AC360 Monday 8p

There are growing questions about the ferry crew's actions. The latest on the South Korean ferry disaster live on AC360.
November 5th, 2010
09:20 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Playing Politics with Health Care

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360, we’re Keeping Them Honest, pointing the double-talk mirror at politicians who said one thing on the campaign trail and are doing the opposite now. They slammed President Obama for putting health care reform first and jobs second. But now that they’ve won the election, health care reform suddenly is their number one focus. Tonight, playing politics with health care and jobs.

Also tonight, MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely without pay. The network took action after it discovered that Olbermann donated money to three Democrats running in the midterm elections, a violation of NBC policy. Tonight, the revelation is raising questions about what Olbermann didn’t disclose when interviewing political candidates on air. Olbermann is known as a vocal critic of the corrosive effect of money in politics, and he rails against donors who do not disclose their giving. Keeping Them honest, has he been saying one thing and doing another?

President Obama is on his way to India, the first stop of his 10-day Asian tour. Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry is covering the trip. We’ll get a reality check from Ed on its cost. Some critics have claimed that the trip will cost American taxpayers $200 million a day. But that claim originated with the Press Trust of India, a news agency that quoted an anonymous Indian official. The White House has called the rumored price-tag wildly off-base. Tonight we’re doing some fact-checking.

We’ll also check in with actor-activist Sean Penn in Haiti, where heavy rains from Hurricane Tomas are raising the threat of floods and mudslides.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
October 1st, 2010
08:39 PM ET

Evening Buzz: MI Asst. AG with blog on gay student takes leave of absence

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

There’s a major development tonight in a story we’ve been following closely. Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell has taken a leave of absence and will face a disciplinary hearing when he returns. That’s the official word from his employer.

Just three nights ago, Shirvell was on our program defending the blog he’s been using to attack college student Chris Armstrong, the first openly gay president of the Michigan Student Assembly. Shirvell accuses Armstrong of promoting a radical homosexual agenda and has acknowledged protesting outside of Armstrong's house and calling him "Satan's representative on the student assembly."

Wednesday night on 360, Shirvell’s boss, Attorney General Mike Cox, defended the assistant AG’s constitutional right to wage the internet campaign against Armstrong, even though he said he considers Shirvell a bully.

Last night, we reported that Armstrong has filed for a personal order of protection against Shirvell, alleging harassment. Shirvell has also been issued a no trespass warning by the University of Michigan.

The question is, when did Attorney General Cox first learn about the protection order filing and the no trespass warning? So far, he’s been resisting calls to dismiss Shirvell, insisting he doesn’t have the grounds to do so, under civil service rules. Keeping them honest, we’ll be looking closer tonight at the timeline. We’ll tell you what we’ve been learning about Andrew Shirvell.

We’ll also have the latest in the Connecticut triple murder trial. Closing arguments wrapped up today, bringing weeks of heart-wrenching and horrifying testimony to a close. Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters were tortured and killed in a 2007 home invasion. Her husband was badly beaten but survived. Steven Hayes is the first of two suspects to go on trial and could be sentenced to death if convicted. His lawyer has argued that the other suspect was responsible for escalating the violence. Could his defense strategy work? Senior legal analyst and former prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin weighs in.

Plus, rogue waves. For years, scientist denied these massive ocean swells even existed. In her new book, “The Wave” author Susan Casey reveals the truth about these magnificent monsters – some as tall as 17-hundred feet high – and the world-class surfers who are hell-bent on riding them. Casey and legendary big wave surfer Laird Hamilton join Anderson for the Big 360 Interview.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
September 30th, 2010
09:18 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Mich. Asst. AG banned from UM campus

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

There’s new evidence tonight of possible grounds for the dismissal of Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell. We learned today the University of Michigan has banned Shirvell from its Ann Arbor campus. Shirvell has been attacking Chris Armstrong, the first openly gay president of the Michigan Student Assembly, through blog posts. He’s also protested outside Armstrong’s home and on campus. We also learned today that Armstrong has filed a personal order of protection against Shirvell. Last night on 360, Shirvell’s boss, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, told Anderson that if a restraining order were to be filed against Shirvell, it would open the door for disciplinary measures. Will the news that Armstrong has filed for a personal protection order force the AG’s hand? Michigan’s Governor, Jennifer Granholm weighed in today on Twitter, saying “If I was still Attorney General and Andrew Shirvell worked for me, he would have already been fired.” Keeping them honest, we’ll dig into the legal implications of the latest developments.

