Friday, May 28, 2010

Live From Louisiana For Coverage Of The BP Oil Spill And President Obama's Visit

Update 5/30/10: I've been notified that a Facebook page has been created in the hopes of getting someone from BP to go on 360. Couldn't hurt, right? If you've got your Angry Face on over this situation...join! The Internets are coming for you, BP!

Hi everyone. The bullet points were actually not expecting to be here because they thought they had plans. Que sera, sera. Consider this a bonus as you jump into your holiday weekend:
  • Tonight Anderson Cooper again used the phrase "B.S.," though there was no unintentionally comical apology this time. Apparently he is no longer concerned about our innocent ears. Again, think of the children!
  • So, BP might have bussed in extra workers to make things seem extra progress-y for President Obama. Raise your hand if this allegation shocks you. Yeah, that's what I thought. Can these people be in jail now please?
  • BP is still giving the Silver Fox the slip. Our anchor had them in his grasp; even had an interview scheduled. "We were very excited," he tells us, while managing to actually not sound excited at all. Unfortunately, when the whole bussed-in-extra-workers thing broke, BP stopped returning the 360 kids calls. Funny that. This has left our anchor extra hot and bothered: "...they will be on lots of other people's programs. I'm not sure why they won't be on this one. But I would welcome them. And I won't bite them or anything. I will be nice." Anderson Cooper will refrain from going mad vampire on your ass, Tony. What more could you ask for?! (Our anchor would be a hella hot vampire. There's totally a franchise there. Just sayin'.)
  • I missed most of the coverage of Obama's visit, but feel a little better after listening to Billy Nungesser. And of course I loved the part where he told Anderson that Obama had made him promise that when future problems arose, he would call the White House before contacting our anchor. Billy tries to keep talking and Anderson's like, wait, WHAT? Back that up. "He actually said that? He didn't actually say that." Our anchor's all cool and everything, but you know that deep down that made him ridiculously excited.
  • More James Carville. More Douglas Brinkley. Both seemed to lean toward the more positive side regarding Obama's visit, though they wish he would have stayed longer and talked to locals. Fair, I guess. Although, I still think what Obama does is much more important than whether or not he looks like he cares. John Cole has another good post related to this subject. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite bloggers. Funny that he started out on the other side.
  • Carville on the BP fake workers accusation and whether or not it surprised him: "No, not at all. It would be very consistent with BP's behavior. They lie about everything and they fake everything, so I'm not surprised at all." Pretty much.
  • Much of what I don't like about Carville--all punditry, really--is the inauthenticity. They're performers--some more than others. They're spinning for their side, while at the same time trying to make a name for themselves. I find the majority of it disgusting. However, I bring this up because this situation is different. There's nothing inauthentic in what he's saying now. I will give him that.
  • But this from Carville had me rolling my eyes: "We don't like their beltways and Applebee's and, you know, the food they eat, anything like that, you know. We're different people here in South Louisiana." You don't like "their" beltways? Dude, you ARE beltway. And if the situation were different, I'm betting Anderson would have called you on it...just like he did last time (word "dude" included!)
  • Anderson's piece with the oyster fishermen was good. I can't believe he ate one (an oyster, not a fisherman).
  • I liked the segment with Rob Marciano, David Mattingly, and Carol Costello. A good way to get a sum-up of several different reporting perspectives.
  • Anderson on BP: "They have so many PR people, so many lobbyists. It's not as if they're, like, country bumpkins who've never seen a TV camera before." There goes the country bumpkin demographic.
  • David on BP: "I really don't know how they see us, but I certainly know how everybody sees them." And more Anderson for good measure: "I think I know how they see this program, at least, because we haven't seen much of them." This is just eating at him, isn't it?
  • The oil plumes Rob talked about are kinda freaking me out. Rachel Maddow has been covering them and she just makes them sound scarier each night.
  • Anderson: "We've been reporting this for a long time. These guys are going to continue for a long time to come, as long as the story -- frankly, when many of the other cameras leave, we'll still be following this story. That's our commitment to the Gulf." The bitchy part of me immediately thought, "but what about your commitment to Haiti?" (We never got anything from Gary Tuchman.) The part of me that's mostly nice knows they're just trying their best to cover everything, so as I opened this post, que sera, sera.
  • Sorry to all you reading who didn't actually watch the broadcast. I know these bullet points didn't really explain much. I will try to work on being more service-y in the future. These shows from the gulf have been good.
  • Finally, to lighten the mood a little, Anderson Cooper can we talk about your new glasses? Because you've got a whole lot of fail going on there. The Harry Potter look works for Rachel Maddow. You? Not so much. You're messing with your brand. You are he of the silver locks and eyes of blue. Now people are just like, whoa, glasses. Don't interfere with the pretty! You want something unobtrusive: wire rims, probably in silver. Silver rims for a Silver Fox. You can thank me later. (Also? All this time I thought he was squinting and furrowing because the news was just So Intense. Now it dawns on me that maybe he just couldn't see well. I guess we're all Angela Chase and we just discovered Jordan uses eye drops.)
  • This bullet point contains some yummy barbeque. Have a nice Memorial Day! Don't forget to think about the troops.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Continued Live Coverage From Louisiana Of The BP Oil Leak Disaster With Extra Anger At BP

