Monday, March 30, 2009

Through Hell and High Water

Anderson starts out with Breaking News, but it's an update on the situation in North Dakota, not the economy. As Anderson says, "Just when they've been through hell and high water..." Poor Gary Tuchman. In his waders again...

Gary is in Briarwood and as you can see, there is a lot of water there. And the forecast calls for up to 10 inches of snow tonight, along with 35-mile-per-hour winds. No one is quite sure how this storm will affect the sandbag dikes because it's never happened before.

MAJOR kudos to Gary, Anderson, the 360 writers, their guests, and everyone else involved for not once invoking the used-to-death term "perfect storm" to describe the conditions tonight. I was braced for it, and it even would have been apropos to the situation. Your restraint gives me hope for western civilization. 

Okay, on to the economy. The president basically fired the Chairman of GM today. Um, wow. I have no clue whether this was deserved, overstepped presidential authority, or even made sense. But you have to admit, this administration is going bold. And not in ways that involve waterboarding and renditions!

Ali Velshi is at the big board and discusses the move of the government guaranteeing warranties for new cars. It sounds like it is a positive step -- if I was in the market for a car, that would be something I would care about. But as Ali and Anderson discuss, people aren't buying cars because they can't afford to and they can't get loans. We're a ways from getting that problem addressed.

This is a very dramatic map... the states in red and yellow are those that have more than 10,000 workers in the auto industry (including dealerships and so on.) Nearly every state would be drastically hit if the Big Three go under.

Anderson shows a local-affiliate video of an impromptu Fight Club breaking out at a dealership where all the workers were laid off. The guy who seems to be the instigator speaks to a reporter afterwards, and while you certainly feel for anyone who loses their job like that... jeeze, dude. Anger management classes. If everyone who got pink-slipped started punching out other people -- even the higher-ups -- there would be a lot of blood flowing! Well, the health providers would certainly have steady incomes!

Tonight's panel is David Gergen (in the studio), economist Steven Leeb (likewise), and everyday-ethics guru Vince Crew. 

Was there a double-standard in the way the bank execs and auto execs were treated? Well, yeah. I would like to think that there wouldn't have been if this administration had handled both bailouts, but my trust of politicians only extends so far.

Oooh, the overhead crane shot!

President Obama sets off on his first World Tour tomorrow, as he heads first to London for the G20 Summit, and then through France and Germany, and finally to Turkey (which will fulfill his campaign promise to go to a major Muslim country in his first 100 days in office.) Protests are expected in Europe due to the world economic meltdown.

Candy Crowley handles the details of the trip, and then talks to Anderson about it. I just love the intensity he has while she is talking -- so much that I had to clip part of it. At the end, he even gets a pretty good joke in:

And bonus points to John Vause for tuning in from Beijing and getting Anderson the info he needed!

We're back to Gary, still standing in the water, getting snowed on. He has a recorded piece about residents who had to evacuate and the fact that most of them have no flood insurance. But Anderson has a good memory and can't pass up the chance to remind Gary about his own personal Nipplegate:

Gee, Anderson, you really should never mock a man until you have walked a mile in his waders. Oh wait, you have... and we have an interesting photo from last year, sent in by a reader. So: were you standing in a pothole? Or was the crew standing on submerged milkcrates? 

Hmm... no comment?

Okay, back to the program: Madonna wants to adopt another child from Malawi, protests have broken out in both countries. There really is no good answer here, but I for one think someone should make her sell her private jet and donate the money to the orphanages there if she wants to keep taking their kids. (Okay, lame attempt at humor. Moving on.) David Mattingly put the story together. Judge rules on Friday.

Joe Johns covers the horrific shooting at a nursing home over the weekend. What the hell is wrong with people? It is beyond comprehension.

