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Friday, June 29, 2007

Special Investigations Unit- Updated Schedule

In today's post: *updated Saturday 11:18a a.m. ET*

The War Within

CNN's programming schedule has been very dynamic this week and this weekend's line up is no exception. In response to the discovery of two car bombs in London, CNN will be airing Christiane Amanpour's The War Within on Saturday and Sunday's Special Investigations Unit.

From a CNN press release: The first CNN: Special Investigations Unit documentary will be a one-hour examination of the troubling home-grown Muslim extremism in the United Kingdom. Reported by Amanpour, The War Within examines the cultural conflicts within Britain's Muslim communities and the alienation felt by many young Muslims living inside Western societies.

For more information on the program see this behind the scenes article, Amanpour: Radical, moderate Muslims battle for young English minds, written by Amanpour.

The War Within will air on Saturday, June 30, and Sunday, July 1, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. All times Eastern.


Battlefield Breakdown

Battlefield Breakdown premiered at 6 a.m. ET Saturday morning! Additional airings are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, June 30 and 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 1. All times Eastern.

There's currently no indication when Battlefield Breakdown will be rescheduled for its premiere. If you'd like more information about the program CNN's website has links to several related stories. Including Battlefield breakdown: The full price of war in Iraq and Behind the Scenes: U.S. sees headway in fight against roadside bombs in Iraq (both written by John King).


Danger: Poisoned Food

Also airing this weekend from Special Investigations Unit is Sanjay Gupta's Danger: Poisoned Food: Saturday, June 30 at 6 a.m. & 3 a.m. and Sunday, July 1, at 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. All times Eastern.

This program investigates the effects of an E. Coli outbreak and the safety of the food supply in the United States.

Although this is an excellent program, I stongly recommend not watching this while you're eating dinner.


John King Interviews

John King has done several interview this past week on Battlefield Breakdown. CNN's John Lisk spoke to King about the program. The podcast is available for free from iTunes, CNN's website, or here's a direct link to this week's podcast.

King also did an interview with Total information AM KMOX 1120 in St. Louis. The podcast of the interview is available on KMOX's website or this direct link.


Laura Bernardini Interview

Seven Days Vermont's Alternative Webweekly interviewed Vermont native and CNN Producer, Laura Bernardini. Excerpts from the article:

Asked why CNN didn’t make more of Rumsfeld’s refusal to answer questions about his leadership, or lack thereof, while on the public payroll, Bernardini told us they “were not focused on the politics of whether or not we should be in Iraq. This piece is solely focused on the toll of a long-term commitment.”

Actually, the refusal of Rumsfeld and Gates to be questioned by CNN about the Bush administration’s pathetic planning for the Iraq war says a great deal.

“I’m not going to draw a conclusion,” said Bernardini. “We’ll let the piece stand for itself.”

Trust me, it does. And it will get a lot of attention.

“Battlefield Breakdown” will air this coming Saturday and Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. And, yes, it’s well worth a watch.


Mystery Journalist

After the positive response to last week's Mystery Journalist segment, you'll now find a new Mystery Journalist here on All Things CNN in the Friday night's post. Please feel free to let us know who you think the journalist is in the comments. The identity of the Mystery Journalist will be revealed in Sunday night's post.

Can you name this CNN journalist?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Turning An Embarrassing Moment Into Comedy ~ Kyra Phillips Style!

So have you ever done something completely embarrassing like fall flat on your face or stick your foot in your mouth at an inopportune moment? Of course like me, you probably have but have you ever done it live on national television in front of millions of people???

Back during the Democratic debate last month Larry King was caught on a live mic making some comments in regards to the way the show was being run and it made me think to a few years back when CNN news anchor Kyra Phillips had an unfortunate incident involving the ladies room and a live microphone. Kyra accidentally left her mic on when she went to the ladies room while covering a speech by President Bush in New Orleans – and her family gossip was broadcast live. In case you didn’t see it...

Well I am a strong believer that the best way to get over an embarrassing moment is to laugh at yourself before people can laugh at you and that is what Kyra did when she appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to give the Top Ten List on Tuesday August 30, 2005. Kyra showed she was a good sport in this funny explanation of her side of the story

Kyra Phillips's Top 10 list:

10. Still haven't mastered complicated on/off switch.
9. Larry King told me he does this all the time.
8. How was I supposed to know we had a reporter embedded in the bathroom.
7. I honestly never knew this sort of thing was frowned upon.
6. I couldn't resist a chance to win $10,000 on America's Funniest Home Videos.
5. I was set up by those bastards at Fox News.
4. Like you've never gone to the bathroom and had it broadcast on national television.
3. I just wanted that hunky Lou Dobbs to notice me.
2. Okay, so I was drunk and I couldn't think straight.
1. You have to admit, it made the speech a lot more interesting

I have to say I am pretty impressed with how Kyra made a situation that could have been really horrible into something hopefully she can laugh out loud now. Hope you enjoyed this trip down CNN memory lane!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Whole Lot Of Headline News!!!!!!

