Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Obama's Promises, American Samoa Investigation Part 2, Legal Implications For Gang Rape Bystanders, And Karzai Brother On CIA Payroll

Hi everyone. John King continues his guest reign. I think this is going to be one of my quasi-abbreviated blogs because I am, quite frankly, tired. We begin with Joe Johns breaking down a "Washington Times" story that found Obama fundraisers are getting special access to the White House. So basically, people pay...and then they get to play--as in go golfing with the prez and that kind of stuff. Democrats are saying no big deal; Michael Steele has his boxers in a twist. Me? I am solidly at "meh" on the outrage (and even interest) scale.

Paul Begala and Ed Rollins join us to do the whole tired left/right thing and I'm all around unimpressed. As Paul says, unless there is a quid pro quo involving policy, I don't see anything to get upset about. There are more important things, in my opinion, to hit Obama on. But I do think it's perfectly legitimate to note the unkept transparency promises. Let's just keep it all in perspective.

Also, this is probably neither here nor there, but does it seem like our news is more politic-y when John King is hosting? Perhaps more State of the Union-like? I hope I'm imagining things--not because I have anything against politics or John, but because it probably means Anderson Cooper deserves more of the blame for the tabloid-y coverage than I would have hoped. And I don't want to blame him. Because he's so cute. Ahem.

Moving on to part two of Drew Griffin's investigation of American Samoa aid money. Long story short: the American territory gets walloped by a tsunami, we've been sending them US tax dollars for years, the money never gets anywhere, they look like a third world country now. Drew talks with Eni Faleomavaega, American Samoa's congressional delegate who is very proud of the tax money he secures. In a voice over, Drew says us: "In a satellite interview, he told us his responsibility doesn't include making sure that money is spent correctly."

Except, um, that's not exactly true. Or if it is, it's not what we are shown. This is what the delegate says: "If the local administering authority is not in compliance with the federal requirements on how that grant is supposed to be spent, then, by all means, they should be noted, and grants should not be given." I don't really know what to think. This reporter is no stranger to insinuations. Nothing personal. Just what I've observed over a period of two to three years. As I said yesterday, I really hate that I can't trust the facts of this story.

Transitioning now to the subject of that horrible gang rape in California. Lisa Bloom and Jeffrey Toobin join us for the legal perspective. The focus here is on the kids that watched and did nothing. Lisa manages to make my blood run cold by informing us that, allegedly, photos and video were taken of the crime. If those go can't ever fully erase that kind of thing. As if the girl hasn't been through enough already. How sickening. But anyway, Lisa's point is that the bystanders could be charged with child pornography.

They also talk a bit about the responsibility of the school officials. You know, it's probably a safe bet that this kind of lax security is going on in most public schools in the country. Actually, it's not about lax security per se, but attitude of officials. We're shown a clip in which a student even states that the vice principal saw the men outside and did nothing. I am not the least bit surprised by this. She could have been talking about my high school. Maybe this will be a wake up call for the school system, but I'm not holding my breath.

At the end of the segment, John says this: "I do want to say something to our viewers. This is a horrible story, and we do not enjoy covering it. But there are responsibility and accountability questions here that we think need to be answered." Kinda weird. I wonder if they're receiving a lot of criticism. It's definitely a legitimate story and they haven't (yet) been exploitative, so like I said, kinda weird.

On now to the news that Hamid Karzai's bro is on the CIA payroll. So yeah, we're paying a drug lord. Holy complication, Batman. To talk about this, we're joined by intelligence analyst Bob Baer, Michael Ware, and David Gergen. A sum up: The Gerg thinks this isn't going to go down smoothly at home. Michael is like, duh, of course we're paying people. And Bob thinks this will taint Karzai (as in Hamid), which subsequently screws us. Going back to Michael, I was hoping to hear more from him because according to one of the pieces he filed while 360 was live in Afghanistan, Ahmed Wali Karzai is an "old friend." So...

I'm just saying, kinda weird he doesn't mention that he just talked to him last month. I really hope this isn't some sort of CNN thing. The guy reports on terrorists; he's going to have some relationships that aren't exactly politically correct. Anyway, this was a good--if a tad disjointed-discussion. It sounded like Bob and Michael disagree on paying the Afghans off. I would have liked to hear them debate. Oh wells.

We wrap things up with a Candy Crowley piece about Sarah Palin. Yes, she's still around. And bickering with her daughter's baby daddy, apparently. I'm not sure I could care less.

The "shot" tonight is a couple dudes dressed up like big iPhones. I don't know. I don't really get it. But it allows John and Erica to (sorta) ironically pimp out the CNN app. So...there you go. The show wasn't too bad.

You know, I miss the Silver Fox, but I have to say, John King is totally kicking his ass when it comes to social media. Not only does he live-blog like 10 times more than Anderson ever does, he even tweeted during the show. Now that's multi-tasking.

Also, for all you Jack Gray fans, our young Jack is all grow-ed up and just attended the big 140 Character Conference. Since I am a fan of Twitter, conferences (geek alert!), and Jack, I was very excited and hoping I could find video (not only of Jack's panel, but also the big bossman--Jon Klein). Well, mostly I suffered Google fail. But! I did find this little gem. Oh Cherie. Poor, poor Cherie. By the way, doesn't Jack's real life experience sound like some sort of warped dream you had one night? I was talking in front of all these people and Punky Brewster was there. Man, life's a trip sometimes.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from