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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Earthquake aftermath

A relative scans a list of high school students 
who survived the powerful earthquake in China, 
at a stadium in the city of Mianyang.

Wilf Dinnick, who is normally based in UAE, has been covering the earthquake in China. Here are a few of his reports from the past week:

NewsRoom 5/24: A look at the tent cities where millions of people are now living:

American Morning 5/26: Survivors search for their missing family members:

NewsRoom 5/27: Parents protest after the collapse of an elementary school reveals shortcuts in building standards:

NewsRoom 5/28: Fear that the "quake lakes" formed by the earthquake will cause a flood cause a town to be abandoned:

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Candy Crowley writes the greatest/funniest blog posts. If you've missed her return to the 360 blog, be sure to check out her two entries from this week -- her absence explained and (destined to become a classic) Grumplestilskin.

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Where in the World...?

Quiet week this week, with the holiday and all. Nothing at all for Monday. Tuesday, Sanjay Gupta was in Los Angeles; Candy Crowley was in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Wednesday, Candy was in Thornton, Colorado; John Roberts was a guest on Election Center and AC360. Thursday, Candy was in Chicago, Illinois. Friday, Suzanne Malveaux was in Washington, DC; Anderson Cooper was a guest on Election Center (above, on the "wrong" side of the table!).

Well, we'll have to see how much traveling happens once the primaries end this week... I would hope everyone gets several weeks of vacation before having to gird up for the general election coverage, but there may not be time! The rest of us, however, are going to enjoy our summers, even though the price of gas is too high to be able to travel!

Have a great weekend!

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Interpretive Dance

Ratings for the week May 19 - May 23, 2008

Adults 25-54

CNN214,750 1
MSNBC438,000 1

Adults 25-54

CNN312,000 1
MSNBC236,000 2

Adults 25-54

FOX 215,667 3
CNN 363,400
MSNBC 242,500 1

Everyone won a timeslot this week. MSNBC won the Adult Viewers 25 - 54 ratings for the 8PM time slots. As a result of the way that FOX coded their 8PM program, the weekly average includes Tuesday night which was the Kentucky and Oregon primary results. Wednesday night is the only night that FOX did better than MSNBC.

FOX won the 9PM timeslot for the week. CNN's Larry King Live did very well on Friday since he was interviewing the American Idol contestants.

CNN once again took 10PM. Monday night was the only night that CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 didn't have the highest number of viewers Adult 25 - 54.

Tuesday, May 20th was the Kentucky and Oregon Primary results and each of the networks did something a little bit different with the way that they coded their coverage.

7PM445,000374,000426,000Winner: FOX
8PMN/A488,000513,000Winner: MSNBC. FOX listed regular programming.
9PMN/A571,000423,000Winner: CNN. FOX listed regular programming.
10PM485,000N/A571,000Winner: MSNBC. CNN listed regular programming.
11PM424,000528,000451,000Winner: CNN.

1 4 day average. Tuesday primary coverage excluded.
2 3 day average used to calculate MSNBC 9PM average. Calculation doesn't include Tuesday (primary results) or Friday (David Gregory).
3 3 day average used to calculate FOX 10PM average. Calculation doesn't include Tuesday (primary results) or Friday (Crime Scene).
^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

Here's an interesting note from the News To Me Newsletter:

Nicole Lapin is back

Her fans on know she never left of course, but we're glad she's back with us on "News To Me." This weekend Nicole sits down with Eric to give us a look at the best stuff on and

News To Me airs on CNN Headline News on Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. ET. The program is hosted by Eric Lanford. Another interesting item, News To Me has their own blog now: Today's post showed Eric Lanford sitting in the middle of a parking lot.

The end might just be in sight for the primary elections. This time last year we were speculating on when or if Fred Thompson was going to enter the race. During last week's This Week in Politics, Tom Foreman highlighted the humor that has appeared in modern politics.

TJ Holmes just didn't quite know what to say about Susan Lisovicz' report on the interpretive dance that was taking place outside the New York Stock Exchange.

Did you know that you can get a Larry King text message? This is a new feature that started last Friday.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Free Falling

Well it has finally arrived. The final four days of the 2008 Presidential Primary season are now upon us and CNN and the best political team on television are pulling out all the stops. In what has been a primary season like no other, the kind that makes you feel like your free falling CNN released the following press release in regards to CNN’s upcoming coverage.

