Thursday, December 21, 2006
Your top stories of the year
Unless you are David Letterman, making Top Ten lists can be a tricky business. Fortunately, we didn't have to pick a top story when putting together our "Anderson Cooper: Unforgettable Stories 2006" special for tonight. We left that to you.

And this Democratic process ended with a Democratic result: You chose the "Democratic Takeover of Congress" as the top story of 2006. Thanks for the input. And check out the results below to see how your choice stacks up against those of your fellow voters.

Question: What was the top story of 2006?

Sago mine disaster
7% - 515 votes

Darfur crisis in Sudan
15% - 1115 votes

Democratic takeover of Congress
28% - 2047 votes

Israeli-Hezbollah fighting in Lebanon
13% - 957 votes

Iraq war: Donald Rumsfeld's resignation
11% - 792 votes

Immigration debate
8% - 593 votes

Nuclear concerns over Iran
4% - 279 votes

John Mark Karr's false confession
3% - 213 votes

Warren Jeffs' capture
1% - 40 votes

Scandals: Congress, the Rev. Ted Haggard
3% - 222 votes

North Korea nuclear scare
7% - 506 votes

James Frey's fictional nonfiction
0% - 28 votes

Celebs' bad behavior
2% - 129 votes

Total: 7436 votes

(Disclaimer: This QuickVote is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole. The QuickVote sponsor is not responsible for content, functionality or the opinions expressed therein.)
Posted By Sean Yates, CNN Senior Producer: 4:28 PM ET
Hey Sean~
VERY INTERESTING! Thanks 360 for bringing us these great stories throughout the year. Cheers to a new year of stories ( where will Anderson go in '07?) and THANKS for keeping us informed. Nobody does it better!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 4:51 PM ET
I would love to see the demograph of those that participated in the poll.
Posted By Anonymous Schuyler Deerman, Berlin, Germany : 5:04 PM ET

Even though I voted for the Democratic takeover as the story of the year, it does not diminish the importance of many of the other stories on the list--at least those of a political or national security nature. I think our preoccupation with Iraq and the polarization in Congress has led to our not taking care of the business of running the country. If we were paying more attention to workplace safety, would the mine disaster have happened? If we were not involved in a war but in active diplomatic negotiations, would the Lebanon conflict have occurred? Maybe, maybe not. The Democratic takeover will affect every aspect of how the President and Congress govern for at least the next two years. And if they don't do the job there is a good chance of another upheaval at the next election.

I pray that the big story for 2007 will be that there is peace and security for the people of Iraq and that our troops have come home. Talk about a miracle that will be.
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte D, Stockton CA : 5:10 PM ET
They really all are important stories of 2006. There are no losers or winners. Of course my vote didn't WIN, but I will not be requesting a recount. Instead I will be praying for a peaceful new year and watching the Rosie and Donald Show..Hold the popcorn! Let's hope that little feud doesn't become the Top Story of 2007. But nothing ever surprises me anymore. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 5:17 PM ET
Hi Sean, As far as I'm concerned most of the stories that Anderson Cooper 360 brought us in 2006 were excellent. Thanks Anderson and 360 crew for all your hard work and great investigating and coverage of ALL these stories, and thanks to CNN for airing them, especially allowing AC and crew the Sudan coverage. My best wishes to all concerned for a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to more of the same in '07.
Posted By Anonymous Bev Ontario Canada : 5:34 PM ET
I voted for the Darfur crisis as the top story because I consider it to be the greatest humanitarian crisis in present times. It's interesting to me how other people voted. All issues were important. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the AC360 team and for everyone else in CNN (Mr. Larry King, Ms. Paula Zahn, etc.). You all have been in my living room to provide me with unbiased and complete reporting on all the current events, and for that I'm very appreciative.
Posted By Anonymous Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 5:48 PM ET
We certainly are a politicaly polarized nation, aren't we? "Broken Government" was fantastic, your coverage of Katrina top notch, and of course, every political piece was done fairly and objectively. Im just glad we have Anderson and his team to show the spinmasters at slant, er, fox news, what journalistic integrity means. They could use a refresher course ;)
Posted By Anonymous nathan, junction city ks : 6:03 PM ET
The sad reality is that one more year has gone by and there were so many unfortunate events, that once again have filled our lives, our history, our past in a scatter series of unfortunate events, but truly there isn�t one of this major event from the year 2006 that can be eligible to be a winner. In my opinion anyway! I must say that Democratic takeover of Congress is the winner for me. Let�s hope all the best for the American Country and the rest of our world.
Posted By Anonymous Pilar Garcia, Alberta, Canada : 6:30 PM ET
Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men. But in the meantime, there are areas that hold interest to me. Oxaca, Mexico--Thailand--Indonesia--Marshall Islands, poverty in the cities-immigration to the mainland-Bikini Islands and birth defects. Contractors who recruit 'workers' from the world pool without real background checks. You've done some really good mental health stories and rehab is definitely in the news. Real rehab, not the celeb variety, would be interesting as it comes in so many forms and is very fragmented, unaffordable, and in many areas just not available. May favorite story was a small town judge that sentenced a couple that ran a meth lab and daycare in the same home to three weeks treatment in the state penal system and then community service. The man's community service was to help coach the local middle school football team.
Can't see that you'll run out of stories anytime soon. The Donald-Rosie publicity battle type-hype no doubt will always be there. Keep on keepin' us informed.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista,ar : 7:18 PM ET
Fantastic reporting all year, everyone.

