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Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Gerg at Commencement

I found an interesting article about David Gergen. He gave a speech at the commencement for McDaniel College last weekend. Here's an excerpt from the Carroll County Times.

"Speaker and honorary degree recipient David R. Gergen, who has served as an adviser to four presidents and worked as a print and television journalist, warned the graduates that they’re facing daunting trials.

From the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to an inequitable educational system in the United States, Gergen said the members of the class of 2007 will have significant levels of responsibility."

To read the whole article go to the Carroll County Times online.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Soledad to Speak at Cornell

According to the Star-Gazette online, Soledad O'Brien will be giving the Senior Convocation Address, May 26, at noon in Schoellkopf Stadium.

Cornell will celebrate its 139th Commencement Weekend, May 26-27, with about 6,000 graduates getting their diplomas. Cornell President David J. Skorton will give his first Commencement address, and the Convocation speaker will be CNN television journalist Soledad O'Brien.

For more info check out their website.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pipeline to be Free

From MICHAEL E. KANELL at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The free-lunch-on-the-Internet crowd has won another round.

CNN is giving up on the idea of charging for CNN Pipeline, launched in late 2005 as a $25-a-year service providing four "streams" of video with footage of breaking news.

CNN plans to redesign and repackage its Internet offerings, said spokeswoman Jennifer L. Martin. Plans call for "folding" Pipeline into that new format on July 1.

More than 6 million users visit the CNN site each day. CNN declined to say how many are subscribers to CNN Pipeline. However, on its best day — the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — Pipeline pulled in 1.2 million viewers.

But it was free that day, as it is on days of major news events, Martin said

To read more check out or CNN Press Release.

Monday, May 21, 2007

CNN to raise awareness for Fisher House

From a CNN Press Release

CNN Worldwide puts the spotlight on the on-going needs of the Fisher House Foundation this Memorial Day weekend, airing news reports on its networks and services as well as promotions to encourage its audiences to donate their frequent flyer airline miles to the Fisher House’s “Hero Miles” program.

Airlines participating in the foundation’s “Hero Miles” program have agreed to match donations made from 6 a.m. (ET) on Friday, May 25, through 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday, May 28. Those who wish to donate miles should visit the Fisher House Web site at

The Fisher House provides temporary residence for families of patients receiving major medical care at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers. The foundation’s “Hero Miles” program is comprised of airlines whose passengers donate frequent flyer miles to assist service members and their families.

“As part of our ongoing relationship with the Fisher House Foundation, CNN is pleased to support once again Fisher House’s honorable mission aiding military service personnel and their families as they receive medical care and rehabilitative treatment,” said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. “The donation of airline miles – and the generosity of the airlines to match them over the Memorial Day weekend – goes a long way to help those who sacrifice so much.”

For more check out the full Press Release.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sanjay interviews Bono in an Exclusive Podcast!

Image courtesy of

According to CNN Pressroom, Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewed Bono in advance of next months G8 Summit. Apparently, pieces of the interview have been shown on American Morning. But you will be able to see the whole interview in Sanjay's, Paging Dr. Gupta's podcast available on iTunes.

Also, Sanjay blogged about the interview on his Paging Dr. Gupta blog. Check it out!

Here is a portion of the press release. (To read the press release in it's entirety, click here.)

Release Date: 5/16/2007

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta Scores Interview with Rock Legend Bono

Entire Dialogue about Global Poverty, Health, Music Available Exclusively on ‘Paging Dr. Gupta’ Podcast

In an exclusive interview available in its entirety on CNN’s “Paging Dr. Gupta” podcast, U2 vocalist Bono detailed to CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta the progress on aid commitments to Africa from some of the world’s richest countries in advance of next month’s G8 Summit.

Bono’s charitable organization, Debt Aids Trade in Africa or DATA, holds wealthier nations accountable for an unprecedented $25 billion promise to aid Africa in areas such as extreme poverty, trade, health, education, sanitation and debt forgiveness.

“On debt cancellation, I can tell you, Sanjay, and this it is a thrill for me to say, on this program, because people got out on the streets and marched, and spoke up seven, six, five years ago, 20 million children are going to school in Africa that weren't before,” Bono says in the interview.

