June 9th, 2009
10:36 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Can you spot a fraudster

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/americas/06/08/brazil.airfrance.recovery/art.brazil.wreckage.cnn.jpg caption="Recovery efforts have found several items confirmed to have come from Air France Flight 447."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

We follow the fate of the 2 American journalists sentenced to 12 years in prison with labor. The families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee say they are ‘shocked and devastated’ by this news, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the US government is working to secure their release.

Will our government send a top official to broker a deal? What does ‘prison with labor’ actually mean? We’ll have answers tonight.

Air France flight investigators have recovered 24 bodies from last week’s crash, meanwhile a French nuclear sub and high tech acoustic devices belonging to the US Navy are headed to search for the flight recorders.

If we don’t know what brought the plane down, how can we prevent a future incident? The area they are searching is the size of Nebraska. This is no easy task. Karl Penhaul is on the ground in Brazil w/this story.

We’re waiting to hear what the NAACP is calling a “major announcement on President Obama” today, just ahead of the NAACP’s 100th anniversary convention. Will they be nicer to him than actor Jon Voight was last night?

He didn’t mince words at the GOP fundraiser he hosted, saying he’s “embarrassed” by the President and that this leadership would cause the ‘downfall’ of the country. Who needs professional wrestling when we’ve got politics?

Joe Johns has an incredible 'keeping them honest' story: A veteran spokesperson straight out of central casting, w/a gold-plated resume indicating he was ideal person to push for major veteran issues, winning over everyone from politicians to police chiefs and reporters. But here’s the catch: he was a fraud! How the heck did he convince everyone of his story?

I love this snippet I saw this morning: Apparently there is a man in South Dakota who won a $232 million lottery, and he is so well-known for his kind heart that his neighbors and former teachers worry he may give too much of his newfound money away. Excuse me while I race to the airport and catch a plane to visit him, my new best friend. See u tonight!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Mary

    I do not understand North Korea and thier brazen lack of diplomacy. I am sure that they cannot think that these two women meant to be in N. Korea. What are they up to? Hmm. We need to send someone so that we have done everything that we could. The question is what can we do? Is Mr. Cooper up to going to North Korea? Roadtrip!!! I am interested to see what is going to happen.

    June 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  2. Isabel, Brazil

    Hi, Penny!

    Good afternoon!

    Largest newspaper in the country there are already pictures of soldiers bringing the first bodies of victims of Flight 447. That strong and impressive pictures!
    Until now, the total casualties from the sea is 28.

    Now there is speculation that the plane may have cracked due to a sudden change of speed.

    Frankly, I hope the government can help quickly and Euna Laura Ling Lee and that this issue is not forgotten in a few weeks.

    Thank you!

    June 9, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  3. Lampe

    There is alot of difference between these two women, who might have been at the wrong place at the wrong time and Terrorist. Ling and Lee, neither harmed nor killed anyone, nor are they part of any terrorist group. These prisoners on the other had, should have their day in court, because they just might be guilty of belonging to a group, or killing someone.

    June 9, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  4. c,ca

    This story about Lee and Ling is starting to get on my nerves. First of all, we don't know what actually happened at the border, or at the time of the arrest, or during the trial, so all of the coverage is speculation, anyway.

    Has there been any statement from China regarding this? Lee and Ling would've had to get a Visa to enter China........

    They were probably trying to get some story to make a name for themselves in the news business, and it backfired on them. Now, because of their carelessness, the U.S. has to spend time negotiating and, possibly, making concessions to N. Korea to get them released.

    The U.S. has enough issues with N. Korea and China already without these two women getting themselves into the middle of it. They should have known better.

    June 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  5. earle,florida

    I would hope the two journalist will be released by next week,and that the United States doesn't have to provide to many concessions.

    June 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  6. Enough

    The guy who won 232 million will take the lump sum and take home less than half of his winnings. That folks, is the Democratic way. You aren't even entitled to half of your winnings. Nice that Uncle Sam plays the lottery too, as well as being in the wills of many Americans.

    June 9, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  7. guy king

    Since the two journalists are employees of Al Gore's TV network and since he is the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner, why haven't we heard from him? Anybody try to talk to him? Is he trying to get them released?

    June 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  8. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I wonder if Lisa Ling's reports on North Korea for National Geographic influenced the sentencing. Retribution is retribution. I do believe all the media attention just feeds into North Korea's narcissism. The nation made a decision on them. I doubt a reporter who already exposed them whining about her sister's health and kid will break their hearts and make them want to free her any faster. At some point, a person has to stop being the professional and start being the sibling looking out for what is truly best in the situation. It seems that might be letting Secretary Clinton and the State Department do their jobs. At some point you have to trust that a world power has more influence over international diplomacy matters than your buddies at CNN.

