Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mother Nature Makes Breaking News

AC360's Wednesday edition opened with news of natural disasters striking in the South Pacific. Yesterday's undersea earthquake that caused a tsunami in American Soma and the Soma Islands and today's earthquake in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia have taken lives, wiped out homes and villages and brought disaster teams to the area in hopes of assisting the victims. Though there are large cities in the area there are also very primitive and remote villages and it will take time to reach all the victims and determine the death toll.James Carvell and Bill Bennett joined Anderson Cooper to discuss speculation that the POTUS is in imminent danger. Bennett said that he thought many of the news articles on the subject are exaggerated. He said there was similar hate toward George W. Bush but that didn't catch the attention of publications like the New York Times. BB also said he is sponsoring a tea party in NYC next week and invited AC to join him and see the people attending are not extremists.
Carville was concerned for the President's safety sighting a recent spate of violence and a rough political atmosphere.Gary Tuchman was in Chicago to talk of the violence on the streets that is taking the lives of so many young people.
Anderson interviewed Chicago's top cop, Superintendent Jody Weis, on the subject. Weis talked of the procedures followed and of the frustrations of the job. He put the blame on society and said there has to be a change in morals and values taught to kids.
Anderson mentioned in the intro to the piece that a Congressional candidate has called for Marshal Law to be imposed in Chicago. That's not a bad idea or at least a strict curfew should be imposed on young adults. That would not have saved the latest victim though, who was murdered in broad daylight.Randi Kaye was next up with news of the Hollywood community rallying around Roman Polanski. She also talked of the nuances of the original case and shared footage from a documentary on the subject.
The highlight of Wednesday's 360, for me, was the follow up panel with Joy Behar and Lisa Bloom. I agreed totally with this one sided panel, who probably didn't win any friends in the movie industry for their tough stance against Polanski.
It was great to hear AC say, at the end of the panel, 'Nice to have Joy Behar with us'. I agree.Tom Foreman brought us a very interesting report on health insurance nightmares. He told the story of a woman in Virginia who broke her wrist ice skating and was denied coverage because the insurance company labeled it a pre-existing condition. He also talked of health insurance companies who use mounds of paperwork, confusing forms, voice mail runarounds and other methods to avoid paying claims. Most of you have experienced this and know how frustrating it can be.Erica Hill was at the 360 Bulletin desk and reported that the EPA is targeting the big polluters, Saturn is going out of business, B of A's CEO is stepping down and Tufts U has new sex rules for students living in dorms.
In the second half hour there was news of John Travolta's heartbreaking testimony in the trail of his alleged extortionists, Palin's new book is already a best seller 6 weeks before it is released and a 5 year old boy in Texas killed an 800 pound alligator.
The Shot tonight was dramatic animal video of elephants gone wild. Not bad but DH sent me a video today that I think is more worthy of The Shot. Nothing cuter than men who can't change a diaper without serious drama. Enjoy!

We didn't get 'standing Andy' at the beginning of 360 but we did get a very dapper Mr. Cooper on Wednesday's program. Not sure if it was the lighting, the great blue background or the pinstripe suit but it all added up to a very GQ AC. And on that note I'll start my weekend. ~Phebe

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bullet Point Tuesday

Tonight's rundown of AC360 will be in bullet points because I didn't get home until late and I'm just too tired to go into detail. But on the bright side I'll have a few goodies later in my post to make up for my lack of effort with the live program.
•First segment of the night was the Raw Politics focusing on the public option. Candy Crowley filled us in on the day's happenings in DC and the Dems (and POTUS) who let those of us who believe in the option down. •Michael Moore joined AC to share his opinions and to suggest that the Dems need to behave more like the Republicans. They need to not worry so much about what people think, just have the conviction to act on their beliefs. I agree with him that the Dems who backed down on the public option need to face some consequences when they are up for reelection. It just pisses me off that the insurance lobby is going to win this concession without the party in power even waging a good battle.•David Gergen and Candy Crowley joined AC for the after discussion. Was AC not listening to CC when she did the Raw? She already answered the question about the POTUS being willing to compromise on the public option. And there folks is one of the big problems with 360. Talk for the sake of talk, and not giving us as much new news as is possible to squeeze into one hour.•More Roman Polanski news. Gee how surprising that Woody Allen would come to Polanski's defense, I'm sure there is a not-so-funny joke in there somewhere.
Jeff Toobin and Polanski's attorney Jeff Berg joined Anderson to discuss the legal developments. I'm sort of past this story so I'll skip on, if you don't mind?•I'm at a loss as to how to describe the inclusion of the CNN app as news on 360. Was it by their own free will that it was included in the program? I hope not. Tacky, tacky, tacky.
I can't imagine ever seeing Keith include news on MSNBC's app or Greta on Fox's app (if Fox even has an app). •Next up was a segment about a dad who tired to get his kids back from his wife who fled to Japan but instead ended up in a Japanese jail. While a sad story I don't get the inclusion in Tuesday's program. Honduras, Afghanistan, many, many big news stories that didn't get covered tonight. And the much pimped (at least on Twitter) hiker's story got buried in the second hour. Who makes those decisions and what are they thinking? •There has to be a special place in Hell for people who prey on the unemployed. Drew Griffin's 'Keeping Them Honest' focused on job scams. One duped client was a former vice president of a tech firm who paid $3000 to the Arthur Group for a non-existent job. He was not alone, former employees say the firm took in over 3 million dollars in the last 3 years, before the owner went into seclusion. Very interesting report by Griffin.•Erica Hill was at the 360 Bulletin desk. Please forgive me for not including a rundown tonight. The Shot was of the world's fastest nudist, seen with a fanny pack covering his "nooks and crannies." This guy needs to meet the coconut guys from a few weeks back. They have a lot in common.