“And that is one of the greatest feelings ever.”

Bono continues by detailing the aid and progress that still needs to happen.

“Well, there’s good news and bad news, Sanjay,” he said. “The good news is that aid is really working on the ground. There’s huge breakthroughs being made fighting the AIDS emergency and malaria…breakthroughs led by the United States, I might add. But the bad news is as a general compact with the poorest of the poor, the G8 is way off.”

Bono also comments about the U.S. presidential race, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the life of a rock star, government corruption and the balance of his love of music with his passion to “save the world.”

Monday, May 14, 2007

CBS vs CNN in JR's Own Words

*This post put up by Phebe before she left for vacation*

From 5/14/2007 Broadcast and Cable:

John Roberts, former CBS newsman and new co-host of CNN’s American Morning, has covered Iraq and the Hezbollah/Israel conflict long enough to recognize that the media should have been more vigilant in the run-up to the war, including more diligently fact-checking administration claims. But Roberts believes the problem stems from a lack of journalistic boots on the ground early on.

“CNN had a presence there, and I really can’t speak to that because I don’t know, but I know at CBS we had zero presence on the ground, or very little, in Iraq in the months before the war,” Roberts recalls.“We had some people in there before the war, [but everything] was difficult to verify. Even if the Iraqis took you to a place that was suspected of having weapons of mass destruction, they had deceived and dodged so many times in the past; why would you think they were telling the truth?”

Roberts believes journalist hands are tied when it comes to offering the whole truth in Iraq. “We’re not fully covering the war because we don’t have the access to do it,” he says. But it is also about what the American people can stomach, he adds.

“If we showed people the full extent of what we see every day in Iraq, we would either have no one watching us because they couldn’t stand to see the pictures, or we would get so many letters of complaint that some organization would come down on us to stop.”

Roberts sees no middle ground on the issue. Even late-night airings present difficulties. “Somewhere, it’s not going to be 10 o’clock,” he says. “If it’s 10 in New York, it’s 7 in Los Angeles.”His new perch allows him unique access to the issues. A year-plus into his CNN tenure, the man once tapped as a possible replacement for Dan Rather at CBS says he’d rather feed the insatiable cable news beast than man the long desk at a network newscast.

For all the “perceived power and glory” of the broadcast networks, “they’re not putting that much on the air,” he says of his old CBS stomping grounds—not compared with the 18 hours of daily, original programming networks like CNN and Fox News Channel have to come up with.
Still, the man who appeared to be in line for the anchor seat before Katie Couric got the nod must have the occasional pang. Does he really prefer waking up at 2:40 a.m.—when they say “American Morning,” they’re not kidding—to take endless Blackberry requests for yet another update to a story?

“Obviously, if you had a Katie job, you would be able to make an awful lot of money and only have to do it for a few years and then you could retire to Montana or wherever it is that Tom Brokaw went,” he told B&C. “But I would rather be where I am now, particularly given the problems that CBS has got. I don’t want to talk too much about that, but CNN is going along terrifically.”

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to roam the news universe,” he adds. “You can exercise those breaking news muscles, as well as the ruminative aspects.”

Discussion Topic of the Week

Picture from National Geographic

This weeks discussion topic is about Mother Nature.





Hurricane Forecast 2007

Is it all coincidence or is this something else? Is global warming to blame or is it just a weather cycle?

What can be done to help better prepare ourselves for these natural disasters and is our government prepared for another Katrina?

We'd love to hear your thoughts on these questions or just the topic in general!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

John King to speak in Las Vegas

Thanks to Book Asylum for the submission.

Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association's 2007 Annual Conference will feature CNN's John King and political consultant Alex Castellanos

John King, chief national correspondent for CNN and a 22-year veteran of national political news, and Alex Castellanos one of the Republican Party's new generation of TV advertising consultants, will provide their perspectives on the 2008 national elections at the annual conference of the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association (BCFM) and its Broadcast Cable Credit Association (BCCA) subsidiary.