Hey! Erica Hill is back! Yaaaay! 360 Bulletin is stocks down, 5-in-1 pill may help fight heart disease, John McCain is asked again whether he would support Sarah Palin and once again deftly sidesteps, the Obamas will pay for the redecorating of the White House themselves. And you know I had to cap this:

Erica does a piece on "Michelle Mania" which shows that she is just as big a draw in foreign countries as she is here. International's Becky Anderson (based in London) says that it isn't just her style that people admire, it is her substance. At the end of the piece, Erica joins Anderson at the desk to discuss, which leads right into Beat360:

And then they are back for The Shot, and we find out why that naked man is running around carrying his pole:

Anderson was in great humor tonight. Nice to see him having some fun.

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Tomorrow night Anderson is the moderator of a panel on press freedom at Radio City Music Hall. Tickets have been dropped to a 2-for-1 deal, so if you thought about going but didn't have the cash, find a buddy and get over there!

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I have a ridiculous number of bonus clips for you tonight, from the programs last week down at the border...

Wednesday, Anderson spoke to Campbell Brown:

Larry King...

Thursday, Kyra Phillips once...

...and a second time:



And finally, Friday, Campbell:

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And just because... Michael Ware was supposed to be on the border with Anderson last week, but did not make the trip. I'm hoping it was because there was a HUGE surprise party planned for his 40th birthday on Wednesday! But he did appear on Campbell's program that day:

And a few minutes on Larry King's program as well:

And then... off to the party, right? Hey, it was only 9:15 in NY, things would just be getting started!

Okay, that's all for me tonight. Hope it was enough! (BTW, I also posted Anderson's Friday interview with Peter Bergen on ATC today. And also an interview John Roberts did this morning with Reza Aslan. So many interesting men, so little blog-time to post!)

Have a great week!

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.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Few Notes From The AC360 Blog

The puzzle this week is a compilation for two pictures of Anderson while on the road.

Anderson Cooper Jigsaw PuzzleAnderson Cooper Jigsaw Puzzle

CNN has posted a video from their time at Hofstra University showing students getting job advice from Frans Johansson and Donna Rosato. This behind the scenes video came with an explanation from Alyssa Caplan on the AC360 blog:

If you’ve ever wondered how we prepare guests at AC360°, here is your chance to find out! I want to share the chatter that took place as I prepared for a segment last Thursday when we were doing a live show from Hofstra University.

We set out to tell the stories of the individuals behind the headlines and offer practical survival advice. College students are no less immune from the challenges of the recession than the rest of the world. The students I met at Hofstra shared stories that were both heartwarming and sobering as they discussed mounting student debts and juggling jobs on top of studies to help ease the financial stress on their families.

We picked five students that were representative of a collective student body to ask questions to our expert guests: Frans Johansson, author of “The Medici Effect” & Innovation Consultant & Donna Rosato, Sr. Writer, MONEY Magazine.

The conversation you’ll see here unfolded before I walked them outside through the crowd to Anderson and the crew for their segment.

Thanks to Julie for the find!

There were several other posts on the AC360 blog this week that caught my attention:

Dr. John White from the University of Hull posted an article about John Hope Franklin who passed away last week.

An article about Nathan Wolfe's presentation to TED Conference about AIDS. The presentation is available on TED's website. If his name sounds familiar, he was part of a segment that Anderson did for Planet in Peril: Battlelines.

Peter Bregman's article titled, No job? Create your own!. The article starts out talking about a young woman who decided to start up a doll making business in the early 1900s.

Another article that I found interesting, this one from the CNN Political Ticker, Ed Henry talks about the Presidential smackdown he received during the prime time news conference. He explains why he asked the question and gives a glipse into how he prepares for an event like Tuesday's. The article is available here. It is also available on the AC360 blog, but without the links to the video clips to the press conference that are referenced in the article.

And last, but not least... while we're on the topic of the press conference, Paul Begala took a friendly swipe at Alex Castellanos:

I love Alex Castellanos. Heck, somebody has to. Truth is, we’ve been known to break bread after our CNN gigs. He is engaging and amusing and whip-smart.

But when he said Tuesday night on CNN that President Obama is already looking like a one-term president, he’s full of more beans than a burrito at Matt’s El Rancho back home in Austin, Texas...