I still feel that hurricane recovery should have been a voting option. It became and still is so important to keep our nation aware of what's going on down there.

I was just in NOLA volunteering last month - it was tremendously rewarding and eye-opening. Anyone who can make it down there in the coming year would be most appreciated by NOLA citizens. They are still in dire need of daily food/shelter/clothing and feel forgotten.

I'm told that as of December 31 2006, the gutting of homes will stop because FEMA will no longer pay the city to haul away debris from cleared out homes - it will be @ the owner's expense (don't get me started). Homeowners will need people to help with this task so the salvageable houses won't become bulldozed from lack of attention.

Thank you!
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie Costello, Los Angeles, CA : 7:32 PM ET
Anderson your show does have an impact on my day to day life. This morning in the dog park I saw a baby foe get separated from its beautiful white tail moma(deer). In a panic, the foe tried to clear the fence but its right rear leg got caught in the wire. I quickly got to the scene hoping not to get kicked in the head. Telling the deer to calm down, like it understood me, I pull out my wire cutter and cut the leg free. At that moment I thought about Anderson sitting with the Gorrillas. The Gorillas not knowing what the camera was. I voted for the Gorillas and Sudan. O well, all the stories that make your show are winners and yes Jack Cafferty and Broken Goverment was a true winner without a doubt!
Posted By Anonymous Claude Calgary AB Canada : 8:46 PM ET
I demand a re-count. Where was the Trump Rosie story. The year is not over yet!
Posted By Anonymous Claude Calgary AB : 9:22 PM ET
Dear Nathan,
Fair and balanced? Are you kidding? I thought that the newsroom on election day was disgusting, they could barely keep their feet on the ground. They all but turned flips! And did you see Anderson interview the Iranian president? It was typical "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" attitude. Entertaining, yes. Fair and balanced, NO. Fox is no more biased than CNN, and I watch both. We have to start being truthful with ourselves in this country.
Posted By Anonymous Cecilia, Houston Texas : 9:43 PM ET
I couldn't find the appropriate place, if any, to post this comment... but Anderson's recap of the O'Donnell/Trump was the funniest thing I've seen in a while. [Sluuurp] "Oh no she dih'ent," made my night... and I have a law school exam tomorrow, so smiles don't come easily.

Reluctantly, Anderson Cooper, I'll say it, I'm a fan.
Posted By Anonymous John, Buffalo, NY : 10:45 PM ET
Dear Sean,

"Power to the People." Coming on the heels of "Time Magazine's Person of the Year-You," the Democratic Takeover of Congress" was the logical choice for top story of 2006.

It is about time that "we the people" banded together to exercise our collective power. Now that we have "discovered" it, I hope we can continue to put it to good use.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 12:23 AM ET
That was a great show tonight Anderson, both hours. I loved your humor on the Rosie/Donald fiasco, and it was fascinating to watch and remember all the stories from 2006. Thanks and have a great Christmas you and your staff and all of CNN employees.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Scarboro Ontario Canada : 12:39 AM ET
I was suprised that the top story of the year was the Democrats taking over Congress. Wasn't that a no brainer for a representative democracy? Had the Democrats not, taken control of Congress, that would have been a top story. For me that leaves the next two topics, Darfur and the Sago mine disater.

First Darfur. History does repeat itself, if Mankind does not learn from the past. Does no one remember the sytemmatic murder of millions of Jews in WWII? I guess not, because we have since seen the intellectual cleansing of the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge lead by Pol Pot, Saloth Sar. Then there was the genetic cleansing by the Serbs during the war in Bosnia. Now there is the war in Darfur. Although the US has done more than most countries of the UNSC as far as sanctions against the Sudanese government, much more must be done to stop the murder and starvation at the hands of the Sudanese funded Janjaweed. As to who is at fault, in all this, who knows. The important point here is an entire group of African people are being murdered and starved out of existense and the world doesn't seem to care.

Then there is the Sago Mine Disater. I admit to me this is a top story because I was raised about 30 minutes northeast of the Sago area in Elkins, WV. I view this as a top story not because of the loss of life and miscommunication, both of which were horrific, but, because Sago is an example of disasters yet to come. With the price of oil rising and the advent of clean coal technology, mining will be profitable enough to warrant the reopeining of small non-union mines like Sago. Safety violations in existence when these mines were closed or sold off will continue to exist when the mines reopen with little improvement. The companies owned by the subsidiaries, owned by the conglomerates who purchased these non-union mines will put their money into getting the coal out, with little interest in improving safety. Without union support, the miners have little recourse but to work the mines or go unemployed.

