As someone who's seen way more than her share of doctors, I can tell you that sometimes they suck. Like, a lot. And I sure as hell want to retain my right to sue them for everything they're worth (no, I never have). I can also tell you that they do put patients through expensive invasive procedures just to cover their asses. Yes, I've had this happen. So...quite the pickle. Uh, good luck with that, guys.

That'll do it. The show was okay. It's getting pretty clear they're ratings pandering. I wish they'd stop.

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Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

Thanks for watching so I don't have to. Great post, as I have stated before, my pressure just cannot bear the likes of Mark Williams. It's worse if the interviewer(in this case, AC) is being "Bueller". It's like the show's message is that it's ok for guests to spew their idiology, but hardly any questions will be asked. As for Joe Wilson, something needed to be done to prevent futher childish outbursts. If Congress can go and have a session on the MoveOn General Petraeus ad, surely they can admonish boorish bechavior by one of their own. Anne D

7:28 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Anne: Hi Anne. Heh, you're welcome. I really can't stand it when the two sides are allowed to just go back and forth and no one calls out the BS. I agree with Roland, but I don't think he sold himself. As for Mark, wow just wow.

I forgot about the MoveOn debacle. I guess this is like eye for an eye now. Frankly, I'd rather the parties not try to one-up each other in stupidity, but meh, what are you gonna do?

8:18 PM  

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