Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Throw Him Under The Bus

I know everyone is sick to death of the Rev. Wright so I will keep my opinion very brief. For weeks Obama and Wright supporters have been telling us that the short sound bites CNN was playing of Rev. Wright did not accurately depict Senator Obama's pastor. I believe that Rev. Wright's appearance before the National Press Club has shown the sound bites didn't lie.

I really feel great sympathy for Barack Obama. He's been thrown under the bus by someone who he once considered a mentor. He put his trust in a man that was not worthy.
Rev. Wright has show himself to be human and fallible. He has also shown himself to be unfaithful to his flock, narcissistic and egotistical. If he did indeed set out to hurt Obama, a member of his congregation, because he felt slighted, as Mary Francis Berry said, shame on him. He needs to go back and do a little Bible study starting with Leviticus 19:18 "You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people...."
We led off Tuesday's program with Candy Crowley updating us on the day's events. This was followed up by David Gergen, Ed Rollins, Roland Martin and Mary Francis Berry, who was the Chairwoman of the Civil Rights Committee.
It was a nice transition in the second hour when Anderson interviewed people in the NOLA community about the Rev. Wright story. AC spent time talking with Rev. Norwood Thompson (President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference), Jasmine Haynes (student at Dillard University), Stacey Koch (Director of Covenent House and board member of a committee on race and poverty for Tulane).
I was a bit surprised that Rev. Thompson felt that Rev. Wright hadn't hurt Barack Obama. He attempted to defend Wright and was of the opinion that Obama said what he said because he is a politician, not because he truly disagreed with Wright.

In another report based from NOLA Randi Kaye covered the State of Louisiana's attempt to take back grants it provided people to rebuild after Katrina. Is there one single thing that the government got right during and post Katrina? I can't really recall a one. How sad is that?
Gary Tuchman caught us up on the day's polygamy events. I found myself talking back to the television when GT said the FLDS men still have faith in Warren Jeffs. Why wouldn't they? He has set them up with multiple, obedient wives, new homes and what was to be a secure private community. The government maybe able to deprogram the children, and possibly some of the women, but it's not going to happen with the men. They are convinced that they are a superior race and gender. And why would they ever want to listen to someone tell them otherwise?
Anderson was spot on when he brought up the Lost Boys too. It's not surprising at all that there are few young men in the FLDS community in Texas. They must shun a good percentage of the young men so as to provide the favored men with multiple wives.
Last on Tuesday's broadcast was The Shot, which included some Anderca and the cutest ever baby bear cub video.

And I'll leave you with a Smurf's adult content video called Smurf-tastrophe...when a damn breaks during a hurricane the Smurf's face their greatest tradgedy and AC is on the scene to do the reporting. You gotta love Gargamel when he talks about Anderson F'n Cooper!
Thanks to FOA for the find and have a great hump day everyone. ~ Phebe

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Preaching to the Choir

Despite starting off with the Breaking News about tornadoes touching down in Virginia, tonight's AC360 was really about one man: Reverend Jeremiah Wright. For someone that most of us had never heard of a few months ago, he may well be the civilian who has the biggest effect in this race, certainly in the primary battle; he will probably become next campaign's noun-made-verb, as in "swiftboating."

Anderson starts out by recapping the speaking events Rev. Wright has made in the past several days: an interview with Bill Moyers, the speech at the Detroit NAACP convention, and then this morning's appearance at the National Press Club. I have seen several clips from the first two during the weekend, and was very impressed with what the man had to say. I don't agree with all of it, but my experience is so far removed from that of his congregation that it hardly matters what I think.

Soledad O'Brien who (along with Roland Martin) attended the NAACP event last night did a report on both that and the NPC event, and I have to say the differences in his attitude were striking when he was reading a prepared speech versus answering questions off-the-cuff. He was just as engaging and memorable during both, but his prepared speeches were thought-provoking and challenging; however, when speaking without the benefit of editing and re-writing, he did come off as performing, as a man in search of a quip and a soundbite-worthy jab. 