King and Castellanos' presentations are scheduled for Wednesday, May 23, at " Learn More…Win Big," the 47th Annual BCFM/BCCA Conference, which is being held May 22-24 at The Rio All Suite Hotel in Las Vegas.

"With 2008 national election campaign spending expected to exceed $3 billion, our members are very interested in hearing from these two veterans of the national political scene," said Mary M. Collins, president and CEO of BCFM/BCCA. "In addition to getting this wide-screen perspective from both the news and advertising angles, conference attendees will gain a better understanding of the potential impact of earlier primaries in several states and the role that new media, such as social networking, is expected to play in 2008 races."

John King has covered the last four presidential election campaigns. He was chief political correspondent for the Associated Press for the 1992 and 1996 elections, served as CNN's lead reporter covering Vice President Al Gore's campaign in the fall of 2000 and played the lead role in covering the 2004 election for CNN.

Alex Castellanos, a principal member of National Media Inc., a political advertising consulting firm, has served as media consultant to six U.S. presidential campaigns, including Bush-Cheney 2004. Castellanos was recently retained to run the 2008 presidential ad campaign for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. In addition to his role in successful presidential campaigns, he has helped to elect eight U.S. senators and six governors. A native of Havana, Castellanos' family fled Cuba in 1961.

Soledad Speaks in Spokane

From Kxly website:

The Women Helping Women Fund hosted its annual luncheon Monday to raise thousands of dollars for local non-profit groups with keynote speaker Soledad O’Brien on hand to help encourage and inspire the crowd of more than 2,000 people at the Spokane Convention Center.

At Monday’s luncheon, just like in her reports on CNN, Soledad O’Brien didn’t mince words. When it comes to balancing a career that sends her around the globe and taking care of four kids under the age of six Soledad says she finds the balancing act difficult.

“It is hard. It is hard. And just like you do with any kind of advice, you need the real straight scoop on it. It is difficult. It's just not easy, and any woman who says ‘Oh my gosh its just so easy’ they are lying to you," O’Brien said.

Straight forward advice, Soledad says, is the secret behind good mentoring.

“The help is saying to people, ‘You're not doing this well.’ The help is in saying ‘This is where you need to be and we need to get you there and I'm willing to help get you there.’ But the help is not in spinning something at all. That’s not good mentoring," she said.

To read more check out the website.

Video of the event

Friday, May 11, 2007

Another Laugh!

I'm not sure if anyone has noticed the CNN clips down at the very bottom of the page but they rotate and I just found this one. It's great! Way to go Miles.

A Laugh!

This site is great! We're gonna link it.

CNN's crazy headlines....

Click for a laugh

Dr. Blitzer

Wolf Blitzer will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters at F&M college this Saturday as well as addressing the class of over 450.

From the Lancaster Online:

"- Wolf Blitzer is passionate about journalism.But he didn't know it until he tried it. Growing up in Buffalo, he thought he might be a lawyer or a professor.Perhaps there's still a bit of the professor in him because he loves to talk to college kids.That's why he will step away from CNN's cameras in "The Situation Room" to address 450 graduates at Franklin & Marshall College's outdoor commencement exercises at 10 a.m. Saturday"

To read more of the interview check out the Lancaster Local online newspaper.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Miles O'Brien to speak

According to, Miles O'Brien will be the key note speaker for Avenue A/Razorfish, an interactive marketing and technology services agency's Publisher Summit in New Orleans.

More Info:

Avenue A Razorfish, one of the largest interactive marketing and
technology services agencies in the world, invites print and broadcast
media representatives to attend its annual Publisher Summit, May 10-11
in New Orleans with publisher partners such as Yahoo!, Google, MSN and
AOL to discuss key issues in the digital industry.

For the first-time, Avenue A Razorfish is adding a charitable event
to its annual Publisher Summit, hosting an auction to aid the
community of New Orleans. Online publishers, Avenue A Razorfish and
the Children's Health Fund, which was co-founded in 1987 by
singer/songwriter Paul Simon and pediatrician/child advocate Irwin
Redlener, MD, will raise funds to provide much-needed hurricane relief
and health care to children in the area.

