A Blog Dedicated To Keeping CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Honest...And Other Newsy Musings.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Hi everyone. Your blogger is not feeling well, and therefore the bullet points are seriously doubting their ability to be awesome. With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, I think I'm going to join a good portion of the masses (including, it seems, Anderson Cooper) and go on a bit of a break. That's not to say I definitely won't be reviewing Tuesday or Wednesday's show, but right now it's looking that way.
As for tonight, though I always mourn the absence of the Silver Fox, I have to admit, I love me some Sanjay Gupta. He's getting really good at the guest anchoring thing. I know he has his own show, but I don't think it's quite the same animal. Anyway, tonight's show wasn't bad--no keyboard smash this time around. If you want my thoughts on the next two days, you can probably catch me on the Twitter around show time. Chat me up! Also, in case I don't make a post beforehand, be sure to watch CNN Heroes Thanksgiving night. I have my issues with the network, but have always respected their efforts to air this heartwarming show.
The Real Deal On Earmarks And Researching How Dogs Think
Hi everyone. John Roberts is holding down the anchor chair tonight. I guess Anderson Cooper had a thing. The bullet points, however, always remain.
Oh. My. God. After watching this show do bad--sometimes bordering on atrocious--earmark reporting for years, tonight's opening segment was...awesome! Context and percentages and perspective and accountability...oh 360, you make a blogger so happy. (Don't worry, the happiness totally goes away in the next few minutes.)
John: "And, by the way, what Congresswoman Bachmann said there about the president's trip to Asia costing $200 million a day? Well, that was a lie. It didn't cost anywhere near that." Holy crap, he said the "L" word. I thought if you did that on CNN the studio would burst into flames. Calling a spade a spade. Loves it.
Seriously, watch the below video. Great job meshing perspective with montages of accountability.
For discussion of this, we're joined by David Gergen, Roland Martin, and...Dana Loesch. Keyboard smash! Why, 360? Why? Do you want me to email you with my polite yet strongly worded feedback? Because I'll do it! Tremble in fear.
The fact that Loesch is on to talk about earmarks is hilariously ironic. She and the St. Louis Tea Party are shocked (so shocked!) that newly elected Senator Roy Blunt is turning his back on them on the earmarks issue. Too bad Blunt didn't have some sort of record for them to go by. You know, besides the whole being in Congress since 1997. Needless to say, many people are laughing at them right now. But I guess the joke is currently on us because CNN thinks someone as politically naive as Loesch is someone we should hear from on this issue. Anyway. You can read more of the saga here. None of this was covered on the show.
There was really nothing of note from the actual panel.
Dear 360, if I wanted to watch Nancy Grace, I would watch Nancy Grace. (Seriously, we're still talking about Natalee Holloway?)
Randi Kaye's piece on dog communication and the subsequent interview with Cesar Milan were interesting. The part about man's best friend trying to get away with stuff is so true. The couch is the only piece of furniture where my dog is specifically not allowed. Where does he go to sleep after I've gone to bed? Yep. I knew he was doing it because I could hear him quickly jump down if I opened my bedroom door at night. He's such an old cranky man now that he pretty much doesn't even try to hide it anymore. A few weeks ago, I accidentally left a light on and later got up in the middle of the night. Unlike normal, when I walked in the living room I was actually able to see him up on the couch. What's hilarious is I don't think he realized this because he froze like a deer in headlights, eyes trained on me, no doubt thinking that if he was just quiet enough, I'd never notice. Finally, I loudly said, "yes, I can see you!" and with that he jumped down, groaning his displeasure. Ah, dogs.
That's going to do it for me because your blogger is tired. The show started out really strong...and then went to the dogs. Badabum!
Terror Trial Verdict, AC360's Palin Obsession Worsens, Another Victim of James O'Keefe's Smears, And Anderson Cooper Meets Some Bonobos
Hi guys. A lot packed into the broadcast tonight. A little something for everyone--even furries! To the bullet points we go:
We finally have the verdict of the first Guantanamo detainee to be tried by a civilian court: guilty of only one of 285 counts. Admittedly I haven't been following this case very closely (haven't even done by Glenn Greenwald reading yet), but I don't think this should put the kibosh on trying these people in civilian courts. It's not like guy is going to walk free.