CNN’s political team will report live from the CNN Election Center and across Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota for the network’s extensive coverage of the final Democratic primaries on Sunday, June 1, and Tuesday, June 3. As voters in the final three contests make their voices heard, CNN will offer live and in-depth coverage stretching across four days of programming.

On Saturday, May 31, as the rules committee for the Democratic National Committee meets to decide the Florida and Michigan delegate issue, CNN will broadcast Decision Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The special will be anchored by lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer, who will be joined by the Best Political Team on Television. The CNN Election Express will be on-site in Washington, D.C. where the rules committee will meet throughout the day Saturday. CNN correspondents will track how decisions made at the meeting may affect the race for the Democratic nomination. Live, the network’s multi-stream video news service, also will have a camera inside and will begin live streaming the entire meeting at 9:30 a.m. Following Decision Day, a special live edition of This Week in Politics will air from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Then at 7 p.m., the in-depth political coverage continues with a one-hour special Election Center.

On Sunday, June 1, voters in Puerto Rico will head to the polls, and CNN will be the only news organization with exit poll results to report. A special edition of Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer will broadcast live from the CNN Election Center in New York from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with top analysts and guests offering insights. At 1 p.m., CNN will premiere Fareed Zakaria: GPS, a new weekly international news and discussion program.

For a special primary edition of Election Center on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7p.m., CNN’s political team will offer the most up-to-the-minute information and analyze incoming exit poll data. The special will also use the latest CNN technology such as the results board and the CNN “multi-touch” board, which throughout the election season has made complex demographic and all-important delegate data understandable and accessible. A special CNN Newsroom with Rick Sanchez will then follow at 7 p.m.
On Monday, June 2, CNN programs, including The Situation Room which will be live from the Election Center from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., will explore the results from Puerto Rico and look ahead to Tuesday’s primaries and the general election.

For the final primaries in Montana and South Dakota on Tuesday, June 3, CNN’s special prime-time Election Center programming will begin at 8 p.m., following wall-to-wall politics on The Situation Room from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a special edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight at 7 p.m. Tuesday’s coverage will run late into the night and lead into a special edition of Larry King Live at midnight hosted by Larry King. American Morning with John Roberts and Kyra Phillips will be live the following morning at a special time from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Leading the special coverage during the final Democratic primaries will be Wolf Blitzer along with Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper and Lou Dobbs. Anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien and senior political analyst Bill Schneider will again report the exit poll data.

Gloria Borger, senior political analyst; David Gergen, senior political analyst; Suzanne Malveaux, White House correspondent; Roland Martin, political analyst; and Jeff Toobin, senior analyst, will be on-hand with their insights. CNN contributors Paul Begala, Bill Bennett and Donna Brazile and political strategists Alex Castellanos, Leslie Sanchez and Jamal Simmons will also provide commentary.
CNN’s correspondents are traveling across Puerto Rico , Montana and South Dakota to cover the race. CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin and CNN en EspaƱol correspondent Juan Carlo Lopez will be on the ground in Puerto Rico to report on developments while senior political correspondent Candy Crowley and correspondent Mary Snow will also be traveling with the campaigns.

CNN will offer up-to-the minute reporting and analysis at and on the CNN Political Ticker at Live will have special coverage of the Montana and South Dakota primaries on June 3 with Melissa Long anchoring from the CNN election center in New York and Reggie Aqui anchoring from Atlanta starting at 7 p.m.
CNN Radio will offer special reports for affiliates for the June 3 Montana and South Dakota primaries. CNN Newsource will provide its affiliates access to on-site reports from RunningMate correspondent Samantha Hayes.

CNN is adding to the group investigating a “Planet in Peril.” Lisa Ling is joining the group. Here is the CNN press release.

