August 9th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Behind the scenes: Letters to President Obama

Tom Foreman has written nearly 1,300 letters to President Obama on AC360.com. He has done them every day since the January 2009 presidential inauguration— weekends and holidays, too.

“I thought, well, when he gets inaugurated, I’ll write 10 days of letters to him saying what I think,” Tom said. But he didn’t stop at 10, 100 or even 1,000 letters. A short-term project has seemingly turned into a hobby for the veteran journalist. Tom said he’s never received a response from the White House but that’s never discouraged him from writing about a myriad of topics.

Some letters explore hot-button political issues and others discuss subjects as light-hearted as Tom's annual family Mardi Gras celebration. Tom frequently invites the President to contact him in return but that hasn’t happened.


Anderson’s birthday surprise
Anderson Cooper poses with Mauro Castano from "Cake Boss," and Ernie Brown from "Call of the Wildman."
June 1st, 2012
11:04 PM ET

Anderson’s birthday surprise

It’s tough for our staff to surprise Anderson for his birthday. First, he knows it’s coming. And, he’s traveled the world, met the most fascinating people and lives a pretty exciting life.

We had to beat last year’s dog and pony show. One idea jumped out at us: Turtleman. And Cake Boss. Together. Check out a few behind-the-scenes pictures and come back to the blog for more on Monday!

See what happened during the show when Ernie and Mauro delivered their birthday gifts. After you watch, wish Anderson a Happy Birthday on twitter @AndersonCooper!

Filed under: AC360° Staff • AC361° • Anderson Cooper • Behind The Scenes
May 21st, 2012
09:49 PM ET

Go backstage on 'Jeopardy' with Anderson

Go backstage with Anderson Cooper as he prepares for his third appearance on "Jeopardy." He won $50,000 for non-profit The Trevor Project.

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Filed under: Behind The Scenes
October 17th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

AC360 Behind the scenes at CNN's Las Vegas debate

Anderson and the Anderson Cooper 360° crew are in Las Vegas preparing for tonight's Republican presidential debate. View the photo gallery for a sneak peak, and join us at 8 p.m. ET when the candidates take the stage with Anderson moderating the discussion.

If you submit your questions to CNN, they may be asked at the debate! You can also submit them on the CNN Politics fan page on Facebook and by using #CNNDebate on Twitter.

December 16th, 2010
11:45 AM ET
December 8th, 2010
04:17 PM ET

Video: Polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs in Texas court

Ismael Estrada
AC360° Producer

It was a cold, crisp Texas morning when Gary Tuchman, photojournalist Mike Love and I showed up to the Tom Green County Courthouse today just after dawn. We wanted to make sure we got there early in hopes of getting Warren Jeffs to talk with us as he was scheduled to arrive in court.

The self proclaimed prophet and polygamist sect leader was transferred here last week after being extradited from Utah.

The leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) was indicted on bigamy and sexual assault charges stemming from an alleged spiritual marriage to a 12-year-old girl.

Prosecutors filed the charges 2 years ago after authorities raided the sect's Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas and removed more than 400 children on suspicion that they were exposed to sexual abuse.

Most of the children were returned to the ranch with their families, but many of the men living on the ranch were charged with sexual abuse.

About 45 minutes after we arrived, an SUV pulled up to the courthouse and Warren Jeffs was taken out of the backseat. He was wearing glasses, orange jail pants and a grey sweatshirt.

Sheriff's deputies escorted Jeffs who was handcuffed and had has ankles shackled. Gary asked him if he still felt that he was the prophet as he was entering the building. Jeffs' ignored the questions, but at the Yearning for Zion ranch, we heard from one FLDS member who says Jeffs is certainly the prophet.


October 14th, 2010
06:29 PM ET

Producer’s Notebook: Our time at Camp Hope

Ismael Estrada
AC360­° Producer

Near Copiapo, Chile (CNN) – It’s been an incredible week here at Camp Hope in Chile.

It’s rare that we get an opportunity to report on a story that has such a great, happy ending and the world was here to record every second.

We met reporters from Australia, Japan, Germany, England, Spain, Argentina and all over Chile - all here to capture this great rescue.

Earlier: As rescue nears, media descend on Chilean mine

In most cases, when we see so many people from around the world, it’s when we cover a major tragedy. Rarely do I see the good moods and good spirits that were in the air here - with all of us on hand for everything from that great moment when the first miner was rescued until the moment when the last rescuer made it back to the surface.

Very quickly, Camp Hope has transformed to Camp Empty, but no one here will forget the time we spent at this mine.

(See more photos after the jump)


Filed under: 360º Follow • Behind The Scenes • Ismael Estrada
October 11th, 2010
06:54 PM ET

Producer’s Notebook: As rescue nears, media descend on Chilean mine

Ismael Estrada
AC360­° Producer

Copiapo, Chile (CNN) - A walk around this mine site says it all.

Media from all over the world have filled the mountainside with tents, generators, makeshift live platforms and work stations. Mixed amongst the media are the families of the 33 miners who have waited since early August for their loved ones to resurface from the mine below.

There are tributes and flags everywhere we look, everyone waiting for that moment when the first miners are freed. There is a lot of buzz and anticipation here; everyone knows that the ordeal is near its end.

(More photos after the jump)


Filed under: 360° Radar • Behind The Scenes • Ismael Estrada
August 27th, 2010
09:54 PM ET

Video: In the kitchen with NOLA chef John Besh

Jill Billante
AC360° Senior Producer

Chef John Besh grew up in Louisiana, stayed in New Orleans through Hurricane Katrina, endured the BP oil spill and today owns six restaurants in that city.

He told us today that the city came back stronger after Katrina, and while it’s not something you wish would happen, he said it made the town tougher.

While stirring a pot of crabs in the kitchen of his restaurant August, he told us that together, everyone resurrected the city.

For more of Anderson’s conversation with chef John Besh, tune into AC360° tonight, 10pET

Filed under: Behind The Scenes • Jill Billante
August 2nd, 2010
10:08 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 8/2/2010

Editor's note: After Friday's AC360° many of you wrote in with strong opinions on illegal immigration in the US.

I just saw Anderson's interview of Sheriff Arpaio this evening. I was particularly interested in the sheriff's focus on arresting illegal aliens and making sure that they serve out a jail term rather than turn them over to ICE. Do we know who owns the jails in that part of the country? I noticed that the sheriff got pretty testy when cost was mentioned. In Texas most jails are privately owned, thus there is an incentive to keep them full. Could it be that the sheriff either has an interest in a privately owned jail or that the word is out to keep the jails full if they are indeed being run as profit making businesses? Just curious.

Sheriff Joe in AZ is an egomaniac. Giving him airtime feeds that ego that he has been feeding for years. He actually works hard at getting himself airtime every night of the week on the local news. He is never someone short on words and is only in pursuit of propelling his own career. It disgusts me being a 5th generation Phoenician in which my own great grandfather was a sheriff! He does not speak nor get the support or all in Maricopa County!

I am sick & tired of you people talking about the civil rights of illegal immigrants. They are here illegally & have no rights!

How about taking an opinion for what's RIGHT, our laws for instance, instead of grilling people like Arpaio, who are part of the solution instead of being part of the problem under the guise of being "objective"? FULL POST

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
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