KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Have a great weekend, everyone.
Tony is out, T.J. is in.
Take it away, T.J.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, thank you, kind ma’am. Thank you so
Hello to you all. Live from Studio 7 at the CNN world
headquarters, we have got some big stories coming up for you here
on this Friday, October the 15th.
Up first, an American soldier allegedly beaten by others in his
own platoon. Take a look at some of these pictures here. They
actually say he was a snitch, the soldier who exposed a rogue
killing squad accused of picking off civilians.
Also, fight night in Las Vegas. Not what you think, though.
These are not necessarily prize fighters here. The prize they’re
fighting for is a seat in the Senate.
The Senate’s top Democrat is tangling with a Tea Party
insurgent. Some name-calling went back and forth. You can expect
that in most of these debates. She’s telling him actually —
telling Harry Reid to man up? He’s telling her she’s an
We’ll get into that in just a bit.
And are you looking for a job out there? What is your ideal
Well, how about this guy? He gets paid to get high. Yes, he
tests medical marijuana for a living. He smokes all day. He’s kind
of like a food critic here, only with a different kind of pot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’ve got a joint, a pre-rolled joint of some
sour diesel and some really chunky, real good-looking pot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Yes. You sure you don’t want to stick around, Kyra?
We’re talking weed the next two hours.
HOLMES: Oh, it’s OK.
PHILLIPS: I did not inhale.
HOLMES: All right. She did not inhale, if you didn’t hear
But all of that and a whole lot more coming up.
Hello to you all. I am T.J. Holmes, in for my good friend Tony
Those stories, a whole lot more, your comments included, right
here, right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.
There are some numbers I want to share you with here now about
how much red ink on the government’s balance sheet. The
Congressional Budget Office says the federal deficit is now just
under $1.3 trillion. The good news is that’s lower than it was last
year. The bad news, it’s $1.3 trillion.
The second year in a row that the deficit has been above a
trillion. Actually, like I said, down, down about $125 billion from
last fiscal year.
Those numbers we’re getting today. Also, the unemployment
numbers we got not too long ago. These are some of the final
reports and the numbers that people are going to walk into the
voting booth within 18 days. We have got these critical midterm
elections coming up.
And the most powerful man in the Senate, the man who is the head
of the Democrats, he is in a tough fight right now to keep his
We’re talking about the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid,
going up against the Tea Party favorite insurgent Sharron Angle.
They are locked in a head-to-head, a neck-and-neck race. Most of
the polls have them just a point or two apart.
They did have a debate last night, the only one we’re going to
see them in. Just listen to one of their exchanges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: Social Security is a
promise we have to keep. It takes care of seniors in their golden
That’s why I worked so hard to protect Social Security. I feel
so strongly about this, that I took on the president of the United
States when he tried to privatize it, and we won that battle.
Social Security is an important program. The actuarials at
Social Security and also the CBO have said within the past month
that Social Security will pay out 100 percent of its benefits for
the next 35 to 40 years. That’s important.
SHARRON ANGLE (R), NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE: Man up, Harry Reid.
You need to understand that we have a problem with Social Security.
That problem was created because of government taking that money
out of the Social Security trust fund.
In 1990, you said it was stealing to use Social Security for
anything but Social Security, and then you voted to take that
Social Security money into the general fund where it could be
generally used for generally anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Now, coming up in just a moment, we’re going to be
talking more about that race and that debate out in Nevada with our
political folks in D.C. Stick around for that.
Also, we’ve been waiting all this time. The miners, they’re
finally out. We watched them come out triumphantly with the hugs
and the tears and the crying and all of that. And everybody’s
waiting to hear the story about these guys being trapped 69 days
Well, you’re going to have to wait for it or you’re going to
have to pay for it. They have agreed now they are going to sell
their story. They’re going to sell it in books and movies and
interviews, and then they’re going to divide the money up among the
So they’re keeping a lot of details right now pretty close to
the chest. You’re seeing video here of one of the miners — three
of them all together — but you’re seeing video of one of them
leaving the hospital there. More are expected to leave today.