CNN’s award-winning Planet in Peril documentary series returns later this year with an examination of the conflict between growing populations and natural resources.
For Planet in Peril: Battle Lines, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and The Oprah Winfrey Show correspondent and National Geographic host Lisa Ling travel to the front lines of these environmental conflicts where countries, communities and individuals are fighting over oil, land, water and food. The documentary, to be taped in high definition, will air in late 2008.
“We want to bring viewers to the front lines of these growing conflicts,” Cooper said. “The battle over natural resources is leading to environmental devastation, destruction of wildlife and the spread of dangerous viruses, not to mention the loss of human life. We want to take viewers on this journey with us and show them the reality of what’s occurring.”
The first Planet in Peril, a four-hour investigation that aired in October 2007, traveled to 13 countries to explore four factors that impact the environment – overpopulation, deforestation, species loss and climate change. For the second Planet in Peril, CNN will be traveling across the globe to some of the most remote regions of the planet.
Ling, an award-winning journalist, joins Planet in Peril for its second installment. As a special correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ling reported about gang rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bride burning in India, polygamy, the Virginia Tech massacre and Hurricane Katrina, among others stories. Previously, she served as co-host for The View and as a correspondent for Channel One. For National Geographic, she explored the phenomenon of female suicide bombers and investigated Colombia ’s drug war.

For Planet in Peril: Battle Lines, CNN crews will visit the North Pole, where melting ice has touched off an international conflict over ownership of the arctic waters and energy resources that lie below; Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where dwindling food supplies push people into the jungle, exposing them to mysterious and deadly diseases that scientists think could result in the next pandemic; and Indonesia, a center of shark-finning operations that have helped deplete the oceans of more than 90 percent of shark species.

Anyone who has ever worked or watched live TV knows it can be a little bit like free falling. On Monday's American Morning, John Roberts shared with the viewers a little mishap that can happen with live television.

Tonight I end with a clip of Rob Marciano’s sky diving experience. Looks so amazing but I don’t think I could ever do it. Good for Rob trying something extreme.

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Miles O'Brien and Congratulations to Lou Dobbs

Quite often we hear from readers asking what Miles O'Brien is doing these days. It's usually followed by a round of 'I miss Miles' comments. CNN has been keeping the male half of the O'Brien twins pretty busy lately. Here's some of his recent work.
Miles filed this report on Levittown going green that aired on Wednesday's American Morning:

On Memorial Day Miles did the big space story of the week for American Morning. Here is his report on the Phoenix Mars landing (thanks to Sapphire for the clip).

Last week AC360 aired a Planet in Peril segment with Miles reporting on the endangered swamplands in Louisiana (thanks to Cyn for the clip).

Here are a few more Miles O'Brien segments that CNN has posted in the past week.
Has the Mars lander found ice?

Mission to Mars

Phoenix Mars lander tour

Welcome back to Mars

And now that we're all caught up on Miles O'Brien let us switch gears and congratulate Lou Dobbs on the birth of a granddaughter Wednesday. Here's Grampa sharing the big news. (thanks to BA for the clip).

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Baby Pictures

Former CNN Anchor, Carol Lin, was on NPR's Day to Day this morning talking about her family secrets. She grew up knowing very little about her family's past.

I learned that my mother and father met through an arranged marriage; she was promised to him when she was only 16 years old. I learned that during the Japanese War, my mother would lie under the floorboards of her house, hiding from marauding soldiers who had raped her neighbor.

I'd always assumed that I was a renegade in my family for going into journalism, but I learned that my mother had reported for her school newspaper about the corrupt ways of the Kuomintang, or the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek. Tears welling up in her eyes, my conservative mother also confessed that she still regretted not marching in the Communist student parade.

To read the entire essay and hear Carol tell her story, click here.

Welcome back to Heidi Collins who returned to the CNN Newsroom this morning. She's been off the past several weeks on maturnity leave. Below are pictures of her son, Owen. The video clip explains why the baby is in a bucket.

Over the weekend American Morning's John Roberts participated in the annual Rolling Thunder demonstration in Washington, D.C. that honors POW and MIAs. He talked about the ride on Monday's American Morning.

On Monday's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Jamie McIntyre reported on Segs 4 Vets which is an organization that is providing Segways to veterans.

Jamie McIntyre can't seem to pass up a race, can he?

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Monday, May 26, 2008


Today is one of those days when I ended up tossing out most of what I had planned in favor of some reports that aired this morning. Arwa Damon is on an embed at a FOB in Baghdad, and spoke with some of the troops about their Memorial Day:

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During the special that AC360 did to mark the anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, Michael Ware expressed so eloquently something that the vast majority of us do not (perhaps can not) truly understand, "the nobility of men in combat." 

