A Blog Dedicated To Keeping CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Honest...And Other Newsy Musings.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
President Obama Addresses The Nation Regarding The End Of The Combat Mission In Iraq, Mosque Madness In Tennessee
Hi everyone. The bullet points are pretty tired tonight, so I'm not going to waste any time on chit chat. Away we go:
You know how most of the opponents of Cordoba House claim it's only because of the sensitivity of 9-11 and has nothing to do with Islamophobia? Well, turns out some people aren't too keen on mosques in other places either, such as Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Imagine that! The FBI believes that someone deliberately burned construction vehicles at the site of a planned Islamic Center in the town. To recap, some brain trust out there is terrorizing people...because they think they are terrorists. Yeah...
What do we think? Are the 360 kids big Daily Show fans? Someone totally stole their Rolodex. Frankly, I approve.
Pat Robertson is stoking anti-Muslim fears? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, spokesperson for the mosque opposition, just makes me sad. Seriously, are there not better things for her to do? Maybe take up crafts or something? *Sigh* Well, at least we have the Daily Show, and now our own Anderson Cooper, to reveal her dumbassnessstupidity ignorance. And reveal he did.
Speaking of our anchor, am I having a rare moment of unfounded optimism, or does it appear that he's been working harder lately on that whole holding-people-accountable thing? Someone slipping him newsy steroids? More deviancy of which I approve! (Though he does need to keep the interrupting in check--teeny bit too much tonight, but this is nitpicking.)
Anderson: "So, there's two reasons why you're opposed to this mosque, one, because the imam of this mosque used to preach at another mosque that you say is under investigation, and because a board member had something on his MySpace page?" Sounds pretty ridiculous when said like that, huh? But Cardoza-Moore is apparently sticking to her guns, gladly accepting the rope Anderson just gave her to hang herself--nary a clue.
The interview with the opposition was taped. Afterward, the 360 kids took to the phones, actually checking out all the allegations Cardoza-Moore leveled, and Anderson subsequently reported it all to we the viewers. Holy Fact-Checking Batman! Well, that was kinda awesome. Hey, can we maybe do that, like, you know, all the time?
The interview with Camie Ayash, spokesperson for the Murfreesboro Islamic Center, was live and fairly indepth. Another good job. The whole "what branch are you?" thing was a little awkward though. I guess the word 'sect' is more common maybe? All of the mosque coverage is in the below video:
Tonight President Obama told the nation that the combat mission in Iraq is over. Yay! Or, actually, yay? We're still going to have 50,000 "non-combat" troops in the country, which is a decidedly combat-y zone. Not to mention the big mess we're leaving behind, all the lives lost, all the money spent, and oh yeah, the fact that the war should have never happened in the first place. I find the whole situation so fucking depressing that, well, I was almost too depressed to type the previous sentence--that's how depressing. But we can't undo what's done, can we? Obama wants us to move forward. Yeah. Maybe some of us aren't ready.
Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of this blog (I'm planning a post for probably this weekend). It occurs to me that probably a good portion of my feelings about the media stem from the sting of their failure to do their job during the run-up to the Iraq war. It's unfair to generalize I know (some were skeptical--Knight Ridder, for example), but I also know that there is a part of me that will never forgive them.
So! You know what we need up in here? Panels! Well, not really, but this is CNN. Anyhoo. Joining us for the night are Fareed Zakaria, Paul Begala, David Gergen, and Ari Fleischer. Can we just keep Fareed and the Gerg, and nix the strategist and the professional liar? No? Well, okay then. Also, God how I miss Michael Ware right now. I hope he's doing well.
Paul, analyzing polling done on the president: "Set the Democrats aside. They are going to love anything Obama does." Um, have you met the Democrats? Because some days I'm not sure who is mad at the POTUS more: them or the Republicans. Seriously, I think I need to see your punditry credentials.
Fareed re the polling that asks if Obama sympathizes with Islamic fundamentalists: "However, what is different about this compared with the attitude towards George W. Bush -- while Ari is right -- the attitude of Harry Truman, is there is a racial and religious tinge here, and perhaps more than a tinge. And that's very unsettling, for a country that celebrates diversity to be characterizing -- Obama-- would not be characterized this way if he were an elderly white gentleman." Have I mentioned how much I love Fareed?
Ari: "But, you know, it works in both directions, again, because with President Bush, again, being a fundamentalist Christian, there are many people, again on the Democrat left predominantly, who have said he's not tolerant, he's not open, he's not accepting, he's not smart." 1) His GOTV strategy in 2004 was at least in part based on discrimination of gays. 2) Dude, we didn't think he was "not smart" because he was a fundamentalist Christian. We thought he was "not smart" because he couldn't pronounce nuclear; said things like, "I know how hard it is to put food on your family," and, oh yeah, continued to read "My Pet Goat" for approximately seven minutes after being told the nation was under attack. THAT is why we think he's "not smart."
Fareed and the Gerg actually had a nice, respectful debate over Cordoba House, devoid of incessant interrupting, yelling, and the usual batshit insanity. And it all went down on cable news. Madness, people. Madness.
For the record, while I still have some affection for the Gerg, I am Team Fareed here all the way. Though I will say I am completely unsurprised by the Gerg's position. Acknowledging the right to build, yet defending those opposed on sensitivity grounds is a very centrist-y position to take. Too bad it doesn't hold up. There was no real opposition to that center in the beginning. But we've already been over this. Video below:
I have a girl crush on Isha Sesay. Can we keep her? Pweeze? Anderson is clearly enamored.
Hey, you know how a few bullet points back I basically said I'd like to toss Paul off this train we're riding? I was wrong! I take it all back. In the next segment, Ari starts talking about how the surge worked (grrrr, my pet peeve) and implies that Bush deserves some sort of credit. And Paul ain't having none of it! We're gonna have to go to block quote for this, son:
Well, I think first, he was trying to do three different things, right? Say we're going to withdraw from Iraq, but we're going to surge into Afghanistan, but we're going to withdraw from there, too. But then, we're going to take care of folks here at home. I want to pick up, though, on this point that Ari makes about the surge, because it is staggering to me. First off, the surge was only necessary because President Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld went to war with too few troops, because they wanted to prove General Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, wrong. That's why we needed it in the first place.
Second, it could have never succeeded without the preceding Sunni awakening. Iraqis themselves had to decide. It wasn't the American surge and that cured it. It was the Sunni awakening.
But I'll make a deal with President Bush. We'll give you all the credit for the surge if you take half of the blame for the lies that got us into the war, by which I mean Ari himself saying Iraq was an imminent threat to America, by which the president of the United States saying it was a mushroom cloud that could become a smoking gun, by which I mean the threat of unmanned aerial drones that Saddam supposedly had that would gas America, the connections that they allege which were false between al Qaeda and Saddam's regime.