Finally, Anderson, you were halarious in the presentation of the Rosie O'Donnell/Donald Trump segment. Even more humorous was seeing Jeffrey Tubane analize the legal implications of Donald's possible law suite!! Great TV!!! I was surprised to see that your junk food choices are the same as mine, popcorn, Snickers, Twizzlers (I like the strawberry) and Coke!!! Of course at my age (over 50) I can only have one of the above. Oh, I hate getting old!!!!

And one suggestion for "the Donald". If you have to be a bully to women like Martha Stewart and Rosie O'Donnell to advertize your show, you might as well hang it up. [Walks off chewing her strawberry Twizzler].

Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Katherine Sbarra, Ellicott City, MD : 5:15 AM ET
I feel that at least two catagories could be combined. That of Rummy's resignation (DOD) and the Democratic win in congress. Do you think Rummy would have left (or got bagged) had not the face of power in Washington had changed ? Many interconnected stories are here on this questionair.
Posted By Anonymous Tim Shelest : 7:13 AM ET
Death of The Crocodile Hunter
1 Vote
Posted By Anonymous Tim, Malvern PA : 9:30 AM ET
George W. Bush will continue his bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for "Most Frequent Use of the Blame-the-Messenger Strategy (Modern Era)."
1 Vote
Posted By Anonymous Jeff, Radnor PA : 9:38 AM ET
It's no surprise to me that the Democratic take over was the "winner". I work in a mostly Republican office, and others try to convert me all the time. One thing I've noticed is that we all agree on what's wrong with the country and the world, we just have different thoughts on how to fix it.

In this holiday season, lets remember that we all seek a common goal. We all want a better world for our children and grandchildren, and a safe prosperous world for everyone. One day, I pray we get there.

Happy Holidays to everyone, and your families.
Posted By Anonymous Renae, Appleton, WI : 9:55 AM ET
You topped Letterman last nite with your popcorn and drink during the Don- Rosie match.
Posted By Anonymous Boyd Phoenix, AZ : 10:26 AM ET
Thanks to AC "365" for such an interesting "special" I look forward for once to the reruns of this special edition.

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY! Take some time off! (not just AC)
Posted By Anonymous Marcy, Mobile, AL : 11:50 AM ET
War in Iraq brought so much pain to the nation. The government talks about winning the war but frankly I don't even know what we fighting for, but I do know that we lost a LOT of young men and women in Iraq. They were so young. Most of them probably right out of high school. My heart aches as I see fallen solders.
I would hope next year Iraq war would stop and we will bring troops home. I would also hope the government would more focus on Iraq, US economy, and slow housing market rather than immigration issues. I am not saying immigration issues are not important, but I think solder's life is more important than someone crossing the border. Saving $99 bil. in war is more important than spending it. Wouldn't you agree?
In a mean time, I would like to thank Anderson Cooper for his dedication and passion for his work. He is for real.
Posted By Anonymous Amanda, Omaha, NE : 12:26 PM ET
I voted for Darfur,didn't think it would come in first place, but glad it came in 2nd. I would like to think that we will see peace in 2007, but realisticly, I think it will get worst before it gets better. And I'm a very positive person, imagine! I hope you'll stay on top of Darfur because it has taken a turn for the worst in the last weeks. But I'm sure that you will have the choice for stories in 2007. At least, the year is ending on a funny note(Rosie vs. Trump). Anderson, last night was priceless. You were funny. Didn't your mother teach you not to talk while eating?Lol.
I love your humor. To you and your team and everybody at CNN, thank you for a great year of reporting and a wonderful 2007. TO all the bloggers also. I'm signing off until after christmas(I'll try! I might suffer from withdrawal so I'll compensate by getting sugar highs!!!!And singing "WHite Christmas", there is still no snow here. My first green Christmas ever. Snif...Bye!

Joanne Ranzell
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne Ranzell Laval Quebec : 2:24 PM ET
Anderson, I don't think your treatment of Rosie O'Donnell on air has been fair. She's a COMEDIAN. Her comments about Trump were FUNNY and truthful. His about her were just plain nasty, and untrue. Your trying to paint her as a name-calling bully like Trump is inaccurate and insulting. I used to like you, but now you're so sensationalist that I'm done.
Posted By Anonymous Angela Holt, Huntsville Alabama : 3:11 PM ET
How about a section on the blog to Thank our Men and Women of the United States Military who have been away Keeping our Freedom this part year.

To all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coasties:

Even though the media may forget you, please remember that for every doubter, there�s someone out here who loves you and supports you! People who are against the war are not against you. You go where others fear to go.
You are the finest sons and daughters on Earth. May God comfort you when you are lonely, keep you warm when you are cold, and

"May the Road rise to meet you,
The wind be always at your back,
The Sun shine warm upon your face,
The Rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."
Posted By Anonymous xtina - Chicago IL : 3:56 PM ET
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the top story of the year is Barbaro. No other story embodies the triumph of spirit, love, compassion, selflessness, and will to survive in the face of near-insurmountable odds.
Posted By Anonymous Susan E., St. Louis, MO : 4:09 PM 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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