Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fort Hood Shooter Narrative Changes, Radical Muslims On US Soil, D.C. Sniper Executed, And Carrie Prejean Has A Book (Oh, yes)

Hi everyone. We again begin with Nidal Hasan, and why he would commit such a horrible crime. Drew Griffin has the piece. Funny thing? Last night, the coverage leaned heavily on possible terrorist connections and information that sounded like it could potentially be terrifying. Tonight? New narrative! The lone wolf motive, to be exact. It's explained that if Hasan was really a jihadist, he would have hid his religion. Plus, um, the dude allegedly went to strip clubs and I kinda thought that's frowned upon.

So, as Drew says after the piece, "The red flag the FBI, the Army, and even the local imams may have missed was possibly a middle-aged, isolated Army major facing an internal crisis and about to snap." Yep. Or, um, not. It's still way early. But it's nice to get a little more context, given that there are already people out there calling this the worst terrorist attack since 9-11. Yesterday, I was fairly critical of 360's coverage, though admitted I was sure they were being more responsible than outlets like Fox News. Perhaps I should have said ABC News instead. Yowza.

I'm actually not sure I explained my prior post well enough. I've been doing reviews of this show for about three years now, and it is a completely different viewing experience than just simply watching. I was reminded of this when I took my hiatus from blogging over the summer. When I am reviewing, I am paying attention to everything--truly taking in all information reported. The normal viewer does not do this. The normal viewer is channel surfing or chatting on the net or glancing at the TV while on the phone and so on and so on. Does anyone really just sit and watch the news anymore?

My point is that when it comes to a story that has the potential to inflame, I think it is the responsibility of the news organization to be extra careful with everything (graphics, chyron, copy, etc.). Because chances are, the viewer is only truly taking in about half of what's reported. Drew's piece yesterday may have had caveats, but c'mon, the viewer hears "9-11" and foreign names, and connections are made that Drew never even stated--especially when the reporter is saying one thing and the words on the screen are saying another. I suppose one could argue that the public's interpretation of their reporting isn't a media outlet's problem. But is there any harm in being extra cautious when you know you don't have all the facts?

Anyway, we move on to another piece from Drew on radical Muslims in New York City, which is actually a repeat (though I don't think I blogged it). Basically? These asshats were born and raised in the US, but are preaching love of Bin Laden and praising terrorist attacks. Awesome. One guy tells Drew, "We're commanded to terrorize the disbelievers." Oh really? What about the idea that killing one innocent is equal to slaughtering all of humanity? I'm guessing he skipped that Quran verse. Like I said, asshats.

For discussion of this, we're joined by Jeffrey Toobin and Peter Bergen. The topic of free speech and where to draw the line is brought up, with Jeff noting the courts have struggled with this for years. The Skokie case comes to my mind. Free speech is one of the things that make this country great, but these radicals present a potential very real danger. I think we're all hoping that the FBI is on top of them and other equally dangerous groups.

Transitioning now to the news that earlier tonight the D.C. sniper, John Allen Muhammad, was executed. This then segues us into part two of the special report from yesterday, with more news clips of that terrifying period in 2002. I'm slightly amazed by how much I remember of this footage. Back then I was mostly shunning regular CNN (it sucked big time), but watched Headline News (at the time the channel actually did, uh, news) all the time. Following the piece, Anderson Cooper talks with Jeanne Meserve, who interviewed Muhammad in 2004. She describes a pretty bizarre experience, noting that he tried to intimidate her and wouldn't talk about the murders at all. Scary how just a couple of guys can terrorize so many people.

On now to a story with a much happier ending. In Boston, a drunk woman stumbled onto the subway tracks", but thanks to arm-waving bystanders and a quick-thinking driver, she was able to emerge from the incident unscathed. The driver's name is Charice Lewis and she is tonight's "Big 360 Interview." Ooh, the same spot as Oprah. You go girl! So basically? Drunk girl falls in, people wave frantically, Charice realizes what's happening and quickly stops the train right in the nick of time, and drunk girl pulls herself off the ground and smiles. Lesson? Um, maybe don't get wasted and go walking around subway tracks.

Next up, Gary Tuchman tells us all about the piece he's going to have on Thursday. Dudes, spoilers?! Kidding.

Finally tonight, Randi Kaye has the super-important news that former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, has a book out. Time to get that puppy out there and apparently 360 has decided to help with this feat. Why guys, why?! Poor, poor Ms. Prejean has had quite a time of it. Randi tells us that the book claims the beauty queen was "publicly labeled a bigot and another word that starts with the letter 'B.'" We're left to figure that one out for ourselves. Oooh! Oooh! Beelzebub? And then there's that little matter of a sex tape. In which she's alone. Oh my.

Anyway, blah blah blah...hypocrisy! Do we really care about any of this? Anderson tells us he hasn't had a chance to look at the book. For a second there, I soo thought he was going to say he hadn't had a chance to look at the tape, which would have hurt my brain in several different ways. And why does he need to look at the book? Dude, seriously, you can slack on this one. It's okay. But hey, how's that troop increase in Afghanistan going?

For discussion of this (seriously?!), we're joined by Lisa Bloom. Oh guys, c'mon. Yesterday Lisa was tweeting about the death penalty. Now that would have been a worthy discussion. But here we are. Anderson thinks that it was pretty sleazy for the boyfriend (or whoever) to leak the tape and I would have to concur. "But-- now that it's out there, even kind of talking about it just kind of -- it's like supporting somebody who's..." and then our anchor's thought train just kinda derails. It's okay, Anderson. We get it. Well, sort of. But if he thinks talking about it is "inappropriate" then, um, why are we talking about it?

The show was okay again. I think I'm still on-board with bulldozing the format. By the way, one of my chat friends reminded me that this week we were supposed to be getting a special series about army tapes. So what's up with that? Per my friend: "Why does this show lie to me so much? I feel like I'm in an abusive relationship." I'd make a Brokeback Mountain "we just can't quit you" joke, but, uh, a lot of regular viewers have quit you.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count me as one of the ones who has had it. I am going buhbye to this crap of a program. Sorry but I have tried numerous times to come back for a time, thinking they may have got their act together. Like that will happen in my lifetime.
Am tired of the celebrity bs, I don't give a rat's ass about Nick Cage, Oprah, Miss Whoever, none of it. I want some international news. Enough of the effin' panels.
Something from the rest of the world would be nice, or did it fall off?

Most of all I would like this Anderson Cooper clone to disappear, and send the REAL one back.

You know the one, the one who used to go places, and care about them when he got there? The one who was a journalist once?

Sorry to be so b.tchy, but I tell it as it is. From where I am, it sucks big time. I thought they could go no lower.Well keep trying CNN, I am sure you can best yourselves in that department.
At this point, Anderson's favorite bear on trampoline video clips are an improvement.


11:01 AM  
Blogger eliza said...


Another one bites the dust.

Out of curiosity, are you the same disgruntled anon who posted here recently?

3:54 PM  
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