The UN Gets Its Crazy On, Matt Latimer Interview, John Travolta Extorted, And Sanjay Gupta Got The Swine Flu (ZOMG!)
This year the cast of characters has changed slightly. Good old Ahmadinejad is up to his America-hating tricks, but there's a new star in town getting the delegates out of their seats (and making them walk out the door): Moammar Gadhafi (Qaddafi? Khaddafy? Gaddafi? We're all so confused!)
Tom Foreman joins us live for the sum up of wackiness. Let's see, Ahmadinejad stuck to his standard America dissing and, oh yeah, apparently Israel is evil. Surprisingly enough, there wasn't much mention of that whole almost-revolution thing going on in his own country. That brings us to Gadhafi who rambled on for over an hour and a half about such topics as the real source of swine flu (the military, of course) and who killed John Kennedy. Seriously. He also called Obama "my son," which I'm sure gave our prez his "oh WTF?" moment for the day.
For discussion of all this we're joined by Fareed Zakaria; Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the US; and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. This was a pretty good discussion, but I'm too tired to really do it justice. I will say, however, that I don't really understand why Rabbi Shmuley was a part of this. I get having him on for the tent thing, but he does UN analysis now? Of note is Anderson Cooper asking Oren if a nuclear Iran is something Israel could tolerate. He gives a long response that does not really contain an answer. Dude, you guys gonna attack Israel or what? That's what Anderson was asking, just, you know, professionally.
Moving on to the domestic side of all this United Nations stuff, it turns out our own president also gave a speech today, laying out a more inclusive foreign policy. The "Washington Times" was then all like, "worst foreign policy evah!" Wow, the "Washington Times" doesn't like Obama's policy. I am, like, so totally shocked by this. Anyway! We gotta talk about this, yo. So we're joined by James Carville and Bill Bennett. But before we get to Obama, Anderson's like, "so dudes, what did you think about that whole Gadhafi thing? How effed up was that?" I might be paraphrasing.
Also, Anderson keeps referring to former UN ambassador John Bolten as Josh Bolten, but we're totally gonna let that slide because there was a Josh Bolten in the Bush administration (chief of staff after Andy Card) and this crap gets confusing. The gist? Bill thinks the Obama foreign policy screws over our allies, while James advocates we give Obama more time to make a difference. Of note, is Anderson making the really good point that even though the world seems to love Obama, they're still not helping us that much. Case in point: ponying up NATO troops for Afghanistan. Perhaps a better defined mission might sweeten the deal.
Next up, Anderson starts talking to us about former Bush speech writer Matt Latimer and the stuff he's blabbing about in his new book "Speech-less". Apparently, Bush didn't think Palin or Obama were ready for what they were getting themselves into. As for Hillary Clinton, Dubya made "fun of her figure." Specifically, he referred to her "fat ass," but we're not told that. Are the 360 kids all prudes now? Anderson goes on to say, "The accusations have some on both sides slamming Latimer for cashing in on personal conversations that were never meant to be public. Matt Latimer joins me now." And I'm floored for a second. That was a very Colbert move. The guy is sitting there in the studio and everything and I never saw it coming.
Latimer's boss wrote in "The Wall Street Journal," that this is all just sour grapes because the dude never became a speech writing star. It seems the only person that comes out smelling like roses is Rumsfeld, who Latimer is working for right now. Okay, I remember Rumsfeld and I find it really hard to believe that he comes out looking good in any book. Latimer defends himself by saying he just wants to show people what Washington is really like. "I tried to do it in a good-natured way. It's a funny situation, it's a funny system, but it also has a lot of problems and challenges," he says. Washington is fun! Whatever.
On now to a Randi Kaye piece on the alleged extortion of John Travolta over his son's death. The Travolta family was in the Bahamas when his son became deathly ill. John wanted to fly him to a hospital in Miami, rather than let an ambulance take him to a hospital on the island. To stop the ambulance, he signed a liability form. People who were with John when his son died, then threatened to make private medical information public if he didn't pay up. This is really disgusting. Who does this to a grieving family?
