Monday, November 02, 2009

Noisy Politics With A Dose Of Offensive Insanity, Generic Coverage Of Women At Work, And Nicholas Cage? Oy.

Hi everyone. Tonight Anderson Cooper returns to claim his rightful place in the anchor chair. And...that is really the only good thing about this show, unfortunately. I don't particularly enjoy being a Debbie Downer. It's just that I usually only have time to watch one full hour of news and nights like these I feel like I chose poorly. I actually considered having my review consist of only three simple words: the show sucked. But I suppose even I'm not that harsh. So let's bulldoze over this thing, shall we?

We begin with politics! See, there's a few key races going down tomorrow and CNN is hilariously going all out. What's that smell? I do believe it's possible ratings. Any chance at recreating last year and they are so there. Anyway, Tom Foreman tells us about New York's 23rd Congressional District. Historically Republican, GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava was favored to win. But wait! That was before the angry conservatives. Mwahaha!

Actually, this kind of song isn't all that unique. I'm sure you can guess the tune: the Limbaugh/Palin wing of the party starts screaming RINO and endorses the conservative. What is interesting is that Scozzafava actually suspended her campaign. So now 360 has this all framed as a big moderate versus extreme wing thing because God forbid we have a story without conflict. But hey, fine with me. My view? Go Team Conservative! Go ahead, take over the party. You're gonna do awesome in the generals.

For discussion of this, we're joined by tea party guy Mark Williams and Roland Martin. Oh man. C'mon 360. Is there any conceivable way that this segment isn't going to end in disaster? What's funny is that Mark always goes on the show and then trashes them later on his blog. Yet they keep inviting him back. I think CNN is a little self loathing. So, okay, yes, let's put two loud yell-y people together and see what happens. This is totally a good idea.

Mark does not disappoint. Upon his very first opportunity to speak, he connects the moderate candidate to ACORN. Wow, well played. Eek, ACORN! Boogity boogity boo! By the way, if you'd like to learn more about ACORN, Mark has a helpful link on his blog located under the title "21st Century Nazis." There you can find info about former president Jimmy Carter as well. I love how eager Mark is to inform. Also? Apparently conservatives embrace constitutional values, while "liberal, by definition, is an enemy ideology to this country."

So, what a hot mess, huh? At one point Mark wants to know why he's considered "fringe." Obviously he does not actually listen to anything that comes out of his mouth, otherwise he'd know the answer to that. The only solace here is how bad he is at what he does. Most wingers are smart enough to keep the crazy in check when they're on the national TeeVee, but not this guy.

I guess I should note that Roland says a bunch of stuff too (and Anderson sorta kinda does a little accountability-holding), but it's nothing of note. Our anchor also does his usual routine of asking us to give our opinion on the blog. For some reason I'm guessing my suggestion that Mark go Cheney himself would probably not make it out of moderation.

Transitioning now to some estrogen-heavy coverage. Being a woman, I know I should probably be pleased about their special girl power segment, but mostly I am meh. It starts with an Erica Hill piece about how the world is a boys' club. Obama's sports-playing and stuff like that is mentioned, but what really caught my eye was the part about Letterman. It's portrayed like we're supposed to be surprised that a late night comedy show would be a tough place for a woman to work. Um, duh? Obviously I don't agree with the work environment, but isn't the fact that it exists pretty well-known?

On now to our all-woman panel. Four guests all in boxes. It's like Hollywood Squares: Girl Power! Occupying the squares are Suze Orman, professional poker player Maria Ho, former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, and neurosurgeon Katrina Firlik. I don't have anything against these women (though some socio-economic diversity might have been nice); there's just nothing of note here. Women are less aggressive than men and downplay their accomplishments. Wow, that's really ground breaking. C'mon, we've heard this all before. Where's the provocative angles? I'm not saying be sensational, but must we retread on stuff I'm sure Oprah did five years ago?

On now to a Randi Kaye piece on Nicholas Cage getting swindled by his business manager. Oh good God, I give up. After the piece, Anderson says this: "We should point out, with millions of Americans out of work, a lot of people are going to find it hard to sympathize with a Hollywood star who loses track of his tax payments and his multi- million-dollar fortune." You think? Yet they still went with the story. AND had discussion with Lisa Bloom and business manager Evan Bell. When the most interesting thing about a segment is that one of the guests has a phenomenal porn 'stache (did you see that thing?!), you're probably in trouble.

So hey, when you combine Ewoks, Halloween, and the humping of Al Roker's leg, what do you get? Why, you get tonight's "shot." Um...yeah. Apparently some Ewoks got out of control live on the Today Show. Were they drinking? 360 got to the bottom of it, y'all. No, they were not. The Silver Fox is just all in a tizzy over his love for this clip. "I love Ann Curry's face in it. She's just like, 'I've been to Darfur. Why am I doing this stupid segment?'" I'd just like to point out that our anchor is now reporting on that stupid segment.

Anyway, the banter with Erica Hill seems to go on forever (seriously, time to kill?). Pictures are shown. Blah blah blah. The Ewoks might not have been drinking, but it sorta seems like someone has been. I might enjoy the inanity if it didn't follow such a bad show. Oh 360, I don't know what to do with you. Lately I've been talking to some viewers who have been watching for years--well, had been watching for years. Most barely watch anymore. None have anything nice to say about the state of the show. Le sigh.

Just to throw a little bit of extra weird into this post, I caught a couple minutes of Rick Sanchez's show today. He had on Scott Ritter and talked about his smearing by the MSM even though he turned out to be right on Iraq. Remembering that time well, it was a bit cathartic to watch. Man, I never thought I'd see the day where I was trashing 360 and promoting Rick Sanchez. This truly is an upside down world. Hopefully we'll get flipped back over tomorrow.

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Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

Tonight's show, a pale imitation of what it once was. Please explain to me how Palin, who quit a job she was elected for, can get involed in anyone elses's election? I don't want to be a Debbie Downer,either but why keep bringing on this crazy guy, Mark Williams? I tuned out, again thanks for watching so I didn't have to. On the women's panel, I will go back further than Oprah, the Phil Donahue show about 20 years ago. I miss his show. The last bit about the ewok went on too long. My computer isn't flash player ready, so I will have to watch the Scott Ritter clip tomorrow elsewhere.

4:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say that this show is becoming more of well, yawn city more and more. Talk about longing for the good old days. Heck, this show used to be two hours of good decent programming not too long ago. What the hell happened?
Anderson used to do field work, now that can be counted on one hand. International news, forget it for the most part. Of course, we had to hear the earth shattering news that Nick Cage is in trouble because of...whatever, zzz.
Who gives a crap? If I want that I can switch over to their sis' network, however I don't.
Come on folks at 360, and yes you too, Mr Cooper. Get with it. Or those couple of hundred viewers still left will be buhbye.
As for me, I am thisclose to being one of them.
Sorry for the bitchfest and complaining, but I have just about had it up to here with this show, its host( I did not say anchor), and the morons at CNN.

if this sounds harsh, well I call em as I see em. The ratings tell I am not in the minority either, do they.
99% are fed up and want something better. Trouble is no seems to be alive and breathing at CNN to give it to us.

Rant over.

5:16 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Anne: The Williams/Martin segment was ridiculous. I knew as soon as they introduced the guests that it would be a disaster. Those two should not go together. Ever. My finger was on the remote and I was *this* close to switching to Olbermann.

I forgot about the existence of Donahue. I never watched his show, but I saw him speak at a conference a few years back. That's some white hair! Heh.

At least Ritter ended up on CNN somewhere. I have to say, I'm getting tired of guests I want to see, appearing on other people's shows. I read that Blitzer had Rory Stewart the other day. What do we get on 360? Talk about Nic Cage's finances. Le sigh.

@anonymous: The rant is warranted. I don't know what to say anymore. I know I've been railing about tabloid coverage ever since I started this blog, but never before have I found the show quite so, well, boring. 360 has become the Muzak of cable news.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


sadly my dear, this is a sinking ship. It has been for quite some time. No one seems to give a flying crap about attempting to fix it, not even Mr Cooper himself.
He is just 'there' now.

I guess I long for the old AC360, that will never be. Mores so, I long for the old Anderson Cooper to wake up, come back to life and go somewhere to do something worthwhile again!
Remember(insert name of any place he has been) lately, Anderson?
I guess not.

How pathetic and sad is it when I now prefer to watch the 'fake guys' at night?
They seem to be better at it nowadays.

Throwing in the towel? I think I did a long time ago, and it seems foolish to wish for a decent show perhaps. Silly me, I really thought CNN and dear Andy gave a ****.

The same anon again.

8:05 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

360 still usually gets CNN its highest ratings, though that might not be saying much these days. If the show is sinking, there are others at the network who will drown first.

3:52 AM  

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