April 10th, 2008
06:24 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Up and down

I hope it is as beautiful where you are reading this as it is in NYC today… I also hope this perfect spring day isn’t a tease. I want to put the cold weather stuff away for good!

It’s a lovely day for flying – too bad many of you who want and need to fly somewhere today may be grounded. Another 900+ flights canceled by American Airlines today. I know I touched on this yesterday, and I definitely prefer to be safe, but how did it get this bad? Nearly 2,500 flights now canceled over the past three days, 140,000 passengers stranded, and this afternoon word the American MD-80 fleet won’t be ready before Saturday. I think it’s going to take more than a voucher to win some travelers back.

Senator Barack Obama doesn’t think “don’t ask, don’t tell” works. He told The Advocate, “I think there's increasing recognition within the Armed Forces that this is a counterproductive strategy.  "We're spending large sums of money to kick highly qualified gays or lesbians out of our military, some of whom possess specialties like Arab-language capabilities that we desperately need. That doesn't make us more safe."

It’s interesting he’s bringing this up. Yes, I know he gave the interview to The Advocate after being criticized for not giving the gay press enough attention, but the headline did grab me. I wonder how aggressively Obama would pursue a change in the policy? I wonder how the country would react to the issue this time around? I’d like to find out.

The Dalai Lama supports the Olympic Games – he doesn’t support efforts to silence those protesting the situation in Tibet. He spoke out on a stopover in Tokyo, en route to Seatlle.  In some ways, it’s sad the two have become so intertwined that it’s tough to tell what the demonstrators are protesting. While the upcoming Beijing games offer incredible visibility for those protesting China’s increasingly tight hold on Tibet, I find it sad for the athletes and the games.

The Olympics are supposed to be about bringing the world together, promoting understanding and unity. Athletes spend their lives dreaming of this moment, and work harder than many of us can imagine to get there. It would be wonderful if – in the true spirit of the games – the summer Olympics DID bring the world together this time around, joining the globe to push for better treatment of people everywhere. I hope it’s still possible.

OK, let’s end this News Note on the upside – after all, with the most perfect spring day right outside my window, how can I not be positive? I even snuck in a family picnic with my husband, son and dog before work… not bad at all. I leave you with baby Liam and his now strongly beating heart…

– Erica Hill, 360 Correspondent

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Taj

    Gays & Lesbians are also God's children. This world is hard enough to make a living, why make it harder for them? It is very hypocritical to discriminate them in any manner. If you believe in "In God we trust", accomodate them, help them.

    April 11, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  2. Sarah N


    Congrats on the new gig! I am so thrilled for you. I love reading your blog every week because it is clever and keeps me informed. The Lady Huskies had another great year despite losing in the Final Four. I know they will be back next year.

    The weather here yesterday was truly a tease, and hopefully a sign of good things to come for summer on the Charles! I cannot wait.

    Keep up the fantastic work!

    Boston MA

    April 11, 2008 at 9:18 am |
  3. Mary

    Erica....really missing the Anderson/ Erica energy....Just not the same when he is not there..It was an awesome day and teases should be illegal....Barack Obama is refreshingly trustworthy in his desire to transcend all bias that is divisive and no longer serves America. Whether politically motivated or not, he spoke today as he has consistently in all areas... that it is time that we shone the light on the stigma driven by ignorance that creates such pain for so many human beings ....Thanks for being such a light, Erica!!!!

    April 10, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  4. Suzanne P.

    Nice day where I am too. And I am so tired of the cold and am looking forward to spring.

    Great news on baby Liam. Hope he continues to do well.

    Am looking forward to the day that you anchor 360 when Anderson is off. I like Campbell, Soledad, and John King a lot but I'd like to see you do the sub-anchoring and keep it in the 360 family!!

    Knoxville TN

    April 10, 2008 at 9:49 pm |
  5. Evie

    Yes, I agree with Kristie and Judy. We all have been wondering that. You've joined 360 for well over two months now, and so far we haven't seen you do anything other than what you did in Atlanta.
    You would be the perfect fit for the sub-anchor. We are all very curious as to why you haven't sat in the anchor chair yet.

