This week, AC360 featured Drew Griffin's reports on the Kids Wish Network. They were produced in partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Tampa Bay Times. They found the charity raised some $127 million in donations over the past decade, but spent precious little—less than three per cent in cash—to help dying children.
The Tampa Bay TImes has a full breakdown on the Kids Wish Network's finances including their tax returns.
The Kids Wish Network responded on Twitter:
Anderson responded to the Kids Wish Network's tweet:
A former employee of the Kids Wish Network charity says that when it comes to pictures of seriously ill children charity executives wanted to promote on websites and in brochures, the sicker the better.
Speaking to CNN in silhouette because he feared reprisals, a man who worked at the Tampa-area charity for nearly a year says he was told that a photograph he had chosen of an ill child, in effect, looked too healthy. When CNN's Drew Griffin asked him to elaborate, he said, "they want what will make them the most money."
That's just one example from the second of a two part CNN investigation into Kids Wish Network, a charity that according to tax returns has taken in $127 million in donations over the past decade, but spent precious little—less than three per cent in cash—to help dying children.
This was part of a months long investigation with the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Tampa Bay Times. You can also watch part 1 of this report on-line.
If you have a tip for Drew Griffin and the CNN Investigations team, click here
Evidence shows radiologists are cheating on medical exams by sharing test questions. CNN's Drew Griffin investigates.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/HEALTH/05/21/online.drugs/art.mail.order.drugs.03.cnn.jpg caption= "These pills were sent to CNN's Drew Griffin, even though he was never seen by a doctor."]
Editor's Note: Four Emmy nominees for Outstanding Investigative Reporting on a Regularly Scheduled Newscast were announced today. CNN's David Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffith were nominated for their pieces on online prescription drug abuse.
Drew Griffin and David Fitzpatrick
CNN Special Investigations Unit
Every night before he went to bed, he would open a prescription bottle of the muscle relaxant Soma and swallow the 8 or 9 pills his wife says would be the only way he could get to sleep. Only last summer the doses were increasing.
She thought the drugs, arriving at her doorstep every week were being prescribed by a treating physician. Her husband had been in a car accident, suffered from back pain, and Soma was the one drug that could relieve the aches.
She was wrong. Although she wants to protect her husband’s identity and hers so as not to embarrass her husband’s family, she is willing to tell the story of how he died.
She found him last August in bed in a pool of vomit. FULL POST
Program note: Watch for Drew Griffin's report on Thursday's AC360° at 10p ET
Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston
CNN's Special Investigations Unit
(CNN) - When the Democratic National Committee meets Saturday on the thorny issue of seating the Florida and Michigan delegations at its August convention, party officials will have to fashion a solution that satisfies supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton and presidential nominee front-runner Sen. Barack Obama.
It may take a Solomon-like decision to appease both candidates.
Clinton has argued that the primary results of two of the nation's largest states should count because, otherwise, millions of voters are being disenfranchised. Obama has said he is willing to work out some compromise.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/15/art.abbie.boudreau.jpg caption="Abbie Boudreau is a correspondent for CNN Special Investigations Unit."]
By Abbie Boudreau
Correspondent, CNN Special Investigations Unit
It was toward the end of the day, and my producer, Scott Zamost and I were scrolling through story tips from CNN viewers.
There was one that jumped out at us. It read, “Please, help me,” and the subject line said, “YouTube Video of Crying 16-year-old Rape Victim Pleas for Help.” There was a link to a video posted on YouTube by a Florida girl.
Right away, we watched the video, and the first thing we thought was, "Can this be real?"
Within minutes, we contacted the young girl, Crystal. We talked at length with both Crystal and her father, Dennis. Quickly, we learned this girl was real, and she had a real story she wanted to share.
Two days later, we flew to Florida to meet Crystal and to learn more about why she posted a video about her most private moments, for the world to see and judge.
She told us she felt she had nothing to lose, and she was desperate to find someone who would listen to her story.
It started with an e-mail. In fact, it was the last of more than 600 e-mails CNN received in the wake of the Northern Illinois University shootings on Valentine’s Day. But this one stood out to me.
A frustrated and clearly anguished mother of a teenager was telling us she could relate to the massacre. That’s because her own son planned a school shooting when he was a high school junior in Idaho.
I immediately contacted Elaine Sonnen and spoke to her for at least an hour. I was immediately fascinated by her story - she saw the warning signs in her son, Richard, and was able to stop him from killing his classmates. But she still worried that he could be violent if he stopped taking his medication.
Still, there was little she could do because he was now over 18 and living on his own. She wanted to talk, but we knew the story would not be complete without hearing from Richard himself.
“Do you think he would talk to us?” I asked her. She agreed to call him and find out.