Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Anderson Cooper Will Not Stop Until He Slays Every Birther

Hi everyone. I don't really have much to say up top here, so let's just do this thing:
  • The birthers are back! Well, so says Anderson Cooper. Personally, I didn't think they had ever left. Remember Army Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin? The guy who just sat there while our anchor smacked down his interrupting lawyer? That dude goes on trial today, hence this segment. Also, apparently 11 odd House Republicans are backing a bill that requires presidential candidates to submit an original birth certificate. Le sigh.
  • Nice clippage of Bill Posey, Ted Poe, Randy Neugebauer and John Campbell. Also loved the quiet notation of Dan Burton and Louie Gohmert's hypocrisy.
  • The Silver Fox has built quite the reputation as a birther demolisher (one more take-down on his punch-card and he gets a free Slurpee!), and thus, it now appears these people are a bit leery of coming on the show. What to do? I know, send Joe Johns! As you might imagine, Joe didn't get anywhere either, but I suppose it was amusing watching him try. Maybe?
  • Anyhoo, since they don't have a fresh birther for our anchor to pummel, they play the video of the lieutenant and his lawyer. Normally I would deem that move suspect, but, well, that interview is just so damn cathartic. Though it may not be all that news-worthy at this point, I could watch Anderson take down birthers all day.
  • The video is actually more relevant than I just painted it since the guy is back in the news. Still. You know the 360 kids are wishing their boss could take on some fresh crazy.

  • For discussion of Lakin's case, we were joined by Jeffrey Toobin and criminal defense attorney and former military judge advocate general officer Thomas Kenniff.
  • Toobin: "Just because a bunch of crazy people raise an issue, that doesn't mean the Supreme Court has to address it."
  • More Toobin: "You know, this is not a fight between Democrats and Republicans. This is a fight between the sane and the insane." Amen to that.
  • Anderson: "I wouldn't go so far as saying insane, but, I mean, it is interesting that people who seem rational have latched on to this issue in a way that defies rational explanation." Well, you should go as far! Anderson Cooper, sometimes you are too polite for your own good. Shall we compromise and call them 'fact-averse'?
  • Toobin: "Insane sounds right no me, but you're a nicer guy than I am, I guess" More diplomatic anyway.
  • In regards to the overall segment, it's gotten to the point that I'm torn on whether they should cover these people anymore. I love the smack-downs, but what are they accomplishing? It's like playing whack-a-mole; they're just going to keep popping back up. Birthers will exist as long as Barack Obama is in the White House. It's as simple as that. Should the 360 kids keep spending their time on them? I don't know.

  • Moving on now to extremely shocking video of a shooting that occurred at a school board meeting in Florida. This was actually teased at the top of the show, and I gotta say that even though Anderson warned it was graphic, they played the clip too fast for anyone to really heed the warning. Just the fact that they teased it left a bad taste in my mouth. Look, there's a shooting coming up! I guess this is the gross side of TV news.
  • Tom Foreman walked us through the video, which included shooter Clay Duke spray painting a 'V' on the wall, school board member Ginger Littleton attempting to knock the gun out of Duke's hand, William Husfelt (superintendent of Bay County Schools) calmly trying to reason with the shooter, shots fired, and Duke eventually going down at the hand of security officer Mike Jones. The entire thing is simply amazing. We learn that Duke eventually shot himself in the head, but no one else was hit.

  • Anderson then spoke with Husfelt in what turned out to be a fairly long interview. I thought the segment with Tom was a little much; this segment takes it over the line. Don't get me wrong, hearing the superintendent speak was compelling, but throughout the interview they played the shooting over and over. It reminded me a bit of the Cho pictures from Virginia Tech, though obviously this outcome was much, much better. There was a relatively happy ending here, but it was still a shooting, and Duke presumably has family. I wish they would have used the video more sparingly.

