Saturday, March 31, 2007

My Friday Night Date!

Newsflash: It's really not breaking news, just something important that I forgot to put in the post last night. Here's the link for Anderson's book signings. His book, Dispatches from the Edge is being released in paperback in May. Keep checking, I think they'll be adding more.

I'm going to try something a little different tonight. I'm just going to list some of my thoughts about Friday night's AC360 and hope you'll give me your impressions in comments.

1. I so thought that Anderson was showing us (in the toss from LK) that he remembered to wear his watch on Friday night.

2. It's refreshing to see Holy Week recognized and Christianity featured on AC 360.

3. I'm out of words for Iraq. I just don't even know what to say anymore, it distresses me so.
4. 3 segments of Anderca? I loved it, but damn you Mr. Cooper for being too emotional about the little boy reuniting with his father. You made me cry! Someone please have this man's baby, he would be the most loving father. If you missed it, or just want to get all teary eyed again here's the clip. Great thanks to Annie Kate.


5. The 'sweet Jesus' debate between the artist and the zealot from the Catholic Church made me very uncomfortable. I actually muted it after the name calling began.

6. Awwww, Herbert Getrich....so nice to see his home is almost finished.

7. Finally CNN is starting to cover the MenuFoods poisoned food crisis.


8. Candy Crowley looked hot tonight. Maybe she had a big date? Seriously I love when she's on the show. And where are The Gerg and John King?

9. Poor Wynonna, I thought she'd finally found happiness. Maybe she should have AC's baby?

10. Two new installments in the 'What is a Christian' series during Holy Week. Excellent!

11. I so think that Anderson didn't mean to say 'I'll see you on Monday'. He tried to hold it back and then it was like he thought about it and couldn't figure out a way not to say it. Major Anderstumblage. Should we expect a vacation?




As I was reading through some of my usual webpages today, I came across an interview with Barry Diller, husband of Diane Von Furstenberg, and friend of Anderson's, in Financial Times .com. One of the subjects of the piece was newspapers. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

FT: What do you think the future of newspapers is?
MR DILLER: Its popularity is clearly eroding.
FT: Is it going to fall off a cliff at some point?
MR DILLER: It is not necessary to have a cliff if every year, on the clock, you’re down by 5 to 7 to 10%, so that cliff is just a long decline that is inevitable. Now, is it going to zero? No. Is it sustaining? I think yes. Is it going to be the level of sustenance that is going to allow these news gathering enterprises to continue to put out the product? No, on its own. But, will other ways be found? I certainly think so.
FT: What about the possibility of billionaire owners coming in and old fashioned news organisations becoming like sports teams, a trophy asset?
MR DILLER: Warren Buffett says it earlier and better than I ever could, but he feels that one of the enduring values is going to be that there is going to be vanity owners of some of these still powerful icons, these big journalism brands, and by definition they’re all local and there’s going to be some of that, and that will play out, as it does. For sports it has played out pretty good. They not only have gotten to play or make huge noise, like that guy makes in Mavericks, but they’ve also made a lot of money, because it was economically viable. Now, is that what Sam zell is doing? I doubt it, since he says, I don’t really care about the product, I just want to make money.


Interesting enough as I went through Huffington Post Arianna had written a piece about newspapers today too. Here is a snippet from her article:

I recently went on vacation with a group of friends, all of whom are major users of the web. It's where we get most of our news and information. We were all fully locked and loaded, each of us sporting a bevy of devices allowing us instant access to the net: Blackberries and Helios and Sidekicks and laptops with wireless cards.
And yet, every morning, when we gathered for breakfast, we all brought with us hard copies of our favorite newspapers, freshly-minted off a new machine that makes it possible to print an exact replica of hundreds of different newspapers anywhere in the world.
Looking around at an ink-and-newsprint tableau that could have come out of a 1930s movie or 1950s sitcom, I suddenly wondered, why aren't we all online surfing the net? What is it in our collective DNA that makes us want to sip our coffee, turn a page, look up from a story, say "Can you believe this?", and pass the paper to the person across the table? Sure, you could hand them your Blackberry or laptop...but the instinct is different (and, really, who wants to get butter or marmalade on your new PowerBook?).At that moment, all the endless obituaries I've read about the death of newspapers struck me as rather ludicrous -- or, at the least, extremely premature. Until those of us who came of age before the Internet all die off, there will be a market for print versions of newspapers. It's one of the reasons two new companies, NewspaperDirect and Satellite Newspapers, have come up with remarkable systems that make it possible for you to print a full-sized edition of as many different papers as you like. So there we were, overlooking the Caribbean, and every morning we were able to order up hard copies of the latest edition of a huge selection of papers, including the New York Times, the London Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, even, I admit, the New York Post -- a guilty pleasure.

This is not to suggest that the newspaper business isn't changing in dramatic and painful ways. It clearly is. But, far from being the death knell of daily newspapers and the indispensable journalism they provide, these changes can serve as a wake-up call. A wake-up call the industry, after years of yawning and repeatedly hitting the snooze button, is finally starting to heed. And not a moment too soon.
Those papers that wake up in time will become a journalistic hybrid combining the best aspects of traditional print newspapers with the best of what the Web brings to the table. We're getting a glimpse into this hybrid future in so-called Old Media places like the Washington Post and the New York Times, and from New Media players like Josh Marshall's
Talking Points Memo sites. And, of course, that's exactly what we're trying to do with the Huffington Post.
There is more behind the link and it would make good reading for a lazy Saturday morning, but I guess what I'm wonder is what's your opinion? It seems to me that those over 40, give or take a few years, prefer having a newspaper to read in their favorite chair, or at the breakfast table. Few, if any, of the 20 somethings that I know appreciate the luxury. I do both. I love my morning newspaper but I also scour the net daily too. I have a feeling Mr. Cooper does the same. What about you?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Wow

Thursday's AC360 was the best of the week. Lots of news, plenty of experts, no repeats and so much packed into 2 hours that the time just flew by. It was good to see and hear Madeleine Albright again. We had company during the first hour of the show and when she came on everyone stopped and listened. She just commands that kind of respect. Her suggestion that Russia mediate the hostage crisis in Iran seems like a sound idea to me. It's interesting that Great Britian doesn't want the US to get involved. Could it be because our current administration doesn't understand the meaning of diplomacy? I cannot rave enough about the Michael Ware piece 'Insurgents to Allies'. I just don't think we can ever make progress in Iraq or against Al Qaeda without a grass roots effort. It was very encouraging to hear that the United States military is supplying weapons and ammunition to the Salvation Council even if it is off the record. Michael Ware said 'This is how America is going to get its troops out of this country. American can not win.' Amen.


