Tuesday, April 20, 2010

South Park Creators Threatened, More On The Iceland Volcano (Otherwise Known As Stan), And Michael Douglas's Son Charged With Drug Dealing

Hi everyone. Tonight we're kicking it off with...um, I don't exactly know. Glee ran long and I was distracted by its complete awesomeness. When I flipped over, Drew Griffin was on my screen. Yay? And they were talking about South Park. Um, what? Okay, from what I can make out, in continuing their quest to absolutely piss off everyone they possibly can, Trey Parker and Matt Stone put the prophet Mohammad in a bear suit. It was a compromise with Comedy Central. Yeah.

Now a radical group has laid down a kind of fatwa on the South Park creators because they feel it's highly offensive for the prophet Mohammad to be shown--even, apparently, in a bear suit. It's a bit of an exercise in passive aggressiveness, actually. The group's website is like, this isn't a threat, but you're probably going to end up like Theo van Gogh. Not a threat. It's like an FYI. With stabbing.

I have a question: is 360 really leading with a story about South Park? Yeah, yeah, it's not really about the show. I know. But the whole radical-Muslims-going-nuts-over-portrayals-of-Mohammad thing isn't new. Anyway, for discussion we're joined by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the writer of Theo van Gogh's film. I'm just going to assume you're familiar.

I'm not exactly an Ali fan. I'm with her on her views of freedom of speech; not so much on Islam. She doesn't seem to make any distinction between the moderate and radical factions of the religion, and thus alienates some of the very people who would normally be on her side. It bugs me a bit that she's allowed to go on these news shows and come off much more sympathetic than she would if her past statements were revealed. But you can't deny she's led quite a life. You can check out profiles of her here and here.

Transitioning back to that volcano in Iceland, which I have renamed Stan. Yes, I wield that kind of power. Our intrepid correspondent Gary Tuchman is still on-the-ground, and in a report from him we get to see, well, what he didn't see. Zero visibility looking out from inside of the car. Ash, ash, everywhere. We're also shown footage from Gary's helicopter ride. Craziness. I like how he tells us their pilot was "a very good one." That's what I would have went with too.

Then we're on to Chad Myers talking about, you know, weather stuff. Says Chad: "I'm going to call it the E-15 volcano -- because I can't say it." Apparently he hasn't heard we're now calling it Stan. Also? I love his description of the volcano's lightening: "It's like a million little people rubbing their feet on the carpet, making shocks and making sparks in the winter time when the humidity is low." From now on I'm totally going to think of teeny little feet every time I see lightening.

Now time for the business side of the story with Richard Quest, who unfortunately for him, is still stranded. The good news is that a lot of planes are flying again, thanks in part to adjusting the levels of what's deemed safe to fly through. I dunno. Seems like the Civil Aviation Authority might be bowing to pressure from the airlines. In any regards, if you don't have to travel? "They're barking mad if they actually go anywhere near an airport and you don't actually have to get on a plane," says Richard. You heard it here.

Moving on to a Randi Kaye piece about Michael Douglas's son Cameron, who has been charged with dealing drugs. Meh. This is followed by discussion with Jeffrey Toobin and addiction specialist...Dr. Reef Karim? What have you done with Dr. Drew?! Yay for at least having on someone else, though if it were up to me, this entire segment wouldn't even exist. I mean, here we have a legal expert who wrote a freaking book on the Supreme Court, and instead of discussing today's decision, we're focused on some celebrity's kid. Because that makes sense. You're kinda killing me here, 360.

That'll do it for me. I didn't look for the "shot" because I think we've seen enough mascot falls. Again, not their best night. Gary has pretty much been carrying the show for the past two days. South Park. Cameron Douglas. WTF? I hope they're going back to Haiti soon. Perhaps I'm being unfair because 360 had the unfortunate experience of being sandwiched between what were truly great episodes of Glee and The Daily Show. Still. They can do so much better.

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