Friday, February 09, 2007
The Cafferty File: The media & the model

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following question, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

How would you characterize the television news coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith?

Please God, save me from any more news of Anna Nicole Smith. May she RIP, but I never want to hear her name or see her face again. The news coverage is completely overwhelming and unending. It's way too much coverage for someone who contributed so little. Mother Theresa didn't get this much coverage
Dave, Middletown, Rhode Island

The media coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death has been obscene. Yes, it is newsworthy, for maybe a half an hour tops. There is so much happening in the world that actually matters. This story is not worthy of a tenth of the coverage it is getting.
John, Detroit, Michigan

I consider the news coverage of Ms Smith's death to be just what I expect from the news: sensationalism, mindlessness, frivolous, shameful. Why is she more important than the three American soldiers that died yesterday?
Diane, Washington

In one word, overdone. Has it been a slow news week or what? Please, no more about this over-augmented, talentless person famous only for being famous. Not all of us care.
Patricia, Lockport, New York

Respectfully, this sort of thing is not news at all and deserves no time whatsoever on anything but an entertainment show. The media not covering the important issues in the U.S. and around the world is how we got in the mess we are in.
Anne, Green Valley, Arizona

What's the message when virtually every major government official has a higher negative rating than positive?

It would mean to people of honor, it's time to resign. Let's see if there's ONE.
Joseph, Franklin, Pennsylvania

The loud-and-clear message is that it is time to change the way this government is structured and operates. It no longer works at the behest of the people; it has become an insular den of special interest iniquity, and the American people are finally waking up to this fact.
Michael, Kauai, Hawaii

Our leaders are on the wrong path and not listening to what the people of this fine country really want from them. Maybe they should stop worrying so much about Republican or Democrat and look more at what the constituents want regardless of what their Party is.
Don, London, Ohio

The answer is the American people are what is wrong because they vote the sleazy bureaucrats that are bloated with their own importance into office.
Jerry, Hewitt, Texas

What's the most dangerous thing you've seen someone do while driving?

I once saw a woman eating a bowl of cereal while driving. Silver spoon and all!
Amber, Annapolis, Maryland

Most dangerous thing: a guy shaving with a straight razor and shaving cream, while in traffic.

I believe that listening to right-wing radio hosts is the most dangerous thing a driver can surely renders you mindless.
Ken, Baltimore, Maryland

How about eating a slice of watermelon? I saw that last summer and almost ran off the road in disbelief!
Mark, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Well, it was probably me, a long, long time ago, drinking and driving. Of course I know better now.
Susan, Anderson, Alaska
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 2/09/2007 07:48:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Edwards, Arctic vault, YouTube, Obama
Edwards decides
Presidential hopeful John Edwards elects not to fire two liberal bloggers for controversial comments they made prior to joining his campaign. How is the news being received online?

Doomsday Vault revealed
This Arctic vault will safeguard millions of seeds in the event civilization must start over following a catastrophic event like a nuclear war. Today, scientists reveal online what the vault will look like. We have the images.

Teachers "YouTubed"
Armed with cell phone cameras, students secretly record their teachers and post the candid and sometimes shocking moments online. What are schools across the country doing to balance a teacher's right to privacy with student rights to free speech and safety?

Obama's big step
Democratic Senator Barack Obama will be in Springfield, Illinois tomorrow to make a major announcement regarding his presidential plans. In a video just posted on his Presidential Exploratory Web site, Obama gives the public a preview of what we can expect including a new interactive plan to empower supporters online.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/09/2007 07:11:00 PM ET | Permalink
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The Cafferty File: Fixing Homeland Security?

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following question, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

How would you fix the Department of Homeland Security?

What was needed when Homeland Security was created was not a government monster, but an information processing agency. We had all the necessary agencies and they worked fairly well. So the only real fix is to abolish the organization and create an information sharing agency.
Roxie, Dilworth, Minnesota

Close it down, get rid of it! It has proven itself to be the most incompetent of any governmental bureaucracy; it certainly doesn't help anyone... no matter how many fairy tales they try to tell about it
McKenzie, Silt, Colorado

The first thing I would do is fire Chertoff; he has been worthless since the beginning. However, I believe that he is doing exactly as he is being told. I would then have Homeland Security take care of security. FEMA needs to be separate.
Sally, Brighton, Michigan

Other than dissolving the department and starting all over, probably the best next thing would be to decentralize the powers of the DHS. Right now, too few people are in control of too much, leading to what you have already noted: wasted resources, poor decisions with little accountability, and much delayed responses due in part to too much red tape. As it is, the DHS is just too big and clumsy to work effectively.

