March 20th, 2008
05:21 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: In full bloom

Spring is officially here – even if your thermometer hasn’t yet received the message. The news cycle seems to be sprouting as well, and I’m not just talking about politics, but that does seem like a good place to start… here goes!

McCain staffer is suspended after sending around a YouTube video questioning Barack Obama’s patriotism… and Mike Huckabee is also talking about the Obama-Reverend Wright situation, but it may not be what you’d expect. The former presidential candidate says we need to cut both men some slack, and try to understand the context of not only the statements and the sermons, but that we also need to step back and try to better understand where Rev Wright and others in the congregation are coming from.

I got an e-mail from a friend yesterday with similar observations. I know some of you are ready to leave this discussion and all talk of race in the campaigns behind, but chances are this is not the last time we’ll talk about either one, especially race. So my question for you, dear bloggers, is this: Could this nastiness turn out to be a positive? Could these comments that made so many people uncomfortable be the kick in the pants this country needs to finally tackle “the race issue” head on… to confront our own fears, prejudices and hopes? Let me know what you think. 

A big development here in NYC today on that deadly crane collapse last weekend. The inspector who looked at the crane a little over a week before it crashed has been arrested charged with lying to authorities and falsifying his inspection report. Seven people were killed when the crane collapsed last Saturday; 24 were injured. The crane was properly inspected the day before the collapse. 

And it is officially March Madness! I didn’t fill out a bracket this year. I normally do, even though I don’t follow NCAA basketball as closely as I should. I love this time of year… spring is in the air, people are fired up rooting for their alma maters or a sentimental favorite (mine’s UConn), most offices are abuzz with competition (let’s be clear – we’re not talking gambling, just friendly competition… sometimes with a cash prize at the end)… the energy is fantastic.

And all the excitement isn’t just for the men’s teams. The one thing that irks me every year is the lack of coverage the women’s teams get. These women are incredible athletes and they deserve just as much attention as their male counterparts. UConn is seeded number one this year, and you can bet the Lady Huskies are always my sentimental pick.

For everything you need to know about this year’s Dance, click HERE

– Erica Hill, 360° Correspondent

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Francella

    I AM GETTING TOTALLY SICK OF "NO RACISM", BUT IT MYSOGNISM IS OK.........Everything you guys put out is soooooo obviously male enhanced and woman denigrated..

    And Hillary has too much class to fight back, and is also hemmed in politically, to mak an issu of GENDER . While you and Obama suck up and slurp up the way he and hyou, the media have manipulated people to be afraid of SPEAKING UP ABOUT THE OBVIOUS MEDIA PREJUDICE.


    I'm relly getting to despise all of you – including the women reporters who have had to buy into this – because of what you pay them, or fear of losing their jobs.

    March 21, 2008 at 9:38 am |
  2. Kara

    Jozue…lol…I was thinking the same thing, except I thought he probably got punched by Erica Hill’s husband, cuz Erica and Anderson have such beautiful chemistry, it’s undeniable.

    March 21, 2008 at 4:13 am |
  3. karen nevarez, albuquerque, nm

    Thank goodness Rev. Wright isn't running for president. Senator Obama should steer clear of this guy and get back to the issues.

    March 21, 2008 at 3:34 am |
  4. gibson, O

    What if Rev. Wright Said those words. As a christian and a patriot, show me one American who is not baffled and frustrated by this administrations ineptitude, arrogance and total disregard for the welfare of the citizens of this great nation and I will show l you a liar. some people curse privately other vent thier anger publicly whats the difference.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:23 am |
  5. Eke, o.j.

    Once every 76 yrs there is a harley's comet. In this generation we see a shining star and that star is Barack Oboma as imperfect as he is. Lets face it, it will take a leader with a unique blend of street smart , intelligence and good judgement to bail our nation out from our current economic position, bring our troops home respectably from Iraq and once again restore the worlds confidence back in America or we can continue to watch from the sidelines and let The Bush/Mcain 3 ticket become a reality. like now, I wont be the only one suffering.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:04 am |
  6. itoro

    Obama needs to be commended for talking about the things we think about privately but are not willing to discuss publicly. Even if he does not win the democratic nomination, he has helped this country tremendously by opening up this conversation. His boldness and courage in tackling this issue and possibly risking his political future is indicative of the fact that he is in this for us and not for himself.