In Today's Post:

  • Love, Marriage, Then Comes Baby Carriage
  • Glenn Beck News
  • Larry King Update

    • Love, Marriage, Then Comes Baby Carriage!!!

      Congratulations to Headline News anchor Nancy Grace who announced that she recently got married and is expecting twins in January 2008. The stork is definitely working overtime at CNN. Nancy married David Linch — an Atlanta investment banker she has known since they attended Mercer College together in the late 1970s back in April of this year. Nancy is 47 years old.
      Congratulations to Nancy and David !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      (Courtesy:New York Times)

      (Courtesy: US Magazine)

      Glenn Beck News

      CNN's Beck to Take Mic At Stadium of Fire

      Glenn Beck, plus 25,000 people at LaVell Edwards Stadium, plus fireworks, equals what promises to be a memorable Fourth of July. The headline act for this year's Stadium of Fire is Brooks and Dunn, who will perform a full 14-song concert. Not to be outdone, however, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and his band, "Politically Incorrect," will perform a few songs to open the night.

      Disney will be a theme of the night, with fireworks set to Disney songs. Disney Channel star Corbin Bleu of the Disney films "High School Musical" and "Jump In" will perform, along with a handful of backup dancers. While Bleu may be dancing on stage, the annual performance of the Stadium of Fire Dancers is slated to be the most complex number ever performed at the show. It will feature more dancers than ever -- about 1,000 teenage girls.
      Patriotism will not be lacking either. Much of the fireworks show will be set to patriotic music, and members of each branch of the armed services will be honored as their service hymn is played.
      The whole of the event will be broadcast to troops around the world via the American Forces Network. The celebration will take place July 4 at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
      Tickets can be purchased: online
      By phone at 422-BYU1 or 800-322-BYU1
      or in person at the Marriott Center ticket office on the Brigham Young University campus LaVell Edwards Stadium is on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah

      Also in Glenn Beck News – Glenn Beck will be filling in for Paula Zahn on Paula Zahn Now next week doing a series called “We The People”

      Larry King – Updated

      A few days ago BookAsylum posted this week’s Larry King schedule…….well with the crazy week that has gone on the schedule has been revised.

      Tuesday June 26 – Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia: A Year of LOVE!!!!!

      This show was so fantastic. Truly television history and let me tell you how much I enjoyed Paul and Ringo’s interaction. I bet the four guys were a blast to hang out with all those years ago! If I ever get to Vegas I totally want to check this show out. Thank you Phebe for the screencap.

      Wednesday June 27 – Paris Hilton

      The much anticipated first interview with Paris after being released from jail. Thank you again Phebe for the screencap.

      I was interested to hear what Paris had to say for herself and if she actually does what she told Larry she would do then hopefully Paris truly has grown from this experience.

      Thursday June 28 – Colin Powell

      Former Secretary of State Colin Powell: He's hardly spoken since he stepped down, now a rare sit-down with Powell on America, the world and more.

      Friday June 29 – A Larry King Marathon:

      Looks like we are having a Larry King mini marthon Friday night
      The Beatles at 8:00PM
      Michael Moore takes your calls and e-mails! Watch his first prime-time interview on his controversial new film, "Sicko" at 9:00PM

      Monday July 2 – Isaiah Washington

      Isaiah Washington in his first TV interview since being fired from 'Grey's Anatomy' after using an-anti gay slur. He tells his side of the story.

      Tuesday July 3 – Robin Williams

      Actor/comedian Robin Williams joins Larry.

      Also in Larry King Live News, Larry King Live will be added to the Headline News lineup airing daily at 11:00 AM. The start date has yet to be determined. Check your local listings

      Tuesday, June 26, 2007

      Graduation Day Wrap Up

      In today's post:

      This year, several CNN journalists offered their words of wisdom to graduating students across the country. Here’s a wrap up of their graduation day activities.