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Actor Gary Sinise recently performed at a concert for veterans -- held in a fairly unusual venue, the center courtyard of the Pentagon! -- and Jamie McIntyre covered it and interviewed the actor, who has been a very active supporter of the troops for many years:

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Finally, on a very welcome programming note: Fareed Zakaria GPS will be the name of the newest addition to CNN's line-up of Sunday talk shows. The program premieres next Sunday, June 1st, at 1pmET. From an AP article:
CNN is starting a weekly talk show on international issues led by Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria that will debut next Sunday with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as an interview subject.

"Fareed Zakaria — GPS," which stands for "global public square," will air Sundays at 1 p.m. EDT and be rebroadcast at a yet-to-be determined time on CNN International.

CNN U.S. chief Jonathan Klein approached Zakaria about a year ago and was told that "the only show I want to do is one that fills in the huge gaping hole in American television, which is 95 percent of the rest of the world," Zakaria said in an interview with the Associated Press on Monday.

Zakaria, a columnist and editor of Newsweek International, wrote the just-published book, "The Post-American World."

He said he's frustrated when he turns on American news networks to hear endless discussions about why Hillary Clinton should or shouldn't leave the presidential race, because there is legitimate news elsewhere. He fears a vicious circle is at work: Networks don't show much international news because they fear viewers aren't interested, and viewers aren't interested because they get so little of it.

Zakaria also said he understands the need to make a compelling program that won't seem like the college seminar you tried to skip.

"People instinctively think they're going to be bored by this and you have to grab them by the lapels," he said.

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Have a safe and peaceful holiday... and don't forget to thank the Vets you know. 

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Graduations & Ratings

On Sunday's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz interviewed Kim Dozier, the CBS correspondent that was seriously wounded in Iraq, about her recovery and her new book, Breathing The Fire.

She also appeared on American Morning earlier this month. The interview with John Roberts has been posted on CNN's website.

James Carville spoke at the Tulane University commencement ceremonies in New Orleans on Saturday, May 17, 2008. Mary Matalin, his wife, introduced him. WWLTV has posted a write up on the speech. To view the commencement ceremony, click here.

Bill Schneider spoke at the recent Brandeis University commencement ceremony. Schneider graduated from Brandeis in 1966. Max Pearlstein spoke to him about coming back to his alma mater.

Ratings for the week May 12 - May 16, 2008

Adults 25-54
MSNBC475,250 1

Adults 25-54
CNN270,250 1
MSNBC240,500 1

Adults 25-54

FOX won the Adult Viewers 25 - 54 ratings for the 8PM and 9PM time slots. CNN took 10PM. CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 also had the highest number of viewers Adult 25 - 54 on Tuesday (5/13) with 530,000 (FOX (GRETA) followed behind with 325,000) and on Wednesday (5/14) with 380,000 (FOX (GRETA) followed behind with 321,000 and MSNBC(COUNTDOWN) with 155,000). Another interesting note on Tuesday's numbers, during the 10PM hour of AC360 the Adult 25 - 54 demographic represented 46% of their overall viewers. That percentage raised to 50% during the 11PM hour of AC360.

1 4 day average. Tuesday primary coverage excluded.
^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

For those of you in the United States, have a Happy Memorial Day!

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Green Day

HBO has a movie premiering Sunday night about the 2000 Florida recount and subsequent Supreme Court ruling that gave us the current Bush presidency. The movie, Recount, is largely based on Jeffrey Toobin's book Too Close to Call and stars Kevin Spacey. On Thursday, Kevin and Jeffrey were on Charlie Rose's program to discuss the movie, you can watch that program here. And on Friday during The Situation Room, Wolf showed an interview he recorded with Kevin while in NYC:

(Jeffrey was also a guest on Bill Moyers' Journal last night, speaking not about the movie but about a column he wrote this week for The New Yorker magazine about the types of judges that John McCain would likely appoint to the Supreme Court. That interview -- and it should be must-see-TV for anyone considering a vote for McCain -- can be seen here.)

