Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CT Scans And Cancer, The Latest On Health Care Reform, Earmark Reporting Sans Context, And Talking To Larry King About "Nine"

Hi everyone. We're going a tad unconventional tonight and kicking things off with health news. The skinny? ZOMG, CT scans will give you cancer! Okay, actually, no. Well, maybe. Basically what researchers have found is that no one really knows how much radiation you're getting when you undergo a CT scan, and that could possibly lead to 15,000 deaths per year. It's obviously a legitimate story, but I still can't help hearing "Dun dun dun!" in my head. Why? Well, because 72 million CT scans are performed in this country every year, some of them no doubt saving lives. I wouldn't say the risks outweigh the benefits.

My guess is this is our lede tonight because Anderson Cooper saw the report and got a wee bit freaked out. Our anchor notes that he's undergone these scans due to a history of heart disease on his father's side. In fact, the Big Wall is employed to show us one of his scans performed in 2004. Weird. Then we talk with Sanjay Gupta, because this is a medical story, so it's required. I actually join Anderson in the crappy my-dad-had-heart-disease club, and have had more than my share of tests, yet I'm still not the least bit freaked about this. It's always something. Good to know, but not something I'll be losing sleep over.

Transitioning now back to the Big Wall to take a look at how President--excuse me--Senator Lieberman took down health care reform. The math is done. You know the deal here, people: 60 votes needed. The Dems had 58, which left two more votes to get from a pool of Lieberman, Ben Nelson, and Olympia Snowe. Now party leadership is trying to buy Joe-mentum's vote by ditching all the best parts of the bill. If you're looking to join the "I hate Joe Lieberman" club, raise your hand. I get to be president.

Dana Bash actually sat down with the current most hated man in D.C. for a short interview. Lieberman claims this isn't a vendetta against the Left, which I think is crap. We all know he felt burned when he was primaried out of the party. And yes, he is that petty. This guy was hated long before health care reform (hence the primarying). Whenever the Republicans needed a Democrat to provide bi-partisan support to whatever idiotic legislation they had cooking, Joe was there. Standing on principles? Puhleese. Love of attention, more like it. Lieberman tells Dana that he doesn't enjoy being hated. Well, there's a real simple solution for that: stop being such a dick.

For discussion of this, Dana sticks around and we're joined by Michael Gerson and Tanya Acker. One point brought up is that Lieberman just left the door open to run as a Republican. After everything he's putting the Democrats through. See what I mean about being a dick? Can't say I'm surprised though. From what I understand, he won his seat as an Independent by getting the Republican vote. Anyway, this whole thing has left me with a strong urge to throw my shoe at the television. Definitely not the first time, won't be the last. Best to move on now before I have to self-impose another cable news ban like the one I had after my 2005 Robert Novak-inspired incident. Ahem.

Next up, earmarks! Oh joy. See, when it comes to reporting on the little buggers, CNN has a history of being...oh, what's the word I'm looking for? Bad. That's it. They have a history of being bad. But they're persistent (and consistent) about it, as they've been on the story for years. Back in 2007, there was no transparency with earmarks, which is a legitimate issue and I supported their reporting at the time. But now the rules have changed, yet our 360 peeps are still pretty much going, "ZOMG, earmarks!"

Joe Johns takes us to the Big Wall for a breakdown of some of the pork in the new omnibus spending bill. One item mentioned is $655,000 for equipment at the Institute for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research in Los Angeles. As someone with a family member who is having a horrific time dealing with IBS, I fail to see how this is outrage-inducing or laughable. That's the thing about earmarks; one person's unnecessary spending is a Godsend to someone else. I could go on and on about my problems with this coverage, but actually, been there, done that.

Earlier this year, my friend Arachnae did a guest post about the subject, which is unfortunately just as relevant today. Give it a read if you're so inclined. After Joe, Anderson has an interview with Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) who is advocating that Obama veto the omnibus bill due to the spending. Good luck with that.

Transitioning now to Larry King sitting with Anderson in studio to talk about the interview he just did with the cast of "Nine." No, really! I'm not complaining, but it's a little strange. To make it stranger, Anderson asks which of the ladies caught Larry's eye. Says the suspendered-one: "Fergie ain't bad." Oh, now that's just disturbing. Dude, you're like 157-years-old. Don't be the creepy old man. I'm just sayin'.

Then there's discussion about the singing by the actors and how they hadn't done that before (except Nicole Kidman has, but hey, who's counting). Next thing I know, they're talking about the Johnny Cash movie "Walk the Line" and Anderson is telling us he bought the soundtrack, which features Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix. This was one of the very rare nights where I was watching with someone else. Said my viewing partner to Anderson: "Why don't you just buy a Johnny Cash album?" Yes Anderson, why?

The "shot" tonight is our anchor being his charming self on Live with Regis and Kelly. There's confuzzlement over eyebrows, an impersonation of a botoxed lip-injected person in denial...oh, the fun was had. You can watch the host chat here. And hey, bonus inbox! Just because. Don't say I never get you anything.

The show was okay. I found the top story choice and the Larry King segment both to be a little odd, but not bad. Can't be as charitable about the earmark coverage. And the Lieberman stuff makes me want to pull my hair out, though I suppose I can't really blame 360 for that one. That'll do it.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com