  • For the "shot" tonight, we have Conan O'Brien having a little fun at our anchor's expense. Said Coco in a clip of his monologue: "Anderson Cooper announced that the name of his new talk show is 'Anderson.' I think I speak for everyone here on the staff of 'Conan' when I say, 'God, what an ego on that guy.' You'd think people around him would tell him how bad that looks." But Conan, "Hanging with Mr. Cooper" had already been taken! Personally, I think our anchor should go all in: "Silver Fox." You know you'd watch!
  • Now onto earmark talk. Erm, I mean congressionally-directed spending. That's what the kids are calling it these days! Honestly? I just can't get my Angry Face on over this. I fully support the 360 kids pointing out the hypocrisy, but when it comes to the issue of earmarks themselves, they're not a big chunk of the budget, and the money will be spent anyway. For some reason it's become this easy thing for politicians to rail against in order to show their fiscal responsibility cred.
  • For discussion, we had Paul Begala and Erick Erickson.
  • Erick responding to Paul's assertion that earmarks are a small portion of the budget: "...when you look at how earmarks are used more often than not in Congress, yes, they themselves are a small portion of the budget but they're attached to larger pieces of legislation that aren't quite as popular and they get those unpopular pieces of legislation passed." Good point, I suppose. See how fair I am!
  • Paul: "If there were no earmarks, or there were no congressionally- directed spending, all you would do is, you wouldn't cut the spending. What you would do is empower some bureaucrat at the Department of Transportation to decide where that road or bridge should be. Often that bureaucrat might be wiser but often she might not be. Maybe the congressman knows better in his own district where the highway bypass ought to be." Exactly.

  • I'm afraid the 360 kids and I parted ways on the RidicuList tonight. They took on the ladies of "The View" for mocking John Boehner's tendency to end up in tears at the mention of, well, pretty much anything. Joy Behar has dubbed him "Weeper of the House," which I'm sorry, is funny.
  • Anderson Cooper is not amused. "But aren't people always saying they want politicians to be more real?" he asks. Actually, I just want them to pass legislation relevant to my life. "And aren't men always being told now that we're supposed to be more sensitive, more vulnerable, willing to show emotions?" Yes. We like that. But Boehner is doing it wrong. Look Silver Fox, there is a line, okay? I fully support a guy having a good cry every now and then. Every two minutes he's on camera? Not so much. And actually, this isn't even a gender thing. I'd feel the same way if it were a woman.
  • Also, this quote from Joy really brings home why Boehner's crying specifically is annoying: "He cries only when he talks about how sad his life was. he had to sweep floors. He was a janitor, and he pursued the American dream. And yet he has very little empathy for people who are in that position now."
  • Anderson: "I'm one of the most uptight people around, believe me, but I've been known to shed a tear from time to time. Sure, I, you know, try to keep it limited to a darkened theater while watching 'Bambi.'" Well c'mon, anybody who doesn't cry when Bambi's mom gets shot must be dead inside. Don't even get me started on Dumbo's "Baby Mine" scene.
  • Anyway, about the being uptight but known to shed a tear, yeah, we know. And though I'm assuming our anchor did not actually write this segment, one wonders if his not-completely-deserved emo-anchor label had anything to do with his feelings on this. But Anderson's "time to time" tear-shedding (which despite the proclamations of some write-ups, have never really been on camera) is quite different than Boehner's all the time.
  • So, to sum up, men, embrace your tears, but let's not overdo it, mmkay? And to Boehner, hey, at least they weren't talking about your tan, right?

  • The show was okay. I'm torn on the birther issue and thought the shooting coverage went too far.

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Blogger EmmKay said...

I agree with the birther whack-a-mole concept, but also get the allure for smacking them down. It's a fun game and gets a lot of "AC Destroys Birther" headlines. My question for birthers is who would be an acceptable birth certificate checker? Because you know AC could take a crew to the department of records in Hawaii, show every piece of every certificate they have and it wouldn't be acceptable. Shame this soldier is allowing a respected career to end this way.

I also disagree with the selection of the View. I have no issue with men or women crying at big moments or even during "Bambi". But even Leslie Stahl was clearly a little exasperated since she asked, "What set you off this time?" If you're not talking about someone who died, you should be able to get through an interview with a minimum of waterworks. I cry easily too, but not at work.

8:31 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@EmmKay: They could show birthers a video of Obama's actual birth and it still wouldn't convince them.

Agreed. If a guy tears up at a TV show every once in a while or becomes emotional at the mention of something important to him, he shouldn't be mocked for it. That's endearing. But Boehner takes it too far. Perhaps he can't see that he's crossed the line because he got it all smudgy with his tears. ;)

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Jones was crying due to saving Bill Husfelt III's life. Husfelt is related to Arnold Palmer, the golfer!

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although Bill Husfelt is related to Arnold Palmer through his stepmother, Joyce Husfelt.

3:38 PM  

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