Friday, February 29, 2008

Holy Leap Year, It's Ladies Night

Hey everyone. I hope you all have a fantastic week and enjoy your extra day in 2008. I say if we are going to have an extra day at least it is a day we can get more Anderson. Then I turned 360 on and there was no Anderson but Soledad O’Brien. I am a huge Soledad fan so I did not mind. The night seemed to be ladies night but the guys also made a good showing so let’s get into Friday’s 360.

Friday’s show started off again with the news of Prince Harry leaving Afghanistan to return to London. Soledad spoke with Nic Robertson and Michael Ware. I feel so terribly for Harry because he only had four more weeks of service until he would be going home but I completely understand where the British military is coming from in sending him home. The safety of his comrades had to be taken into account and I think Harry realizes that. I believe Harry seemed angry because his service on the front line had to end like this. Nic’s bit in his report about the mouse in the soldier’s mouth had me saying ewww. Michael saying that Harry could still face danger once back in Britain because he went to Afghanistan is a scary thought.

Next up was politics. Soledad spoke with Jessica Yellin and Suzanne Malveaux about the new ads Hillary Clinton released today to which Barack Obama came back quickly with a reply. The commercial in itself seems to play on people’s fear which is never a good thing but of the two commercials I think Barack’s ad comes across stronger, it does for me anyway. I think for me it is the phone in the background. In Hillary’s ad it keeps ringing through out the whole thing where in Barack’s it stops after four rings. It seems like Barack is getting to it right away where in Hillary’s ad I feel like the problem is being ignored. Maybe I am reading more into it then there really is but that is what I got out of the commercial. What are your thoughts about the commercial? Who’s resonated more with you seeing that they are almost identical? Soledad also spoke with Candy Crowley about Bill Clinton who was out campaigning for Hillary today in Ohio.

News and Business bulletin and What Where They Thinking had Soledad and Erica interacting. I hope this clears up what Erica’s role will and will not necessarily be and that is Anderson’s fill in. At some point in the future I am sure Erica may anchor, she has the experience to do it but for now it seems Soledad and John King are filling in for the odd day Anderson is off.

The story of ricin being found in a Las Vegas hotel room is sort of creepy. Kara Finnstrom spoke with Soledad about the man who is now in a coma after being exposed to ricin two weeks ago. A lot of questions of where the ricin came from and why it was there have arise due to the vials filled with white powder that were found inside a plastic bag in the hotel room.

Soledad also spoke with Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the ricin story which I was so glad for because I knew nothing about this topic before this morning when I heard it on American Morning. Ricin comes from the left overs of castor beans that are crystallized and turned into poison. It is very toxic and can kill a person in days. Apparently ricin is not a good mass biological weapon; you need 1000 times more ricin to get the same effect as anthrax which is a good thing I guess. I am not really sure.

Uncovering America: Debate on the Border

Randi Kaye filed a report on immigrants who were leaving the States and going back to Mexico. Randi was in Arizona which has the 6th largest Latino population in the US. Arizona has passed a law that would shut down businesses who hired illegal immigrants. Honestly I think this is a step in the right direction. If work is not available it will most likely stop people crossing the border illegally but I feel like there is more to this story. I don’t think people who do not live in Border States get a full appreciation of what is going on down there.

Gary Tuchman filled a report on 3 Mexicans who tried to get into the States illegally. This story showed how easy this can be when the US is releasing these people with no real consequence if they are not in the FBI system and they have not been caught more then 7 times trying to get into the US. If these guys were desperate enough to possibly try again to get to the States while Gary was filming his piece, these people will keep trying no matter what.

Soledad spoke with New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. I like Governor Richardson but the whole concept of an illegal immigrant registering, having a background check, paying back taxes, learning English and paying a fine and then becoming a citizen seems too easy to me. What is to stop someone like me from coming to the States tomorrow, living there for a few years and then meeting these requirements? It seems like it would be easier to do that then to go through the legal way to citizenship. There has to be a way to deal with the 12 million people who are in the US now. Do I have the answer, no but I am sure if both sides of the aisle got together they could come up with a good plan.

