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April 28th, 2008
09:41 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/28/08

Breaking news tonight, there are no known deaths but powerful tornadoes have wiped out swaths of neighborhoods in eastern Virginia. More than 200 people have been injured and that number could rise as rescue officials sort threw the wreckage. The twisters damaged scores of homes, stores and cars and downed dozens of trees and power lines.  Chad Meyers, our severe weather expert, will have the latest details and Anderson will have an interview with an eyewitness. 

And the political storm.   Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor was out in full force today.  Speaking before the National Press Club Rev. Jeremiah Wright wanted to give insight into the black church and clarify some of his remarks that have sparked a media storm.  The result was a fiery speech in which he slammed the media, praised Louis Farrakhan and joked about being vice president.  Anderson will dissect his statements and weigh their impact on Obama with the best political team in television.

Please check out a post that may be helpful if you wonder why some comments get posted while others do not. LINK TO COMMENTS POST  

And be sure to check out our new live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features Anderson and Erica behind the scenes on 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
April 28th, 2008
06:55 PM ET

GOP Strategist: What Obama needs to do about Rev. Wright

Jeremiah Wright speaks at an NAACP dinner on Sunday night.

Jeremiah Wright speaks at an NAACP dinner on Sunday night.


Ed Rollins
Fmr. Huckabee Nat'l Campaign Chairman

In any election, it is difficult for an unknown and undefined candidate. The first rule of any political campaign is always go out and define yourself before your opponent does it for you.

Even though the 2008 race for the Democratic nomination has been long and expensive, the front runner Senator Obama is still unknown by most voters.

He said he was going to be a different kind of leader, a healer. One who brought people together, not divide them up by groups or special interests. And many voters thought and hoped that was going to be true.

Unfortunately, on his way to the nomination, it's not his opponent Hillary Clinton who is defining him, it's his own friend and former spiritual leader, whose language and rhetoric has been hateful and unpatriotic.

The candidate brushed him aside and tried to move on after the first damage, but Rev. Wright likes the big audience and obviously likes the media attention and maybe even the controversy. He is defining Obama in a way that can only lead to devastating results.

If this race becomes one about the repression of Black America and/or the United States' perceived sins against other nations, according to the gospel of Rev Wright, then the junior senator from Illinois becomes an easy target.

Comments like this one from the Rev. Wright:
FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Ed Rollins • Raw Politics • Rev. Jeremiah Wright
April 28th, 2008
06:53 PM ET

Diamondbacks around the FLDS compund

Susan Roesgen
360° Correspondent

Nearly 2000 acres of scrub grass and cactus and little yellow wildflowers....

Texas hill country....windy, hot, dry.
I heard a rattle in the grass about five yards away and now I'm standing perfectly still.

I know what that sound is.

This place looks like my family's backyard in Montana. That sound is a rattlesnake.

I don't know whether to walk forward or backward, and I've wandered too far from the rest of the crew to yell.

My Dad beat a rattler to death with a rake in our garage once, and my high school boyfriend killed one with a golf club after it bit his hand on the 18th hole.

FULL POST


Filed under: Susan Roesgen
April 28th, 2008
06:30 PM ET

Erica's News Note

Erica Hill
360° Correspondent

You never know what you’ll find on YouTube… though I never thought I’d see this.

A 10-minute video of photographs taken of a barracks at Fort Bragg, which shows – among other things – what appears to be a building that is falling apart around the soldiers who live there. The bathroom is the worst part. In one shot, a soldier is standing in a sink, to avoid the inches of sewage that have apparently overflowed onto the bathroom floor.

Commanders at the base say there were repairs that needed to be done, but the soldiers came home from Afghanistan earlier than expected. Early or not, this is deplorable. No one should have to live like this, and it shouldn’t take an outraged father turning to YouTube to have these issues addressed.

_______

DISCLAIMER: The following story is beyond disturbing.

FULL POST


Filed under: Erica Hill
April 28th, 2008
05:21 PM ET

Polygamists in Texas: God will make all this work out

The Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.

The Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.

Editor’s note: WE ARE UP FOR A WEBBY AWARD THANKS TO YOU!- SO VOTE FOR US HERE!