Now, they aren’t saying much. They’re saying a little. One says
that the 17 days that nobody knew they were actually alive, those
were the toughest days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What was the worst
RICHARD VILLARROEL, MINER (through translator): I think the
worse thing is to pass three, four, five days without food, to know
that there might not be any future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, also another story we’re keeping a close eye on,
gay rights groups not so happy with the president today. The
administration will appeal a judge’s decision that struck down
“don’t ask, don’t tell” as unconstitutional.
The president was talking in a forum with young voters in
Washington, and he says he still opposes the law that forbids gays
and lesbians from serving openly in the military, but he says he
prefers Congress, not the courts, in the policy. (BEGIN VIDEO
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I agree with the
basic principle that anybody who wants to serve in our armed forces
and make sacrifices on our behalf, on behalf of our national
security, anybody should be able to serve. And they shouldn’t have
to lie about who they are in order to serve.
And so we are moving in the direction of ending this policy. It
has to be done in a way that is orderly, because we are involved in
a war right now. But this is not a question of whether the policy
This policy will end, and it will end on my watch. But I do have
an obligation to make sure that I’m following some of the rules. I
can’t simply ignore laws that are out there. I’ve got to work to
make sure that they are changed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, the president talking a little policy there.
Meanwhile, the top U.S. military commander, he is talking in
Afghanistan, talking about that the fight there — said, yes, it’s
tough, and it’s headed in the right direction, he says. He’s also
backing the Afghan president’s efforts to pursue peace talks with
the Taliban. We’re talking about General David Petraeus. He was
speaking this morning at a British think tank.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
ASSISTANCE FORCE: Now, no one should have any illusions about how
difficult the fight will continue to be as we and our Afghan
partners strive to bring peace to a nation that has suffered
through more than 30 years of continuous war. Still, I believe that
we now have the right strategy in place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: We turn now to a CNN Special Investigations Unit
We told you about American soldiers accused of killing Afghan
civilians for sport. Now the story of the man who exposed this
rogue platoon, and the price he paid and the military’s move to
keep him silent.
Here now, our Drew Griffin.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are pictures
obtained by CNN of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, a soldier who
blew the whistle on what the Army says was a platoon gone
Bruises on his back, arms, near his neck, of Private First Class
Justin Stoner. Bruises received not in combat, but in his bunk.
Beaten by fellow soldiers who feared Stoner was a snitch.
Jeremy Morlock, one of the soldiers now accused of murdering
three Afghan civilians, told investigators in this taped
interrogation he was there the day Private Stoner was beaten.
JEREMY MORLOCK, ACCUSED OF MURDERING CIVILIANS: Yes, we walked
into the room, and locked the door behind us, and a couple guys
just started talking to him, just laying on him. You know —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean?
MORLOCK: Well, it started with talking. Why would you rat on
your guys, you know, stuff like that, and then that led into
someone grabbing him or —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he deny it?
MORLOCK: Yes, at first — at first he did. And then he came to
and made some comments about how he was tired of being a (EXPLETIVE
DELETED) or something like that. And then he made a comment, like,
something about I think someone had grabbed him at that point and
maybe gave him a punch to the chest or something. And he made the
statement like, “Hey, you guys can sit here and punch me all day
long if you want,” or something, and once that was made — Gibbs
was like, “Oh, OK” and grabbed him off his cot and threw him on the
ground in his room, and then that’s when a few guys got a few licks
GRIFFIN: Morlock’s attorney told CNN his client was on
prescription drugs, high on hashish and suffering combat-related
brain injuries when the crimes were committed.
Sergeant Gibbs, the squad leader who has tattoos on his leg
which he said represent kills in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is the
alleged ring leader. He hasn’t admitted anything. His attorney told
CNN he is not ready to comment.
Others during interrogation also described how they believed
Stoner was a rat, about to tell commanders about the drug use going
on at forward operating base Ramrod. At least seven members of the
rogue platoon entered Stoner’s tent on May 5, surrounded Stoner, as
Stoner himself sketches in this drawing for investigators. Then,
according to Stoner’s statement, “collectively stomped, kicked and
punched me everywhere on my body below the neck.”
(on camera): Last week Stoner agreed to talk again, this time to
CNN in an on-camera interview, but just three hours before that
interview was to take place, south of Seattle, CNN received this e-
mail from Private Stoner’s military attorney.
