October 28th, 2010
09:49 PM ET

Anti-Gay Facebook Rant Fallout: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

What he did shocked the nation. What Clint McCance will do tonight, which so many others don't in a situation like this, won't be easy. McCance, a school district vice-president, who posted very harsh words online about gay victims of bullying who take their own lives, talks only to 360°. Plus, tonight's other headlines.

Want more details on what covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
October 28th, 2010
09:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: School Official Speaks Out About His Anti-Gay Rant

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on AC360°, hear from the Arkansas school official who posted an anti-gay rant on Facebook. Clint McCance is no longer hiding out. You'll hear what the vice president of the Midland School Board has to say about his words that shocked a lot of people.

As we reported last night, McCance wrote a series of posts on Facebook against "Spirit Day", where people were asked to wear the color purple to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

His rant had offensive language and many misspellings.

"Seriously," McCance wrote in one post, "They want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this word have gotten this stupid."

McCance added, "We are honoring the fact they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE."

Six people actually pressed the 'like button on that post. But others fired back.

McCance responded in part with this:

"It pisses me off though that we make special purple fag day for them. I like that fags can't procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other AIDS and die."

He also wrote, "I would disown my kids if they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity."

A lot of people are calling on McCance to step down. Will he? Should he? We'll dig into that tonight with him and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who has launched a nationwide anti-bullying campaign in America's schools.

We'll also get reaction from two parents who lost a son to bullying, and talk show host Ellen Degeneres, who's been out front on this issue.

There's also breaking news from the campaign trail. There are reports that Florida Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek was asked to drop out of the three-way race. We've learned the White House knew of the negotiations. As part of the deal, a source tells CNN, Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist would then caucus with Democrats in the Senate, if elected. We've got the raw politics.

We'll also take you underwater for an up close look at a shark, a big shark. That's tonight's shot.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
October 28th, 2010
09:20 PM ET

Meek says rumors of deal with Clinton 'absolutely not true'

Roland Martin
CNN Contributor

(CNN) – Rep. Kendrick Meek said it is "absolutely not true" that he ever agreed to any kind of deal with former President Bill Clinton to drop out of the Florida Senate race, in an interview shortly before 9 p.m. ET Thursday with CNN contributor Roland S. Martin.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar • Roland S. Martin
October 28th, 2010
08:13 PM ET

DeGeneres to straight community: 'We need your help now'

Martina Stewart
AC360° Digital Producer

(CNN) – Ellen DeGeneres is making a rare plea for help in the wake of Facebook postings by an elected Arkansas school board official laced with the terms “queer” and “fag” and celebrating the deaths of gay people.

Related: Arkansas schools chief condemns anti-gay posts by school board member

The openly lesbian daytime talk show host calls on heterosexuals to condemn such hatred and bigotry in much the same way that some whites stood in solidarity with African-Americans during the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century.

“It would not be acceptable if someone used the n-word,” DeGeneres says in an interview that airs Thursday on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. “When the civil rights movement happened, it took not just the community of blacks to make a change, but white people needed to step in and say this is unacceptable. We cannot tolerate this and treat any citizen with lesser value. And, I think, as a gay person, I would like to personally ask every heterosexual person out there who is appalled by this to – we need your help now. This is absurd and he should resign.”

Clint McCance, the vice president of the Midland School District in Arkansas, took to his personal Facebook page earlier this week and slammed a recent national awareness campaign sparked by a rash of suicides by young people who had been bullied because they were gay or perceived to be gay by their peers.

The local elected official wrote that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, according to The Advocate, a magazine focusing on gay news. McCance promised to disown his own children if they are gay and said he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die."

In the interview, DeGeneres also tells Cooper she does not think McCance’s views are justified by his Christian faith, which he referenced in his controversial Facebook postings.

October 28th, 2010
07:45 PM ET

Accused 'ninja' killer: 'I've already been ... convicted by the media'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/10/28/florida.couple.slain.case/story.gonzalez.jr.ecso.jpg caption="Leonard Gonzalez Jr. faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of a Florida couple." width=300 height=169]

CNN Wire Staff

Pensacola, Florida (CNN) - A jury weighed the fate Thursday night of a man accused of leading a band of men dressed as ninjas into a Florida home then killing a couple execution-style, even as the defendant declared his outcome in another arena.

"I've already been tried and convicted by the media," Leonard Gonzalez Jr. said as he was escorted out of an Escambia County courtroom early Thursday evening, after the jury of 11 women and one man got answers to two questions they'd asked during their deliberations.

Judge Nickolas Geeker also assented to the jury's request for a magnifying glass, and turned down their request for transcripts of the three-day trial's testimony.

When the case went to the jury, hours earlier, Gonzalez winked at his wife Tabitha and nodded twice to the family of the late Byrd and Melanie Billings. Prosecutors argued during the first-degree murder trial that Gonzalez shot Byrd once in each leg, then led he and his wife into their master bedroom where he killed them while unloading seven more bullets.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
October 28th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

Clinton asked Meek to drop out

CNN Political Unit

(CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton last week tried to persuade Florida Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the three-way contest, according to a report by Politico that was confirmed by CNN.

A senior Democratic official told CNN that the White House was aware of Clinton’s negotiations, and that Democrats believed the move would prevent Republican candidate Marco Rubio from winning the Florida Senate seat.

As part of the deal, Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist would then caucus with Democrats in the Senate. Meek was considering the option until two days ago, but the deal eventually fell apart, according to the source.

Another Democratic source familiar with the talks said there was concern about push back in the African American community if Meek dropped out.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar
October 28th, 2010
06:00 PM ET
October 28th, 2010
05:52 PM ET

Beat 360° 10/28/10

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:

President Barack Obama chats with Daily Show host Jon Stewart during a commercial break in taping on October 27, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Roger L. Wollenberg-Pool/Getty Images)

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.

Update: Beat 360° Winners:

Elise Miller
“So let’s talk about Sanchez…”


Wyatt Knight
"I'm not a Muslim. I'm you"

___________________________________________________________________________Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
October 28th, 2010
01:22 PM ET

Letters to the President: #647 'The voter fraud watch'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama brought lots of people out to vote two years ago who previously had not done so which also brought out critics intent on finding voter fraud.

Dear Mr. President,

I am assigned to look into allegations over voter fraud next week, so I have been reading up on the subject, and I must say it is abundantly clear from the get-go that there is no winning on this one. Whenever there is an allegation of a problem and an ensuing investigation, the best I can make out is that there will be one of two outcomes.

Either A) Investigators find the problem, deal with it, and announce their findings only to hear critics say they did not go nearly far enough, or B) Investigators find no problem, dismiss the complaint, and announce their findings only to hear critics say they did not look nearly hard enough.

October 28th, 2010
10:06 AM ET
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