So, you know, there was so much they got wrong about this. Some of it just was botched, and some of it was deeply dishonest. And the notion that somehow George Bush is owed any moment of grace here is appalling to the history.
Amen a thousand times over.
Ari, as you might imagine, disagrees. The two of them go back-and-forth, basically re-arguing the Iraq war, Ari proving he still has that dishonestly thing down pat. Seriously, there is so much evidence out there to support that the Bush administration cherry-picked intelligence that you either need to be a liar or in denial to state otherwise.
Fareed and the Gerg then reasonably have a go at each other again. The best part? The shot of Peter Bergen silently sitting between them, turning his head back-and-forth, looking all awkward.
Well kids, it's not just non scary mosques and non combat-y troops we have to contend with, there's a hurricane a-coming! Chad Myers joins us to talk about Hurricane Earl, a Cat 4 storm that is planning on a visit to the East Coast. Yikes. Pay attention to the evacuations, people.
Our anchor: "So Chad, I hit 43, and my eyes are gone. The writing on that looks small." Then wear your glasses! We won't make fun of you, I promise. Ok, well, obviously we will make fun of you. But we'll do it behind your back. All good? Oh Silver Fox, you know you're still going to be adorable no matter how dorky your eye wear. Seriously, don't make me start calling you Mr. Squintyman in every single post. Because I'll totally do it! Also? Wear a bike helmet. (Hey, I was yelling at him anyway--what the hell?)
That'll do it for the broadcast. Lots of punditry tonight...and it was actually pretty watchable. Wha? What witchcraft is this?! Clearly Fareed Zakaria should be, like, mandatory for all discussions. The mosque stuff was good too. Fact-checking (ZOMG!). Yeah 360, you can have a cookie.
Nepotism In Congress, Glenn Beck Decides To Do His Weeping Outside For A Change, And An Update From Pakistan
Hi everyone. Since I neglected to blog Friday's show, I have deprived you of my overall thoughts on the 360 kids New Orleans coverage (you poor, poor things!). Obviously this cannot stand! Don't worry, the matter will be rectified, well, now. Honestly, I'm a little torn. As a hard news junkie, my first instinct is to deem it shallow. Soledad O'Brien had a good look at the trailer situation, but there really wasn't that much honesty-keeping going on.
As I stated before, the lack of focus on the levees was rather ridiculous. Harry Shearer implies (in the comments) that further coverage on this issue was bumped. If true, that's a pretty big shame. It means they shirked their journalistic integrity for good video.
Bumpings like that wouldn't bother me much if I had confidence they would address the subject later. I do not. One thing that's always driven me crazy about this show is that they seem incapable of covering stories like Katrina's aftermath unless they are physically broadcasting from the region. Highlighting charity work or the city's restaurant situation is absolutely warranted and it is news. In fact, it seems like the most appropriate coverage to air while actually in the region. I just wish it didn't feel like a competition for airtime: accountability versus human interest.
Speaking of human interest, if they were going that route, where were the follow-ups with the people they met five years ago? Herbert Gettridge? Ms. Connie? The Kearneys? I think Dr. Henderson might have been the only one we got. For what it's worth, Tom Foreman caught up with the Kearneys, though I'm not sure when exactly this aired. In this podcast, Anderson Cooper says he keeps in contact with them by texting. Even if 360 couldn't fit them in the show, it seems like the perfect subject to blog/tweet about, don't you think? C'mon Silver Fox, you can't possibly be too busy to type a 140 character update.
Anyway. Like I said, I'm torn. It was good coverage--much of it enjoyable to watch. But as always, I would have liked to see more investigation. So, those are my thoughts. Your mileage may vary. Now let's zip back to the present day and churn out a few bullet point, mmkay?
Why won't Anderson operate the Magic Wall live? This dude will dodge bullets and swim with sharks, but he cowers in the face of multi-touch technology? Yeah, that sounds about right.
Admittedly, I was a little suspicious as to the origin of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation story. Right wing meme? Doesn't sound like it. That wouldn't necessary make it a non story anyway--it would just make me wonder the context. It looks like Representative Eddie Johnson has committed some stone-cold nepotism--a very big no-no. Our anchor's interview with Muriel Cooper, the senior media manager for the CBC Foundation is below.
Anderson: "If multiple kids who are relatives of members of the CBC are signing off on this, I mean, it's pretty gutsy for a kid to lie like that. I would assume that they must have asked their family member who is in the CBC or who works for the congresswoman, you know, what should I do here? I'm assuming somebody told them, yes, just go ahead and say you're not a family member." Though he's probably right, you know what they say about people who assume. Let's just stick with the facts.
Overall I thought our anchor did a nice job with that interview.
This is possibly neither here nor there, but the presence of Melanie Sloan instantly upped this story's newsy cred.
While I am pondering as to why this nepotism thing was the lede, I'm glad it's getting the coverage--even if some think it's not a big deal. This kind of crap is the root of the beltway rot. Keep it in context and I'll be a happy camper.
Anderson: "Two men on a United Airlines flight from Chicago taken into custody after landing in Amsterdam. Who they are, what they tried to get on board and what authorities say they believe they were up to is raising some pretty chilling questions." Gotta say, I am decidedly unchilled. Look, we know terrorists want to commit terror. If we've gotten to the point where we catch them during a dry run and not when they're lighting their crotches on fire, I say go us! We don't even know what happened yet (and NBC News actually implied this is probably nothing). I'm going to wait a couple days to pay this story mind--if it's even still a story.
Did you hear? This weekend former shock jock Glenn Beck decided to get all Jesus-y up in D.C. and restore America's virginity. Or something like that. What is there to say about Beck, really? He's either a man who legitimately needs psychological help...or he's a soulless cynic who is a master at exploiting the fears of a group of people who rightly or wrongly feel disenfranchised. Pick your poison!
I don't even understand this rally. Restoring America's honor? Where did it go? Who took it? (I have a guess!) Beck seems to think his little gathering is going to change history. You know, just like all those protesters totally stopped the Iraq war from happening. Oh, wait.
Though I like Matt Taibbi, the debate between him and Dana Loesch was fairly irrelevant. If you like Beck, you will think Dana destroyed Matt. If you don't, flip it around. You get the picture. FYI, Loesch is from St. Louis. So proud!
I can't believe that they spent the whole first part of that segment arguing about whether or not the rally was political and no one mentioned that the whole thing was organized through a charity and therefore they had to be mindful of their tax exempt status. Also, as Matt said, of course it was political.
Taibbi: "This is like one of those things when you see your crazy uncle taking his pants off at Thanksgiving. You don't know whether to laugh or cry. It's so incredibly offensive, this whole business." Ha! This is pretty much where I am right now with politics. It's like, oh look, more people being crazy.
