A Blog Dedicated To Keeping CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Honest...And Other Newsy Musings.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Turtles, Oysters, And Continued BP Sucking--Oh My!
Hi everyone. Tonight the 360 kids came at us from the Audubon Aquatic Center sea turtle rehabilitation program. They took my advice to shake things up! Kidding. Hey man, we all need our fantasies. So...the bullet points? Would you like them? Away we go:
Below is our anchor's interview with Fred McCallister of Allegiance Capital, who is scheduled to testify before a Senate committee regarding his belief that BP is trying to disperse and sink the oil instead of skimming.
James Carville and Billy Nungesser were on for discussion. Again. I'm getting to the point where I'm tuning out their segments. In some cases they are literally saying the same things over and over again. I realize that the majority of viewers probably don't watch every night, but it's getting old for me.
Randi Kaye had a piece on BP's so-called "reporters." If the media isn't giving you good PR, make your own! Anyone remember this? "From Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting." If you get the reference without Googling, you get a cookie.
Anderson Cooper: "For 70-some odd days now, I have been kind of, I guess, complaining or pointing out the lack of transparency that BP has, even though they had promised transparency." Kind of? Dude, understatement. But you get on with your bad self.
Turtles! I'm sorry, turtles are just cool. And who knew feeding them mayonnaise could help remove oil? Our anchor's piece is below:
I unfortunately don't have the turtle segment that was live, but I loved how that turtle had its "arms" straight up in the air like it just got chased down by the cops or was about to break out some YMCA moves. To help our turtle friends, go to auduboninstitute.org.
During the broadcast, Tropical Storm Alex turned into Hurricane Alex. Ruh Roh. The announcement was accompanied by an uptick in Anderson Cooper's excitement level. Do I detect a hint of Hurricane Guy still in there somewhere? Man, remember when hurricanes used to be fun? Okay, granted, they were always probably not fun for someone out there, but things used to be different. Hurricanes were all about watching your favorite reporters get bitch-slapped by Mother Nature to the point of loopiness. It was like watching wet drunk people on live TV. It. Was. Awesome. "Weather porn" was I believe the coined phrase. Then Hurricane Katrina happened and instead of "weather porn," we got a flooded city and over a thousand dead. Kinda took the buzz out of hurricane fun. And now there's oil. It's like the universe has to keep upping the ante. Here comes the Oily Floody Death Monster Of Terror! I swear people, at this point all we can really do is sit back and wait for the locusts.
Chad Myers, madly scribbling away the hurricane forecast in a way only he can: "See, that's a longer distance than this is here. The Isosceles triangle. There's the hypotenuse there, a word you didn't ever think you'd use again. A hypotenuse is father." I love a man who gets abnormally excited about Geometry.
Anderson's tour of the re-opened oyster beds is below. Yes, I cringed when he sucked down that oyster. That's the second time he's done that! The first time was on May 28th (this blog isn't just snarky criticism; it can also be used as reference material!). Anyway, personally, not recommended. But our anchor is crazy, so there's that.
The Silver Fox struggling to harvest oysters was pretty hilarious. I love that he clearly knows we enjoy laughing at him, and apparently he's okay with that. We mock with love, Anderson! He looked like he was trying to maneuver really big chop sticks. "All that and I got one. It was pretty pathetic. [Mitch Jurisich] said I was like Forest Gump on his first time out shrimping," says our anchor. Ha. Don't quit your day job, kid.
That'll do it for me. The show was better tonight, but they still have a bit of that rut thing going on. A question: whatever happened to Culprits of the Catastrophe? They can't be done already.
This bullet point is a shout out to Larry King. I may have my issues with his interviewing style, but CNN primetime is losing a legend.
Week Six Of Live Coverage From The Gulf Of The BP Oil Disaster
Hi everyone. I'm not feeling very bloggy right now, so unfortunately the bullet points will be few. Tonight the 360 kids kicked off their sixth week in the Gulf. Pretty amazing, and dedication that is truly to be admired. However (yeah you knew it was coming at some point), I think it's time for me to throw some criticism their way regarding the overall coverage. Don't get me wrong, it's still good. But I'm starting to see the same signs that we saw at the beginning of their financial coverage. And we all know how that turned out.
Look, as I've noted previously, the public's interest in the Gulf disaster was going to start to wane at some point. That seems to be happening now. The show no longer has the ratings bump that's been giving them the solid second place demo. Decreasing interest in the story is not 360's fault. But man, they are not doing themselves any favors!
Like with the financial crisis, once again, the show seems to have fallen into a rut. There's no denying that 360 is doing a pretty excellent job of living up to their motto of "keeping 'em honest," and the majority of the packages have been very good. The rest? Why are they talking to the same people over and over again? Just because Carville and Nungesser don't have their heads in boxes doesn't mean they're not a type of panel.
Why is Anderson Cooper not talking to more of the everyday locals? I don't get this. If I had to pick one thing to list as his strength, that would be it. Instead we get to see him interviewing celebs. I don't expect much of him on Mondays since he might have just returned, but this is ongoing. If I'm remembering his Katrina reporting correctly, it was much more varied. Even I'm beginning to lose interest, and I'm a huge supporter of their presence in the Gulf. This is not a blog post telling them to stop their coverage; it's a post urging them to shake it up. Will they do so? Yeah, probably not. But buck up kids, we still have the bullet points:
Below is Randi Kaye's piece about the developing mental health crisis in the Gulf and the money the state of Louisiana has requested from BP.
The piece is followed by discussion with James Carville and Billy Nungesser. The subject is extremely serious and heart-breaking, but...WTF is Carville wearing? Has he been umping little league games or what? Not to be mean, but if there's anyone who doesn't need to add ridiculousness to his look...
I haven't pimped out the Make BP Appear on AC360 Facebook group in a while, so...join! Because BP shunning Anderson makes our anchor sad. Don't let him be sad, people!
Below is Chris Lawrence's piece about people (specifically Anthony Thibodeaux) who are affected by the oil drilling moratorium:
That's going to do it for me tonight. This bullet point contains a new shirt for Carville. Because seriously.
Controversy Over Berms, Michael Hastings Interview On McChrystal's Resignation, A Question Of Journalistic Credit, And Kids Worry About The Oil
Hi everyone. I'm actually not much in a blogging mood tonight, but there were a few things I wanted to mention about the show. On we go:
I felt like Anderson Cooper's piece on the berm dispute was a little one sided. I realize the show is having problems booking guests, but was there really no one to explain the decision of the Interior Department? Our anchor half-heartedly playing devil's advocate really didn't cut it. To be clear, I'm not saying I side with the department or disagree with Governor Jindal and Billy Nungesser. But I don't know anything about berms. I don't know much about a lot of what they're talking about. So I want facts. I want to hear more about those environmental groups who have doubts about the project. Jindal and Nungesser are two guys who have been working their butts off round-the-clock to do what they think is right. But are they right? I don't know.
