Wednesday, April 14, 2010

China Earthquake, Wall Street Reform Politics, Investigating The Sons of Confederate Veterans, And Interview With Demi Moore About Haiti

Hi everyone. I got distracted with something and am starting this post way later than usual, so I'm sorry to say you're going to get the mostly-abbreviated version tonight. We begin with the dreaded "breaking news" graphic, which they are using for the China earthquake that happened many hours previously.

We've got John Vause coming at us live from on-the-ground, and you have to hand it to CNN, this is where they kick their competitors' asses and live up to that whole news thing. Earthquake in China? We've got a guy live in a remote region where Buddhist monks are digging for survivors. I just don't understand why they only use these resources when something huge is happening.

This story, obviously, is horrible. Almost 600 dead and counting. To my knowledge, earthquakes are not increasing by year, but admittedly I'm beginning to feel a bit of a "the universe is pissed off" kinda vibe. And we haven't even hit hardcore hurricane season yet.

Next up, we have a Tom Foreman piece that uses the Magic Wall to bring us a bit of awesome honesty-keeping. The real kind. See, Chris Dodd and Mitch McConnell are having a spat because the latter is calling financial reform legislation "tax-payer funded bailouts." Tom then plays us their statements and tells us the real deal with context and everything. Wow. Can we maybe do this again, like, EVERY NIGHT?

Are you feeling pundit depleted after that mad fact-checking? Fear not! It's time for some pontification with Paul Begala and Alex Castellanos. They talk about Frank Luntz, Republican word manipulator dude, and how he came up with the "tax-payer funded bailout" phrase before Dodd's legislation was even released. Classy!

Blah, blah, blah. Anderson Cooper, who I don't think I've mentioned yet (he's there, sometimes I just forget to add him in!) calls Alex out for using buzz words, so kudos for that. But the pull clip would be when Paul demonstrates McConnell's ridiculousness by presenting us with his (Paul's) receding hairline. Perhaps I should elaborate. "I actually have a thick and lustrous head of hair. So, the question is, what are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" ask Paul. Get it? Oh that Begala...

Then he adds, "Maybe I should put that on my forehead. This is not a bailout, Mitch." This was made extra amusing for me because I initially thought he said, "This is not a bailout, bitch." For a good second or so my jaw was on the floor and I was wondering why Anderson was not wearing his shocked face. How do you think that would have gone? Would Alex have been like, "oh no you din't!" Also? Dear Crash the Party, if you actually exist, you are asshats and totally not helping.

Moving on now to a Joe Johns piece that delves into that Sons of Confederate Veterans group. You know, the ones who think the Civil War wasn't about slavery. The verdict? The Southern Poverty Law Center says they're not a hate group, though they are keeping a watchful eye. I'm not really sure why 360 keeps coming back to this story, but I have no complaints with this piece. They are 100 times better when they are reporting, rather than letting two yahoos pointlessly yell at each other.

The "Big 360" interview tonight is with Demi Moore, who just returned from her first trip to Haiti. She talks about the DNA Foundation, which she co-founded with Ashton Kutcher to end sex slavery. The restavec system is noted. I honestly don't know what to think about this interview. I'm always down with attention being brought to these causes--even if it has to be done with a celebrity--but most of this was about Haiti and she's been there all of one time. It became about her experiences. (Note: I have absolutely nothing against Moore and think she's doing a good thing.)

This isn't like with Sean Penn who is running his own camp and can bring us actual on-the-ground updates. Also, doesn't CNN have anyone in Haiti? At the top of this I praised their resources, but this segment just makes me confused. Does 360 think we'd rather see celebrities than reporting from journalists? I feel like they're not giving us enough credit. Reading CNN's recent press and then watching the network is a weird experience. I read a quote from Anderson about reporting and then he's interviewing comedian Chelsea Handler. I don't know what they're doing anymore. Do they? An entertainment segment (say once weekly) designated as such would probably make stuff like that less weird.

Finally tonight, Randi Kaye has a crime piece, but I'm skipping. Sorry Randi.

The "shot" tonight is a kitty investigating an iPad. Yesterday they showed a dog attacking his own shadow. "It's only fair that if we show dogs, we show cats, as well," says our anchor. The balance has even seeped into their adorable animal videos! That'll do it.

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