Friday, November 03, 2006
Michael J. Fox talks to Anderson
Thursday, November 02, 2006
On the campaign trail with Michael J. Fox
I just got finished talking with Michael J. Fox. The actor-turned-activist is in Virginia tonight campaigning for Democratic Senate candidate Jim Webb.
Fox has drawn criticism from some who are saying he's being used to spread a misleading message. I talked about that with him a lot this afternoon, and we'll air the full interview tonight on "360."
I've never met Fox before, but he clearly is committed to the issue of embryonic stem cell research. He arrived about half an hour before the interview was to begin and took a short nap in a hotel room we'd rented.
He's been crossing the country as he campaigns for different candidates, and it has clearly taken a lot out of him. Stress makes his uncontrollable movements worse, and as you can imagine, it's been a pretty stressful couple of weeks for him.
He's not complaining, however. If anything, he seems energized by the feeling that he is making a difference.
We got a call earlier today from Rush Limbaugh's chief of staff. I thought only candidates have chiefs of staff, but apparently not. Anyway, he expressed concern that in our promo for tonight's interview we were mischaracterizing what Limbaugh said about Michael J. Fox.
In the promo, we said, "Rush Limbaugh accused him of 'faking' Parkinson's symptoms...." The chief of staff seemed to think we'd said that Limbaugh said he was faking Parkinson's. We did not say that.
Limbaugh initially said Fox was either acting or intentionally hadn't taken his medication in one of the commercials he shot for a candidate in Missouri. Limbaugh has since apologized for that, but continues to say Fox is misleading voters. (Watch Fox's ad for the Missouri candidate
Does Michael J. Fox accept Rush Limbaugh's apology? Find out tonight at 10 p.m.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
What should Anderson ask?
On Thursday, Anderson Cooper is scheduled to interview Michael J. Fox about politics, Parkinson's disease and stem cell research.
This is your opportunity to tell Anderson what he should ask. Leave your suggested question in the comment section below or e-mail your question using this form
And tune in Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET to watch the interview.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The Shot ... Halloween-style
This picture was sent by Robin Leger of St. Philippe, Quebec, Canada, through CNN's I-Report
system. It'll be "The Shot" on tonight's program.
Monday, October 30, 2006
So that's how 'bag, dad' got its name
Have you ever heard of Bagdad? Not Baghdad, but Bagdad, without the "h." As in Bagdad, Arizona.
My producer Amanda Townsend and I were in Arizona recently covering a couple of stories in the cities of Kingman and Tucson. On the drive from Kingman to Tuscon, we saw on the map that there was a small town named Bagdad, just a little bit out of the way of our route. What, we wondered, do the people of Bagdad think about what is going on in Baghdad? Was there an interesting story to tell?
Well, we found out that Bagdad is a copper mining town with about 2,700 residents. We also learned it's a generally conservative place, with what appears to be a higher level of support for the war than the country as a whole. We also discovered that a decent percentage of the town's young people have wound up traveling from Bagdad to Baghdad as members of the military. One woman told us that ten percent of her son's high school class was in Iraq at the same time.
The town enjoys its attention-getting name. The nickname of the sports teams at Bagdad High School is the Sultans. The logo is a genie on a magic carpet. But the name of the town does not have Mesopotamian origins. Legend has it that a father and a son were mining for copper in the late 1800s. The son wanted a sack for his copper and said to his father, "Do you have a bag, dad?"
Of course, we can't be absolutely positive this story is true, but everyone we talked to in town has heard it. Everyone we talked to in town also has an opinion about this war. Nobody was shy with us.
When we walked into the Miner's Diner, we talked with a couple that had a son in Iraq for nine months. We also talked with a woman whose husband was in Iraq for the first Gulf War. Most of the people we met completely backed President Bush's stance on this war. But others made a point to tell us that while they used to support the war, the time has now come to bring home the troops.
We enjoyed meeting Arizona's Bagdadians. And one of the great aspects of CNN's international scope is that the televised story of our visit can be watched in Bagdad as well as Baghdad.
Congressional power built on cash
Two things never fail to amaze me about the goings on in our nation's capital. First, the goings on themselves: Outlandish spending, inefficient bureaucracies, corruption, scandal and plain old "scratch your head" decision-making.
But what really amazes me are the answers I get when I ask questions about all these goings on: "That's just the way it's done up here, " I'm told, or, "You don't really know how it works, do you?"
It's with this bewilderment that I took it upon myself to ask a simple question for tonight's "360": Why are so many virtually unopposed and truly unopposed congressmen and women raising so much money for their campaigns?
They certainly do not need it for campaigning. Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, is expected to cruise to reelection. In 2004, he got nearly 100 percent of the vote. This time around, his opponent, a radio DJ, has so little money he can barely get yard signs up. TV ads are out of the question.
And out in Las Vegas, Rep. Shelley Berkley, a Democrat, is likely a shoo-in too. Her opponent has raised about $80,000, most of it his own money. Meantime, Rep. Berkley has raised around $2 million and counting.
So why do they need the money? Because in the city where people say -- "You don't really know how it works, do you?" -- the answer is that the city works most of the time with money. These two representatives spread much of their wealth to fellow members of Congress who need it for tight elections. Rep. Price told me it's helping the Republican team.
Rep. Berkley was blunt: "There are major issues that impact my state and it's very important I have friends in Congress." She says that because her state is sparsely populated, she sends excess campaign money to representatives in other states to make sure Nevada's concerns are "heard" when the time comes for a vote.
Vote buying? No, she says, more like access buying. "That's just the way it's done up here," I guess.