Following Anderson's piece, he talked by phone with Billy, who proceeded to give an epic rant about the situation, even going off on a tangent about Obama and Afghanistan. Our anchor was completely run over, to put it mildly. I have to say, I'm beginning to feel an uneasiness about Billy's relationship with the show. I suppose some may think it's because I didn't like him going off on Obama. I actually don't care about that. What gave me pause was an article I read about Billy before the show even aired. The story is about a threatening letter that he sent to Obama, which includes the information that he was going on Anderson Cooper and it wouldn't be pretty (and he apparently wasn't lying!). Admittedly, my initial reaction was to laugh. But then I found myself questioning things. Billy does not work for CNN. He has his own interests and agenda, and while I believe them to be pure, it does not make him always right. I'm not saying don't have him on the show. But he should be one perspective, not THE perspective (yes, I'm slight exaggerating here, but I don't think it dilutes my point). Plus? The man is tired and frustrated beyond belief, which can lead to all kinds of skewing of reality. I don't blame Billy here at all; I just think the show needs to be careful to keep things in perspective.
Michael Hastings was on the show again and this time we actually got to see him. It was a good interview. Unfortunately, I could not find the video. Today there have been some more good write ups about the situation, which you can find linked on my Twitter page if you're so inclined. (Yes, I'm being an epic lazy blogger.) There you will also find links about CNN's disappointing decision to fill Campbell Brown's old time slot with Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker. It's like the network just can't stop themselves from tarnishing their reputation. Oh, CNN... (Update: Video below!)
It must have been rant night because Anderson had one too--about BP's lack of transparency. Clearly they particularly pissed him off tonight.
Randi Kaye had a pretty good piece about Marc Kovac, a whistle-blower who thinks there could be another BP disaster on Alaska's North Slope. I thought this bullet point was going to end there, but after the show, this tweet popped up in my Twitter time line: "CNN, the latest MSM outlet to steal my work w/o credit. Great piece on BP Alaska Randi Kaye, the only thing missing was my byline." Uh, what? The accusation was tweeted by Jason Leopold, who went on to tweet he had been in communication with CNN about the story, and even that Randi told him his credit had been cut from the on-air piece. Obviously, I can't confirm any of this, but it doesn't sound good. The MSM's reputation of screwing over the little guy reporter isn't exactly a secret. Randi's blog post on the story contains a link to Leopold's reporting, though tweets from him seem to indicate it was added after-the-fact. I'm not all that familiar with this reporter. I used to read truthout.org years ago and remember some of the people that write for it being a little out there. And again, I don't know all the facts here, but 360 thought Leopold's reporting was good enough to go from, so it looks like he probably deserves an on-air apology. Will he get it? Doubtful. Randi's piece is below.
Below is Gary Tuchman's piece on the children of this disaster and the worries they have. I have to say, Gary Tuchman + Kids = Win! Adorableness abounds. And the kids were cute too. Heh. Some of those worries need to be debunked though. They won't be able to take baths anymore? I understand parents want to shield their children, but the kids are going to worry, and if things are not at least partly explained, obviously their imaginations are going to run wild. Sad situation. It's summer. Those kids should be thinking about the next game of tag, not if their dad is going to lose his job.
Explosive Rolling Stone Profile Puts General Stanley McChrystal's Career In Jeopardy And More Coverage From The Gulf
Hi everyone. Well, I knew it would happen eventually--a story would come along and knock the BP oil disaster out of the first block of the broadcast. And did it ever. Unless you've been under a rock or perhaps just now come out of a coma, you already know that Michael Hastings wrote a profile of General Stanley McChrystal for Rolling Stone. It is what they call a "must read," and has the political/media class in a tizzy over incendiary comments the general made about everyone from a French minister to Joe Biden. Underneath the name-calling are very real and important questions about our involvement in Afghanistan and how we proceed forward. Hopefully that conversation will come soon. The current news-cycle, however, predictably, is all about the fate of McChrystal. It's been reported that he has offered his resignation. It's Obama's move. And that, kids, is where we find ourselves. The bullet points and their awesomeness await:
I was pretty excited when I found out that Michael Hastings was the author of the article. I'm a big fan (and promoter) of his work. He's a no bullshit kind of journalist--just the way I like them. You can read more of his work at True Slant if you go to the "The Hastings Report" link on your right (see, I'm not lying about promoting!). I'm actually Twitter friends with Michael, which I guess is neither here nor there, but I bring it up because how that came to be has a 360 connection. No, seriously. Around the time of one of Jack Gray's initial award show live-blogs, I was reading Michael's excellent book "I Lost My Love in Baghdad." Jack just happened to mention his friend, Michael Hastings, and I was like, "wait, that name is familiar...oh hey!" Fast forward to me confirming with Jack it was the same guy (this was back when Jack tweeted a lot more) and passing along how much I liked the book. Fast forward to Jack getting Michael on Twitter (I'm not saying because of me, people), and...wah la! Twitter friends. And I've been following his work ever since. (I'm amused by the fact that at the time of that post Jack "only" had 164,836 followers--my how time flies and the Twitter profile grows!) Anyway! Maybe you all don't care about my semi-narcissistic little social networking story here, but hey, my blog. In any regards, you should follow Michael and you should definitely read his Rolling Stone piece.
Anderson Cooper's interview with Michael via Kandahar is below. Of note is Michael talking about how he struggled to determine if McChrystal and others were using him to push an agenda.
David Gergen, James Carville, and Peter Bergen followed things up with discussion about whether McChrystal should stay or go. This panel wasn't too bad, but I'm guessing I'll be boycotting the majority of the chattering class as they pontificate over what Obama does or does not "have" to do. Personally, I don't think McChrystal should have been in the position to begin with. He was involved in overseeing both the Pat Tillman cover-up and prisoner abuse. That's integrity? Plus, he sounds like kind of an asshole. Then again, sometimes you need kinda of an asshole to get things done. Whatever decision Obama makes, I hope he makes it for the right reasons.
Back to Gulf news now and the familiar dinging of the railroad crossing. Yes, still broken. I'm beginning to see some sort of symbolism here, and I think it's telling us the Gulf is screwed.
Below you can watch our anchor interview Governor Bobby Jindal on the oil drilling moratorium. I have to admit, he was sounding pretty rational...and I feel like it's a trap. Because I know that the second I determine Kenneth the Page to be a sane Republican, he's going to do something crazy. Like, Michele Bachmann crazy. It's coming, people!
