Friday, August 29, 2008

Anderson Cooper and the Angry James Factory

Fury Fans,

I know I tend to rail on announcers and pundits on this here Blog, so I'll go quick and easy on Anderson. Last night I watched CNN's coverage of the DNC. I could've chosen C-SPAN, but I went the HD route because they just added CNNHD to our cable service. I'm kind of an HD 'homer'. This was a poor choice by me. I'm already falling deep into a pit of cynicism when it comes to politics, and watching CNN only makes my fall seem longer, slower and that there will be sharp spikes at the bottom. Anderson Cooper sharpens those spikes. At the conclusion of Barack Obama's speech, of course the CNN crew offers their feedback on live TV. Paul Begala, former 'Crossfire' co-host offered his assessment, which was glowing. Anderson Cooper's response was the following line, in deadpan Cooper tone:

"Obviously Paul is drinking the Kool-Aid."

Anderson Copper dropped a morbid cult reference at the conclusion of a Presidential candidates speech. I know 'drinking the Kool-Aid' has become an acceptable term over the last few years, but it should be used in a more casual, less professional setting. Not on live TV in regards to a speech that a major political party leader just gave. Sure, it's an innocent line, and very few people will even bat an eye at it. Except for me of course. The use of language, the meaning behind it, the inflection, can have a huge impact on the viewers at home whether they realize it or not. To draw a parallel from my Matt Leinart 'bust' blog, 'drinking the Kool-Aid' is going to get used by people out there, in regards to Democrats and their passion for Obama. That's not good, people! Talking points, and canned, vapid insults all help slowly, and subtly dumb the country down. What bothers me more about this particular incident, is that Cooper knows it. He knows that what he says has influence. After all, CNN has anointed him the savior of network news anchors. I don't think I'd ever hear Brokaw, Jennings, or Rather say 'drinking the Kool-Aid' during 'serious' political coverage.

As for Barack Obama's speech, it was beautiful and inspiring and a 'Home Run!' But I really only say that as it pertains to critiquing a speech. Part of my distaste for how politics work is that these speeches, and soon the 'debates' will offer nothing that makes me really 'believe' in any one candidate. Barack says he will institute a plan to end our dependence on foreign oil within '10 years.' That's all fine and dandy, but how will it be done? Show me step by step how this is possible. Will the Senate and House go along with the plan? What will it cost? How will it be paid for? And how do we make health care more affordable? How? How? How? No-one ever answers those questions. I don't mean to pick on Barack here, if the RNC had happened first, I'd be saying(and let's face it, will be saying) the same thing about Little Wooden-Man(McCain).

I remember when Ross Perot spent his own money to get national TV time, and came out with charts and graphs and facts and specifics about how he would try to improve our economy. He was laughed out of the race while the other candidates relied on rhetoric to move on with their campaigns(and win). That confuses, and angers me.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Joe Buck Ain't the Only One...

Fury Fans,

I'm furious. That might be an exaggeration, but I'm at least flabbergasted. I'm watching the Cardinals/Saints pre-season game on a 'Special Thursday Night Edition of Monday Night Football'...yes, they actually take the time to call it that instead of just 'Pre-Season Football on ESPN.'

Anyway, the talk of the broadcast is the state of both Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart's NFL career so far. I knew I was in for some eye rolls, groans, and tsk's when in the opening segment Tony Kornheiser responded to Mike Tirico's mentioning of the word 'bust' like this:

"Well, I wouldn't shout the word yet, but it can certainly be whispered."

I used like Tony K. when he was limited to just PTI. Since joining the MNF booth, I'm growing to hate him as an announcer. I'm at 'serious dislike' currently.

Anyway, the examples don't stop there. Tony goes on to talk about Leinart, who will start just his 17th NFL game(that will be his 18th played) in Week 1, as if the guy has volumes worth of experience in the NFL. Both Tony and Jaws point out that Leinart hasn't shown the consistency an NFL QB needs to succeed. As they're talking I'm just shaking my head, waiting for Tirico to chime in as the voice of reason. No Tirico and it gets worse. Let me repeat, Matt Leinart is going to start his 17th NFL game in Week 1. And these dunderheads are talking about how he might be a bust! This is the same Matt Leinart who broke his throwing arm collar bone last year, causing him to miss significant time. This is his first start in 10 months. Cut the kid some friggin' slack!

I have to draw a comparison here to Eli Manning. This same announce team, over the last 15 months, talked early and often about how the true measure of a young NFL starting QB is year 4. Year 4 is the 'make or break' year if you recall some of my previous posts dedicated to the topic of Eli and the Giants. These three men all talked about this year 4 theory like it was gospel. And it wasn't just them it was ALL NFL analysts and journalists. By my math, these poop-for-brains are about 3 years too early on the Matt Leinart watch. He is basically starting his second full year as a starter this season. I wonder if I can ask Tony K. what happened to the 'Make or Break' theory?

But what REALLY set me off was when Tony brought up the pictures of Matt Leinart that came out months ago of him partying at a kegger. He said: "Someone has to tell him, this isn't 'Entourage,' Ok dude?"

Hey Tony, go fuck yourself. Ok, dude?

Then I had to pause the broadcast and start writing this entry. Jaws chimes in on the subject:

"Yeah, and you know, when you're teammates see stuff like that, they can lose confidence in you."

WOW. What Jaws just astutely pointed out, is that if you're "caught" partying in the off-season, your teammates might decide you lack the ability to play pro-football...because none of your teammates party in the off-season(or during it!)

This is amazing to me. Did the NFL lay down a secret agenda to 'bury' Matt Leinart?

These comments and judgements aimed at Leinart are unwarranted and way out of line so far.

These same announcers that talk religiously about how NFL QB's need to find their rhythm, and sometimes that can take weeks into a season to find, aren't even giving one of the top QB prospects in the last decade a single full season as a starter before they start saying the 'B' word.

That's bad announcing, and even worse journalism.