Anderson: "Dana, I should just point out, just for accuracy's sake, Dr. Alveda King, she's not an actual doctor. It's an honorary degree." It's kind of funny that after all that, this is what he decides to call out. But ok, I'll take it. Annnnnd cue the tea party hysterics. Segment below:
Claustrophobics leave the room. Gary Tuchman's piece is scary. Those poor Chilean miners. I cannot imagine being down there for months. They're basically entombed in rock.
As for the reenactment, with these kind of things I'm always conscious of the fact that it's TV. The leader guy's all, "I'll be the last one," and I'm like, um, yeah, there's a camera person behind you. Poor camera person--never counted. Heh.
Sanjay Gupta continues to bring us great reporting from Pakistan. Horrible situation. His piece is below:
Hi everyone. The bullet points might be a bit all over the place tonight. I did some channel flipping during the broadcast because my St. Louis Cardinals decided to play 13 innings...and then break my heart. No, no, it's fine. Anyway. The 360 kids are continuing their stint in New Orleans for the Hurricane Katrina anniversary, tonight coming at us from Musicians' Village in the Upper Ninth Ward. Let's get the party started, shall we?
I liked the recap of all the official's bungles, but it seems odd to call out Ray Nagin for becoming a disaster consultant and not note that Michael Brown became one not long after the hurricane--especially when they have him on for an interview.
I'm not sure I've ever seen that Blanco whisper clip. Dude!
I remember that Soledad O'Brien clip well. I watched that interview live. I can still remember her saying (paraphrased), "But it's Friday. It's Friday."
As for the Brown interview itself, my feelings are pretty meh. I'm not sure if "false premise" is the right phrasing here, but the whole thing just seemed off. The theme Anderson Cooper was apparently pushing involved learning from one's mistakes. You know Brownie's biggest mistake? Accepting the position in the first place. That man had no business heading FEMA. Period. All of his excuses about context were just that--excuses. For Pete's sake, New Orleans was drowning and he was emailing about his wardrobe. Everything Brownie said tonight was meaningless. It felt like nothing more than an opportunity for him to work on rebuilding his reputation, and Anderson pretty much let him.
Our anchor: "Well, I thought it was interesting to hear Michael Brown say that he didn't believe what he was saying as he said it, that, basically, these were talking points that he was giving, but he wasn't really given -- technically, they may have been accurate, but he wasn't really giving the full picture. And he just said he didn't believe it when he said it -- pretty interesting stuff." Not really. Infuriating? Yes. But interesting? This was pretty much standard operating procedure
I felt like Tom Foreman's piece on the levees was way too short and way too shallow. New Orleans flooded because the levees failed. That's a fact. It's kind of a huge part of the story, and I would have hoped that they'd focus on it a bit more.
The piece from Soledad O'Brien on the formaldehyde-y FEMA trailers was unbelievable. FEMA told them how to pass?! WTF? And now the people are sick. Shocker!
Sad that Dr. Greg Henderson felt he needed to leave the city. I remember him well.
You have to laugh at how General Russel Honore made Anderson and Doug Brinkley look like miniature people. I want to put them in my pocket!
Dragonflies saved the city from disease carrying mosquitoes? Who knew?
Our anchor is really stuck on this "lessons" thing, huh? I know the locals effed up too, but here's a lesson for us all: don't elect people who don't believe in government. They tend not to be too concerned in making sure it works.
I liked Anderson talking to charter school students Otis Holmes, Jovan Guss, Jazmine Sylve, and David Leblanc. I'll try to add the video later if they post it. Posted!
Below is our anchor's interview with Ellis Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. regarding the Center for Music.
That'll do it. I'm going to save any further comments for tomorrow.
This bullet point contains a Cards' win. Hey, it's my bullet point--I can put what I want.
Hi everyone. Did you miss me? For those of you wondering just where your blogger has been, this is what happened: the world done gone crazy!! Terror babies! Obama's religion! Muslims who want to exercise their constitutionally protected freedom of religion! Clutch. Your. Pearls. People.
So I was all, EFF THAT! You know who also made his escape from Crazy Town? Anderson Cooper, that's who. But tonight the Silver Fox has resumed his rightful place on our television screens. And oh! It's called sunscreen, son. Well, at least I guess this means he had some vacay fun. I swear, he doesn't wear a helmet when biking, doesn't satisfactorily protect against UV rays--what are we going to do with this anchor?! Next we'll probably hear about him doing something really crazy, like swimming with sharks without a cage. Oh, wait.
With the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina looming, the 360 kids have made their way down to New Orleans for some follow up coverage. Tonight's broadcast comes at us from George Washington Carver High, where residents hope to build a so-called Ninth Ward Field of Dreams--a community track and football field. I think this is a good place to get the bullet points rolling (oh yes, they're back!). Away we go:
Whoops. An apparently unforeseen kink in the new graphics package is that our anchor's face gets covered if he moves an inch. And he's a mover!
The look back at Hurricane Katrina was very well-done. The majority of those clips I remember like they were yesterday. Anderson Cooper rightly got a lot of attention for his reporting, but I cannot put into words the impact of Jeanne Meserve's report that aired on NewsNight that Monday night. I will never forget that. I'll be doing my own retrospective in blog form at some point, but I'm not sure exactly when. Look back! The CNN segment is below:
If we're being honest here, going from that great segment to discussion with James Carville and Julia Reed was a pretty big letdown. I'm done with the professional talkers. I want to see reporting and I want to hear from everyday people. Kthxbai.
Washboard Chaz! But I forgot to look and see if he still has his little bell. Thinking about Anderson ringing it still makes me laugh. One of the last times Chaz was on, I was chatting with other viewers and we were placing bets regarding when in the broadcast our anchor would finally ring that bell. You could just tell he wanted to soo bad. Because all men are 12 inside. If I recall, Anderson held strong until the very end. Hey man, a bell must be rung.
Gary Tuchman had a piece on Sarah Palin and I was like, why Gary, why?! It's okay, I still love you. Palin is a job hazard.
Then we had political discussion with Ed Rollins and James Carville. Yay? Actually, if we must have the pundit from the right and pundit from the left formula, can we lock in Ed here? So. Much. Better. Than. Erickson.
Carville on why he hopes Palin will run in 2010: "...it's just there's nobody more compelling than she is in politics. I mean, forget the politics of it. But she's a force. And she keeps doing it. And she's gutsy." Annnnd James perfectly illustrates why I hate punditry as a whole and usually dislike him specifically. She's compelling! She's gutsy! Um, policy stands? Bueller? I'm sure he also wants her to run because he thinks she'll lose, but c'mon.