Hi everyone. The bullet points are a bit tired because they had to get up early this morning. They will try to maintain an adequate level of awesomeness. On with the show:
  • BP, Anderson Cooper is not happy that you will not come on his show. "BP doesn't come on this program for some reason, though we invite them to every single night, but, this morning, they did appear on other shows." Why are you playing favorites, BP?! You are giving Anderson sad face. No, actually, it's more like irritated face plus the energy of one Red Bull. Way to go, BP. Now look what you've done. Well, you know, besides that whole catastrophic oil leak and everything.
  • Yes, this was very much a "we hate BP" kinda night. An awesome thing about our anchor is that the more you avoid him, the more it pisses him off, sometimes even resulting in snarkiness. See: Palin, Sarah.
  • Aw, Billy Nungesser looked so dejected tonight. I don't think that he even has the energy to be angry anymore. Hang in there, Billy!
  • Douglas Brinkley is quickly becoming my new favorite person. He's reasonable and thoughtful and full context. Those qualities might seem obvious, but they are rare in cable news, people. He's like the Gerg before the Gerg went all Villager on us. I mean, check this out: "'s unacceptable to trust BP. Whatever they say is meant to minimize situations. They haven't been transparent." *Claps* Yes! As I said before, our default thinking should be that they are lying.
  • I'd never even heard of Congressman Charlie Melancon before today, but that clip of him getting choked up over his home was heartbreaking.
  • Regarding Obama's presser, I can't fully weigh in because I didn't watch. (Some of us have to work, yo.) I did, however, try to skim along on Twitter. Seems like Obama just did okay. You'd think that someone would maybe fully brief the president on the whole MMS head situation before he spoke to the entire country, but apparently not. Lordie.
  • As previously stated, I'm not a huge James Carville fan. And I'm really not a huge Mary Matalin fan. Given that, I guess it was practically inevitable that we'd have a pretty long segment with them tonight. In all honesty though, it wasn't bad. I don't have anything stupid to point out.
  • Actually, the entire broadcast was shockingly lacking in idiotic narratives. I was steeling myself for the inevitable panel discussion about why Obama didn't act angry enough, something which apparently happened after the presser. But it never came on 360! Instead, there was, like, reporting and stuff. Weird.
  • The post I linked to makes an interesting point regarding Bush's Katrina flyover picture. It got big play in the press, but for me it ranked pretty low on the list of items that pissed me off in that situation. Just like how I was never that impressed with the 9-11 "bullhorn moment." Is it just me or is this just another case of media stupidity? Shouldn't we want our leaders to actually get things done, rather than just play the part of someone who looks like a leader? Tomorrow I want Obama to go down there and basically act like a huge-ass pair of scissors. Red tape. Snip, snip. And I don't give a damn if he's holding a bullhorn, or has his sleeves rolled up, or is walking around in a hazmat suit wearing an Angry Face when he does it.
  • Also worth reading: Why BP is the Anti-Katrina. The Katrina comparisons have so infuriated me because in that situation people were dying due to lack of basic items, such as water and shelter. Water! We have water! What was so unacceptable about that situation is that we had resources and plans and everyone was just dropping the ball. This oil thing is completely different. Unless we've got some sort of storage facility that contains super magic oil stopping machines and Obama just hasn't distributed them yet, well, I fail to see the comparison.
  • Ed Lavandera's piece was pretty depressing. You know those fisherman are just going to get screwed over.
  • It was nice that 360 gave some coverage to the 11 men who died on the rig. They've mostly been treated as a mere afterthought in all of this, and I include myself in that statement. It's not right. Keith Jones testified on Capitol Hill today due to the loss of his son Gordon. This quote from him is sadly too true: "If you want these companies, one of which is headquartered in Great Britain and another in Switzerland, to make every effort to make sure their employees don't act as these did, putting American lives at risk, you must make certain they are exposed to pain in the only place they can feel it, their bank accounts. As a friend recently said, make them hurt where their heart would be if they had a heart."
  • The Death on the High Seas Act sounds like it definitely needs to be amended.
  • Well, I finally got my Coast Guard interview...and Admiral Thad Allen did not impress. I've heard good things about him in the past, but he didn't really seem to have a real grasp on the situation. We'll just have to wait and see.
  • Good piece from Rob Marciano. Sounds like another way BP is being shady.
  • There wasn't much amusement for me to squeeze out for you tonight, but the show was good. Tomorrow should be interesting. I'm a little nervous. Don't screw this up, Obama. Remember, you got this.
  • This bullet point contains a rainbow, but no pot of gold. I'm generous; I'm not that generous.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Continued Live Coverage From Louisiana Of The BP Oil Leak Disaster

Hi everyone. The road trip continues, now with more oil! Man, this is DEpressing. Luckily, the bullet points remain awesome. Away we go:
  • While I am very loath to make Hurricane Katrina comparisons, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser is totally this disaster's Junior Rodriguez. All we need is for him to say "bullshit" live on air.
  • Our anchor's piece:

  • Apparently, the red tape is out of control. Ah, government. Of course, I'd take them over BP any day. Also? Kenneth the Page appears to be doing a fairly good job. He might recover from that Republican rebuttal just yet.
  • I am not impressed with the ragin' cajun schtick, but I've never been a fan of James Carville to begin with. So there's that. This Newsweek piece takes on his criticism of Obama and hits on some of what has me bothered.
  • The weird part is that both Nungesser and Carville swear Obama cares; he just apparently hasn't been properly informed of the situation. Um, does that make anyone else worried? Maybe heads really do need to roll, but I want them to roll because someone actually screwed up; not to give political cover. I don't know what to think of the situation right now. Friday will be interesting.
  • Our anchor REALLY wants you to come to New Orleans, people.
  • Anderson to Nungesser re: BP: "Do you think they have just been dishonest with you? And, if so, why? What is their motive?" Their motive? Um, covering their ass to protect their bottom line? Does anyone actually think there's another explanation?
  • More from our anchor: ", just as we have done every day for weeks now, literally weeks, we invited BP's CEO, Tony Hayward, to come on 360. Again today, the answer was no. He does the morning shows. Maybe he doesn't want to stay up late. We will stay up. I will wake up early to talk to him as a service to viewers, so you can hear the company's side, because we do want the company to be able voice their side." Anderson Cooper will set his alarm for you, Tony! And aw, it's very sweet of him to be service-y like that for us.
  • Still more: "We put the one and only interview we have done with a BP executive, not Mr. Hayward, online at Take a look at the interview. See if maybe you think I did something in that interview that would make them not want to come back on this program. I can't, for the life of me, figure it out. I did a lot of research for the interview, but I think they're up to it." Okay, please tell me this is extreme subtle snarking and he is not actually scratching his head over why Hayward won't come on the show. Perhaps, Anderson, he has seen you on the TeeVee being all impassioned and stuff and he knows you will politely rip him a new one. Like a Jedi. Does oil jerk want the big headline at Huffington Post to be "Anderson Cooper Demolishes BP's Tony Hayward"? No, he does not. Does he want a viral video of him looking a-fool? Nope. So there you go. Also, I laughed out loud when our anchor said he did a lot of research for that interview. Aw, yes you did. I swear Anderson Cooper, sometime you're just too adorable.
  • Interesting interview with Zygmunt Plater.
  • The ATF story was definitely important, but couldn't it have been run anytime? We still haven't gotten any coverage of Gary Tuchman in Haiti. Here's what I found online:

  • I've been doing a fair amount of defending of our prez (and still don't believe this is his Katrina), but the news from Ed Henry that he attended a fundraiser for Gordon and Ann Getty of the Getty oil fortune is just unacceptable. Bad Obama, bad! If I see a picture of you with a senator and a birthday cake, you're sooo going on my list.
  • Obviously Anderson and David Gergen have entered a conspiracy to drive me crazy. From our anchor: "David, you said something the other night to me which I've been thinking about a lot. You said, if we fought World War II with the same kind of attitude and energy with which the government is fighting this, a lot of us would be speaking German. Do you still believe that?" Oh good lord. Okay, I'm not a historian, but didn't we go through some massive messed up periods during WWII? Did neither of them watch Flags of Our Fathers? Or, like, any true-to-life movie/documentary on the subject? Anderson, I know you've seen Fog of War. Romanticizing the past only gets us into trouble in the present. But I guess history really is written by the victors.
  • People are apparently emailing our anchor in defense of Obama (not me, people. I swear!). He goes on to tell us two things he thinks the federal government could have done: NOAA could have figured out how much oil was actually leaking and the EPA could have done more tests on dispersants. "Those are two things that--and again, I'm not particularly smart, but I can see on the ground here, those two things are things the federal government could have done in answer to the e- mails I'm getting." Dude. You're not particularly smart? I think that goes a little beyond self deprecation. I mean, could you have your own cable show if you weren't particularly smart? Okay, bad example. But stop saying that. It gives me sad face. Listen to me Anderson Cooper, you're good enough, you're smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you. As for what he said about the government, would it have truly helped? Hell if I know, but we'll just assume that it would.
  • The 360 kids are staying in the gulf through Friday. It'd be cool if Anderson could get an interview with Obama. I think he has a better shot at that than BP oil jerk.
  • That'll do it. Sorry this post was more inside-baseball than usual. This bullet point contains Cheetos, mostly just because I'm craving Cheetos. They can't all be winners, people.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Live From Port Fourchon, Louisiana For Coverage Of The BP-Created Oil Disaster