I don't think I've ever seen Karen Hanretty on AC 360 before Thursday night. From what I read online she's a regular on Fox News. I thought she did a good job and was less stuffy than some of the other Republican pundits, and she's easier to take than Bay Buchanan! One of my favorite Republican commenters, Andrew Sullivan, was on Countdown Thursday night. He spoke at length about the Robert Novak article that Sheryn blogged about the other day. Interesting stuff. BTW, while we're on the topic of Keith Olberman, I read a quote attributed to him the other day that I just love. "It's also useful to remember that bandwagons leave every quarter hour in politics." Good to remember with the elections approaching.

Speaking of Karen Hanretty do you think she and the other ladies of Thursday's AC360 forgot to share the 'wear beads' memo with poor Lisa Bloom?


I was wondering if anyone was yelling at the television when Anderson did the tease for the last 360 Bulletin? When I saw the picture of the tunnel all I could say was 'don't even think about it Mr. Cooper'. We all know Anderson's proclivity for crawling through tunnels and holes in the ground. Just say no AC, just say no!


And speaking of the 360 Bulletin we had another Hall of Famer on Thursday. Loved AC trying to speed things along with the tapping on his wrist. How many of us have seen that same move from our DH or SO? If you missed it Annie Kate was kind enough to upload it, just follow the link and enjoy!

I thought I'd leave you with something to enjoy but really this video is just too disturbing to enjoy. Here is the full length version of Thursday's The Shot. Please forgive me for promoting anything Karl Rove does, unless or course he's making an ass out of himself.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Lurve Dennis Quinn


Okay, so I'm in a really, really pissy mood today. In fact, this post is going to be the shortest post I've ever made in order to spare you hearing me bitch about the government or Oprah.

So, who is Dennis Quinn? Well, he's Time Warner's EVP of Business Development. And why do I love Dennis Quinn? Well, he had some mighty high praise for Anderfans! Here is an article posted on Inside Cable News regarding Quinn's vision for the future of mobile news. Here is a portion of the interview:

Q: Do you see more value in content created exclusively for the mobile environment or a re-packaging of your already well-established content?

A: I don’t know that it’s an either or. On our sports content you’ll see whether it’s PGA or it’s NASCAR, it’s kind of hard for me to take it and say I’m not going to provide the drama and the excitement and all of that adrenaline pump of a race or at least highlight some of those kind of things. But how do I then get you a really good picture where you can follow on the smaller screen? So in those situations we look and say, OK, how do we capture that emotion and do we use an application, do we build an app, how do we transport that data and telemetry and make it an experience that is one, complementary to the television experience in this case; two, that delivers on what that consumer expects of a NASCAR experience; and then three, enables us to deliver something we’re willing to stand behind—the quality and the character of what we’re used to delivering? … We have an audience around Anderson Cooper that is young, savvy, very educated, articulate and happens to be very pro-technology. So this gives me a perfect opportunity to take those types of users who index very high on early adopters of all kinds of technology, so they’re prone to be people that are downloading and watching stuff on their handhelds. Well, I want to be able to capture what’s the best about him and bring them there, not necessarily show an entire Anderson Cooper show. So how do you do that in a way that delivers for that audience with the character and the content they want? And so it could be short-form clip or it can be done in a way that you can watch it in a condensed period of time. I’m not saying that we condense things, I’m saying in an appropriate period of time.

Yup, that Dennis Quinn really knows his stuff! He really knew how much I needed to hear that I'm still young and hip, even if its only at heart!

One more thing from me today. A wonderful friend sent me a heads up to this beautiful picutre on Flickr from the DVF fashion show during NY Fashion Week. Isn't it stunning?

So that's all from me this week ladies and gents. I hope you have a great weekend.

The Complete John Roberts Q & A


From Carrie M.
What type of story do you most enjoy reporting? Is it politics, war from the front lines, breaking news, human interest stories, or something else and why?

JR: To be honest, I like them all. Politics is great because you’re covering the evolution of the nation. Wars are non-stop adrenaline, as is breaking news (though without the bombs and bullets) and human interest stories are rewarding (particularly a story like Hurricane Katrina). Wars are probably the most interesting stories to cover – there are so many aspects to them. But every time you go to one, you push your luck, and luck can only be pushed so many times before it jumps up and bites you big-time. I’ve lost some good friends in Iraq.
From Fran M:
Where does he like to go on vacation?
JR: We do a lot of beaching – Outer Banks or Martha’s Vineyard in the summer – Caribbean in the winter – my daughter just loves the ocean. My son goes to school in Colorado – so we always try to make a point of getting in a few days of skiing every winter. My favorite vacation of all time, though was two weeks in Tuscany. We had a great house on a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. It was just magical.
From Phebe:
What’s on your nightstand? What are you reading for pleasure, for work and what’s your most recent read?
JR: A lamp and Bose wave radio are the permanent fixtures. Temporary occupants right now include Vali Nasr’s Shia Revival, Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope, Time and Newsweek, and the latest issues of BikeWorks and Guitar Player magazines.
Shia Revival is my latest read…just finishing it. I work on my motorcycles myself a lot, so I read BikeWorks for tips on repairs and modifications, and Guitar Player has some good lessons to further my playing. My problem is that I read so much research during the day, and work such long hours that by the time I pick up a book at home, I read for about 15 minutes, then fall dead asleep. It can take me weeks to finish a book.
From M. Silva:
Who is the most interesting person you have interviewed?
JR: I think Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf back in 1999. He had survived an assassination attempt, taken control of the country and was in the middle of a nuclear standoff with India. It was pretty compelling stuff.
From Pixie:
If you could select ANY topic to cover in-depth for a 2 hour special, or a series of specials, what would the topic be?
JR: I think the climate change crisis facing the world. It’s probably going to be the most important story of our lifetime, and lifetimes to come.
From Cheryl:
As a journalist, what is your honest opinion, about the progress in Iraq?
JR: As I said on This Week At War last weekend, I believe that we are beginning to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The open question: Is it success? Or an oncoming train? Things in Baghdad have become marginally better in just the past few weeks. Now the challenge is to sustain that and build upon it. But when I was there in October/November, it was a total disaster.
From Aruna:
Do you want the "more important" story to take precedence over the "breaking news" and how is the distinction made, if any?
JR: It’s a tough call. Some stories are important. Some are ‘interesting’. I’ll always lead with the story that’s most important to our viewers. It’s often a judgment call, which is why, on occasion, you’ll see three different leads on the network newscasts.
From Fran:
How does he balance his work with his family?
Fran – it’s a real challenge. If I put in less than a 12 hour day, it’s a real rarity, and travel takes me away for weeks at a time. The trick is to make the time you have together really count. So – on the weekends, I’m a real homebody. Sometimes when I’m up in New York, my wife will come up and visit. She’s doing that this week. No question – it’s tough, but many people have it a lot tougher than I do, so I’m not going to complain too much.
From Copperfish:
Who do you look up to in this profession? Why?
I look up to Edward R Murrow – who really was a journalist sine qua non. As popular as he was for his work on CBS Television, his reporting from London was incredible. He could tell pictures with words that even the images themselves can’t equal. Of course, I also admire Cronkite, the late Peter Jennings and Brokaw as well as Ed Bradley, Diane Sawyer and Leslie Stahl. But I also look up to my colleagues at CNN, who each and every day put their all into their jobs. They really are an inspiration.
From M. Silva,
As a Washington correspondent, what event did you cover that had the greatest impact and significance to the American people today?
JR: I think it was Hurricane Katrina. I wasn’t actually covering it as a White House Correspondent (though I still was one), but it had a huge impact on this nation.
From Sheryn in NJ:
What stories have kept you up at night?
JR: Global threats – terrorism. Also human suffering. Oh, and economics. Nothing will keep you awake at night like the thought that your retirement investments could tank..
From Aruna:
There is such a large, expansive audience for cable news (in general) and stylistically, it's impossible to please everyone. Sometimes, there is confusion between programming and journalism (among networks) and whether or not the distinction is made for any particular demographic or taste. What do you hope to convey as a journalist as you do reports?
JR: I endeavor to tell people what happened through the perspective of my experience. That means adding a lot of context and perspective to my reports.
From Pixie:
Do you prefer the in depth coverage, like 'This Week At War' or anchoring and covering several stories, but less in-depth?
JR: It’s great to be able to do both. I don’t have to make a choice at present, and if I did, it would require a lot of careful thought.
From Book Asylum:
You've been a substitute anchor on most of the live weekday shows over the past year. What are the challenges of filling in for the regular anchor on a live broadcast?