    March 21, 2008 at 1:44 am |
  7. Barry, IL

    Our politics is getting increasingly messy by the day. At the same time, we talk about democratizing the world by exporting "democracy". Who will import such mess?

    March 21, 2008 at 1:19 am |
  8. Mike Phillips, Fallon Nevada

    I certainly hope it does, but most of the time you’ll find that any type of prejudice it caused by a direct association with ignorance.

    March 21, 2008 at 1:19 am |
  9. Mary, Kaneohe, Hawaii

    Erica Hill
    I would like say that we can turn this into something positive, but when I watch talk show hosts like Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, O'Reilly, to name a few spew venom out to the public, I am convinced that they and their likeminded audiences don't want unity.

    There are many people in this country who will never want to have truthful dialogue about the real race issues we have in this country.

    But CNN Anderson 360 can be a starting point!!!

    March 21, 2008 at 12:33 am |
  10. Geoffrey J. Graham

    Most commentators on the Obama-Reverend Wright story suggest that Obama should have distanced himself from Wright sooner–but I disagree. I believe that people SHOULD NOT disown their closest friends simply from fear that those friends may one day become an embarrassment. I believe that Senator John McCain would not, and I am glad to see that Obama has not.

    Obama should remove Wright from any position in his campaign and should not appoint him to any position in any future Obama administration. If he does these things, and if he makes it clear that he does not shared Reverend Wright's views, he will have done all that he needs to do in my opinion.

    I voted for Hillary Clinton in the California primary, largely out of respect for her tenacity. However, the fact that Obama did not run like a scared rabbit from Wright or from the ensuing controversy suggests that he may have more staying power than I have given him credit for.

    March 21, 2008 at 12:24 am |
  11. deborah

    Erika, a sane journalist this is refreshing, this sterling character of a man obama wants to heal the country so we can move on, and be as great as our constitution says we are and he meets with resistance. FEAR. We need to take responsible for recognizing how our own fear within each of us plays out, and then doing something about it. A female enlistee in Iraq is raped by the boys at Haliburton and is denied due process to the law, that's unpatriotic. A pastor saying "God Damn America" is not only protected by freedom of speech but also freedom of religion. Befriend someone of a different culture. I lived with a Irish Republican for 10 years out of graduate school.(I am Afro-American) I'm not proud of it but I learned a lot about the culture. I choose not to be a part of it, but I don't fear it.. I hear the media say the Republicans are going to eat this up. They don't know what the Republicans are going to do. That is Fear talking. If they want the Republicans to be their father, and make decisions based on the fear of what they think they are going to do. That is their choice, but don't posion the public with your toxic FEAR. Obama is the best candidate in the Race. National Security is not soley defined by the military that is only a fraction. People want to be protected take the responsibility to raise your self-esteem. you will be less dependent on the military protecting you. Nice talkin to you Erika
    Maui HI

    March 21, 2008 at 12:07 am |
  12. Kara

    Jozue...lol...I was thinking the same thing, except I thought he probably got punched by Erica Hill's husband, cuz Erica and Anderson have such beautiful chemistry, it's undeniable.

    March 20, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  13. Don Mitchell

    Hi Erica...love you as part of the 360 team...you and Anderson have an excellent rapport together!
    If, as it has been suggested, that this whole Rev. Wright issue costs Senator Obama the nomination/then the election (I can dream, can't i?!?!) and as a Canadian who desperately wishes I could vote in America this year then the horrors of the last eight years are only continuing and, if it's possible, getting worse. Please don't tell me Karl Rove and his evil cabal are still pulling strings behind the scenes....<>!!