(voice-over): “About two hours ago, prosecutors and I met
regarding the disposition of the case against PFC Stoner,” the
attorney writes. “Based on this meeting, PFC Stoner will be given
full immunity in the case and not be prosecuted for any allegations
made against him contingent, also, however, on staying away from
media.” With that, the interview was canceled. The military, which
had not charged Stoner with any crime, was threatening to bring
charges against him, then offered him a deal as long as he didn’t
(on camera): The U.S. Army appears to be trying to limit further
damage by this rogue platoon. The evidence includes damning
photographs. Those who have seen them tell CNN they show soldiers
posing with dead Afghans like hunting trophies; worse, we are told,
than the disastrous photos taken by jailers in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib
(voice-over): This military directive sent to defense attorneys
orders all photos be immediately returned to the criminal
investigation division at Fort Lewis. Last week, Pentagon spokesman
Geoff Morrell refused to speculate on the case.
GEOFF MORRELL, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: I don’t want to do anything
that could in any way jeopardize the prosecution or the ability of
the defendants in this case to get a fair trial.
GRIFFIN: So for now, the Army is working hard to contain
witnesses and contain evidence, all in an effort to control the
story of a platoon even the Army says was out of control.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
HOLMES: Well, what happened in Vegas last night could determine
what happens in Washington for years to come. We’ll have more on
the political showdown between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
and Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle.
Let’s say, though, hello to Mr. Rob Marciano in the Severe
HOLMES: Well, as you know, the critical midterm elections now
just 18 days away, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is
trying to hold on right now. He’s in a tough battle with Republican
and Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle.
They sparred last night in Las Vegas for their debate. Just one
of the topics they were talking about was health care. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: For a long time in this country, insurance companies have
dominated the health care delivery system. You pay your premiums.
You get sick or hurt, they walk away from you. We passed health
insurance reform because we had no choice.
ANGLE: America is about choices, and we need to allow people to
have those choices. The free market will weed out those companies
that don’t offer as many choices and don’t have a cost-effective
system. Let the people decide where they want to buy their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: I want to bring in our senior political editor, Mark
Mark, hello to you, kind sir.
I have been to plenty of fight nights in Vegas. This one did not
live up to the billing.
MARK PRESTON, CNN SR. POLITICAL EDITOR: No, and they both seemed
very flat, T.J. I was watching it last night, and Harry Reid didn’t
really seem to be on his game. Sharron Angle didn’t really seem to
deliver that knockout blow that some people thought she would.
You know, we were talking to a Republican just a few minutes ago
who said she didn’t need to deliver it though, T.J., she just
needed not to fall down on her face. And, well, she certainly
didn’t do that last night, but again, no real winner.
HOLMES: No real winner. So this isn’t going to move a poll one
way or another, I assume. I don’t think there’s been any polling
done just yet after this one, but they’ve been neck and neck, and
they don’t have another one planned. This was the only opportunity
to see these two go head to head.
PRESTON: Yes. And these two couldn’t get together on agreeing to
do a debate, and this was the only debate that they would agree to
We haven’t seen any numbers out. Again, since it was three hours
behind on the West Coast, we’ll probably see some numbers in the
next 24 hours and see what people thought of the debate.
I’m sure it was well watched out in Nevada. But really, this
comes down, T.J., to the closing days, who will not fall down, who
will not make a big gaffe. They both have been prone to making big
gaffes — T.J.
HOLMES: OK. What does this do now possibly for the Tea Party?
There are plenty of other races out there. I think 37 is the number
of Senate seats up for grabs.
But if the Tea Party is able to knock off the majority leader,
what does that tell us?
PRESTON: Huge. It would be huge for them.
Look, the Tea Party Express, one of the main Tea Party
organizations, are going to be in Reno on Monday to kick off their
last cross-country tour. Sarah Palin is going to be there speaking.
You know, so she’s been a big help to them. If they are able to
defeat Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, can you imagine what
power that they’ll have over the Republican Party as a whole? Add
in the likes of Marco Rubio — you’ know, they’re not going to do
well with Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, but there are several
other Tea Party candidates across the country. They’re going to be
responsible for sending them here to Washington. You are very
likely to see the Republican Party move even further to the right
than what it is now — T.J.
