April 15th, 2008
09:29 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/15/08

Tonight, we start in Eldorado with new details from inside the reclusive polygamist compound. Hundreds of children are in state custody and their mothers say they’re being persecuted for practicing an unpopular religion. We also have new pictures taken by members of the sect that show authorities entering the compound in armored personnel carriers and carrying automatic weapons.

The Pope landed at Andrews Air Force Base this afternoon where he was greeted personally by President Bush. It's the first time ever an American president has traveled out to Andrews to welcome a foreign leader and it's the first papal visit since the sex abuse scandal exploded. Find out what the Pope said about that.

We’ll have an up close look at Sen. Barack Obama and who he is and how he became that person. This is the first in a series of in depth pieces on all three candidates.

Finally, Heisman trophy winner Herschel Walker and his battle with mental illness. The NFL superstar says he doesn't even remember winning the Heisman trophy because he was too busy struggling with a mental disorder. It’s called dissociative identity disorder and Dr. Sanjay Gupta will have all the details.

And be sure to check out our new live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features a behind the scenes look at the set. We’ll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA

We’ll start posting comments to this blog at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (374 Responses)
  1. Kayle

    I always found it interesting how much Obama struggled with his racial identity. I am half black but I grew up in a white family and town, but I always felt racialy secure because of my diversity. I guess it really matters on how a person looks at it.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  2. Deborah Bolton

    I do not agree with a religion that promotes polygamist marriage; however, I fear that a dangerous precedent is being set, when mothers and children can be separated by the state. It seems to me their rights are being violated. What a horrible experience for them. Will they be offered counseling for post traumatic syndrome?
    Where is the girl that claimed she was raped and beaten? Remove that young women from her "husband", and leave the children with their mothers, in homes where they are comfortable and loved.

    What a travesty of justice! Will Christian parents be next or the Amish? Are homeschoolers going to be persecuted? Where does interference with the family stop?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  3. Steve in Manila

    With this old world of ours getting smaller by the day I think Obama's upbringing may make him a very sensitive and aware chief exec. For years I've thought America needs two presidents .. 1 for domestic issues and 1 for foreign affairs .. with Barack maybe 1 will do after all.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  4. Kim

    What I like about Obama is that he actually knows about dealing with different cultures and living in another country and that his biography reflects what he is speaking about

    April 15, 2008 at 10:36 pm |
  5. andersoncnn

    erica helped me figure out how to get my picture back. Erica is much more computer savvy than i am.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  6. EJ - Ohio

    "Obama did ok for himself considering his background."

    No kidding eh? lol

    He is amazing to me.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  7. Rita

    Hi Anderson, Great to see you back!. Hi Erica you did a great job of doing the show Friday night when Anderson was away, hope they let you do the show on your own more often when Anderson's away, you were much so much better then the fill-in!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  8. Megan Dresslar

    Anderson is having problem his picture or blog or computer, He will reload tomorrow, I hope.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  9. Max, Dallas, TX

    Never heard "I loves my pope" before!
    I just like his shoes.
    Otherwise, the church disgusts me. They actively work to cover up the damage and abuse inflicted upon children. I remember Thomas Roberts' "Sins of the Father" piece and my view of the church has never been more clear.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  10. Terri

    Anderson, I feel the Catholic church has been treated badly, I would like to know how many preists there have been and the number of abusive one and see what percentage it is...I bet if you were to look into other religions or any profession you would find most have a similar number of abusers.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  11. Lesli


    I beg to differ. Perhaps some of these cases are just made up, but there has been proof that these things have happened. Imagine if only one in ten women come forward after being raped then what percentage of men come forward after being abused as children. I'll be the number is even smaller say one in twenty?

    If only half of the cases are real this was still a very big problem, and because it was so hidden it was allowed to continue.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  12. Rory

    I think the old saying 'the truth will set you free" would have
    been a better way to go with the sex abuse charges. The Church would
    have been better off admitting it early on, doing something about it
    and people would be able to move on and heal.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  13. elisa, NY

    Erica, hope you are warming up with your water, what's AC doing to warm up doesn't he not drink hot things?
    Brian P, that's a good point but even at 14 i'd have know those dudes were creeps-lol. i know it's all how you are raised and about obediants and i'm not blaming the kids by any means by saying that btw. Do you think the kids'll have to be deprogrammed?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  14. Sahira

    Anderson, love the tie!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  15. Krisse, Berkeley, CA

    i do not get how you can call a man who grew up with with a single mother and then grandparents "elitist"

    he is like most average Americans I know....questioning who we are?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  16. Roger Shah

    Good point Anderson.
    Why double standards? One for the church and one for the temple........
    In no way I support what the men do at Eldorado but it definitely makes me wonder WHY.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  17. Chuck in Alabama

    Megan O., Today, at the university, I was discussing the election and one of the people present said "Everything we know about Barrack Obama came from the book he wrote."

    Probably a good thing Anderson's airing this story on each of the candiddates.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  18. carol

    I can't believe it has taken this long. Abuses in the cult have been known and talked about for over 25 yrs. that I can remember. And yet no one does anything. Not when young girls are given to old men to rape. Not when young boys are expelled from the cult so they don't compete for said young girls. Not when children do not go to school.

    In this country it is fine to believe what you want. Even if it is a cult. Have as many children as you want. But it is not your right to abuse. Nor is it a right to abuse the rest of us. By that I mean, these "men" have one legal wife. The rest are "single" and they and their children many many times are on the welfare system. Have as many kids as you want but ... pay for them.