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.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Show and Tell with Jeff Corwin

Before Planet in Peril, Jeff Corwin was on the show in April 2006 and he brought a few friends with him - a Burmese python, a bear cat, and a cashmere goat. This is the kind of segment I like to see every once in awhile between the economic and political dribble we've been seeing every night. So, here is show and tell time on AC360 with Jeff Corwin.

Anderson did a few interviews with the local El Paso news stations. Below is the interview with ABC and here is the link to the one with Fox.

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.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Run FROM the Border

Remember that old Taco Bell slogan...Run for the Border, well I thought Run FROM the Border would be more appropriate lately. I think I'll skip a trip to Mexico anytime soon. Anyway, TediB here, sitting in for Sapphire who is out gallivanting around the globe. I'm just sitting around glued to my computer screen and twitter. God, I tried to resist Twitter, I really did, but darn it, that Jack Gray got me hooked!

Okay, enough of my life, on with the show from Friday *The show started out with "Breaking News" of the massive flooding expected in Fargo, North Dakota. The Red River is going to crest earlier than they thought and the floods are expected to be worse then they have seen in a long time. I send well wishes out to the people there!*Next we got a repeat of some of the interview with the masked cartel member. I agree with some of our commenter's from last night... it was interesting to hear, although chilling.*Anderson then took us on a grim tour of mass graves for the victims of violence in Mexico. It's so sad to see those open graves just waiting for more people. It speaks volumes.*Peter Bergen returned to the show to discuss the war in Afghanistan with Anderson. He feels Obama's plan to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" the Taliban is a good one, but is still worried about their hold in Pakistan. *Tom Foreman looks at where each cartel is and what kinds of things they do. He also shows us what cities in the U.S. they are operating in.*Anderson took us on another tour of the border fence.
*Next up was a sad and ironic tale of Felix Batista's kidnapping in Mexico. He was there to give a seminar about how to avoid being kidnapped when it happened. His family is trying desperately to find any news of him. *Okay let's all pool our money together and buy the Spelling mansion! I think we could all get it, it's only $150 million!
*And just for the record the Dallas Police should be ashamed of themselves for how that officer treated Mr. Moats when he was trying to desperately see his dying mother-in-law. It really was horrible.

--Ms. Gloria Vanderbilt is coming out with a new book on June 23rd according to Amazon (You can pre-order it there). I'm thinking that poor Anderson is going to be grossed out again by his mother. It's called "Obsession: An Erotic Tale" I can just hear him saying "Oh, MOTHER" with an eye roll of course! Here's an article from Entertainment Weekly about the upcoming book found by Julie:

We get a lot of strange things in the mail here at EW. Letters from prisoners, an endless supply of inspirational books from Randy Jackson, and drinking paraphernalia from entertainment companies that seem to buy into the stereotype that all journalists are alkies (alkies, no; winos, maybe). Usually, we hardly take a second glance, but a book caught our eye this week: Obsession: An Erotic Tale by socialite/artist/mum-to-Anderson Cooper Gloria Vanderbilt.

True, Vanderbilt is a published author, so it's not that much of a shock to see her penning another novel. But an erotic one? What would her refined alma mater, Miss Porter's School, think? According to the press release, Obsession, which goes on stands in June, surrounds a widow, Priscilla, who gets -- ahem -- excited while reading "with voyeuristic intensity" a bundle of letters about her husband's secret mistress. "Will Priscilla's obsession -- and newly awakened sexuality -- find the satisfaction it seeks?" Oh, my! I'll probably read Obsession out of pure curiosity. Not that it would be that much of an undertaking. The novel's only a short 143 pages long, and boasts a font size more fit for a Goosebumps tale than a piece of naughty literature. Either way, I'm already hooked. Or, obsessed, if you will. What about you, PopWatchers? Will you pick up Obsession?

That's it for me. Have a great weekend! See ya back here next Friday night. ~~Tedi

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.

