October 17th, 2012
05:31 PM ET

AC360 EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Reddit troll Michael Brutsch

An interview with Michael Brutsch will air on tomorrow’s Anderson Cooper 360°. Brutsch will speak with CNN’s Drew Griffin about being Reddit’s biggest troll and his firing after being exposed as “Violentacrez,” a commenter and moderator of sexual and offensive sections on Reddit, including Jailbait, a section dedicated to sexual or suggestive content featuring minors.

Below are sound bites from the interview –

Topics: AC360 • Anderson Cooper • Drew Griffin
October 17th, 2012
03:39 PM ET

CNN tops MSNBC during debate; also tops FNC in younger viewers (18-34)


Tuesday, October 16/Nilesen Fast National Ratings Data

  • CNN tops MSNBC by double digits among total viewers and key demos (25-54 and 18-34) throughout the night.
  • CNN had its strongest performance yet among adults 25-54 during this year’s presidential debate cycle.
  • CNN also tops Fox News in younger viewers (18-34); more than doubles MSNBC.
  • While CNN, Fox News and MSNBC were up versus their prior four "non-event" Tuesday averages, CNN's growth of +758% among total viewers and +1117% among adults 25-54 was the most substantial.
  • Compared to 2004 second presidential debate (most similar), CNN was up +70% among total viewers and up +56% among adults 25-54.

9:00-10:45 PM (Actual Debate)

CNN:                5.754 million total viewers/2.581m adults 25-54/1.424m adults 18-34
MSNBC:           4.910 million total vewers/1.920m adults 25-54/658k adults 18-34
FNC:                 11.086 million total viewers/3.460m adults 25-54/900k adults 18-34

8:00-11:00 PM (Prime Time)

CNN:                4.343 million total viewers/1.896m adults 25-54/1.028m adults 18-34
MSNBC:           3.884 million total viewers/1.490m adults 25-54/487k adults 18-34
FNC:                 9.001 million total viewers/2.687m adults 25-54/670k adults 18-34


Topics: CNN Debate • CNN Digital • HLN Press Releases • Ratings
October 17th, 2012
02:04 PM ET

Sen. Johnson: Economy was not in free fall when Pres. Obama took office

CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien and the Starting Point panel discuss the presidential debate and records of the candidates with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI).

Senator Johnson says, “The reason we're not creating those jobs is because of the choices, the policies, that President Obama took. You know, because here is the fact: he did not come into office with the economy in a free fall. We were losing jobs, but the fact is, within two months, we entered the second quarter, we only lost 0.7 percent GDP. But the economy bottomed out and then we started recovery the third quarter.”

O’Brien asks, “You don't think the economy was in free fall then?”

Sen. Johnson answers, “No. The economy began to recover in the third quarter. It'd basically flattened out by the second quarter and it actually grew close to 4 percent the next three quarters. But then President Obama's policies took effect and they started scaring consumers and business owners and as a result the economy totally stalled.”

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

Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
October 17th, 2012
01:39 PM ET

CNN Focus Group gives high marks to Obama on jobs, Romney on taxes

CNN assembled a focus group of 35 undecided voters in Columbus Ohio. CNN's Wolf Blitzer checked in with Erin Burnett who asked the group to weigh in on their thoughts on the high moments for each candidate during the debate.

Topics: CNN • Erin Burnett
PREVIEW: CNN International Programme Information Weeks 44 & 45
Richard Quest (right) saddles up in Granby, Colorado
October 17th, 2012
12:59 PM ET

PREVIEW: CNN International Programme Information Weeks 44 & 45

 American Quest


The sleeping car on the Amtrak California Zephyr train
Reports within ‘Quest Means Business’ daily from Friday 29 October to Friday 2 November at 1900 GMT / 2000 CET
Plus special programme at the following times:
Saturday 3 November at 0530 GMT / 0630 CET, 1330 GMT / 1430 CET and 2200 GMT / 2300 CET
Sunday 4 November at 0730 GMT / 0830 CET and 2230 GMT / 2330 CET
Tuesday 6 November at 1030 GMT / 1130 CET
Duration: 30 minutes
In the run up to November's Presidential Elections, CNN anchor Richard Quest has embarked on a train journey across America in a series of election reports, American Quest’.

On a ‘whistle-stop tour’ of the Midwest and western states, Quest gauged the pulse of the American voters on a journey as diverse as the United States itself. Starting in Chicago, the adult hometown of President Barack Obama, Quest talked to voters about their concerns this election year.

Taking Amtrak’s California Zephyr line, which stretches from Chicago to near San Francisco, Quest and team made stops in the “swing states” of Iowa and Colorado. The Zephyr also snakes through Utah, home to many of the country’s Mormon voters – and would-be supporters of Mitt Romney. The trail ends in California near San Francisco, one of the most picturesque cities in the United States.

Since the 2004 presidential election, Quest has provided viewers with a unique perspective on American presidential politics from a British journalist’s point-of-view.



Topics: CNN • CNN Preview
October 17th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Facial coding expert: I knew who lost debate by Anne Romney's expression

Facial Coding Expert Dan Hill deconstructs body language and facial expressions by the candidates at last night’s presidential debate.

When Hill says President Obama’s "annoyed, disillusioned" face in the first debate reflected what “Congress has given him,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) pats himself on the back.