We're then joined by Steve Helling of "People Magazine," who was in the courtroom for John's testimony. Basically no one knows what was on the document that Travolta signed. Again, really disgusting.
Finally tonight, we're joined by Dr. Sanjay Gupta...BECAUSE HE GOT THE SWINE FLU!! And I have to say, after watching this segment, swine flu has never been so hilarious. Anyway! Two weeks ago when CNN was in Afghanistan, Sanjay got really sick--the sickest he's ever been--and a diagnosis of H1n1 was confirmed by the clinic there. But the good doctor is doing much better now and he's talking with us by satellite (because he's not in NY, not because he's sick).
It turns out our anchor also didn't feel so great in Afghanistan. Now, regular viewers know Anderson has a tendency to not sleep and get run down during field shoots. So yes, I noticed he was sick, but really didn't think it was anything noteworthy. But apparently it was a little more serious than just needing a vitamin. We learn that Anderson actually went to Sanjay with his symptoms (horrible cough, chills, light-headedness) and even asked if it was swine flu, but the doc said probably not. Oops.
Sanjay knew that the swine flu is associated with high fever, which neither thought they had at the time, but seemed to forget about the fact that they were in the desert. So yeah, it was hot there anyway and when Sanjay finally took his temperature it was 102. As Sanjay is relaying this information, we get a cough from Cooper. "Are you coughing right now?" asks the doc. Ruh roh!
Anderson answers in the affirmative, leading Sanjay to say, "I don't think we're contagious, though." You don't think? "I love that I just learned that I may have had swine flu from you via satellite," says Anderson. Bwah! Sanjay then tells us how much having swine flu sucks and Anderson's all (paraphrased), "um, should I get this checked out?" Man, wouldn't you love to see the control room right now. They're probably all, "doood," followed by ponderings of just how much contact they've had with Anderson lately. Our anchor is a bit comforted that he didn't have the fever, so maybe it's not really swine flu. Maybe. But he has had the cough for two weeks. He should get a chest x-ray if he hasn't had one already.
Anyway! They talk some more and they both start coughing. You can tell Anderson is trying so hard not to, which is kinda adorable and hilarious...and I hope he really doesn't have swine flu or I might regret saying that. I can't help cracking up though. The coughing has to be partly psychosomatic because he just got through almost the whole show without a cough and now he can't stop. Anderson tells us he might get checked out. Off camera we hear Erica Hill say, "the entire studio is gonna get checked out!" Bwah!
Anderson notes that unlike Sanjay, he didn't take any time off work following their trip. Oh man. Nobody is holding the elevator for the Silver Fox tonight! Well, if we tune in a few days from now and find a repeat of Campbell Brown or something, we'll know it's because all the 360 kids got the swine flu. Good job, Cooper! Kidding. I've grown attached to you, so get better. Also? Seeing as how you all slept in that one room in Afghanistan, I think you have some calls to make. How's Peter Bergen feeling these days?
If our anchor finding out on national television that he might have had the swine flu isn't fun enough for you, check out tonight's "shot." It's a dancing baby! Oh we love the dancing babies. This one dances to Beyonce's "Single Ladies," which Anderson calls, "the hit that makes almost everyone want to dance. Notice I said almost everyone." Then he mouths "not me." Well, of course you don't feel like dancing. You just found out you might have the swine flu! This may never get old.
I thought the show was pretty good tonight. We had a lot of variety and not much ridiculousness. Kudos, 360. Normally I'd give you a cookie, but I think tonight some Purell might be better appreciated.
Labels: Bill Bennett, Erica Hill, Fareed Zakaria, James Carville, John Travolta, Matt Latimer, Michael Oren, Obama, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Randi Kaye, sanjay gupta, swine flu, Tom Foreman, United Nations