Also tonight, Sarah Palin is using Twitter to attack U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, a democrat who’s running for re-election. She’s also accusing the media of not checking the facts in a recent Grayson ad. Actually, we already did. We’ll tell you what we found.

We also have an amazing update in our Doctor Detectives series. 360 MD Sanjay Gupta has been following the story of Sally Massagee for more than a year. Sally has been a medical mystery for nearly a decade. Doctors couldn’t tell her what was causing her muscles to grow out of control. She was desperate for a diagnosis, and finally found one at the Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the National Institutes of Health. In his recent reports, Sanjay showed us how teams of highly skilled doctor detectives worked together to solve Sally’s mystery. Tonight, you’ll see just how far she’s come since getting a diagnosis. She was in New York this week. We think you’ll be amazed by her transformation. We certainly were.

We’ll also talk to Dr. Phil about another disturbing case of cyberbullying. Tyler Clementi, who had just started his freshman year at Rutgers University in New Jersey, apparently jumped off the George Washington Bridge, after his roommate and another student streamed a web cam video of Clementi having a sexual encounter with a man in his dorm room. Dr. Phil weighs in on this troubling story.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
September 16th, 2010
09:28 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Christine O’Donnell’s claims vs. the facts

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360, what you might not know about the Tea Party sensation of the moment, Delaware's GOP Senatorial nominee Christine O'Donnell. She’s trailing her opponent badly in a poll out today, but crushing him in the money race, claiming close to a million dollars in contributions in the last 24 hours alone. But as the money flows in, we’re also learning more about how she spent some of the money left over from her former campaign as well as inconsistencies between some of her statements and the facts. Keeping them honest, we’ll be checking the rhetoric against reality.

In New York, Democrats and Republicans are piling on, calling Carl Paladino, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, a divisive figure who isn’t fit to lead the state. His critics include former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, former U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato, and Gov. David Paterson who said, “I don’t think he’s fit for public service. He transferred emails back and forth that were racist, homophobic, and misogynist.” If you haven’t yet seen the emails Paterson is talking about, we’ll show you them tonight. They’re explosive, offensive and some would say indefensible. So how does Carl Paladino explain them? Find out tonight when Anderson asks him.

In tonight’s Crime & Punishment report, Randi Kaye takes us through the timeline of crucial hours and minutes in a horrifying triple murder and home invasion in Connecticut, while senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tells us whether the defense’s strategy has any chance of working. The details of the crime have brought jurors to tears. The sole surviving victim, Dr. William Petit, has testified about being beaten three years ago inside his home and then bound in his basement. Upstairs, his wife and two daughters were tortured and killed. Jurors have watched a bank surveillance video showing Jennifer Hawke-Petit withdrawing $15,000 to give to the suspects shortly before she died. She told the bank teller her family was being held hostage, which prompted a bank manager to call 911. Yet more than a half hour passed while police waited outside the home, apparently unaware it had been set on fire. Police officials say they were following procedure by setting up a perimeter. But the officers are facing heavy criticism for being so slow to respond. What’s more, the defense lawyer for one of the suspects is now arguing that the police share some of the blame for the deadly outcome. Did the police wait too long? Could they have saved the family? All that tonight.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik
September 15th, 2010
09:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Documents show PG&E knew about pipeline problem

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight, a breath-taking turn in the story that reduced a California neighborhood to ashes.

The images of the natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno were horrific. The walls of flame looked like something from a disaster movie. And now, there’s evidence to suggest it might have been preventable. Documents have surfaced showing P-G-and-E, the local utility that operated the pipeline, knew about a problem with the pipe in another section three years ago and got permission to spend millions of dollars from ratepayers to do repairs. Those repairs were supposed to be done in 2009 but weren’t – even though ratepayers had begun paying for the project. Tonight, Dan Simon is keeping them honest. He’ll have the latest on this new development. We’ll also hear from the head of the utility watchdog group that uncovered the documents.