Hi everyone. Road trip! I hope you didn't forget your toothbrush...or your hazmat suit. Tonight the 360 kids came at us live from Port Fouchon, Louisiana, to give us an on-the-ground look at what is turning out to be a disaster of unimaginable proportions. Earlier today, I was watching BriWi and he reported that if we don't get this oil leak plugged, it's just going to keep leaking throughout our lifetime. I don't even know how to put into words how bad that would be. Can we send BP to Gitmo? No? Fiiiine. On with the bullet points!:
  • Tonight is Glee night and I was subsequently a minute or two late to the 360 party. When I flipped over to CNN, all I saw was a big white marshmallow on the beach, talking at me with Anderson Cooper's voice. The top part of my satellite's info screen was still up, cutting his head off, so literally all I saw was the white. Amusing. Also? When did they start making hazmat suits out of white trash bags?
  • I keep hearing about problems regarding communication with the Coast Guard. I'm assuming no one related is doing interviews? I'd like to hear their side. They kicked ass during Hurricane Katrina.
  • This is my special bullet point where we all cross our fingers and pray the top kill thing works.
  • I like that they continue to report on the corruption within the Mineral Management Service (Tom Foreman's piece), though I hope in the future we get some more context. That's not a criticism and it's not directed specifically at 360. I was reading about the inspector general's report earlier today and wondered what percentage of MMS employees had actually engaged in the abhorrent behavior/conflicts of interest. How far gone is this agency?
  • David Gergen! I guess it's true that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. There's been a bit of love lost between the Gerg and I lately. Okay, well, probably just on my end, given that I don't think he knows of my existence (if he did, he would cry sad, sad tears over my lost love!). But we haven't seen much of him lately and I was generally happy when his reasonableness popped up on my TeeVee.
  • And he was very reasonable during the panel with Douglas Brinkley on Obama's leadership. Mostly. I was totally into the discussion...and then the Gerg said this: "Doug Brinkley may think this is stretching a little too far, but I do believe that, if our government had fought World War II the way we're fighting the oil spill, there's a good chance many of us would be speaking German today." While I do appreciate that he basically gave us a disclaimer that he was about to say something crazy (who else but the Gerg would do that?), duuuude. Really? Since when did the Gerg start saying the lines of a curmudgeonly sitcom dad? Stick to being reasonable, Gergen! By the way, I love that the response from Douglas, the historian, was simply to stare, speechless.
  • Douglas Brinkley is a smart man. Made some good points about how Obama needs to step it up, but also kept the situation in context. Though I'm sure he's right about the political ramifications, I personally disagree that Obama needs to be emotive. As long as our prez is doing his Jedi moves behind-the-scenes, that's good enough for me. Whether or not that's happening, I couldn't tell you.
  • Anderson Cooper brought up Katrina again: "...for a president who watched Katrina and saw the failures of the Bush administration--and there were failures, also, on the state and local level, we all know in Katrina. But for a president who saw that and was very critical of it to now find himself in a situation in which he's being criticized for the lack of response or lack of coordination is kind of stunning." Meh. There are so many different variables here. I've been talking to a New Orleans friend and one thing I find almost comforting is that, unlike during Katrina, there seems to be a real willingness among all levels of government to work together. That's great if true, and I tip my hat to Bobby Jindal. Unfortunately, this time around everyone has to deal with the idiots at BP, which completely changes the ballgame.
  • I wasn't really that bugged by our anchor's comments tonight because the fact of the matter is that the narrative will change on Friday when Obama visits the gulf. And whether that change is for the worse or for the better will likely be his own doing. Don't screw this up, Obama. Step it up and stay away from photo-ops.
  • While I'm currently tepid in my criticism of our president, I have to say, if he opts to "move forward" rather than unleashing the Justice Department on BP, I will be the first one to cheer if 360 goes after him.
  • Rob Marciano's piece and Jack Hanna's segment were disturbing. This is a monumental ecological disaster. (Also, Rob wears scruffy well. I'm just sayin'.)
  • Ed Lavandera has been doing a really nice job with the dispersants story. I don't trust the EPA. The Bush administration destroyed that agency, and unless they've since completely cleaned house and I didn't hear about it, they're still worthless.
  • Well, Anderson's just a big "shot" tease, isn't he? He's all like, usually this is where we show you something to make you smile before bed, but tonight we're just going to further bum you out by showing you more oil. Okay, it's possible that's not exactly how he said it. But dudes, if ever there was a need for a cute animal video. Yes, yes, tone wasn't appropriate. Still. Sad face.
  • So okay, Gary Tuchman is in Haiti where there is lots of news happening and I haven't seen him anywhere on my TeeVee screen. You couldn't spare three minutes, 360? Below is the only clip I could find of his coverage, less than a minute long:

  • That'll do it. The show went by really fast, which I guess is a good sign. In light of our anchor's initial get-up, this bullet point contains marshmallows for your toasting enjoyment.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, May 24, 2010