(I found it annoying in the same way I find Bill Maher annoying -- I enjoy Maher's smart, sharp observances, but he always strikes me as so damned pleased with himself, so smug, so sure he's the smartest and funniest guy he knows, that I just can't stand watching him for more than about ten minutes. Just my opinion; your mileage may vary.)

Anderson points out the recent downturn in Obama polling, and then turned it over to Candy Crowley, who recapped the problems Obama has been having showing he can win the white, blue-collar/middle-class voters and how Rev. Wright is not doing him any favors. 

After her prepared piece, Anderson split-screen chats with Candy about how the campaign is dealing with all this controversy. This is why trying to take the high road is so difficult... (And for all the pro-Hillary folks out there, don't kid yourself: when the Republicans unleash the dirt they have on the Clintons, it will be just as ugly, if not worse. Remember, the Whitewater mess was an investigation into Hillary's dealings, not Bill's. We are in for a nasty, nasty fall campaign no matter who wins the Democratic nomination.)

Tonight's panel was David Gergen, Roland Martin, Faye Wattleton, and Ed Rollins. The topic was What Can Obama Do? (Don't think that will catch on as a bracelet...) And wow, the Gerg was not pulling punches when referring to Wright: "His publicity blitz has been the dumbest, most selfish, most narcissistic act I have seen in politics in some 40 years."

I really enjoyed reading Roland Martin's blog posts about these sermons when they first became media fodder, so I was interested to hear what he had to say about the speeches. I mean, did Gergen and I have a bad reaction to them because we still just don't "get" the Black Church Experience? Apparently not...

360 Bulletin: not that Annie Liebovitz needs defending, but I am delighted that Anderson did it. Heh. Keeping Them Honest, and an unofficial What Were They Thinking?:

Seriously, with all the adults in the room, not ONE thought that was too provocative for a teenager? Annie is at least an artist; what were the rest of them thinking? And I'm not even a parent!

The second half-hour kicks off with a Joe Johns report about the black liberation theology movement that started as a response to the Black Power movement of the 60s and then more from the panel about the Wright Media Tour. (Love the snarky comment from Mr. Cooper about the book advance.)

Finally, some non-Wright news: Anderson talks to a woman who saw one of the Virginia twisters form -- and as she tells her story, I was so grateful that she downplayed what happened to her in comparison to what she had seen in the clips shown on 360 tonight. I love a person with perspective, even in the midst of what is to them an incredible event.

And then, The Shot -- okay, it took me some time to work out that she thought she was singing in English, too: 

Bonus! This week's PiP Clip, from the end of hour two:

Phew! Long night! Tomorrow Anderson is speaking at Tulane University in NOLA at 6pm, so either we will have a sub or he'll be in small studio or we'll have an unadvertised night of NOLA coverage. He did use the "see you tomorrow" signoff, which would seem to preclude the first option; cynically, my money would never be on the last option, so I'm guessing we'll be in generic-studio-land.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

PIP Puzzle

360 in 60 this week is a short one. Monday, the technical difficulties gremlins returned and on Thursday, all I have is the sound of dead air. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday were much better days with a mix of Erica Hill and Anderson Cooper providing the update.

This week’s puzzle is from the recent Planet in Peril commercial: a little bit of Anderson and a little bit of Sanjay Gupta. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished PIP program for this year.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Taking Punctuation to the Nth Degree

From AP article..." the Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a study released Thursday, found that teens who keep blogs or use social-networking sites like Facebook or News Corp.’s MySpace have a greater tendency to slip nonstandard elements into assignments."

It isn't just teens slipping in nonstandard elements. Between blogging and using Instant Messenger all the time I've noticed in a lot of my work e-mails (even to my boss) I'm typing :)'s and LOL's.

The article further states that "the rules could possibly change completely within a generation or two: Perhaps the start of sentences would no longer need capitalization, the way the use of commas has decreased over the past few decades."

