Wednesday, January 26, 2011

9-11 Coin Scam, Bible Park Controversy, Dr. Phil Weighs In On Bullying And Homophobia (For Some Reason), And Kucinich Does Himself No Favors

Hi all. I'm just going to blast through most of this, and then give you some more general criticism to chew on at the end. The bullet points await!:
  • The 360 kids began with some honesty-keeping regarding commemorative 9-11 coins. We're coming up on the 10 year anniversary, and though it's only still January, it's never too soon for exploitation!

  • Then it was on to the controversy over the building of a biblical theme park in Kentucky. The sticking point is the tax incentives the park's backers will be receiving. Separation of Church and State, yo! Reverend Barry Lynn, the founder of Americans United For Separation of Church and State, joined us to argue that very point. Jeff Toobin brought the legal lowdown, and Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis USA and the Creation Museum, well,...I think you know where he stands.
  • I'm weirdly not overly bothered by this. Of course, the irony hasn't escaped me that the same type of people behind this project are usually the ones who emphasize private charity over government assistance. Looks like they want their government help now!

  • Isha Sesay told us about a new study that found men don't retain as much information from the news when the anchor is a sexy female. That a fact! I would have never guessed. Anderson Cooper takes the opportunity to pretend like he didn't hear what Isha was saying. Oh, I see what you did there, Silver Fox.
  • As for the lady news consumers? They actually didn't test us. But I maintain that I take in everything our anchor says. Oh, sure, I may on occasion mute the repeat and have myself a little stare, but are we not human?!
  • Moving on to a story about a teacher who acted quickly to deal with a bully...and was subsequently reprimanded by the school. I had read about this situation and was glad to see 360 giving it coverage, but, as all too frequently, they ruined it by having Dr. Phil weigh in. Ugh. He went on to say absolutely nothing enlightening. Seriously, are there not actual experts on this subject?

  • If that wasn't bad enough, Anderson also had Dr. Phil comment on Harps grocery store placing a 'family shield' over a magazine featuring a picture of Elton John's family. After an outcry over the homophobia, the store took the shield down.
  • Dr. Phil called the situation "absolutely, unequivocally absurd," so phew, I can now rest easy that my intolerance of hate has been validated. WTF, 360?
  • Dennis Kucinich got the RidicuList treatment because he's suing the congressional cafeteria for $150,000 due to a surprise olive pit. Seriously. Oh, Dennis Kucinich. I mostly like your politics, but sometimes you start talking about aliens or do something like this and I just wanna be like, duuuude!
  • I'd like to think all those stuttery screw-ups by our anchor (which I normally find endearing) were a punishment from the News Gods for having on Dr. Phil. Oh, also? Why the D.C. hate? You're gonna get emails!

  • The show was just meh. I'm not going to say that the stories were unimportant, but um, hard news? None of the stuff tonight felt like top story material--or even really first half hour material. There are big things going on in the world today, and 360 seems to be taking a pass. I've previously noted that the news magazine format appears to work better for them (and especially Anderson), but c'mon, I shouldn't have to get the majority of my Egypt news from Rick Sanchez's twitter account (check out this amazing report from a Guardian correspondent). That's sort of embarrassing, don't you think? Here's hoping for more (some?) hard news in the future.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who is driving the AC360 machine, but to not cover hard and current news stories is beyond me. It tells me that there is some laziness going on somewhere, but I don't know who. As far as his speech is concerned, I've often wondered why AC tends to not be able to read well---perhaps his glasses should be on more?

1:31 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous: I've always wished they'd do harder news more frequently, but last night was particularly fluffy, especially in light of all the developments going on in the world. Though none of the stories were unimportant, all of them in one broadcast made me feel like I was missing out.

Anderson has always had a problem with verbal trip-ups, which increases when he's tired. It's not a big deal or any reason for him to feel self conscious, but I do like to tease--particularly when I think he deserves a slight bop upside the head. ;) (His glasses probably should be on more though.)

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Lauren--NY said...

He also has lingering dyslexia mingling with the speech issues. Can't be easy.

CNN overall is winning the cable news competition when it comes to reporting on Egypt, as Brian Stelter pointed out today (Fox News finally had a correspondent land there today to join CNN's *three* independent news teams, and there apparently hasn't been a peep about it from MSNBC) but 360 in particular has been ignoring it and I find it odd and unfortunate.

Why we needed Dr. Phil's opinion on the Harps story is beyond me. I knowwwww, it's good to have a dude who right-of-center-Middle-America enjoys and respects make even the most general statements against homophobia, and if he wants to do that on his damned talk show, great. But really, CNN? Enough with the Dr. First Names. They are creepy charlatans, and while for some reason Dr. Drew still seems to have a lot of people snowed, I'm pretty sure most people who watch 360 have Dr. Phil figured out.

360 does seem to jump around wildly in terms of the demographic they're trying to reach, as you've pointed out--but jump as they might, I'd still bet strongly that their audience and the audience of the Dr. Phil Show (or whatever it's called) don't overlap all that much.

*DISCLAIMER: The first Dr. First Name, Dr. Ruth, is not a creepy charlatan. And she could kick all the rest of their asses. That is all.

7:30 PM  

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