Ed believes Palin will run and added that, "I think, Anderson, you and I will spend our time at New York dinner parties arguing with the Manhattanites." I only quote this because as soon as Ed said it I knew what was coming. Ruh-roh! Anderson Cooper is not going to like you messing with his carefully maintained 'everyman' reputation. Cue our anchor: "I can't tell you the last time I was actually invited to a dinner party. But I digress." Oh Silver Fox. So predictable. We believe you're down to earth...but we also know you're a famous millionaire descended from what is basically American royalty. So there's that. But okay, no dinner parties for you. Embrace your dichotomy, Anderson!
Sanjay Gupta is reporting from Pakistan on the horrible flooding and he checked in from Islamabad tonight. Kudos to CNN for allowing him to go. He's still traveling, so I'm hoping that we'll be getting a lot more coverage later. A sobering tweet from him: "The UN: Pakistan flood destruction greater than the 04 tsunami, 05 Pakistan quake and Haiti quake combined."
I'm glad Amber Lyon's report on Craigslist got results (officials from 17 states are demanding the adult services section be taken down), but I kinda wish we didn't have to see it again. I know, I know, it's new to many.
Tom Foreman took a (very short) look at the Superdome then and now:
Anderson had a report in which he talked with Brian Bordainick, the executive director of Ninth Ward Field of Dreams. At only 24-years-old he looks like he himself could be a student at that high school. He explained to Anderson why he thinks the sports fields will lower the crime rate and improve lives.
After the piece, Brian and principal Lee Green joined Anderson live. They've raised $1.4 million for their project, but have $250,000 to go. To help them meet that goal, check out 9thwardfieldofdreams.com.
That'll do it. The show was pretty good. I would have liked more from New Orleans, but it's only the first day.
This bullet point contains some NOLA food. The CNNers keep tweeting their meals and it's making me jealous. And hungry.
The N-Word, Mosques In The Vicinity Of Ground Zero, & Blagojevich's Hair--Oh My!
Hi everyone. I'm back. Kinda. Sort of. A little bit. I've got the blogging malaise, people! While the blame for this certainly doesn't completely lie with the 360 kids, the current state of the show sure isn't helping me much. They're stuck in the news cycle again, going all out on the sensational-type stories that make cable news suck so much. March to the beat of your own drummer, 360!
Yes, I am being Ms. Crankypants. It's just frustrating to see the news cycle dominated by nontroversies, or even controversies that no one will remember a couple months from now. Meanwhile, important stories (both from a humanitarian and foreign policy angle) like the Pakistan floods get the short end of the stick. To their credit, 360 had a good report on the subject last night. Tonight it was relegated to the Bulletin.
When it comes down to it, I'd like to be informed by my news. And if I can't get that, being entertained would at least be a consolation prize. Lately I don't feel like I'm getting much of either (though admittedly the whole "terror babies" debacle has been rather hilarious). As I said, I'm being Ms. Crankypants. It's not as though they haven't done any good work in the past week or so. I'm just tired of my quirky little show slumming it down with the rest of cable news. Be better 360! Because you are. And now, the bullet points:
Oh! I forgot to mention our anchor situation. Anderson Cooper has left us, no doubt to do something awesome. I come back and he skedaddles. I see how this is. No, no, it's fine. We don't need him. Yesterday we enjoyed the presence of the walking toothpaste commercial, otherwise known as Sanjay Gupta (a doctah!), and today the studio is being held down by John Roberts. He's pulling double anchor duty and no doubt totally messing up his sleep cycle. That's how much he loves us, people! We don't need no Silver Fox. So there.
Is the Dr. Laura saga over now? Please? Yeah, I'm probably being naive. Honestly, I don't really care about this story. I feel like I'm watching the Imus debacle all over again. Yay, Dr. Laura is ending her radio show. But it doesn't mean she's learned anything. And it really doesn't mean she's going away. We have to talk about it though because it's one of those "it" stories. That and the fact that she was on Larry King. So...yeah. By the way, the N-word was not even the most offensive part of what she said.
Okay, just in case we're not all clear, the First Amendment does not give you the right to say whatever the hell you want over commercial airwaves. Radio is a business. If Dr. Laura wants to spew her crap on a street corner, well, she's perfectly within her right. Also? Since when does the First Amendment protect you against criticism? Someone get this woman to a ninth grade civics class! Good lord.
Obviously we had to have discussion of all this. (Obviously!) Joining us were John Ridley and--wait for it--Al Sharpton. How original. Kudos to Ridley for smacking down the First Amendment nonsense.
John Roberts: "Reverend Sharpton, she insists that she wasn't dissing anyone, that she was just trying to make a point. Do you buy that?" I'm just quoting because it cracks me up. Remember when you used to use "dissing" and felt all badass?
A semi-related video for you: How to tell people they sound racist:
Surprise! The oil spill situation actually isn't all hunky-dory. Wow, who could have seen this coming? Anyway, while I give the 360 kids legit kudos for following up on this story, the fact that they keep going to people like James Carville and Doug Brinkley (who joined us tonight) instead of actual experts is frustrating. Seriously, a political analyst and a presidential historian to talk about an environmental disaster? What's wrong with this picture?
Now to my favorite subject: the Cordoba House community center, often erroneously referred to as the 'Ground Zero Mosque.' I find this whole situation almost as depressing as a humanitarian disaster. I keep hoping this country is going to evolve, yet for every step we seem to take, we just take two more back.
Where to even begin with the stupidity? Well, first of all, what I (and the majority of the country) think should be absolutely irrelevant. Why? Because this is and should have remained a local story. But now we are at like Code Orange on the Idiocy Scale. The center (which yes, will contain a mosque) isn't even going to be built on Ground Zero. There are already mosques in the area. There are even Muslim services held in the Pentagon. What about the hallowed ground argument? Well, if there weren't things like a gentleman's club the same distance away, and if there wasn't going to be a shopping mall literally put in the ground at Ground Zero, maybe I'd listen to that argument.
The fact of the matter is that I have yet to hear a rational reason not to build the center. It's only insensitive if you equate all of Islam with those who attacked us. Terrorists were responsible for that horrible day, not Muslims. Muslims died too. Muslims helped in the rescue effort. As for the wishes of the 9-11 families, yes, some are against this center, but not all. Why does the default seem to be siding with those against? For Pete's sake, the Imam was even Bush administration-approved. Again, there is no rational argument here.
Randi Kaye had a pretty good piece that seems to mirror this Salon posting of how the whole "Ground Zero Mosque" story came to be. If you guess a right-wing blogger was in the mix, you win the prize!
Said blogger, Pamela Geller, is here! Her blog is named Atlas Shrugs, so you know she's going to be perfectly reasonable. Yes, indeedy. The interview, I must say, was unsatisfying. They had all this back and forth with John noting that the building is two blocks away, and with Geller claiming that the real issue is that the building was part of the attack. I kept waiting for John to point out that there are Muslim services held in the Pentagon. But no dice.
