Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Vote for the top story
Please vote in the "top story" poll on the right rail of this blog. Voting ends today at 5 p.m. The results will be a part of the show's year-end special.

5:00 p.m. update: Voting is now over. We'll publish the results tomorrow. A big thanks to the more than 7,000 of you who participated.
Posted By CNN: 3:01 PM ET
I think the democrats take over of congress is the top story of the year. It will also be a story that will play out in the years to come.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 8:31 PM ET
Goodness there is so many different events that occurred in year 2006... The 3 top stories I thought were Darfur crisis in Sudan, Israeli-Hezbollah fighting in Lebanon, and the North Korea nuclear scare. But, some close runners up are the Sago mine disaster and the Democratic takeover of Congress. TIME FLYS BY!
God Bless,
Posted By Anonymous Joanna Parker, Millsboro: DE : 10:12 PM ET
Darfur should have been the top story, and although 360 did its best to bring the story to us all, it's a shame that there weren't more.
Posted By Anonymous Felicia, Lexington SC : 10:29 PM ET
I think that by in large the top story now and for years to come is the Iraq war combined with the seemingly endless fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah in Lebanon ,the complexities overlap and are interwoven to one another. The culmination of all of the violence now is what makes the top story not just one particular problem, the Iraq war, the Israeli/Hezbollah fighting and the underlying possibility of a nuclear threat that Iran could present if the US does not gain military control.

Maritza Munoz
Posted By Anonymous Maritza Munoz San Jose, Ca : 12:07 AM ET
Considering the time Anderson and CNN crew spent covering the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, I would be inclined to select this story due to the amount of coverage given, as the top story of the year. However, looking at the voting results of the poll, it seems I'm way over the rainbow in my choice for the top story for 2006 - go figure!
Posted By Anonymous Tassia, Edmonton : 12:40 AM ET
i would have to say if your taking this seriously- it was hands down the democratic takeover of congress. although the two hours of 360 tonight on a beauty queens devastating day and the trumpsters miraculous second chances; well that just might top it!
anderson i sure hope your were forced at gun point to give that much coverage to a story that is nothing but sheer nonesense...
Posted By Anonymous bridget ontario, ca : 12:41 AM ET
Wait a minute-I don't see the Miss USA scandal on this list!!! I have to admit it was hard holding back the tears watching Tara at the press conference on 360 last night. And I'll never forget The Donald's words:
Tara is a good person. Tara deserves another chance. Yeah, right. Tara has a great rack!!!! Anderson was wonderfully sarcastic last night about the whole ordeal.Does anyone know what kind of mascara Tara wears??It didn't even run despite the river of tears!!!

Seriously, the Democratic takeover of Congress seems like the biggest story this year because of its potential effects on the war and pretty much everything else.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Darby, Denham Springs, LA : 10:34 AM ET
The top story of 2006 is the Democratic takeover of Congress. Not to discount the other important stories, but at least this story may have some positive outcomes if the Democratic Party brings back words like diplomacy, compassion, open-mindedness and good debate to the political process of our nation.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 10:35 AM ET
RE: last nights show

Good on the sarcasm, it's about time that returned.

The beauty queen mess, Anderson should know she was using waterproof mascara, it's probably the same kind he wears, you know since he wears more makeup on a daily basis than I have in my entire life.

Just a note:

Spelling issues last night -
tiera = tiara
Altlantic City = Atlantic city

the crawl was also a spelling and grammar mess, please have someone who has English as a first language verify it before it goes to air.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 12:30 PM ET
The top story is the deterioration of an already bad situation in Iraq (and the inability of American leaders to understand and reverse it) - even if it's not on your list of choices. Maybe the lack of whiz-bang video clips and "breaking" headlines prevents a picture-centric news outlet from understanding that this is news? I think it's far and away the biggest story of 2006. (Also not on your list, and also big, is our continuing failure as a nation to help New Orleans back to health.) As time passes, Iraq's devolution, not merely Rumsfeld's demise, will be the most remembered story of 2006. I remember it the most right now, and every day. "Big news" and "short attention span" don't have to go together, do they?
Posted By Anonymous Ellen L., Randallstown, MD : 12:54 PM ET
I gotta go with Iraq because it effects the whole world and prevents actionable plans to deal with the rest, plus it is the symbol of the total mess we are in. Plus, the CNN folks who have hung in the major danger zone to bring us the stories are terrific. Hope Michael and Arwa are resting and getting a lot of tender loving care over the holidays. Gotta hand it to CNN guys in Beruit and Gaza, too. As to Tara the Drama Queen, I heard a High voice and saw no real tears. Suppose that's why the make-up didn't run. The voice thing goes to the new voice lie detector thing and the no real tears goes to alcoholics don't cry real tears---oops, she's not an alcoholic and just got tempted in the big apple and will take advantage of all that free rehab. Did anybody notice the change in her face--puffy. Glad they are getting all that win-win publicity for the pageant and instituting a drug test. Shades of Foley, the high testoterone-steroid overpaid pro-athletes, and a few others. Go AC, keep callin' 'em.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista,ar : 2:45 PM ET
with the democratic take over of congress is just showing everyone in america that the citizens are listening to what is going on in the world, and in our own country, from the probles with Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Darfur, Immigration, and the repeated accounts of child preditors. I hope all our Politicans take note what we know how dangerous the middle east acutually is to our country and we want something done to protect us and the future of our childern.
Posted By Anonymous nancy Big rapids michigan : 3:47 PM ET
The top news story should be the crisis in Darfur, unfortunately most people are not aware of the atrocities going on there. A close runner up would be the mess in Iraq- this will be something that we will be dealing with for years to come- Thanks George for giving our generation its own war to be bitter about. It makes me sick to think about what we could have accomplished within our own borders with the money we have spent in Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Orlando, Fl. : 3:48 PM ET
The top story's gotta be the Darfur crisis in Sudan simply because it's the one that most needed to be told.

