February 6th, 2013
12:11 PM ET

'Pictures Don't Lie' – stories behind some of the Civil Rights Movement's iconic photos – encores Sunday

Photographer Ernest Withers documented the struggles and the victories of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s through shocking and inspiring images that evoke the injustice and the rage of that history even today.  Along the way, he himself became an icon.

When Withers photographed the grotesquely mutilated body of Emmett Till, slain for allegedly whistling at a white woman, the photos rocketed across the country and around the world in magazines and newsprint – notably in JET and LIFE magazines, and the Chicago Defender – forcing the nation to focus on that amplified vision of injustice.  Withers himself was so moved that he vowed to attend each day of the trial and photograph those accused of the lynching.

After Withers died in 2007, documents secured through a Freedom of Information Act request, submitted by journalists the Memphis Commercial Appeal, revealed that in addition to taking photographs, Withers was also a paid informant for the FBI.  A paper trail later emerged suggesting Withers gave the FBI sensitive information on leaders of the Movement, their meetings, and their activities – as part of the FBI’s official, “Ghetto Informant Program.”

CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien tells the story of the secret life of Ernest Withers in Pictures Don’t Lie, which encores on CNN/U.S on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET and PT.


January 25th, 2013
10:58 AM ET

Diane O'Meara: Tuiasosopo said he wanted to portray a different life

Diane O’Meara, the woman in Manti Te’o hoax photos, opens up to Starting Point about her connection to and interaction with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man believed to be the mastermind behind the hoax.

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

Topics: CNN • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
January 8th, 2013
10:15 AM ET

Former Univ. of Texas coach: I want equal treatment and due process

Former University of Texas Austin Track and Field Head Coach Beverly Kearney opens up about resigning over her affair with a student in 2002. She claims that although she was forced to resign, other professors and administrators at the school have not had the same repercussions after engaging in relationships that violated policy.

Kearney says, “I’ve always tried to live my life in a manner that I did not want to do harm. And it’s always been easier for me to forgive others. But this was a challenge for me to forgive myself for making a poor decision.”

When O’Brien asks if the student she had the relationship with “ratted her out,” Kearney answers, “Yes, that’s fair.”

O’Brien reads the section of the school’s employee handbook that highlights how not disclosing a romantic or sexual relationship with a student could lead to termination. Kearney responds, “I didn’t know that there was even a rule on the book. I think the rule had come into play maybe a year prior to the relationship, and I don’t ever even remember reading such a rule.”

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

Topics: CNN • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
November 8th, 2012
09:01 AM ET

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison: GOP "tainted" by saying "very stupid things"

Retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) says that the Republican party of the future needs to be more mindful to women and social issues, and focus on economics. She references the comments of Todd Akin as partly responsible for the muddled message. Later in the interview, she says a compromise on the fiscal cliff is “hard.”

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

August 15th, 2012
10:14 AM ET

Pawlenty on negative ads: Back-and-forth doesn't do either side as well as it could

Romney Campaign National Co-Chair Tim Pawlenty opens up about the Medicare debate and negative advertisements in the 2012 race on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.

On ads, Pawlenty says, “So we should be having a debate about Mitt Romney's vision for how he's going to make it better, and this back-and-forth doesn't do either side or the country as well as it could.”

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

August 1st, 2012
10:13 AM ET

Gingrich: Romney "didn't make a mistake in Israel;" "comments about culture were right"

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich responds to Mitt Romney’s comments about culture’s impact on accomplishments in Israel and Palestine.

Gingrich says, “Well, first of all, I don’t think he made a mistake in Israel. I think the comments about culture were right. I wish that the elites of this country had the courage to look at the United Nations refuge camps and realize what an anti-human disaster those refuge camps are, how much they have been breeders of terrorism, how fundamentally wrong their design is and how much we’ve done a disservice to… the Palestinians by allowing them to be subjected to that kind of government run, totally inappropriate structure. So there I hope that Governor Romney will stick to his guns. Let’s have the argument.”

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

August 1st, 2012
09:10 AM ET

Dominique Dawes: 'Fab Five' out from 1996 shadow

Olympic gymnastic gold medalist Dominique Dawes comments on Team USA Coach John Geddert's claim that the 2012 gymnastics team is better than her team in 1996.

Dawes says, "You know I do believe the 'Fab Five' is... out of our shadows."

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

Topics: CNN • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
July 31st, 2012
08:19 AM ET

Rep. Cummings on Romney's trip: "Not ready for primetime;" Palestinian comment "quite offensive"

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) shares his impressions of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's international tour and his thoughts on differing tax cut plans with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien.

Rep. Cummings says, “I would summarize it: not ready for primetime. Clearly, the comment in England about the Olympics – you would think that someone who dealt with the Olympics here in the United States would be much more sensitive with regard to those kind of issues to go into a country and criticize the organizers. Then I found the Palestinian comment to be quite offensive and I can understand the feelings of the Palestinians. And now, this fellow here in Poland, making the comment that he made –You know, but the one thing that we’re forgetting – you’ve got a really frustrated press corp. that have only had three questions answered by Mr. Romney during this trip.”

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

July 26th, 2012
08:50 AM ET

Rep. Rogers (R-MI): Gun control not the problem

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) discusses the Aurora shooting, explains why he is opposed to gun control legislation and weighs in on Mitt Romney's foreign policy plans.

Rep. Rogers says, “Trying to point to one incident and one type of weapon isn’t going to solve this problem. Matter of fact, it was against the law to have a weapon in the movie theater. Colorado has very strict gun laws. So, we have two things here. How do we get after the violent crime that’s happening in American cities today – a huge rise. And how do you deal with mentally ill individuals who are expressing themselves that they’re going to commit this crime…. You want to intercede with the mentally ill early in that treatment and allow counselors to talk to police when they’re making those kind of threats.”

When O’Brien asks why not challenge gun laws, too, and not sell AR-15s, Rep. Roger responds, “That’s not what killed those individuals in the movie theater. That weapon didn’t even function correctly, so that’s the trick. And that’s what I think is dangerous about saying this type of weapon we don’t like. If we focus all of our energy on that, the problem will go away. That’s not the problem. He was determined to kill people. And he had plenty of weapons on him when he walked into that movie theater….”

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

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Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
July 26th, 2012
07:41 AM ET

Gov. Markell (D-DE) responds to Pres. Obama gun control comments: He hasn't waited too long

Gov. Jack Markell (D-DE) responds to President Obama’s comments on gun control and discusses negative ads and employment for disabled.

When CNN Anchor John Berman asks Gov. Markell if Pres. Obama has waited too long to address the issue, he replies, “I don’t think he’s waited too long…. Like most Americans, I certainly support the 2nd amendment, but I also feel it’s just an unbelievable tragedy every time one of these events happen. This is why in Delaware last year I pushed through three pieces of gun control legislation. There was a lot of resistance to it.”

Berman asks what he would like Pres. Obama do on gun control. Gov. Markell answers, “I leave that to him. We’re really focused on what we can do at the state level…. Lots of us certainly support the 2nd amendment, but we want to make sure that we’re keeping these weapons out of the hands of people like the guy in Colorado who just took the lives of so many people.”

Early Start with John Berman & Zoraida Sambolin airs weekday mornings from 5-7am ET on CNN.

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