HOLMES: All right, Mark. Don’t want to sell him short at all.
This man a literally and figuratively a fighter. So, before anybody
thinks he is just going to bow out, they better think again.
PRESTON: Yes, no question about that. In fact, he took on the
Mafia when he was on the Gaming Commission. He knows how to
Look, he won in 1998 against John Ensign by 428 votes. Harry
Reid is one of these guys who will go down fighting. In fact, he
says he’ll spend $25 million, T.J., to win this contest. The
problem with that is that Sharron Angle raised $14 million in the
third quarter alone, so a lot of money out in Vegas.
HOLMES: Mark Preston.
Buddy, always good to see you. Interesting out there in Vegas.
We’ll see you soon.
And I’m going to be seeing a lot of folks out there on the road
real soon. CNN Election Express hitting the road once again.
Doing it again next week. We’re going to be traveling across the
Southeast this time, talking to you about what you’re concerned
about. Also trying to get some answers maybe from a few folks out
The first stop is going to be Charlotte, North Carolina. That is
one of the biggest financial hubs outside of New York.
We’re going to be there on Monday. Then we head to Columbia,
South Carolina; Macon, Georgia; down to Tampa, Florida. See you on
A quick break here. We’re right back.
HOLMES: At 19 minutes past the hour here now.
You often hear Republicans talk about having to slash government
spending. That is the way to balance the budget. They accuse
Democrats of just being on a spending tear. That’s been a big
battle cry from the Tea Party leaders as well, you’ve got to cut
Well, our Eliot Spitzer, he pressed a pioneer of the modern
conservative movement for specifics on cutting the spending, and he
did it on CNN’s new primetime show, “PARKER SPITZER.” (BEGIN VIDEO
RICHARD VIGUERIE, PIONEER OF MODERN CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT:
Reagan, when he ran for president in ’76, said we need new
leadership, leadership unfettered by old ties and old
relationships. The Tea Party people are unfettered by old ties.
They’re changing America.
ELIOT SPITZER, CO-HOST, “PARKER SPITZER”: But Richard, that was
fascinating, but then you have some questions. I picked up on
So I have this persistent habit. I was a lawyer once, and, you
know — so where are you going to cut?
VIGUERIE: Well, we start with the Republican proposal. We go
back to the spending limits of —
SPITZER: You’ve got to cut over $1 trillion. There’s only $500
billion in non-discretionary money to start with. Where are you
going to take huge pieces? Are you going to cut Medicare?
VIGUERIE: Well, what you’re going to do is change the
entitlements. You have to.
SPITZER: So you’re going to cut Medicare.
VIGUERIE: America is not going to function, as you well know, in
20, 30 years. America is not going to function unless somebody,
Democrats or Republicans, conservatives and liberals, get together
and figure out how we’re going to get away from this entitlement
One thing, a very simple way to do it, Eliot — there are many
parts to it, but one is you change the retirement age. Most people
when they get to 62 are now drawing Social Security. You can’t
continue that when people are living into their 80s and 90s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And you can check them out tonight as well. “PARKER
SPITZER” is going to be focusing on a new documentary that explores
the difference between President Obama and President Reagan’s views
on the role federal government plays in society. You can get both
sides, “PARKER SPITZER,” every weeknight, right here, 8:00 Eastern
HOLMES: Well, all year we have, of course, introduced you to
incredible folks, everyday people who are changing the world. We
call them our CNN Heroes.
Got another one to introduce you to now. And to get a little
help to introduce you to this one, listen to actress Eva
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVA MENDES, ACTRESS: Hello. I’m Eva Mendes.
Last year I had the honor of helping to recognize the great
works of everyday people changing the world at CNN Heroes: An
As a champion of the Art of Elysium, I’m committed to creating
joy in the lives of hospitalized children. Now I’m thrilled to help
CNN introduce one of this year’s Top Ten honorees. Now, more than
ever, the world needs heroes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUADALUPE ARIZPE DE LA VEGA, MEDICAL MARVEL: Juarez was a very
nice place. And now, nobody can go out. In this moment of crisis,
people have to have a secure place where healing goes on.