Ah yes, a statement from Peter King. Color me shocked.
Dear Bush administration, thank you so much for breaking the law and tainting our country's moral standing by torturing people. Now we get to deal with the consequences of your actions even as we try to revert back to the rule of law. Awesome. Well done.
The discussion with Kirk Lippold, Jeffrey Toobin, and Peter Bergen wasn't bad. As I said, I haven't really seen what other info is out there on this subject, so it's hard to judge the segment, but nothing stood out to me as being ridiculous. Video below.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, this show is OBSESSED with Sarah Palin. Oh, oh, she might run for president in two years. Everyone stop everything! Yeesh. Talk about wasted airtime.
Anderson Cooper referring to Palin: " I mean, I'm fascinated by her." No, really? I hadn't noticed!
Our anchor: "Have you ever seen a candidate or a potential candidate who makes their critics' heads explode in the way that Sarah Palin does?" He then continues to show me he is completely clueless on this subject. Yeah, Anderson, watching a serial liar who traffics in falsehoods become the object of the media's obsession makes my head a little explode-y. As a journalist, one would think that you would understand this feeling. Perhaps not.
Erick Erickson--yes, sigh, he's there--brings up Bristol and "Dancing With the Stars," which leads Anderson to say: "Just in our defense, we have not discussed that on this show, though, tomorrow..." Um, yeah, you have no leg to stand on here.
Moving on to the Bulletin, oh look, someone literally shot their TV over Bristol Palin's performance. Yeah...
Also, the "shot"--again weirdly in the middle of the broadcast--made me die inside a little. Bristol Palin and The Situation in a badly acted PSA about teen pregnancy? No world. No.
My regular readers (and Twitter followers) probably know I was particularly interested in the teachers union story. Actually, when Anderson teased it I got all nervous and had myself a little "don't f*ck this up, 360" prayer.
James O'Keefe, the disgusting serial smear merchant, is at it again. This time one of his minions infiltrated a New Jersey Education Association conference, buddied up to a teacher, and got her to talk about the union, all the while taping what she said. The teacher, Alissa Ploshnick, was suspended and denied a raise. Oh, did I mention that she once saved her students' lives by literally throwing herself in front of a van? Yeah. I first read the story here and then took a day or so to look into it before tweeting out my feelings.
After watching the segment twice, and after talking with the author of that blog post, I think the 360 kids did a fair job. Obviously I wish they would have been more like, "O'Keefe is teh evil!" but, uh, that was probably never going to happen. Anyway. This video by O'Keefe is being promoted by 360 guest Dana Loesch. I cannot believe they continue to have her on the show. This isn't about differing viewpoints. This is about lending credibility to someone who traffics in smears, falsehoods, and severely questionable ethics. For a show that has been deservedly earning praise lately, her bookings are completely beneath them, and quite frankly, embarrassing.
The bunny suit is back! Anderson's piece about the bonobos at the Great Ape Trust in Iowa was just...wow. I mean, it's fascinating and the baby was adorable, but...I can not get past that suit! He hopped, people. He hopped. Bwah! This was way more humiliating than I even imagined.
The carrots from Kevin (at least I hope I'm remembering his name right) was a nice touch. And please guys, never stopped the mocking.
On tonight's RidicuList, Alvin Greene thinks he's going to be president because he's "the man." Oh, Alvin Greene, you're adorable. No, wait, I believe 'crazy' is the word I was looking for. Says Anderson: "We don't contest that Greene may, in fact, be the man. But president?" Ha! All in the delivery, people. All in the delivery.
The show wasn't bad. If we get an intervention going for the Palin problem, it might soon even be great!
Conflicts Of Interests Behind The Controversial Airport Scanners, McCain's History of Moving The Goal Posts On DADT, & Prince William Getting Hitched
Hi everyone. Your blogger is tired tonight, so I'm afraid the bullet points will be doing a lot of leaning on the video. Will there be more groping? Stay tuned.