I like how Geller says that calling her anti-Muslim would be slanderous, and then she goes on to say that "the Muslim terrorists were practicing pure Islam, original Islam."
Geller: "And, frankly, we're all 9/11 families, because they just took the hit for us." Um, no. Just because they weren't targeted doesn't give you the right to call yourself a 9/11 family.
Hey 360! Your guest has done some post-show blogging. I'm not going to link to her little hate-fest, but I shall give you a recap. First of all, did you know you did a "puff piece" and are "framing the narrative in a most disingenuous way"? Also, did you know CNN stands for Crescent News Network? I had no idea! So hey, maybe next time if you're going to have on such a hater (and I just perused her filth--she's a hater), maybe make more of an effort to call her on her shit, lest you give this kind of behavior credibility, mmkay?
Politics! Roland Martin, David Gergen, and Ed Rollins join us. And...I don't even want to blog this. I was gonna, but I think I'm done.
We had Rod Blagojevich news as well. Not really any complaints there.
I think my commentary on the show pretty much says it all. I'm glad they did the timeline. I wish the Geller interview would have gone better.
Rep. Louie Gohmert Talks 'Terror Babies,' Unloads A Bucket Of Crazy On Anderson Cooper
Hi everyone. No, I'm not back from my break. I don't even want to attempt to blog the hot mess that was tonight, but I would be remiss if I didn't provide you with the video. The 360 kids seem intent on making us think we're surrounded by crazy people (and maybe we are!). The interview with Representative Gohmert was just...there are no words. I'm saddened that this occurred on a Thursday and now we have to wait for The Daily Show to get their crack at the congressman. Jon Stewart even got a shout out!
Anderson Cooper did an excellent job. He was definitely a bit frazzled (loved the facial expressions!), but he kept the pressure on and remained calm in the face of...well, whatever the hell that was. Texas, my condolences. Anyway. The segment was great television. But was it news? I'm honestly torn on this. Gohmert is an elected official who fear-mongered about 'terror babies' on the House floor without any verifiable evidence to back up his claims. The 360 kids held him accountable. Yes, it's all a bit of a side-show, but tonight was probably warranted. I just hope they don't keep harping on the issue unless there's a significant development. Less sensation please. Craziness below:
Hi everyone. I've recently had a bit of extra work on my plate, so I'm taking a blogging break. I think I picked a good time. These last two shows? Meh. The Pat Tillman segment was great, and Anderson Cooper appears to still be rocking the honesty-keeping in the form of challenging guests (I say "appears" because I've done some channel surfing). But they're going too sensational for my tastes again. Kicking off the broadcast with the Michelle Obama non controversy? Really, 360?
Anyway. I don't have a day in mind for returning to blogging. Maybe tomorrow night; maybe not until next week. Check back, and as always, I'm rocking the Twitter. For now, I shall leave you with a treat involving our anchor. CNN isn't always the greatest with getting videos up on their site, so I sometimes find myself searching the YouTube to bring you fine folks content. As you might imagine, searching the Silver Fox's name can result in some, uh, interesting results. Every once in a while I come across something that's, well, one of a kind. The video below is both weird and hilarious--one perhaps more than the other. This is your career, Anderson Cooper! (Keep watching, trust me.) And you thought bloggers had a lot of time on their hands...
A Fascinating Interview With Christopher Hitchens On His Cancer Diagnosis
Hi everyone. To my regular readers, no, you're not going crazy. Though I left the publish date on this post as Thursday night for reference purposes, it actually didn't go up until late Friday morning. A headache sent me to bed right after the show. Anyway. Bullet points, yes?
I gotta say, except for the field reports which are usually pretty interesting, I'm totally bored with 360's immigration coverage. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving this week's new version of Anderson Cooper (he actually challenges people!), but overall in studio I'm just not feeling the coverage. It no doubt has as much to do with the format as it does the subject.
Joe Johns' piece on the nun killed by the drunk driving illegal immigrant was sad. Yet I can't help feeling like all the attention is just an attempt to brand all of those here illegally as dangerous criminals. There are, what, about 11 million or so illegal immigrants in the U.S. right now? We're going to compare them all to one guy? (And yes that guy is a criminal and should be deported.) Personally, I'm way more upset he was driving drunk (something many, many citizens do regularly), than I am about his immigration status. Your mileage may vary, but even as someone who once got an ambulance ride to the hospital because a probable illegal immigrant (no license, didn't speak English, driving a family member's truck--but the cop never returned my calls to confirm his status) totaled my car, I still can't get up in arms over this. The guy that hit me wasn't driving drunk. Though I was furious at him, accidents happen. People almost hit me all the time; he just happened to succeed.
Below is Anderson's interview with Ken Cuccinelli, attorney general for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Of note is our anchor stating Cuccinelli gave a press conference regarding this week's legal opinion, which led to a minor freak out from the attorney general: "Whoa, whoa, whoa. I didn't -- oh, no, no, no. I didn't have a press conference over this. We just issued an opinion." Heh. That part, by the way, is cut out of the below video.
I don't have the video for the interview with Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez. That guy really likes Anderson's name! And he goes on and on and on. Anyway. Of note was Gutierrez on the 14th amendment controversy: "You want to end illegal immigration? Leave the mothers that haven't had their children alone. You're the ones that say to us that you're for the sanctity of marriage. You're the ones that say to us that you're pro- life. You're the ones that say, let's care for the unborn." I'm tired of the hypocrisy. So many so-called Christians want to throw these people out--people who have been here for over a decade and now have a life here--without another thought. Where's the compassion?
The 911 call made by Omar Thornton, the Connecticut shooter, was beyond creepy. I'd guess there's mental illness at play, but that's just speculation.
The interview with Christopher Hitchens about his esophageal cancer diagnosis was fascinating to watch. It touched on issues not normally talked about, and certainly not talked about in such objective terms. In full disclosure, I'm not really a Hitchens fan (though, obviously, I'd never wish cancer on the man). I'll probably never forgive him for his support of the Iraq war. It wasn't just that we merely had opposing views; it was that he was such a dick about it. Of course, so was Andrew Sullivan and I've mostly gotten over that--sorta. But whatever. Also, though I know he's a bit of a hero to my side regarding his views on religion, I've always considered him simply the opposite of a fundamentalist Christian. It may not be a strong comparison--there are probably nuances to be argued, but I've never understood such certainty.
It was a little surprising to me that both Hitchens and Anderson fear dying the way their fathers died. Is this common? I too lost my dad to a heart attack (only 48), though I've never particularly feared that happening to me--not over everything else anyway. I was also surprised at Anderson's surprise that people have websites devoted to praying for Hitchens to suffer and die. Clearly he's never skimmed the comments on Youtube. Yes, people can be horrible.