JR: For me, the challenge is working in different time slots. Each show has its own distinct ‘voice’. Mornings require a different tone than AC360. The SitRoom is non-stop breaking news and politics. This Week At War is ruminative and analytical. Filling in on so many shows is great exercise. It’s kind of like cross-training. You work different muscle groups on each one, so you get a terrific workout.
From Book Asylum:
What's a typical day like at the DC Bureau? (Is there such a thing?) Are correspondents responsible for developing their own story leads or are assignments give out from the various bureaus?
It’s kind of like the weather in Florida. There’s a certain level of consistency, but it can change dramatically in a moment. Much of the news in Washington, of course, is driven by what’s happening on Capitol Hill. But things can blow up in a heartbeat. Just look at the US Attorneys scandal. One minute…barely a blip on the radar. Suddenly it’s the lead. And, of course, there’s all the fun of politics and the Presidential campaign. It’s a tremendous amount of work to keep up on it all, but it’s great to have a front row seat to history on a daily basis.
Story development is combination of what’s on the daily schedule, and what correspondents can dredge up by working their sources.
From Megan in Toronto, Canada
If CNN ever opened a Canadian branch and you could continue doing everything the same as you are now, would you come back to Canada or stay in the US?
I still love Canada (particularly British Columbia – my favorite place – even though I broke my leg skiing at Whistler), but the U.S. is my home now. I became an American citizen a week after 9-11 and plan to spend the rest of my life here. Unless, of course, CNN opens up a Tuscany bureau.
From Lori in Chapel Hill:
More and more news reporters have blogs these days. Do you have a blog, or have any interest in blogging?
No blog myself, though I do contribute to the 360 blog from time to time.
From Sheryn in NJ:
What advice would you give to aspiring journalists trying to break into the news business?
Do it for the right reasons. Do it because you love the job, not because you want to be on TV. If you don’t have the journalistic skill set, you’re not going to last long. This business can eat people up. Also – get a degree – either in journalism, or a related field – law, political science, international relations, etc. So many people are trying to get into this business that only the truly talented and knowledgeable will last.
From Quitty:
What is a must-have in your suitcase when you travel on assignment?
Baby wipes and anti-bacterial hand cleaner. I learned that embedded with the Marines during the invasion.
From Pixie:
Are you based in Washington? Do you prefer Washington or New York?
I’m based in Washington. I live about 15 miles outside. It’s a great place to work. The center of power for the nation…a large city, but not too big. New York is terrific too, but I like space, and there’s not much of that in NY.
From Copperfish:You started in the music industry as vee-jay, was it hard for you to shift to a more serious field which is journalism? If yes, why?
It wasn’t – and here’s the reason why. I actually started reading news at a tiny radio station in Owen Sound, Ontario. I actually did the hog reports, then went on to cover city council, etc. I worked as a deejay for a couple of years, then moved over to TV. The first show I worked on was The New Music – a magazine show, which, as I stated in a question above was like a Rolling Stone or New Musical Express for TV. When CityTV launched Much Music, I agreed to help start it, with the caveat that on my 30th birthday, I would leave and go back to hard news. So - music journalism was really a departure from where I started, and I never lost my ‘jones’ for news. It took a while for the media to get over the transition though, but I think by now, they have. When you look at my career in total, I have spent 25 years in news and 5 years in music journalism.
From Megan C., Toronto, Canada
What do you find the biggest differences to be between your work for Canadian news outlet programs (i.e. Canada AM, MuchMusic) and American news outlet programs (AC360, Special Investigation Unit, CBS)?
Hi Megan. Great to hear from folks north of the border. The differences between what I do now and MuchMusic are pretty obvious…that was music – and this is news..! But as you know, MuchMusic, and particularly The New Music program that I hosted go deeper than music videos. The New Music was like a Rolling Stone magazine for television. We covered a lot of social and lifestyle issues as well as music. I traveled to Jamaica a few times to trace the emergence of Reggae music – even attending the funeral of Bob Marley – and we went to Trinidad twice to cover Carnival there. Canada AM was fairly close in tone to the American morning shows, though we spent a lot more time on politics. It was almost as if you took one of the Sunday shows like Late Edition and put them on weekday mornings. There’s a tremendous amount of creative energy at CNN. At AC360, David Doss, Kathleen Friery and Jamie Kraft are always pushing the envelope in how to approach news. The folks at Special Investigations Unit are tremendously talented as well. Sometimes they spend months on a special (such as Death Squads) – other times (like Fatal Journey), they can turn something around in a weekend. As I mentioned in one of the above questions, I think there’s less difference overall between the Canadian and American approach to news. I think we’re all pretty much on the same page now. Except…what the heck is a chesterfield?
From Cindy:
What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while you were reporting in the field? I think the funniest thing happened last summer during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. We were trying to get into Sheba Farms – which is at the center of the lingering dispute between Israel and Lebanon. We tried several routes, but each time we ran into a road block and were told it was a “closed military area”. Well, we had become famous in Israel for getting into closed areas, so we backtracked, then got onto the patrol road right along the border. Now, that road is lined with motion sensors, cameras, you name it. And it was completely exposed to gunfire from the Lebanese side. Our camera crew was in an SUV – and my producer and I were in a taxi! So – you can imagine the picture….here’s us – in our taxi – traveling along what was probably the most dangerous piece of road in the entire Middle East. We went along the road for about 5 miles, and were just coming up to this really cool village that actually straddles the border. That’s when out of nowhere, three Hummers filled with heavily-armed very pissed-off Israeli soldiers pulled in front of us. Oy vay! There was much shouting on their part – explanations on our part….a lot of back and forth. It turned out they had been following our journey with the sensors and cameras that line the border road. They considered arresting us, but they decided we were too crazy to arrest, so they escorted us out of the area and let us go.
From Lori in Chapel Hill:
We all got a chuckle last month when you told Anderson, as he flinched at the frog, that you needed to fire a few rockets at him. As a seasoned war correspondent, do you flinch when you hear rocket fire?
If it’s sporadic, you do flinch. It’s a natural reaction to an unusual noise. But during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, I became so used to it that I could sleep through heavy outgoing artillery fired. The Air raid sirens always woke me up, though.
From Sheryn in NJ,
How do you spend your weekends when you are not on assignment?
I like to play music, ride my road bicycle – or my motorcycle and spend time with family and friends. My wife and I have a lot of dinners with our good friends.
From Cindy:
I watched your Special Investigations Unit story on Death Squads Saturday and I found it very disturbing. Do you think that these squads are getting worse or do you think that the things that the military is doing is working?
US military officials told me on Friday that there IS a reduction in so-called “extra-judicial killings” in Baghdad. They don’t yet know if it’s a trend, though. They could just be laying low – waiting to see how the new security plan goes. Or – they’re trying to figure a way around it.
From Pixie:
Would you rather be reporting from the studio or in the field?
I like both. I particularly like anchoring from the field.
From Patti Mc:
Mr. Roberts, I would like to know what responsibilities come under the auspices your title "Senior National Correspondent"? What stories come to you and which do not, that sort of thing.
It tends to be a lot of politics – big picture, analytical pieces on what’s going on in Washington, but really, the sky is the limit. I can basically cover anything that floats my boat. It’s great..
From Quitty:
When you travel to a place like Iraq how do you prepare for the prospect of getting kidnapped? Does CNN provide some type of training?
Anyone who goes into a war zone first has to go through a third-party ‘hostile environment’ training course that CNN provides. We learn all kinds of things, from first aid, to survival tactics to evasive driving to what to do if you’re taken hostage. It’s a really good course.
From Book Asylum:
When you went to Iraq last fall, were you originally scheduled to be there a month? Or did the assignment and situation demand a longer than anticipated stay?