Continuing Coverage Of The BP-Created Environmental Disaster

Hi everyone. Eventually I will make my way back to full reviews. As for 360 Friday, I said my piece here. I'm just not feeling it and barring anything amazing/news-worthy happening, I don't expect to be doing any further posts on the topic. Let's get on with the bullet points, shall we?:
  • This oil disaster just keeps becoming more horrific. It's heartbreaking to see the dead animals. Click here for more devastating pictures you should check out.
  • I love that they're still keeping the live-feed up.
  • Tell me again why I should care about James Carville's opinion on this subject. Oooh, a "staunch Democrat" is criticizing Obama! Play that sound-byte!
  • On the other hand, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser was a perfect guest for the situation. He's on the ground and knows the real story. Sounds like a big red tape mess. (Also? Bugs!)
  • Wow, how depressing was it to learn from Tom Foreman that a government takeover of the disaster response could actually make it worse? Our anchor had an excellent follow up: "Couldn't the government or some agency take lead role and simply use BP and all of its experts as tools?" Unfortunately, that idea also ended in a bummer because doing so might actually help BP shirk responsibility. We are truly at their mercy.
  • I'm getting a little wary because I can feel the media narrative changing to "blame the government," which might take some heat off BP and ultimately lead us nowhere. Obviously the government needs to be held accountable as well, but questions must be focused and the situation kept in context. And that is SO not how media narratives work. Basically, it's just like, "Grrrrr! We hate BP! Grrrr! Now we hate the government!"
  • That being said, for the most part, 360's coverage of this story has been quite good so far. I just know that Anderson Cooper has a tendency to get stuck on one variable of a story and hammer it over and over. Most of the time I think he's right to do so (stupid deaths in Haiti, for example). But on this one I might want to shake him and press reset. We'll see.
  • Our anchor will be reporting from the gulf tomorrow, so yay for that. (Although, he kinda sounded a little sick tonight--quick, someone dunk him in Vitamin C before he leaves!)
  • Good piece from Ed Lavandera on the dispersants.
  • Anybody else getting the feeling that even with hard-working people with good intentions, our government is just completely impotent when it comes to going up against Big Business?
  • It was good to hear about the 'don't ask, don't tell' compromise. I think? Maybe? It sounded a little watered-down.
  • Drew Griffin's report was a bit of a bummer. In Captain Richard Phillips' defense, the media did sell him as a hero (oh how they love their hero narrative!). But...meh. Just nobody touch my idea of Sully, okay?
  • As for the Sarah Ferguson story, when I first read a tweet about "Fergie," I swear to God I thought they were talking about the singer from the Black Eyed Peas. Once I realized who it was really about...I still didn't care.
  • For the "shot" tonight we learned that hey Class of 2010, Anderson Cooper wants you to have lots of sex, like, tonight! Yes, we were played the portion of the Silver Fox's commencement address that the 360 kids found most amusing. It's the part that Gawker found most amusing as well. Funny that.
  • Our anchor's not lying about the not remembering thing. I don't remember my university speaker at all--like, not even who she/he was. I didn't even do anything naughty to point to as an explanation for said amnesia. But anyway, how cute was Randi Kaye getting her fangirl on to talk about our anchor's commencement robe? "Green is your color. It brought out your blue eyes."
  • If you want to watch the whole speech to Tulane, it's on the 360 blog. I took a pass. I'm assuming it contained the staples: follow your bliss, vertical stripes are slimming, liberal arts majors have no skill. That last one stings, by the way.
  • The show wasn't bad. First half stronger than second.
  • This bullet point contains a delicious cherry snow cone. Unless you're BP; then it's oil flavored.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And Then We All Really Hated BP

Hi everyone. The bullet points of awesomeness are back! And they might even be more awesome this time. I report, you decide:
  • I love that 360 put the BP live feed in the corner of the screen for us to watch. So hilariously passive aggressive. Basically them saying to BP, "that's right, deal with that, bitches."
  • Okay, I've previously noted that I enjoy Douglas Brinkley's appearances on the show, and that's because he seems knowledgeable about the topic at hand. But, uh, what's the deal with James Carville?
  • From Anderson Cooper: " It's interesting, James, because early on, conservatives were attacking the Obama administration, trying to say, look, this is Obama's Katrina. And they fought back against that. But you do have to raise questions about this Interior Department and this EPA." Back up there, Silver Fox. Yes, the administration pushed back against that meme because it was ridiculous. And inaccurate. And hearing you bring it up makes me cringe. But absolutely, absolutely questions need to be raised. Responsibly.
  • There are already petitions for the removal of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, which might very well be warranted. As for the culpability of Obama himself, my interest lies in how far he has or hasn't gone to right the wrongs of the Bush Administration when it comes to the cozy relationship between government and industry. I think we all know the score at this point: the fox has been guarding the hen house for a long time in all areas of government (see the recent mining disaster for another example). Bush didn't start the trend, but he sent it into warp speed. So, has Obama been making good faith attempts to clean house (a task that may very well take years) or has he protected the status quo, thus leaving the country vulnerable to incidents just like this one?
  • I love Passionate Anderson, but tonight I think he needed to take it down one small notch. Simmer down, son. There was a lot more harping tonight than there was actual accountability-holding. Spade calling is great. I just get nervous when the outrage starts to hit a certain level because it can be at risk for becoming unfocused, which the viewers feed on. I'm not accusing Anderson of doing a Bill O'Reilly, or being insincere, or even having an unwarranted reaction. I'm just saying it's a fine line and I hope he treads carefully.
  • Can we stop being surprised that a for-profit corporation would lie their asses off and cover their mistakes to protect their bottom line? Newsflash: this is what they do. They are first and foremost beholden to their stockholders. They have the equal rights of people, which to me makes them akin to sociopaths. Yes, yes, in some ways that's hyperbolic. Many corporations do exhibit social responsibility. But in situations such as this one, I think our collective default thinking should be to assume the corporation will be up to no good. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me five billions times, well, you get the picture.
  • Gary Tuchman's report was just plain scary. The far right has had a lot of success in infiltrating school boards. Progressives need to get their act together on this issue.
  • John Legend is very smart (and let's face it, mighty fine), but, uh, why is he a guest for the kids and race series again? You're black, you're famous, you're booked!
  • Oh, new terror threat. This is your reminder to be afraid.
  • I liked Anderson's plea for people not to cancel their trips to New Orleans. But it's not just the Big Easy. When I was driving home from work today I heard a teaser from my local news on the radio about how St. Louisans might want to avoid Destin, Florida (a popular vacation spot for our area for some reason). I was like, "dude, shut up, what are you doing?"
  • I was surprised to hear Anderson mention the Spotted Cat because I thought it closed, but a friend from the area informed me it reopened. So of course I had to inquire about Washboard Chaz. Apparently he's still going strong and played at Jazz Fest this year. Aw. It still cracks me up thinking of that night when Anderson rang Chaz's little bell. You could just tell he wanted to ring it so bad. I think some of my friends and I might have even been taking bets on what time in the broadcast it would happen. Good times.
  • This bullet point is camouflaged and can therefore be carried anywhere.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Anderson Cooper Interviews BP's Bob Dudley

Hi everyone. I skipped blogging last night because at this point the Best Political Team on Television (BPTOT) makes me want to stick something pointy in my eye. No review tonight either, but I wanted to do this post to note that the show was really good. A wide variety of topics, all interesting and informative--even the crime segment (which I usually hate). I also thought that tonight's discussion in the kids and race series was the best so far. Anyway, below is Anderson Cooper's full interview with BP managing director Bob Dudley. Our anchor did a really nice job. BP definitely has some 'splaining to do.