      Jeff Greenfield

      Former CNN Political Analyst, Jeff Greenfield delivered the commencement address at Hunter College on May 31, 2007. An excerpt follows:

      Referring to himself as an old “geezer,” Greenfield made the graduates both laugh and think with his wry, insightful observations about what he called playing the game of life.

      “You don’t get a do-over,” he said. “There is enough out there of work and play and joy to fill a hundred lifetimes. You have one.”


      Aaron Brown

      Former CNN anchor, Aaron Brown delivered the keynote address for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication spring convocation on May 11, 2007.

      Brown, who served as the John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at Arizona State University during the spring semester, received a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 1,200 at Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed venue on the Tempe campus.


      Suzanne Malveaux

      CNN White House correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux, was awarded the 2007 Medal of Excellence from Columbia University at the May 16, 2007 commencement ceremony.


      Soledad O'Brien

      On Saturday, May 19th, Soledad O’Brien gave the keynote address at the Undergraduate Commencement at Bryant University and was presented with a Doctor of Human Letters honorary degree.

      O’Brien also spoke at the convocation ceremony of Cornell’s Commencement on Saturday, May 26, 2007. An excerpt follows from the Cornell Daily Sun:

      O'Brien began her speech by stating that she does not believe in advice.

      After having told her mother about racially insensitive comments she received, her mother said, "Lovey, most people are idiots."

      "And that was the most truthful advice I ever got," O'Brien said.

      O'Brien then spoke about how her parents met as graduate students at Johns Hopkins University in the 1950s. Both went to mass daily; her mother, an Afro-Cuban immigrant, would walk and her father, an Australian of Irish descent, would drive until her father offered her mother a ride. And from that point — after the ice was broken — the two went around to "restaurant after restaurant" in Baltimore. None would seat, let alone serve, an interracial couple. O'Brien's mother ended up making O'Brien's father dinner.

      "She would tell this story to me and my brothers and sisters not to talk about the injustice of segregation and discrimination, but to say that if you can cook, you can get a man," O'Brien said. "We saw that it wasn't really about cooking, though."

      As an interracial couple, her parents could not be married in Maryland.
      O'Brien used this anecdote to bridge into discussing how the class of 2007 "should not let other people define them."

      "There are so many people who want to weigh in on your life and define success for you, but you have to follow your own heart," O'Brien said. "Don't worry about finding a job, find your passion — there are a zillion paths to success."

      O'Brien's said that the interviews she conducts almost every day as a journalist have shown how "ordinary people who do extraordinary things can teach people more about life than stars, millionaires and politicians."

      After her speech, O'Brien was awarded with a Cornell medallion.


      Kathleen Koch

      Kathleen Koch delivered University of Southern Mississippi’s Spring 2007 Commencement Address on May 11, 2007 and also spoke at the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Commencement on May 12, 2007.

      From a USM press release:
      When I got the request I was overwhelmed. I felt the university had already paid me the highest honor with the induction into the (Mass Communication and Journalism) Hall of Fame, Koch said. Koch has received high praise for her work covering the Mississippi Gulf Coast immediately after Hurricane Katrina, where she brought to the world stirring tales of hope, despair and heroism in the aftermath of the worst natural disaster in modern American history.

      This excerpt from an article in Go DeSoto describes her speech:

      University of Southern Mississippi alum Kathleen Koch urged her alma mater’s spring 2007 graduates to turn the tables on adversity with their education and talent.

      “I want our graduates to know that even though there will always be challenges in their lives, that they should choose to be a survivor and never a victim,” Koch said.

      Last year Koch was chosen, along with veteran Southern Miss journalism professor Dr. Robert Gene Wiggins, to be one of the first inductees into the university’s School of Mass Communication and Journalism’s Hall of Fame.

      The devastation to the Mississippi Coast, including to her hometown, made impressions on Koch that she shared with Southern Miss graduates. “Live everyday as if it is going to be your last. Reach out to the people you care about, because they won’t always be there,” she said.


      Wolf Blitzer

      Wolf Blitzer delivered the Commencement Address at Franklin and Marshall on May 12, 2007. The full address is available on the F & M website and is well worth the read. Below are a few key points:

      We don’t have a lot of time today – but here are a few rules that have guided me along the way – rules that I will pass along to you. For me, they have been simple. They even sound trite. But they have been powerful for me. They have shaped my personal and career choices.

      • Take one day at a time
      • Don’t cry over spilled milk
      • You can help yourself become lucky
      • If you love what you are doing, you will do it better
      • Two heads are better than one
      • Take advantage of your family and friends


      Paul Begala

      Political Analyst, Paul Begala gave the graduate and evening commencement address at Lynn University on May 11, 2007.