I thought the opening segment that primarily focused on Michael Chertoff's connection to Rapiscan was pretty strong. I'm glad to see the media probing this very important angle of the story and I hope they investigate further. Also, the company is named Rapiscan? I mean, really?
Below is the interview with Kate Hanni of flyersrights.org. Anderson Cooper did a nice job of pressing her on her points.
I loved the segment that chronicled John McCain's continued tendency to come up with excuses for avoiding a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' It very much looked like something we'd see on the Daily Show...probably because we did. A couple of days ago Jon Stewart and company ran a very similar segment. My view? The more outlets calling out this crap the better. But coincidence or not, they do probably want to be careful that this kind of thing doesn't happen too often, lest they get accused of copying a comedy show. I hope we see more of these kind of segments in the future. Both show's pieces are below.
So, I guess Prince William is getting married, and apparently a lot of people are excited by this. I don't really get the fuss. In all honesty, I thought the guy was already married. Anyway, in my opinion the 360 kids spent way too much time on what is essentially a celebrity story, but whaddaya gonna do? Tom Foreman's piece is below. I'm not going to bother with the rest.
The RidicuList remains. Tonight they tackled the controversy over PBS editing Tina Fey's political comments that she made while accepting the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Not a bad contender. I am, however, still laughing at the name.
That'll do it for the show, which wasn't bad, despite being heavy on the fancy Brits. I hope 360 is now done with their Royal Watching. Yeah, I know, I'm dreaming. Cookies for accountability-keeping.
TSA Gets Frisky With Their Pat-Downs, Charles Rangel Still Totally Corrupt, And Dolpins Are Awesomely Smart
Hi everyone. I didn't bother blogging the end of last week because I felt like I already covered all of the suckiness on Wednesday and, well, they didn't improve. ANYWAY. Let's hope for a better one this time around. Away we go:
Have you been lonely lately? Dateless perhaps? Well, you're in luck! Book yourself a trip and head on down to the airport security line because the TSA screeners are giving out free molestations! That's right, hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your husband too. Because though they may not be raping, they're getting pretty damn close to sexually assaulting everyone up in here.
So, by now we're all aware that the TSA has recently unveiled scanner machines that let them see you, well, NAKED. If you don't want to be virtually stripped for a stranger, your only other option is to have a stranger get all gropey with your most private of areas. Isn't modern day travel fun? Well, passenger John Tyner didn't think so. This past weekend he put his foot down and turned his camera on. The resulting video went viral. And now here we are again having the privacy versus security debate.
My view? We've all gone frickin' crazy. Obviously the threat of terrorism is real and sacrifices do need to be made in the name of security, but it's devastating to me to hear people say that anything is okay as long as it's done in the name of keeping us safe. When did we become such scared little cowards? Have Americans always been like this and 9-11 just brought it to the forefront? You're really willing to give up any right, no questions asked?
The thing is, some measures have been great (securing the cockpit doors gets a gold star, for example), but a lot of this stuff isn't consistent and sometimes makes no sense. We're traumatizing three-year-olds when the cargo isn't completely secure? At some point it all starts to feel like security theater--a bunch of rules to make us feel safe. Except, now a lot of us are feeling violated. Also? Homeland security is basically a business now and if you don't think some of these measures are being pushed primarily based on profit, there's a bridge I'd like to sell you.
Can the broadcast always start with Anderson Cooper saying, "If you touch my junk, I'm going to have you arrested." Okay, yes, he's quoting Mr. Tyner and not talking about his own bits and pieces, but still, funny.
I'm glad the 360 kids dug up the info that, contrary to the claims of the TSA, scan images actually can be stored and transmitted. Because, uh, duh? Seriously, is there anyone who really believes that this stuff isn't going to some day end up on the Internets? That's why I think I'll opt for the molestation. Not to mention the radiation factor. Segment below:
I found the discussion with Erick Erickson and Jeffrey Toobin highly disturbing. Why? Because I agreed with Erick and was annoyed by Jeffrey's attitude. WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Is this how the world ends?