Live on the Border, Day 2

Anderson Cooper will be live from the Mexican border again tonight.

Breaking news of the death of a US Marshall in Mexico opened Thursday's AC360. The Marshall was shot execution style under questionable circumstances that may involve weapon trafficking and corruption. The breaking news was a brief announcement and much of the rest of the program was devoted to Anderson Cooper's interview with a member of a Mexican cartel.I wasn't thrilled with this interview, but in fairness to AC I wasn't in a very good frame of mind when I watched the program. Judging from the 360 blog everyone else loved it. Tell me what you thought.What I did like was AC's report on the Mexican Army's presence in Juarez, his ride along with the troops and his interview with the mayor of the city. Jose Reyes has not turned a blind eye to the corruption, even though tackling it has put a bounty on his head.Sheriff Arvin West and film maker Rusty Fleming were back for a second night to discuss the death of the US Marshall, AC's interview with the cartel member and the corruption and violence in Mexico. I actually found what they said more believable than the masked cartel member and the facts they shared more frightening. This was probably because I know who they are and I know they know what they are talking about.Tom Foreman was in the NYC studio taking a closer look at the number of people using drugs and the statistics on who, how, when and why. Tom was also back at the end of the program to do the 360 Bulletin.Gary Tuchman was in Arizona to report on drugs crossing the border into Nogales. 2.8 million pounds of narcotics were seized on the border in 2008, over 1/2 of that in the Tucson district. Gary tagged along with an agent and his drug sniffing dog as they patrolled the border and found a bundle of marijuana.I felt that words of President Obama were a bit misconstrued in the tease for the debate on legalization of marijuana. Obama said that legalizing marijuana is not a good way to grow our economy. He did not say, nor was he asked, if he thought that legalizing marijuana would stem the tide of violence, which was the topic that Terry Nelson and Robert Almonte debated (and I use that term very loosely). I was really looking forward to this discussion but neither gentleman would have been my choice for a participant. One was too way out kooky the other was just downright boring. The whole segment could have been really, really interesting...instead it was a waste of time.That wraps up the second night along the border. It looks like Friday's AC360 will be a compilation of both nights, with possibly some new material thrown in. And whoopee we have the Money Summit to look forward to in the second hour.

I was so sorry to get the notice that Gunmetal Grey, which was founded in 1999, has decided to call it a day. What started as a small, close-knit group has grown over the years to 1,300 + members. Unless you've maintained a fan site you will never understand the time and energy it takes. Every time another AC site closes shop I am again reminded someday it will be our time to move on. I tip my hat to everyone who made GMG the best, from Jess to Maggie and everyone in between.

Looking forward to next week, AC will be moderating the lecture at Radio City Music Hall in NYC on Tuesday and speaking at Penn State, Altoona on Thursday. For more details on these appearances check our AC calender.
Have a good weekend everyone. ~Phebe

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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The War Next Door from El Paso