The only way to "fix" Homeland Security is to get rid of it. It seems to me that banding together all the individual entities under Homeland Security was pointless. Every time they make a government agency bigger it gets more inefficient.
Marilynn, Tubac, Arizona
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 2/08/2007 07:44:00 PM ET | Permalink
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
The Cafferty File: Wounded at war

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Critics say the Pentagon is intentionally obscuring the total number of wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Do you think that's the case?

Jack, There is a difference in the meanings of the words "wounded" and "injured." "Wounded" implies a battle. "Injured" does not. A soldier may be injured while fixing a piece of equipment. That injury should not be included in a count of the wounded. Perhaps there should be separate counts, or, if lumped together, it could be called something more inclusive.
Ron, Highland, New York

This administration, the Pentagon, and half of Congress are intentionally obscuring many, many things about these so-called wars and lying about the rest. So what's new?
Diane, Barneveld, New York

Golly, Jack, you don't think those nice people in the Pentagon would deliberately mislead us, do you? And they seemed like such nice people when they were telling us how wonderful life is in Baghdad.
Rosemary, Groton, Connecticut

Being in the military, I'd like to say that there is a huge difference between combat and non-combat related injuries. It is a constantly active career, and people hurt themselves all the time off the battlefield. If Senator Obama wants to know the next time I sprain my ankle playing football or pull a muscle lifting heavy equipment, then I'll send him a note, but that doesn't mean I was wounded in action.
Gregg, Allentown, Pennsylvania

What does it mean that Senate Republicans blocked debate on a resolution opposing the president's plan to escalate the war in Iraq?

It means that they just don't give a damn about anything except their own political agenda. They don't seem to care that while they play politics, more of our young men and women are being killed and maimed. They just don't care.
Colleen, North Platte, Nebraska

They will be voted out of office in 2008. Only we need a third party to fill the seats because the Democrats are just as bad.
Gene, Houston, Texas

It means that the Republicans believe it's more important to stay united as a political party than to stay united as a country.
Brian, Calgary, Alberta

It means that the divide between the American public and our elected officials is getting wider. They don't listen to us anymore.
Joseph, Orlando, Florida

Should members of Congress get one week off every month?

No. The last time I checked what is left of the Constitution it said that the Congress works for us. I don't know of a single, sane, company that would allow its employees a paid (or even unpaid) week off every month.
Jim, Grand Island, New York

Good Lord, Jack, what a silly question. If we gave them four weeks off a month, we'd be in a heckuva lot better shape! However, if Congress would promise to repeal one law a day, then I guess we could let them work part-time. But, no raises, no health benefits, and no retirement fund.
Matt, Mexico

Jack, I would be happy for Congress to have one week off a month; it would cut their time off by 75%.
Jerry, Jacksonville, Florida

Are you kidding me! A week off a month! They can't get things done as it is now! They make me sick!

No. Most Americans who actually do work get two weeks off a year, so give them one.
Bill, Melbourne, Florida
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 2/07/2007 05:43:00 PM ET | Permalink
Situation Online: Spell "Giuliani", campaign bloggers
Giuliani or Guiliani?
That is the question. A Web site that makes use of one of the most common misspellings of the presidential hopeful's name,, redirects visitors anywhere but the Giuliani campaign's Web site. We investigate.

Blogger baggage?
Presidential campaigns continue to partner with bloggers to spread their message online, but how is the online community reacting to the hire of two outspoken liberal bloggers by the John Edwards campaign? Are previous controversial remarks online coming back to haunt them?

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/07/2007 03:32:00 PM ET | Permalink
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The Cafferty File: New Yorkers in the race?
On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

How many New Yorkers are too many in the presidential race?

Jack, There's only one real New Yorker worthy of President: Rudy Giuliani. His only obstacle is Obama of Chicago. It's like a World Series rivalry. Hillary has flip-flopped too many times and the others "need not apply."
Sonnie, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Any number that contains Hillary is too many!
Mike, Sebring, Florida

Zero. Any New York politician is one too many, and I say that as an ex-New Yorker.
Dave, Pennsylvania

I don't care where they're from. The more, the merrier. More views and more choices multiply the chances that someone will emerge who appeals to the majority of the voters. I'm also game for some serious independent competition this time around.
Deborah, Indiana

I'd rather have 10 New Yorkers than 1 more Texan.
Stephen, Fort Worth, Texas

What do you think happened to the $12 billion in cash that vanished in Iraq shortly after the invasion?