So, you know how last night Jeffrey Toobin told us they're not going to overturn the drilling moratorium? Wrong! He's back to explain himself, but then we lose his satellite, and Anderson looks sad and quizzical. It's okay, Silver Fox, you'll get him back! And they did. Toobin went on to give the legal lowdown and noted that there was an option of going "rig by rig" instead of a blanket moratorium. I don't understand why they weren't doing this in the first place. Doesn't that sound rational? What am I missing here?
Anderson: "What do you make of liberal groups and liberal bloggers who have been making a lot about the the judge who owned stock in oil companies? I mean, I tend to think a lot of people around here -- a lot of people across the country own stock in oil companies." Ah, yes. Those pesky "liberal" groups and bloggers. I hate it when media does this. So dismissive. Like all those "liberals" who wanted the public option...who turned out to be the majority of the country. But I digress.
For the record, Jeff's answer, which makes me think the judge should be recused (emphasis mine): "Well, I don't think it's much ado about nothing but I think there's no corruption here. Judge Feldman has been on the bench since the Reagan administration, he's a very respected judge. But like most federal judges in Louisiana and Texas and, in fact, much of the world, he is an upper middle class Republican lawyer who was appointed to the bench. And those people, particularly in that part of the country, tend to be sympathetic to the oil business, have investments in the oil industry. It's not illegal for them to have investments in the oil business. But I think it indicates a mindset. That's why they were appointed."
Gary Tuchman's piece on the Vessel of Opportunity program was both frustrating...and a little creepy. People like fishermen Carl Leblanc and Thomas Barrios want to work, yet can't even get anyone from the program to give them the time of day. The creepy part comes in when Gary tries to get answers from a BP contractor. Over and over, the guy tells our correspondent, "They've told me to refer media requests to Judy Paul." Apparently, BP turns their employees into Pod People. You have to hand it to Gary for the persistence. Though he is, in fact, the nicest guy in the world; he is not a pushover. Unfortunately, Pod People cannot be cracked. But I guess that guy is probably just trying to keep his job to support himself/his family as well. *Sigh* Life is too complicated.
Below is Drew Griffin's piece on Tyrone Benton, a survivor of the Deepwater Horizon, who claims to have seen a leak before the explosion:
Celeb time! Oh, 360. Tonight we have Lenny Kravitz. Are You Gonna Go My Way?! I got to, go to know. Annnyhoo. I like Lenny. He's here because he's lived in the region for 17 years, and while that alone would not justify his appearance (to me, anyway), he's raising money for Gulf Aid, so good for that. His single is called "Ain't My Fault" and can be found on iTunes. I liked in the interview when Anderson asked Lenny if he was just waking up. That might have been a little awkward if he answered in the negative. Yes, wake up, Lenny! Don't you know you're talking to the Silver Fox?
This bullet point contains a snow cone, because dang it's hot.
Week Five Of Live Coverage From The Gulf Of The BP Oil Disaster
Hi everybody. And so it continues. I can't quite believe we're now in the fifth straight week of the 360 kids reporting live from the Gulf. You gotta admire their dedication. It must be getting harder to come up with new angles. BP lies. Things are oily. And so it continues. I hope the public doesn't start tuning out due to feeling of helplessness. But that point is surely around the corner. For now, read producer Ismael Estrada's blog post on where we've been, and then take a jump on down to the bullet points. As always, they have been awesomeness tested:
Tony Hayward went to a yacht race over the weekend. And here I thought he might do something arrogant and out-of-touch.
Not only was the race yet another BP PR blunder, as Anderson Cooper points out, it was also a broken promise since the CEO had promised to stay in the Gulf until the leak was fixed. Of course BP promises are worth about as much as Monopoly money these days, so there's that.
Tonight we were presented with the 857th piece of evidence that BP should not be trusted: an internal memo showing they knew the leak could be as high as 100,000 barrels per day. As you might recall, they started out telling us oil was flowing at a rate of only 1,000 barrels per day. But hey, let's cut them some slack. They were only 99,000 barrels off (of a worst case scenario)! Could happen to anyone. Our anchor's interview with Congressman Ed Markey on the BP memo is below:
Chris Lawrence's piece on BP low-balling claims was obviously frustrating, though not shocking. I hope Stu Scheer gets the money he's owed. Watch the story below:
Billy Nungesser was looking spiffy tonight. Happier too. It's great to hear that at least some things are starting to come together.
Oh 360 and your obsession with celebrities. Will you ever not make me eye roll? That being said, I like a lot of what Robert Redford had to say. Some of it is below (er, ignore the weird edit with Anderson's picture):
Our anchor: "What surprises you about the way BP has handled this so far?" Redford: "Nothing." Finally someone who is rightly not shocked by BP's behavior. And he wants to look at the bigger picture? Can I get a woo hoo?
Redford: "Look, I think one of the reasons we're in this problem is because we have not only have a failed energy policy, but we have an energy policy -- because of the way it was designed by who it was designed by, Cheney -- it's sick and it's dangerous." It's about time somebody went there. By the way, am I the only one who has noticed that Darth Vader has gone quiet? Suddenly he's not too eager to phone up his faithful Politico transcribers. Funny that.
Redford didn't really sell his support of the moratorium. Anderson brought up its unpopularity in the Gulf and all the actor could say was that he was "sympathetic" to the concerns over job loss. He's coming at this from a perspective of an ideal world (which I support), but the people in the Gulf have to live in the real one. Someday we have got to learn how to mesh the two.
Anderson: "And in terms of oversight by the government, clearly the government both under the Bush administration and even under the Obama administration, have not done as much in terms of reforming MMS." Word. If there's one thing I'm mad at Obama about regarding this disaster, it's that. He had almost a year and a half to clean up Bush's mess in that department. He didn't make the mess, but he promised us better government under his watch.
Redford: "Look, all that stuff has come out, and it's painfully obvious what's happened -- the corruption that came with MMS as a result of Dick Cheney and how he engineered this whole thing. You got to get rid of Cheney and all the horses he came in with. You got to get rid of his energy policy. It's bad for our health. It's bad for our economy. It's bad for our future." Pretty much. But I think his failure to include Obama's culpability here dilutes his argument.
Jeffrey Toobin doesn't think the moratorium will be overturned, despite the current lawsuits. I guess I'm glad, though I'm still not sure why they all have to be offline for six months.
I thought Shane Guidry of Harvey Gulf was a much better guest to argue the anti-moratorium side than Julia Reed. I don't agree with all that he said, but a good perspective.
Rob Marciano's piece on releasing the pelicans was awesome. So great to see them flying away safe and clean. I love how adorably excited he was to release some himself. Watch below:
We also got Rob live with some turtles, which was pretty cool as well. I love turtles. In honor of the occasion, I think this calls for the "I like turtles" kid:
Oh hey, so the train crossing dinging is back. Yay?