I was supposed to go for just a couple of weeks, but we discovered that I’d be arriving as the Eid holiday began. During EID, government offices are closed for an entire week. It would have been impossible to get a visa in Jordan. So, we moved my departure up by a week. Then, when I was there, CNN approached me about the Death Squads special, so we added another week to my stay. It turned out to be just over a month that I was there. It seems like a long time, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to tours of duty people like Arwa and Michael pull. Not to mention of course, the men and women of the military.
From Marcia:
Since your originally from Canada how would you compare the Canadian media to that in the US?

I don’t think there’s as much difference now as there used to be. When I first started in television, back in 1979, the American media was already much more mature, and had adopted high-energy production techniques to augment newscasts. Canadian news was much more staid. The issues were different as well. In Canada, there were a lot of stories about fishing, lumber, the French-English situation, native rights, etc. and of course, a lot of politics. We’d cover City Hall every night, for Pete’s sake. When’s the last time you saw coverage of a mill rate debate?
These days, there’s not a lot of daylight between US and Canadian news. Marshall McLuhan – a famous Canadian futurist talked about the “global village”. It’s pretty much upon us now.
From Lori in Chapel Hill:
Your SIU program "Death Squads" was very tough to watch, though extremely informative and compelling. Was this story something that presented itself through "This Week at War," or was it something you personally wanted to cover more extensively in a special report? Will you be doing more SIU special reports?
It was an opportunity that presented itself while I was in Iraq. The SIU people (then CNN presents) came to me and said they had some footage that pointed to connections between the death squads operating in Iraq and elements of the Iraqi government. So we broadened it out from there, with interviews and embeds with the military. I thought the end result was extraordinarily compelling. And yes, hard to watch. I hope to be doing more of that in the future.
From Cassie:
How do you decide whether or not to go and report a dangerous story?
It depends on what the level of danger is. If you know that there’s a good chance you or someone else could get killed by covering it, that’s something you want to consider very carefully. That said, Iraq is SO dangerous ALL the time, you’re taking your life in your hands every time you walk out the front door.
From Duck:
What does JR enjoy covering more, the international or domestic stories (i.e. political happenings)?
I have to tell you – I love traveling the world. There’s really nothing like it. That said, though, it’s extremely important to cover domestic stories. I get to do both right now, so I’m a happy camper..
From Sue from New York:
With the advent of cable TV and news available 24/7/365, viewers have become conditioned to immediate access to information, stories and breaking news. Without biting the hand that feeds you (and the hand that signs your paycheck), what's your take on the 24-hour availability of news, and the "quality versus quantity" argument?
Sue – you’re correct. Quantity doesn’t always equal quality. And it’s sometimes frustrating to have to sift through reams of information on line – or on air just to find what you’re looking for. That’s what I like so much about AC360. It really ‘surrounds’ a topic in such a way that you come away with a pretty good understanding of it.
From Book Asylum:
Does the proliferation of blogs make your job as a journalist easier, harder, or no impact?
Blogs have actually given more ‘flavor’ to my reporting. They are really a terrific way to find out what people are thinking. I scan a number of blogs every day – particularly conservative blogs. The media is frequently criticized for a liberal bias. Reading conservative blogs and listening to radio programs like the Laura Ingraham show helps me to understand what they’re looking for in terms of coverage.
From A Viewer in Virginia:
How did you end up at CNN? Did you approach them or did they approach you about a job?(Please tell him that he adds much journalistic credibility to CNN.)