    I"m a practicing Roman Catholic and actually studied for the Priesthood but left as I could not take "vows" to which I felt I would not be able to live up to. I attended Masses and received Holy Communion from Priests who later were charged/excommunicated over the whole pedophile debacle. I served at the Altar with BIshops, Archbishops and Cardinals who, it was later discovered, knew about alot of these Priests and moved them all over the Diocese(s) and turned a blind eye to the horrors that were going on. Should I no longer be a Catholic? Believe me, I've wrestled with this but I still have a very strong faith even though I've been disappointed, furious and stunned beyond belief with these members of the hierarchy who participated in these "cover-ups" and contributed to the abuse of many children. I strongly feel that there is a corollary here...does anyone else agree? I'd love to hear your thoughts Erica (though I'm sure that's not possible due to how incredibly busy you are...) and Anderson's as well. Thanks for letting me "rant". Keep up the excellent, top-notch work.
    Toronto, ON. Canada.

    March 20, 2008 at 11:06 pm |
  14. Tim Long

    Erica, I'd like to think that this would be a positive for Obama, but with the news medias (CNN Included) job being to perpetuate controversy and sensationalism, I think not. Why else would a picture of Wright be right next to each person that tries to discuss this. Of course, its to remind us. I'm a 65 yr old white male and I found the speech to be inspirational. My comment aside I love the show.

    March 20, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  15. Francis

    For those who want to see Obama loose these primaries, he has given them the ammunition to shoot him down with his race speech. But " Isn't Obama bi-racial? Then somebody tell me why is he being castigated as though he were all black and not a little bit white.

    That is the problem he has unsuccessfully tried to draw attention to. America needs to go back and think of why it is willing to overlook the fact that Obama is also white and then America will understand why no matter what Obama does he will not escape the race factor that permeates nearly everything in this country.

    March 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm |
  16. rose, Ca

    Asamericans you need to look at the issues and at this point in time I see a county and media blaming one person for another persons words. How can this be it is so disfunctional and none productive. You can not hold Senator Obama accountable for the Rev. Wright words. The media talks about moving on with this topic but every time I turn on CNN they are playing the Rev.Wright tape over and over. I wonder how much the media really want to move forward or how much they really want the American public to move forward. The media needs to know when to stop. This coverage just seems to insight fear, divide a fragile nation, and could deprive the American people of one of the most refreshing president of the 21century.

    March 20, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  17. Sandra D

    I also want to add that the issue of race is not an Obama issue. I thank God that he has opened it up with his historical speech, I am praying that somehow this dialogue can continue so that wounds may be healed on both sides.

    I wonder what the other races have to say on this one.

    March 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm |
  18. Sandra D

    Hello Erica,

    I really hope that the media will stop working this race thing. We are conducting a significant primary election in a country that other nations look upon as the flagbearer of democracy yet we discuss the rantings of an angry man over and over again. What about the economy? what about the astronomically high gas price and the high price of bread?. What about our young men and women dying in a senseless war in Iraq?, what about the low achievement rate of our students compared to othger students form other countries?.

    Please let us start acting like the leaderthat we are and start addressing issues that are important to the continued growth of our great nation, the rest of the world is watching us.

    March 20, 2008 at 8:51 pm |
  19. Kelly S. Southern Ca.

    I apologize for my scattered posts. It takes me a long time to write. By the time I get my comments in a form and content I am happy with the discussions are closed.

    I have a question. Does anyone feel that shame and guilt for slavery, jim crow, violence and discrimination against blacks plays a part in white anger/outrage of Rev. Wright's comments? And what part does shame, guilt, and fear of black rage play in this controversay and other racial conflicts if any.

    Thank you

    Kelly S.

    March 20, 2008 at 8:36 pm |
  20. xtina

    I don't think a President – any President can have an effect on racial prejudice . Opening your mind and working and living among other races, having personal experiences that are healing and positive, and becoming mature are what removes our racial prejudice.

    It's a personal journey each of us has to make. A politician or the Congress isn't going to bring you to that point of peace. Neither can they force people to think differently. We can pass all the laws we want to, but each of us has to have peace in our hearts and be non-judgmental in our own time. We have to get to a point personally where we treat each other equally through our own volition, that's how racial harmony comes about.
    Happy Easter .

    March 20, 2008 at 8:32 pm |
  21. Kathy, Chicago

    My picks are in and I may be doing some channel surfing tonight and tomorrow. Sorry. My daughter was all set to go to UConn and she backed out at the last minute. It was too far from home and her horse. Do you think we will hear from Rev. Wright? he seems to be the center of all this controversy. Maybe he can start the talks and healing process. I hope that AC is ok. Have a great night!