That'll do it. The show just keeps chugging on, keeping 'em honest.
This bullet point contains a cookie, because the 360 kids deserve one.
Hi everyone. Remember when about a month and a half ago I said this?:
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.
Well kids, Angry Face Congresscritter Day has officially arrived! Today Mr. CEO himself received a Capitol Hill grilling and it was all very unproductive. Did you perhaps miss the festivities and only have four minutes to catch up? You are in luck! The good people at Huffington Post have condensed the whole day's testimony down to that increment of time. There is lots of talking with absolutely nothing being said. Someone did their preparation with Alberto Gonzales, yo.
Anyway! While the whole asking-questions-that-never-get-answered thing is fun, I propose a new approach in dealing with our BP friends. I think we need to set up a dunking booth on the Gulf coast, except instead of water, it will be filled with oil. And every afternoon a BP executive will be required to sit in that dunking booth, while citizens of the region take their shots. For free. And this will continue every fucking day until the very last blade of grass is clean and every claim is paid. Seems pretty fair, no? I know what you're thinking: "That would be awesome, but where are my bullet points?" They are coming! In fact, they are here:
You gotta love the stupidity of Republicans. They were sitting pretty on this. The president was taking more and more heat, and all they had to do was not say anything demonstrably idiotic to change the narrative. Enter Congressman Joe Barton, who used his time at the bully pulpit to actually apologize to BP for being made to pay for what they destroyed. He's like the Harry Whittington of environment disasters. Yeah, sorry our Gulf got in the way of all of your oil, BP! Totally our bad. So anyway, the politically savvy don't really need the day's transcript to know what came next in this play. Predictably, the Democrats were like, "ZOMG, the baby Jesus just gave us a pony! Where's the microphone? Joe Barton is teh evil!" Cue Republican freakout (we're losing the news cycle!). Fast forward. Fast forward. Then says Barton: "I retract my apology to BP." Annnnnnd...scene!
Dana Bash's piece on what I just summed up:
Anderson Cooper to Jeffrey Toobin: "Jeff, I want to ask you about the testimony. Ricky Gervais, on the British version of 'The Office,' once said, you just have to accept that, some days, you're the pigeon, and, some days, you're the statue. Did Tony Hayward dutifully play the part of the statue today?" This is one of the reasons why I love our anchor. You never know what he's going to hit you with. Super Serious furrowed brow. Amusing TV quotes. Oh, he's got it all, baby!
Jeff Toobin on why the political theater shouldn't be dismissed: "I would like to just put in a word for politics. I mean, I think politics matters here. You know, Congress is going to decide whether offshore drilling continues. And they're going to decide what the rules are, what the regulations are for how drilling takes place. That may seem irrelevant to the immediate concerns, but, you know, this is the key to stopping whether this is going to happen again." Word.
Ed Lavandera reporting on the fleet of Louisiana-owned vacuum barges sidelined by the Coast Guard over safety concerns:
Anderson's interview with whistleblower Ken Abbott over the safety of the Atlantis rig:
Abbie Boudreau's piece was very good. Unfortunately I could not find the video.
At the end of his analyzing, Toobin asked Anderson if he could talk about an unrelated matter, which made my ears perk. What could it be?! Normally I would be thinking that Silver Fox embarrassment was surely on the horizon, though that didn't seem appropriate given the current disaster and all. Then our senior legal guru brought up Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin, which I immediately recognized as the name of the birther our anchor absolutely wiped the floor with in an interview a month or two ago. This made me a little excited. Was there hilarious schadenfreude upon us? Um, actually, no there was not. What came next from Toobin: "In the course of that report, I made the statement that a lot of the birthers are bigots and racists and there was a picture of Lakin behind me.I didn't mean to suggest that he was a bigot and a racist. I was just talking more generally. And I also should correct myself. He wasn't trying to get out of military service. He is the subject of a court Marshall that's why we were doing the story. But I didn't mean to imply that about him." So that was weird and awkward! Even Anderson was just like, "okay, thanks." As my friend said, "Just get a Twitter, Jeff." Word. Then maybe next time you won't have to derail the broadcast and use up airtime to talk about something that happened about 30 news cycles ago. (To be clear, I am very pro-on air clarification when it occurs in a timely manner.) And like, what, he's been getting angry email all this time and just waiting to set the record straight? If he's incurred the wrath of some crazy birthers and he thinks this little on air clarification is going to get them to back off...oh, honey.
Below is Anderson's interview with country music star Trace Adkins. In my opinion, this is one of those jump-the-shark kind of bookings. He's a celebrity! He also worked on a rig! We must put him on TV to talk about this! But perhaps I'm just being country musicist. Of note was the moratorium talk. Trace: "I don't know how many tens of thousands of wells have been drilled in the Gulf of Mexico since we've been doing it. But how many times have you heard about this happening? I think that's a pretty good track record, you know." While I think the administration should be doing more to acknowledge and minimize the economic impact the moratorium is going to have, I'm sick of this kind of thinking. This disaster was not just some sort of fluke--it was an accident waiting to happen. The industry is out of control and obviously not ensuring safety. It's crazy to put our heads in the sand and just plug along until it happens again. Because it will happen again. I refuse to believe there is no in between compromise here.
The show continues to be good. This bullet point contains extra kudos for our anchor.
Hi everyone. I'm a little short on time tonight. The bullet points will be few, but I will try to make them extra awesome.
Another day, another BP PR fumble. This time it was chairman Carl- Henric Svanberg, sticking his foot in his mouth by proclaiming he cares about the "small people" affected by BP's mess. Does this mean his next meeting is with the Lollipop Guild? So yeah, not cool. Thing is though, as our anchor points out, the guy is not a native English speaker. Plus, not noted is the fact that Obama had just been talking to him about people who own small businesses. So, I actually do think this was just a misspeak (and he's since apologized). That being said, screw BP, man. Anderson Cooper is totally on my page, playing devil's advocate, and sticking it to them all at the same time: "If by chance the chairman of BP doesn't know this already, which I'm sure he does, we think it's worth mentioning. There aren't any small people here. In all the weeks and months that we have worked in Louisiana and in the Gulf since Katrina, we have not met any little people." He then runs pictures of some non little people who he would love to introduce to the people of BP...if they ever actually came on his show. Well done.
Ed Henry's piece on the $20 billion fund to help pay claims is below. All well and good, but can some people go to jail too? Please?