Hey, thanks very much for your kind words – CNN really is a terrific place to work. I was the White House Correspondent at CBS before coming here. One day, I ran into CNN President Jon Klein at the White House. He and I had worked together a decade before at CBS. We got together for lunch and started talking about the future. I’d been at CBS for nearly 15 years, it was time for a change and CNN had a great opportunity for me to cover many of the subjects that I love – politics, world affairs, the military. It was a perfect fit – so here I am.
From Cindy:
I really enjoy your work on CNN, on AC360, and your special reports. I've seen you in many places around the world. I would like to know out of all the places that you have been what is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you while you were out in the field?
I think the most frightening thing was in Belgrade, during the Kosovo war. I was at the Chinese embassy the night it was bombed. The typical NATO pattern had been to bomb a target, then come back about an hour later and bomb it again. My crew and I had been at the embassy for about an hour, when suddenly we heard the telltale sound of another bomb coming in. It’s a weird ‘ripping’ sound that’s almost like fabric being torn. We all thought we were dead. But the bomb hit a hotel just down the street. It did almost kill a friend of mine from another network, who had just driven into the hotel’s driveway.
From Lori in Chapel Hill:
What a time to be a White House correspondent -- between Clinton, the 2000 election and the Bush administration. As a reporter, was the transition between administrations difficult? You certainly had lots to report on! Anything about your years in the White House that you wish to share as your most memorable?
There are so many great stories, I don’t know where to begin. There was elephant polo on a Clinton trip in India – bungee jumping in New Zealand – Pisco sours in Peru…..
As far as stories go – the trips to Russia were amazing – as was President Bush’s first meeting with Putin in Slovenia. I think the most memorable though, had to be 9-11. But here’s the rub. I was supposed to be the pool correspondent on Air Force 1 that day, but skipped the trip to Sarasota because of a story I had to do in DC the day before.
The transitions can be a challenge. I had been covering Gore and had to quickly learn all of the people in the Bush camp – without the benefit of having been with them on the campaign.
From Xtina:
What is your opinion of the line being blurred between giving news and giving opinion; and if the "opinion news" shows such as Beck, Olbermann, O'Reilly, Daily Show... are a positive influence on teenagers or could these shows be harmful in them forming their own critical thinking of world issues.

I think opinion is good, though I prefer observation. One thing I think the growth of opinion shows has done is allow traditional journalists to speak their minds a little more. Katrina helped change that. We were allowed to express a little outrage during that story - and I think it’s a good think.
As I pointed out way back at the beginning – I listen to talk radio. I like to find out what people are thinking. The problem can be, though, that some of these shows (not naming names) thrive on outrage they create. And, it is very important for people to listen to others, but maintain their independence and form their own opinions based on the facts. Otherwise, they risk becoming lemmings to the manipulation of others.
From Sue in NY:
Here's a three part, past-present-and-future question: Of your current work, which interview or story are you the most proud of (and why)? What story or person would you most like to do in the near future (and why)? Last part: what story or individual interview from any time in the 20th century (that you did not cover) would you have like to do, any why?
So far, it’s Katrina, because we got results. We accomplished what the media is supposed to do.
I’d like to interview the leader of a peaceful and stable Iraq. Because right now, that person doesn’t exist.
I would liked to have covered D-Day. It has been reported on so much from a historical perspective, to have actually been there would have been a unique experience. Surviving it would have been good, too.
From Purple Tie:
How do you feel about CNN and other network news shows covering more tabloid news such as Anna Nicole Smith and Brittany Spears? Do you think they put these stories on because people really want to see them or do people really want to see it because it's on so much?
The ratings prove that people want to see those kinds of stories. And I don’t think we should be “above the news”. Everything in balance though.
To be honest, I am concerned that many people shun substance. They want to know more about Britney’s breakdown than they do the education bill. And it takes a scandal to get interested in Washington.
As a nation, we seem to care less and less about important things – while our global competitors become more serious.
Historian Will Durant’s wife Ariel issued a cautionary note – writing: “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”
From Carrie M.
How do you view the future of television news? The internet has changed so much. Bloggers and online news sites have become many peoples primary source of information. They can get the news they want when they want it. And they can be selective. Where does that leave broadcast journalism?
What I like about the explosion of internet news and blogging is that more and more people are becoming interested in current events and politics. For a number of years, it looked like younger generations were losing touch with the world. I think the more that people are aware of events around them, the better off we are. So I welcome blogs, the Daily Show, internet news, etc. The challenge for us is to give our news programs more context and perspective than people can get from other outlets. I think in the future, you’re going to see a rich synergy between broadcast and the internet. Just look at the way CNN and CNN.com are integrated.
From Fran M.
What does he do to cope with the trauma and stress of his job?
I spend a lot of time with my family and friends. I also like to relax with my guitars, take a long ride on my road bicycle, or drive my Harley on the backroads. When I’m not working, I like to completely get away from the news. With my BlackBerry attached to my belt at all times, though, it’s pretty tough.
From Lori in Chapel Hill:
You have had such an extensive and rich career in television news, not only as a reporter but as an anchor. Of all the historical events you have covered over the past 10 years, is/are there any one or two stories that are most memorable to you?
I think the two most memorable have been Hurricane Katrina and the Israel-Hezbollah war. Katrina, because in a few hours, a city in the United States became no different than the type of scene I’ve witnessed in some of the poorest areas of the world. I don’t have to rehash the whole failure of the federal, state and local governments to respond…you know it well. Suffice it to say it was a real eye-opener for me. Also – my embed during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. We walked into Lebanon – about 10 miles – on an overnight march. Talk about feeling exposed. I was so exhausted, I kept falling asleep for the next three days. But it was an amazing opportunity – for which we won a prestigious Headliner Award.
From M. Silva:
What kind of motorcycle do you ride?
I have two. Both Harleys. A 2005 15h anniversary edition FatBoy and a 2007 Road King Custom.
From Cassie:
At what point does a story become too dangerous to tell?
When telling it would actually put lives in danger. Coming to that determination is very complicated, though.
From Jenn:
Was there ever a story that you covered that left such an impression on you that it just stuck with you for while, emotionally? If so, what was it?
Stories of human suffering get me the most. Katrina, earthquakes, the tsunami, famine – they all change you. But I’m also haunted by an IED attack the army unit I was embedded with responded to in Iraq. It was terrible. You can actually feel something like that affecting your thinking.
From Stephanie:
As a fellow Canadian, I am wondering what drew you to American national and political news. Was it just how the opportunity for advancement was presented? Or was that the goal all along, to be a national correspondent/anchor with a major American network?
Stephanie….it was more of a fluke than anything. I was working in Toronto when an American agent called me up and asked for a tape. I was simply interested to see what he thought. A couple of months later, he called and said he had a job for me in Miami. And the rest, as they say….histoire

What We Call The News

Thanks to Xtina and Flo for sending us the link to the latest Jib Jab production. Anderson Cooper is featured along with lots of other talking heads. Enjoy!
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March Madness Continues

Did anyone expect an abbreviated edition of AC360 on Wednesday night? I certainly didn't, I just hope that AC used the time off to catch up on his sleep and take better care of himself. The hour we did get was excellent. I cannot rave enough about Tom Foreman's snarky Raw Politics. He quoted Cindy Lauper, asked if 'he could get a witness', called out Huzzah! in response to a story and gave us Rudy in a dress being felt up by The Donald. Most excellent job Tom!