Where's the money? Have you checked underneath Cheney's bed?
Irene, Staatsburg, New York

Simple, just another Bush success story... the invisible hand of the market! Why do you hate the American way? Onward to Iran!
Jim, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

Jack, I was in the military for 26 years. I know how the government squanders money. Where's the $12 billion? Just look for 3 toilets still in their original boxes in the corner of some warehouse. There it is.
John, Lexington, Kentucky

I don't know. But they will find Jimmy Hoffa before they find that money.
Brian, San Diego, California
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 2/06/2007 07:48:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Astronaut love triangle

Alleged triangle: Nowak, left, Oefelein, Shipman

Astronaut love triangle
After being confronted by NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak at the Orlando Airport, Colleen Shipman filed for a restraining order against Nowak. In her own words, Shipman describes Nowak as an "acquaintance of boyfriend" and recalls how Nowak "sprayed me with a mace or pepper spray." Shipman also said she was stalked by Nowak for approximately two months. Read that document, along with Shipman's statement to the Orlando police, here (PDF).

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/06/2007 07:09:00 PM ET | Permalink
Monday, February 05, 2007
The Cafferty File: Raising taxes & running for president

On "The Situation Room" today, we asked viewers the following questions, and here are some of our favorite responses that we didn't get to read on air:

Can John Edwards be elected president by advocating raising taxes?

Dear Mr. Cafferty, I don't think it matters what John Edwards says, I just can't see him as our next president. He seems too nice and friendly and he smiles too much. I'll vote for the first candidate who bitch-slaps one of his aides for some minor transgression.
Paul, Georgia

As long as the taxes being raised are for the wealthiest segment of our society, I will gladly vote for him. If you hadn't heard, the middle class is a bit stretched at the moment.
Alex, North Carolina

No, I don't think John Edwards can be elected president by suggesting that we pay for his health care plan by raising taxes on those making more than $200,000. Even though, really, this may be the only answer. Americans are so selfish. We want it all: universal health care, but no one wants to pay for it.
Katie, Atlanta, Georgia

We seem to reward the politicians who lie to us and punish the ones that tell the truth. Good for John Edwards. His stock just went up. Instead of squandering our money, it should be put to good use and I don't think anyone would mind.
Mary, Dover Plains, New York

How important is it for the Senate to pass a resolution opposing President Bush's troop increase plan in Iraq?

It is time to put our elected representatives on the spot. After four years of this disaster they got us into we are entitled to know their current position on the war in Iraq. The "we are supporting the troops" dodge is no longer viable. Putting our troops in the middle of an Islamic shooting gallery is like having them march down the middle of an interstate highway at rush hour. It is not "supporting" them.
Bob, Louisville, Kentucky

This is the most important debate that the United States Senate will ever have. The senators need to know that the American people are watching and will remember in 2008 whether or not they took a stand against the war. The Republican senators trying to block debate are afraid to hear what needs to be heard loud and clear. The American people want this war over now
Patricia, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Jack, It's very important. Besides sending a message to "the decider" that he's not the only decider, it might just bring some faith back to Americans that our votes count. And it will start putting an end to some of this useless war.
Marilyn, Athens, Tennessee

How is politics like a reality TV show?

Like many of the reality TV shows today, politics is a "suggested" reality. The Congress and the White House will only tell us what they decide we should know, what we should see, and what we should hear. Just as the producers and directors of a reality TV show "modify" reality to get better ratings, politics do the same, except it is votes instead of ratings.
Morgan, Tucson, Arizona

Neither would exist without corporate sponsors.
Alan, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Politics is like a TV reality show in that it contains very little reality and a whole lot of show.
Darrell, Drake, Colorado

It seems badly scripted with a bunch of incompetent, self-serving participants.
Joe, Milton, Delaware
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 2/05/2007 05:38:00 PM ET | Permalink
The Situation Online: Libby, Edwards, floods, freezing cold

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, left, returns to court Monday with attorney William Jeffress

The Libby tapes
As jurors in the trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby listen to audio recordings of his testimony before the grand jury that indicted him, bloggers inside the courthouse provide us with a preview of the tapes. Portions of the recordings will be posted online at the Web site of special council Patrick Fitzgerald.

Edwards' new plan
Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards unveiled his new health care plan calling for universal coverage. We give you an online look at his new proposal, which, if elected, he hopes to have implemented by 2012.

Indonesia under water
Hundreds of thousands of Indonesians are homeless after torrential rain and flooding inundated the capital city of Jakarta this weekend. We'll show you videos posted online documenting the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Arctic blast
As temperatures as low as 42 below zero are blasting through the Midwest, CNN is receiving I-Report images documenting the freezing cold weather.

Watch "The Situation Room" at 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 7:00 PM ET for these stories and more from our Internet reporters.
Posted By The Situation Online Producers: 2/05/2007 04:22:00 PM ET | Permalink
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