BA sent this screengrab along for me to share with you. Click to enlarge.

And now onto the CNN highlight of my day. John Roberts interviewed Madeline Albright about her fabulous new book that I can't wait to read. I have never seen JR so embarrassed by an interviewee and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Please take a few minutes to watch, you'll be glad you did. Thanks to Cyn for clipping and uploading.

Guess my post wasn't as brief as I planned. Thanks for sticking with me until the end. ~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.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Is It Monday Already?

AC360 opened on Monday night with standing's been a while since we've seen that. From the looks of things he managed a full suit and dress shoes, must be an indicator that Fall has arrived in NYC.The opening story, by Erica Hill, gave us the history and the current on Roman Polanski. This is one of those stories that if you are familiar with the facts you've probably already made up your mind on what the outcome should be. The panel was with Lisa Bloom, Jeffery Toobin and Chicago attorney Joel Brodsky. Brodsky waged a fair argument in Polanski's favor but nothing will sway my opinion. If you commit the crime you do the time. What message does it send to the world about our justice system if someone can drug, rape and sodomize a child, flee the country and then get a slap on the wrist when finally rearrested? Keep in mind he already pleaded guilty so there is no right of presumed innocence. Lisa Bloom got this one totally right. Iran tested more missiles in the last few days making Western countries and Israel very nervous. AC spoke with Paul Begala and Rich Galen (Republican strategist) Paul made a good point that if nothing else these launches by Iran have brought the world closer together to oppose Iran and their nuclear program. Also he stressed that sanctions need to be put in place. Anderson Cooper brought up a point about Chicago's Olympic bid that had been on my mind today. Why would the Olympic Committee consider bringing the games to a city that is powerless to protect its youth? Joe Johns filed a report on the victim and the violence in the city. He also did a one on one with Cooper to discuss how the situation in Chicago can be improved.
Eric Holt, whose was on 360 two years ago, after his own son was killed and Pete Carroll, USC head football coach joined AC for further discussion on the topic. Both men agreed that most of these kids have no family support system and structure in their lives. Drew Griffin did a 'Special Investigations' on the environmentalists who take activism to the extreme. We've had several of these type of fires by ELF in Phoenix. They targeted mansions being built on the edge of the desert because ELF theorizes that human encroachment on pristine deserts is wrong.
I did find it a little odd that the man who committed many of these crimes, and turned in his own cohorts, seemed to have no shame as he sat on a park bench and told his story to Griffin.Erica Hill's 360 Bulletin talked of the typhoon in the Philippines that killed at least 240 people,possible accomplices turning up for the alleged bomber who bought his components at a beauty supply store, stocks soaring today on the Dow, and the Obamas going to Denmark to personally pitch the Olympics for Chicago.
In the second half hour the poll on Facebook about killing the President was taken down, more news of the Travolta trial in the Bahamas, US Airways promotion of the pilot who landed a plane on the Hudson River and Palin's book is done and titled 'Going Rouge' (I don't get it, but then I don't get Palin either).
And then there was the Beat 360 Shot combo, I'm over the whole Beat 360 thing and The Shot has been subpar for months so I won't bore myself with the details.

Ms. Quitty celebrated her birthday this past weekend and we'd like to wish her a very happy belated birthday. Hope it was wonderful!

In the hard to believe category Mike Watkiss reported last week that now you too can have the 'Polygamy Experience' for only $70 per person. Two ex-polygamists have begun a bus tour that takes tourists through the communities of Hilldale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona...the largest complex of practicing polygamists in the United States. You will pass by large multi-family homes, the religious center, birthing center and the baby cemetery. Also included is a lunch in a restaurant run by polygamist wives from a neighboring community. To see the videos of the tour that Watkiss took follow this link.

I just had to acknowledge the almost wearing of my favorite tie by Mr. Cooper tonight. Right dots, wrong background color, but at least he's trying?