      Here's an excerpt from an article published on Lynn University's website:

      Political analyst, presidential advisor and CNN correspondent Paul Begala addressed approximately 180 graduate and evening students at the university's Friday night ceremony on campus. The former Clinton aide had a message both simple and direct for the graduates – "believe."

      "If I was to leave you with just one word it would be ‘believe.' Believe in yourself. Believe in your family. Believe in your country," he said. "After all of this education we know you can think. You need to make sure you can feel."

      The University of Texas alum, who is celebrating his 46th birthday today, pointed to the example of President Abraham Lincoln, our "greatest president almost by acclamation, and possibly the greatest ever American." Despite numerous failures and setbacks in his personal life, business ventures and political career, Lincoln "persevered," Begala said. "He believed."

      Ending with an allusion to a favorite Texas country music lyric that underscored his point, Begala reiterated his simple message. "Here's my only advice for you - believe," he said. "Leap with your heart, keep the faith and always trust your cape."


      Sexual Diversity in America

      Finally tonight, a note on CNN's coverage tomorrow (Wednesday) on the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community. Below are excerpts from a recent press release on coverage of Sexual Diversity in America.

      CNN’s ‘Uncovering America’ programming initiative continues its examination of diversity in America.

      The latest installment of CNN’s “Uncovering America” coverage coincides with plans for several large events and parades across the nation as part of “GLBT Pride Month.” Online, has requested “Coming Out” stories from users and users’ reflections on gays in their communities. Through I-Reports, users can submit videos, still photos and text of their stories, experiences and reactions. Some of these submissions are posted at

      For the final day of CNN’s five-day coverage, programming includes:

      • Alina Cho's report for American Morning on a landmark case that may have major implications for both sides of the debate over civil unions. American Morning will examine the case of Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller, who were united in a civil union in Vermont and later conceived a child via in vitro fertilization. Miller, the biological mother later returned home to Virginia, joined a conservative church and decided she was no longer a lesbian. A family court in Vermont recently ruled in favor of visitation rights for Jenkins. American Morning airs weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

      • The Situation Room, in its 7 p.m. hour, examining how constitutional amendments against same sex marriage have been used to get conservatives to vote during elections and explores efforts to politically manipulate the gay community to win elections. The Situation Room airs weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

      • Special correspondent Thelma Guitierrez’s report from Trinidad, Colo. – the “Sex-Change Capital of the World” – for Paula Zahn Now. Guitierrez interviews Dr. Marci Bowers, who every week performs about five vaginoplasties, an operation to transform men into women. Nine years ago, Bowers was a man herself, and she provides first-person insights into the physical and emotional journey that her patients experience.

      • Paula Zahn Now examining the complexities of gay and straight lifestyles and whether a gay person can be “turned straight.” As part of her nightly feature segment “Out in the Open,” anchor Paula Zahn speaks with several members of the “ex-gay movement,” which consists of gay individuals who became straight. Paula Zahn Now airs weekdays from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

      • CNN Newsroom profiles gay neighbors, bosses and pastors to offer perspectives on being gay in America. In reports airing throughout the week and weekend, CNN Newsroom will also spotlight the “Coming Out” I-Reports submitted online by users.

      Monday, June 25, 2007

      A Pair of Kings & More

      In today's post:

      Interview With Former Secretary of State James Baker

      For those of you who live in the KET viewing area, John King's interview with James Baker III is being rebroadcast.

      From KET's website:

      Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III is the subject of the latest Kentucky Author Forum Presents program. He discussed his memoir Work Hard, Study ... and Keep Out of Politics! with John King, chief national correspondent for CNN, in a conversation taped on April 24 at the Kentucky Center in Louisville.

      Baker has served in senior government positions under three United States p residents. He served as the nation's 61st secretary of state, from January 1989 through August 1992, under President George H. W. Bush, traveling to 90 foreign countries as the U.S. confronted the challenges and opportunities of the post-Cold War era.

      The program will air on Sunday, July 1 at 10:00/9:00 pm CT on KET2 and Friday, July 6 at 2:00/1:00 am CT on KET1.

      The original KET Press Release is available here.


      Securing Our Future: From Farm to Fuel

      KET is also airing a program developed by South Carolina's ETV that was moderated by John King.