In addition, acclaimed journalist Miles O'Brien of CNN will address
the audience on Friday, May 11. He contributed to CNN's Peabody-award
winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath with live
reports across the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

9:00 AM - Avenue A Razorfish employees volunteer at Second Harvest
Food Bank

9:30 AM - Avenue A Razorfish employees rebuild local playfields

6:30 PM - Avenue A Razorfish hosts cocktail reception and silent

Friday, May 11, 2007

11:45 AM - Keynote: Miles O'Brien will discuss his experiences
covering Hurricane Katrina.

-- Cut Off Community Center playfields: 6600 Belgrade Street in New
-- Second Harvest Food bank: 1201 Sams Avenue in New Orleans
-- Cocktail Reception and Auction: Bourbon Vieux in the French
Quarter - 501 Bourbon Street (on the corner of Bourbon Street and
St. Louis Street) 2nd Floor
-- Miles O'Brien's Keynote Address: Sheraton Hotel New Orleans - 500
Canal Street in the Napoleon Ballroom

News To Me

From What's Happening at CNN comes news of a new show...

"News To Me, the first cable news program comprised of user-generated video, will debut on Headline News on Saturday, May 19, at 12:30 p.m., it was announced today by Ken Jautz, executive vice president, CNN Worldwide. The program, hosted by award-winning actor/producer Eric Lanford, will showcase the most compelling videos, pictures and stories traversing the Internet. The program will air on Headline News each Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (all times Eastern)."

To read more follow the link to What's Happening at CNN.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

360 Blog post -Miles Levin

Today, Miles Levin, posted on the 360 blog. Miles Levin is a cancer patient who has been blogging about his treatments and his experiences. His attitude is unbelievable and if only we all could have his outlook I think we'd be better off.

If you haven't already please READ this post.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

John Roberts' Podcast

On May 3rd John Roberts spoke to WFAN – NY radio station. They've posted the podcast of their discussion on their website: . It's a great political discussion that centers around the Congressional funding bill, the veto and Republican Presidential debate. JR's comments on the debate were done before they took place and he was interestingly close in his predictions of its outcome.
Great thanks to Book Asylum for the find.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Lou Dobbs on 60 Minutes

Sunday night's CBS 60 Minutes was dominated by CNN. Not only did we see a very interesting segment on Jackson Pollack by Anderson Cooper, but also an in-depth look at Lou Dobbs. Lesley Stahl introduced LD as an "anti business champion of the middle class". She categorized his CNN show as "a nightly rage fest". It was pointed out that LD hasn't always been this concerned about the middle class. "But when the corporate corruption scandals broke in 2001 Dobbs said he felt betrayed and began attacking those CEO's for their greed and for selling out American workers by outsourcing jobs overseas."
There were a few of those patented 60 Minute uncomfortable moments in the Dobbs interview. When questioned on some of the facts and figures LD has used on air Dobbs said "I can tell you this, if we reported it, it's a fact". When asked how he could be so certain of that Dobbs said "Because I'm the managing editor and that's the way we do business".

The show also touched on Dobbs' childhood in Texas and rural Idaho. He grew up poor but went on to graduate from Harvard.
We were introduced to Dobb's wife of 25 years Debbie, whom he met when she was a sportscaster at CNN. There was a brief mention that Mrs. Dobbs is a Mexican-American. Though not said, it seemed implied that because of Dobbs' childhood jobs, working in the fields with migrant workers and his wife's heritage, he knows of what he speaks when it comes to immigrant issues.
Dobbs 97 year old mother and his in-laws were also included in the piece. They live with he and his wife on a farm in New Jersey along with 25 horses, 4 dogs and various other pets.

Asked if he thinks he's a journalist Dobbs said "I may be an advocacy journalist, but I'm a journalist". He also added that he insists that his audience know where he's coming from when he reports a story. Not a problem, Lou. I think you've made your viewpoint abundantly clear.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Thomas Roberts leaving HLN

I'm sad to pass on the news that Thomas Roberts is leaving the CNN family. I've always liked him and was bummed when they relegated him to substitute anchor. I really hope that someone utilizes him better than CNN did. They are loosing someone that I think is quite popular and I'm sure they'll end up regretting is pretty soon.