Beat 360 was cute tonight. I liked the staff winner Kelly’s and the viewer pick but I wasn’t feeling the Mr. Roger’s one. I don’t have a thing for Mr. Roger’s…sorry Erica.

The Shot was pretty cool….insane but very cool. I liked the Leap Day theme.

All in all I really enjoyed 360 tonight. Not too much politics but a good mix. I enjoyed the little break because I am sure Monday will probably be all politics.

Soledad joined in on the live blog and this caught my eye.

hey folks yes blogging while anchoring–seems to me to be a little like applying makeup while driving.

Well Soledad managed to get on the blog and post 5 times. Way to go Soledad for your first time live blogging.

A friend of mine and an Anderson fan herself sent me some pictures of Anderson last night at the Bailey House Auction. The winning bid for lunch with Anderson went for $4,500. A great evening for all and hopefully a lot of money was raised for Bailey House.

For all the Jeff Corwin fans. Jeff will be on Late Night with Conan O’Brien on Thursday March 6th.

Well it is time for the State of 360

February 2008

* Super Tuesday
* Wisconsin/Hawaii primaries and Virginia/Maryland/D.C. primaries
* AC 360 wins the 10 PM time slot – 3 out of 4 weeks with the help of CNN political coverage and debates
* Erica Hill officially begins full time on 360
* Anderson begins live blogging during the 10PM hour
* NIU Shooting
* Anderson was in NOLA for a live 360
* Fran Drescher and Gene Simmons auditioned for the Voice of 360
* Michael Ware returns

That is it for me for another week. Only four years until our next leap year. Have a great one and I will be back next Friday ~ Sapphire

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Galahs and Drongos...

OMG....did you see Janet Jackson teaching Larry King to dance? Priceless. What a good sport LK is and JJ still looks amazing.
Anderson recovered quickly from a case of the giggles to tell us the day's breaking news, about Prince Harry. The general consensus among those on commenting at the 360 blog, as well as Michael Ware, was pretty negative toward Matt Drudge, who first publicized the story in the U.S.

Nic Robertson, in London, talked with Anderson and shared pool footage of Prince Harry in Afghanistan. It was great to see Nic back on's been too long. It's amazing to me that so many in the media knew of Harry's deployment and managed to keep it quiet. Then some idiot like Drudge comes along and puts the Prince's life in danger because he wants to have this big scoop. What a moron.
And Michael Ware created a bit of controversy with his description of Matt Drudge, when he used Aussie slang. By the end of the program AC had sorted it all out, thanks to viewers and Tommy Evans. Here's the explanation.

The political coverage held my attention tonight. Candy Crowley reported on both the Clinton and Obama campaigns. Unless there is something major happening I'd much rather just have an overview of the day and the candidates. Thursday's coverage was perfect. At the end of the interview Anderson said 'It ain't over until it's over'. I thought for a moment he was going to say it ain't over until the fat lady sings. And that would have started a little brouhaha among some of his more, shall we say, fluffy fans!

Joe Johns covered the wrangling for the vice president slots in both parties. There are several approaches to selecting a running mate: geographic balance, repayment for favors done or constituents delivered, someone with experience that the candidate lacks, age balance (older candidate picks younger running mate and vice versa), etc. The most important advice Johns gave was to make sure the running mate selected is qualified and doesn't drag the nominee down.
AC360's panel then weighed in on the political discussion. Anderson was joined by The Gerg, Leslie Sanchez and Roland Martin. The discussion was interesting and it stayed away from the 'he said, she said' trap that gets old quickly.

Next up was the new voice of AC360 (insert drum roll here) Gene Simmons. I guess that pesky new porn video floating around the Internet that features Simmons wasn't deemed a deal breaker. Does anyone find this man's tongue sexy in the slightest? I find it absolutely revolting. But it did cause an Andergiggle, so I guess it does have some redeeming quality.

So there you have it, a really enjoyable AC360. From the sounds of it we are in for a special on Friday night. Randi Kaye will be exploring the new illegal worker law here in Arizona. The law is incredibly brutal towards employers who hire illegals. And it seems to be working, from early indications. I'm looking forward to this one.