I fear that some of these conservatives are going to use this situation to push for profiling. For the record, Erick mentions "behavior," which I'm cool with--unless of course that's code word for "Muslim-looking."
Anderson on his own personal experience with being groped: "I went through this for the first time this weekend flying out of Chicago. And everyone was very nice and professional, but I got to tell you, it feels incredibly intrusive. I had a pat-down after I had this thing, because I left my wallet in my pants. And, I mean, it's pretty rigorous." We're already all thinking the same thing, do I need to make the jokes? Yes, apparently some TSA agents have all the luck.
Seriously though, this must suck extra hard for celebrities. Obviously it would be unprofessional and a fireable offense for Mr. TSA Groper to relay his experience, but is he legally bound from doing so? I actually don't know.
Toobin on Tyner's accusation that the pat-downs are akin to sexual assault: "I'm not sure that's accurate. But so what?" So what? Oh man, when Erick is the reasonable one...I am so done. Unfortunately, he's still Erick, so he made his arguments pretty poorly.
Bah. I used up all my time on the prior story, so now we're in hyper-drive. Below is the segment on Charlie Rangel walking out of his own ethics trial. Also? Yay montage!
I want to mention the story in the Bulletin regarding the seventh grader whose parents are being sued for negligence after he was struck and killed while riding his bike without a helmet. I think my regular readers know where this is going. ANDERSON COOPER WEAR A DAMN HELMET! I know your bike has been stolen twice. THE UNIVERSE HAS SPOKEN.
Having "the shot" in the middle of the show? Madness!
Skipping ahead to Randi Kaye's piece on dolphins, which was awesome and adorable, and...can there always be dolphins?
New segment alert! Give a warm welcome to RidicuList. No, I'm not kidding. I really hope this is some kind of inside joke about Rick Sanchez. Anyhoo, calling out Cindy McCain over her bizarre 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' flip flop? Very nice. But the segment name? Am I supposed to be laughing?
The show wasn't bad. Though there were some disconcerting moments, at no time did my head want to explode. This is an improvement!
Controversy Over Amazon Selling A Pedophilia Guidebook, Deepwater Drilling Report Edited, And Elizabeth Smart Testifies
Hi everyone. Wow, I think this week the bookers have made it their goal to make me cry sad tears. I'll be okay, people. Why? Because I have the bullet points of awesomeness!
The 360 kids kicked us off with a controversy over a pedophilia guidebook being sold on Amazon. I'm pretty torn on this story. First of all, obviously, ew--that's outrageous. But...isn't the coverage and curiosity over the outrage just increasing this perve's sales? If Gawker is to be believed, that's exactly what's happened. On the other hand, at the time of this blogging, it appears that Amazon took the book off the site. Still. Books have already been downloaded. There are a lot of outrages in this life that deserve light, but I can't help but think that this was probably one of those problems that really would have just gone away if ignored. We'll never know now.
As it turns out, there must be a little bit of a free market supporter inside of me after all because initially I was leaning toward backing Amazon (and I would likewise support anyone who wanted to boycott Amazon). But they have a ban on porn? You have to be consistent with your policies, yo! Otherwise you just look stupid, which is how you're looking right now.
Okay, admittedly I have a bias against Dr. Phil, but I still see absolutely no reason why he was interviewed for this segment. In fact, a lot of this was ridiculous. Anderson Cooper even started out asking him if it made sense that Amazon would be selling a guide for pedophiles. Is there more than one way to answer that question? And why is he asking it to Dr. Phil? What expertise does Dr. Phil have related to Amazon?
Half of what he says can be summed up as: "Pedophiles are bad; kids should be protected." Um, duh? This is part of the reason I don't like Dr. Phil. Most of what he says is so simplistic and obvious, I just want to ask America: why is he famous?! Anyway. Eventually he does get around to talking about his professional experiences with pedophiles, but the thing is, he very much implies he didn't read the book (and Anderson flat out says he didn't). WTF? A segment with two people discussing something they haven't read. Awesome.