Here's the official news from TV Newswer:

"Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts left CNN on May 1, TVNewser has confirmed."After five years, he has decided to leave us, with intentions to settle in the Washington, D.C., area," Ken Jautz wrote in a memo on Monday. Roberts lost his afternoon anchoring timeslot in September. His final major on-air appearance came last month, as he recounted being sexually abused by a priest for a 360 special.Jautz's memo said Roberts will be "pursuing new journalistic opportunities." Is it related to this tip/question: "What Headline News anchor has inked a syndication deal?"

Friday, May 4, 2007

Larry King 50 years of Pop Culture

I watched Larry King's 5o years of Pop Culture special last night on CNN. Overall, I thought it was interesting and informative about Larry. I'd never really thought about his interview style but it's cool to hear his philosophy on how to interview and how to get the most out of guests. I think he's right when he says non confrontational is the best way to go. As the old saying goes, you get more flies with honey than vinegar. Admittedly, I think he does ask some kinda crazy questions at times but knowing his show is there and being able to watch it, is kind of comforting no matter where you go. As some of the celebs said last night, you can switch on the TV anywhere in the world and he's there reminding you of home.

When I think about the shear number of people he's been able to interview it blows my mind. I'm a curious person too and I always like learning things about people and talking to them. As a friend of mine once said, "You talk so much you should have a talk show!" I took that as a compliment ;) Understanding what makes people tick is fascinating and I do believe Larry is right when he says that asking questions that he really wants to know the answer to is what makes it easy for him to really be interested and engaged in the interview.

Congratulations on 50 years, Larry, and here's to many more!

Thanks to Phebe for the caps!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Sunday's 60 Minutes with Anderson & Lou Dobbs

This Sunday's 60 Minutes will have CNN viewers checking the channel to see if they are really watching CBS. Anderson Cooper is doing a very interesting piece about art and it's owner, a very spunky truck driver. This tease from the CBS site:

The art world calls it "connoisseurship." Teri Horton calls it bull%@#. The plainspoken 74-year-old knew nothing about art years ago when she spent $5 to buy a big, drippy painting that she says a fingerprint proves is a $50 million Jackson Pollock.
But when art connoisseurs say her painting doesn't "feel like" or they don't "believe it's" a Pollock, the ex-truck driver's BS detector beeps like an old fuzzbuster. Horton tells her story to CNN's Anderson Cooper, this Sunday, May 6, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on 60 Minutes.

Two of the connoisseurs are featured in "Who the %$#@ is Jackson Pollock?," a documentary about Horton and her quest. "It's pretty, it's superficial and frivolous and I don't believe it's a Jackson Pollock," says Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Says Ben Heller, an art collector who owns Pollock's work: "Doesn’t feel like a Pollock, doesn’t sing like a Pollock, doesn't fail like a Pollock."

Their methodology fails Horton. "There is no way anybody can get up and look at that painting, or any Pollock for that matter, and be able — by visual examination, and wait for the mystical feeling that they get that comes over them — to decide whether it is or whether it is not authentic," she says. "They call it 'connoisseurship,'" Horton tells Cooper. "[I call it] bull&%#!"

A fingerprint on the back of her canvas, which a forensic art expert says matches a print from a paint can in the Long Island studio where Pollock created his works, is all the proof Horton needs. She is so confident that, after the print was matched, she turned down a $2 million offer for the painting. "Be fair with me and I'll sell it," she tells Cooper. "No. I'm not going to let them steal it from me."

The art world remains reluctant to accept the fingerprint instead of a provenance — the usual document of authenticity that accompanies works of art. Horton reasons that if fingerprints can convict criminals, they can identify painters.
Denied so far, Horton in undaunted. "But how dare they tell me it's not authentic? They laugh at me and say, 'You don't know what you're talking about,'" says Horton, now wagging her finger at the naysayers, "and I say, well, one of these days, I just want to say 'neener, neener, neener, I told you so.'" To see AC's reporters notebook and a preview of the segment follow the link.