I've never been good at using commas so put me on the list of people that contributes to its decreased use. Reading this article reminds me of an Nth Anderson did on semi-colons in February 2004 entitled "Taking Punctuation to the Nth Degree". Here is the clip:

Here is the transcript:

Tonight, taking punctuation to the "Nth Degree." Remember that fuss budget of a English teacher you had. Turns out she was right, punctuation does count. Late yesterday, a judge told groups wanting to stop San Francisco from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples that they made an error in their filing.

"The way you've written this," the judge said, "it has a semicolon where it should have the word or." He went on to say, "I am not trying to be petty here. That semicolon is a big deal."

He's got a point. Imagine if good old Patrick Henry, instead of "Give me liberty or give me death" had instead said give me liberty; give me death. See the problem?

And what about the old love or leave it bumper sticker. Your replace the or with a semicolon and, you've got America, love it; leave it. Talk about little things meaning a lot. People were married today who otherwise might not have been all because of a comma wearing a dot for a hat. I'm Anderson Coper. Period. Thanks for watching. Period.

Hmmm, I wonder if the judge used to be a "fuss budget English teacher".

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Chairman of the Board is in the House

Hello everyone. Long time no see right? I hope everyone had a good Friday. Anderson is still MIA which makes me wonder if he is working on some big story. I guess we will have to wait and see. John King filled in for Anderson tonigt from Washington. I have come to the conclusion that, this week for me it did not matter who subbed for Anderson I just was not into the show. Both Campbell and John did a fine job. I just was not into the stories. When your not into the show it is really hard to blog. With that said I guess I will post screen caps and a little recap of the stories that were on Friday’s 360 and then let everyone discuss.

Friday’s 360 opened with Larry King sending the show to his friend “the chairman of the board” John King.

Friday night the full Rev. Jeremiah Wright interview was aired on PBS so we got to see more clips. I know that this is important to a lot of people but for me I am so over it. I have moved passed it and don’t particularly want to spend 20 minutes of every 360 talking about it. John was joined by Gloria Borger, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton. They spoke about the Rev. Wright interview. All I really caught from it was Rep. Tubbs Jones basically get in John King’s face. After that I tuned her out. I am not against anyone wanting to share their views and not wanting to be interrupted but I cannot stand when a guest comes across as rude to the host. That's how it came across to me. Some may disagree with me but everyone see something different when they are watching.

Jessica Yellin filed a piece on Rep. James Clyburn. Rep. Clyburn is the senior African-American in congress. He is an Obama supporter and spoke about the Clintons on the issues of race and gender. John was then joined again by the panel to discuss the comments made by Rep. Clyburn.

At this point in the show Erica did the News and Business bulletin and one of the biggest stories of the day, The Bell verdict got a 30 second blurb. I was so disappointed. I think this story should have gotten a little bit more coverage. But then again I am also tired of hearing about Rev. Wright so of course I would be displeased.

John spoke with Susan Roesgen about the Texas polygamy case. The number of children has risen as it has been found out that some of the mothers are underage. The families will be back in court next week.

Ted Rowlands was in Solana Beach, California to cover the story of the deadly shark attack. The victim was 66 year old retired veterinarian Dave Martin. On the one hand you cannot blame a shark in its natural habit for what happened but on the other hand you have to feel for the Martin family. John spoke with Ira Opper and Jeffrey Graham about the shark attack.

David Mattingly did a follow up for Uncovering America on the situation on the streets of Chicago. David spoke with Ronald Holt whose son Blair was killed in Chicago last summer. The situation in Chicago does not seem to be getting any better but worse.

John and Erica ended the show with Beat 360 and the Shot. Tonight’s shot reminded me of a piece Anderson did years ago about mentos and diet coke. In case you missed it, enjoy.

Well that is it for me this week. Sorry if my post tonight seemed like a downer. I hope to be back to my cheerful blogging self next week. Have a great week everyone ~ Sapphire.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008


Good evening everyone. Hope everyone is doing well. Well we all know that Anderson has the evening off and to be honest I had more fun watching Lost, Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy as oppose to Thursday’s 360. Thank goodness the shows are finally back. I’m just keeping it honest with everyone. So I am going to give a quick recap, put up few screen caps and let everyone discuss. Campbell Brown filled in for Anderson who is MIA tonight. The show started with clips from an interview Rev. Jeremiah Wright had with Bill Moyers for PBS.