    March 20, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  22. Sheryl

    Erica – I agree with Huckabee. Until we actually begin to understand one another and discuss issues we will remain less than whole as a country. To condemn someone for their words, especially without even considering all of the other GOOD actions of the person, is a very unfortunate situation. Many people that have immediately repudiated Rev. Wright for his words have no idea of what this man has dedicated his life to (including his military sevice to our country) and the exceptional service he has provided.

    For me there is truly one candidate that can initiate real change – change that transcends race or religion, and that is Obama.

    March 20, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  23. Kelly S. Southern Ca. Follow up #1

    Oops I am submitting my comments from my local library and my session was about to end, so I submitted my previous comments without editing and correcting them. I apologize.

    Anyway, with all due respect, my point is many of the posts I have read critical of Senator Obama are flat out ignorant. It is clear these writers did not listen to or understand his speech. I'm sure some of the writers if given more information, context, etc as time goes on will change their critical views of this entire controversay. Then there are the willfully ignorant. They will refuse to see this conflict from any vantage point other than their own limited view of the world.

    I still have hope this controversay gives us a tremendous opportunity for racial, cultural, class, and gender understanding, and reconciliation.

    More to come
    Kelly S. So. Cal.

    March 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  24. rosa

    Hi Erica,
    I haven't watched much NCAA basketball this season but since my school didn't make into the tourney I'm cheering for Kansas sorry. They had a great season.
    Have a great show tonight!!

    March 20, 2008 at 8:00 pm |
  25. Ann K

    Hi Erica,
    My hyusband and I think you are sooo adoreable! Good Luck in New York.
    Many of the things Rev. Wright sermon brings up I'm in total agreement on. Many of these issues are class issues. Gender issues. Ethical issues. If this is a government by the people why are so many people being left behind? We should all be angry with the total indifference that todays leaders have with the poor and uninsured families and lets big bussiness dictate America's future. Wake up people . The people in power want us all to stay divided so that as a population we are rendered useless. There will never be a change if we don't stop letting the powers that be distract us with fear mongering . We've had 8 years of manipulation by fear.
    Weapons of mass destruction...Evil doers....Terrorists.
    What I think is unpatriotic are the ceos and corporate America driving this country right into the ground. This would include are current White House and anyone else involved with ripping off the American people. What the hell does it matter what color we are if we can't get a job and our children are being given an education that still looks like the same crap they were serving up to my generation 50 years ago.

    March 20, 2008 at 7:59 pm |
  26. George

    Hi Erica,
    Concerning Obama's situation with the Rev.Wright, I've been to many churches( no particular denomination) in my forty something years and have heard some pretty provocative things. I found that there are no preachers,rabi priests to whom I would give the authority to speak on my behalf for my spiritual salvation ( If there is such a thing in me). These are people who are subject to the same igniquities you and I struggle in this life. having said that, I find that in church sometimes the message is'nt for me and maybe for someone else. It is not for me to judge,hince, somehow I know when the message is mine without subscribing to the retoric. It is in the williness to change your heart first and let your mine follow for the better good. Meaning that one acknowledge their own personal relationship with their Higher Power (NOT THE PREACHER ) and act accordingly. Mary,muhamad Jesus and John said that 'it is the one that come after them that we should subscribe too.(please excuse the paraphrase attempt) but the point is, that they never said we should subcribe to them the messengers. Did Hillary subcribe to ferrero or John McCain to Bill Cunningham? No, then lets not act like Obama is somehow guilty of some radical leftist conspriracy based on wrights retoric and not hold the other candidates equally responsible. I believed Obama has led a positive campaign one to which we have'nt seen in many years. While the other candidates campaign are just more of the same manipulative, deceptive retoric we have grown accustom too. I never met the man (Obama) but my heart believe that my mind should subscribe to his campaign not for my sake but for the sake of whats left of this Country. Trust me, HE IS FOR REAL.....
    Truly yours,
    Not the Big :G"
    just g

    March 20, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  27. kevin lynch

    Barrack stated today " the typical white person believes when they see a certain person who lokks different". This is a generalization and a separist thought! This is why we are concerned that you spent 20 years at this church!
    I am 38 and my father just turned 71 yesterday; neither one of us have ever heasrd a man of god preach racism,separtism and anti americanism.
    Barrack you are 100% wrong about your "typical white person" remark and your remark that we all must of heard something from our men of god who spoke racism and promoted it!!! You are wrong!
    It scares us as we now see Michelle Obama speek many anti american remarks and now Barrack states "typical white person".!!!
    Come on!!!