My name is Guadalupe Arizpe De La Vega. I started the Hospital
De La Familia, and it’s in downtown Juarez.
We have been working there for 37 years with the community.
Every day we have 800 to 1,000 people. Some of them can pay, some
of them cannot pay, but we don’t turn anybody away.
I believe that health is the most important of the human rights.
Life, it’s all about empowering people, and it’s very important to
have an institution giving them hope for the future.
HOLMES: So, who will be the CNN Hero of the Year for 2010? Don’t
ask me. We’re asking you. You’re going to decide this.
You can go to CNN.com, vote online for the CNN Hero who inspires
you the most. All 10 will be honored on Thanksgiving night at “CNN
Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.” You’ve seen it now — probably saw it
last year. And we’re going to do it again for you this year.
It’s going to be hosted by our own Anderson Cooper, but only
one, of course, will be named CNN Hero of the Year.
HOLMES: We’re at the bottom of the hour here now at the CNN
Marijuana is on four state ballots this November. In California
— this is the big one out here with prop 19, voters are going to
decide on — that is going to allow small amounts of marijuana on a
person to be legal and taxable. This essentially would be the first
state to make it legal to weed for recreational purposes, but
again, in small amounts.
Also, in South Dakota and Arizona, the issue of legalizing
marijuana to treat various medical conditions, that’s on the
And then, in Oregon, where medical marijuana has been legal, the
question before the voters, should the sale of medical marijuana be
available through dispensaries. Up to this point, people who want
to smoke medical marijuana have to grow it themselves at home. You
didn’t have dispensaries to go buy the stuff.
For the past week, CNN NEWSROOM has been taking a look at the
marijuana argument as it stands today and asking what yes votes
could mean for Americans down the road.
Medical marijuana, as we know, has been around for sometime,
including Colorado, been legal for the past decade. In Denver
alone, get this, they have more than 200 medical marijuana
dispensaries, and one man gets paid to check out the quality of
that marijuana at each and every one of those dispensaries.
CNNMoney.com’s Poppy Harlow has this story and she tried to do
it without getting any contact smoke.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Not only is this
legal; it pays the bills.
(on camera): So you get paid to smoke pot and write about
“WILLIAM BREATHES,” MARIJUANA CRITIC: I get paid to smoke pot
and write about it, yes.
HARLOW (voice-over): His pen name is William Breathes and he’s
one of the first medical marijuana critic in the country. We can’t
show you his face, because his job depends on staying anonymous,
just like a restaurant critic.
(on camera): You can be high doing your job?
BREATHES: And my boss knows it.
HARLOW (voice-over): A decade after medical marijuana was
legalized in Colorado, it’s estimated about 2 percent of the
state’s population, or more than 100,000 people, have applied for
medical marijuana licenses.
According to one Harvard economists, roughly $18 billion is
spent on pot every year in the U.S. and Denver’s “Westword” paper
has capitalized as just that, hiring Breathes as a pot critic who
reviews the dispensaries and the quality of the marijuana they
JONATHAN SHIKES, MANAGING EDITOR, “DENVER WESTWORD”: He has a
journalism degree. He was a good writer. And he could also
punctuate and he could spell, which was very different than a lot
of people who applied for the job.
HARLOW: As for Breathes, he’s been smoking for 15 years to ease
chronic stomach pains, but now his medicine pays his mortgage. We
tagged along to see for ourselves, and we didn’t take our cameras
inside, but take a listen.
BREATHES: Oh, that’s great.
CLERK: Wanna do the cough?
BREATHES: I’m going to have to go with that.
CLERK: Cool. An eighth or —
BREATHES: Yes, I will go with an eighth. Do you guys have any
(INAUDIBLE) up here?
HARLOW (on camera): Can you — can you show us what you got?
BREATHES: Yes, I got a joint — a pre-rolled joint of some sour
diesel and some really chunky, real — real good looking pot.
HARLOW: I can smell it.
BREATHES: Yes, you can smell the musk.
HARLOW: It’s like permeating the whole car.
BREATHES: Yes, exactly. That muskiness is something you really
look for in…
HARLOW: Does that means it’s good?
