Wednesday, March 31, 2010


It’s Wonz in for Phebe tonight.

Anderson Cooper started off tonight’s edition of AC360 with a preview of tonight’s installment of the “Scientology – A History of Violence” series.

First up was the nationwide problem of bullying. Anderson reviewed the details of 3 kids who have recently taken their own lives because of bullying.

Bullies & Victims – Holding Phoebe’s school accountable
Alina Cho was in with the report of Phoebe Prince and what the school has been doing. The school released a statement saying they have taken disciplinary action, but none of the 9 charged in Phoebe’s death have been officially expelled, though some or all have left voluntarily. Parents are upset and claim they have been speaking out for years, but the administration didn’t listen.

Bullies & Victims – What drives deadly bullying?
Queen Bees and Wannabes’ author Rosalind Wiseman was in the studio to talk to Anderson. She created an anti-bullying program called “Owning Up”. Anderson pointed out that the computer allows bullying 24 hours a day. But Wiseman said the big issue is how do you teach children to believe in adults, so they feel comfortable talking to adults when they have a problem. She said you need to give teacher’s concrete skills to deal with bullying, and also need to train parents how to deal with the problem, otherwise the kids with social power run the school.

Bullies & Victims – Parents say “Enough”
The parents (along with their pastor) of Jon Carmicheal, the 13 year old boy who hanged himself this past Sunday, spoke with Anderson about what their son endured prior to taking his life. The school said they knew nothing about what was going on and Jon didn’t want his parents to do anything for fear of retaliation. It was a heartbreaking interview to watch, but the parents wanted Jon’s story told in the hopes of helping others.

Homegrown Plot Against America? 8 members of militia group plead not guilty
8 members of the Hutaree Militia pleaded not guilty to charges alleging they were attempting to launch a violent revolution against the US. This story seems to just get crazier by the day. I loved AC’s comment that they were not “brain surgeons!”
The Hutaree Operation Plans included:
*The group wanted to create a country carved from four Michigan Counties, then defend it as the “One World Order.”
*Bombs were made from cardboard tubes containing some explosive material, but no shrapnel
*There was an audio tape of Tina Stone telling her son he needed to find work and his reply was “I can’t get a job, I’m preparing for war.” And her reply was “Well I’m preparing for war but I still have a job.”

Drew Griffin was in to talk with Anderson about the group and about while it was scary to think about how dangerous the group might have been. Drew felt after following the story for three days, the group really didn’t have the capability to do much at all. While there was a lot of dangerous talk there was no specific plot and it really is a conspiracy case and will probably come down to a “free speech” case.

President Obama's Off-Shore Drilling Plan
Drilling Down – President Obama announced expansion of off-shore drilling today. Tom Foreman was in with the Keeping Them Honest report and whether POUTS was flip-flopping on this stance. They showed video of President Obama making his announcement today and video of him on the campaign trail. Along with the reactions of various parties weighing in on the announcement.

David Gergen was in with the “Insider Briefing.” Mr. Gergen made the following points – he didn’t feel the move was political, although it has political repercussions; it’s a matter of national security to become less energy dependent; some worry about the price of energy stocks going up and crimping the economic recovery; drilling off-shore is part of a broader, more comprehensive strategy on the President’s part; the surprise was not on the substance, but that POTUS didn’t use off-shore drilling and nuclear power as bargaining chips with Republicans to get them on board with his energy bill. Mr. Gergen feels we are on the edge of a “sweeping transformation of energy overall for this country. That oil and gas off-shore drilling is a bridge to a very different energy future.” Apparently the interest in energy research is high and new discoveries will be coming, but we need a bridge to that future.

Scientology – A History of Violence, Part 3

There are competing versions of what was going on inside the “church” and Anderson questioned, why the police weren’t called. Those who have come forward are accused of working together to destroy the “church.” CNN received dozens of e-mails, declarations and affidavits from current and former Scientologists defending the “church” and it’s leader, David Miscavige, and attacking the credibility of those who have spoken out. They accuse Marty Rathbun and others of being the violent ones. Parts of AC’s interview with Marty Rathbun were shown, but the part I found most interesting video of a rather heated discussion between AC and leaders of the “church” over why if Rathbun was so violent, wasn’t it reported to Miscavige and the police. Apparently the violence took place over a period of four years and they said Miscavige “wasn’t there” and AC asked “didn’t you have a phone?” AC became rather animated during the discussion. He summed up the situation saying “…no physical evidence proving former scientologists' charges – just an affidavit supporting Miscavige and attacking his critics which cannot be verified. But surprisingly though they disagree on who was perpetrating it, both sides describe a work environment within the “church” where punching, choking, and kicking as a means of discipline and intimidation occurred on numerous occasions and no one ever filed criminal charges or even called the police.” The leaders' response was that it was treated as an internal matter. Anderson then made the comparison that if his boss beat him up and the head of Time Warner said we are going to treat it as an internal matter, it would be pretty shocking!” Stay tuned for more on this subject tomorrow night and Friday night.

Joe John’s was in with the 360 Bulletins tonight
- At a day long UN Conference long term aid for Haiti was secured. 3 dozen nations pledged $10 billion dollars in aid, with the US promising $1.5 billion of the total.
- New Russia Bombings – 2 bombs killed at least 12 people today
- New video was released on-line of a man claiming he ordered the Moscow subway attacks
- Stocks fell today, but posted a strong first quarter. The Dow has it’s best first quarter sine 1999 and it’s fourth straight quarter of gain.
- Toads may be able to predict earthquakes.
- New details on the trainer attacked and killed at SeaWorld – the autopsy was released today.
- Jesse James is entering rehab to deal with his personal issues.
- New development over “Climategate” – the scientist accused of data tampering to heighten the threat of global warming was cleared of any wrongdoing.
- A woman claims she was cheated out of $42 million dollars after winning the jackpot on a penny slot machine. The casino said the jackpot was a mistake, the gaming authorities are investigating, the woman wants her money, but all she has received so far is a free breakfast.