    March 20, 2008 at 7:35 pm |
  28. Kelly S. Southern Ca.

    After reading comments on different blogs re: Rev. Wright's statements in relation to Barak Obama I am amazed (although I shouldn't be) by how poor our listening skills are; how stuborn are we to hold to these beliefs no matter how wrong, inaccurate, irrational, and worse yet harmful they are.

    When I was in early elementary school (1st & 2nd grade) a man came to our class periodically to lead us un choral singing (I think), but my memory of his visits are very faint, other than he was very tall, very thin, kind of old but not really old, and cranky but not too cranky. There was something very different about him. He spoke to us like we were intelligent people. I felt a lot of respect for him then and now I am more and more grateful that he took the time to talk to us about ignorance. He held ignorant people in disdain, however he explained we all are ignorant. There are things we simply do not know, and it is not possible for anyone to know everything. That is just the nature of knowledge and of being human. But then there is another kind of ignorance; a willful refusal to listen, a refusal to seek more information, a refusal to look at evidence that contradicts your beliefs and understanding of something. He visibly dispised this kind of ignorance. I don't remember much about the talk or the specific words he used but it made a very strong impact on me. I have made a point of trying to listen, understand and seek more information on everything. I wish I could thank this man in person or by letter, because I don't remember anyone talking about the subject before then or since. I am just grateful he took the time and I was there to hear him tell us an essential truth.

    March 20, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  29. Jozue

    did Anderson lose another crazy bar fight or what?

    March 20, 2008 at 7:19 pm |
  30. Renee


    It is hard for me to believe anything positive will come out of this for Obama or Rev. Wright. I always try to see the best in people first. Half the conversations about race I don't get because I don't look at a person in black, brown or white. I look at the person based on my experiences and observations of the person. I really don't care what color of skin you have, what your size is, what your sexual orientation is, what your profession is. I just try to determine if you have the morals and standards I would like to be associated with.

    Personally I go to church to be lifted up and feel the love so I can go out in the world and inspire others to do better. Rev. Wright's messages and sound bites are more division than cooperation. The screaming and hate is something I can do without. I would never want my children and my family listening to this non-sense.

    My question to you Erica, if Obama is this Harvard educated boy wonder, why would he not have put on this thinking cap and challenged the minister in private? In lieu of the challenge, he brought him on his campaign. What was Obama thinking?

    March 20, 2008 at 7:16 pm |
  31. Tammy

    Being a Mississippi State Bulldog alum, there is no other team in this tourney. And if my dogs lose, it's on to baseball for me. I'm pretty single minded on this.

    Speaking of, last night as I was watching Anderson interview Sen. Obama, two thoughts came to mind. The first is that I'm tired of hearing about this topic unless something new can be added to the conversation. It's rehash upon rehash. Which brings me to the second point. Until we as Americans are ready to discuss race issues honestly, long-term, and in depth nothing is going to change. The speech could be a great start. But we are still ugly towards each other, the politics of pro-Obama, anti-Obama is in the way, and until Obama himself is ready to continue this, the speech was pointless. Anderson did a great job, but Obama's same old, same old just left me sort of burned out.

    March 20, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  32. Pickles


    I think it is totally ironic. Obama claims that he is going to unite the people of America. However, it appears that his candidacy is dividing America. Those who say that it is not about race is either in denial or simply trying to cover it up for fear that others will see through it. 90% of the African American community voted for Obama points to the fact that they are voting simply on the basis of race. It did not start out like that but as Obama gained momentum, the African Americans simply rush to his side because it looks like there is a real possibility that one of their own may get to the White House. It is clearly a case of reverse discrimination but no one is allowed to mention it as they would be immediately labelled as “racist” and silenced at once. To the credit of the white people, they seemed to be voting for whom they believe is the right nominee although whether their judgement (particularly the young internet college community) is correct is another issue. As well, it is commendable that there are a few African American leaders who remain steadfast in their loyalty to the Clintons because they understand how much the Clintons have stood by the Black people in all their political life. This goes to tell you that you don’t know who your friends are until you truly need them! Bottom line is I cannot see the race issue turning positive in this election.