Gary Tuchman
360° Correspondent

The FLDS ranch in West Texas is surrounded by wire fence and locked gates. But members of the polygamist sect don't stay put.

Cars go in, and cars go out. What they all have in common is that there are no children in those cars.

I've spent part of the day talking to the men and women driving in and out. They say the raid that led to their children being taken was unjustified and un-American.

Interestingly though, several of them tell me they feel "great." When I ask why they use that particular word, they all say something to the effect that God will make this all work out.

What's notable is that FLDS members have been saying that to me for a long time now.

Before their prophet Warren Jeffs was captured, they told me they felt "great." Before he was convicted of sex crimes, they told me they felt "great." Before this raid, they told me they felt "great."

The most loyal adherents in this sect march to their own drummer. But now, they're doing it without their children.


Filed under: FLDS update • Gary Tuchman • Polygamy
April 28th, 2008
04:50 PM ET

In search of justice: the Sean Bell verdicts

NYPD detectives Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper gambled on a bench trial.

NYPD detectives Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper gambled on a bench trial.

Editor’s note: WE ARE UP FOR A WEBBY AWARD THANKS TO YOU!- SO VOTE FOR US HERE!
NEW YORK - All weekend, people have been asking me what I think about the acquittals of those three NYPD cops who shot and killed Sean Bell at a Queens nightclub right after his bachelor party there. Bell was unarmed, but police testified they thought he had a gun and that their lives were in danger.

Jami Floyd
360° Contributor
"In Session" Anchor

Most of all, I feel for his parents and fiancée who sat in that courtroom, day after day, quietly hoping for justice. Then they heard the judge say the words "not guilty."

Now, I know there has been case after sorry case of unjustified killings of black men by cops in this country. But each one has to be evaluated on its own merits. And everyone is presumed innocent, police included.

Even with 50 shots fired, the prosecution failed to make its case beyond a reasonable doubt because it couldn't prove the cops were not in fear for their lives. And that's what the law required.

So now, Sean Bell's family should take it to the Department of Justice. Because federal prosecutors can likely prove his civil rights were violated - even if state prosecutors can't prove a crime.

Editor's note: Read more Jami Floyd blogs on “In Session”


Filed under: Jami Floyd • Sean Bell case
April 28th, 2008
04:40 PM ET

The rolling Wright controversy: shine a light or blot one out?

 

Editor’s note: WE ARE UP FOR A WEBBY AWARD THANKS TO YOU!- SO VOTE FOR US HERE!

Barclay Palmer
360° Senior Producer

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright spoke again today, this time at the National Press Club. He said recent criticism of him has really been an attack on the black church. He didn’t specify which.

Wright said the theology of the black church is a “theology of liberation; it is a theology of transformation and it is ultimately a theology of reconciliation.”

Despite its long history, he said the black religious tradition is in ways, “invisible to the dominant culture.”

“Being different does not mean one is deficient. It simply means one is different, like snowflakes,” Wright said, echoing comments he made last night to nearly 10,000 at an NAACP dinner in Detroit. Reconciliation means “we embrace our individual, rich histories.”

Thoughtful comments, certainly, despite the flurry over his relationship with Barack Obama.

But they do raise a question or three.

FULL POST

April 28th, 2008
03:50 PM ET

360° Q&A: Tony Snow

Editor's Note: Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow is the newest member of the Best Political Team on Television. Snow joined CNN last week and – after making headlines with a brief hospital stay – spoke with 360’s Jack Gray about the presidential race and life after the White House.

How is your health?

Health is fine. I had a little condition, not directly related to cancer, that I went through early in the week, but I’m doing fine.

You were a Fox guy before you went to the White House. Have you gotten any grief from your friends over there for having now joined the competition?

I still have got lots of friends at Fox and it’s a place I dearly loved working for and I’m grateful for every minute I worked there, but actually, no, people at Fox have been pretty supportive. They wish I was there, but on the other hand they’ve been very nice.

The conventional wisdom is that the longer this Democratic primary goes on, the better it is for John McCain. Do you agree with that?