I didn't know Hitchens' mom committed suicide. How sad that she tried to call him. On a related note, while I certainly don't believe you can have closure (a word Anderson clearly hates) with a suicide or even a heart attack, I do think there are some deaths that arrive as a relief after a long and well-lived life. In those situations I think you can have closure. I guess I'd say I've experienced both.
To his credit, Hitchens isn't letting a cancer diagnosis shake is principles. He'll remain an atheist until the day he dies. And if you hear differently? Don't believe it. (Video below.)
Update: extended interview:
Below is some reporting from Phil Black (not the piece run on 360) regarding Naomi Campbell's testimony before the special court for Sierra Leone. She was allegedly given blood diamonds by former Liberian president (and war criminal) Charles Taylor. But forget about those war crimes, people. Think of Naomi. This is all so inconvenient for her!
Following Phil's piece, we were joined by photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who has previously done shoots with the 360 crew. He's relevant to this story because he worked on the documentary "Liberia, An Uncivil War." This is the segment where we get to the meat of the issue. Kinda sad we needed a supermodel hook to get us here, huh? But hey, you do what you have to do. I'm glad we got the story.
Anderson: "Tim, I digress for a moment. The fact that Naomi Campbell is testifying that it's a big inconvenience for her is so moronic and offensive a statement. I'm not surprised it came out of her mouth, given what I've been told about her by other people, but that she so readily admits it and admits she never heard of what a blood diamond was. If it's a true statement, she's a bigger fool than I thought." No, don't hold back, Anderson. Tell us what you really think. Heh. He didn't say anything we all weren't already thinking.
Also of note is Tim correcting our anchor that, no, he hasn't actually met Charles Taylor. That's the second mistake like that tonight. Misspeaking by Anderson (understandable) or shoddy research (less so)?
As stated previously on this blog, I'm fascinated by stories of social networking. But Randi Kaye's report was just...well, duh, you know? Be careful what you post online. Also? I don't understand Foursquare. People who use that seem to be asking to be stalked.
The show was okay. I think they'll probably get a ratings bump for the Hitchens interview. Well, maybe. I'm not sure about his mainstreamness. Sometimes I confuse the blogosphere/Twitter as the real world and it's so not. Anyhoo, happy weekend.
Hi everyone. Yay! Some good news. The fact that equal rights for gay people is even still an issue is rather depressing, but I'll take today's tiny victory. I'm short on time tonight, so some parts will be neglected. I'll give segments some extra love tomorrow. Away we go:
At the top of the broadcast, Anderson Cooper uses the words "breaking news," but there is no horrible graphic. I was literally jotting down a note to give them partial brownie points for this, when suddenly...yes, the damn graphic! Uncool, guys. Uncool.
Oy the noise on this show! I had to dip into my concentration reserves to keep up with the interview with attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson. To be fair, it's not the 360 kids fault they were at a rally, and Anderson did apologize. The big takeaway is that the supporters of Prop 8 just did not make their case. Why? Well, because they couldn't. There are no comparable experts that can credibly testify to the "dangers" of gay marriage. Also? The judge found domestic partnerships are not equal to marriage, so it's time for people to drop that argument too. Interview below:
I don't have the video for the debate with Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson and the National Organization for Marriage's Maggie Gallagher, but I'll post it later if made available (video below). I don't even really know what to say about Gallagher. What kind of person dedicates a significant portion of their life to denying equal rights to their fellow citizens? It's pretty sick. Some kind of soul rot going on there. I'm just going to pull out the highlights, many of which would probably more accurately be described as lowlights.
Wolfson: "My organization is called Freedom to Marry. It's not called Gay Marriage. It's not called Mandatory Marriage. It's not called You Have to Do What Somebody Else Wants Marriage. It's about the rights we all share as an American to make a personal choice of a partner in life and have that commitment in life respected under the law." Amen.
Anderson pointed out that the judge said marriage was about more than just procreation. Gallagher totally ignores this and goes off on a tangent: "I said five years ago, this judge has proved the case for gay marriage is ultimately rooted in a rejection of common sense and core ideas about the natural family, including the idea that children need a mother and father." Is it immature that I just want to tell her to go Cheney herself? For the record, Anderson challenged her on that. Her response? The judge was biased. *Sigh* Our anchor then asks her three times why she thinks the judge is biased. Says Gallagher: "I don't know why he's biased. But the reason I think he's biased is, he telegraphed from the beginning in a variety of ways that he wanted to preside over a historic trial." In other words, she's just making this shit up as she goes along.
Anderson brought up the interracial marriage argument and Gallagher tried to deflect with the 14th amendment. Ironic! It has nothing to do with the question, but you know, whatev. Finally, our anchor got her back on track. Gallagher: "I think the comparison you just made -- and just give me, you know, one-quarter of the time Evan just got and the two lawyers -- is that the idea that Americans are like racists for believing marriage is the union of a husband and wife is absurd and outrageous." First of all, way to play the victim card. Maybe if you didn't go off on unrelated tangents, you'd have more time to actually answer the questions Anderson asked. And second, nobody's calling you a racist. We're calling you a homophobe. Because you are.
Gallagher: " It's not discrimination to treat different things differently." Pretty much says it all, doesn't it?
Wolfson: "In America, we have two great political principles. One is that kings don't rule. The majority rules in ordinary things. But the other equally important American principle is that there are certain things that don't get put up for a vote. You don't put my freedom of speech, my freedom of religion, my freedom to marry up to somebody else's dictate, because that belongs to all of us. And the courts and the Constitution exist to safeguard that protection."
Gallagher is also in denial that her side has already lost, something even Erick Erickson admits. This is what I wrote during a debate over DADT last year:
You almost have to feel bad for the people against gay rights (almost), because they've already lost. DADT will be repealed. Gay marriage will happen in this country. Unless they can figure out how to cease the progression of time, there's nothing they can do to stop it. So to the Elaines of the world, I have only this to say: tick, tock.
That was pretty much it for the debate. Raise your hand if you now feel annoyed and a little dirty (not in a good way!). Our anchor did a pretty good job with the challenging on both sides. But psst, Silver Fox, you might want to work on your blank slate face a little. Not that I didn't enjoys some of those looks you were giving.
The 911 tape from the Connecticut shooting was hella scary.
Hey guess what? About a quarter of the country are still crazy birthers. Yay? *Sigh* We were joined by Paul Begala and Erick Erickson to talk about this and other topics. Why? Why, 360. WHY? Can these segments, like, not exist in the future? Anyway. I like how Erickson brings up the Killian documents to try to combat Paul going off on birthers. That is a terrible comparison. A better example would have been to bring up the truthers, but while that group is rejected by all of the credible left, birthers are egged on either overtly or subtly by people on the right, all the way up to members of Congress. Why do people still believe this crap? That's why. (This part can be viewed on the video below.)