If we were still rating 360 I'd give Monday's effort a B+. It was a pretty good way to start the week. ~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.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Autumn Days...

Our puzzle tonight is taken from one of the photos on the AC360 website of Anderson speaking with President Clinton. I really love the mural in the background of this picture.

Click to Mix and Solve

ac clinton initiat Jigsaw Puzzleac clinton initiat Jigsaw Puzzle

It was such a beautiful day here. The leaves are beginning to turn, forcing me to believe that summer is really over. I don't know about you but I'm just not ready for winter. The news here is predicting snow in Park City later this week...guess the ski resorts will be happy!

I thought I would share one last summer picture of Anderson with you. It's an oldie but goodie. Amazing how a man can look so relaxed in front of the camera, in a suit, sitting on a dock, in bare feet. Now's that what I call style.

All the gossip about Anderson taking over for Regis (not true) gives me an opportunity to share one of my favorite clips of Anderson co-hosting with Kelly.

Tomorrow is "Ask a stupid question day?" That has me thinking of a quote I recently read, Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting? ~Vernon Duke. The answer seems obvious to me. How about you?

Hope you are enjoying autumn, it really is my favorite time of year. 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.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Having Fun with Conan

When I ran across the headline about Conan O'Brien getting hurt doing a stunt for his show I was reminded that Anderson had been a guest on his show a couple of times. I dug through the video collection and ran across this really funny one from a March 2007 interview on Conan's show. Subjects include prostitutes with shiny shoes, a sloth giving the finger, AC saying "Jean Claude Van Damme" with an Afghan accent, and other items. Enjoy!

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, September 25, 2009

Friday's AC360

Tonight's show began with breaking news of the census worker found dead in Kentucky and confirmation the word "Fed" was written on his body. Also the Big 360 Interview with former President, Bill Clinton, and today's showdown with Iran.

President Obama along with Britain's Prime Minister and the President of France accused Iran of building a secret nuclear plant and gave Iran's leader 2 months to comply with inspections. Ahmadinejad insists his country has done nothing wrong and it was not a secret. President Obama has not ruled out a military response but prefers to resolve the issue with diplomacy.

Anderson spoke with President Clinton on Iran's secret nuclear facility. President Clinton thought that President Obama did the right thing to bring the facility to light. Negotiations with Iran depend on the terms of the negotiations but President Clinton thought they should meet with them at least one time.

Bobby Ghosh and Peter Brooks joined Anderson to talk about the Iranian facility. Bobby Ghosh was in the room of Time Magazine editors who interviewed Ahmadinejad earlier. They discussed what can be done at this point, how Ahmadinejad reacted to the question posed by Bobby Ghosh regarding the nuclear facility, and what is likely to happen.

Next was Erica Hill with the 360 bulletin: Gitmo may not close by January, the terror suspect from Dallas was in court today, the Colorado terror suspect, Zazi, was transfered to NYC, there is a new audio tape believed to be from Bin Laden, Paul Kirk was sworn in as Senator Kennedy's replacement until the January special election, and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the G-20 spouses.

Next was David Mattingly's report on the census worker, William Sparkman, who was killed. The man's naked body was found with his hands and feet bound, his mouth gagged, a rope tied around his neck, and the word Fed was written on his body. It is still unknown exactly how Sparkman died but the preliminary cause of death was asphyxiation. The FBI has not yet taken over the investigation because it has not yet been ruled a murder.

Anderson then spoke with Brian Levin on what could have happened to William Sparkman and what the way the man's body was found could indicate.

Next was more of the interview with President Clinton. President Clinton stated that his mind has changed regarding same sex marriage. He believes now that it should be left up to the states but he supports those wanting to get married. Anderson also asked if President Clinton thought that things are more polarized now than previously. President Clinton stated that he thinks the intensity has been building over the last 30 years and there is a difference in the American people, who are now tired of the current state of things.

President Clinton also shared his opinion on the war in Afghanistan. Clinton does agree with McChrystal in that if we want to prevail we need more military resources however if we put in more resources it doesn't guarantee success. Clinton also understands why President Obama would want a little time before sending more troops in. They also discussed the Clinton Global Initiative and what that program is all about. The last part of the interview was a lightning round including questions on if Clinton still plays the sax, the bracelet on his right hand, the rowdiest White House guest, any advice for President Obama on turning gray gracefully.

Erica was back with the second bulletin of the night: a video shows two people who tried to extort money from John Travolta, police in CA arrested a pilot who allegedly stalked his ex-girlfriend with his plane, a woman who was implanted with the wrong embryo gave birth to a baby boy today, and Manson follower Susan Atkins died.

In the prime suspect report, Kara Finnstrom had the report of a serial killer who has been killing people in south L.A. over the last 24 years. They do have DNA for the killer but no match has been found so they began to gather the DNA for all the sex offenders in their database in the hope of getting a match to the killer. The samples instead lead to a man connected to a different string of murders.

