Monday, April 25, 2011

AC360 Is Getting To The Bottom Of This Birth Certificate Thing Once And For All (Hopefully)

Hi everyone! After some of you showed you cared about this little space by inquiring about my blogging whereabouts (um, thanks, mom), I decided to dip my toes back in the posting waters. The show seems to have mostly returned to normal after the blanket coverage of Japan and Libya. There wasn't much I felt like saying back then, but good on the 360 kids for the coverage and the ratings it brought them. Fair warning, I may also do a disappearing act for the royal wedding. We shall see. For now, on to a kinda sorta review of tonight's broadcast.

We begin with birthers. Again. Yep. For you see, during my hiatus, one Mr. Donald Trump made noises about presidential ambitions and started a supposed investigation into the current prez's birth place. Unfortunately for all us, this is not a joke I am currently making. No, this crap is really happening. And the media is like, ZOMG, new Charlie Sheen!

But our 360 kids are facty little devils, so Anderson Cooper starts us off with the basics regarding proof of Obama's birth in the U.S. Nice job.

CNN did not stop there. Oh, no. They sent Gary Tuchman all the way to Hawaii to investigate. "Was President Obama really born in the United States?" Gary asks. "The answer: yes." And to sane people, that answer is not at all surprising. I guess I'm just flummoxed that they sent a correspondent to cover this. How many times does birtherism need to be debunked? The sad fact of the matter is that birthers will be around until the day Obama leaves office.

Not that it wasn't a good piece. Gary and producer Susan Chun did a very thorough job. He talked with the former director of the Hawaii Department of Health (a former Republican) who has seen the birth certificate, took someone born 13 hours earlier than Obama to see what would happen when he requested his birth certificate, confirmed that birth announcements come from records, and found the certificates have no space for religion (so no, he's not trying to hide secret Muslim-ness). All in all a great debunking.

Now we get to Trump. Oy. Things start off well with a nice montage, but the actual interview just left me annoyed and without any further insight into why The Donald is doing what he's doing. To be fair to Anderson, he tried. He really did. And he was prepared. Having the audio of Obama's grandmother (through a translator) was impressive.

I know some people feel Trump shouldn't have been invited on at all. With our anchor's reputation as a birther slayer (and the fact that they'd talked about Trump on the show previously), I don't think 360 had a choice. People would wonder why if they didn't. But that being said, once it was clear Trump wasn't going to answer anything (especially about the investigators), I think Anderson should have just wrapped it up. What's the point, really? Feeding Trump's ego?

For the record, my view on Trump? I don't think he believes the birther crap. I don't think he cares, frankly. He's an opportunist. Whether he's doing it to try to create a base for running for POTUS or to just feed his ego, I couldn't tell you. What I will say is that he's a terrible person. We're talking about our country. This isn't a reality show, Donald. Douchebag. At least if he truly believed this I could maybe feel sorry for him for being mentally ill.

Anyway. We then had Gary back live with the facts. He adorably uses the phrase "tall tale" to describe Trump's claim that the birth certificate is missing. You can say 'lie,' Gary. It's okay. Plus there was this from Jeffrey Toobin on birthers as a whole: "Most of these people are crazy and/or bigots." Yep. And I cracked up over Anderson trying to apply logic to these people, and Jeffrey being like, duuuude.

So...okay. I know we have more birther fun coming tomorrow, but after that, can we, like, be done already? I'm really hoping that any time a news-maker brings this crap up, our 360 friends will simply note it (if they must) and then follow it up with something along the lines of, "an extensive CNN investigation conducted in April shows Ms./Mr. Birther's claims to be completely without merit." And then they will MOVE ON. Too much to ask for?

Our Libya portion of the evening included an interview from Misrata with Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times. Harrowing stuff.

We also had a piece from Isha Sesay on the royal wedding. Now, I love me some Isha, but this wedding, I just can't. Honestly, I couldn't care less. Hell, I initially thought William was already married. It just drives me nuts that even though a very small percentage of Americans actually care about this thing, CNN is sending Anderson and others overseas. Keep in mind our country is currently involved in three, count them, THREE, wars. Priorities.

Did you see the AC360 blog got all fancypants? It looks nice, though it's still unclear whether the changes will actually drive me back. I'm looking for a more bloggy behind-the-scenes experience. I guess we'll see what happens.

The bulletin contained video of my city's airport (Lambert) getting hit by a tornado. St. Louis has been having a time, y'all! I'm beginning to feel like Mother Nature and I are in an abusive relationship. But I guess a lot of regions could say that. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I know exactly what I was thinking as that destruction was happening. I was taking cover in my basement, looking at the radar, and realizing it had just become eerily quiet outside. That was the only moment when I was really nervous. Too close for comfort.

The RidicuList tonight featured Sean Hannity. Oh, anchor feud! Except, the Silver Fox is quick to knock that notion down. Such a killjoy, that one. Surprise, surprise, Hannity took our anchor out of context, a fact that you can clearly tell without even seeing the extended clip. I mean, I'm pretty sure Anderson would rather poke his eye out than make such an opinionated statement. Thing is, I know that, but Fox News viewers do not. For the most part, they're going to believe what they're shown. And that's good enough for Hannity. Anderson gives him way too much credit in assuming he didn't know.

Also? Can we go back to that mention of geographic bias? Because God yes. Nice to hear it acknowledged, albeit in a very off-handed way. Yes, national media, the states in the middle are not just something you fly over. Anyway. I liked Anderson's little vanity freak out over his aging. Relax, Silver Fox. You're still pretty.

So that'll do it. The birther stuff was mostly done well, but...too much! Hopefully soon we can put it all behind us.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with you completely concerning the birther issue...Trump is an idiot. If this keeps getting highlighted, I'll be changing channels.

11:38 AM  
Blogger EmmKay said...

Delighted that you are back. Agree with every word.

Perhaps the 360 kids could make a nice DEBUNKED APRIL 2011 graphic with a sound effect for anytime this comes up in the future. That'd be fun. Right, kids? ;-)

4:22 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@EmmKay: Now that's a graphic I can get behind.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another new and improved feature is Anderson's more frequent tweets. He's been on a roll with updates, info and occasional snarky smackdowns.

8:35 PM  

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