March 5th, 2012
05:18 PM ET

Piers Morgan Tonight: Michele Bachmann on Limbaugh

Tonight, Piers Morgansits down with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for an interview airing tonight at 9pm.  In response to the recent controversy surrounding Limbaugh's comments on Sandra Fluke, Bachmann addressed the overwhelming amount of attention, drawing from her personal experience: "I have gone through myself, and experienced, more things said about me and I have never seen this level of outrage on the left about what left-leaning commentators said about me." 

The full interview ars tonight at 9pm ET/PT.


Topics: CNN • Piers Morgan
March 5th, 2012
03:23 PM ET

CNN's unfiltered look at reporting inside Syria

72 Hours Under Fire: CNN’s Unfiltered Look at Reporting from Inside Syria

72 Hours Under Fire features CNN correspondent Arwa Damon; airs on CNN/US Sunday, March 11 at 8pET & PT

Homs, Syria – considered one of the most dangerous places CNN has ever covered – is at the heart of a one-hour special documenting the challenges and dangers faced by a CNN team while on assignment there. As told by the journalists who risked their lives to get into Homs and the CNN news executives tasked with keeping them safe, 72 Hours Under Fire gives viewers an inside look at the complexities and risks involved in getting the story out of Syria.

72 Hours Under Fire airs Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., and Saturday, March 17 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on CNN/US.  It premieres on CNN International Friday, March 9 at 3 p.m., and replays Saturday, March 10 at 4 a.m., 3 p.m., and 9 p.m., and Sunday, March 11 at 6 a.m., all times Eastern.

“Homs is as challenging an editorial operation as we have encountered,” says Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International.

The experienced team CNN sent into Homs included Beirut-based correspondent Arwa Damon, photojournalist Neil Hallsworth and security risk advisor Tim Crockett. 72 Hours Under Fire chronicles their journey into and out of Homs, the dangers they faced while newsgathering and reporting there and why this assignment was different than previous ones. Damon, Hallsworth and Crockett are interviewed by CNN anchor Michael Holmes, who also narrates the documentary.

“We are taking the unusual step of covering our journalists’ experience in Homs because it is another piece of the untold story in Syria,” says Mark Whitaker, executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide. “The fact that the Syrian government doesn’t want the world to know what is happening in places like Homs, and the enormous effort and courage it has taken for Western journalists to cover the brutal crackdown there, is part of the story. We thought it was important to take our viewers behind the scenes to see and feel that part of this conflict, too.”

Since the unrest began in March of last year, thousands of civilians in Syria have been killed by Syrian forces. The indiscriminate shelling in the opposition stronghold of Homs by the Syrian government made it incredibly difficult for the CNN team to reach their desired destination. Maddox, who admits to feeling “anxious” about this assignment, says the team’s mission depended upon a “fragile series of connections” that took a great deal of research and time to put into place.

“I actually wrote a letter home for the first time, to my family…when this trip was going to materialize,” says Damon. “There was a lot of unknown going in and sometimes you get that gut feeling. I felt in this particular case – on this particular trip – I had to do it.”

Helped by opposition activists to reach the besieged Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr, Damon and crew visit a makeshift clinic that lacked the equipment and expertise to help many of their patients. The clinic, which Damon says is “bombarded all the time and constantly under risk,” is staffed by two doctors and around 20 volunteers, each of whom has undergone just 15 days of training. The crisis in Homs is palpable, and the number of wounded civilians is overwhelming.

When asked about her motivation for going on this assignment, Damon speaks of the importance of physically being on the ground in Homs in order to fully understand what residents are experiencing.

“You have to be in it – seeing it, smelling it, listening to it – so that at the end of the day you can do justice to what the people are suffering. And [the activists] know by having us there, it’s going to help tell that story.”

72 Hours Under Fire also reveals the tough choices news executives like Maddox were constantly having to make, including pulling the team out of Syria before Damon wanted to leave.