Today's shot: a basketball shot from the top tier of a stadium straight into the hoop. The second video tonight, a replay of Anderson's favorite shot of the week, the baby dancing to Beyonce along with a replay of the crew's version of the dance.

The AC360 website had a few pictures from Anderson's interview with President Clinton:

Have a great week everyone!

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.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Moral Clarity and Perverted Minds

The program starts with Breaking News about two terror suspects in Illinois and Texas. Jeanne Meserve gives us the details -- one tried to blow up the Federal Building in Springfield. The FBI set up a fake bomb and this nutcase tried to trigger it via cellphone. He converted to Islam in prison, was an admirer of John Walker Lindh, AKA the American Taliban. Lovely.

In Texas a Jordanian citizen, in this country illegally, said he came here to commit jihad. He targeted a 60-story office tower in Dallas, FBI set up a fake carbomb there as well.

These were independent incidents, they don't know each other; however, the FBI coordinated the timing of the stings in order to not spook one when the other was grabbed.

Meanwhile, the Afghan airport-shuttle driver arrested in Denver has been charged with plotting a terrorist attack. Susan Candiotti reports on the updates, that he was purchasing hydrogen peroxide and other items to build a bomb.

Anderson talks with Peter Bergen and former FBI agent Don Clark. Bergen says hydrogen peroxide is a signature of al Qaeda training camps and makes very effective homemade bombs. It's what was used in the 7/7 attacks in London.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu spanked the UN for letting Ahmadinejad speak and deny the Holocaust. Anderson talks with David Gergen and Reza Aslan. Anderson says Ahmadinejad was baiting people with the speech, trying to shift focus. Gergen says Netanyahu brought "moral clarity." Reza says Bibi considers the UN an enemy of Israel and that he forgets what the charter is: even the crazy leaders have a voice there. Anderson asks Gergen about the criticism of Obama, Gergen says he worries whether Obama is tough enough. Reza has more to say, but time runs out. Damn it!

Erica Hill has the first 360 Bulletin: Big Russ (Tim Russert's dad) has died at 85; UN Security Council passed a resolution to reduce nuclear threat, chaired by Obama, the first time a US president has done that; the Obamas now in Pittsbugh for the G20; a man w/metal detector finds largest Anglo-Saxon gold horde ever. Wow. And ka-ching!

An "Uncovering America" segment is about an Arizona couple who took a couple pictures of their kids in the bath, and when they developed the roll a Walmart employee reported them for child porn. The kids were put in protective custody for a month, parents added to a list of sex offenders, wife suspended from her job for a year. Judge ruled they were not porn, but the State Attorney General continued to pursue the case. Parents now suing cops, Walmart, the state, etc.

Jeffrey Toobin joins Anderson and admits the whole thing is crazy. "People have perverted minds." What's the lesson here? Get a digital camera!

Next, Sanjay Gupta reports that a new HIV vaccine has positive possibilities. Subjects were given 6 shots over 6 months. 16,000 in trial, and results show a 31% reduction due to vaccine. Still, there are so many sub-strains of HIV that there may have to be several different types of vaccine. It may be years before this is available, but it is the first positive sign, so everyone is hopeful.

The segment I was dreading all day... The Big 360 Interview with John McCain, who basically criticizes Obama for not saying certain things at the UN, all of which he's said in prior speeches elsewhere. Moving on now...

David Mattingly reports on the death of a part-time census worker whose body was found hanged on a tree in a forest in Kentucky. AP says the word "Fed" was scrawled on his chest, but no one will confirm. David says that the man's feet were on the ground, which is ... odd. Authorities are not sure whether this was a suicide or a murder. Weird.

Erica has the second Bulletin: Jaycee Dugard's lawyer says she has mixed emotions but knows terrible things were done to her; the Russians have a sex tape of a diplomat with a prostitute, but we say it was doctored; an Indonesian woman gave birth to a 19 pound baby. Ouch!

The Shot:

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A couple of bonuses tonight: first, some photos of Anderson at Tuesday's kickoff luncheon for Joy Behar's show (click for large version):

And today on BackStory, they did a special program about AC360's week in Afghanistan. One of the segments was done by Neil Hallsworth, with cameos from Anderson, Charlie Moore, Phil Littleton, and (in a non-speaking role) Peter Bergen. A lot of it focuses on the behind-the-scenes craziness of getting ready for a live program in the middle of a warzone:

The program also had a long "debrief" with Sanjay Gupta, which you can see on and a piece on Michael Ware's team -- producer Tommy Evans and videographer Sarmad Qasiri -- which you can see on my site.

And thanks to Julie, we have word that Anderson will guest-host Regis & Kelly on October 9 (and one of the guests? Daniel Craig!!!)

Phew! And that is a wrap for tonight!

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.