I found the story on shock therapy very disturbing. As a mother I can't imagine shocking my children. But then I've never been faced with having to watch them self mutilate, so I won't criticize. As I was watching Randi Kaye's report I had one thought. If they knew this story involved a cattle prod why didn't they send Rick Sanchez? Let's send Rick, he'll do anything.

If there is such a thing as the Anderca Hall of Fame last night's edition surely would be included. We had the giant guy with the new wife that caused AC to fumble with doing math in his head. Then AC admitted that he couldn't have saved the dolphin because he has little tiny arms. Now we all know that's not true. Thanks to Annie Kate for clipping this and uploading to YouTube.



I'm sad to report that this is the last installment of our question/answer series with John Roberts. I was really impressed with the caliber of your questions and of course with the effort JR put into his answers. I think by getting to know John better it has helped us (for sure me) to accept him in the substitute anchor position.

I'd love to approach another CNN personality about answering our questions. If you have a request put it in comments, but I warn you I don't think I'm ready to ask Anderson just yet. I don't handle rejection very well.

From Carrie M.
How do you view the future of television news? The internet has changed so much. Bloggers and online news sites have become many peoples primary source of information. They can get the news they want when they want it. And they can be selective. Where does that leave broadcast journalism?
What I like about the explosion of internet news and blogging is that more and more people are becoming interested in current events and politics. For a number of years, it looked like younger generations were losing touch with the world. I think the more that people are aware of events around them, the better off we are. So I welcome blogs, the Daily Show, internet news, etc. The challenge for us is to give our news programs more context and perspective than people can get from other outlets. I think in the future, you’re going to see a rich synergy between broadcast and the internet. Just look at the way CNN and CNN.com are integrated.
From Fran M.
What does he do to cope with the trauma and stress of his job?
I spend a lot of time with my family and friends. I also like to relax with my guitars, take a long ride on my road bicycle, or drive my Harley on the backroads. When I’m not working, I like to completely get away from the news. With my BlackBerry attached to my belt at all times, though, it’s pretty tough.
From Lori in Chapel Hill:
You have had such an extensive and rich career in television news, not only as a reporter but as an anchor. Of all the historical events you have covered over the past 10 years, is/are there any one or two stories that are most memorable to you?
I think the two most memorable have been Hurricane Katrina and the Israel-Hezbollah war. Katrina, because in a few hours, a city in the United States became no different than the type of scene I’ve witnessed in some of the poorest areas of the world. I don’t have to rehash the whole failure of the federal, state and local governments to respond…you know it well. Suffice it to say it was a real eye-opener for me. Also – my embed during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. We walked into Lebanon – about 10 miles – on an overnight march. Talk about feeling exposed. I was so exhausted, I kept falling asleep for the next three days. But it was an amazing opportunity – for which we won a prestigious Headliner Award.
From M. Silva:
What kind of motorcycle do you ride?
I have two. Both Harleys. A 2005 15h anniversary edition FatBoy and a 2007 Road King Custom.
From Cassie:
At what point does a story become too dangerous to tell?
When telling it would actually put lives in danger. Coming to that determination is very complicated, though.
From Jenn:
Was there ever a story that you covered that left such an impression on you that it just stuck with you for while, emotionally? If so, what was it?
Stories of human suffering get me the most. Katrina, earthquakes, the tsunami, famine – they all change you. But I’m also haunted by an IED attack the army unit I was embedded with responded to in Iraq. It was terrible. You can actually feel something like that affecting your thinking.
From Stephanie:
As a fellow Canadian, I am wondering what drew you to American national and political news. Was it just how the opportunity for advancement was presented? Or was that the goal all along, to be a national correspondent/anchor with a major American network?
Stephanie….it was more of a fluke than anything. I was working in Toronto when an American agent called me up and asked for a tape. I was simply interested to see what he thought. A couple of months later, he called and said he had a job for me in Miami. And the rest, as they say….histoire


I set my DVR to record the late edition of Tuesday's AC360 (if you don't know why, catch up by reading March Madness). I've been thinking a lot about Warren Jeffs today and a few things struck me. Isn't it so very appropriate that he's being held in Purgatory? That's Purgatory, Utah to be exact, but it's a very fitting place for Mr. Jeffs to be, unless of course we could get him transferred to Hell. And the other thing that struck me is Jeffs' defense attorney is a woman. How apropos that a man who treats women like $hit and truly believes that women are beneath men (take that literally and figuratively) should now turn to one to save his a$$. If you didn't know before, you know now how much this man and those like him make my blood boil. Thank God we have people like Mike Watkiss and Gary Tuchman who bring stories like this to people's attention.

Thanks to Xtina for sending us a new Anderson appearance. It's at The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, 25 West 52 Street on May 8th. It looks like it might already be sold out but here's the link if you want to check.

On a personal note, Thursday should be an interesting day around casa Phebe. We start the remodel of our pool. First thing in the morning I'll be greeted by a back yard filled with non-English speaking men welding jackhammers. I actually had a dilemma of conscience over using this contractor. It wasn't the fact that he probably uses undocumented workers, but the fact that he had a George W. sticker on the back of his truck. DH and I went round and round on this and finally he told me I could argue politics with the guy as soon as the job was finished. For now I will keep my mouth shut since we are saving almost $3,000. I guess my scruples are for sale.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Here's some Chicken Soup for the Ailing Anchor!

Good afternoon! Poor Anderson sounded so sickly last night, didn't he? So many people are sick that it wouldn’t surprise me if he caught something from that plane ride home from Southeast Asia last weekend. Let’s hope someone hooked him up with some good meds and a nice big bowl of piping hot chicken soup!

Last night’s AC360 was interrupted by breaking news but not before Anderson got to talk to Michael Ware about John McCain’s comments regarding the "improving state of Iraq." When I first saw Michael Ware answer this question from Wolf Blitzer last night on TSR, I sat there with my jaw in my lap. Michael was so flabbergasted by McCain’s comments that he invited McCain to come to Iraq for a little stroll in the streets. Michael repeated much of that sentiment last night in an interview with Anderson. Here is a bit of the transcript, just in case you missed it:


Michael, earlier today, Republican Senator John McCain told Wolf Blitzer that the new strategy is working in Iraq, and, in some parts of Baghdad outside the Green Zone, Americans can walk around.