      Excerpts of ETV's original press release:

      ETV Explores South Carolina's Alternative Fuel Options
      CNN's John King Hosts "Securing Our Future: From Farm to Fuel"

      Columbia, SC...Americans consume more than four billion barrels of imported fuel each year, creating an economic, environmental, and national security albatross that impedes our battle for independence from overseas fuel producers. Meanwhile, South Carolina is making considerable strides in the effort to curb the demand for foreign fuel.

      Moderated by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, this hour-long forum examines the potential of home-grown, American-made fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, as well as South Carolina’s role in helping to lessen America’s dependence on imported oil.

      Securing Our Future: From Farm to Fuel is scheduled to air Monday, Jul 30 at 4:00 am on KET1.



      You may be wondering what Shrek has to do with CNN. For those of you who have watched the most recent Shrek movies, you may or may not have realized that Larry King had voiced one of the characters. He's been the voice of Doris in Shrek 2 and in the recently released Shrek the Third.

      USA Weekend Magazine published a 2007 Summer movie preview that included little know facts about each of the movies. Among the movies previewed was Shrek the Third:

      Of all the performers in the film, CNN talk-show host Larry King stood out by being most prompt. Says co-director Chris Miller: "If Larry's start time for a recording session was 11:30 a.m., he would show up at 11 and be out of there by 11:10. The news waits for no one."

      Shrek the Third is in theatre's now.


      Happy Birthday

      Birthday Greetings to Rob Marciano! Marciano was subbing for John Roberts today on American Morning when Heidi Collins broke the news that today (June 25th) was his birthday.

      Happy Birthday!

      Sunday, June 24, 2007

      In the Money

      In today's post:

      In The Money

      Today, I wanted to take a look at one of the shows that airs over the weekend. CNN's original programming isn't just Monday through Friday. This week's show: In the Money, which is host by Christine Romans and Ali Velshi. CNN's website describes the show as: There's a lot of money out there. How can you land your stake? "In The Money" breaks down the business news of the week and shows you how it impacts your bottom line.

      This week's show covered a variety of business related topics including:

      • With speculation that New York City's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, will run for president as an independent candidate, it raises the question, would a CEO be better than a career politician?
      • A discussion with Richard Florida from George Mason University & Creative Class Group (founder). Florida argues that the more gay friendly a city is, the more prosperity a city will enjoy. The theory is that open minded kids will move to communities that are more open minded and open to diversity. Successful businesses will move to or start up in these same areas.
      • In the What Works segment: Miles O'Brien reports on the carbon footprints of common companies. To view the report cards on the various companies examined, you can go to the Climate Counts website.
      • In View from the Top: Velshi interviews Glen Senk, CEO of Urban Outfitters.
      • A review of the new iPhone and a demonstration of a new service available for G3 phones, video share.
      • In Life After Work: A look at a retired FBI agent who writes fiction and teaches poker players how to read other player's tells.

      Saying that this is just a business show doesn't do it justice. As you can see from the variety of topics, its not just about what happened on Wall Street. The show makes a link between the latest news and how that might impact you financially.

      In the Money airs 1 p.m. ET Saturday and 3 p.m. ET Sunday.

      The In The Money website frequently has links to recent View from the Top and What Works segments. Follow the links to go to the View from the Top and What Works video archives for past segments.

      And what was Time Warner's scorecard on the Climate Counts website?

      Hmm, not so good.


      Larry King Live Scheduling Update
      • Wednesday, June 27's show will now be A TV exclusive: Paris Hilton talks to Larry King in her first interview since her release from jail!
      • Wednesday's show was originally slated to be: Michael Moore takes your calls and e-mails! Watch his first prime-time interview on his controversial new film, "Sicko". No mention on the website when or if Moore will be rescheduled.
      • Thursday, June 28's show will be Former Secretary of State Colin Powell: He's hardly spoken since he stepped down, now a rare sit-down with Powell on America, the world and more.
      • Friday, June 29's show will be Isaiah Washington in his first TV interview since being fired from 'Grey's Anatomy' after using an-anti gay slur. He tells his side of the story. Plus, actor/comedian Robin Williams joins Larry

      Larry King Live airs daily at 9:00 p.m. ET.



      Congratulations to CNN All Access podcast which celebrated its 1 year anniversary. In CNN All Access podcast, CNN's correspondents, anchors and production staff take you behind the scenes for an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look at how the news is brought to you.

      This weeks podcast took a look back at its first year. CNN All Access podcasts are available for free from iTunes, CNN's website, or here's a direct link to this week's podcast.