Tonight’s “SHOT” was called conquering the “claw” machine – it was a video of a toddler crawling into the machine and picking the toys he wanted before being pulled out of the machine. AC claimed he's sure the machines are a scam as he's never been able to win a prize. While he hyped the video as being instructional, Mr. Cooper, I don't think you'll fit!

Tonight's extras ~

Soledad_OBrien "tweeted" this tonight - Off to atlanta. Working on a project w anderson that will be unveiled in a week long series next month abt perceptions of race. #fb

A reader alerted us to this blog post -

Jason Beghe Tells Me to Shut the Hell Up About Anderson Cooper's Scientology SpecialBy Tony Ortega, Friday, Mar. 26 2010

​Just had a great conversation with Jason Beghe, the actor who famously defected from Scientology two years ago.

He understands the point I made yesterday -- that it irks me when Anderson Cooper announces that he's holding one hand behind his back as he goes into a boxing match with Scientology. Cooper said that while his special series looks at allegations of violence by Scientology's supreme leader, David Miscavige, he wouldn't be looking at the beliefs of Scientologists themselves.

I called that a big, fat mistake, and in the comments to the post, I added that it would be like doing a story revealing that John Gotti beat up his lieutenants, without mentioning that they were part of something called a mafia that extorted people.

Well, Beghe admitted that I had a point, but he also told me to shut the hell up.

Any story on a mainstream outlet like CNN which brings light to the nefarious nature of Scientology is a good thing, he says.

"It's like the health care bill. It doesn't really go far enough, but at least it's something. And it's important to get it out there."

Beghe went on to say that he's surprised the show is appearing at all. "I thought the thing was dead," he says. "It was ready a year ago, and had been held up all that time by attorneys on both sides."

Well, it's good to hear CNN's legal team finally grew a pair.

OK, Jason, we'll just shut up now and watch next week's special series, which begins airing on Monday.

And finally,

From -- The online companion to The Scott County Times (Mississippi)
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Last modified Wednesday, March 31, 2010 1:27 PM CDT

Anderson Cooper will visit Scott County

FOREST — During an upcoming visit to the South, CNN broadcast news journalist Anderson Cooper is making a stop in Scott County within the next two months as part of an effort to help raise funds for the new Forest Public Library shelving campaign.

Cooper, who has family ties to Forest through cousins who live here, is expected to visit on Friday, May 14, according to family members who confirmed the visit late last week. He is expected to speak for one hour, from noon to 1 p.m., that day. He is expected to serve as a commencement speaker at Tulane University the next day.

A family spokesperson said Monday that Cooper, a book author in addition to broadcast journalist, will speak for approximately 30 minutes and take questions from the audience. Attempts to use the Forest Elementary Auditorium fell through on Tuesday but organizers were seeking a new location.

Cooper’s visit is the result of his local family’s membership in the Friends of the Forest Library organization which is conducting a fundraising campaign to raise $100,000 for shelving for the new library facility expected to be completed this summer. The family spokesperson said an invitation was extended to Anderson, who has visited Mississippi frequently, to make a public appearance.

Further details of his visit were still incomplete as of press time.

According to his CNN biography, Cooper anchors “Anderson Cooper 360°,” an award-winning provocative alternative on CNN/U.S. each weekday to the typical network evening newscast. Cooper, who joined CNN in December 2001, served as CNN's weekend anchor before moving to prime time in March 2003 following the war in Iraq and then to a two-hour, late evening timeslot in November 2005 following Hurricane Katrina, where he spent more than a month along the U.S. Gulf Coast and has returned regularly.

His reporting has also taken him abroad to Afghanistan, Iraq, Mexico and London. Additional international correspondence assignments during his career have included Bosnia, Iran, Israel, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa and Vietnam.

He also anchored much of CNN’s live coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City in 2005 and traveled to Sri Lanka to cover the tsunami in 2004.

His book, Dispatches from the Edge, are memoirs about covering the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and other news events, has topped the New York Times Bestsellers List and other bestseller charts.

Before joining CNN, Cooper was an ABC News correspondent and host of the network's reality program, The Mole, among his ABC assignments.

Cooper graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. He also studied Vietnamese at the University of Hanoi. Cooper was born on June 3, 1967, in New York City, the younger son of the writer Wyatt Emory Cooper and the artist, designer, writer, and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, and is the great-great-great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt of the prominent Vanderbilt shipping fortune.

That's it for me tonight. I'll see you on Friday ~ Wonz

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.
All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.


ACAnderFan said...

The bullying schools is out of control and the schools need to do something about it. How many kids have to die before they do something? Anderson's interview with the parents of the 13 year old boy who killed himself was very moving.

I really liked part III of Anderson's Scientology report. Those members of the sea organization were nuts. The whole Scientology thing is just crazy and everyone seems brainwashed, especially the spokesperson and lawyer for the church of Scientology.

360 was OK last nite. The best parts were the Scientology piece and the pieces about teen bullying.

judy said...

Was it me or was this show totally repetitious of the nite before? I know AC's totals were good, but I couldn't watch a repeat of a repeat. It was choppy and edited poorly and enough about Scientology. The only people interested in this subject, which is being beaten to death, are those involved and the attorneys who represent the accused.
Thanks for all the extras.