I want to play you part of what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE SITUATION ROOM")

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I know for a fact of much of the success we're experiencing, including the ability of Americans in many parts -- not all. we have got a long, long way to go. we have only got two of the five brigades there -- to go into some neighborhoods in Baghdad in a secure fashion. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Is that true? You're on the ground there.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not, Anderson.

Actually, the senator couldn't be further from the truth. I mean, the senator has been very solid on his Iraq strategy to this point. He's always been very cautious and very conservative when it comes to Iraq, warning people, despite the unpopularity, that the war needs more troops, not less, that we will have to stay longer, not shorter.

Yet, here, he's just gone way out on a limb. To suggest that out there, right now, are any streets where Americans could walk, without a Shia militia being tipped off, without a Sunni insurgency scooping you up, without al Qaeda snatching you, or without local gangs just seeing dollar signs and -- and taking you away, is ludicrous.

If he knows any part of this city where Americans can walk, then I would appreciate the senator coming and telling me that, and we will go and take that walk together.

He even suggested General Petraeus, the commander of all forces here, travels out almost daily without arms. Well, the American officers we spoke to were laughing about this. The general travels in a heavy, very well protected, multilayered bubble of security.

So, Senator McCain is way off base -- Anderson.

You’ve gotta give Michael Ware credit. He’s been entrenched in that war since the beginning. I’m glad he gave it to McCain. McCain’s comments coupled with General Fallon’s ridiculous statement that there isn’t really a civil war going on in Iraq just add to the nations distrust of this administration. And now Republicans are beginning to whisper the “I” word inside the administration as well. Unfortunately for us, the “I” word here is Incompetence and not Impeachment but, hey, it’s a start!

I don’t normally read Robert Novak’s column in the Washington Post so when I saw a teaser for it yesterday I skipped over it. That is until Andrew Sullivan blogged about it as well. I’m not sure there’s been a more telling article about the frustration inside the Republican ranks with the President and his incompetent administration. I think you will be enlightened by what Novak has to say given his close ties to this party. I just have one question about Mr. Novak, however. Why isn’t he wearing the same orange jumpsuit that Scooter Libbey’s donning for the next couple of years?

I’m worried
Did you see Anderson talking to Christiane Amanpour last night? Is anyone else worried that Prime Minister Tony Blair is going to threaten military action if he doesn’t get his 15 kidnapped sailors back? I heard today that Iran is supposed to let the woman go but I don’t think Ahmadinejad is going to let go of the rest of these sailors easily since the UN Security Council just imposed sanctions on his country. And I’d say we owe Mr. Blair a huge debt for his allegiance to the US in Iraq. So what does that tell you?

I pray that Iran and Britian take Madeline Albright’s suggestions on TSR last night. She must have said three or four times, “Wolf, cooler heads need to prevail.” Oh, I long for the days Ms. Albright was doing Condi’s job.

LKL Tribute schedule
Today, CNN Pressroom released a statement regarding Larry King’s 50th Anniversary Tribute. This is going to be one week-long extravaganza! Larry may have gotten a little soft in the past couple of years but he is the premiere talk show host of our time. It’s going to be fun to watch next month! Anderson and Ryan Seacrest host a two hour special on Wednesday, April 18th called 50 Years of Pop Culture. Phebe posted a link to a small portion Anderson’s interview with Larry King yesterday. Congratulations Mr. King!

Well, I hope Anderson is feeling better this evening. Seriously, I’d even watch Lou Dobbs a 11pm tonight in order for Mr. Cooper to get some rest and recover. Okay, Anderson’s GOT to know what a huge sacrifice that is for me!

Update: We aren't getting Lou Dobbs at 11pm but we are getting Combat Hosptial according to Inside Cable News. (Thanks to an Anderfan from another site for the heads up!)

Have a wonderful evening everyone! And I’m serious, if you have the time, please read the Robert Novak article, A President All Alone. It’s extremely informative!

March Madness





Here are more answers to your questions from John Roberts. I've been told that JR is subbing on American Morning this week. And Book Asylum has sent us a link to a post JR did Tuesday, on Tony Snow.


From Carrie M.
What type of story do you most enjoy reporting? Is it politics, war from the front lines, breaking news, human interest stories, or something else and why?

JR: To be honest, I like them all. Politics is great because you’re covering the evolution of the nation. Wars are non-stop adrenaline, as is breaking news (though without the bombs and bullets) and human interest stories are rewarding (particularly a story like Hurricane Katrina). Wars are probably the most interesting stories to cover – there are so many aspects to them. But every time you go to one, you push your luck, and luck can only be pushed so many times before it jumps up and bites you big-time. I’ve lost some good friends in Iraq.
From Fran M:
Where does he like to go on vacation?
JR: We do a lot of beaching – Outer Banks or Martha’s Vineyard in the summer – Caribbean in the winter – my daughter just loves the ocean. My son goes to school in Colorado – so we always try to make a point of getting in a few days of skiing every winter. My favorite vacation of all time, though was two weeks in Tuscany. We had a great house on a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. It was just magical.
From Phebe:
What’s on your nightstand? What are you reading for pleasure, for work and what’s your most recent read?
JR: A lamp and Bose wave radio are the permanent fixtures. Temporary occupants right now include Vali Nasr’s Shia Revival, Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope, Time and Newsweek, and the latest issues of BikeWorks and Guitar Player magazines.
Shia Revival is my latest read…just finishing it. I work on my motorcycles myself a lot, so I read BikeWorks for tips on repairs and modifications, and Guitar Player has some good lessons to further my playing. My problem is that I read so much research during the day, and work such long hours that by the time I pick up a book at home, I read for about 15 minutes, then fall dead asleep. It can take me weeks to finish a book.
From M. Silva:
Who is the most interesting person you have interviewed?
JR: I think Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf back in 1999. He had survived an assassination attempt, taken control of the country and was in the middle of a nuclear standoff with India. It was pretty compelling stuff.
From Pixie:
If you could select ANY topic to cover in-depth for a 2 hour special, or a series of specials, what would the topic be?
JR: I think the climate change crisis facing the world. It’s probably going to be the most important story of our lifetime, and lifetimes to come.
From Cheryl:
As a journalist, what is your honest opinion, about the progress in Iraq?
JR: As I said on This Week At War last weekend, I believe that we are beginning to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The open question: Is it success? Or an oncoming train? Things in Baghdad have become marginally better in just the past few weeks. Now the challenge is to sustain that and build upon it. But when I was there in October/November, it was a total disaster.
From Aruna:
Do you want the "more important" story to take precedence over the "breaking news" and how is the distinction made, if any?
JR: It’s a tough call. Some stories are important. Some are ‘interesting’. I’ll always lead with the story that’s most important to our viewers. It’s often a judgment call, which is why, on occasion, you’ll see three different leads on the network newscasts.