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Keeping BP Honest And An Interesting Study On Kids And Race

Hi everyone. I'm really short on time, but I thought I'd drop some bullet points of awesomeness on you. Away we go:
  • Our anchor is done with the playing around, people: "...a lot of developments to tell you about tonight, but, first, let's just cut through the B.S. Excuse the language." ANDERSON COOPER! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?! *clutches pearls* THINK OF THE CHILDREN.
  • For those of you new to the blog, I previously suggested an entire segment be called "That's Bullshit." So, you know, fun with irony.
  • I'm not completely sure, but it really looked like our anchor actually did the Magic Wall segment live (ZOMG!). I don't know, the live-bug was being kinda wonky. It would make sense though given how jittery he seemed--like someone gave him a Red Bull before the broadcast. See Anderson, you made it through and nobody died. (That we know of! Dun dun dun! Did I mention I'm tired?)
  • Well, this is a change of pace for our blank-slated anchor: "This is like in Katrina, when politicians said, now is not the time to point fingers. Remember that? Look, you all know what's going on out there. It's not in BP's interest to have accurate figures on how much oil is gushing out of that pipe every single day. It's not good public relations." Calling a spade a spade. I like it.
  • Actually, the honesty-keeping of BP was pretty good tonight. And yay Douglas Brinkley. Like that guy.
  • 360 wants YOU, BP! Anderson is chomping at the bit to interview the snot out of any of them. Think he'll ever get takers?
  • Oh look, political heads-in-boxes talking about Sarah Palin. Snooooze.
  • The New York Times has a piece out busting Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal for saying he served in Vietnam when he really didn't. This bullet point isn't to point out douchebaggery, but rather to state my surprise that Anderson and panel are actually shocked by this. We have our moments, but for the most part, we're still living in a very low accountability world. Politicians/officials say bald-face lies all the time and don't get called on it. Hell, at this point Blumenthal might even actually believe he served in Vietnam. People go on the TeeVee spouting made up facts and figures and no one bats an eye at them. This is why I got so excited when Jake Tapper teamed up with Politifact to fact-check This Week.
  • You know those whack-a-mole carnival games? The one where you have a mallet and you smack the little creature every time it pops up? Basically, I want my journalist to be the mallet, and every time there's an untruth floating around out there.."whack!" It's a pretty good deterrent for idiocy. So what I'm saying Anderson Cooper, is that I want your arm to be tired by the end of the broadcast.
  • And I found it interesting that our anchor cited bloggers as the people who check everything and not, you know, his own show that actually has traction, but I'm probably reading that unfairly.
  • I like the opening of the race study segment with Anderson sitting and talking to us. Very 60 Minutes.
  • The segment itself was really interesting, though disturbing. As stated, it was simply a pilot study. The social psychologist in me kept wondering if there were variables skewing the results. What would happen if the children were given the option of "none," as in, "there is no dumb child." Should the questions have been asked twice--once with a black questioner and once with a white? Would that in of itself have distorted data? Lots of things to think about. I wish Anderson had further questioned the girl who said she sometimes thought her skin color was nasty. That has to come from somewhere. Pretty heartbreaking. Anyway, I'm glad they're doing this series. I'm not completely convinced it's statistically significant, but you can't deny that for the most part, the kids pointed very quickly.
  • That's it for me. This bullet point contains a cookie...but only if you're good.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

360 Friday: Anderson Cooper Tries Out A Talk Show Format With A Live Studio Audience

Hi everyone. I can't say I've really given this whole 360 Friday talk show thing much thought. Honestly, I was pretty skeptical that it would ever actually be filmed, much less see the light of day. But air it did, and as your trusty reviewer, I suppose I shall weigh in. This post is just going to focus on the format. They're supposedly continuing coverage of the race study next week, so I'll deal with content at that time.

My initial visceral reaction upon viewing the first few minutes of the new format was to be fairly weirded out. It was my show. But it wasn't my show. You know? Actually, the experience was almost akin to having a dream about the show. Like, you know how sometimes you have a dream about your house, and you know it's your house, but there are extra rooms or something? It was kinda like that. It wasn't a bad dream. It wasn't like suddenly being naked in front of your ninth grade science class. But it also wasn't awesome like that time you dreamed you made out with Collin Farrell either. Ahem.

For my regular readers, it probably goes without saying that this 360 Friday format is not the route I would take to save them from their ratings woes. But dismissing the entire concept just because it's not exactly to my liking is rather unfair, so I shall just work with what they gave me. I will, however, note that at this point I really don't have the slightest idea of what they're trying to do. Years ago, I would have just assumed that the big cable news show had elaborate plans that I the lowly viewer couldn't begin to grasp. Yeah, not anymore. These days I'm not confident they know what they're doing either.

I'm not even sure who this new format is geared toward. It really had the feel of something that was trying to cater to their fans or regular viewers. So, I dunno, maybe they're trying to shore up their base. Because it seems rather counterproductive to try to use this format to gain new viewers. The other four days of the week the format is different. How's that supposed to work? Unless of course this whole thing is not so much about ratings as it is about them only having to do four live shows a week.

Or maybe they're going to try to change the entire show over to this format, which I think would be a colossal mistake. How that would work and what that might do to Anderson Cooper's career is beyond me. There are a lot of issues in that scenario to ponder (issues that I can guarantee would be written about extensively in the press if this speculation came to fruition), but I'm waaaay ahead of myself here. They just had their first show. It's a little too early to say the eulogy for the original 360 format.

Though I have my criticisms, there was no part of the show that I considered to be a train wreck, and there were a few parts I quite liked. For example, the intimacy of the set itself was a nice change of pace. Logistically, I know it can be hard to get all the guests in the studio, but it really does make a difference. I am so sick of heads in boxes. I also loved that for the most part, the screen remained uncluttered. No obnoxious graphics and sound effects or irrelevant technology. Just the necessities and a little bit of bump music. Now that's something I wish they'd adopt for all five days of the week.

The conversation itself had a Real Time with Bill Maher feel, which is a show I like a lot. Unfortunately, I have my doubts that 360 can capture that show's popularity. Anderson Cooper is not Bill Maher; he's an objective journalist. The reason shows like Real Time and The Daily Show work so well is that the hosts have a distinct point of view. It's not always a point of view that can be pigeonholed as left or right, but it's a point of view nonetheless. And that goes against everything Anderson has strived for in his professional career. So what is our anchor's role? Moderator? That's what he always does. I suppose it's something to tinker with.

Something I'm not sold on is the live studio audience. It's just, well, weird. I'm not so sure I actually want to hear them laughing and clapping. I'm also wondering if 360 has considered the accusations of bias that might come their way. Look, I don't think it's any secret that 360's viewership seems to skew left. I don't state that comment as a reflection on the show--for the most part I believe they do try to be objective. You can't help it if your viewers don't land equally on both sides of the partisan divide. So, my question is, what happens when liberal guests/viewpoints consistently get more applause? Or even worse, what if a conservative is booed? People will begin to notice.

I also think 360 is severely underestimating the draw of live television. Are Fridays really always going to be taped now? Meh. That's not must-see viewing for me. There's no urgency with a taped special; no possibility of anything truly amazing happening. If it's a subject I'm interested in, I'll usually try to catch it, but as a general rule, taped news is not something I schedule into my day. Not to mention the fact that this new format means that live news would stop for the west coast at a ridiculously early time. Yes, they've got someone doing live updates, but c'mon.

That's pretty much the meat of my criticism. As far as the odds and ends, at times the tone felt uneven, and some of the laughs felt forced. Personally, I wouldn't write many jokes; I'd just let them happen. For a guy who is a reporter, Anderson has crazy good comic timing. When it comes to humor, he wields a scalpel, not a mallet. Please don't try to make him into Jay Leno. The whole "have you seen this video, Kevin?" thing was pretty awkward. Don't get me wrong, I love Kevin, but my first thought was, "oh God, a sidekick."