Another surprise has come to light in Pennsylvania, where residents are learning that their state Homeland Security Department has been spying on them, paying a private security contractor to monitor peaceful protests and gatherings – including a gay pride festival, a candle-light vigil against the oil company BP, and protests against natural gas drilling. The contractor has been compiling a list of potentially threatening groups and people. Gov. Ed Rendell says he wasn’t aware of the spying and is appalled by it. What’s more, the contract cost the state $125,000. You might think some heads would be rolling over at the state’s Homeland Security Department. Nope. Gov. Rendell joins Anderson tonight.

We’ll also take a close look at last night’s primary upsets by Tea Party candidates. Today, the Republican Party leadership is embracing Christine O’Donnell, who won the Senate GOP nomination in Delaware. They did everything in their power to discredit her going into yesterday’s race. Politico called the party's about-face quote "a vivid illustration that the base is in charge and has the leadership running scared." Is that true? The best political team on television weighs in on that tonight. Anderson will also talk with Ron Paul and Eliot Spitzer.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik
September 14th, 2010
08:36 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Will Tea Party candidates cost GOP control of Senate?

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

The primary season is careening to a close, complete with alleged death threats, angry voters and overheated political ads. Tonight we’ll bring you live coverage of the final major primary races unfolding today in seven states and the District of Columbia.

In two key Republican Senate races - Delaware and New Hampshire - Tea Party candidates are facing off against mainstream GOP candidates. The insurgents are aiming to drive the Republican party to the right. But if they succeed in knocking off their moderate opponents, Republican leaders fear the price will be crucial losses in November. Will Republicans’ hopes for regaining control of Congress be thwarted?

John King will be at the Magic Wall tonight, bringing us the latest results as they come in, and the best political team on television will be with us throughout the night with rolling analysis. What will today’s wins and losses mean for the midterm elections, now just seven weeks away?

We’ll also have details of the long-awaited release of Sarah Shourd, one of three American hikers who have been held in Iran for 14 months. The 32-year-old woman was reunited with her mother today in Oman, after someone posted the $500,000 bail Iranian officials had demanded. Shourd’s family says they didn’t post the bail. So where did the money come from? Nic Robertson will have the latest from Oman.

There are also new developments in the investigation of the deadly natural gas explosion in California. The utility at the center of the disaster – Pacific Gas and Electric – says it is doing everything possible to help those affected by the tragedy. But many say it’s simply not true. We’ll have all the details.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik
September 13th, 2010
09:08 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Is Gingrich fueling birther beliefs?

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Has former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gone too far? Comments he made this past weekend about President Obama have some of his fellow conservatives crying foul. Among other things, Gingrich accused Obama of having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” agenda and worldview.

He made these remarks while agreeing with an article in Forbes by fellow conservative Dinesh D’Souza. But do the claims in the article and the comments by Gingrich stand up to the facts? Are Gingrich and D’Souza simply trying to fan the birther movement for political gain? Are any Republicans defending them? Tonight on 360, we’ll look at all of that, plus the White House reaction. We’ll also hear from Democratic strategist Paul Begala and conservative commentator and former speechwriter David Frum.

Filmmaker Michael Moore has jumped into the battle over the Islamic center and mosque planned near Ground Zero. Over the weekend, he wrote that he wants the center to be built directly on Ground Zero, instead of two blocks away. Did he really mean it? What point is he trying to make? Anderson interviews Moore tonight.

There’s new video of the horrific natural gas explosion that killed at least four people in San Bruno, California. Some of the images were recorded by surveillance cameras as the blast happened. An amateur video taken moments after the blast shows the intensity of the inferno that destroyed dozens of homes. There’s also new information tonight that the utility at the center of the investigation, Pacific Gas and Electric, was warned about risks posed by an aging gas line. Keeping them honest, Ted Rowlands investigates.