Later in the interview, Hill says, “I knew right away who lost this debate before it got to the poll. Ann Romney right after the debate showed embitterment.”

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

Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
October 17th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Robert Gibbs says Romney is "a political chameleon;" O'Brien presses immigration characterization

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien interviews President Obama Campaign Senior Advisor Robert Gibbs about his reaction to last night’s presidential debate and the candidates’ responses on issues including Libya and immigration.

On Libya, O’Brien asks if the administration’s handling of the consulate attack in Libya over several weeks will be problematic for the President. Gibbs answers, “No, because, look, I think if you look at what the president said in the Rose Garden on the 12th, there are two incidents where he talks about acts of terror. It's clear he's talking about a whole host of things, including what happened in Benghazi.”

In regards to immigration, O’Brien asks Gibbs if President Obama mischaracterized Mitt Romney’s stance on immigration and the legislation in Arizona.

“Governor Romney, when given the opportunity said what I said was the E-verify portion,” Soledad says, “If you look back at his transcript, he very clearly called the E-verify portion of the Arizona law, which would allow the employers to determine if somebody is in the country legally or not legally, you know, that would be helpful. That's literally what he said.”

Gibbs responds, “No. Look, again, I think as the president says in his answer, Mitt Romney's chief immigration adviser is the Secretary of State of Kansas, who wrote the Arizona law. It's an Arizona law that, again, Mitt Romney was enormously proud of during a primary in which he was trying to beat everybody as the strongest, most anti-immigrant candidate out there….”

After some back and forth, Gibbs says, “I’m not John Sununu. Please don’t confuse me with the angry governor from New Hampshire.”

O’Brien says, “There is only one Governor Sununu.”

When O’Brien says that it’s her job to “read actual verbiage” of what was said, Gibbs responds, “I understand, Soledad. My job is to make sure that people understand that what they see in Mitt Romney in the primary, when he was trying to win this nomination, and now he's trying to do in the general election is pretend like he didn't take any of those positions. He’s trying to be a wolf in sheep's clothing and let me tell you this, and I’ll tell this to everybody who’s watching this show and everybody who’s watching these debates: he is trying desperately to change himself and change his appearance in these debates. He’s become a political chameleon.”

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

Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
October 17th, 2012
10:45 AM ET

Crowley says she did not backtrack on Libya 'acts of terror' debate moment

CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent and State of the Union Anchor Candy Crowley addresses moderating the second presidential debate, including the question of whether or not President Obama characterized the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi as "terror" in the Rose Garden the next day. CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien asks Crowley if charges that she backtracked after the debate are accurate.

Crowley says, “Listen, what I said on that stage is the same thing I said to you actually last night… I was trying to move this along because the question was Benghazi. There is no question that the administration is quite vulnerable on his topic. That they did take weeks to go ‘well actually there really wasn’t a protest and actually didn’t have anything to do with the tape.’ That took a long time. That’s where he was going. That was [Romney’s] first answer…. Then we got hung up on this ‘yes he said,’ ‘no I didn’t,’ ‘I said terror,’ ‘you didn’t say terror.’ And there was this point where they both kind of looked at me…. And what I wanted to do was move this along…. So I said, [The President] did say ‘acts of terror… but Governor Romney, you are perfectly right, that it took weeks for them to get past the tape –.’”

O’Brien asks, “Not a backtrack?”

Crowley responds, “No… Did the President say this was an act of terror? The President did not say.... He said ‘these acts of terror,’ but he was in the Rose Garden to talk about Benghazi so I don’t think that’s a leap.”

Before the commercial break Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) says he thinks it’s not the role of the moderator to determine who is right or wrong when the debaters are disagreeing.

Crowley responds to Chaffetz’s comments, “Again, I was trying to move them on. They were hung up on this one thing. Now, again, Mitt Romney had gone out and said at first they said it was the tape and they said it was this. And then they got hung up on did he say "act of terror" or did he not? And I was just trying to say he said "acts of terror", but you're perfectly correct, they took weeks, two weeks actually was short, they took a month to figure out, or to at least tell us. And then he got back on, yes, the track. “

CNN Contributor Roland Martin adds, “Congressman [Chaffetz] is dead wrong. If you stand there and say something that is wrong you should be corrected on the spot. Look, I have no problem even having a table of fact checkers there. We shouldn’t wait until the debate is over and then have different people saying, ‘well this was right, this was wrong.’”

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

Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
October 17th, 2012
08:35 AM ET

Soledad O'Brien and John Sununu debate the presidential debate

CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien and Mitt Romney Surrogate John Sununu discuss debate moments including when President Obama handling of consulate attack in Libya, Romney’s position on gun control and coal over time and Romney’s tax plan.

Sununu says President Obama was referring to 9/11 when he mentioned “act of terror” in his Rose Garden speech one day after the consulate attack in Libya; Romney has not changed positions on gun control and coal; and Romney’s tax plan helps the middle class and does add up.

After the interview, O’Brien jokes that she interprets Sununu’s demeanor during the interview as evidence of him hitting on her.

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

Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
October 17th, 2012
12:04 AM ET

CNN's Candy Crowley on moderating second presidential debate

CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley talks about moderating the second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. A highlight from the first portion of Candy's conversation on CNN is after the jump. FULL POST