I have mixed feelings on the oil moratorium. It seems absolutely insane to me to just keep drilling like nothing happened. But I also understand that a moratorium of six months will decimate the economy down there. I do not think Julia Reed sold her argument well. At all. I found her extremely off-putting. Wondering if I was alone in this, I took to the Twitter to see what other people thought. While I wasn't surprised to see that the reaction to her was overwhelmingly negative, I was shocked at an accusation that came up again and again: racist! See, during her appearance she used the colloquialism "cotton-picking mind" to refer to Obama, as in, he must be out of his. Now some of the Internets are in a tizzy. I don't know much about Julia Reed, and what I've seen I haven't liked, but c'mon people. Let's step back like 5000 paces. It's pretty clear she was not being racist. Anyway! While Julia was being abrasive (but not racist), my friend from the Gulf did a much better job of selling me on why a moratorium would be so bad, while I argued for something in between. We've since decided that we should actually be the ones running this thing. We'll soon be implementing a rotating moratorium--FYI. You're welcome.
Tonight our anchor had his live shot set up at the Ft. Jackson Oil Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The video below contains Anderson's piece of pelicans being cleaned, as well as a live interview with Jay Holcomb, the executive director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center.
I would be remiss if I did not include the shocker that I found while reviewing the video. As I think we all know, at this point, Anderson Cooper's tight black t-shirt should practically be trademarked. It's a crowd pleaser! So, imagine my surprise, nay, my HORROR, when I came upon the 1:41 mark. What is THAT? A tight black t-shirt IMPOSTER! All this time has the Silver Fox's signature clothing item merely been freebie t-shirts that he's been turning around for the camera? I feel so cheap.
Tonight's Culprit of the Catastrophe (courtesy of Randi Kaye) is Tony Hayward. Kinda a no brainer there, huh?
Though I didn't cover it all, the show was good. This bullet point contains sleep because I need some.
Live Coverage From Louisiana Post President Obama's Oval Office Address
Hi everyone. Well, how about that speech, huh? Way to be underwhelming, Obama. But you know what's never underwhelming? That's right, the bullet points. Away we go!
So, you know how last week the government upped the estimate of oil flowing into the Gulf to as much as 40,000 barrels? Guess what happened today. Yep, 60,000 barrels! Do I hear 80,000? Something to (not) look forward to next week, I suppose. Anyway, Anderson Cooper calls this a "stunning" development, which I guess would be a true statement if one was not paying any attention whatsoever. Dude, are you ever not stunned?
Kudos for the barrel estimation montage though. Very Daily Show-esque.
Our anchor: "We have also known for a while that, in their own plan, BP discussed how to deal with and protect walruses in the Gulf of Mexico. And, in case you're saying to yourself, wow, I didn't know there were walruses in the Gulf of Mexico, there aren't." I actually was not saying that to myself, but your impression is still very dead on.
As it turns out, BP is not the only dumbass on the oil block. Four of the five largest oil companies apparently would not be surprised to see walruses in the Gulf because they all have plans for them! And three of those companies claim to be getting info from a scientist who happens to be dead. Maybe ghosts can stop the leak!
Garland Robinette! I was wondering when he was going to be on. Below is some of the discussion with him and Billy Nungesser:
The similarities of the oil spill plan quick guides is kinda insane. It's like they all copied each others' homework...and they originally copied off the dumb kid. Watch that segment plus Anderson's interview with Ed Markey below:
The president's speech. I'm not even really sure what to say, people. My overall impression was "meh." It sounded nice. I believe he cares. But it didn't feel like there was that much there there. That being said, a part of me is not sure what any of us expect him to do. This is a weird and unique situation. Like it or not (and we certainly do not!), we're pretty much stuck with BP. And Obama is limited in what he can do. Still. An acknowledgment that things are really, really bad, and a detailed plan of how we're going to at least attempt to fix them would have been nice. I mean, can we get some PowerPoint up in here?
I have scoured the Internets for speech opinions and come bearing my two favorite blog posts. First of all, John Cole. Okay, yes, a tad harsh. But he makes some good points and having Obama give his version of the address would be worth it for the pundit freakout alone. They would probably vaporize. Everybody wins! Next up, Jason Linkins, possibly my favorite snarker on the interwebs. Favorite line: "Are we operating off a booklet of Mad Libs, written by Jon Favreau, or something?"
David Gergen on the delayed action and chaos in the Gulf: "Thank goodness our Army does not go to war like this." *headdesk* But we do! Iraq. Hello! We went in there, smashed everything and then didn't know what the hell to do. Our troops didn't even have the proper armor for like two years! I'm by no means defending chaos and screw-ups (two wrongs don't make a right), but this line of conversation is ridiculous.
The Joe Johns piece on Atlantis, another BP rig in the Gulf that is also possible unsafe:
The below video contains disturbing pictures of Pelican nests (with dead chick and crushed eggs) allegedly destroyed by careless BP contractors, as well as Gary Tuchman's piece on bird rescue. I'm glad they're again allowing journalists to get close.
Tonight's Culprits of the Catastrophe takes aim at the Minerals Management Service (MMS). Let's hope Obama reforms it as promised. Why he didn't already is beyond me.
This bullet point contains hope because I still have it, though just barely.
Week Four Of Live Coverage From Louisana Of The BP Oil Disaster
Hi everyone. Day 56 of the oil disaster, week four of the 360 kids live from the field. Their stick-to-it-ness is about to rival how long they stayed for Katrina or Israel. Good for them. Well, shall we do this thing? The bullet points await:
Anderson Cooper: "Now, I know it seems like we have been talking about this oil for a long time. And maybe you're getting tired of hearing about it. And I understand that, but this oil is not keeping track of days." Nope, I'm good. But thank you for your concern. Seriously, this is 360/Anderson at their best. This is the kind of reporting that built their base of viewers. And the ratings are showing it too, with a pretty consistent solid second most nights they've been in the Gulf.
Well, what a surprise, more evidence that BP sacrificed safety to save a quick buck. I swear, at this point all of the company's executives should have twirly mustaches because they are becoming cartoonishly evil.
After taking a shortcut, one BP official actually wrote in an email, "Who cares? It's done. End of story. We will probably be fine." We'll probably be fine? That's like the horror movie equivalent of "I'll be right back." They're not going to be right back; they're going to get stabbed by the scary murderer! And now the Gulf is full of oil.
Billy Nungesser and Douglas Brinkley stopped by for their nightly BP bashing. You can watch the entire first segment of the broadcast including the first part of their discussion below (quality is bad, but beggars can't be choosers):
Ed Henry joined us (looking uncharacteristically sweaty) to talk about President Obama's speech tomorrow and his dwindling poll numbers. The prez will be coming at us from the Oval Office, which Ed implies is a Big Deal, or as the vice president might say, a Big F*cking Deal. As for those poll numbers, 71 percent of respondents think Obama hasn't been tough enough on BP. Wow, that's bad. Except for, not really. Hell, I still pretty much have his back on this and even I'm probably one of those 71 percenters. Let's face it, we humans are pretty childish. We want this thing fixed. Now! And since Obama's our leader and BP is the supposed fixer, obviously he's not being tough enough, right? Yeah, things are more complicated than that, people. I want Obama to be tough too. I want him to tie BP up, lift them by their ankles, and repeatedly dunk them in the oily Gulf until they cry. But as far as actual things Obama could be doing to them right now? Beats me. I suspect many of those 71 percenters aren't as down on the president as your average pundit might like you to believe. That being said, Obama is not in an enviable position--not by a long shot.