    June 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  9. Tim Gibson

    If we as a nation feel we have a right to have anyone released from N. Korea and the sentence imposed there, then why not release all the "terrorist" we now hold captive on the pretense of the same grounds as we say these two should be released from N. Korea.

    I am sure the NAACP will give Obama a glowing praise he has not earned by any means. I agree with much of what Voight said, Obama had a very carefull platform for his campaign, yet it has been proven to be one of lies and untruth. His course of action has failed in turning any corner, other than a corner into more darkness in regards to our economy and he has not stood behind a single one of his promises made on the campaign trail.

    People need to snap out of the Obama after glow and wake up, Pelosi and the likes are corrupt and can be considered terrorist in their own right.

    June 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  10. Stan J Gomes

    In ref. to the Air Fance crash:
    I have heard of several accidents being caused by faulty pitot tubes. One in which the tube was blocked by wasps building a nest in the tube.
    Why has this system not been replaced by a sattelite positioning system or some more modern electronic system. This system has been in used for a very long time and can still be used as a backup air speed indicator. Gosh, it seems, that if the speed sensing system is the fault of the crash, there should be priority on upgrading this system asap for everyone safety. Also, why doesn't black boxes have a floatation sysems and exploding bolts so that these boxes will come to the surface after an ocean crash.
    Just wondering

    June 9, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  11. Susan

    re: Joe Johns

    it's just like magic "tricks."
    We see what we Expect to see.

    Isnt this why we need the Fourth Estate?
    to MIND that little man behind the curtain. to be skeptical, the equivalent of the scientist who seeks to prove the thesis – or not.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  12. Susan

    North Korean kangaroo court?

    What can be learn from the Roxana Saberi – Iranian situation?
    How much was influenced by
    -the fact that Iran has been under intense INTERNATIONAL scrutiny over the last several years?
    -the fact that Iran does indeed have something called elections and they are coming up – this Friday.
    -there is a press in Iran. Iran is amendable to various other outside media influences – Radio waves (recall VOA and the Soviet Block), TV signals, satellite transmissions even, and most importantly the Internet.
    -there is a strong religious influence in Iran (to put it mildly). Religion, regardless of which, seeks to help us surmount our baser instincts to live as a civilized society. North Korea has the Communist Party in the form of "The Dear Leader" (cough, sputter, ....).
    – the level of education in Iran is quite high (in keeping with the traditions of the Persian Empire). My impression of North Korea is more along the feudalist society that was China under The Warring States (except they have figured out how to build an atomic bomb.)

    How much of what is happening in North Korea is much like this entire resurgence of the nuclear technology atop a warhead issue? How much of this is related to the perverted succession politics (involving Communist hardliners which likely includes the military)?

    June 9, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  13. marcia bunn

    sounds like interesting lineup. for now this is how i get my news. thanks.

    June 9, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  14. Kenn Love in Indiana

    Lisa Ling must do one thing to insure that the journalists' imprisonment is not even more manipulated for North Korea's gain than it may be: STAY OFF CAMERA.
    With this American society's fascination with all things celebrity (ick), her visual devotion can and will create only fuel for the fire as North Korea monitors the effects on the American people and their numbers, in occasioning demands for the prisoners' release.
    The less said on TV, the better it will be for Laura Ling and Euna Lee. There are so much more conducive ways to "not forget" them than having celebrity profile abstract the hearts of those who think that fame equals justice. PRAY for them.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  15. Spelunker

    Will our government send a top official to broker a deal? I would love to see California's governor make the trip to rescue his state's citizens and broker Kim Jong-il's arm. Is Arnold going to be on your show tonight?

    What does ‘prison with labor’ actually mean? It means Euna and Laura will be prisoners inside of a kim chee fermentation factory.

    The US government probably won't send a current official, so Al Gore is still the horse with the best odds.

    June 9, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  16. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Morning Penny

    I am so saddened by the news too of Laura and Euna's sentence i can't imagine the grief that Lisa Ling's and her family are feeling Hillary Clinton is the one to help them i hope that the Government can get them released . That guy who won the lottery wow lend me some sugar i am your neighbour too well not really but i think it's great he is so kind hearted to people and stuck on himself or money .

    Michelle D.

    June 9, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  17. Cindy

    Like I said yesterday on here i am not shocked at all by Ling and Lee's sentence. N. Korea knows exactly what they are doing. They want money and less sanctions from the US and these two women are their tickets to getting that. They will use them how ever they can to get what they want no matter who the US sends over to negotiate with them.

    Looking forward to Joe Johns piece. I can't see how someone faked being a veteran and fooled so many high up people. He is obviously one very good liar!


    June 9, 2009 at 9:40 am |