Thank you for telling it.
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie Costello, Los Angeles, CA : 3:56 PM ET
I won't tell what I voted for, but maybe there should have been an "other" and fill in the blank in which to vote for the top story of 2006. I'd have voted for all of the above and declared the "Top" story of 2006 our Military. Our Troops are giving more than we can ever thank them for..But I thank each and every one of them. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 3:56 PM ET
...oh yeah - what about NEW ORLEANS???
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie Costello, Los Angeles, CA : 4:01 PM ET
The lack of trust in our leaders and the frustration with a congress that has done nothing for its people.
Posted By Anonymous Terik Ororke New Castle, PA : 4:04 PM ET
International disasters and Africa are the stories of the year. The sad thing is it doesn't look like it will change next year.
Posted By Anonymous tanya london, canada : 4:04 PM ET
It looks like the Democratic takeover will be the #1 story of the year, but since Darfur will be 2nd and Anderson, the 360 crew and CNN tried so hard to bring this horrible genocide to the light, maybe they could do the TWO top stories of the year.
to em-Happy Holidays, hope your tv stops working so we don't have to read your criticisms of AC360!
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Scarboro Ont. Canada : 4:21 PM ET
The voting has been very interesting to watch. I am looking forward to the show and I hope that the wonderful AC team will point out that the areas getting the �most votes� are things that have recently happen and are still fresh in everyone�s mind. While I think the democratic takeover was interesting, the major story there will be what will happen because of it in the next year. That is why I have not voted for that. The Darfur crisis was an interesting and important story and I am glad to see it ranking right up there. My vote was split between the Hezbollah fighting and the Iran Nuclear concerns. Which I seem to be the only one concerned about the fact that at some point in the not so distant future a deadly missile will be aimed at all of our heads. Here�s hoping we all like double heads.

Keep up the great work guys; it will be an awesome show.
Posted By Anonymous Marcy, Mobile, AL : 4:25 PM ET
If it wasn't for the Iraq war, there would not have been a Democratic takeover of Congress this year!
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 4:27 PM ET
My top story is an event that occured in 2005 and only CNN still covered it in 2006 but it is the biggest one :
The Aftermath of Katrina and Rita.
We shall never, ever forget until everyone has recovered from it...
Posted By Anonymous Manon, Longueuil, Quebec : 4:45 PM ET
I already voted for the Israel conflict. I had never watched a conflict so closely-every day. Then I went to see Blood Diamonds. If you take away the Hollywood fluff, it could describe Darfur and most of Africa. I think I might have to change my vote. I'm looking forward to the recap!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 5:05 PM ET
Re Katrina.

It seems the stories are fewer and farther between. However, there is so much more going on down there other than the rebuilding - volunteers have come down there not only to rebuild but to help emotionally as well. How about some stories on that in 2007. Someone from down NOLA has told me they feel the media has moved on and they will be forgotten.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia Warren, MI : 5:14 PM ET
I agree with Ellen, the Dem takeover affects the Iraq situation and hopefully will lead to the betterment of the Katrina aftermath. Add that to what will hopefully become an increase in oversight, the end to the culture of corruption, and accountability for BushCo and the war profiteers, and I don't see another story that even comes close. America has spoken-it is truly time for change, and I, for one, am excited!
Posted By Anonymous nathan, junction city ks : 5:18 PM ET
For me the top story was, without question, the Democratic takeover of Congress in the midterm elections. I am not saying that Iraq and Darfur and Iran are not important. What I am saying is that the people of this country spoke and effected change in their government. This was democracy at work, just the way the founding fathers wanted. Any time one branch of government becomes too powerful and threatens the delicate checks and balances of our system of government, something must be done to stop it. That was what happened in this midterm election. We have a President who has dangerously overstepped his power in a number of areas and was aided and abetted in this by a rubber stamp Republican Congress. While I am concerned about the pressing international situation, none of that will matter if we lose our basic civil liberties and freedoms at home. Our Constitution has been under assault by an administration that seems determined to run roughshod over sacred and timeless rights such as habeas corpus, and engages in warrantless surveillance of American citizens in direct violation of the Constitution. Add to this volatile mix, the unilateral invasion of Iraq under false pretenses.

