October 5th, 2010
09:21 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Seeking the Truth in Campaign Ads

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

You've likely noticed all the political ads hitting the airwaves with Election Day one month away. But how truthful are those ads?

Tonight on 360°, we're seeking the truth in a political battle in central Florida where Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson is seeking re-election. His campaign recently released a 30-second spot where he compares his GOP opponent, former Florida Rep. Daniel Webster, to the Taliban.

"Wives submit yourself to your own husband" and "she should submit to me," Webster is heard saying in the ad.

But we obtained Webster's full comments from a speech he gave in Tennessee last year, which shows a different message.

"So, write a journal. Second, find a verse. I have a verse for my wife. I have verses for my wife," Webster goes onto say. "Don't pick the ones that say, 'she should submit to me.' It's in the Bible, but pick the ones that you're supposed to do.

"So instead, 'Love your wife, even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it,' as opposed to, 'Wives submit yourselves to your husband.' She can pray that if she wants to, but don't you pray it."

Last week, the Grayson campaign dismissed questions about whether it edited Webster's comments. Tonight you'll hear from Grayson. Anderson will ask him about this questionable ad and another accusing Webster of dodging the draft during the Vietnam War. We're keeping them honest.

We're also looking into a string of teen suicides linked to anti-gay bullying at Anoka High School, in Minnesota. The most recent was Justin Aaberg, 15, who hanged himself in his bedroom.

Since Justin's death in July, his mother has been speaking out against LGBT bullying. "I've been talking to kids all over the country that have come to me, and feel they are not alone now," Tammy Aaberg told CNN's Larry King last night.

The President of the Minnesota Family Council says harassment of a student or any student for homosexuality or any other reason is unacceptable and needs to be swiftly dealt with.

But Tom Prichard also wrote on the organization's blog: "Youth who embrace homosexuality are at greater risk, because they've embraced an unhealthy sexual identity and lifestyle."

"Even if the reason a student's harassment is his or her homosexuality that does not justify "anti-homophobia" indoctrination of the entire student body and faculty," he added.

Does he still stand by those comments? You'll hear from him tonight, along with Rosalind Wiseman, author of "Queen Bees and Wannabees".  We'll also have Anderson's talk with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres about bullying.

There's also a verdict in the Connecticut home invasion trial. We'll have these stories and much more at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Nancy

    On one hand we live in a media-world where "judges" publically praise or criticize (talent / reality) shows, a form of bullying and on the other we have "Freedom of speech" and as long as no one makes physical contact, they haven't broken any laws. Lose-lose situation, and how can we stand for either?

    October 6, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  2. Nick

    Bravo Anderson, on calling out Grayson. I hope to see you do more of this on both sides of the aisle. Great broadcast.

    October 6, 2010 at 1:30 am |
  3. David L. Jensen

    In reference to Grayson's military service, I was waiting for what military branch he served in? His statement left no doubt that he had served in the US Army! I am a Retired CW3, US Army.

    October 6, 2010 at 1:17 am |
  4. Lionel Frey

    I think Alan Grayson should be embarrassed at the cheap-shot campaign ad he ran relative to his opponent, Daniel Webster, referring to him as 'Taliban Dan'. I'm neither Republican nor Democrat, as I reside in Canada; but, Grayson proves that you don't have to be of one particular political affiliation to be ill-intentioned. Republicans get a lot of flack for supposedly being the party supporting the "radicals" and there are some in the party; however, fair is fair and Democrats support their share of misguided individuals, enter Alan Grayson.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  5. Rachelle

    When did we lost the ability to call a bigot a bigot? As long as we allow people to hide under the guise of "not advancing gay curriculum" or allow them to call themselves "Christian", we are contributing to the problem. Bigotry is at an all time high. It is time we call a spade aspade and a bigot a bigot.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  6. Edward

    Way to go Anderson. Everything wrong with American Politics in one short segment. Its people like Mr. Grayson that turns me off to the whole process of my being represented in this government