Anderson: "During the interview, when I talked to Dr. Phil a short time ago, I hadn't read the book. I actually have subsequently read the book, so now I want to talk about it with Jeffrey Toobin." Later we learn that the book is more of a pamphlet, which cracked me up, because at the time our anchor said this quote, I was like, "Holy crap! How fast does Anderson read?!"
Toobin actually contributes valuable information (and good points!) and is really the only person we needed for this story. As he notes, this is more of a business problem. Segment below.
Next up, we learn that, surprise, surprise, a Pentagon study group has determined that getting rid of DADT won't hurt troop morale or the war efforts. To talk about this we're joined by Paul Begala and Erick Erickson. Hm. I realize there's a political aspect here, but I still couldn't care less about what either of them has to say. At least Toobin stuck around too.
The segment on the BP oil spill report was pretty good. It sounds like the editing was probably a mistake, but I'm still glad it's being pointed out. The Bush administration used to edit reports to their liking all the time. We know the drilling moratorium was unpopular in the Gulf. Being able to say it was supported by experts certainly would have been a plus.
We were joined by Louisiana Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and James Carville, the former being much more relevant than the latter in my opinion, but it was still fairly good. And Anderson did a pretty nice job as well. The whole thing can be watched below.
The night wrapped up with a Randi Kaye piece about Elizabeth Smart, and then an interview with John Walsh. Some of you already know that I have issues with Walsh (sixth paragraph), but this appearance actually made sense.
That'll do it. The show was better than last night, but still...eh. Even putting aside your blogger's biases, the booking has been less than desired in terms of relevancy. And it sorta feels like they're stretching with their KTH segments these past two nights. The Amazon thing didn't really feel like lead story material. Your mileage may vary. Also? I blame the Silver Fox for the Dr. Phil appearance. His feelings on the matter were pretty clear and me thinks he wanted a segment to vent, so to speak.
Sarah Palin Again Hits The 'Lamestream Media' And Republican Congressman Darrell Issa Wants To Investigate The White House (Or Does He?!)
Hi everyone. Well, I'm afraid tonight went a bit off the rails. Disappointing. Oh well. I guess the best place to begin is the beginning. To the bullet points!
Did you hear? Sarah Palin made up crap, got called on it, and then played the victim of the 'lamestream media." Must be a day that ends in 'Y'! Seriously, this is in no way new.
Back story: Palin went off on the Federal Reserve, claiming 'pump priming' will push rising grocery prices even higher. A "Wall Street Journal" reporter called her out, noting prices haven't actually risen. She then did what she always does: spin and attack. (I haven't looked into this at all, and I'm loathe to even hint at agreeing with Palin, but it does kinda seem like prices have risen.)
So anyway, apparently this deserves a whole segment. I mean, don't get me wrong. Yay for calling out and all, but uh, she does this all the time. It's kind of her thing. Why does this one merit a segment? At this point can't we just fact-check and move on? She's not even an elected official.
Anderson Cooper was being kinda weird throughout. He had that whole wide-eye "can you believe this?" tone going on (yes, yes we believe it!), and then sorta gave us a little lecture about words mattering. Erm, we know.
Our anchor: "Now, supporters of Sarah Palin will say this story is nitpicking, much ado about nothing, a gotcha attack by both "The Wall Street Journal" and I guess now by me." Well, I am as far from a supporter as you can get, and while I don't think it's a gotcha attack, I do think having an entire lead segment about something that she does every damn day is a little much, especially given that she holds no office. Hold her accountable, yes. Don't go overboard.
Speaking of overboard, we have to talk about this, yo! We're joined by David Gergen and Dana Loesch. I have to say, I'm seriously disappointed that 360 continues to have Loesch on the show, and quite frankly I find it a little insulting to the viewers. We're told that she's the editor of BigJournalism.com, but we're not told that the blog is part of Andrew Breitbart's franchise. Remember him? The smear merchant with no credibility? Yeah, well, Loesch is one of his people, which apparently 360 thinks is good enough for their viewers.
