February 23rd, 2012
11:11 PM ET

CNN's Wolf Blitzer Fact Checks Newt Gingrich

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer fact checks a comment former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made in last week’s CNN, Arizona Republican Presidential Debate. Gingrich’s response, “Wolf, I always know when I deal with you… you're going to do your homework. So now I've got to go back and read the transcript.” A highlight from the interview if after the jump.

Please credit all usage of the interview to CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer


February 23rd, 2012
02:52 PM ET

CNN's Oscar Special "Showbiz Tonight: Road To Gold" covers the glamour and pagentry live from the red carpet with host AJ Hammer

Coverage Features Special Guest Fashion Commentator Lisa Vanderpump and HLN “Showbiz Tonight” correspondents Nischelle Turner and Kareen Wynter

“Showbiz Tonight: Road to Gold” Airs Sun, Feb 26, 6:30 p.m. ET on CNN

CNN’s Oscar special “Showbiz Tonight” host AJ Hammer covers the 84th Annual Academy Awards live in the 90-minute special “Showbiz Tonight: Road To Gold” airing Sunday, Feb 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET on CNN.

Joining AJ as Hollywood’s biggest stars arrive will be “Showbiz Tonight” correspondent Nischelle Turner live on the Red Carpet, “Showbiz Tonight’s” Kareen Wynter reporting on the most anticipated showdowns expected Oscar night, and Lisa Vanderpump, star of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”, who will be providing special guest Fashion commentary.

“We are thrilled to have Lisa Vanderpump with us this year. She was terrific as HLN’s Fashion commentator during the Royal Wedding and now we can’t wait to hear her take on what the stars will be wearing at the Oscars. The Red Carpet will be amazing and Showbiz Tonight’s Nischelle Turner will be there live with all the top Oscar contenders, like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Glenn Close and Viola Davis. There’s a good reason they call this Hollywood’s biggest night of the year and the timing is really exciting for us because we are live at the Oscars the same week that Showbiz Tonight begins its eighth year on the air!” said Dave Levine, Senior Executive Producer, CNN Entertainment and Showbiz Tonight.

In addition to the live coverage on CNN, audiences can broaden their Oscar night experience, online. Exceptional access to the most compelling moments from the 84th Academy Awards at www.cnn.com/showbiz. CNN.com’s Entertainment section will feature the evening’s nominees and winners, photo galleries of the hottest fashions, an Oscar-themed quote board, and red carpet coverage streamed live from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET.

The “Show Trending Stories” tab on the Entertainment section will also present the most popular, user-driven Oscar stories according to related user activity in CNN.com’s comments, as well as on Facebook.

Users can check The Marquee Blog throughout the night or follow @CNNShowbiz for updates from the red carpet, the award show’s most “buzz-worthy” moments, and the winners as they’re announced.

From the red carpet until the last acceptance speech, viewers can also engage with HLN anchors during the Oscar Twitter Watch Party via the following Twitter handles: @showbiztonight, @hlntv, @RichelleCarey.

Topics: CNN • Showbiz Tonight
February 23rd, 2012
02:42 PM ET

CNN's Alina Cho sits down with designer Donna Karan

In a special preview of Fashion: Backstage Pass, CNN’s Alina Cho talks to fashion mogul Donna Karan about her early career and using her fashion empire to give back.

Donna Karan says, “I started as a dream…I wanted to design seven easy pieces that were just for me and my friends, and that's the truth. And then, all of a sudden, everybody wanted them.”

Karan continues, “With the world that we're living with today and you talk about dressing, I can no longer just dress. It was dressing and addressing. The healthcare problem or educational problem, the cultural problems, the impoverished lands of people.”

Cho explains that Karan’s Urban Zen stores support Haitian artists and Karan adds, “100 percent of the profits all goes back to the Haitian artisans.”

Fashion: Backstage Pass airs Saturday, February 25th from 2:30-3:00pm ET on CNN. In addition to Karan, Cho profiles red carpet staple Marchesa, follows supermodel Joan Smalls and talks with Prabal Gurung and Sophie Theallet about their efforts to make uniforms chic in the half hour special.

Topics: Alina Cho • CNN • Early Start
February 23rd, 2012
02:02 PM ET

CNN’S GOP Arizona Debate was #1 Last Night with 4.7 Million Total Viewers and 1.4 Million in Key Demo 25-54

Anderson Cooper 360 Tops FNC and MSNBC at 10pm

According to Nielsen Fast National data, CNN's Arizona debate (8-10p, ET), moderated by John King delivered 4.7 million total viewers and 1.4 million in the key target demographic 25-54 last night Wednesday, February 22.

CNN was, by far, top rated during the 8-10p ET time period last night among the cable news networks in both total viewers and the key demo. CNN topped FNC among total viewers by 173% (4.7m vs. 1.7m) and MSNBC by 464% (4.7m vs. 839k). In the target demo CNN averaged 1.4m, topping FNC (381k) and MSNBC (174k) combined.

With post-debate analysis, Anderson Cooper 360 easily outperformed its cable news competition at 10p. AC360 topped FNC’s On the Record among total viewers by 35% (2.1m vs. 1.6m) and MSNBC’s Last Word by 106% (2.1m vs. 1.0m). In the target demo AC360 posted 740k, topping both FNC (344k) and MSNBC (213k) combined.

During the west coast primetime airing (8-10p, PT/11p-1a, ET replay) CNN had an additional 941k total viewers and 434k in the key demographic 25-54. KTVK (IND-Phoenix) averaged 119k P2+ and 55k P25-54 from 8p-10p ET during its simulcast of the CNN Arizona GOP Presidential Republican Debate.

CNN Digital

·         CNN.com recorded 3.5 million domestic page views during the 8 – 10 p.m. hours when the Arizona debate aired, up 17% over the prior 4-Wednesday average and up 1% over the average of the prior six CNN debates.

·         CNN.com overall received 4.7 million global video starts, representing a 58% increase over the prior 4 Wednesdays and a 29% increase over the other debates. Last night’s video performance ranked #2 among all CNN debates for this election cycle.

·         During debate, U.S. mobile page views hit 643.0 thousand, a 2% increase versus the prior 4 Wednesdays and up 2% compared to the average of the prior debates for the 2012 Election.

·         Interactions (likes/comments) on the CNN Politics Facebook fan page for this debate were up 18% from Florida Debate and up 12% from the 2011/2012 debate average.

·         #CNNDebate was the number #1 trending topic Worldwide for over an hour during CNN’s debate from the 8-10pm. Also trending during that time were John King, Erin Burnett and #AZdebate.

·         GetGlue check-ins were up 18% from the Florida Debate and up 25% from the 2011/2012 debates average.


Topics: AC360 • Anderson Cooper • CNN • CNN Digital • CNN Politics • Ratings
February 23rd, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Medical expert weighs in on new diet pill Qnexa

On Early Start, Dr. Louis Aronne, Director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, discusses the risks and benefits of the new diet pill Qnexa, which will likely receive FDA approval.

Aronne says, “The studies that were presented to the FDA were in more than 3,000 people and they showed that the average person lost about 10 percent of their body weight. That's a really good result for medical treatment of obesity.”

CNN anchor Zoraida Sambolin states, "But there are some risks.... I was reading risks to women who potentially want to have children and then also something about a risk to the heart."

Aronne answers, “Only certain pharmacies will carry Qnexa and those pharmacists will be instructed who can get it and they wouldn't give it to women who could potentially have a problem with it… As far as the heart issues are concerned, Qnexa lowers blood pressure and has many other potentially beneficial effects, but the FDA has recommended an outcome study where we look at how people do in the long run. Do they have heart attacks, strokes? That will be done once the drug is approved."

Early Start with Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin airs week mornings from 5-7am ET on CNN.

Topics: CNN • Early Start • Zoraida Sambolin
February 23rd, 2012
10:34 AM ET

CNN In Depth – Addiction: Dr. Gupta on new pill to help stop drinking, drug use

For CNN's weeklong In Depth series on addiction, Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about Naltrexone, a pill designed to halt alcohol and drug craving.

Dr. Gupta tells CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien, “This is a big cultural shift and a controversial one in the world of addiction, this idea that we've been talking about, Soledad, that if you think of addiction as a brain disease, it changes the way that you might approach it. And medications, pills, could be on the table as an option.”

Mark Whitaker, executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide, launched this cross-platform In Depth series earlier this week on CNN.com: In Depth: Fighting the scourge of addiction

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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Topics: CNN • Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
February 23rd, 2012
10:16 AM ET

Marie Colvin's family on her life, work

Rosemarie, Cat and Michael Colvin, family of journalist Marie Colvin who was killed in Syria, talk about her work in dangerous areas around the world.

Cat, Marie Colvin’s sister, says, “I really thought she would get out. I think she’s been in so many life-threatening situations and always gets out. Maybe not safely, but she makes it out. And I was just so shocked that she didn’t this time.”

She continues, “She really thought if she could just convey it, the horrors of war more clearly, that somehow people would pay attention and she’d have an impact and find another solution.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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Topics: CNN • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point • Syria
February 23rd, 2012
09:33 AM ET

Rep. Chaffetz: Sometimes Romney 'too perfect'

Upon CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien highlighting the Detroit Free Press endorsement of Mitt Romney, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) weighs in on the candidate's ability to connect to the conservative base.

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

February 23rd, 2012
09:21 AM ET

Pres. Obama campaign rep. responds to the GOP debate

Pres. Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter weighs in on the Arizona Republican CNN debate, including infighting between the candidates and Mitt Romney's position on immigration.

Cutter says, “They went at each other on a number of things…. Every one of them on that stage has taken an earmark. Mitt Romney took earmarks, but he’s attacking Rick Santorum for taking earmarks. Rick Santorum has taken earmarks, but he’s attacking Mitt Romney for the same thing. So I think a lot of people are scratching their heads and wondering why aren't we talking about the issues that actually really concern us like jobs and the economy. Mitt Romney only talked about his tax plan that he introduced yesterday once and that was defending himself against Rick Santorum because Rick Santorum said that Mitt Romney was protecting the 1 percent.”

She continues, “Mitt Romney has the most extreme position on immigration of anybody running for president…. He is supporting the Arizona plan, which even other border states don't support because it's the extreme. There's a reason why even the Catholic bishops are against the Arizona plan. There’s a lawsuit there for a reason. I’m sure it will be talked about should he be the nominee in the general election.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

February 23rd, 2012
08:54 AM ET

Soledad O'Brien ask Santorum rep. about inconsistency on earmarks

CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien asks Alice Stewart, Santorum campaign national press secretary, about Santorum’s record and stance on earmarks and Ron Paul's statement that he is "fake” at last night’s Arizona Republican debate on CNN.

Stewart says, “But the truth is when it comes to consistent conservatives on the fiscal issues and when it comes to social issues, there is no one more consistent than Rick Santorum. And he made that case very clearly last night. No amount of ads or rhetoric on the debate stage will change history. And Governor Romney can't say that. He can get up there and say he has been fiscally responsible, but when we have issues like Romneycare that he supported, that he was creator of in Massachusetts, which was the model for Obamacare, that's not fiscally responsible. The Wall Street bailout, that's not fiscally responsible. He is saying one thing and his record reflects something different. What Rick Santorum says today is reflective of what he has done in the past.”

O’Brien responds, “But some of what he says is ‘I regret having voted for that. I wanted to take one for the team.’ So some of what he says is actually saying, ‘I did it against what I believe because there was sort of another agenda there,’ that's what he said last night in the debate.”

Stewart answers, “When he got to Washington and saw the waste, fraud, and abuse that was going on with members of congress, he has taken on the position and is firmly opposed to earmarks and supports the moratorium on earmarks. That is something that he took going to Washington and seeing the waste, fraud and abuse that went on.”

O’Brien adds, “He talked about that in the debate last night. He talked about specific earmarks that he supported. So I will agree to disagree with you on that one this morning.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
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