You know how I've been having a coronary over our press's coronary about Obama's lack of coronary over the oil disaster? Enter Fareed Zakaria who is so far this week's winner of the Internets. So reasonable! And yet James Carville is all over my TeeVee screen. (I actually probably support more federal intervention on this than Zakaria does, but still, reasonableness stands.)
Now the British are mad at us for being mad? What the hell? When did the stiff upper lip turn into a whine?
Still. STILL. BP will not come on 360. Seriously Tony, you're just being a wuss at this point. As always, if you think BP needs to be interviewed by Anderson, show your support by joining the Facebook group. Below is the montage of our anchor repeatedly requesting an interview:
I missed a lot of the interview with Drew Wheelan, but sounds like disturbing stuff.
Tonight 360 began a new (yet strangely familiar) series called Culprits of the Collapse Catastrophe. Good for them, calling out the names. It'll be interesting to see how brave they get. Going after BP isn't exactly hard at this point. That's where they started; former CEO Lord John Browne to be exact. Yes, he's a frickin' lord. You can watch Randi Kaye's piece below:
I'm guessing that Kevin Costner knows his stuff, yet I still can't help being disturbed that we are currently so far down the rabbit hole that talking to the guy from Waterworld seems like a good option. I wait with baited breath to find out how Mel Gibson would stop the oil.
Finally tonight, Gary Tuchman talks to General Russel Honore, who apparently wants to declare World War III on the oil disaster. We must invade the ocean! The fish will greet us as liberators and present us with flowers and candy! Hm. I know the General kicked ass during Katrina and all and I really do appreciate the moxie, but I kinda don't get this. He wants to move troops from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Gulf? Okay, yay, but to do what? Clean blades of grass? Gary asks him if he can draw out a battle plan and dang if he doesn't do so right there. I found that fairly amusing, and not just because he makes Florida look like a penis (oh, like I'm the only one who noticed). So anyway, the General's plan is to "find the oil and kill it." Which, um, okay. He does know the oil is not alive, right? I could see me using this kind of rhetoric because I would be doing so ironically, but Honore doesn't seem like a guy who gets ironic, like, ever. But hell, maybe we do need his plan. I mean, the best thing we got going for us right now seems to be Kevin Costner, so there you go. You kill that oil, General! You kill it with fire!
That'll do it. This bullet point contains a World Cup goal. Save it for Friday!
Hi everyone. Okay, yes, I'm kinda at a loss for titles at this point. Tonight we have fun with slang from the interwebs. About yesterday, I was feeling crappy. I did still make an attempt to blog for you fine folks, but my headache was like, "Stop right there. I will set your brain on fire." And really, who can argue with that? I'm back now though, and everything is fine. Well, except for that whole devastating oil catastrophe. To the bullet points!:
Speaking of things on fire, can someone out there please attack Anderson Cooper with some sunscreen? At first I was a little amused at him rocking the lobster look (I just totally made myself think of the B-52s. Ha!). Then I remembered his skin cancer history and got a little ticked. Don't the newsers know we worry?!
For those keeping score at home, the new estimate is 20,000 to 40,000 barrels of oil flowing into the Gulf every day. Spoiler Alert! A new(er) estimate is forthcoming and all signs point to more oiliness.
BP says they have "fully supported" the effort to measure the flow rate of the oil and they have "made no estimate of the flow rate [themselves]." But our anchor is like, "oh hells no!" He's got some questions about that: "Does fully supported mean not releasing underwater video of the leak for weeks, until the government lawmakers forced them to?" Or how about: "Does fully supported mean not allowing scientists working for the government to actually directly measure the gusher of oil?" And: "Does fully supported mean withholding high-resolution H.D. video from at least one of those scientists and Congress and the public until a few days ago?" I believe the words you're looking for are "oh, snap."
But Anderson Cooper was not done. Oh no he was not. Next came a montage of all the times BP actually had estimated the flow rate. After it was over, our anchor was like, oh FYI, after BP released their first statement that made them look like douches, then they re-released it with the last sentence (denying they estimated flow rates) totally gone. "So, in addition to putting out one statement that pretty much airbrushes history, they then put out a second statement which airbrushed the first statement." Ha! Awesome. The 360 kids rocked that segment.
BP continues to freeze out the Silver Fox when it comes to interview requests (I can't imagine why!). Why are you so afraid of Anderson Cooper, Tony? So hey Internets, do you want to see the oil douches get their asses grilled by our anchor? Of course you do! Show your support by joining the Facebook group Make BP Appear on AC360 (143 members and counting!).
Below is video of Anderson's talk with Ira Leifer, member of the government's flow rate team:
The 'ragin cajun' was, well, ragin. I loved the introduction: "We taped this a few hours ago, during daytime." I'm glad he explained. I would have been so frightened. Why is there suddenly sunshine?!!
Anderson then got into the issue of transparency and how BP is, uh, totally not. Our anchor has been prevented by federal wildlife officials from filming oily birds and CNN's Jim Acosta was blocked by the National Guard. You can see more on this in the first segment of the below video.
Yesterday CNN obtained a letter from BP COO Doug Suttles that stated "BP has not and will not prevent anyone working in the cleanup operation from sharing his or her own experiences or opinions with the media." Our anchor rightly calls this "patently false." But, in the interest of seeing if a new leaf had been turned, Tom Foreman went out to see if any workers would talk to him. Any guesses on what happened? Yeah...the segment was actually pretty creepy. You can view it in the second half of the video below. A corporation should not have this kind of power. Period.
Below is the interview with Senator Bill Nelson on BP's lack of transparency:
Randi Kaye covered the joint investigation from ProPublica and The Washington Post on BP's horrible safety record. I guess it was only a matter of time.
Gary Tuchman had our headlines again tonight. We're going to pretend like it's yesterday because I had something to say then and I don't for this broadcast. Anyway! You may have heard about how Carly Fiorina trashed talked Senator Barbara Boxer's hair in an open mic mishap. First of all, really? Her hair? Not juicy enough Fiorina! I mean, this is the woman who brought us demon sheep. I'm really disappointed she didn't say something more batshit insane. Back to Gary though, he says this: "That's my reoccurring nightmare, Anderson, that I'll say something nasty about someone and forget that I have that mic open on my lapel." Oh, that's adorable. Because no one is buying that Gary says nasty things. Our anchor: "You never said anything nasty about anyone, Gary. I know that." See?