This is a woman who once implied that Anderson got where he is by "riding the Vanderbilt coattails." She cleans herself up real nice for primetime, but on the Internet she's a different story. I get why they book her. I really do. She's pretty, articulate (not to be confused with having good arguments), and doesn't bring the crazy. I'm just so sick of these tea party-type pundits getting away with being one person online and another person on the teevee. You don't see that with David Gergen. If he puts out a blog post, it will contain the same tone and ideas of what you'd hear him discuss anywhere. Dana's continued presence on the show tells me they either haven't done their research, or they simply don't have respect for the viewers. Surely there are more credible conservatives.
The Gerg pushing back on Anderson was a bit interesting.
Anderson: "I do find it interesting, though, that she, like a lot of politicians -- and it's not just her, and it's Republicans and Democrats -- people don't admit when they make a mistake. And I don't get -- I think, frankly, people, the voting public, would like it if somebody just said, well, look, yes, look, OK, I made an error, we all make errors, rather than attacking the messenger." He's such a Pollyanna sometimes. Sure I'd love to live in that world, but I don't think it ever existed in the first place. He's acting like this behavior is new or something.
Moving on, we learn that Congressman Darrell Issa is probably going to be running the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (subpoena power, baby!). Through some montage action we're shown that Campaign Issa was going to investigate the pants off Obama. Newly Elected Issa? Not so much. Walk back time! Or is it? The Congressman still has plans to hold a boat-load of hearings.
For discussion, we have Jeffrey Toobin, Cornell Belcher, and Erick Erickson. Oh yay, we're two for two with the right-wingers I loathe. Where's Ed Rollins these days? Or what about Frum? Frum has no friends now, right? He'd probably love to come on!
Jeffrey and Cornell get much love from me for this segment. Anderson? He can go sit in the corner. The dude will just not stop pushing the balance meme. Do we need an intervention here or what? He brought up the hearings that Henry Waxman held, which is a perfectly legitimate thing to do, but then he gives examples (are superweeds an outgrowth of USDA biotech policy?) and acts like we're supposed to think they're as crazy as going after the New Black Panther Party. Thank God for Toobin doing some smacking down.
Cornell: "Anderson,, I have got to push back on you here, because you're trying to make it seem like it's equal. He's talking about doing 280 investigations in one year, more than what Waxman did in two years, so it's a little different." Called him flat out on fake balance. I think I love this guy.
Erickson: "Ninety percent of the American public has never even heard of Darrell Issa. And they certainly don't know what he said on the campaign trail." I basically disagree with everything Erick has said, but I'd bet money he's right on this one.
Oh look, more pimping of Parker Spitzer. Seriously guys, give it up.
So, they waste our time with all this pontification, and stick actual news about the BP oil spill in the 360 Bulletin. Yeah, that makes sense.
Part of the news mentioned was that there's worry the oil has made it into the food chain. Anderson: "It's interesting, the story about the oil entering the food chain. It's important to point out, you know, that they do test the stuff very carefully, and there have been no reports of problems. I was in New Orleans this weekend, went to a lot of restaurants, ate seafood just about every night, had oysters, and the food is as great as ever. So I hope the people don't read that and cancel trips." Then adding: "Because the food is safe and it tastes better than ever." I actually found this a little irresponsible. Mention that rigorous testing is done, sure, but I think our anchor is letting his love for New Orleans cloud his judgment. He's a journalist; not a member of the tourism board. And while he can say that he himself feels the food is safe enough to eat, he shouldn't be using his position to make such a declarative statement. Can anyone at this point really know that the food is safe?
I think that's all for me. Clearly I've done enough damage already. The show could have been better.
Hi everyone. This is going to be a super-short post. I thought the show dragged a bit, but that might have just been me. Anyhoo, I don't have much desire to blog the thing out, so a few quick thoughts:
Finally that creepy Andrew Shirvell gets the boot. One wonders what took so long. I had to laugh over Anderson Cooper pondering why the former assistant AG picked Chris Armstrong to harass. Although, he probably secretly has the same theory as the rest of us. I mean, we're all thinking it, right? Funny how the line between love and hate can get so blurry--especially when you're dealing with the severely emotionally stunted.
By the way, that linked tweet comes from someone at the Daily Show who produced this must watch report on Shirvell. Both hilarious and massively disturbing. Below is 360's 'Keeping Them Honest' segment on the subject.