Erickson on the mosque controversy: "You know, there are bigger issues at stake here. We are at war with a group of people. This is going to be a propaganda victory for a lot of people who we shouldn't be giving them that victory." We are at war with terrorists. Terrorists. Not Muslims.
Anderson: "Isn't this exactly playing in to the hands of Osama bin Laden by painting all Muslims with the same brush and basically saying moderate Muslims are under suspicion unless they can, you know, prove their allegiance?" Ding ding ding.
Anderson: "I'm just thinking, if you're Osama bin Laden and you're sitting in North Waziristan and you're watching this debate, as he no doubt is..." Dudes, not only does our anchor know where bin Laden is, he knows he's watching CNN right now! The Silver Fox is full of surprises! (Yes people, I'm kidding.)
Some more of that quote: "I mean, I have qualms about it myself. But doesn't it send a message about what America is and the strength of America and their values?" Whoa, is that an opinion? Okay, a "qualm" isn't anything to write home about, but I think our famously tight-lipped anchor did kinda sorta almost give a personal view on this. (For the record, I think he probably supports the mosque...with qualms!)
The Ted Rowlands piece was interesting. And sad. Social media fascinates me.
We had Tom Foreman for an oil spill update too, but I'm out of time. I'll try to give him extra love tomorrow.
The show was fairly good. They're becoming too dependent on panels again though. You gotta change more than just your graphics package, kids. Lets see some outside-the-box thinking!
Ground Zero Mosque Debate, More 14th Amendment Talk, An Illegal Immigrant's Life, BP Update, Craigslist Investigation, & AC360 Gets A New Look
Hi everyone. Well! The 360 kids have apparently been secretive little busy bees. They changed everything! Holy new aesthetics, Batman! Different graphics. Different fonts. They took away Anderson Cooper's chair (punishment for false equivalency gone amok?). The bump music has even made a triumphant return. So, what do you think? My first thought was that I hoped they weren't naive enough to think a font change would help their ratings. Anyway. Some of the look is quite snazzy, though in general I'm not a huge graphics fan. I believe I have expressed a desire on more than one occasion to stab that "breaking news" graphic and then perhaps kill it with fire. I guess you could say I'm a minimalist in this area. Less is more, people. Don't clutter my screen. But the book-like rundown Anderson had going on behind him was pretty cool. I'll hit on some more of my set observations as I go. For now, it's time for the bullet points:
As I stated, our anchor is chairless. He begins the broadcast by explaining the debate over an Islamic center and mosque that Muslims want to build near ground zero. While he's talking, we not only have a box with the show name to the right, we have an even bigger box with "Keeping Them Honest: Mosque Battle" on the left. Okay guys, one or the other. Also? Helpful tip: When your anchor is the Silver Fox, don't crowd the face.
Anderson regarding the mosque's opponents: "Sarah Palin weighed in, tweeting that it stabs hearts and calling for -- quote -- 'peace-seeking Muslims to reject in the interest of healing.' She called on them to -- again, her words -- 'refudiate it.'" I'm not sure we needed clarification that those were her words.
Rick Lazio, Republican candidate for governor of New York, joined Anderson in studio and sat at the brand-spanking new desk-like thingee. Our anchor, still being denied a chair, kinda stands and props his leg up on the step. It sorta reminds me of The Situation Room. It also looks like maybe Anderson was going to walk up the desk, but then decided to stop after the first step and do an interview. So there's that.
As for that interview, somebody's been slipping our anchor Wheaties this week. And I like it! Anderson was solid through the whole thing. I'm just going to pull out my favorite parts.
Our anchor: "You're calling for a government investigation of a religious group, of an Islamic center, without any evidence of any criminal wrongdoing. It's a very slippery slope. I mean, you're a Republican. Shouldn't you not be calling for more government intrusion?"
Anderson regarding the guilt-by-association criticisms against Iman Feisal Abdul Rauf: "But if all of his connections -- I mean, it seems like a lot of criticisms of this guy, again, who the State Department is sending out to represent Muslims in America, it seems like a lot of the criticism is, well, his wife's uncle was once -- is something."
Anderson: "Have you ever raised concerns about this imam, who has been in the ground zero area for years, before?" A particularly excellent question. Lazio punted, saying it was only recently that he was going to build a mosque.
More: "Look, but there's more than a billion Muslims around the world. And you know what? A lot of them probably don't necessarily support Hamas, but also don't necessarily condemn them, and they're not all terrorists." Thank you.
So in conclusion, Lazio is kinda a tool, but lucky for us, he was subjected to some vigorous honesty-keeping. The real kind. Guess who gets a cookie!
It seems we are still talking about this 14th amendment ridiculousness. I guess the 360 kids are proud of their historian booking from last night, because they play a clip of Eric Foner again tonight. We know the drill: though some are trying to repeal the amendment by claiming it was only supposed to pertain to African Americans anyway, we know that's just flat out not true. Case closed, right? Um, I guess not. Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce is back for some inexplicable reason. Round two!
Tonight Roland Martin is playing the Paul Begala role. Oy. Seriously, why do we need to do this again? To his credit, Anderson once again rocks it tonight. I just don't know why any of this is necessary. It's not like Pearce is going to change his mind.
Anderson to Pearce: " I don't want to argue this with you, but we had the preeminent historian of Civil War Reconstruction on last night, the preeminent historian from Columbia University, who says, flat-out, you're wrong." Pearce to Anderson: "Well, I can read you the quotes. He can say I'm wrong all day long. Apparently, he hasn't read it all." Dude, this is the historian's area of expertise. I think he knows better than a state senator. People like this cannot be reasoned with.
Pearce to Roland: "Roland, I'm very disappointed that you wouldn't recognize the legacy of the African-Americans. This amendment was for them. Of all people, you ought to understand that." Go to about mark 1:48 of this video. That look Justin Timberlake's sporting? Pretty much what my face looks like right now. Followed by laughter. As you might imagine, Roland is also bemused by this: "I can guarantee you, I don't need a history lesson on African-Americans from you." At this point I think it's pretty clear that no one should be taking history lessons from Pearce on any subject.
For the human side of the debate, Gary Tuchman caught up again with Pedro who we met last night. As you might remember, Pedro is an illegal immigrant who moved to New Mexico after Arizona became too much of a risk for him. He's now living with a Mexican family, sleeping on their floor, which he shows Gary. It's not an easy life. But Pedro has been here 21 years and feels like an American. He doesn't want to go back to Mexico where he has no family. Sad. Gary's piece is below:
Tom Foreman is still in the Gulf to keep us updated on BP's "static kill" effort. Remember how last night I was a bit disappointed with Tom's props? Tonight he rectifies by doing a demonstration that requires a table. He kinda makes a mess, actually. And I don't think his little experiment achieved the balance point where oil (or in this case, water) would not be forced out. But he made me understand everything he was saying, so...success? Also, there appears to be a concerted effort going on in the t-shirt department (kidding, I think).
