Monday, December 14, 2009

How The Lieberman Stole Real Health Care Reform, Bailout Blues, James Arthur Ray Employee Speaks, And Chicago Violence Discussed

Hi everyone. Happy New Week! I'm a bit short on time, so this will have to be one of those lovely abbreviated reviews. There's a lot to get to tonight. On we go! The broadcast kicks off with the "breaking news" that our Democratic leadership is once again contemplating completely rolling over on important legislation in order to placate attention-seeking cry babies. That deal with the Medicare buy-in they just finagled last week? Forget about it.

According to Dana Bash, word on the D.C. street is that whole thing is getting scrapped because Senator Joe Lieberman isn't happy. That's right, it all comes down to one asshole. And if you think I'm being pejorative now, you should have heard what I called him when I initially read the news. The big irony here is that Lieberman is on record as being a supporter of the Medicare buy-in.

What changed? Dana tells us Lieberman's people says it's the deficit, but I call BS. Look, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that some people are going to do anything they can to see that the health care reform bill dies. What flummoxes me is how our friends at 360 continue to ignore the relationships our Congresscritters have with the health insurance industry. Hello! Lieberman and Aetna? At least they had the Medicare buy-in video, which to my amusement, Anderson Cooper referred to as a "flip flop." I was kinda expecting to have to add that in myself. I'm not sure what that says.

Moving on to our anchor hitting the Big Wall for some bailout breakdowns. We've got the whole outrage regarding lobbyists and bonuses going on here. Then Ed Henry pops in to tell us that President Obama is really letting the bankers have it...with his words. Action? Not so much. Also, I've yet to give the big Matt Taibbi piece that's recently being discussed around the interwebs a good read, but I'd love to see his perspective on the show.

New segment name alert: "Insider's Briefing." Oooh, fancy. Who's the insider? David Gergen of course. As if you had to ask. He's here to talk about Obama's no good, very bad week. But I'd like to begin with my own question: What has happened to our Gerg? Ok, yes, he's always been a bit of a Villager, but we tolerated it--even grew to find it adorable. Now though? It's like he's entrenched in that beltway bubble and dude is it annoying.

Case in point, he talks about how the liberals are upset about the death of the public option. All of the D.C. elite keep trying to equate the PO with far left thinking, when in reality, it's more popular than the overall bill. It has more than just liberal support. Another annoyance was the Gerg deeming the PO and Medicare buy-in as first steps to single payer. I'll give him the buy-in, but if he actually listened to the arguments on the left, the PO has always been about holding insurance companies accountable. Oh, also? Oprah! As in, this segment contained an Oprah clip. Because this is 360 and it is therefore mandatory.

Transitioning now to Gary Tuchman live in the studio. He's still on the case of James Arthur Ray and recently sat down with one of the self-help guru's former employees, Melinda Martin. She was there that night that three people died in the sweat lodge. Once again, Ray's callousness and indifference to the situation around him is relayed. Melinda says he left while victims lay dying. She herself performed CPR.

As for the woman who committed suicide, the guru flat out lied when Melinda asked him if she had been found. Ray assured her she had, but she had decided not to return to the event. While it's true she did not return, one might quibble with the word "decided," given her being dead and all. Melinda also tells us 10 people might be indicted, though she doesn't know specifics. From Gary we learn that Ray is still allowing people to sign up for courses next year, but he canceled the seminars a few days after Gary's team crashed one of them. Go Ismael!

Moving on to tape of T.J. Holmes sitting down with Vashon Bullock, a Chicago teen involved in the fight that left Derrion Albert dead. Vashon's brother Eugene Riley was there as well, and is now one of the teens charged with the crime. This is pretty depressing. Though police maintain that Darrion was an honor student who inadvertently was caught up in the fight, Vashon claims it simply a situation that got out of hand. Someone is dead, but he doesn't feel anyone needs to be held accountable. It's sad he thinks so little of life.

After the piece, we're joined by Steve Perry for discussion. Steve points out Vashon's inarticulateness and ties that back to education. Anderson notes, as I have on this blog previously, that all the same things keep being said, but nothing ever actually changes. He's only referring to government officials--I'd expand that to include these segments. What do you do though? I suppose depressing repetitive coverage is better than no coverage at all. Most other outlets have the "no coverage at all" angle, well, covered. Also? I think Steve implied Chicago is more dangerous than Afghanistan. Um...yeah...I don't think being hyperbolic really helps the situation.

The last segment of the night is the requisite Tiger Woods coverage. At least they dumped it last. I couldn't even watch Friday. I mean, top story? Puhleese. Anyway, your moment of WTF, courtesy of guest Rick Horrow: "(Tiger is) one of the most, if not the most, recognizable man in the history of the universe..." The history of the universe, huh? Wow. Well, mankind does love it's pro-golfers.

In tonight's "360 Bulletin" we learn there's a poor deer on the loose with Christmas lights wrapped around its antlers. Since antlers fall off, it has been decided (most likely by people who do not wish to chase after deer) the situation will be left up to nature. This is all reported by Erica Hill. Our anchor then goes into a spiel about deer and Grinches and...I actually stopped listening (which is ironic given the end of this little recap). The pertinent part is that the Silver Fox then ponders about the deer getting the lights off, leaving Charlie Moore to IFB him the info that Erica just said.

"I'm glad you were listening," she says. "Did you just say that?" asks our anchor. She confirms she did, he apologizes..., which would normally lead me to exclaim "You're not sorry!" except, uh, he kind does seem sorry. Anyway! I bring up this rather pointless exchange for two reasons: First, Anderson is always doing that. Poor Erica. I can't even count the number of times that I'm sitting here going, "dude, are you even paying attention to your own show?" Someone needs their listening ears!

As for the second reason, gratuitous Charlie Moore mention! C'mon, like I wasn't going to note that? I loves me some Charlie. And since he's so into having his name said on the TeeVee, I'm sure he's just as thrilled about being discussed on the interwebs. Him and Ted Fine. Why so shy?

The "shot" tonight is a kid playing a ukulele and singing Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours." I use the term "singing" loosely.

The show was pretty good. I like that we had a lot of variety. I'd like to see more investigative work regarding health care reform and the bailout. That'll do it.

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