Wow, Rand Paul aggressively campaigned against earmarks only to now fight for Kentucky's share? So shocking! For the record, Paul's people say that the "The Wall Street Journal" reporter who wrote the story misunderstood the senator's comments. Uh huh. I guess we'll see. In any regard, we got another montage! Aw, they're like a thing now. Yay!
The best thing George Bush ever did was pretty much disappear after he left office. I was almost able to delude myself into forgetting his existence. But now he's "written" a book and therefore EVERYWHERE. I avoid the NBC interview and still end up seeing part of it on CNN. Makes it hard to forget those eight terrible years. About the fetus in the jar? WTF does one say to that? I can't even. And Kanye West saying he doesn't care about black people was one of the most disgusting moments in his presidency? THOUSANDS of people died in his war of choice and he's upset about the comments of a rapper? It's like he doesn't even live on this planet.
The segment with Wheel of Fortune winner Caitlin Burke was adorable. I'll post the video later if they ever put it up. Video posted below. I was cracking up over Anderson clearly fishing for compliments about his Jeopardy skillz. Also: "Can you explain to me Sudoko?" Haha. The Silver Fox is mystified by it, y'all!
A $200 Million Falsehood And The Media's Obsession With Sarah Palin Ratchets Up A Notch
Hi everyone. So, the election. That happened, huh? Oh, it burns, people. It burns. I watched, I cursed, I got depressed. I threw mental darts at pundits. But it's over and now time to move forward (if I blogged an MSNBC show, I suppose we would be 'leaning').
Anyway. Buck up, kids. If the beginning of tonight's 360 was any indication, the road we're on might not be all bad. Ok, yes, we are in for a bucket-load of stupidity from the Republicans, but if someone is actually going to be out there holding them (and everyone else) accountable, maybe we'll get by. Not that the Democrats don't also imbody much suckage. They just don't seem to be as much--what's the word? Oh yes, crazy. I mean, seriously Kentucky?
Time to warm up those bullet points! We're going to start strong and then kind of peter out. You have been warned.
Have you heard? Apparently POTUS is going on the most expensive trip to Asia evah! He's bringing everyone who voted for a Democrat and all their sheets will be made of gold! You know how the right-wing latches onto unverified information, and then they all repeat each other, and then suddenly it's Out There? Well, here we are. Suddenly, Obama's trip is going to cost $200 million a day--a number which appears to be pulled entirely out of thin air.
This in of itself is not at all surprising. What's mildly surprising is that the perpetuaters of the falsehood are getting called out. The 360 kids are like, "oh hells no!" Not only do they bring us the facts of the situation, thus showing the $200 million number to be ridiculous, they also show us who's been pushing the meme (Beck, Limbaugh, Bachmann, etc.). They are now montaging fools! For the win, baby.
Anderson Cooper on Michele Bachmann: "Now, you would think if a member of Congress was going to use this figure as a fact, she would want to be pretty darn sure it was accurate, right?" Oh Silver Fox, you're adorable. First segment is below:
Question: Was Andy Card always such a douche? I guess anyone looks reasonable when they're standing next to Cheney. I had him pegged as a better guy than what we saw tonight. No, he wasn't a Powell in that administration, but I did think he was Powell-ish. Guess not.
First Card complains that our anchor is making too big of deal out of the situation (though apparently had no problem putting his face on TV to give his opinion). Then when Anderson tries to explain that he's bringing it up because "Michele Bachmann used up our airtime last night, rather than answering questions about Medicare, to talk about this," Card replies with: "It's not your airtime, Anderson. It's not your airtime." Um, excuse me, your initials may also be 'AC,' but I assure you, this show belongs to the Silver Fox.
And then he calls Anderson irresponsible. Because being chief of staff in an administration that lied us into war is the height of responsibility.
Our anchor then throws down some more clippage action, which includes a sound bite from Mitch McConnell. Says Card: "Well, first of all, the quote from Mitch McConnell was a little bit old, wasn't really contemporaneous to what happened on Tuesday." Then there's some discussion. Once things wind down, totally off-handedly, Anderson's all, "By the way the sound bite from McConnell was from this morning at the Heritage Foundation." Burn! It's all in the delivery, people. Card just got shanked and Anderson pulled the knife out before he even realized what hit him.