Okay, we're back to Thursday, in case you were wondering. Below is Anderson's interview with family members of the men who died on the Deepwater Horizon rig: Jason Anderson's wife Shelley Anderson, Jason's father Billy Anderson, Roy Kemp's wife Courtney Kemp, Gordon Jones' father Keith Jones, Dewey Revette's wife Sherri Revette, and Adam Weise's mother Arlene Weise. It's astounding that BP has had no contact with them. Then again, given their history, it's really not.
That'll do it. The show continues to rock. But after that last video, this bullet point is sad. It contains prayers for the families of those lost men.
Live From Louisiana With A Trashcan, Calliope Music, And More Oil (Now In HD!)
Hi everyone. Well, let's not waste any time. To the bullet points!
We are now at day 50 of perhaps the largest environment disaster of our time. Day 50, and only now BP is like, "hey, you know that video of the oil coming out? Would you possibly like to see that in high definition?" Kidding! BP would never ask us if we want to see anything (congresscritters got it for us). But the fact that we've gone almost 50 days without said video is sadly totally true.
Christopher Jones (testifying on Capitol Hill), brother of rig explosion victim Gordon Jones, on BP CEO Tony Hayward's comments: "...he publicly stated he wants his life back. Well, Mr. Hayward, I want my brother's life back. And I know the families of the other 10 men want their lives back. We will never get Gordon's life back, and his wife will live a life without a husband and her two children a life without a father." No commentary needed.
Anderson Cooper to Ira Leifer (of the government's flow rate panel) regarding BP's apparent reluctance to make images available: "Does that make any sense to you? This is a company which has said they want to be transparent. And you guys are tasked by the U.S. government to try to figure out the flow rate. Why would they be throwing up obstacles in your way? Why would they not be giving you the best video as soon as possible?" Okay fellas, what about 'they are evil liars' do you not understand? BP is out to save BP. Period. But that doesn't mean they're good at that either. Incompetents with poor intentions. Yay for us, huh?
The interview with Congressman Ed Markey was good, but...that music! The 360 kids do not have the best track record (or luck) with background noises on this field trip (train crossing dinging, anyone?). I have to say, calliope music sets a rather surreal tone for an interview about a massive disaster. It sounded like they were standing in the middle of a carnival. At this rate, I can't imagine what background noise we'll have tomorrow. (The Markey interview is the first portion of the below video.)
Markey: "I assumed that, by this late date, that BP would finally decide that honesty was the best policy." Well, there's your first mistake. They are never going to decide that.
Paging The Daily Show. I was wondering when someone was going to show up with a hilariously ridiculous prop. Enter: Tom Foreman with a trashcan. I don't know, maybe it actually helped people understand. But I was too busy laughing to really take it all in. (The trashcan segment can be found in the last half of the below video.)
Anderson Cooper, did you attempt to flick us off tonight? Okay, no, he did not. But I am amused when the TV peeps get caught on camera doing their little frantic hand gestures that we're not supposed to see. (And if you're wondering, sadly no, no intense snapping.)
Plumes are scary.
Oil researcher Dr. Jeffrey Short on NOAA: "I think they have made all the right calls. They have done all the right things. I'm disappointed in how they have been -- their ability to communicate the results of what they're doing with the public has been so limited. But part of that, at least, is due to the fact that they're just overwhelmed with putting studies in the field, and they're getting massive information back. And they have been undergoing budget cuts for the last eight years in the people who do this stuff. So, their staff to deal with it has eroded substantially (emphasis mine). Why?
Anderson's piece on rescuing wildlife was rather infuriating. Federal wildlife officials won't let them film because they're afraid it will upset the birds? Please. There's probably both bureaucracy and over-caution at play here, but it still smells like a CYA operation. Though I loath Katrina comparisons, during that disaster, the government began blocking the media from filming the bodies. CNN sued for the right, and won. If this continues, they should sue again. And that's no joke.
So hey, it turns out there was an election tonight. No, really! What a difference a news cycle makes! Last time, you would have thought we were electing the president. CNN had their pundit-palooza going on in the Election Center and everything. Tonight they were like, "oh yeah, that." Personally, I like this way much better. It really goes to show you just how absolutely meaningless all their political analysis is, doesn't it? I mean, when you heard the results, were you really thinking to yourself, "if only I had first heard 10 minutes of Paul Begala's thoughts on this"?
Gary Tuchman had our headlines tonight. Mixing it up! When he popped up on screen, one of my chat buddies had this to say: "Ohhhh Gary. I think I have a crush on him. Is that OK?" Don't worry, the rest of us assured her that not only was it okay, it was very much encouraged, and perhaps even required. I mean, really, who doesn't love Gary?
Oil rig survivor Doug Brown explaining how BP cut corners to save money at the expense of safety:
Anderson's interview with Steve Gordon, attorney of the five oil rig survivors who talked to 360:
The broadcast flew by tonight. I usually keep track of the time when watching, but our anchor's sign off caught me off guard. I guess that'll happen when they cover what's important, and cover it well.
This bullet point contains the iPhone 4. Perhaps it'd be more realistic if I said it contained a unicorn?
Week Three Of Live Coverage From Louisiana Of The BP Oil Leak Disaster
Hi everyone. I left you on Friday because I stumbled upon a life and actually went out. I know, I was shocked too. Tonight I'm not feeling especially bloggy, but instead of leaving you on your lonesome, I shall throw down some videos to pick up my slack. That works, right? Don't worry, the bullet points may be few and brief, but they are still present and as always, they are awesome:
Okay media, the president has confirmed that he is on the lookout for asses to kick. Are you happy now? Or does Obama need to stomp his feet and shake his fist for us to really know he cares?
The train dinging is back! Our anchor actually acknowledged the noise tonight, noting that the nearby railroad crossing is broken. Has it been broken this whole time? I guess the area has more pressing matters to deal with, but you'd think that'd get annoying. Lucky for us it seemed quieter this time around.
Anderson has developed himself one nasty cough. Breathing in crap from Haiti for weeks and then breathing in oil crap for weeks is probably not good for a person. Feel better, Silver Fox.
The montage of BP interview requests was brilliantly passive aggressive. Anderson Cooper just wants to have a little talk with you, BP. Why so scared? You can watch the clips below. Major shout out to MoxNewsDotCom who uploaded the video after a request from me. Maybe he would have anyway, but thanks all the same. (Update: I got confirmation that he did upload it for me. How awesome is he? Send him love and puppies.) As always, for those who think it's ridiculous that BP refuses to go on the show, show your support and join the Facebook group Make BP appear on AC360.