    You know we all love Anderson and miss him when he's gone, but if you fill his shoes, I don't think we would miss him much.....don't tell him I said that though... 😉

    April 10, 2008 at 9:27 pm |
  6. Morgan

    I agree with Judy. I do like Campbell Brown, however i find it more logical to have you be the one to take Andersons place when he's gone. I hope to see you get the chance more.

    April 10, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  7. molly

    GO HILLARY !!!
    Just leave the Don't Ask Don't Tell – alone – Obama does not take a firm stance on any issue – always votes Present – very vague always wants to be "politically correct"
    Hillary will win in PA and do well in the next 10 states, when you count in FL & MI – Senator Clinton will have the popular vote – maybe now we should ask Senator Obama to step down – "for the good of the party"

    April 10, 2008 at 8:55 pm |
  8. Kathy, Chicago

    Nice day for ducks here. It is supposed to rain for 2 more days. I'm glad I don't have any plans, especially plans that involve flying. I can't believe that the airlines let this get out of hand. It is what happens when you are fighting bankruptcy. You start to cut corners. Obama was at Purdue today, but my daughter did not go. Chelsea was there Tuesday. I think a lot of time has passed since "don't ask, don't tell" started. I think they should definitely be able to serve. Gays, like everyone else should be considered for any job they are qualified.for. Our new horse trainers are gay, and we really like them. They are also really good at what they do. I think that should be the focus for any job.

    April 10, 2008 at 7:24 pm |
  9. Judy

    Erica, a lot of us want to know why you are not the one who is anchoring while Anderson is out? It seems only fitting since you made the move to NYC and you would be the perfect fit.

    April 10, 2008 at 7:22 pm |
  10. Tammy

    It is always a beautiful day. Besides that I thought I needed bifocals and found out today I don't yet. Yipee.

    I don't want to talk about airlines. I'd hate to be flying this week, though. Hopefully the kinks will be worked out by the summer (or I can use the time to catch up on for fun reading, save a few bucks, and do local trips instead-New Orleans over San Francisco, for example). It all works out.

    As for Obama sucking up to The Advocate, I watched Bill Clinton play that game in the 1990's when I was working as an HIV/AIDS prevention specialist. It was promises, promises and then the goose egg. The president can't do squat without Congress, and there are too many homophobes there representing other homophobes for this current lame brained policy they approved to be dismantled. Trust me, I've dealt in one way or another with the fall out from policies and funding set by homophobic Congresses since 1991 when I first started as an HIV test counselor and educator, and nothing's changed in 17 years. Obama is just talking a pretty game to get the GLBT vote.

    As for the Dalai Lama, he is my favorite spiritual person. I received a blessing from him this fall when he was in the States, and he is right. People should speak out. And the Olympics should be held. This could bring the world together. It was the intent of the modern games to do just that. It's a shame people thwarted the right to protest atrocities by using the games as a political activism tool. It's not fair to those athletes and all their work. Stop buying garbage from China if you want to protest. Hit them in the pocketbook. And pray they don't ask for the gobs of money they have over us.

    Finally, very cool story about Baby Liam. Happy stories do make the day happier.

    April 10, 2008 at 7:18 pm |
  11. Lilibeth

    I’m flying in the next few weeks, but on a different airline. I’m keeping my fingers crossed my flight will not be affected.

    I agree with Sen. Obama that the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy doesn’t work. I’m not surprised on his timing of saying this. He needed to say something to assuage any ill will as a result of not speaking to the gay media.

    It is ironic that a symbol of unity such as the Olympics has ignited protests around the world. Not surprising though, I mean, this is China we’re talking about.

    I’m glad a pacemaker has saved baby Liam. But the video said he can’t be near computers? For how long? It would be hard to do that in this day and age. Maybe by the time he grows up, technology will be better and that will not be an issue.

    See you tonight, Erica!

    Edmonds, Washington

    April 10, 2008 at 7:13 pm |
  12. McGee, The OC

    Wouldn't it be great if military people simpy kept their sexual preferences and habits private (no pun intended) and completely seperate from the fine professional work that they do ?

    Gee, " don't ask, don't tell " sounds like a fine way to accomplish that.