Did you ever just have one of those days? Well Tuesday was like that for me. I spent the entire day working on my taxes, with little success. I wasn't even looking forward to AC360, just stressing about some lost files. So DH (this time it stands for damn husband) decided to search the computer for my missing documents, in an effort to relieve my stress. For some reason he did a shut down and stopped my recording during the second hour of the show. But of course my favorite moment of the night came during the second hour.

Did you catch it? My buddy Mike Watkiss was back on the show. He looks so distinguished since he shave off the Elvis sideburns. I always enjoy Mike's take on the polygamy story. He has lived and breathed Warren Jeffs for many, many years. It was so kind of Anderson to mention that Mike is going to receive an Edward R. Murrow award. In the news business that's a big deal. Congratulations Mike!

Did you see Gary Tuchmans report on the Warren Jeffs trail? Jeffs looks positively ghastly. Very gaunt and pale. The big news was that Jeffs confessed to his brother that he wasn't really born to be the profit. Really, I never would have guessed! His followers are so brainwashed I doubt that they will ever believe that he wasn't coerced into that revelation.

I'm ashamed to call John McCain my senator, especially after his asinine comments today on the safety in Iraq. Michael 'balls of steel' Ware said 'the Senator couldn't be further from the truth'. I've got an idea, why don't we all pitch in and buy Johnny Mac a ticket to Baghdad and tell him to take a stroll? I'd pay big bucks to see that.
On a related note I thought MW was looking better tonight than he has in ages. Maybe having Kyra Phillips in Iraq has brightened his spirits? I can't believe Mic has been in Iraq since 2003. He's an amazing journalist.

Most of Tuesday's second hour was taken up with Breaking News. It always seems like a tough call when it comes to this type of coverage. There wasn't much to report tonight and AC seemed to struggle with keeping it moving. You'd almost have to be a psychic to know if this story will be tomorrow's headline or something that fades away into oblivion. For the sake of the captives I hope it ends up being a non story.


There was another very well done story, by Drew Griffin, about child abuse at the hands of a priest on Tuesday's show. There is nothing funny about this topic, but it did remind me of an email I got from a reader on Monday night. He asked me if I could hear birds during AC360. Birds? Do you have any idea what he was talking about? Well it seems that CNN has now added sound effects to that annoying, spinning graphic that they impose on the bottom right corner of our screens. It was bad enough before, but I could almost ignore it. CNN must have sensed that and so they have now made it completely impossible to ignore. CNN please fire the graphics guy who creates the whirl-a-gigs and strangle the sound effects guy while you're at it. Thank you!
And here is where we stop for tonight. No Christiane Amanpour, Tom Foreman or Mike Watkiss. I'll be sure to pass your complaints on the DH, believe me. Oh yes, one more thing, Mr. Cooper you need to take care of that cold. You're sounding so stuffy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Some new competition for AC360?

Good afternoon all! It’s a beautiful day here in the northeast. My daughter and I had a wonderful time enjoying the awesome weather this afternoon. I hope wherever you are reading this, you too are experiencing a terrific spring day!

Today is a somber day in the news, however. For those who have not heard, news outlets have been reporting today that Tony Snow’s cancer has returned. The 51 year old White House Press Secretary had battled colon cancer two years ago and was undergoing a procedure to check a new suspicious site. During the operation doctors found that Snow’s cancer has metastasized in his liver. Of course, this news comes within one week of Elizabeth Edwards’ announcement regarding her health.

Ironically enough, last week during a White House press briefing, Tony Snow commended Elizabeth Edwards for being “a positive example” for those battling cancer. In a statement made by President Bush this morning, he asked the nation to pray for Tony Snow. It goes without saying that my thoughts and prayers go out to Tony Snow and his family. Good luck and God speed.

Someone moving in at the 10pm hour?
Inside Cable News is reporting that the repeat of Keith Olbermann’s Countdown may be airing weeknights on MSNBC at 10pm against AC360 and Greta. IF that’s true, AC360 is going to have to work harder for demo ratings. Now, I know that Keith wouldn’t recognize an actual news story if it was a hanging curve ball asking to be knocked out of the park but he has one hell of a writer. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the “old” 360 but from what I’ve heard it had the same tone as Countdown. And what I do know is that our demographic likes their news served with a hefty side of snark. So, if I were the 360 writing team, I suggest they sharpen their pencils, some new competition’s moving into the cul-de-sac.

On a lighter note
Wow, wasn’t it nice to see Anderson back in his studio looking mighty handsome last night? Goodness, I agree with everyone who said that red background really does compliment his features. I really like it!

Okay, so let’s address this tie thing. Yes its true, I did call Ms. Phebe last night squeeing about the tie. I feverishly deny that I used that pitch though! LOL! But, I do have to concede that the tie seen here in the screencap on the right is not the Young Republican tie. Oh no it is not! Compare it to the cap on the left. Notice anything strange? The stripes are going the wrong way! You can’t turn a tie around and wear it backwards! This tie is a companion tie to the Blue and Green tie. Yup, it’s a fake! LOL!

Now before you laugh at me and tell me what a geek I am, I’ll tell you a little known fact about myself: I have a photographic memory. So when I see a familiar image I can tell immediately when something is out of the ordinary. I actually spotted it a couple of weeks ago when Anderson started wearing the tie but never got a chance to blog about it. And so there you go. On the left YRT – old and on the right YRT – new! Truth be told, I like the new one better!

So one more squee and I’ll be done with it. Anyone notice that Anderson said, “Send us your ideas for ‘The Shot’” instead of “Give the Shot a shot?” I did! Okay, I must admit, when I heard that, THEN I used a pitch only dogs could hear! LOL! Goodness, that made me wonder what the heck else I could ask for? Yeah, well Ms. Phebe was one ahead of me. Last night, she sent me this screencap and pleaded with me to ask Anderson if he’d consider wearing her favorite tie once in awhile.

So how about it Anderson, can you please wear Phebe’s tie sometime in the next millennium? It would make her be nicer to you! LOL!

OOOH! I'm just going to give you a heads up, I just saw Michael Ware on TSR and he is fired up about John McCain's inane comments regarding the state of Baghdad. And rightly so! I can't wait to hear Mic's perspective tonight. And on an unrelated note, if there is such thing as a CNN god, I'm praying that it spares us from having to see the Lou Dobbs special in the 11pm hour. OH Please CNN god, Spare us! Thank you.

Alright people, I’m going to go strike up the grill! It’s far too hot in here to turn the stove on. Have a great night!