    March 20, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  33. nick thornton

    I am an Obama supporter, but am now taking another look at Hillary Clinton. I am turned off by the way Obama has handled the Wright situation so far. I felt offended by the way he seemed to stereotype whites as racist in his comment about how his grandmother is a "typical white". I felt inspired by his words and campaign of hope, but his essential acceptance of Wrights words in church casts doubt onto his judgment. I am now concerned if my judgment that Obama was the stronger candidate against McCain was correct. I hope the media continues to pursue this story, because I for one still have concerns about the inconsistencies in Obama's story and the impact of this controversy on his electability in the general election.

    March 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  34. -JPH

    Hi Erica,

    Racism, prejudice and slavery needs to be discussed, but I don't is has anything to do with Barack Obama's campaign or Rev Wright's comments. They are separate issues. The comments that Rev Wright have made are NOTHING compared to the ones my dear late uncle, a WWII Vet have made, and what he'd still be making today.

    He loved his country and loved all people but it didn't stop him from speaking his mind. He didn't care much about dealing with white people, but he fed and housed many that were hungry and needed a place to stay until they got on their feet. I know this because I was there as an eye witness. He raised me. Despite his personal feelings, he knew as a Christian man right from wrong and did as Jesus would do and has commanded those of us that love him to do, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. And so he did. My uncle said things he shouldn't have and he knew it. But everyone within earshot intuitively knew where it all was coming from. Some of us were glad he'd said them because it was what some of us were thinking. But Only Big Lee could get away with it. Black, White, Puerto Rican, what have all loved and respected my Dear Uncle Lee, he commanded it because he respected everyone. And like I said, he fed and housed everybody that came to him foe help. That I know because I WAS THERE as an eyewitness.

    So please, let the talks begin, BUT PLEASE KNOW, this is not a Barack Obama issue, it is a matter and issue of all Americans not just Barack or African Americans, but American. The issue of race, and prejudice and slavery is as American as apple pie. It is our history, so let America own up to it. NOW

    P.S.: Leave Barack alone already about this.

    Thank you,
    Jacqueline, NY

    So, because I was raised by this man, who sometimes spoke the the unspeakable, does that mean that I, as an African American should not consider running for president some day because of words that my uncle has spoken. And by the way, if that's the case, then I guess no black should ever consider running again, GOD FORBID.

    March 20, 2008 at 7:00 pm |
  35. deb in az

    erica im going with ucla born and raised in southern calif and have to back them all the way.......on the subject of racism i have to say that is something that is taught. whether it be at home or in church or some organization........i grew up going to schools of all races creeds and color.......where i went to high school it was about 10% white........but my mother raised us in the belief that we are all the same.......i married a black american man that i went to high school with and have 2 beautiful sons..........or should i say grown men now......it is so sad that people have to hate......ive seen it from my grandfather and ive also seen it from some of my husbands older uncles and aunts.......but i would never allow or attend a church that preaches hate in either direction........hate breeds hate....... i really think that sen obama should take his family to another church . his daughters dont need to grow up listening to these teachings........this cycle of hate has to end....i would say to rev wright please retire and stay retired.......people need to get along and make the country strong for future generations to come.........

    March 20, 2008 at 6:52 pm |
  36. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    Hi Erica, I'm looking forward to March~madness (UCLA, Cal. Fullerton,USC.) but speaking of madness, Erica it's true that we should try and understand others points of views and if we do that we might even agree, I know where Rev. is coming from everyone knows, but there are ways of putting it, there is a time and place for everything. I agree with the Rev. more so because I'm Mexican/American..so we from both black n white. (boo-hoo) I'm not crying it's cool. The point is Obama wants to be President and you can't have homies like that. Not in the White House hood.