CNN has extensively covered Syria throughout the year-long uprising. CNN has had four correspondents – some who have made multiple trips – report from inside Syria for all CNN networks and platforms. Many programs across CNN’s networks have focused on Syria, including Anderson Cooper 360°, which has covered Syria in more than 50% of their shows since March 2011. CNN is committed to Syria and will continue to find ways to bring this story to viewers.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

Topics: Arwa Damon • Michael Holmes • Syria
CNN Grill @ SXSW Live Jam Lineup
CNN Grill @ SXSW Live Jam
March 5th, 2012
01:46 PM ET

CNN Grill @ SXSW Live Jam Lineup

This Friday, CNN is back in Austin for the CNN Grill at South by Southwest. In addition to panels and delicious culinary delights, the CNN Grill will feature two musical acts each evening, from Friday, March 9th through Monday, March 12th. This year’s lineup is an eclectic mix of genres, as well as a motley assortment of local Austin bands and acts from across the country. Check out CNN’s Live Jam Lineup after the jump. For all the latest CNN SXSW music and programming updates, follow @CNNSXSW on Twitter.


Topics: CNN Digital • SXSW
March 5th, 2012
10:15 AM ET

Rep. Cantor: Romney is only candidate 'with a plan;' White House not consistent on Iran

On Starting Point, Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) talks to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien about his endorsement of Mitt Romney and how the White House is handling Iran.

Cantor says, “Mitt Romney is really the only man in the race who has a plan, a bold pro-growth plan to create jobs and get this economy back on track. And this is an essential issue for this election. It is about how we're going to make the economy better, how we're going to get small businesses back in gear to begin to grow jobs…. And Mitt Romney is the only person in the race who has ever created a job. He is the one who understands how to run a business, how to get fiscal affairs of the country straight so we can start growing the economy again.”

When asked if the primaries have been bad for the Republican Party, Cantor responds, “Whether it's bad or good, we're at the point now that I think people are tired of the differences and let's see if we can produce results. That's what Mitt Romney's candidacy is about, coalescing about the things we can agree on, it's not just for Republicans, it's for Independents, like-minded Democrats to come together to see how we can fix this economy and get people back to work.“

On the White House’s reaction to Iran, Cantor continues, “What we've seen and what the other governments and allies in the region are seeing is a White House whose commitment has not been consistent. If you look at Iran's other actions in the Middle East, whether it has to do with Syria, whether it has to do with Egypt, or its support of the proxies in Hamas and Hezbollah, the question is where is the American injection of influence to try and address these situations? There's been a lot of rhetoric coming out of White House, but, yet, the follow-through is questionable.”

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

Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
March 5th, 2012
09:55 AM ET

Newt Gingrich plans on wins in the South; says Romney 'can't close the deal'

GOP candidate Newt Gingrich says he anticipates victory in several Southern states and discusses his competitors on Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien.

On his Southern strategy, Gingrich says, “Next week we have Mississippi, Alabama and Kansas, and I think I’ll win at least two out of three of them…. I think we’ll be very competitive in [Oklahoma and Tennessee]. And our hope is to also pick up some delegates in Ohio and possibly some in Idaho.”

He adds, “I think somebody could break loose sometime in April or May, and you could suddenly see a delegate migration towards one person.”

On Mitt Romney, Gingrich adds, “[Romney] can’t close the deal…. People inherently don’t trust what he’s saying and think that he isn’t always very candid with them.... But it's not at all clear to me right now that Romney can get above a certain ceiling.  And the question is whether or not ultimately his money starts to run out.  It's very clear in any kind of relatively evenly financed campaign Romney would not win."

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

March 5th, 2012
09:05 AM ET

John McCain on Putin, Iran, GOP race and 'Game Change'

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks with CNN's Soledad O'Brien about the elections and protests in Russia, US/Iran/Israel relations, the GOP race and his thoughts on “Game Change.”

McCain says, "[The Russian election] was a fraud. Putin’s days are numbered. The Arab Spring has already come to Russia and it will continue…. “It’s going to come to China, too. It’s a new world we’re living in now in the 21st century. And there’s no doubt in my mind that the people of Russia are not going to stand forever for a corrupt government such as that of Vladimir Putin.”

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

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