Now that the Democrats control one key branch of government, here's hoping they can restore some balance and sanity. We are indeed in dire straits and the Democrats have their work cut out for them trying to do the will of the people and undo some of the mess that our country is in right now. I can only pray that they have the courage to stand up to this administration and fight for the rights of the people who returned them to power.
Posted By Anonymous Mindy Chatsworth, Ca. : 6:38 PM ET
I really don't think the Democratic takeover of Congress should be the biggest story. The fact that it's the most recent story makes it feel like it's the most important. It's not like this scenario (one party President, different party Congress) has never happened before. We just need to look back retrospectively. If this were right after the Sago Mine disaster, that would've been the top choice. That's just what happens.
Posted By Anonymous Emily, St. Paul, MN : 6:54 PM ET
I think that every event had a very important impact on us.From Darfur to Iran.And I guess in 2007 we hope we would look for a better world..but it does not seem it is close to a peacful world.We just hope that this years problems would wash away with the problems of the past.May peace wash the world
Posted By Anonymous H.A NJ US : 7:15 PM ET
The Democratic takeover in Congress, and thank you "Time Magazine" for making ME and anyone else who buys your magazine, Person Of The Year!

LOL ! ! !
Posted By Anonymous Chris, Katy, TX : 9:03 PM ET
Anderson I thought when you put the ski goggles on and stood in the hurricane, that was was some of your finest reporting. We are now coming to the end of the year, and I would have to say, Sitting with the Gorillas was top story of the year. The Sudan situation from the people, landscape, culture and the wild life, would have to be story of the year. The Mine accident or debockel would have to be a close second!
Posted By Anonymous Claude Calgary AB Canada : 10:32 PM ET
Alas, as illustrated by the serious deterioration of coverage on 360 these past two weeks (was there a new producer or just a decision to pander?), the biggest story might be how the American media failed to cover the stories of importance and the American public failed to demand their media do better. You know there is something wrong when the media covers TomKat more than they do a genocide.

Bisexual beauty queens in bathing suits is real news??? And worthy of being the top story at the start of the hour??? Especially when compared to the ongoing tragedies in Sudan, Iraq, Congo, Afghanistan, the areas affected by Katrina, etc? The ongoing problems of war, genocide, poverty, lack of affordable health care, the environment, violence, and our deteriorating schools apparently don't look as good in a bikini.

Less sleaze, please!

It was, however, heartening to see the poll results thus far, and that the people voting really do care about issues that matter. It gives me hope that maybe the media (and, sadly, 360 as of late) will give the sleazy stories less coverage and the important stories more. But, until they do, I hope that those of us who care about what the news covers e-mail into our favorite shows to thank them when they do stories that matter and let them know that we don't appreciate it when they spend so much time on sleaze.

How many people around the world--and here in the US-- died or were harmed by the issues mentioned above in the time it took 360 to air stories about the beauty queen, dead hooker, and no-news-to-report-but-

C'mon, already! Cooper and y'all at 360 are better than this and really damn good at what you do when you stick to stories that matter. And, according to the poll, you are needlessly dumbing down your broadcast when we viewers are yearning for more content.
Posted By Anonymous Norah, West Chester, PA : 10:42 PM ET
Who cares about Africa, who cares about some some beauty queen. Worry about your own country for a change!
Posted By Anonymous LAH Potomac Falls, VA : 10:56 AM ET
My vote for the top story would be, "Broken Government." Right after it aired, the GOP lost decisively in 2006.
Posted By Anonymous Joan E. Harman, Dalton Gardens, Idaho : 1:30 PM ET
To Norah in Westchester, PA:

Posted By Anonymous Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 7:08 PM ET
All of the stories mentioned have grave significance in OUR WORLD.

However, as long as OUR AMERICAN YOUNG MEN & WOMEN Die and Return Home---

Tramatized physically, mentally, and spiritually, from THE WAR IN IRAQ, there is NO OTHER STORY that has had such a DEVASTATING EFFECT on OUR LIVES.

This EVIL CONFRONTATION (that is continuously ESCALATING) in the Middle East, obviously overshadows ALL of the other Big Stories of 2006.
Posted By Anonymous SenoritaR, New York , N.Y. : 12:36 AM ET
"Especially when compared to the ongoing tragedies in Sudan, Iraq, Congo, Afghanistan, the areas affected by Katrina, etc? The ongoing problems of war, genocide, poverty, lack of affordable health care, the environment, violence..."

The unforgettable disturbing stories are tribal/humanitarian/sexual abuse/racial/religious/political/greed/corruption/economic inequality/duplicitous/ hardened attitudes which feed mans' inhumanity to man now and in centuries past. They seem worse than 20 years ago but it is exposed by better communication worldwide. We are becoming more and more hardened to the human condition, here and abroad. Keep mankind�s many miseries major media news.
Posted By Anonymous Sheri Lew, Littleton, CO : 2:47 AM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

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