    Even LDS familys that are not into polygamy can't support their children, you and I do.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  19. Brian Persaud

    Lesli> I have a ton of respect for Canada! Especially on the gay marriage thing. 🙂 I think saying “In no other country on earth would my story be possible" is offensive to...any other country right? Maybe its patriotism?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  20. Rose from Southern Calif

    Obama did ok for himself considering his background.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  21. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Thank you Anderson, I would like Christine to answer that as well.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:33 pm |
  22. Kim

    What would the church have to gain from admitting something if it never happened? Their hand has been forced, because there is no way it can be kept quiet anymore... Maybe it happens more in Catholicism because of celibacy, I guess, although adult relationships have been tolerated for years if they are not too obvious

    April 15, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  23. Betty Ann

    Anderson~Don't worry about your little photo. You are doing a good web job.
    Does Weeby mean anything? Did I spell that right?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  24. Tasha

    Watching the Obama segment I fail to see how he can be an elitist. Hillary please explain further. Worse, people are actually taking it in, I mean c'mon

    April 15, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  25. Kathy, Chicago

    Obama is still my third choice out of three. I just don't see him as tough or strong.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  26. Jo Ann, Ohio

    Jana, Indiana: I agree with you! I think Anderson's strength is in his reporting.

    So Anderson when can we expect to see another report from you?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  27. Christine

    Bonnie – I would LOVE to have 10 husbands, maybe something would get done around the house, but with my luck they all would be duds

    April 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  28. Katie

    Hello all.

    Sorry to just jump in, but Brian Persaud, what do you suggest for the children instead? There are SO MANY of them. I know the brainwashing is terrible, but ultimately, ALL parents have a certain amount of control over their children. When they're adults, they'll be able to make their own decision whether or not they WANT to assimilate into society. I know polygamy is illegal, and I do not personally approve of it (at ALL), but taking the children away from everything they know and throwing their lives into chaos? I don't know if it's better.

    Then again, in this situation, I can't really see a clear CORRECT direction to take. It's just sad from every angle.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  29. Andrea from Canada


    hahahaha....are you implying that marriage and children cause silver hair!? hahaha...My husband agrees with you...hahaha

    April 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  30. Teddy Budell

    And OH Yes! Are they deceptive? Wouldnt you be if you thought your children were kidnapped and might not be back! Especially if you have done nothing???? And lets not forget they are limited to what they say and cannot say as they are and will be represented by a lawyer. Are people this naive?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  31. Saera El Paso, TX

    don't worry Anderson
    i'm sure the nice tech guys will get your avatar back for you 🙂

    April 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  32. Tannis

    Anderson and Erica,

    First, I would like to say that this this blogging thing is great! It gives people other perspectives on the subjects that we feel passionately about.

    These comments that Barack made are old news. I feel like Hillary has taken this election to a teenage school girl's fight on the playground. It just goes to show you that when things don't go her way she starts twisting comments, what's she going to do next, kick him in the shins and go tell on him?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  33. Richie Amanya, Toronto

    how dare anybody call Obama elitist with what we're all seeing?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  34. Angelique

    I would also like to know where the fathers are. Why were they left on the ranch or wherever so they could slip under the radar?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  35. Tammy

    Photo envy-There's something Freudian there I'll leave alone 🙂

    @Betty Ann-I believe in signs, too.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  36. Brandi down the bayou.

    Tasha, catch up.

    Kimberly, you are exactly right. By isolating themselves the way they have, they have severely limited their gene pool, which over time, does tend to produce more genetic mutations among the offspring.

    This produces similar effects as those seen in small isolated villages all over the world. Of course, they are much more remote than Texas.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  37. Betty Ann

    Pretend tea~ Herb??? Which herb are you drinking Erica? 😉

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  38. Lilibeth

    Thanks for this profile of Obama. I look forward to the profiles of Clinton and McCain too.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  39. Brian Persaud

    Hillary! Why aren't you on AC360?! Accept, accept, accept!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  40. Sara, Oklahoma

    It must really be freezing in the studio, because the blog and webcam keep freezing up on me.. Or, it could just be my computer...

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  41. anderson cooper

    Christine – what percentage of the allgegations of sexual abuse do you believe arent real? And what do you make of the church admitting not only the abuse, but a systematic effort to hide the abuse for years? Do you believe they are simply making that up?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  42. Megan Dresslar

    That is great news for Hillary Clinton new polls than Barack Obama!
    49% Clinton 43% Obama.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  43. Karoline, Los Angeles, CA

    Maybe you need some tea too for that photo envy Anderson? Hey, how come you don't capitalize your name in the right places? Is that a tribute to t.s. elliot?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  44. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    oh Barack Obama was such an adorable kid.

    I am reading Barack's book "Dreams From My Father" right now. It is such a great book. Everyone should read it, it really gives insight to Barack.

    Great piece Anderson can't wait to see the other candidates pieces

    April 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  45. Jana, Indiana

    Anderson, great seeing you do a piece yourself. We miss you doing reports.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  46. Rich California

    Erica Is that bright light alway on? Even when your not on the air?? Its very bright!

    April 15, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  47. Michael Svoboda

    Anderson – Where's your mini picture?

    April 15, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  48. Lesli

    Why is that you American's – in this case Obama say things like

    "In no other country on earth would my story be possible"

    Excuse me – as a Canadian I always feel put down by these comments.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  49. Carla Ontario Canada

    CNN should have had these report back in January before everyone got to vote.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
  50. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Ugh oh Anderson. Let's hope you were not gone too long! Erica is taking over! LOL. I say you come back with a bigger photo.

    April 15, 2008 at 10:28 pm |
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