Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Political Spin, The Maine Same-Sex Marriage Decision, And New Report On Phillip Garrido

Hi everyone. Welcome to the post-election glow. Well, if there was a glow, which there is not. Pop a Dramamine kids, because this might get dizzying. On the Democratic side, Nancy Pelosi is all "yay!" about the New York win. While Republican head Michael Steele is crowing about the pickups in Virginia and New Jersey. You spin me right round, baby, right round, like a record, baby, right round, round, round.

As for our friends at CNN, well, they've got some spinning of their own to do. Despite going all out with their super-special election coverage, the network came in a devastating last place in the ratings. Embarrassing? Hells yes. But I'm not sure this is actually the death blow some are making it out to be.

We all know that CNN has a lower base viewership than the partisan networks. They get their viewers when news happens. Last night was supposed to be one of those signature viewer-getting events, but was it really? Let's face it, CNN totally forced this election coverage, hoping to recreate 2008. In reality, most of the public wasn't even paying attention. And even of those who were invested, the most energized were the conservatives and CNN will NEVER get them.

I maintain that the network has major problems and I don't believe their current model is sustainable, but it's also not all going to come crumbling down in less than a year (I'm measuring from 2008). The brand is too strong. I'd be curious to know though if the brand is viewed the same by all generations. I suspect it's not. I suspect the younger crowd is more apt to hit social networking sites for "breaking news," rather than turn on CNN. Now THAT'S worth worrying about.

Anyhoo! Tom Foreman is here to talk about the "sea change" among independents. Ooh, there were changes in the seas! Meh. You know, I blogged the whole 2008 election season (all two years of it!) and the media was so spectacularly wrong on so many occasions, I tend to only hear the Charlie Brown teacher voice when they start talking independents and what they mean. Of note though is Tom telling us poll percentages of people who are "scared" or "angry" or whatever. The numbers are high, BUT just last night, Soledad noted that the numbers from last year were actually higher. Ladies and gentleman, we're experiencing a bit of context-fail tonight--please buckle your seat belts.

Moving on now to an interview with Liz Cheney to talk politics. Oh joy. Were the Bush twins not available? What do the Gore kids have to say? Despite the last name, is there any reason we should be listening to anything this woman says? The Wikipedia says she has State Department experience (which doesn't really apply here) and worked on the campaigns of Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney. Thompson and Romney--now there's some resume boosters. Did Thompson's campaign ever even get off the ground? Dun-dun!

You've probably guessed that I have no interest in what she says, though I will note that she got in an ACORN reference right off the bat. These people are hilarious. She also talked about "nationalized" health care, which isn't even on the table. Anderson Cooper didn't follow up on that one, but he did fairly okay with the overall interview.

Next up, we have an interview with Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. Yes we can...sell a book! Aw, I kid David. Sorta. He is selling a book and that's why he's doing the show circuit. I'd wager he's also the reason we got saddled with Liz Cheney. CNN and their lovely forced "balance." This is definitely one of the network's top problems. The show wanted to have on Plouffe, but felt they couldn't without matching him with a Republican. Thing is, Obama campaign manager DOES NOT equal Fred Thompson campaign worker.

The whole left/right match up is getting very tired. Have on the news maker of whatever party and hold them accountable. Yes, if a guest is allowed to do a monologue and then there's no one from the other side, I'm going to be peeved, but otherwise? It's okay. Of course, I'm probably one of the few people left that think 360 at least strives to be an objective show, so perhaps I'm not one to go by on this issue.

As for the interview, the only thing of note to me was when Anderson was asking where all the grass roots organizing went, noting the tea party protests. "Well, the tea party protests were loud and irresponsible, so they got coverage on shows like yours," says David. Oh snap! Ouch. But not untrue.

Transitioning now to the equality defeat in Maine. Don't make me put you on my "list," Maine. Alaska is on that list. Just sayin'. Anyhoo! So we gotta debate this sucker out. Joining us to do just that are Evan Wolfson, founder of the organization Freedom to Marry, and...Tony Perkins. When Perkins was introduced, I had to crack up. I had been chatting with some long-time 360 viewers and during the run-down at the top of the show, one commented: "Dear God, if Tony Perkins shows up I'm turning the channel." Show up he did, and channel was changed by many of my chat-mates.

My point in relaying that little anecdote, is that it really shows just how stale 360 has become. We know the guests before they even announce them. We know the conversation before we even hear it. I'll admit that personally I'm into this story, so these debates usually hold my interest. But I can completely understand why others would go for the remote, even when they care about the topic.

Where's the unconventional thinking? Instead of the same old debate, why not actually send someone to Maine to speak to the voters? Why not show us a gay family and the real consequences decisions like Maine's have? I know stuff like that requires more time and effort than talking heads in a box, but people are sick of the talking heads in a box.

Moving on to Randi Kaye who has details of a damning report recently issued related to the Phillips Garrido case. I'm going to wrap this up, so I'm leaving out the numbers, but pretty much the authorities and parole agents failed in, like, every way possible. Unbelievable. Jobs should be lost over this. After Randi, we get legal analysis from Jeffrey Toobin and Lisa Bloom.

Erica Hill has the "360 Bulletin" and we learn that one-time
Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, has a sex tape. In which she's alone. Oh my. Jesus will not be pleased. The "shot" tonight is a dog massage video. Yes, it sounds weird, but I'll admit it made me giggle. The show was...uh, I'll get back to you.

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