Also on Sunday's show is Lesley Stahl interviewing Lou Dobbs on immigration. Here's the tease on that segment and the link to see the video:
He has never called for the deportation of all illegal immigrants, but Lou Dobbs believes the U.S. could pull off such a feat if it really wanted to.
The CNN anchor, whose stance against illegal immigration has helped raise his ratings but also fueled criticism, speaks to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl this Sunday, May 6, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Dobbs is against amnesty programs for illegal immigrants and the president's guest worker proposal, so Stahl wonders whether Dobbs thinks the government could deport all illegal immigrants. "I've never called for their deportation," says Dobbs. "But at the same time, when this president and open-borders, illegal-alien-amnesty advocates say, 'You can't deport them,' my answer is, 'You want to bet?' because this is the United States. I think this country can do anything it sets its mind to," he tells Stahl.
Dobbs hosted "Moneyline," a business program on CNN, for more than 20 years. He has transformed himself into a purveyor of "news, debate and opinion," in the words used to introduce his current CNN program, "Lou Dobbs Tonight."
The debate is often about illegal immigration. He is a believer in curtailing illegal immigrants' access to some social services. "I happen to think that it is necessary, given the fact that the federal government won't control immigration and won't control our borders," Dobbs tells Stahl. Dobbs says he's not for shutting off medical services, but illegal immigrants' use of other entitlements and the public schools is problematic. "Going to food stamps — should taxpayers be paying for food stamps? Should taxpayers be burdened with schools that are overcrowded?" Dobbs asks. "[Taxpayers'] children, therefore, are being denied education. Those are very serious issues," he says.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus accused Dobbs of being anti-Hispanic for these types of views. "I was asked if I’d ever eaten a taco before, for God’s sake," says Dobbs, who has been married to a Mexican-American for 25 years. Hispanics have called for his job, and Dobbs finds such criticism ironic because he grew up on a small farm and picked crops alongside migrants. "I am probably one of the few people in the debate who actually has [worked with migrants]. I’ve got the greatest respect for those folks," he tells Stahl.
Dobbs' opinions are a main feature of his nightly program — behavior that would exclude him from the classic definition of journalist as an objective reporter. Nevertheless, he still considers himself a journalist. Here's his opinion on that: "The idea that a reporter should be disqualified because he or she actually cares, actually isn't neutral about the well-being of the country and its people, that's absurd," he tells Stahl.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Soledad O'Brien to speak at Cornell University

photo courtesy of IMBD
Johnathan Lieberman from the Cornell Daily Sun sat down with Soledad O'Brien to chat with her regarding her view of American media. The CDS also reports that Ms. O'Brien will be the featured speaker at Cornell's Convocation Ceremony.

I found Soledad's answer to the following questions intriguing (click here for the complete text):

Sun: Where do you see journalism crossing the line between respecting an individual’s right to privacy and reporting the news?

O’Brien: I think everybody knows the line because it makes you feel incredibly uncomfortable. One of the things that guides me and always has is that I make sure to talk to people that want to talk to me. You do that and you automatically have a different tone. People want to sit down and tell you their story, and that makes a big difference. Whether it’s a tragedy of mass proportions or a tragedy within a family that might involve two or three or four people, it’s still hugely important to them. No matter what, the strategy is still the same: talking to me will allow us to tell the story better. Often, nine times out of ten, people say, “yes I want to tell the story.” Certainly in Hurricane Katrina we saw this.

Sun: What message do you want to impart on the senior class before they step out into the real world?

O’Brien: Seizing opportunities and taking chances. I think of times that I haven’t taken my opportunities that have come to me and some of the opportunities I’ve had to fight for. I think students are really incredibly well prepared in this day and age to do anything they want. They have to figure out what is it they want and what is it they are willing to sacrifice to do it. Are you willing to sacrifice your family? Are you willing to sacrifice a balance in your life? What do you want to do? That’s the theme that I’m going to be talking about.

Thanks to What's Happening At CNN for the heads up!