      Campbell Brown Update

      No, there is still no confirmation on whether or not Campbell Brown will be joining CNN when her contract with NBC expires. But, she did make another type of big announcement this morning on the Today Show. Brown and her husband Dan Senor are expecting a baby. Congratulations!

      The picture is from a New York Times article of their April 2, 2006 wedding taken by Denis Reggie.


      Mystery Journalist
      In Friday's post, I asked if you could identify this CNN journalist:

      As promised, I have an answer for you tonight.

      It's American Morning's John Roberts.

      On additional note, if you haven't checked out Roberts' bio page on CNN's website recently, its been updated to reflect his new role anchor role on American Morning.

      Friday, June 22, 2007

      Another Look at the New Hampshire Primary Debates

      The Debates
      Did you get to see both CNN Presidential Primary debates held on June 3rd and June 5th from New Hampshire? If not, don’t fret, there are plenty of ways that you can still see the debates. CNN has provided both debates online for you to view. You can also find the debates on Saint Anselm College’s website and on BlipTV.

      The Set at Sullivan Arena
      CNN transformed Saint Anselm College’s Sullivan Arena, typically used for ice hockey, into a set fit for a future president. A small bit of irony in all this, is that the place where teams body check each other into boards, will now host an event in which candidates are sure to body check their opponents. blogged Brian Lawson.

      Crews worked around the clocked to make sure that the set was ready; an effort that involved the college’s staff, students, and the CNN staff. WMUR has posted two slide shows (setting up and preparing) showing the transformation.

      On the Thursday before the debate, Laura Rossi blogged: As I stood watching all the action, there were three rounds of lights raised to the ceiling, a podium set up, and the 40-foot backdrop frame completely assembled in front of my eyes. Several large red and white vinyl cubes sat like gigantic blocks waiting to be added to the skeleton-like frame. She also posted a podcast of an interview conducted with CNN’s Vice President of Weekend Public Affairs programs, Lucy Spiegel, about the stage and her role in the debate planning process.

      In another podcast that same morning, Doug Minor, talks with CNN’s lighting designer, Mike Poley (from the DC Bureau) about the setup of the area for the debate.

      A Student’s Perspective
      An excerpt from a blog post on Saint Anselm College’s website:
      Some 51 Saint Anselm College students have been working closely with CNN on debate preparations since late last week. These students and their 10-hour plus work days have played a critical role in making the debates a reality. Students have worked with CNN's news anchors, correspondents, set designers, marketing and public relation staff, and others running errands, standing in for set checks (lighting, sound, video), moving sets, and many other important roles.

      In the meantime, they've got to know many of CNN's on-air talent and executives and received an insiders view of all the work that goes into staging a major event like CNN's Presidential Primary Debates.

      Cory True '09, a junior politics major from Augusta, Maine (and guest student blogger), had the opportunity to interview two students about their experiences working the debates.
      The interviews have been posted in a podcast.

      Cory also posted about his experience as a CNN "Runner":

      Stephanie Zanotti, a student, also blogged about her experience as a “Runner”, posting: At a CNN reception following Tuesday night’s debate I was fortunate enough to chat with Wolf Blitzer. Our conversation was the perfect way to end one of the most exciting events of my life. I described to him the immense appreciation I now have for what goes on behind a major media event, TV shows, and even commercials, Wolf replied “I hope it doesn’t spoil the magic for you.” When I responded “No, it greatly enhanced it” he answered, “Then we’ve done our job haven’t we?”

      I admire the way that Saint Anselm College handled the pressures of hosting a news event that would be seen around the world. The college, community, students, and CNN staff have provided those of us who were sitting at home an insight to the sights and sounds surrounding an important step in the election process. More than just documenting an event, they’ve provided the world with a behind the scenes view of a little piece of American history.

      If you want to see more pictures from the debates, photos from students and CNN staff have been posted on Flickr. Also, the CNN All Access podcast gives you a behind the scenes look with Kate Lunger, Senior Producer, CNN Special Events, as they setup for the debate on Sunday.

      CNN Express

      In past elections, the CNN Express bus has made many appearances at political events on the way to election day. Its frequently manned with various CNN journalists to travel around the country. Well, this year, CNN has a brand new CNN Express bus and were providing tours of it while it was stationed at the New Hampshire debates.

      It looks so nice and new now, but I want to see the pictures of the inside of the bus 502 days from now (the day after the 2008 Presidential election).

      One more item before I leave you tonight, can you name this CNN journalist?