The AC360 broadcast from the El Paso, Texas/ Juarez, Mexico border on Wednesday began with Anderson Cooper ticking off the chilling facts.
• Every year Mexican cartels smuggle 40 million dollars worth of drugs into America.
• 6,500 people were slaughtered last year in the cartel wars.
• 90% of the cocaine consumed in America comes through Mexico.
• 95% of the weapons the drug cartels use come from the United States.
Drew Griffin took a look at the Mexican drug trade and its violent aftermath. There was talk of the scrutiny police now provide at gun shows in the Southwest and the death of a commander in Juarez and then his boss, the police director, both gunned down by the Mexican drug cartel.The follow up discussion was with author Rusty Fleming, who shared a clip on how cartels smuggle large quantities of drugs across the border from his documentary 'Drug Wars...Silver or Lead'. And Arvin West, Hudspeth County sheriff, who has made quite a name for himself appearing on Hannity & Combs, Laura Ingraham and giving testimony before the appropriations committee for Homeland Security last year, as well as being profiled in Fleming's movie.
Randi Kaye reported on a kidnapping story of the Hall family, from San Diego, who were traveling in Mexico. The family were headed back to the border hauling a type of motor home that was covered in racing car stickers. Just the sort of conspicuous lure that would label them as affluent by highway bandits. After they were stripped of their money, ID's, personal belongings... basically everything they had, they were left in a ditch thinking that they were going to be killed. Their lives were spared but what a horrible memory to have to live with. And to be still living in the same house that was on the ID's that the bandits stole just sent chills down my spine.
This story struck a cord with me because when we lived in SE Asia, we used to travel into the countryside which was poor and unpoliced, much like Mexico. The US Embassy discouraged these trips because Americans were presumed to be affluent (like they are in Mexico) and prime targets. We were told if we were to travel to always do it during the day and in caravans. We didn't tow large, expensive trailers but thinking back our string of 5 or 6 company owned Mercedes sedans probably wasn't any less conspicuous.Tom Foreman backtracked the drugs that enter the US to their origin in his report on Wednesday night. A typical scenario would be an order goes out to Columbia for a ton of cocaine. It is hidden inside a container semi along with coffee. The shipment is driven through Central America and also can possibly diverted to a boat that bypasses any problem areas. Eventually it makes it's way to a Mexican port where it is offloaded and then continues it's journey toward the border by highway. When it reaches the border it is stopped until an optimum time is determined for attempting to cross without detection.
Once across the border the semi will begin a process of deliveries in various cities across the county. The locals cut the cocaine they have purchased with talcum powder and turn one ton into five tons. Within 48 hours the cocaine is selling on the street supplying hundreds of dealers in dozens of American towns.
Tom Foreman filed a second report on how the money earned from the drug sales gets back into Mexico. He said some is simply smuggled in, but the cartels also have been known to buy consumer goods, for example large appliances, ship them back to Mexico and sell them, thus laundering the drug money.Next up was an interview with Frank Burton, counter terrorism analyst, on how dangerous travel into Mexico is, with a focus on the resort areas. In a nutshell he said it is safe if you use common sense, don't leave the resort after hours, stay out of taxis and keep a cool head. He also said much of the violence is specifically along the border. There has been violence in Mexico City but mostly on a high profile level. AC mentioned that he had been in Baja a few weeks ago and felt perfectly safe.Jill Dougherty reported on her interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today in Mexico City. The SS said we're not doing a very good job of stemming the tide of drugs nor of convincing Americans that drugs are not a wise choice. She said we need more treatment programs to help break this vicious cycle of supply and demand.If you are a recent AC fan you probably are not familiar with the newsman's fascination with holes in the ground. I swear they bring out the little boy in him. It all began back in 2006 when he climbed into that tunnel outside of San Diego. Then there was the one in Nogales that caught his attention and the most famous one of all in Afghanistan, which housed Saddam Hussein. When he started talking tonight about the drainage tunnels that can take you from the border into the center of El Paso I said 'don't do it Anderson', and he didn't. But tomorrow is another day!

Tom Foreman brought us the 360 Bulletin with reports on the President's meetings with Dems on the budget, Wall Street's good day, the record floods in North Dakota and John Hope Franklin's passing at the age of 94.
I think most of you will agree with me that Wednesday's AC360 was about as good as it gets. They finally got out of the political/economic/faux breaking news rut that they've been mired in for months for an in depth look at a serious, getting worse by the minute situation on our southern border. Bravo and *fingers crossed* that Thursday night will be just as good, if not better.

The amazing Julie found a few pictures on Flickr that are new to me. They were taken in Akrotiri, Cyprus on July 20, 2006. I looked back into the ATA archives and found a post that mentions that night's program airing from Cyprus. It looks to me, from browsing the archives, that it was part of an extended stay in the Middle East for AC360. Can you imagine a few weeks on location these days? Seems like they struggle to stay put for more than 2 nights.

We've got one more night of AC360 from the border to look forward to. If it's anything like Wednesday I'll be glad to give up McDreamy for field Anderson. Until tomorrow. ~Phebe

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.