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So last week there was this race between Jamie McIntyre (in his car), Zain Verjee (riding the Metro), and Tom Foreman (on his bike) to see who could get to the DC bureau first. Phebe posted the clip of the race itself over on ATA, but after the clip played throughout the morning, they did some interviews with the participants. First up, John Roberts and Kyra Phillips talk to Zain Verjee:

During Issue #1, Ali Velshi spoke with all three of them -- Zain doing her Best Impression of a Presidential Candidate, Tom doing his Best Impression of a 3-Year-Old Whose Mommy is Trying to Talk on the Phone, and Jamie just trying not to get run over! (But Jamie still gets the style points for his Best Impression of a '70s Private Eye Leaping Into His Convertible!)

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Wednesday on Issue #1, Allan Chernoff did a piece on those oil company commercials that tout how environmentally friendly they are... just how green is Big Oil, really? (Are you at all surprised that the answer is "Not very"?)

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Miles O'Brien had a piece on CNN Saturday Morning today about the Mars vehicle that will hopefully land safely on the red planet tomorrow. (CNN will have Miles covering the landing live at 7pmET.)

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Where in the World...?

Sunday, Suzanne Malveaux was in Frankfort, Kentucky. Monday, Candy Crowley was in Lexington, Kentucky; Dana Bash was in DC.

Tuesday, Suzanne was in Des Moines, Iowa; Candy was in Louisville, Kentucky; Wolf Blitzer was in NYC for the primary coverage. Wednesday, Candy was in Coral Gables, Florida; Dana was in North Bend, Washington.

Thursday, Candy was in DC; Anderson Cooper hosted AC360 from DC; Sanjay Gupta was in Phoenix, Arizona.

Nobody was anywhere on Friday... guess they all took off for the long weekend! But on Saturday, Suzanne was on from San Juan, Puerto Rico (above) -- she got the Hawaii primary, she got the Puerto Rico primary... nice job if you can get it!

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On Monday, CNN will re-air the AC360 special "Shock and Awe: 5 Years Later" at 5pmET. If you missed this when it aired in March, be sure to set your DVR. It is an incredible look at the war in Iraq through the eyes of the CNN reporters who have covered the story.

I hope everyone has a very peaceful and safe Memorial Day weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the men and women serving in the Armed Forces, their loved ones back home, and those who served and gave their lives in past wars, conflicts, and during times of peace.

Also, our happiest of wishes go out to John King and Dana Bash today!

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Hot Off The Press

Finally we get a peek at American Morning's Kiran Chetry and her beautiful new baby, in this week's OK! Magazine. Congratulations Kiran, Chris, Maya and Christopher!

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

CNN Followups

Tonight I want to give some followups on some previously posted items.

This past Saturday Betty Nguyen was awarded with the Young Texas Exes award. TJ Holmes and Alina Cho shared some clips from the award ceremony.

Not to be outdone Tony Harris and Jacqi Jeras got in on celebrating Betty's award on Monday morning's News Room.

Also on Monday morning during News Room Tony Harris and Betty Nguyen announced that Heidi Collins will be returning from maternity leave next week.

Two weeks ago I posted that Larry King would be appearing on an episode of "Ugly Betty" The episode aired last Thursday and I clipped Larry's brief appearance in the episode.

Ms. Phebe posted that "American Morning" has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy award. CNN has been airing this commercial since the nomination. I really enjoy Kiran Chetry in the ad but it seems like ages ago she left for maternity leave so it was nice to see her in this commercial.

To all our American readers, I wish you all a wonderful Memorial Day weekend ~ Sapphire

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Little CNN Gossip

We've mentioned several times recently the upcoming nuptials for the Chairman of the Board, John King, and his lovely fiancee Dana Bash. With the protracted Primaries we weren't sure if the newlyweds would be getting right back on the campaign trail, taking a long weekend or a well deserved honeymoon. It seems our curiosity was answered this week when John Roberts said he'd be taking over at the magic maps for the remainder of Primary season. If I understood him correctly he'll be in the Election Center for the last two Primary Tuesdays (and blearily eyed on the following morning).

Have you ever wondered about the hobbies of some of the CNN reporters and anchors? I was more than a little surprised to see Richard Roth reporting for American Morning, on Monday, from a horse track. Who know RR liked to follow the ponies? John Roberts poked a little fun at the usually very serious Mr. Roth. Take a look.