    April 10, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  13. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    Oh, it was a beautiful, Spring day here in western Pennsylvania with lots of sunshine which made the blooming daffodils seem even brighter. But I hear we shouldn't get too used to this weather. Over the weekend, it's going to get much cooler, much wetter and there's even mention of......snow flurries.

    I've gotten to the point where I only fly if I absolutely have to fly. Fortunately, I've reached a point in my life where those times are rare. I don't trust the airlines. They are large corporations whose bottom line is always profits first.

    "Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a disaster from the beginning. I'm glad to hear the Democrats are taking on this issue in the campaign. Of course, Bill Clinton took on gay issues in his campaign and we ended up with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" and a federal DOMA. As a gay man, I've lost all faith in the Clintons, and McCain won't go near gay issues as long as he's courting the Christian right vote. That leaves Obama and he is my choice for President.

    I'm sorry, but regardless of how people feel about protesting the policies of China, these protests do not belong at the Olympic games. The only people to suffer from these protests are the athletes who have spent their entire lives training for this moment. Where were these protesters when the IOC named Beijing an Olympic city? Where are the protesters when President Bush signs deals which benefit China? I don't remember seeing any protesters outside the White House.

    I do like your attitude, Erica...always leave things on the upside. That's a good way to go through life. Have a good show tonight.

    April 10, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  14. Tina

    I guess people will just have to drive. I think they are having a lot of people backing out of flights and are losing money they counted on. They are in money trouble too. Who's not really? Tell me that.

    April 10, 2008 at 6:50 pm |
  15. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Hi Erica!

    Oh my. What a beautiful story about Liam. I had to go fetch a Kleenex, but I have to thank you for sharing that. What a great thing! Aw! He is so dear!

    Yes, I second your comment – away with winter. It is beautiful here in south central PA and there are flowers and birds tweeting and green grass. Windows are open and there is lovely fresh air. FINALLY!

    There are so many interesting stories today – thanks for keeping us up to date. Very much looking forward to tonights show and I am with the gang from the blog last evening too – we want YOU to sub for Anderson! Soon! Please? =)

    All The Best Erica! Have a great show.

    April 10, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  16. Fay, CA

    "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a ridiculous policy that should've been revoked a long time ago–the Armed Forces are only shooting themselves in the foot by continuing to uphold it. I don't know whether Obama would really be committed to ending it, but I'm glad to see him address the issue. I think the general public is probably ready to see it go as well.

    As far as the airline mess goes–my fear of flying has only increased in the past few weeks!

    April 10, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  17. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Hey Erica

    It was nice and sunny in Toronto today but still a little cool. I agree with you I am ready to get the spring clothes out. Very cool that you got to have a picnic with your family before work.

    I am wondering what American is doing for the passengers who have lost out on their flights. Are these people being compensated for this complete hassle?

    Looking forward to seeing you on 360 tonight Erica

    April 10, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  18. Kristie

    Hey Erica,

    I agree with everyone yesterday...its about time someone said something….why haven’t you subbed yet when Anderson is away…
    I mean they gave everyone a chance to do it but you. We all thought when you would move to New York you would be sub-anchoring or reporting from the field, so far they haven’t let you do anything!

    We keep waiting…maybe next time you will do it…and we are always surprised with a new sub anchor first it was Soledad, and now Campbell Brown. I mean why are they making Campbell work overtime when you are RIGHT THERE.

    We love Campbell and Soledad as well….but they already are doing other things. And its time they gave you a CHANCE!

    We think you are great!!!! They need to give you a chance to show your talent…I mean you didn't come to New York for nothing...hopefully they give you a chance next time!

    April 10, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  19. Jean McKeever

    That is a good news story about Liam except that he has to be kept away from the computer ... a child of 2008 not near a computer! Impossible!

    April 10, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  20. Tina

    It is a hot day in Crystal Springs, MS. The sun is still shining right now. It almost hit 90 today. All that water is like a humid vent generating moisture. I'm safe from the rising Mississippi river but have parents and friends who live up that way.I just don't want them to get stuck. I can see what is going to happen. My nerves are shot.

    April 10, 2008 at 6:31 pm |

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