  • David Gergen, Roland Martin and Tony Perkins joined Campbell to discuss the interview and the effects it may have on the Obama campaign.

  • Candy Crowley joined Campbell to talk about super delegates and the Florida and Michigan votes.

  • Susan Roesgen filled a report on the latest details about the FLDS children being sent to foster homes

  • Jeffrey Toobin and Carolyn joined Campbell spoke about the children going into the foster homes. Carolyn made a point that the children have more of a bond with the other children then with their mothers.

  • Gary Tuchman did a piece on Rosita Swinton, the woman who is suspected of calling the authorities and pretending to be 16 year old “Sarah. This is apparently not the first time this woman has done this. After seeing Gary go after so many stories I liked this picture of him knocking on the door, looking for truth.
  • Erica brought news that Wesley Snipes is going to prison for three years. What have we learned from this – pay your taxes!!!!!

Campbell and Erica had some nice interaction over Beat 360 (which Erica’s caption was the staffs pick) and The Shot. The Shot was too adorable and I love Pierre’s story. Very glad to hear Pierre has gotten his mojo back. For all who missed it or you enjoyed it like I did (personally my favourite part of Thursday’s show) I have capped it for you.

That is it for me tonight. I will be back again tomorrow. Hopefully so will Anderson. Have a great Friday everyone ~ Sapphire
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Slogging Toward The Next Primaries

I have a feeling my post will be more off topic than on. I'm a bit burnt out by all the politics. I don't fault AC360 for the political focus on Wednesday's program. If they didn't rehash Pennsylvania I would have been shocked.

The day after each Primary is a bit like Groundhog Day(haven't I said that before?)....the same thing over and over. I could almost scream when I heard someone say we'll know more after Indiana. Weren't we supposed to know more after Pennsylvania? So forgive me if I gloss over the broadcast...but I doubt if anyone will be too upset.

• First up a report by Candy Crowley on Obama and HRC. I'm guessing as to the topic as my recording was very garbled and I missed almost the entire segment.

• Tonight's panel was Carl Bernstein, Gloria Borger and Jeffery Toobin. Anyone care what they talked about? Except for Toob I tuned out.

• What's a rehash of a primary without a look at the magic map?

• Bill Schneider was next up with more exit poll analysis. If you were following along you learned that North Carolina is not near Ohio. Oh good Lord I really hate when they dummy things down.

• Are Anderson's ties (or knots) getting fatter or is he just getting skinnier? I'm not loving the new look. And I guess I'm no different than those who comment on the Live Blog about his ties. But my excuse was boredom and the tie really started to bug me.

• Now we get to the good part of the program....Paul Begala and James Carville, two of my favorite Democrat strategists. Poor Jamal was outsmarted and out numbered and I'm sure he made no friends in Florida and Michigan when he said those citizen's votes don't count.
• Randi Kaye was next in line with a story on campaign funding. Yawn. I'm just not a bean counter at heart and hate budget talk.

There was an interesting read in Monday's Arizona Republic about the fundamental fashion of the FLDS women. I found it fascinating and thought some of you might also.

What the women wear and why

THE HAIR: Grown long in preparation for a belief that in heaven the wives will be asked to wash their husbands' feet with their hair.
THE STYLE: It's called "the face frame." Women are required to wear hair tied back, so as not to be considered vulgar or endeavoring to entice a man.
THE DRESS: A pattern mandated by jailed FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, who outlawed skirts, ruffles and even plaid from women's ward- robes. Nothing that shows shape is allowed.
PASTELS ONLY: The color also is dictated by Jeffs, who maintains that lighter hues are more conducive to the spirit of God. Red is reserved for the robes of Jesus Christ, and dark colors evoke a dark spirit.
BENEATH THE DRESS: The women wear long underwear, which stretches from wrist to ankle, a slip and leggings to cover the underwear.
LONG UNDERWEAR: Hand-sewn from a pattern passed from woman to woman, long underwear must be worn by adults and children, summer and winter, to prepare church members for garments they believe will be worn in heaven.
Source: Carolyn Jessop, author of "Escape"

To read more follow the link.