It was announced today that Anderson Cooper will speak at the 2008 Senior Convocation for the University of Miami, on April 14th. The discussion is presented by the Northern Trust Lecture Series and will begin at 6:30 p.m. It is open to anyone in the university community with a 'Cane Card. Tickets are not required. For more information follow the link.

That's it for me this week. I'm happy to end the week on a high note. Thursday's AC360 was the best of the bunch this week, at least for me. ~ Phebe

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Very Smooth, Cooper

I'm not sure I would categorize Wednesday's AC360 as smooth, but after a minor stumble at the end of the program Anderson said 'very smooth, Cooper'. And you know he is!
Wednesday's AC360 was politics, politics and more politics. Most of you know I've been a little disinterested lately, especially since my favorite candidate seems to be considered dead and buried, at least by the media.
I'm further depressed by the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll that was released on Wednesday. It said John McCain would win against Barack Obama, if the election were to be held today. I just don't get it, I really don't. What do they see that I'm missing? Or maybe it's what don't they see?

Since I'm just not feeling the love, here's just the briefest of recaps.
We had Candy with the Clinton campaign in Columbus, Ohio and John King (in Cincinnati) reporting on the McCain campaign, which was in Texas. The live panel for Wednesday night was David Gergen, Bay Buchanan and Roland Martin. And Joe Johns did a piece on Bill Clinton and his new toned-down campaigning.
Lisa Bloom talked with Anderson about the Roger Clemens case. This story, to me, is more boring that Paris Hilton coverage.....and that is saying something. I do enjoy Bloom and it's been a while since she's been on AC360, but please give her something of substance to discuss next time.
Last story of the night (thank God) was Erica's piece on the man killed while swimming with the sharks. So wouldn't you think that it might not be a good idea to swim with sharks? Might it not cross your mind that they might, you?

I wonder who was in charge of the story selection? I could find 10 stories on the CNN blogs that would be more interesting than those that were chosen for Wednesday's program.

We were treated to a repeat of Ozzy's stint as the voice of 360 and told that there would be a new celebrity announcer on Thursday. It will be interesting to see if the Gene Simmons audition will be shown tomorrow night. A recent Simmons sex tape is floating around the Internet showing Gene and a model named Elsa partaking in sexual activities. Of course that doesn't preclude him from being the announcer, but you have to wonder if the scandal would be something that CNN would want to be associated with. Stay tuned.

There were some cute Anderca moments tonight, including the haircut tease and talk of AC's guns.
I hope it's just me and everyone else enjoyed the mix of stories? In an effort to cheer myself up I'm going to post a totally off-topic video. It's a very elaborate joke that recently aired on the Jimmy Kimmel program. The language could be very offensive to some, so if you're watching around children or at work you might want to use the headsets.

That's it for me tonight. I hope to be in a better frame of mind tomorrow and have a more positive outlook on life, politics and AC360. ~ Phebe

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Perfect 360...well almost

So why did I say Tuesday’s AC360 was just about perfect? Because it opened with only 4½ minutes of politics then quickly moved on to other news of the day. But I can’t say completely perfect, because eventually it returned to a politic discussion of the MSNBC debates. Not unexpected, but it did cause Drew Griffin’s story on Bimbo, to be bumped. This one sounded interesting to me and I was really hoping it would make Tuesday's program. To see what I’m talking about follow the link.
Here's a brief overview of the program:

• Senator McCain doing damage control concerning the statements issued by Bill Cunningham. Did you catch that AC called Cunningham a 'two bit radio host'? As to Cunningham's remarks…. it's old school politics, something that most of this country have hopefully moved away from.
• Tom Foreman’s Keeping Them Honest report focused on the war in Iraq and how the candidates approach the war. Not much new that we haven’t heard before, but a well done report, none the less.
•Michael Ware gave us a different perspective in his Reality Check. He did say that much of what is happening on the ground is a success, but we’re not getting the full picture by those on the campaign trail. No surprise there.
He also said that after the surge has ended there will be more troops on the ground then before the surge began. He said just by a few thousand. I heard a report over the weekend that claimed the number will be closer to 5,000. Even one US soldier on the ground in Iraq is one to many for me, so I won’t quibble about the numbers. Just please can we elect a Democrat and get the hell out of Dodge?
•The Florida power failure was next up. If this country doesn’t wake up and do something about its infrastructure we are just screwed.
• We were given a chance to hear a brief snippet of the sweet music of the New York Philharmonic, performing in North Korea. The story was presented by Erica Hill. It’s so nice to see her handling a featured story, I hope it’s just the beginning of more to come.
Christiane Amanpour gave us her impressions of how the orchestra was received and also detailed what dignitaries were and were not present.

•The orchestra story transitioned into Alina Cho’s report of her journey to Korea with her parents. They revisited their former home while trying to locate missing relatives. If you are a regular viewer of American Morning you have seen the recent reports of her trip. It is a very personal glimpse into a very private story that I’ve really enjoyed.
• Then the perfect AC360 ended for me and we were back to same old, same old. I know that the discussion of the debate was necessary, but I’m just so ready for this he said, she said to end. I’m sure much of my lack of enthusiasm is because my favorite candidate is not going to get the nomination, but a small part of it is I just don’t like to see the Dems fight among themselves. Save it for the Republicans.

I do have a funny (at least I think it’s funny) story to tell you on this subject. My DH and I were at a dinner party a few weeks ago and we were seated across from a couple from Arkansas. The talk turned to politics and the woman from Arkansas declared, in a rather loud voice, that she and her husband would be voting for Hillary because Obama was a Muslim. For proof they offered his middle name, the fact that his father was Muslim, that he attended a madrasa, etc. All of the usual stuff. Of course, I could not let this go and I began to try and educate them about Barack’s background and assure them he was definitely not Muslim. After much back and forth, that eventually involved the entire table of people, my husband leaned over to me and told me I should just give up. He reasoned that by convincing them that Barrack was not a Muslim I was costing Hillary votes. I decided he was right and told them there must be some truth to the Muslim story since they read it on the Internet.

•Tuesday’s AC360 panel had Candy Crowley, John (come in from the cold) King, Paul Begala and Jamal Simmons discussing the MSNBC Democrat’s Debate. I loved Paul mentioning his mother in Katy, Texas. And I know this is so superficial but Candy Crowley’s necklace was fierce (my homage to Christian from Project Runway). She must pack one hell of a huge suitcase, because I just don’t see her repeating outfits. She always looks awesome.
I agreed with Begala (shocker, right) that I would have liked to see Barrack get the Putin question. Hillary got it right, not sure if Barack would have, but I wish he would have had the chance. And when Paul said “I don’t think the media is anti Clinton….I KNOW the media is anti Clinton” I could have kissed him.

And for those of you who love to know how AC's segment did on 60 Minutes here's the low down, thanks to out Ratings Guru.

60 MINUTES – Oscars and Transmission “Errors” Make for an Interesting Night, Sunday, February 24, 2008

Courtesy: 60 Minutes/Google Images

Yes, I know you can tell by the haircut it is an old picture – think of it as “vintage.” 60 MINUTES could have had a very tough time reaching anywhere near its typical large audience with the Oscars on against it in the West Coast, the popular Barbara Walters Oscar special on in other areas of the country, along with the endless red carpet coverage on other channels.

However, it’s not a bad performance overall considering the competition in the various regions of the country. 60 MINUTES^ ranked as the 17th most popular broadcast program for the week ending February 24, 2008. It had a Total Audience 2+ Live plus SD (LS) of 10.69 million viewers. This represented a 7.1 Household Rating with an 11 share of audience viewing television from 7PM-8PM. There have been some weeks in the beginning of 2008 when the program didn’t even rank in the Top 20. Football, Superbowl, Special programming, the return of some hit regular programming for a few weeks in January knocked it out of the Top 20.