All this starts at about the six minute mark in the video below:
More montage action! This time we get to watch all those many Republicans talk about how they're going to get in there and cut spending. Oh, but they're not going to tell us what specific spending they would cut. That would be hard work! I love talking points, don't you? Taxes bad! American flag good!
I also like how Anderson is calling Carville 'James', but Mr. Jerkypants is 'Mr. Card.' They are not friends, people.
Card: "I think it's much too early to be talking about specific program cuts that are only designed to inflame the debate, rather than be constructive and really bringing discipline to the government." Well, that makes a lot of sense that doesn't.
Once called on this, Card tries to deflect onto the Democrats, wondering what their specific cuts would be. Anderson's face pretty much says, WTF?
Card: "Tell me what cuts you are recommending, Anderson, and I will give you a reaction to it." Yes, tell us, Anderson, why have you not reduced the deficit yet?!
Our anchor can't even deal with that stupidity, so he just laughs it off and turns to Carville, but Card would apparently very much like to know how the Silver Fox is going to get us out of the hole. Next he is going to find out how Blitzer would fix immigration reform!
Anderson: "Well, actually, I'm just a reporter. I'm supposed to ask questions. I'm not like a pundit who takes positions and tries to shove them down viewers' throats. James?" Oh, snap! The best part is the end when he just totally turns from Card to go to Carville. DISmissed! The Silver Fox is so done with your fuckery. Segment below:
Okay, this is the part where we come close to shark jumpage. Buckle up for the summary. See, Marc Lamont Hill took a picture of a sign in front of this church run by James David Manning. The sign was very anti-Obama and all kinds of offensive. He then sends the picture to Ann Coulter because apparently they have some sort of jokey relationship when it comes to this wackjob pastor (I don't even want to know, people). Coulter, jokester that she is, retweets the tweet, adding, "that's my church!" And finally, Sarah Palin favorites the whole thing. According to our anchor, a stir was caused! Now the former half-term governor's 'favorites' are wiped clean. Conspiracy! Or not. I love me the Twitter, but even I think this is a little much.
Thing is, we don't know if she's supporting the pastor, thought the joke was funny, or simply hit the wrong button on her blackberry (Twitter can be tricky, yo!). So basically, what we have is a segment with Marc speculating his ass off, while Anderson keeps painfully reining him in. (For the record, Palin says she didn't favorite the tweet.)
As they ponder what was going on in the mind of the favoriter, I wonder what was going on in the mind of whoever decided to spend this long on this story. They even brought in a dude from Politico. Oy.
We also have John King give us a hypothetical match-up of Palin versus Obama. Because that's not a complete waste of time! Good lord.
I think this is where I get off the bus. The show wasn't bad. Started out really strong, then fell into some ridiculousness. Maybe the Palin Twitter thing will grow more legs, but right now there's not much there. Anderson did a pretty solid job throughout when it comes to calling out. That'll do it.
Hello readers! Just checking in! Even though I know you all are total smartypants and down with the politics, I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to remind everyone to get their vote on. Admittedly, I've been feeling some major election malaise this time around. Not quite the party of 2008 or even 2006, huh? But I will diligently make my way to the polls on Tuesday and I hope you will too. Remember people, there are a lot of crazies on the ballot this election. Don't make me hunt you down.
As for our friends at CNN, I can't say I've been watching much of them due to the World Series (yay Giants!). In my brief flipping to the network, I see that the pundits have apparently multiplied, and Wolf Blitzer now has his own Capitol Hill-themed mini golf course. Awesome. Also, there is something called the 'Election Matrix.' If I get through the night without a migraine it will be a miracle. Fingers crossed that Begala gets drunk and punches out Erickson! Anyhoo. I'm sure I will be mocking the absurdity and freaking out over results all night long. Catch me on the Twitter. I'll be back for the afterglow/hangover later in the week. Vote!