    October 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  7. mike texas

    Go Anderson, Go Anderson...unfortunately, as noted by other viewers, this type of confrontational journalsim, although greatly needed and the norm in most countries, is a show killer in the US as all politicians do not have the courage to stand by their statements.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  8. Nancy Vail

    Way to go, AC!!! It's about time someone confronted Grayson re:the outright lies regarding Daniel Webster. Anyone who listened to the "submissive wife" comments from Webster understands what he meant...his take was biblically correct referring to loving your wife as Christ loves the Church. Very important quote...our founding forefathers understood this reference to marital love but Grayson either is not a Christian or just deliberately lied to try to make Webster look bad. He needs to look elsewhere to attack Daniel Webster...that one really backfired!

    October 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  9. adriano

    WOW ! Anderson confronting the clowns(politician) in a big way BRAVO This year they are just out of control, all they can do is to point out the bad on their adversary insted of pointing out why we should vote for them . I think is because they probably don't have anything good to point out about themselves, it is very sad to realize that in all reality we got left with no real solid choice of honest representatives . by the way fresh chicken soup is on the menu. rsrsrs

    October 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  10. June M.

    You know, honestly – the debate with Grayson, was a non issue, considering the Republican. GOP, TParty record painting extreme pictures of the Left, Dems, etc. Or having blogs devoted to Obama not being born here, being a Nazi, Socialist, Communist, non Christian – that not only border on outright racism, but condone threatening and dangerous behaviour from the Far-Right. I do respect many conservatives, but in this case Grayson was more accurate to "twist" his point, because in the overall context of his opponent, – he is 100% accurate. This is not Sherrod. Discerning the "context" and looking deeper is better than tit for tat.

    Far right media , like Fox News with Beck, Limbaugh, the scary scary Ann Coulter, and others have not been held accountable by any stretch for liable and slander that would put many in a court of law if not in jail.

    Grayson's campaign approach was tame in comparison to the ads and promotion I've seen coming from the far right.

    Perhaps you should have the Birthers on, or these "new" far right young journalists who took out ACORN – who by all accounts are not seeking truth, but seeking retribution at a very criminal level (it's called fraud=and these "kids" should be called into question and prosecuted)? .
    This last thing with Grayson was . . by your normal standards, . . . lame. There are Bigger Fish To Fry.

    Just Keeping Em Honest.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  11. Paul Rossberg

    I just love the way these politicians can't answer a basic question that you ask them. No wonder they do not want to come on your show and answer simple questions that you ask. I can't believe these people hold a public office. You and I are responsible for our actions and our comments, why not the politicians. The United States of America is quite possibly going to hell in a handbasket!!! Something has got to change, but civilians have to WAKE UP.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  12. mike

    well done AC...5mins of real journalism with Grayson...CNN finally giving u freedom to do ur job?...

    October 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  13. Lauren

    I used to intern for the 8th Congressional District, under the former Congressman Ric Keller. Alan Grayson is an embarrassment to the District and he is only interested in serving his own agenda instead of those people who live in the Congressional District. Its obvious that Mr. Grayson wants to run a campaign based on theatrics instead of the issues.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  14. Annie Kate

    Grayson unsurprisingly would not yield at all to any reasonable interpretation of his ads – Anderson would have gotten further talking to a post. If Grayson cannot gracefully acknowledge that his statements or ads were unfair how will he behave in the Congress – will he be able to compromise on anything? Or will he be another who stands firmly convinced of his self righteousness and not get anything done? I think Grayson showed his true colors with Anderson tonight and that the voters who vote either for or against him should take note.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  15. Alexander Compton

    I think Anderson was really reaching there. The ad said that he was called to serve several times, but didn't. I think if I was called to serve, I would.

    The real question, how do you say no if you are called to serve, what strings were pulled there?

    October 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  16. Tom Edwards

    Thank you Anderson Cooper for calling Alan Grayson out!!!Even as a fellow democrat,this man is a joke and is scum!!I love the way you are beoming the best on t.v.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  17. Josh in Phoenix

    I think Grayson is a dirt bag, and will sell his daughter to win an election.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm |