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Wednesday, May 02, 2007
From polar bears to Joan Baez...
Have you ever taken the "red eye" flight across the country? No matter how much you are able to sleep on the flight, you still wind up feeling kind of disoriented. That's the way I feel right now, but I'm sure it will wear off by the broadcast tonight. Let's hope, at least.

I'm back in New York after covering the immigration rallies in Los Angeles. As we showed on the program last night, the Los Angeles rally ended with police firing rubber bullets to disperse a crowd. The LAPD has launched an investigation.

Tonight on "360," we're covering a range of stories. It seems Don Imus has hired an attorney and there is talk of a lawsuit. We'll look into what his options are tonight, and whether or not CBS might have violated his contract by firing him the way they did.

President Bush said this morning he's confident a compromise can be made between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill regarding the $124 billion war spending bill. He vetoed the measure yesterday. This afternoon, he's meeting with congressional leaders at the White House. Democrats are talking about requiring benchmarks to measure the progress in Iraq. The question facing lawmakers is whether to require consequences if the benchmarks aren't met.

Tonight, we're also planning to talk with folk-singer and antiwar activist Joan Baez, who had wanted to sing for injured troops at Walter Reed Medical Center. In a letter to the Washington Post published today, she said rocker John Mellencamp asked her to perform with him and she accepted the invitation. She says days later she found out she was banned from performing. Baez says some soldiers might have thought she was a traitor for being against the war in Iraq, just as she was against the war in Vietnam 40 years ago. But this time, she says, she felt she could make sure the troops had a better welcome home and that's why she wanted to sing at Walter Reed.

I'm curious to hear what you think: Should Baez be allowed to perform? Have we done enough to take care of and welcome back our returning troops?

We'll also continue our "Planet in Peril" reports tonight. Wildlife Biologist Jeff Corwin spent the last few days in Alaska and beyond. He went out on a polar bear chase with a team of government scientists. They shot the bears with tranquilizers and then gathered data on the bears' height and weight. They did this in the middle of the arctic on a massive sheet of ice in temperatures that felt like negative 15 degrees. It's important work for the scientists. I wish I had been able to join them on that adventure, though I must say I'm enjoying the nice 70 degree weather here in New York. See you tonight.

-- By Anderson Cooper
Posted By CNN: 1:58 PM ET

I sure hope CBS had some kind of clause in that contract to exercise their right to fire someone for using racial slurs and infuriating the masses. You would think that a business entity that huge would have safguards and a massive legal team. I sure hope so. But regardless, a point was made.

Yes, Joan Baez should be allowed to perform with John Mellencamp. The Vietnam era was so different in some ways and in some ways similar to Iraq. But she has good intentions and can't we forgive?

Progress and Iraq...hmm...sounds like an oxymoron to me...hmm...moron-a synonym for President Bush. Wow, the lucidity of it all.

Hope you make it back to New Orleans for the paperback release of "Dispatches from the Edge."
It truly is a great read. You write like your father.
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 2:26 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
My, My, what a variety of topics! Polar bears, Joan Baez, Don Imus wants a lawsuit, vetoed bills....And a red eye flight to boot. My mind is spinning already. I guess I'll take a deep breath and watch AC360 tonight. Just please no updates on Rose and Don...That would tip the scales of overload newsflashes too much..Take Care
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif : 2:29 PM ET
Of coarse, Joan Baez should be allowed to perform for our military personnel. Just because someone is anti-war, it doesn't mean they are against the troops who fight in those wars.

Those of us who are opposed to war, are opposed to the policies of those politicians who rush into an unprovoked war without exhausting all diplomatic channels, or even worse, lie to the American public as the Bush administration did.

One thing that unites all of us in any time of war is that we want the war to end as soon as possible so all of our troops can return safely.
Posted By Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 2:30 PM ET
From reading some reports of the Baez story it seems some of the soldiers didn't want her to be there. Whether you agree with her stance on the war, which I do, it's really up to the audience she'd perform for to make that choice.

It's ashame the way the soldiers from Vietnam were treated by her and others. I can understand why some of our Iraq war vets would be hesitate to have her perform.
Posted By Lisa, Tampa, Florida : 2:31 PM ET
Sounds like a busy show!

I think Joan Baez should be able to perform--after all, she didn't invite herself, and she states "some soldiers might think she's a traitor.." - but what's the real reason she's banned? I doubt half the troops even know who she is, let alone relating her to her views on Vietnam.

And why is it that just because you're against the war, you're automatically labeled as against the troops? We were lied to to get into this war, and I hate hearing about more and more troops getting maimed and killed for a BS reason(Iraq). Wanting them out of harms way is for the troops, not against them. And as usual, our government turns their backs on them once they're of no use anymore--hey, just like Vietnam!!
Posted By Dave Sumers, Tinley Park, IL : 2:48 PM ET

of course Joan Baez should be allowed to perform! Why would she not be allowed? This is a free country and everyone is free to express his/her opinion.
It sounds like Baez wants to make an effort to cheer up our injured troops - why not let her do this?
The government sure enough does not know how to take care of returning troops and how to integrate them back into the society at home nor do they seem to make great efforts at times.

I am also curious to see report from Alaska, though like you Anderson, I am enjoying the 90 degree weather here in SW Florida :)
Posted By Elke, SW Florida : 2:52 PM ET
As far as i know Ms Baez is not against the soldiers..only against the of course i think she should have been allowed to perform!!!
Posted By catherine,quebec city : 2:53 PM ET
It seems Republican's have very long memories, maybe that's why their symbol is the elephant?Whether it is Joan Baez or Jane Fonda they are just not ready to forgive and move on.
Posted By Phebe, Phoenix, AZ : 2:53 PM ET
I had to bring this up. When Joan Baez protested the Vietnam War, wasn't she exercising her FREEDOM OF SPEECH? I wouldn't call that a traitor.
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 3:01 PM ET
Whatever makes the soldiers happy. If they feel she's a traitor, they have every right to dismiss her just as she has every right to express her opinions. However, with her words she may have made them feel unappreciated or perhaps demoralized them. But has not John Mellencamp also expressed anti-war sentiments? How come he gets to perform? That doesn't make any sense. They need to be consistent.

I have to be honest with you Anderson, I'm more interested and looking forward to the polar bear story than Joan Baez. I wish you had been able to join them too, sounds like an awesome adventure. And, just think, you don't have to worry about malaria, parasites or any other funky stuff like in Brazil or Thailand! See you tonight.
Posted By Mariela, New York, NY : 3:04 PM ET
Have we done enough to take care of and welcome back our returning troops?

How do you repay someone for the loss of their foot? Or their legs? Or their Dad? I’m not sure we could ever do enough, but from a practical standpoint, has the situation at Walter Reed been resolved? Do they now have the proper funding for the number of soldiers they are working with?

Personally, I’d like to see a bill passed where anyone who serves in active combat in a war zone never pays taxes again. If you’re willing to stand between an IED and your fellow countryman surely that's enough of a contribution to the running of the country. It's a fantasy, I know, but perhaps that would start to get a little closer to "enough".
Posted By Claire Colvin, White Rock, BC : 3:04 PM ET
I think Joan Baez should absolutely be able to perform. Part of a healthy democracy is the ability to debate issues that concern the country. It is important for us to hear multiple sides of a story ( like I need to tell you that!). As far as taking care of our soldiers, I think we need to do a much better job of supporting men and women who return from battle as well as care for the families who lose loved ones on the front lines.
Looking forward to the show tonight!
Posted By Pamina, Pittsford, New York : 3:05 PM ET
To comment on the Joan Baez portion of your post:

Walter Reed did absolutely the right thing. The North Vietnamese Army has said that they were on the verge of surrender when Jane Fonda and those like her got the anti-war message going strong. They realized that if they could hold out a little longer that public sentiment in America would turn the tide of the war in their favor.

What resulted because of this, far more soldiers killed and wounded than have been in the Iraq war, and millions of civilians in South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos slaughtered. Now, is Joan Baez totally responsible for this, no. But the seditious acts by her and those like her; providing aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States during wartime, have earned her this place of disgust from those in uniform.

As someone who served in Iraq, I would not want someone who was not only anti-war, but anti-troops to sing for wounded servicemen and women. Good Call WRAMC leadership!
Posted By Nestor, Austin, TX : 3:07 PM ET
Joan Baez is far too radical, liberal and anti-war to be singing at Walter Reid...
You ask if we have done enough to take care of and welcome back our troops... My answer is a resounding no... We can never do enough for the returning troups... How do you repay or thank someone who has risked their lives,lost limbs, lost families? Wasn't CNN the one that reported on Walter Reed and other VA hospitals that are understaffed, with some patients committing suicide due to mis-diagnosis? Aren't we still getting reports about vets suffering from Agent Orange etc. and not getting compensated? I am surprised that you would ask a question like that... Nothing will ever be enough after what they have all been through and still going through... Visit and read SANDBOX which are posts from our troops overseas and then ask yourself if we have done enough...
Otherwise, Anderson, you are doing a terrific job...
Posted By Sherry Sarasota, fl : 3:08 PM ET
Baez should be allwed to perform. There is a misconception that if a person is against a war that they are against the troops. I fully support our military who served in the past and in the present. I do not support the war in Iraq brought on by our government who fed us half truths to justify it.

As for the march in Los Angeles, I truly don't understand why illegals were allowed to march. Why weren't they automatically deported? I find it sad that our police department is now being scrutinized for how they dispersed these law breakers who don't respect our borders, our laws, or our police.
Posted By Mei Lan, Costa Mesa, CA : 3:09 PM ET

Jane Fonda was the one who was called Hanoi Jane and visited Hanoi. Joan Baez sang protest songs, blocked streets and made a peaceful protest against the Vietnam War by not paying her taxes voluntarily. Not that I am old enough to know any of this first hand of course. Anyhoo, as one who also opposes the war but supports the troops, I would hope that Joan would be able to perform. However, it should be up to the soldiers to decide.

I am glad 360 made it to Alaska. I had sent in that suggestion, not that I think 360 went there because of me. NPR is doing a similar series and this week they are in England checking out a valley where the early factories from the Industrial Revolution spewed out their venom and pollution. That would be a nice place to visit. Ciao!
Posted By Charlotte D, Stockton Ca : 3:12 PM ET
Hi Anderson. Should Baez be allowed to perform? Absolutely. At this point the majority of the country is against the war. If she's allowed to explain her views maybe the soldiers that think she's a traitor will get a better understanding of where she's coming from and vice versa.

Are we doing enough for returning troops? Not even close. Walter Reed and all the red tape returning troops have to go through to get care are evidence of that. As far as being welcomed back, most Americans aren't connected to this war because it's only a small fraction of the country doing any sacrificing. How welcome do you think they feel when they return and the top story that everyone is talking about is something like Anna Nicole Smith dying?

It sounds like a good show tonight with lots of different topics.
Posted By Stacy, St. Louis, MO : 3:13 PM ET
Hi Anderson, Soooo, they let Jeff Corwin get close to Polar Bears this time...Have you talked to him to be sure he is in one piece? His experience with elephants nearly cost him an arm, as you know.
Remember, when you are working with Jeff stay at least three car lengths away from him.
See ya' tonight.
Posted By Judy Stage Brooklyn MI : 3:19 PM ET
If the soldiers don't want Joan Baez to perform then I say to honor their wishes. If this decision is purely political then I say, why shouldn't one American be able to show her appreciation for the soldiers?

Also, I'm interested to what prompted the police to shoot these rubber bullets into the crowd in LA yesterday. It's a shame because it looked like such a peaceful rally.

Hope you recover from your jet lag, Anderson. I've taken the red-eye and I agree you just feel so disoriented the entire day.
Posted By Annette L. Alpha, NJ : 3:24 PM ET
It seems to me that they should let anyone who wants to entertain the troops! But I would imagine most of the troops will have no idea who Joan Baez is let alone what she sings!

Looking forward to Jeff's reports from Alaska. Too bad you couldn't have joined him. That would have made for some interesting TV!

Posted By Cynthia, Covington, Ga. : 3:24 PM ET
I never thought I would never see the government and country start to divide again as it did in the Vietnam era. Can't we hate the war and care for our injured troops at the same time? Ms. Baez should definitely be allowed to entertain our troops. I fear the “America, Love It of Leave It” bumper stickers may reappear.
Posted By Dale C. Los Angeles, CA : 3:28 PM ET
Are we doing enough for our returning troops? Sadly, we are not. These brave men and women deserve so much better than inadequate medical facilities and, as your story about the homeless vet pointed out, miles of red tape and countless hoops to jump through in order to get the benefits they have earned. It's a sad commentary on our nation and on our government's priorities.

On a lighter note, I'm sorry you were not able to make the Planet in Peril trip to Alaska, but it may have been for the best. Heaven only knows what Jeff may have found to harrass you with in that land of cold, ice and large wild animals!
Posted By Carrie, Ames, IA : 3:31 PM ET
I'm old enough to remember who Baez is, and anyone who hates the US military as much as she does shouldn't be performing for them.

Maybe she can get an invite to perform for the Taliban or Alqaeda.
Posted By Perry, Dallas, Texas : 3:45 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

After all the flying you've done over the past two weeks I am not surprised that you feel "disoriented!"

In regards to Bush's veto of the Iraq war-funding bill, I don't understand the real difference between the non-binding timlines proposed by Congress and the benchmarks suggested by Republicans like Senator Mitch McConnell. In my opinion, I think it just amounts to who gets the "credit." It will end up being the same idea repackaged for Republican consumption.

I would like to know the reason why Joan Baez was banned from performing at Walter Reed. If it was because the soldiers did not want her there that's one thing, but if it's because the Bush administration and military officials think it would cast a negative light on their "war," that's another.

I don't think we have done enough to take care of and welcome our soldiers back. Strangely enough, Don Imus brought a lot of attention to this problem. Although I do not agree with what he said, it is too bad his voice has been silenced on this important issue. I knew his story would be resurrected in some way or another.

I was so disappointed to hear that Jeff went to Alaska without you! I hope you will continue to join him for other "Planet in Peril" reports. It wasn't because you have the same fear of bears as Stephen Colbert has was it?

I look forward to tonight's program; it sounds fabulous!

Jo Ann
Posted By Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 3:49 PM ET
"This is a free country and everyone is free to express his/her opinion." Except some people on this blog feel differently about this, especially when the opinion differs from theirs own.

"negative 15 degrees." Amateur :P

I'm glad it looks like there will be some different stories on tonight.

The returning troops need more thanks for the work that they do everyday in service to our countries.

Hey Anderson, are you going to calculate YOUR carbon footprint? Don't forget to include all those flights here, there and everywhere! Those big screen TVs and the SUV that you drive!
Posted By Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 4:02 PM ET
I read this from the Bradenton Herald Editorial Page this afternoon and smiled.

What took so long?
Let me get this straight. It takes the firing of a shocking disc jockey doing what he is paid to do for us to now review the lyrics of rap. Thank goodness we are now in sync.

-- Tom French, Bradenton, FL

Also, Anderson just wondering if you thought Cameron's stud earrings were real diamonds or not? Any jewelers on the blog?
I thought his ears would fall off.

Also, Anderson I hate to question your judgment about money but you asked Cameron if he was a millionare and had a fast sports car. I nearly fell off my bar stool in the kitchen. A million dollars to a rapper is a drop in the bucket.

Didn't Dave Chappelle walk away from $50 million like it was another day in paradise? A million dollars to a rapper/artist is "pocket change." Sorry just my opinion.

P.S. Anderson, glad you thought $400 for a haircut was a bit too high even in NYC. Glad you are back today on your blog.
Posted By Renee Bradenton, FL : 4:38 PM ET
This is definitely variety pak night in 360land! Let Baez sing, after all we are in the land of democratic voices, are we not? Speaking of democratic voices, I think Imus still doesn't get the fact that what he said doesn't fly in the face of decency. I'm glad to see that a stand was taken by CBS. Look at our rapper buddy from last week, Cam'ron, who's words are coming back to haunt him from your "Snipers" segment. Now he is swallowing the bitter pill of "think before you speak". In our society today, it is sad to see that people fail to realize the power of the spoken word and what effect it can have on others.
Posted By SP, Villa Hills, KY : 4:42 PM ET
Should Joan Baez be allowed to sing at Walter Reed- Heck Yes!

Are we doing enough for our returning troops ?-Heck no!

Anderson in Alaska and beyond?-Heck he won't go!
Posted By Cheryl, Johnston,RI : 4:44 PM ET
So only Conservative Republicans are allowed to entertain the troops? What kind of a free country is that?
Posted By Barbara, Los Angeles, CA : 4:48 PM ET
Baez should be allowed to perform. I would think that if she wanted to perform in the first place than she supports the troops and thats what it should be about. It seems she just wants to do her part to makes the trrops feel welcome when they return and I dont think anyone should have a problem with that.
Posted By Jordan, Elk Grove, CA : 4:56 PM ET
Okay, Anderson, I have one more comment:

So Joan Baez sang anti-war songs and didn't pay taxes (civil disobedience, right?)in order to protest the Vietnam War. Don't you think the fact that the Democrats won Congress last year illustrates that the majority of the American public disagrees with the Iraq war? It's not that we don't support the troops-we want our involvement in that war to end...because there's no justification for it. Maybe that's all Ms. Baez wanted. There are plenty of entertainers who don't support the war who still show their support of the troops. Why shouldn't she be one of them? I don't think she should be forced on them, but the argument that she could be considered a traitor is ridiculous.
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 5:06 PM ET
Hey Anderson:
Never taken a red eye but sleeping on planes is hard, even for me, and I'm like a battery, when my juice runs out - I'm out - just like a light!

The event planner should ask the troops at Walter Reed Medical Center if they would like to hear/see Joan Baez perform there.
They may enjoy it, but I can see why they would not want her there to. Some have got to have a lot on their shoulders right now, and an anti-war activist might not be in their best interest at this time.
Hopefully they share my opinion, music is nourishment for the soul!
The lyrics to Joe Hill is sweet - it takes more then guns to kill a man!

No, we can never do enough for our troops, or anyone else for that matter! If we think we have done enough - well then our hearts are not big enough.

Thanx for everything Anderson Cooper. Take care.
Posted By Karen, Boston, MA : 5:07 PM ET
Hi Anderson!
Here's my two cents worth re: the $124 billion dollar spending bill.
The troops need to be funded & the pork needs to be cut. The American public has had it up to here with the do nothing fingerpointing by both sides.
What should be in the bill are binding benchmarks for the Iraqi government & consequences for not meeting them. If the benchmarks aren't there, the Iraqi government will continue to drag their feet with their petty bickering over power into the next millenium, with the US taxpayer footing the blank check policy promoted by the White House.
It's time to change course re: the Iraq war, Pres Bush & Congress have to come to a responsible compromise in bringing the troops home over time over the next couple of years or so. The American public won't accept anything less.
Posted By Carol M, Windsor CO : 5:09 PM ET
"Synthesis Blog Response":

So we'll send Imus and a crowd of Mexican Illegals on a "Rio Grande Red-Eye" to Walter Reed to sing a "Si Se Puede" rap song to the troops at Walter Reed, followed by a late-night dinner with Pres Bush to discuss disbursing the $124 Billion war funding instead to pay for illegal immigrants' medical bills and other social services 'freebies' they receive and LAPD lawsuits' settlements for firing rubber bullets at the non-citizens. Lastly, they will catch a return east to west "Rio Grande Red-Eye" and will be dropped by Army Ranger parachutes somewhere over the Arctic circle in the tundra wastelands of northern Alaska to do some volunteer rare/endangered species counts with Hollywood Biologist Jeff Corwin & crew!! Did I cover all the bases?!? Wheww!
Posted By Mark, Sacramento, CA : 5:40 PM ET
As my teenagers say, "That is so last century!" that Joan Baez is still labeled as traitor because of her protests during the Vietnam War.

The whole idea of Baez being banned only justifies the correlation between the Vietnam and Iraq War. Unfortunately, the "Born on the Fourth of July" scenario of the Walter Reed's accommodations is not too far off.

But I believe we are validating our troops very differently than the last time we were at war. This time we are able to support our troops without supporting the war. I think as a late "boomer", we learned our lesson not to associate the soldiers with a current presidential administration's philosophy. The war propaganda or hype doesn't work anymore.

Because of constant news organizations like CNN, the news coverage is quick. Americans no longer have to wait for a day or two while the "war department" does damage control.

Maybe we need another "Woodstock" for this generation. So who do you think would be performing today? Definitely Bono would be great, but many of us in our 50's would also like to see a blast from the past, Joan Baez.
Posted By Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 5:41 PM ET
Tonight show sounds fantastic. I love how the last few shows have been so varied in topics it has been great.

Oh the red eye.....amazing technology but nothing to help the jetlag.

PIP is awesome and I can't wait to see Jeff's polar bear chase. I LOVE polar bears although negative 15 is really nothing to Canadians. I'm sure you'll make the next trip.

See you tonight, have a great show :)
Posted By Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 5:43 PM ET
Hi Anderson, please try to get some time off. We miss you when you go on vacation but we also want you energized and refreshed, so we can see more of you. :)

I'm excited about Mr. Corwin's reports from Alaska. Besides the polar bears, do you know if he'll also report on the oil drilling and the fact that the area is made into a dumping ground of hazardous nuclear waste?

Nice to hear of the warmer weather in NY after all that snow. Looking forward to the show tonight.
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 5:45 PM ET
Hi AC! You must have a great frequent flyer program! I don't usually sleep well on planes, so I have a hard time adjusting to different time zones. Don't forget Knute the Cute tonight. I heard today that he got a book deal! It would be great to see polar bears in the wild. I can't wait to see the show tonight. Yes, Joan Baez should be able to sing to the troops. She is not going to insult them. We should ask the troops if they think that we are doing enough for them. i really don't know anyone serving. It is beautiful here in Chicago today,also. Have a great day!
Posted By Kathy Chicago,Il : 6:09 PM ET
So only Conservative Republicans are allowed to entertain the troops? What kind of a free country is that?

Exactly, Barbara. The GOP now owns the rights to the flag, patriotism and justice (particularly the Department of Justice). They've certainly been brandishing them for the past six years, so they must have an exclusive.

Seriously, can we stop branding non-support for an optional, incompetently-executed war 'treason'? To quote a real patriot (as opposed today's posturing 'patriots' of the right), "If this be treason, make the most of it."
Posted By Arachnae, Sterling VA : 6:15 PM ET
Mr. Anderson Cooper why did'nt you join Mr Jeff Corwin at Alaska?

thank you for having another Planet in Peril.

Regards to all staff and crew of AC360.
Posted By Jemillex Bacerdo Chicago, IL : 6:17 PM ET
Re your topic on Iraq funding: "Pres. Bush is confident a compromise can be made"

It is NOT the will of the people if you've got to bribe them with "pork" spending bills to get them to vote the way you want. THAT's politicizing the issue and that's what the Democratic Congress is doing.
Posted By xtina - chicago IL : 6:40 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

You write pretty well for a disoriented person after a red eye flight.

An insider rumor says that CBS waited on purpose till the Monday of the following week to suspend Imus radio-show, just to measure how the ratings would drop while Imus is still on, and the ratings did drop. According to the rumor, that's what really got Imus fired.

I'm glad that nobody got hurt this time with the making of "Planet in Peril" series. I wonder why you did not join Jeff in Alaska. Too freezing cold for you, huh? Ha ha!

Looking forward to learn more about Joan Baez tonight, never heard of her.

Posted By Ratna, New York, NY : 6:55 PM ET
We can never do enough for our troops. And in my opinion Joan Baez performing for soldiers who believed in and lost for a cause she protests is just hypocritical, tacky, and a lovely PR move on her part. I don't care what war it is she's protesting.

And as for the Don Imus issue, if CBS didn't cover its bases legally before they bowed down to the PC police and let him go, oh well...justice is supposedly blind.

I do hope Jeff Corwin and the crew have better luck in Alaska than they did on the last trips (infections, an overexhuberant elephant hug, hospitalizations). Looking forward to the report, though.
Posted By Tammy C., Berwick, LA : 7:04 PM ET
Hey Anderson,
As for Joan Baez,of course,she should be allowed to sing! You can be anti-war but still support your troops.Come on!Most of the troops are just out of school and will live through horrific situations.How can you not support them? And all the others.
As for President Bush,man, he is hanging on to every shred of power he can,leaving him with no shred of dignity,and not acting in the best interest of you guys and everybody in Iraq.
Now,for polar bears. I saw a documentary a few weeks ago and it was beautiful and painful at the same time.I can't wait to see the report from Jeff Corwin tonight. To Canadians,negative 15 degrees is a joke. We are used to negative 30-35 with winds.BBRRR!!Now,Anderson,somehow,I can't imagine you standing in the cold.Humm!!Altough,it would take care of your jetlag! Biting cold just whips you up in a heartbeat!
TO Em,in Toronto,I think that when people respond to you is not so because of your opinions but because of the way you say mean things about people. You attack directly. I think everyone can accept that we have different opinions. What is not necessary,is being mean and judging people just by what they write.That's all.

Anderson,have a good show.

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 7:35 PM ET
Dear Anderson,
Sorry botu the red eye, and I'm glad it isn't so bad that you can't work.

Joan Baez and Jane Fonda are both American heroines, with more cajones than a lot of the men back in that era.
I hope the investigation brings some clarification to the matter and any guilty parties are punished. I have no intention however of just up and giving anyone ANY freebies. If they deserve anything they'll get it, but not based on what I think might have happened.

There is a difference between legal and illegal, and it should not be overlooked to appease those who have a lot of emotion but not enough logic.

It's a shame that we have money to fund a presidential temper tamtrum, but not enough to feed, and house victims of Katrina and global warming. I hope the future brings better common sense, and less assinine ideas on how to fix it.
Posted By James Foley Kamiah, Idaho : 7:45 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

We're under a tornado watch. I took a little weather/news break this afternoon at work and checked out the 360 Blog. I wanted to respond right away but since I work for the government, using a government computer wouldn't be prudent(or ethical!)so I had to wait until I got home. The Bush administration irks the pee-waddle-e-doo out of me. It's full of bleating heart conservatives (scapegoats) and amnesics. I agree with John Edwards. Congress should send the president another bill with a timeline for leaving Iraq along with the benchmarks the Republicans are willing to compromise on.

Yes, I think Joan Baez should sing at Walter Reed. Those of us against this war still support and care about our troops. Always have and always will. Heck, even the Dixie Chicks should sing at Walter Reed.

Keep doing the "Planet in Peril" reports. You guys do a super job.

Get a good night's sleep and take care.
Posted By Kay - Temple, TX : 7:51 PM ET
As someone who was named after Joan Baez (by a father who was a Vietnam vet by the way), I grew up listening to a lot of "how many roads must a man walk down ..." and I'd be happy to never hear that or any of her other songs again. However, if she's not performing because of political reasons, that's another story! She should be able to perform if she was invited to - and those old "hippy" peace and love songs are pretty appropriate right now!
Posted By Joan, Lansing, MI : 7:52 PM ET
I'm suprised you made the redeye last night! Most all the redeye's (at lease from SFO) leave no later than 10:30PM - good hussle.
Posted By Hailee, San Francisco, CA : 8:07 PM ET
I doubt it was the soldiers that thought Joan Baez was a traitor. How many of those soldiers even know who Joan Baez is? After all, most of them weren't even born during the Vietnam War and if you do the math some of their parents probably weren't even alive then.
Posted By Mel, Tupelo, MS : 8:23 PM ET
Welcome to the life of a Californian. We take the red eye's all the time. Whether you are coming from Hawaii to CA, CA to NY or CA to Europe it alway's seems to be a red eye that is the most convenient. Hope you at least got some rest on the plane!
Posted By Ashley, San Diego, CA : 9:09 PM ET
I'm glad you are getting back to the Planet in Peril series. Last nights report on the smog was quite good and I appreciated the way you tied the smog and the deforestation in the Amazon together. I'm looking forward to the segment on polar bears. Too bad you couldn't go but there is always glacier loss that can be covered - the glaciers in the Arctic, in Germany, in Glacier National Park here in the US, etc. The melting of those glaciers and the decline of snowfall means less fresh water, a very important topic for all of us - wildlife and human life!

Joan Baez - it is too bad she wasn't allowed to sing. I think she ought to have been allowed and I wonder who actually made the decision - the soldiers themselves or the higher-ups. The war protests this time are so different from Vietnam as this time we support the troops, just not the war and the politics behind them. Unfortunately, some people think any opposition is unpatriotic.
Posted By Annie Kate, Birmingham AL : 10:38 PM ET
There seems to be a dip in enthusiasm on the coverage of ‘Planet In Peril’. Is it losing its appeal? As usual the other stories take precedence over Mother Earth.
And to think we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day soon.
Posted By LaiPeng Foong, Penang, Malaysia : 3:15 AM ET
Isn't it about time the concept of support for the troops on the ground and for those who have returned home is considered a good thing- and separate from either support or non-support of the war itself? It seems so sad that yet again our military members are pawns of the administration. From the time of Korea to the present- the country as a whole has behaved badly toward it's veterans- the very citizens charged with protecting our country. Despicable disregard for the promises made to provide education, medical care, shelter, support- the message clear-'you're good enough to risk your life to protect our rights and freedoms- but not worthy of our respect and care while you do that- just be happy with the scraps we throw your way.Having been a military spouse during Viet Nam- no ticker tape parades- astronauts were given more respect and evidence of caring- and I in no way begrudge them their moment in the sun. The paranoia of the administration is clear- throw the attention off what they are doing by playing the 'guilt' game. I think the veterans at any facility are smart enough to enjoy John Cougar , Joan Baez or any performer who would go to perform for them- and accept the performance as a gift to help make tough times a little more bearable.
Posted By Sherri McKee, Oroville, Ca. : 10:15 AM ET
I read Joan Baez's letter to the editor in the Washington Post and my admiration for her as a person and for her consistency in her beliefs over the years grew even more. I have seen Ms. Baez perform fairly recently and one of the songs she does regularly is Red Tide (from Cold Mountain). She adds a line of her own to it ... "admit you're wrong, and bring the boys back home." She sings that line with such passion that no one within hearing range could doubt she cares deeply for our troops. To me the real irony is that she was denied and they were deprived from hearing some mighty good singing simply because she practices one of the freedoms they supposedly have fought for ... freedom of speech and the right to voice objection to something one does not agree with. Just because one does not agree with war, especially the present one, does not mean they don't love their country and it certainly does not mean they don't support our troops. I think she spoke very bravely in the letter and my hat is off to her. Incidentally, I think she was right 40 years ago and that she is still right today! They should have let her sing.
Posted By Donna, Atlanta GA : 10:16 AM ET
Hi Anderson.
I agree with Joan
the men and women who are fighting for this country each and every day.
need a better welcome home
no matter if its one soilder or more, injured or not.
a parade or at least special recognition is well deserved.
Posted By carie citrus heights, ca : 5:56 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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