Author Of Pedophile Guide Arrested, Pundits Are Dumb, Michael Vick Gets Support From The Humane Society, & Food Safety
Hi everyone. Perhaps Anderson Cooper had some Christmas shopping to finish up, because tonight we were treated to anchoring from CNN's own Dr. McDreamy, Sanjay Gupta. Yeah, I've started watching Grey's Anatomy again. It's a sickness! Anyhoo, the bullet points of awesomeness await:
- We begin with the news that the creepy author of the sick pedophile guide has been arrested. The twist? He's in Colorado; it was the state of Florida who made the arrest. But we'll get to that in a minute. First we're given a sum up of the 360 kid's prior coverage. This gives us some Silver Fox face time and brings everyone up to speed. Two birds, one stone.
- Okay, I think we all agree that the pedophile book is gross and shocking and just all around full of fail. But did Florida really have the right to arrest this creep? It's not clear that he violated federal law. Free speech doesn't just pertain to speech we like. To ponder this very subject, we were joined by Jeffrey Toobin and Grady Judd, sheriff from Polk County, Florida.
- A good discussion. For some random lulz, check out Toobin's reaction when the sheriff says, "You know, our lawyer friend [referring to Jeffrey] is still calling it kiddie porn. That is offensive to all the children that are victims of child sex in this country." It was actually a pretty unfair thing for him to say. At no point did Toobin even hint that he thought child porn was anything less than an extremely serious crime.
- I almost enjoyed tonight's political segment, which might be a first for me. I think it was because the 360 kids were basically like, hey, let's gawk at the stupidity of the beltway chattering class! Loved the "one-term president" montage. Anyone who would make that claim when the Commander in Chief still has two years to go is just an effing moron, I'm sorry.
- Sanjay: "A pair of Democratic pollsters writing -- quote -- 'To be great, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012.'" This kind of thing really needs to be stated with more context. Like, first of all, names.
- Sanjay: "Well, if you're wondering how Washington can be so fickle, well, so are we. We also couldn't help but wonder if Mr. Obama is finally getting some credit, in some corners, at least, for all the heavy lifting he's been doing since day one. You can agree or disagree with the policies. The fact is, though, from getting Detroit in and out of bankruptcy to passing 'don't ask, don't tell' he's now put together a pretty long record of keeping campaign promises." Wow. All true, but I never expected to hear it said.
- For discussion, we had Paul Begala and Erick Erickson. Erick's take of the new Obama Comeback Kid meme: "This news story is exactly what's wrong with Washington and the way politics is covered. Events change things. I could have told you the day after the election that, within a month or two, we would start hearing positive stories about the president's agenda. Here's another news flash, some time in 2012, we're going to hear ominous stories about infighting within the Obama administration and the campaign..." Though it pains me to agree with Erick (WHAT IS HAPPENING?), he's spot on. I've said it once and I know I'll say it again, the majority of these media narratives are idiotic and a waste of time. Remember when Obama wasn't angry enough about the BP oil spill? Yeah.
- I wish the 360 kids would take this no BS approach more often.
- Moving on to the subject of Michael Vick maybe again having a dog someday. This is kinda strange. We were just snarking over this last week in the RidicuList and now we're going to be all serious about it? Okay. Hope they don't get in a habit of that. We were joined by Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society, who gives Vick more support than you might guess. Interesting.
- Good segment on the food safety bill. I love that they (semi) called out Glenn Beck on his, well, batshittery. Also loved the fact-check on Senator Coburn, and I was particularly tickled that Sanjay spoke directly to him, addressing him as 'Dr. Coburn.' You could practically hear him thinking, I can't believe this man is a doctor. The accountability-keeping was followed up with discussion from Erick (oh why not) and Top Chef's Tom Colicchio.
- Senator Joe Manchin made tonight's RidicuList. His crime? Skipping out on important Senate votes (DADT, Dream Act) to attend a "holiday gathering." Meanwhile, his cancer-striken colleague, Ron Wyden, showed up to work. Nice. Look Congresscritters, if you don't want the job, we can find someone who does.
- Finally tonight, a huge congrats to AC360 staffers Vladimir Duthiers and Hannah Yi, as well as NBCer Adam Desiderio for their story that ran in the show's second hour. A few months ago the trio went to Haiti to do some independent reporting and tonight we saw some of the fruits of their labor. The package focused on Douglas Perlitz, an American who started a charity in 1997 to care for homeless Haitian boys, and who has recently admitted to sexually abusing some of those same children. You can read more here, and I'll try to post the video if CNN ever puts it up.
- The show wasn't bad. A little bland. I'm not sure the pedophile thing deserved top story treatment.