    March 20, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  37. Doctor Jim

    A.C., you may not have filled out the NCAA bracket; but some people did. I wonder if Wolf Blitzer watches college basketball? He didn"t have a single #1 Seed in the Final Four Men's. Barak knows better. Go, UNC!


    March 20, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  38. Maggie C

    March Madness! How well I remember! Sweet sixteen, Final Four. Couldn't stir the fans downtown with a stick. Women? Like comparing college football to the pros! Better than pro! No pay, no contract, just the love of the game and hopefully being champs.

    Before the NCAA left here, before we no longer hosted, it was ferocious. Women fight harder because there's still doubt about females being "as good" as men. Baloney

    OU was my team for many years and many sports. Absolutely loved any battle with Nebraska! Jayhawks anyone? Not here, I'm with Mighty Mo!! Here's hoping you and UConn are always winners. After MU of course!!


    March 20, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  39. Michael, NC

    It is obvious that there are MANY different takes on Senator Obama, whether he truly supports our country, whether he really denounces Rev. Wright's sayings, whether he is a proud American citizen at all. Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there are those who believe him to be the most eloquent, patriotic, dedicated candidate our country has ever seen. Being 100% honest here, if he was not part African American, then there would not be such a wide range of views on him. The fact that he is not white leaves him open to the race card. It is inevitable and will always be that way. This election may be a wake-up call, but there have been wake-up calls in the past that were simply ignored, and racism continues to rage from both ends of the spectrum. I truly believe that our country will continue to have tension, no matter what happens. Even if it continues to become less of an issue as time passes, it will always be there.

    March 20, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  40. Stoneyball

    Sorry sent my first draft on accident: HRC was challenged by Keith Obermann and a hardly believeable apology soon followed.

    March 20, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  41. Amy, Philly, PA

    Hi Erica,
    I think the Wright situation could only be turned into a positive if the media, as well as other places like schools, places of worship, etc does their part to elevate the conversation. Obama gave a complex, nuanced analysis of the situation, but CNN and everywhere else still continues to play the incendiary remarks over and over and ask only what effect the speech had politically for Obama. No serious effort has been made to explore things in greater depth and context. Cable news really does set the narrative, and so far it has not been very helpful.

    March 20, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  42. Kelli, CA

    Hello! Go Stanford! Who doesn't love the dancing tree!LOL

    March 20, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  43. Stoneyball

    Hello Erica,
    Can you please help me out here? I'm wondering why it is that although Obama quickly rejected Rev. Wright's comments he his still being attacked for them? Yes, Rev. Wright lead him through his Christian faith but he has not endorsed hate speech, he has not asked us to look away and ignore it. Instead he has created a bridge to open the conversation and heal our racial tensions. We can not continue to pretend that racial inequality doesn't exist. On a very small scale, ask yourself how many major black and hispanic anchors on your network have their own show? How about on other networks? How many black and hispanic producers are there? I know that doesn't even scratch the surface but you get the point.
    HRC claims the media has attacked her moreso than Obama. I can't believe how long we've been watching the media attack Obama over comments that he never supported in the first place. What about the fact the Geraldine Ferraro's comments we're at first brushed aside by the Clinton campaign and instead of apologizing and rejecting those comments, HRC redirected the conversation telling us to, "stay focused on the issues that matter to the American people." Obama couldn't get away with that! Then HRC had Maggie Williams speak in Ferraro's defense, accusing Obama of kicking up the race issue. Why not just have Maggie tell everyone that racial inbalance and inequality doesn't exist, so that we can just sweep it under the rug for a few more years? What about Bill Clinton suggesting that Obama only won S.C. because of hie race? What about the fact that at first, HRC supported Adelfa Callejo's comments adding that, "People get to express their opinions." Seriously, HRC's apologies that followed only after being challenged by people like ______ seemed totally insincere–too little too late.
    How about Joh McCain? He recently suspended an aide that put another Rev. Wright video on Youtube. Smart not to get in the middle of that race issue but he sought out and received the support from Pat Robertson and Jerry Faldwell whose comments about gays are just as divisive as Ferraro's and Rev. Wright's comments. Moreover, McCain has not rejected them or their comments this time around. Why hasn't he been attacked about them in the same fashion that Obama has been? McCain has also gotten away with little scrutiny about Pastor John Hagee's comments. Hagee's comments where just as clear and direct as Rev. Wright's the difference is McCain has not rejected them. So why is Obama being attacked in this fashion? Can you help me understand, why?
    Thank You,
    Chicago, IL

    March 20, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  44. Katherine

    Why does anyone not talk about the name Obama! President Barreck Obama! There is something not right about that!