I think the entire quiz segment needs tweaking. Given this was the first show, that's pretty natural. Also, it was great to see Jack Gray, though again, his appearance had me wondering exactly who this show was geared toward. Despite his gabillion Twitter followers, how many people actually know who he is and what he does, versus those who just casually read his funny tweets? I'm not sure that question can even be answered. But he was presented as someone we should know. And if they're working on shoring up their base, that's perfectly appropriate. If not...I just don't know.

It'll be interesting to see where this goes. I hope they're successful in what they're trying to do--whatever that may be. But I also hope that it involves maintaining the integrity of a news broadcast. Remember, so far it's just been one show. This could all get scrapped next week or it could be the beginning of a massive shift at CNN. Only time will tell.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When Package Copy Goes Horribly Wrong

Update 5/15/10: Hey guys. If you're wondering, yes, I plan on doing a post about 360 Friday. Look for it tomorrow or early Monday.

Hi everybody. When I sat down to watch tonight's broadcast I had no intention of doing a post. My plan was to have a little fun live-chatting with some friends and then go to bed. But sometimes you see something on the TeeVee that just screams "blog me!" and such was the case tonight.

The show kicked off with the latest on the oil spill, while my friends and I discussed how cable has absolutely destroyed the concept of "breaking news" (and how we're a little bitter about that). Soon 360 transitioned to the subject of the craziness going on in Arizona. A worthy topic, though not something that personally interests me a great deal.

My chat buddies and I instead talked about the extremely disturbing viral video of a drug raid that recently took place in Columbia, Missouri, in which family dogs were shot in the presence of a seven-year-old. This is your drug war in action. More info can be found here.

From there, 360 had discussion with Alex Castellanos and Paul Begala. What did they discuss? I honestly couldn't tell you, nor do I care. As I said on Twitter, at this point I don't even hear the pundits anymore. It's just all Charlie Brown's teacher to me. I wish CNN would listen to Donna Brazile and her suggestion of getting rid of the pundits. Unfortunately, not only are they not listening; they're hiring more. Le sigh.

But enough about all that. It's time to talk about what caused me to blog tonight: the story of Larry King, a gay 15-year-old who was relentlessly bullied and then allegedly shot to death by another student. A truly horrible situation. The show has actually reported extensively on the case previously. The piece that ran tonight from Randi Kaye was more of a summary and update. And in terms of copy, it was bad. Very bad. Seriously, check this out:
More than two years ago in February 2008, the bullying suddenly stopped, not because Larry was finally accepted but because he was dead. Murdered, police say, by a fellow student.
And this:
On Larry's final day, he left his make-up and high heels at home and went to school wearing his uniform, just like everyone else. It's unclear why. But if he had decided to try and blend in, he never had a chance.
Before the piece had even ended, my friends had made a flurry of comments, all with basically the same sentiment: WTF? I get that our news peeps have a job to do, but the paragraphs I've highlighted could have been relayed in a much more appropriate manner. Yes, this is a news story--it's also the life of a 15-year-old boy. This reminds me of when they used the Magic Wall to extensively document the days before Phoebe Prince killed herself. There's some stuff you just shouldn't do.

For anyone out there thinking of hating on Randi Kaye, the fact of the matter is we just don't know who the responsible party is here. Her copy could very well have been written by a producer. You would've hoped that someone would have said, "hey, that reads rather insensitive," but I guess not. To add insult to injury, this was all followed up with discussion with Dr. Phil. How he merits the "Big 360 Interview" is beyond me. Also, raise your hand if you were absolutely creeped out by him talking about those little girls performing the Single Ladies dance.

So...yeah. Not much praising from me tonight. You win some, you lose some. Tomorrow they're scheduled to run the first special show in the new format. Should be interesting. Maybe? I'm pretty skeptical that this is going to work out for them, but never say never.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Hypocrisy Of George Rekers, Another Crisis Looming In Haiti, And Anderson Cooper Has REALLY Had Enough Of Your Birther Bullshit

Update 5/11/10: I actually don't have anything to say, other than to apologize for being a crappy blogger. Sorry guys. I'm not even feeling the bullet points right now. Allow me to distract you with adorable pictures of puppies. I'll be back soon.

Hi everyone. I actually hadn't planned on blogging tonight. On Fridays I like to use this time to instead get reacquainted with some of my TeeVee shows via the Hulu. But tonight's broadcast was just so good I figured that I could spare a few minutes to drop a handful of bullet points on you. Yes, that's right, I said the show was good. Very good. Great variety of topics and all of them interesting and informative. Cookies for everyone!
  • I do need to start off with one criticism though: I want to kill that "breaking news" graphic. I want to kill it with fire.
  • Anderson Cooper's pronunciation of "robot" (robutt) is simply too adorable for me to not mention. Sorry Anderson, your speech impediments amuse me greatly and I have no plans of ceasing my gentle mocking any time soon. Know that I do it with love.
  • So. Many. Animated. Demonstrations.
  • These charges against Transocean sound like they could turn into a big story. Definitely something that needs further investigation.
  • It was good to see 360 covering the George Rekers story. Yeah, the piece didn't go indepth, but frankly I was just happy to see the info get out there. Am I reveling in the situation? Yes, yes I am. Call me a horrible person if you must. Schadenfreude, baby! As Wayne Besen said in Randi Kaye's piece, people like Rekers have "helped create anti-gay attitudes and justified discrimination across the country." People like him are the reason that a few months ago some asshole spray painted the word "fag**t" on the house of someone I care about. And helping to deny gays and lesbians from adopting in Florida? Yeah, this guy deserves everything he's getting right now. I love that the Family Research Council is distancing themselves from him. I guess suddenly Tony's not so chatty. George? George who? You stay classy, guys! Randi's piece is below:

  • The segment on Haiti made me so sad. It's going to be horrendous if there's a diphtheria outbreak. Nobody should be dying from that in this day and age. It's mind-boggling that they had to search for 11 hours to try to find the sick teen immunoglobulin. Man, Sean Penn is pissed. He has every right to be, in my opinion. I know I rail against celeb guests on this blog a lot, but I don't even consider him to be a celebrity regarding this situation. He's the real deal. Interview with Penn and Sanjay Gupta below:

  • After wiping the floor with Cecil Ash, Anderson apparently still wasn't done with demolishing birthers. Tonight he interviewed Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin, though Lakin's attorney, Paul Jensen, did most of the talking. And our anchor did not like that one bit. The result was awesomeness. I love that the train went absolutely careening off the tracks right from the get-go. I was completely cracking up through the whole thing. It's really the only reaction you can have when faced with such enormous stupidity. Even Anderson cracked a frustrated smile at a couple points--probably trying not to bang his head on the desk. Our anchor really brought his A-game. I'm a sucker for a well-researched interviewer who aggressively defends the truth and takes no bullshit. Tonight he was all of that. Even the end was kinda awesome. The attorney was going on and on about, I don't know, something, and in so many words Anderson was just like, "yeah, you're done." Except, you know, politer. Anyway, a summary can't really do the interview justice. You must watch:

  • Good piece from Martin Savidge on the situation in Nashville. Hope they continue to follow up.
  • I enjoyed the celebration of Wolf Blitzer's 20 years at CNN. Oh Wolfbot, you're really growing on me, aren't you? Jeanne Moos piece below:

  • That's it for me. No special bullet point this time. Just kidding! This bullet point contains a secret portal to another dimension. Or candy. Whichever!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Live From Nashville

Hi everyone. It was great to see the people of Nashville finally get their due. Hopefully Anderson Cooper's presence will cause other outlets to take notice and result in even more coverage. As for this post, the bullet points continue:
  • Our anchor's live shot was set up in front of a furniture-strewn lawn in Bellevue. Residents are trying to air out their flooded belongings. Lives turned inside out.
  • Anderson's piece on Danny Tomlinson, a man who has been missing since his car was swept away about five days ago, was beyond sad. I hope his family eventually gets their closure (video here).
  • Betty Belle Nicks owns the home where Team Anderson had set up the live shot and her story is simply amazing. I figured that she was just going to talk about her house flooding, which she did, but then she went on to say that they had tried to move their cars out and ended up becoming trapped by the water. She was forced to cling to a tree before she was able to swim back. Damn. Scary!
  • Betty and her husband (of only one week!) ended up on their roof with their three small dogs, but their large dog, Ben, swam away and now she's looking for him. Anderson dashed off camera to grab a picture for us. Poor Ben. People losing their animals is so upsetting.
  • Betty reminded us that they're still going to need help and attention a month from now and it made my heart drop a little. Nashville had to beg for coverage at the height of the disaster. I'm not going to hold my breath for a month from now. Please prove me wrong, media.
  • Anderson noted that most people in the area don't have flood insurance and then Betty said something that almost gave me chills: "Well, thanks to President Obama, who signed the relief effort, if you make sure you sign up, we will be one of the victim numbers, and when they declare our home a disaster, then we will be able to get help." Thanks to President Obama. I know, all he did was sign something and this could very well turn out to be FUBAR, but I can't even express how nice it is to feel that maybe, just maybe, competency will again one day rule the land. What a difference a vote makes.
  • Apparently I couldn't pick Brad Paisley out of a lineup. I guess I'm severely lacking in country music cred. Very cool that Obama called him. More evidence that there will be no Heckuva Job Brownie incidents (video here).
  • Gary Tuchman had a piece on the search-and-rescue operation and my first thought was, now Gary's in Nashville?! He's been everywhere lately. Someone is very deserving of an epic vacation. Dear Jon Klein, more reporters like Gary, less pundits, kthxbai.
  • Gary also explained to us that floods aren't usually gradual. Yeah, you don't mess with that. I remember being stuck in traffic once, wondering what the hold up was, when suddenly all the cars in front of me started abruptly pulling partially off the road to turn around. I was totally confused until the car directly in front of me moved and I could see. Water. Coming quickly. As I frantically whipped my own car around, out of the corner of my eye I could see EMS workers tending to a truck that had flipped over when it tried to drive through a large flooded dip in the road. You don't mess with flash floods.
  • The conversation with David and Will Perkins was very cute (video here).
  • The show kept promoting the interview with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (video here), but I thought the segments with the average Nashville residents were more compelling. Last night I sorta pre-complained about the interview. I still don't understand the focus on celebrities, but it occurs to me that I don't know anything about Nashville culture, so perhaps their public presence is a comfort to other residents. I dunno. So I'll just save my complaining for when they have on Dr. Phil again (heh).
  • What happened to the Grand Ole Opry tour?
  • The comparisons between Nashville and New Orleans in regards to cleanup made me a little uncomfortable. I was glad that Tim McGraw added a bit of context (the water stayed longer, covered a greater area). I would think it's pretty insulting to New Orleans residents to equate the two.
  • That's it from me. This bullet point may be redeemed for a free snarky comment of your choice.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

360 Discovers Nashville, Investigating The Minerals Management Service, The Terror Gap, & Bill Maher Interview

Hi everyone. Yep, bullet points again:
  • So, 360 has finally decided to give some airtime to Nashville's catastrophic flooding. Earlier today, Anderson Cooper tweeted about the subject and admitted that they hadn't given the situation proper notice. He reiterated that point again on air. Several times. He is very sorry, people. Kinda makes it almost impossible to be mad at him, doesn't it? Like kicking a puppy.
  • BUT! The presence of the big "breaking news" graphic for a story that they've pretty much been ignoring for days was irony overload. Um, yeah guys, maybe it's "breaking" to you, but not so much Nashville. It's like they're trying to make me mock them.
  • In all sincerity, the admittance of errors and then an attempt to correct them is what I want from my media. They're just people too. They screw up. Kudos to 360 for trying to make it right.
  • I know a little of how Nashville must be feeling in terms of being abandoned by the national media. In July 2006, two severe thunderstorms hit St. Louis back-to-back, causing a massive blackout. During a severe heat wave. At the time, the national media was mostly preoccupied with the Israel/Hezbollah war. Ultimately, the heat wave lifted and power was restored, but there were a couple of days where I remember thinking, "this could go pretty bad, and if it does, we are on our own." I hit my media breaking point when I heard that HLN had aired a car chase for an hour. When you're mad at the entire media, it's hard to know where to direct your ire, so I emailed a big power player in the biz: a college kid. Yep, I'm the "incensed" Missouri resident. A day or so after that post went up, NBC Nightly made the St. Louis storms their top story. Coincidence? Um, actually probably yes. But I still like to think I maybe made someone feel a little guilty about airing the car chase.
  • Anderson will be reporting from Nashville Thursday night. When I criticized the lack of coverage, I actually never meant he needed to personally go there, but hey, even better. Can we talk about this tour he has planned with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw though? Perhaps I'm being all judgey too soon, but this show has become absolutely obsessed with celebrities. I guess I'll hold my fire until after the broadcast.
  • Case in point regarding celebrities: a phoner with Kenny Chesney. I'm guessing the fact that he had video played into that. I'm wondering if someone from an affiliate could have offered better information.
  • I should note that Anderson also interviewed Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, so that's nothing to sneeze at. I was relieved to hear Dean answer in the affirmative when our anchor asked him if he was getting everything he needed from the federal government.
  • I have seen way too many animations of how they're going to fix the oil spill.
  • A good piece from Ed Lavandera on the Minerals Management Service, though I wish we would have heard more about what has or hasn't changed since the Obama administration took over. Douglas Brinkley only touched on it briefly. We all know the Bush administration absolutely decimated all levels of the federal government. Is there a reason the OA was keeping the same people at MMS or was it a matter of it not being a high priority?
  • I really like Douglas Brinkley. That is all.
  • Wow, you could really see the contrast in studio lighting when they replayed the Michael Brown clip.
  • Anderson: "You know, we really try on this show not to take sides, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, just trying to get facts out there." He's always saying stuff like this when I don't think he needs to. To me, it makes him sound defensive. The reporting should speak for itself.
  • Regarding Drew Griffin's report on the terror gap, don't you love how when it comes to guns, suddenly people are concerned about constitutional rights?
  • I generally like Bill Maher, but I don't think he knows what he's talking about with regard to terrorism. It was odd watching him basically riff on a topic that the show had just been seriously reporting on a minute before.
  • That's it for me. This bullet point is made of chocolate sprinkles for your enjoyment.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Heckuva Job Brownie Returns, All About Faisal Shahzad, & Nashville Is Underwater But Apparently We're Not Talking About That