A reader recently sent along some pictures from a surprise birthday party held to honor CNN's President Jon Klein. The party was planned by Mr. Klein's beautiful wife Jennifer and the occasion was his 50th birthday. The event was held in NYC on March 22 and attended by many of the honorees CNN associates.
Jon & Jennifer Klein

Yes that is Katie Couric, greeting Mrs. Klein, right behind Anderson Cooper. Looks like a great party, I guess our invitations got lost in the mail (just as they did for the King Bash wedding)? Have a great week everybody. ~ Phebe

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Red Carpet Massacre

Gail Shister of TVNewser talked with John King earlier this week about his future with CNN. King's contract with CNN expires on December 31, 2008. He's taking a look at his options, but isn't in a hurry to leave CNN.

The article also mentions his upcoming wedding:

Meanwhile, the acerbic King will take a break in his "life as a cable mule" to marry colleague Dana Bash in Cape Cod Sunday.

The "low key" ceremony will be officiated by a rabbi. King, a Catholic, is converting to Judaism.

His six sibs, all Catholic, support his decision, King says. (His parents are deceased.) So do his 14-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, both being raised Catholic.

Among the adjustments they've made to Dad's conversion: No pepperoni pizza in the house.

David Gergen was the speaker at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s 202nd Commencement Ceremony on May 17th. To view the ceremony, click here.

The Times Union provided a description of the event:

Gergen, who generated more laughter when he referred to graduates as "young, vivacious and frisky," said his work with Richard M. Nixon in the White House showed why leaders must be more than smart. Gergen called Nixon "one of the smartest people I've worked with," but said the former president had "vices" he couldn't overcome.

"The biggest trip in the world," Gergen said, "is to travel from your head to your heart."

Gergen, who received his 15th honorary degree prior to delivering the commencement address, used an anecdote about a talking frog and quotes and stories from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens and Albert Schweitzer to inspire graduates to "change the world."

"It's not about being rich or famous," Gergen said. "The man who dies with the most toys does not win. He just leaves behind a whole lot of trinkets."

(photo by RPI/Kris Qua)

Wednesday, May 21st is Jeffrey Toobin's birthday.

My last item tonight is slightly off topic, but when I was browsing around the other day I ran across a video that I just could not pass up. Having grown up in the '80s, I have found memories of the band Duran Duran. They were recently interviewed by CNN's Ralitsa Vassileva about their new album, Red Carpet Massacre, and US Tour.

More information about their latest album can be found in an earlier CNN report here.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Express yourself

If you caught former candidate Mike Huckabee's foolish attempt at humor during the NRA convention, you'll appreciate Jack Cafferty's reaction to it. Jeffrey Toobin makes a game attempt at defense (of the blunder, not the comment itself) but...

(Lou Dobbs later said that both Jack and Jeffrey were right. That may be the first time I've agreed with Lou since his new pitbull demeanor was unveiled...)

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One thing there is no shortage of during an election year is opinions. One issue that has been widely discussed on the Democratic side is having Obama and Clinton team up on the November ticket. It's something I have been strongly against for several reasons, but on Tuesday's Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer spoke with former New York State Governor Mario Cuomo, who demolished all the arguments currently making the rounds:

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There are ways to express yourself, and then there is just plain old ignorance and stupidity... Early last week, an American soldier used a copy of the Holy Quran for target practice at a shooting range in Baghdad. Not on an American base, mind you... at an Iraqi police station. The desecrated Quran was recovered by a member of one of the Sunni militias that are currently allied with us, and the very tentative alliance our troops have cobbled together with the former insurgency nearly blew apart again.

Saturday, an apology ceremony was convened by the top brass. Michael Ware wrote up a "Behind the Scenes" article for describing the events, and the next day he appeared on CNN Sunday Morning to explain the situation further:

The situation has still not completely calmed down, and Wolf spoke with Michael this afternoon for a recap/update:

(Personally, I would be very surprised if this doesn't have a lot of repercussions, although most of them may be outside of Iraq itself. This is far, far worse than the Danish cartoon controversy, as far as I can tell.)

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Finally, General Russel Honore (Ret.) visited the NewsRoom last week to urge people to prepare for emergencies. Visit the Red Cross's website to learn more...

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That's it for me today. Enjoy your week, and if you can afford to travel for the holiday next weekend, be careful and have fun!

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