Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Anderson Cooper Vs. Stephen Colbert: Oh, It's On!

Hi all. I wasn't feeling very bloggy again, but who could resist posting this bit of hilarity? Mr. White Bread Ripple's delivery is getting pretty good. Stephen, I believe it's your move.

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Bin Laden Is Gone, But The Questions Are Just Beginning

Hi everyone. Hey, remember how on Sunday night we all took in the bin Laden news and kind of came together for a moment? Yeah, well that's OVAH. Now it's time for the nitpicking and the bitching and I...just...can't. This is not a specific statement about the 360 kids, but rather the chattering class (and really nation) as a whole.

There are people who swear Obama can do no wrong. There are people who swear the administration intentionally lied about facets of the Osama raid to make them look good. And these are just the liberals! Don't even get me started on the conservatives. I remember the lies of the Bush Administration (much better than I want to), so yes, I agree being skeptical and asking questions is a must. But by the same token, can we maybe give them a little bit of breathing room before we jump down their throats? Can I get a little bit of reasonableness up in here, yo?

Then there's the dead bin Laden picture debate, which seems to inexplicably be taking up a good chunk of the news cycle. I guess I don't see the big deal. We've released potentially inflammatory pictures before (Abu Ghraib, dead al-Zarqawi), and I really can't fathom how the picture doesn't eventually get leaked anyway. That being said, I don't need to see it to believe he's dead. So release it or not. I really don't care. It just feels like a distraction from the bigger questions of the future of the War on Terror and our presence in Afghanistan.

Anyway, those are my general thoughts. I'm still avoiding any recapping because the story is so fluid, and as alluded to, there's a lot of focus being given to narrow subjects. I hope the show soon begins to pull back a little from this story, giving us all pertinent developments, but also making room for other coverage, such as what's happening in the South and Midwest. I don't need to know about bin Laden's family history.

Like last night, Anderson Cooper ended tonight's broadcast with a brief commentary, this time focusing on those who have sacrificed in this long War on Terror. It's good to see our troops getting some coverage. As I watched, I thought about the fact that their sacrifice is not over. The war in Afghanistan limps on (as does Iraq, sort of), though you're not reminded of that fact very much when you watch your teevee. One of the last times there was a huge amount of focus on the country was when it was revealed Prince Harry was there. Pretty much says everything, doesn't it?

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Anderson Cooper: The Ocean Is A Very Big Place, And In The End Osama bin Laden Was A Very Small Man

Hi all. I had planned to write something more substantial for you, but...I am tired. And you know what's a really smart thing to do? Put critical comments and musings about controversial subjects on the interwebs when you can barely string two sentences together. So instead, I shall leave you with how Anderson Cooper closed the show. In a rare and poignant commentary, he expressed his hope that in the future we will remember not the man behind the 9/11 attacks, but those who were taken. The realist in me knows that's probably not how things will play out, but it's a nice goal for which to strive. Hopefully some day we'll be living in the future he's painted.

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Monday, May 02, 2011

Bin Laden Dead

Wow. Just wow. Almost a decade ago, Osama Bin Laden masterminded the worst terrorist attack in American history. Now he is dead. I can't say I ever thought we would see this day. I think a part of me had given up on seeing justice so concretely served. But now it has, and in turn, history has been made.

Sunday night I was on Twitter, getting ready to chat up some tweeps about AMC's show "The Killing," when I read about an unexpected presidential address, subject unknown. On a Sunday night, short notice. It's the kind of thing you see in movies. You know, when the country is about to find out there's an asteroid headed to earth. Did we have Bruce Willis on call? Needless to say, all the unknowing had people a wee bit freaked out.

When Bin Laden's name first came up, I didn't believe it. The news cycle had been filled with Libya. Bin Laden? He was forgotten. But soon it became clear that though they couldn't outright say so, the newsers on TV knew what Obama would tell us. From there the story exploded. Social networking is amazing. Before POTUS even took to the podium, I think a good portion of the country knew the news.

It was an unforgettable night. The spontaneous celebrations and singing made me want to cry and cheer all at once. I know there are those who say we shouldn't be so happy about a death. In theory, I suppose that's true. But Osama wasn't just a man. He was a symbol for hate and murder and intolerance and pain.

For the long decade that we've hunted him, this country has seen war and natural disaster and economic collapse. It's been a hard road. This generation will never see the equivalent of a VJ Day. Our soldiers come home quietly from multiple tours. We all know there will never be a true win of any of the wars we're fighting. On the political front, we're marred in partisanship that continues to prevent true progress.

We've had little to celebrate lately. So when the man behind the attacks that killed 3,000 people is finally taken out in an operation where no American lives are lost, is it okay to take a rare moment to come together and cheer? I think it is. America, fuck yeah.

Tonight Anderson Cooper came at us live from Ground Zero for two hours. I won't be recapping. As I forgot in the jubilation of Sunday night, but was later reminded, it's still very early. We're in the rough draft of history. In the coming days, facts will change--maybe significantly, maybe not. Below you can see our anchor's piece that takes us through how the raid went down:

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