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Q & A • Behind The Scenes • Jack Gray • Tony Snow
April 28th, 2008
01:02 PM ET

Beat 360° 4/28/08

Editor's note: WE ARE UP FOR A WEBBY AWARD THANKS TO YOU!- SO VOTE FOR US HERE!

Hey Bloggers!

Whats that? It sounds like music to my ears! What could it be? Oh! It's time for ‘Beat 360°.’

Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption. Our staff will get in on the action too.

Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?

Here is today’s “Beat 360°” pic of the day: Here we see President Bush conducting the United States Marine Corps Band, known as "The President's Own," during the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association.

Beat 360°


Have fun with it.

Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

– David Reisner, 360° Digital Producer

UPDATE: Check out last night's winner!


Filed under: Beat 360°
April 28th, 2008
06:46 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Morning folks...

The infamous Rev. Jeremiah Wright gave his first sit down interview late last week but last night he took center stage. In Detroit,  at an NAACP awards dinner, he told an audience of thousands that he was "descriptive" but "not divisive" when he talks about race relations in America. "I am sorry your local political analysts and your neighboring county executives think my being here is polarizing and my sermons are divisive, but I'm not here to address an analyst's opinion," he said. "I am here to address your 2008 theme ... (of) change is going to come."

The WASHINGTON TIMES wrote: Defending the black religious tradition in America as misunderstood, Sen. Barack Obama's controversial former pastor told supporters of the NAACP here last night that he is not a political figure or interested in preaching for political gain, despite media criticism he says is to the contrary."I'm not here for political reasons. I am not a politician. I know that fact will surprise many of you because many in the corporate media have made it seem that as if I have announced that I am running for the Oval Office," the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. told a crowd of about 10,000 gathered at Detroit's Cobo Hall. "I'm not running for the Oval Office. I've been running for Jesus for a long time, and I'm not tired yet."

The NY TIMES focused on John McCain's critical remarks of  Obama’s Former Pastor. McCain delved on Sunday into remarks made by Senator Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., saying it was “beyond belief” that Mr. Wright had likened the Romans at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion to the Marines and had suggested that the United States was acting like Al Qaeda under a different color flag.

AND on Fox news yesterday - in an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Obama acknowledged that speeches Sunday and today by Wright come at an awkward moment for his presidential bid. Obama did not dispute Fox anchor Chris Wallace's assertion that Wright's re-emergence "obviously isn't helpful to your campaign."

CNN's Soledad O'Brien was at the dinner last night and will keep close tabs on Wright's appearance the Washington Press Club today in DC and will file a piece for AC360...

Meanwhile on the campaign trail... Hillary Clinton said "debate me one one one - no moderators...a Lincoln-Douglas style debate..." Barack Obama gracefully declined...The CHICAGO TRIBUNE's take: "I'm not ducking," Obama said of the debate question. "We've had 21." Candy Crowley  will bring us up to speed on today's campaign stops, as well...

ALSO, on AC360 tonight -Joe Johns is Keeping them honest. Remember CONGRESSMAN DON YOUNG OF ALASKA- the CHAIRMAN OF THE POWERFUL HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE...HE'S FAMOUS FOR TRYING TO USE TAXPAYER MONEY FOR WILDLY EXPENSIVE "BRIDGE TO NOWHERE" IN THE ICY WILDERNESS. ...AND NOW HE'S IN HOT WATER AGAIN- OVER A BOTCHED PLAN TO build AN INTERCHANGE but in FLORIDA - COCONUT ROAD IN ESTERO, FLORIDA. KINDA MAKES YOU WONDER, WHAT'S A CONGRESSMAN FROM ALASKA DOING TRYING TO GET MONEY FOR THE SUNSHINE STATE? IT'S ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE INFAMOUS EARMARKS- TEN MILLION DOLLARS-

AND FINALLY - The LA TIMES says beaches in San Diego County that were closed after a deadly shark attack will reopen Monday. At least eight miles of sea front were closed to swimmers over the weekend after Friday's attack. A retired veterinarian David Martin died after he was bitten in the legs by a shark thought to have been a great white...

ALL for now....


Filed under: The Buzz