We’re also launching a new segment tonight called Political Theatre. Think of it as a fact-check of the most outrageous political ads airing in this overheated primary season. Do the bold claims and accusations stand up to reality? We’re cranking up our Keeping-Them-Honest-ometer.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik
August 23rd, 2010
08:20 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Imam’s critics say video shows his extremism

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Video clips posted today by a conservative blogger have set off a new round of bitter debate over the Islamic community center and mosque planned near Ground Zero. The clips are from a lecture that Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf gave in 2005. The imam’s critics say one of the clips exposes Rauf’s extremism. This, as Rauf, who served as an ambassador of Islamic faith in America for the Bush administration after the Sept. 11 attacks, is traveling in the Middle East on a State Department sponsored trip. Are the clips part of a smear campaign or do the imam’s critics have legitimate concerns? Tonight, we’ll give you the facts behind the accusations so you make up your own minds.

Congress has begun investigating the salmonella outbreak that’s sickened hundreds of people nationwide and led to one of the largest egg recalls in recent U.S. history. The outbreak has been linked to two egg producers in Iowa; together, they’ve recalled more than a half billion eggs. One of the producers has a long history of fines and settlements stemming from allegations of safety and other violations. The outbreak has exposed serious holes in the nation’s food safety net. Journalist and author Michael Pollan joins us tonight to dig deeper, and 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta will tell you what you should know about salmonella and how to protect yourself from tainted food.

Also tonight, dramatic details out of Chile, where against the steepest of odds, 33 trapped miners have been located alive after a cave-in more than two weeks ago. They are safe for now, in a shelter deep underground, but it may be months before they can be rescued. We’ll show you why.

Plus, a 360 folo. A former prosecutor is under indictment tonight for what some call highway robbery. Dozens of drivers in southeast Texas demanded justice after being pulled over by police, then stripped of their cash, cars and jewelry. The prosecutor paid three of his secretaries, who he says watched his back, hundreds of thousands above and beyond their salaries. He insists he did nothing wrong. Gary Tuchman has been reporting on this story for months and tonight he brings us new developments.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern…


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • Islam • President George W. Bush
August 5th, 2010
08:30 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Nun’s death spurs Virginia immigration crackdown

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, we’ll take you to a new front in the immigration battle: Virginia. The state’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, is following Arizona's get tough approach. He's cracking down after a deadly car crash involving three nuns and an illegal immigrant who was drunk. Cuccinelli says the feds dropped the ball by not deporting the Bolivian man who had a history of drunken driving and other infractions. But critics say the AG is show-boating. We’ll let you decide.

Outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens, author of “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”, wrote about his recent diagnosis of esophageal cancer in the September issue of Vanity Fair. Tonight, in a candid and revealing interview, he talks to Anderson about whether the diagnosis – and its poor prognosis - has changed his views about God. Prayer groups are praying for his recovery. How does he feel about that?

New 911 tapes from the shootings in Hartford, Connecticut were released today – and this time we hear the shooter talking. Omar Thornton, who killed eight co-workers, called 911 shortly before turning a gun on himself. Tonight you’ll hear what he told the dispatcher.

And, if you’re a Facebook fanatic, you need to see Randi Kaye’s report about how Facebook has made it easier for criminals to find victims. See what happened to one unsuspecting couple.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern.


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
August 4th, 2010
09:16 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Judge strikes down Calif. ban on same-sex marriage

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

We’re covering breaking news tonight out of California, where a federal judge today struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughan Walker said in his ruling: "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

The decision was met with strong reaction on both sides.

Chad Griffin, board president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which helped bring the case against Proposition 8 said: "Any denial of freedom ... undermines the principles on which this country is founded."

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United for Separation of Church and State: "This is a tremendous step forward for individual freedom and church-state separation. Aggressive and well-funded religious groups conspired to take away the civil marriage rights of same-sex couples in California. That was wrong, and I am delighted that the court has ruled the way it has."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins referred to the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in his response: "This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage."

And this, from Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America: "Marriage is not a political toy. It is too important to treat as a means for already powerful people to gain preferred status or acceptance. Marriage between one man and one woman undergirds a stable society and cannot be replaced by any other living arrangement."

A lengthy legal battle is ahead. Judge Walker granted Proposition 8 supporters a stay, essentially stopping his ruling from taking immediate effect. Many believe the case will end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. Tonight we’ll have the late reaction, celebration and protests underway right now in California and across the country.

FULL POST


Filed under: Cate Vojdik • The Buzz
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