60 MINUTES being news oriented programming tends to skew very old, so up against either Barbara Walters’ Special and the end of NASCAR on Fox, the program came in third in the time period for Total Audience, Adults 18-49 and Households. Since the Oscars and Walters tend to also skew fairly old, this is not a bad performance for the 39 year old program.

Some of you might have read about the “blamegame” that went on between the CBS Affiliate station in Huntsville, Alabama and CBS in New York. At the beginning of 60 MINUTES was the story about the former governor of the state who is now serving a prison sentence. There were questions as to a fair trial and alleged attempted smear involvement by Karl Rove. Mysteriously, the station lost the signal for the first story – the one about Alabama’s former governor. It got back on the air for the second one - AC’s story, but originally the station blamed the transmission error on the CBS feed out of New York. When CBS pointed out that no other station on the feed had any problems carrying the program, the channel then retracted its version of events and agreed it had been a local transmission error and was fixed by the time the second story aired. The station rebroadcast the missing 60 MINUTES piece in their late local news and again in their news coverage on Monday. Many reporters felt there was much more to the story than the channel was admitting, but they could not point the finger at CBS. Major market stations cover themselves taking redundant feeds of the network programming to avoid “going to black.” In this case, in such a small market, the affiliate may not have had the technical budgets to afford back-up systems – again very curious in this day and age.

All in all, an unusual night for 60 MINUTES in audience and broadcast coverage.

^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics as noted; LIVE + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

Great thanks to the Ratings Guru. That's it for me, enjoy your hump day and I hope to see you back here tomorrow. ~ Phebe

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Crazy Town

It's the start of another 360 week, and there certainly was a weekend full of political nuttiness to cover...

The first segment started with Candy Crowley recapping the weekend fight card, and wow, does anyone find the mocking version of Hillary's "voice" any more appealing than the other ones she's found since New Hampshire? Gloria Borger and David Gergen join Anderson to discuss the ups, downs, and further downs of the past few days.

I have to admit, I cringed when I read that Dee Dee Myers was going to be on tonight. The list of Clinton administration people for whom I have lost respect seemed destined to grow, but Dee Dee managed to stay clear of it. (Yes, I'm sure she will be relieved to know that!)

The 360 Bulletin... the cop who killed his pregnant girlfriend cries for the jury (yeah, whatever); a passenger dies on an airplane, apparently because the portable oxygen tanks were empty (I imagine we'll be hearing more about that one); and a couple in Georgia wins $275 million... wow. I mean... wow! (And when did Erica get moved to the kids' table? That little separate table behind/beside Anderson's? What's up with that?)

Oh, look, another person I used to admire! Now, see, THIS is why I have become cynical. He did so much good back in the day, but now Ralph Nader is becoming a punchline for an extremely un-funny joke. Seriously, dude, is running for president the only means you can think of to get people to listen to you?! Psst...There's this thing called the internet, all the kids use it now...

The murder of an 8th-grader in Oxnard, California is beyond tragic, beyond unspeakable. He had barely started figuring out who he was, and now he's dead. I even feel sorry for the boy who killed him, who apparently was also pushed too far by taunts and peer pressure... and by someone who gave him easy access to a gun. I'm not saying that excuses what he did, of course, but when are we as a culture going to (a) grow up, (b) be better parents, and (c) understand that guns and kids don't mix?

Christiane Amanpour is in North Korea, touring a former nuclear power plant that is being dismantled. This was a fascinating look at what goes in to taking one of those things apart, and the fact that Kim Jong Il's government is allowing CNN access to it is incredible.

For the "Beat 360" photo tonight, I have to admit I really liked Gary Tuchman's caption! But, kids, if you're gonna name a viewer winner, get the graphic right...! Kinda ruins the punchline, otherwise. (They did correct it for the second hour rebroadcast.)

I had planned to clip the Anderson-calls-Busey moment, but the evil spirits once again took over my recorder. And then, when I was going to grab it from the overnight rebroadcast... the evil spirits hit CNN and played the final segment twice instead! I swear I'm not making this up! It was freaky!!

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.