Hi everyone. My blogging malaise continues, so as do my bullet points. Away we go:
  • Holy Scary Lighting Batman! Tonight Anderson Cooper was coming at us live from Chicago, where it seems the studio needs some practice. I'm not a big noticer of things. Tie color on a given night? Couldn't tell you. But when I flipped over to 360 I found myself immediately asking Screen Anderson why he looked so different. Makes you appreciate the New York studio.
  • Today Michael Brown was brought back into our lives because someone on the TeeVee inexplicably thought he was the right guy to ask about emergency management. (Can you guess which network sought his advice? Can you?!) Aside from heading Arabian Horse Associations, Brownie is apparently also skilled at reading minds, because he knows the Obama administration had their little hearts set on this oil spill disaster so that they could use it to shut down drilling. He's really used these past five years to work on his character, hasn't he? You stay classy, Brownie!
  • Anderson pretty much squashed Brown like a bug, though I don't think it was that hard. Basically the whole interview was Anderson asking Brown to back up his statements and Brown, of course, being unable to do so.
  • Anderson: "As a former government official, I would think you would choose your words carefully." Um, has our anchor met government officials?
  • You gotta love the irony of a former Bush administration official accusing someone else of using a disaster for political gain.
  • A nice touch from Brown at the end when he makes sure to shirk all blame off himself and onto Bush.
  • Anderson's face when they cut back to him live after the taped interview was pretty funny. It's like he couldn't quite believe that conversation actually happened.
  • Anderson told us they would put more of the interview on the website. So I went to the website and...nope. In fact, what was there was even less of the interview. What the hell, 360? It's the little things that add up and hurt credibility. (Update: It looks like they put it up Wednesday morning. I still think it should have been up Tuesday night if the anchor is directing people to the site.)
  • Don't forget to set your DVR! (I still do not understand these promos.)
  • I'm embarrassed to say I'd never even heard of Chandeleur Island, Louisiana. Gary Tuchman said it was the most remote live remote he's ever done. And he's done a lot of live remotes, so that's saying something.
  • It's so sad to think about what the oil is going to do--is doing--to the wildlife.
  • Less than 24 hours after Faisal Shahzad's arrest and we know a crazy amount of info on him. Yes, I am skeptical. Almost seems too easy. But maybe these guys really are just that sloppy, which, if that's the case, yay for us! I'm guessing this story will change at least somewhat with the passage of time.
  • There should be no "partisan debate" about Miranda rights. Shahzad is a U.S. citizen. U.S. citizens have rights. Period. We are a country of laws. Even Glenn Beck admits this fact. It's going to be okay, conservatives. Unclench.
  • The anti-gay white supremacist may have been secretly gay? I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you!
  • So I guess Nashville drew the short straw when it comes to national coverage. Media missed the boat big time. No pun intended.
  • The "shot" was clearly chosen just so Anderson would have an excuse to again watch Rick Sanchez getting tasered. Oh, I'm on to you, Silver Fox! I've always considered our anchor a bit of a masochist, but now it's dawning on me that he's also kinda a sadist. The man definitely enjoys watching a good tasering.
  • That's it from me. This bullet point may or may not contain a unicorn.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, May 03, 2010

And Then We All Hated BP

Hi everybody. I know I've been scarce around these parts lately. I just haven't been in the blogging mood, and to be honest, I'm still not. So, I figured I'd split the difference: bullet points!
  • The show kicked off with the attempted bombing in Times Square, but since that time we've had some actual breaking news. Authorities have arrested Shahzad Faisal, a Pakistani-born naturalized U.S. citizen. Avoiding cable news tomorrow might be a good recommendation. It's not that this story isn't uber-important, but theses things tend to make the news peeps go, well, stupid. And you know how much I love speculation.
  • That's not to say 360's coverage of the story was particularly terrible. There was speculation, yes, but they kept it fairly reasonable, and perhaps more important, short. Would this have been the case with the absence of the other big stories? I have my doubts.
  • Randomness: Does this mean that Times-Square-Shirt-Changing-Guy was not an evil terrorist, but just a dude who decided he needed to immediately be wearing another shirt?
  • Did you guys catch that new promo where they pimp out the "Big 360" interview and instruct us to set our DVRs? Gotta say, I don't think most people's hearts would be breaking over missing a Dr. Phil appearance. Or Shakira. Or basically anyone in the commercial.
  • Continuing with the promo, once again, I completely do not understand CNN. Ask them about their ratings compared to their competitors and they're all like, "we do the REAL news!" But you turn on the TV and their promos are telling you, "hey, we have Dr. Phil! We have Shakira!"
  • Nice job on the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and the reporting from Gary Tuchman on the waivers that volunteers were initially forced to sign.
  • Randomness: Anderson Cooper's use of the phrase "rogue attorneys" amused me. I'm not quite sure why.
  • Good segment with Douglas Brinkley and Riki Ott. I always appreciate BS (in this case from Rush Limbaugh and Congressman Gene Taylor) being knocked down. I'm telling you, 360, create a nightly segment called "This is BS" and you might make a little ratings headway. Okay, we can talk about the name.
  • I also liked that Anderson brought up the unbelievably stupid Obama's Katrina meme. I suppose some might argue that it shouldn't even be mentioned, but he knew full well that Douglas was going to squash it down like a bug. I see what you did there, Silver Fox. You know, I try to be a nice person, fair, try not to insult. But then you hear someone say this is Obama's Katrina and you think, "my God, why are you so stupid?" Of course, in reality, most of them aren't stupid, but just that cynical. I'll let you decide what's worse. Also? Jason Linkins for the win.
  • While I enjoyed watching our friends at 360 hold BP accountable, I'm afraid at this point I have basically zero hope of the company actually being held accountable. It's like that concept doesn't exist in this world anymore. Oh sure, maybe they'll even get hauled up to Capitol Hill. And maybe our Congresscritters will put on their VERY ANGRY faces and make them answer hostile questions. But in the end? Nothing will happen. The people will pay the bill and scrub off the animals while BP continues making their billions. It's depressing, but true. I'd love for someone to prove me wrong.
  • How come Tom Foreman can operate the Magic Wall live, but Anderson Cooper can't? (Sanjay Gupta didn't either, for those playing at home.)
  • Tennessee just gets a headline? Sucks to be them.
  • Gary's priest story was so infuriating. Speaking of the world's lack of accountability, huh?
  • I like how Anderson discovered on live TV that the "shot" was nothing but a fake video. You'd think that someone would maybe, like, check that.
  • Sanjay Gupta did a good job when he subbed. I feel a little guilty about not blogging any of it. I still love you, Sanjay!
  • I was going to blog about Michael Ware leaving, but now he's not...I think. The whole situation is pretty bizarre. I wish him well.
  • That's it for me. Put this bullet point in your pocket and save it for later.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from