Amber Lyon had a piece for us about sex ads on Craigslist, dubbed by one advocate as "the Wal-Mart of online sex trafficking." I guess I kinda just always accepted the site as being pervy, though trafficking is another issue. I'm torn over whether the ambush of Newmark was fair. It was definitely awkward on his end.
Regardless of the subject, I found the piece particularly intriguing because it was more intimate and engaging than the standard formulaic report we're used to seeing. It was shot differently. There was very little voice over, with Amber showing us almost everything on camera in a conversational style. She appears to be one of those backpack journalists. I'd be interested to see more from her. Video below:
The "shot" was a goat jumping off a trampoline. Yeah, you read that right. But alas, the Silver Fox is not satisfied. You know what he wants to see, right? Bear bouncing off a trampoline! How many dozens of times have they played that? Says Joe Johns: "Unbearable." Wa wa wa. He'll be here all night, folks! And yet, I laughed.
The show was pretty good. I'm not sure why we had to have the 14th amendment redux debate, but other than that, I have no real problems. We got a dose of Gary Tuchman and Anderson Cooper is two for two in keeping people honest. I'd say things are going well. As for the new look, it'll grow on me. I do hope they think about toning it down a little though.
This bullet point contains a lesson of why you don't let yourself get played by the refs. Just do your jobs, 360. The right wing will never be satisfied until you're reporting their world view.
Fourteenth Amendment Under Attack, More Immigration Coverage, Political Pontification, Prison Escape, And Update From The Gulf
Hi everyone. A brand new week, and a fresh batch of piping hot news. To the bullet points!:
Hey, you know how conservatives are always saying they just want to adhere to the constitution? Well, guess what happens when there's something in the Constitution they don't like--for example, the fact that everyone born in the U.S. is automatically a citizen. Yeah, you know where this is going: time to get rid of the 14th amendment! I mean, really, people? REALLY? Oh, but it gets better. They defend their stance by saying the amendment was only ever meant to apply to descendants of African-American slaves. *sigh*
Anderson Cooper gives us a nice little history lesson about why this is all BS, complete with shout out to Senator Edgar Cowan of Pennsylvania (impressive!).
Our anchor: "Now, we try not to take political sides on this program. That's not our job. But we do care about facts. So whether you support or oppose altering the 14th Amendment, you can argue illegal immigration as we know it wasn't a huge concern behind it, but you can't say it was only focused on African-Americans." The first part of this is unnecessary, yet he reiterates it all the time. Please stop telling us what your job is and isn't and just, you know, do it.
The 14th amendment issue was debated out with Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce and Paul Begala. The Hawaiian shirt-sporting Pearce (seriously), throws the "only African-Americans" lie out there almost immediately. Says Anderson: " I have just got to jump in, because, actually, that's not true. We have been doing some research..." Whoa, the Silver Fox is actually awake for this? Sweet. They go back and forth and our anchor wins the interrupt-a-thon, though Pearce is conceding nothing. But since Anderson actually did his job, now the viewers know that Pearce is full of shit. So good for that.
Anderson: "I try not to let people talk over each other. I know. I apologize. It's annoying when you're sitting at home. But there's only so much you can do at some points." Completely understood. And when you're trying, I don't mind. It's your whole frequent not trying thing that pisses me off, and makes these segments completely useless. But tonight you done pretty good. Cookie for you!
In case you didn't believe Anderson's little history lesson up top, we also heard from Eric Foner, an actual professor of history. Anderson: "So, when those people argue that this only was based on African-Americans, that's simply not true?" Foner: "That's completely false. That's completely false." Nice.
Gary Tuchman is still out west and actually traveled to New Mexico to talk with illegal immigrants who are moving there from Arizona. We meet Hector and Pedro, both men who had lives in Arizona, but have decided the political climate there has become too dangerous. Apparently, New Mexico is a lot friendlier. Unfortunately, not as many jobs. Pedro even tried to get legal though an immigration lawyer and lost $2500 in the process.
I don't understand. If an immigrant is contributing to society, paying taxes, speaks English, and even pays a fine for their initial infraction of crossing over illegally, what's the problem? Why would anyone be against a path for longtime residents like Hector to become legal? I'm trying to be fair and open-minded to the other side, but I can't stop one specific reason from popping into my head. Perhaps Hector would have a better time of it if his name was Henry. (Gary's piece is below.)
From Joe Johns we learned that Lindsay Lohan is out of jail. Praise the Lord! My life can go on. Says Joe: "probably, the people who run the lockup are just as happy as she is that she's out of there and on her way to rehab." Oh, Joe. Such a jokester. Apparently, Anderson was amused too, his laugh turning into a coughing fit. Still with the cough, Silver Fox? You're making me worry!
Ruh roh, people. Time to break out the ridiculous graphics: Dems Under Attack! Charlie Rangel is feeling the heat and now Maxine Waters might be in some trouble. So..., um, that's two Democrats. Yeah, this segment angle is totally warranted. Our punditry for "Raw Politics" includes Paul (again) and Reihan Salam. Blah, blah, blah.
Of note is Paul claiming that Republicans are blocking immigration reform. Anderson: " Is that true, Reihan?" What? Why are you asking the partisan that question? This is why we need you. All the cojones talk is subjective and worthless. Viewers want the facts. Don't pass the fact-y questions to other people. Also? Referencing Bill Kristol again? How many years am I going to have to go over this? The man is never right. Why on earth would anyone listen to someone with his track record? It's like there is zero accountability in punditry.
Three inmates escaped from prison in Arizona. Can't say I'm all that interested, but I guess the nationwide manhunt makes it more than just a local story. I'm not sure the interview with Charles Ryan was really necessary though.
Back in the Gulf, we had Tom Foreman live to talk about the static kill plan. Yes, he comes bearing a prop, but after the trashcan hilarity, it's a little unimpressive. Later, he whips out the iPad because apparently he is unable to be more than two feet from Magic Wall-like technology at any given time. I think it's actually in his contract. Also? He's in the Gulf; where is his tight t-shirt? I don't feel like you're fully being a team player here, Tom.
I like that Tom flummoxed the Silver Fox with math. If he's bad again in the future, I shall make him do the quadratic formula. (Tom's segment below.)
The show wasn't too bad. Kinda panel heavy. I could have done without the politics discussion all together since there really wasn't much there. And since Anderson actually did his moderating job, we really didn't need Paul to go up against Senator Pearce. You don't always have to "balance" it out, guys. Pearce was the newsmaker. As long as he's held accountable, that's what matters. Anyway. Lately I've been judging the show by how much I want to kill Anderson (with love, people!). Tonight? Not at all, actually. Yay for non murderous feelings!