    I believe that we need a president that loves our country and who does not attend a church that preaches about hating Americans!

    Hot Springs Arkansas

    March 20, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  45. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    You've asked if we're finally going to tackle race issues? I think it's a good start to really take the time to listen and discuss what the issues are. But it will require toning down the anger, the bitterness, the my way or the highway attitude of so many people before we can actually "hear" each other. Debates are healthy, screaming matches are not. It just feels like everyone is becoming more cemented in their views, unwilling or unable to budge, when it comes to the give and take of conversations. I hope the them and us mentality that is causing Americans to fight Americans will end..Some day very soon.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  46. Lilibeth

    Hi Erica, I think the Obama-Wright situation will turn out to be positive, in the long run. We still feel the sting of Rev. Wright's incendiary remarks, but IMO it enabled Mr. Obama to show his strength and character through his powerful and emotional speech. Also, it forces us to talk about things we're not comfortable talking about. This is good because if we allow ourselves to talk openly, we become honest with each other, which leads to better understanding, healing, and reconciliation. I've seen this happen in my own family; that said, I believe this can be a start for true healing in this country.

    The crane collapse story is truly a sad one...if the charges hold, I wonder what the punishment is for the inspector.

    March Madness, huh? Well, I'm not really into basketball...I'm more of a hockey fan...but I hope your team wins. I'll root for them!

    See you tonight!

    Edmonds, Washington

    March 20, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  47. Derrick

    Obama definetly took this issue straight on. I respect Obama even more. I'm a 29 yearold blackmale, my wife is 27 and Italian, both from NY. I understand the racial comments people make behind the scens. I believe most people, have discussions on race, but not in the open. What Obama did was bring that to the forefront.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  48. Stacy

    Could this nastiness turn out to be a positive? Could these comments that made so many people uncomfortable be the kick in the pants this country needs to finally tackle “the race issue” head on… to confront our own fears, prejudices and hopes?

    Erica, I would love to say yes, but if history is to be any guide, I'm going to have to say no. Because, quite frankly, we don't seem to deal with anything anymore. Oh, sure, there might be some front page stories or a magazine cover here or there, and the nation's experts and commentators will breathlessly talk about how this is a wake up call or a turning point (as after Katrina). But then...nothing will happen. There'll be a sex scandal, or a missing blond, or celebrity hijinks, and the news cycle will move on. A year from now most people won't even remember this happened.

    March 20, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  49. kevin lynch

    Go to the Internet and search "Rev. Wright, Farrakan and Ghadafi ". Many sites come up that describes their relationship!! Their has been a history of Anti-American rhetoric by these three amigos.
    Barrack Hussein Obama has direct relations with these guys! The rev. remarks are reflected in Michele Obamas words often!
    This is a major problem!! This rev. has been to Libya!! People we are talking about president of the United States!! Then there are SERIOUIS ETHICS violations concerning Barracks financial dealings with REZKO!
    Obam should release details of his dealings with Rezko! CNN has treated Barrack with kid gloves! And yes it matters that Barracks middle name is Hussein!! Especiaslly now that connections to Farrakan and Ghadafi are apparant!!

    March 20, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  50. Annie Kate

    I usually don't care for basketball but if its the Lady Vols from UTenn then all bets are off. When I was in attendance at the university they were better than the men's team and have pretty well kept that distinction over the years due to the fantastic coaching of Pat Head Summitt and the great talents of the team members.

    On Reverend Wright I hear more outrage over the non patriotic verbiage than the racist statements. Its hard to reconcile that with OBama's talk of bringing Americans together and of change.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    March 20, 2008 at 5:51 pm |