The next video first covers how BP is paying for a sweet spot in Google and Yahoo searches, and then goes into an interview Anderson did with Edward James Olmos. Apparently, he was on Battlestar Galactica, so one wonders if our anchor had a geeked out fan boy moment (though given the situation, probably sadly no). Anyway, the actor didn't say much to write home about. Move the White House to the Gulf? Really?
Below is Randi Kaye's piece from Destin, Florida. Smart of them to take matters into their own hands. BP isn't coming to save anybody.
Finally, there was Anderson's interview with Deepwater Horizon oil rig survivors Daniel Barron, Doug Brown, Matthew Jacobs, Chris Choy, and Brent Mansfield. They paint a truly harrowing ordeal.
That'll do it. This bullet point contains a lollipop. Is there a surprise in the center? Maybe.
"How Are You Going To Make This Right?" AC360's Marathon Night Of Live Coverage From Louisiana
Hi everyone. Well, the 360 kids earned those paychecks tonight, didn't they? Except for the hour when they slipped us some taped Larry King (sneaky!), the broadcast went live until 2 AM EST. Not the longest night I've ever seen them do; still pretty close. The occasion? BP capped the well, which I believe is their 502nd attempt to stop the damn oil from flowing. Not really being a mechanical person, I had no plans to stick around and watch hours of the coverage. Then I got to chatting with some longtime 360 viewers and, well, yep, I watched the whole marathon. I did, however, stop writing things down in the second hour, so I am sorry to say that the bullet points will not be all-encompassing. But they will be--what's the word? Oh yes, awesome! Away we go:
Below I have embeded the first few minutes of the show, which are definitely worth a watch. First of all, Anderson Cooper's pronunciation of robot (robutt!) is one of the most hilariously adorable things you'll ever hear. But to bring this back to Serious Town, there's a mad powerful moment that's related to the title of this post. On the same day that we're hearing about a new PR strategy from BP, we're also seeing absolutely devastating pictures of wildlife. Which brings us to our anchor: "BP says they're going to make things right in that commercial. It's a good slogan. It's folksy. It's familiar. It's down-home. But our question to them tonight, if they were ever willing to come on this program, which they're still not, our question tonight is this: How are you going to make this right?" He then repeats the question three more times, each time an oil soaked bird appearing on screen. Well done.
Anderson on BP's lack of information regarding the latest fix attempt: "Sadly, BP doesn't release information as quickly as that well releases oil." Oh, snap!
More of our anchor on BP: "They paid a big-time political consultant to make this ad, the price tag, an estimated $50 million, $50 million. Now, many of the fishermen we have been meeting for the last few weeks here are watching their livelihoods go down the drain -- $50 million -- while fishermen wait and struggle to collect a few thousand dollars that BP says they're going to pay them for lost work, but haven't paid them yet." Um, about that political consultant? One of the heads of the firm that produced the ad is CNN contributor--and frequent 360 guest--Alex Castellanos. I'm guessing Anderson didn't want to mention that part. Do I need to again explain why the concept of pundits is so disgusting to me? Seriously, this crap hurts CNN's reputation.
BP is undertaking this massive operation and has no one around to explain what the hell is going on? Allow me to show you my shocked face.
Hey, guess what, BP. Anderson Cooper is so servicey, he will not only get up early to interview you, he is now offering you free advice! "I'm going to give BP some free P.R. advice, not that they care what I say. But they're spending $50 million on an ad. They could have somebody just narrating in real time what is happening, just like Houston does when they launch a rocket, and it would get people invested in this operation." Can we just make Anderson Disaster Czar?
Larry King interviewed Obama tonight and it was, well, Larry. And of course he had to ask him about being angry. You know, our president may not be showing the apparent adequate level of Rage Face, but I'm about to friggin' throttle the next person that asks that question. Thankfully, we have people like Jason Linkins, who wins the Internets for this glorious smackdown of that bullshit (bonus points for Dashboard Confessional reference).
James Carville's story about running into Admiral Thad Allen and BP CEO Tony Hayward in a restaurant was pretty funny, mostly because Anderson was like, dude, you should have called me. He wants that interview so bad, people! As always, don't forget to join the Facebook group to make BP come on the show. How dare they freeze out the Silver Fox!
I have to say, I wasn't that impressed with Kyra Phillips' "full access" to the rig serving as BP command central. It seems like she talked more about getting the interview than she did anything that furthered my knowledge of the situation. Plus, she bordered on making excuses for them. You know, sometimes companies give exclusives like this for a reason.
Gary Tuchman's piece on the birds was so sad. But at least there are trained rescuers and the pelicans are being saved. Watch below:
Gary wishing Anderson a happy birthday was very sweet: "Before we go, though, I do want to say something personal to you. This area, the New Orleans area, we love it. We just love it very much. Particularly you, your history here. And it's a very sad time. But what I must emphasize is, that it's so appropriate that on today, June 3, that you are here. Because today, June 3, is Anderson Cooper's birthday. All of us want to wish Anderson a very happy birthday." And of course the Silver Fox was like, grumble, grumble. Whatever Anderson, you know you love our love! You can watch the wishes at the end of this clip. The quality's pretty bad, but beggars can't be choosers. As for me, I got my own present for our anchor. You're just going to have to wait until the last bullet point to see what it is (or, you know, scroll).
David Mattingly's container of oil amused me a bit. I was wondering when someone was finally going to bring props.
I'm pretty sure I heard Sanjay Gupta allude to the fact that Katrina was not a man made disaster. Um, no. To quote Spike Lee, "Most people think that it was Katrina that brought about the devastation to New Orleans. But it was a breaching of the levees that put 80 percent of the city under water. It was not the hurricane." And the levee failure was due to man.
Good investigative piece from Joe Johns.
Sanjay actually anchored the latter half of the broadcast and he did a really nice job. Was it his first time anchoring breaking news like that? I think so. It's amusing to me how much calmer he is than Anderson, whose mind is clearly beyond boggled at this point at the stupidity of BP. I like both their styles: yin and yang. I'd say "fire and ice," but longtime viewers know that didn't go over so well the last time.
This is where the bullet points start to wind down. It was a good broadcast. CNN done right. I hope the 360 kids enjoyed their pizza (delivered to their location--servicey!) and are getting some rest.
Finally, the birthday boy. Admittedly, Anderson's birthday kinda jumped up on me given that I don't normally keep track of those things for people I don't know. So, when I found out it was today, I thought long and hard what to get him (translation: about 30 seconds), and I think I've come up with the perfect thing. The Silver Fox will likely not be clicking on that link from this blog, but for the rest of you dorky sadists out there, enjoy!