I'm sorry to say I will be taking another short trip this week and won't be blogging again until next Tuesday night. I'll leave you in Ms. Sapphire's most capable hands and hope to see you all back here next week when I return. Have a wonderful weekend. ~Phebe

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh What A Night!

Hey's good to get back to blogging after my 2 week vacation. And what I night to return! Lots of program to discuss, so let's get started.

• Wolf hosted the coverage with Lou, Campbell and AC leading the panel discussions, during their usual program time.

• CNN was very slow to call the election, for whatever reason. MSNBC and Fox beat them to the punch. Not sure why the caution on CNN's part....everybody knew who was going to win. So I'm left wondering if their exit polling was faulty or were they trying to keep ratings up or simply being very cautious? It struck me as odd considering how quick they usually are to be first.

•Anderson's back row panel was Amy Holmes, Jeffery Toobin, Donna Brazile, Paul (be still my heart) Begala and Jamal Simmons. They let some of the original panelists go home early, but unfortunately not Alex Castellanos, who drove me crazy. For AC the front row panelists were Gloria Borger, Roland Martin and The Gerg.

• John King was back with the magic map, dissecting Pennsylvania for us. There was lots of discussion on Monday night's live blog about a catchy name for the telestrator. Some suggestions? Smart board, magic wall and my favorite John King’s Portal to Primary Predictions and Polls. JK and his magic map have drawn much attention lately. Check out this article in the New York Times.

•I hear all this talk about wrapping up the Democratic race before the convention and frankly I don't understand why. Pundits say that the Republicans have an unfair advantage because McCain can go after the issues instead of another member of his party. So why can't the Dems go after McCain, even if they don't have a presumptive candidate yet? Guess they figured that they could and should. The DNC aired it's first commercial of the 2008 Presidential race during the PA Primary coverage.
• I feel a bit vindicated by some of the exit poll numbers Anderson discussed with David Gergen on Tuesday's program. HRC ran 70% to Obama's 30% in white, rural Pennsylvania. I was born, raised and educated in Pennsylvania and this figure didn't surprise me one bit. When I blogged about my predictions for PA a few weeks ago some wondered why PA would vote so much differently than those of Wyoming, Alaska, etc. It's just the dynamics of the region. Ohio and New Jersey are of the same ilk as, I believe, West Virginia will be too. If Obama is the Dems candidate for President he will have a tough time carrying these normally blue States. And I don't think he can win the general election without carrying Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

• I was surprised to hear Hillary talk a bit in her speech about her family ties to Pennsylvania. I had no idea that her father was originally from Pennsylvania, nor did I know he graduated from and played football for my Alma mater, Penn State. Maybe I can turn my DH from McCain based on that? Probably not, but I'll try.

• Funny moment of the night? Of course it was Paul Begala telling AC that when he donates to campaigns he writes on the check 'for negative campaigning only'. When AC said 'You do'? He replied 'Yes I do, because I like fighting'.

• Did you catch the PIP ad during the Primary coverage? I haven't watched CNN for almost 2 weeks. If this isn't a new ad forgive was new to me.

•And speaking of PIP, I had an email from Xtina today telling me that Wal-Mart is running a special promotion on the DVD for $13.72. There are Planet Earth (the BBC series version), Planet in Peril and a few other environmental films in the display at the front of most stores.

So tell the truth, did you stick with CNN all night or sneak a peek at Idol or the Dancing With The Stars Result program? Or maybe Big Brother? I confess I couldn't resist Andrew Lloyd Weber night on Idol. David Cook was unbelievable. As to the other two programs...thank God for TIVO. So I'm off to catch up on my recordings. Hope to see you back here tomorrow.
~ Phebe

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