HARLOW (voice-over): Back at his home office, it’s time to get
BREATHES: Load up a little bit and taste it. Try to taste the
smoke as it comes out. And like I was saying, it has a real like
woody finish. And then, you know, after a few hits of that you try
and feel what type of buzz it is and what it’s doing to my body
HARLOW (on camera): So you know the critics would say that you
just want to get high.
BREATHES: Oh, yes, definitely. And I’m not going to lie. There
is — there’s a fun aspect to this medicine. But if you can see me
on a morning when I’m really sick, when pot really helps me the
most, it’s truly medical.
HOLMES: Poppy, come on.
HARLOW: I’m serious. I have to tell you, this guy changed my
perception of people that smoke marijuana. He is on the straight
and narrow. He has a good job. He just bought his own home, he has
a mortgage. He is super responsible. He takes this seriously, no
He told me, look, I’m not going to get used to getting paid to
take bong hits, but you know, the industry is changing. Colorado is
You don’t buy it at all?
HOLMES: What makes him the expert? It’s just that he has been
doing it for so long that he has —
HARLOW: He’s been doing it for so long. He went to journalism
school. He’s a writer, he knows how to write. And has relationships
with the people that run the dispensaries all over town and he’s
just done it for so long.
Look, what makes someone an expert in a new industry? He is the
first of his kind. But in all seriousness, they’re changing the
industry. Felons can’t run dispensaries now. Doctors have stricter
rules on giving these prescriptions.
And you know, what’s interesting? Those dispensaries now have to
grow 70 percent of her own pot because they don’t want them
bringing it in from Mexico, for example.
HOLMES: And again, he’s testing it not just on what it tastes
like, but the effects —
HARLOW: What it does to his body.
HOLMES: — how it makes him feel?
HARLOW: But every day, morning, noon, night, he has to take bong
hits and gets paid for it.
HOLMES: All right. Poppy, I swear, how do you get some of these
assignments? It’s Poppy Harlow, always a pleasure. Can’t wait for
your next one.
HARLOW: You got it.
HOLMES: Thanks so much. Good to have you here in Atlanta, too,
by the way.
HARLOW: Good to be here.
HOLMES: Coming up, they have spent 69 days living a life
underground. They finally get out, the whole world has been waiting
to hear their story, and you’re going to have to wait a little
longer. The miners don’t have a lot to say to you right now. We’ll
HOLMES: Taking a look now at some of the stories making
Condoleezza Rice heading to the Oval Office today. The former
secretary of state, national security adviser to President Bush has
a private meeting with President Obama. You can watch her later at
6:00 Eastern as she sits down with our Wolf Blitzer in “THE
Also, today, actually happening in about two hours, rapper T.I.
going to be heading to court in Atlanta. He has a hearing on drug
charges that threaten his probation on a previous weapons violation
that could send him right back to prison; he just got out earlier
this year. This also comes, this hearing, just days after T.I.
convinced a man to come down after threatening to jump from a
midtown Atlanta building.
Also, Old Miss has a new mascot, doesn’t mean it’s going to
translate in any more wins in the SEC. Seven years after sacking
Colonel Reb, you see him there, the goatee planter who conjured up
some images of the old south, they finally got rid of him. Going to
replace him with the Rebel Black Bear. That is what the students
wanted. We don’t have a picture of the black bear but trust me,
it’s not that impressive. I only say that that because I’m a
University of Arkansas grad. So, Ole
Miss, don’t call. It’s a rivalry, it’s OK. Good luck with your
Well, he’s a
football star who faced down the
toughest competitor of his life, cancer. Here now, our chief
medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, with more on the biggest
win of one linebacker’s life.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
As he leads his team onto the field, you can see it, Mark Herzlich,
number 94, is fierce, he’s dedicated, he’s a devoted team
MARK HERZLICH, CANCER SURVIVOR: You know,
football is really my life blood, to
be honest, right now.
GUPTA: Few things have ever stood in his linebacker’s way, not
his opponents on the
football field and not even
HERZLICH: My whole left leg was completely white, meaning there
was a tumor that surrounded my femur.
GUPTA: It was during his junior year at Boston
College the former ACC Defensive
Player of the Year developed a pain in his leg that simply wouldn’t
go away. Many doctor visits later, he was given a devastating
diagnosis, Ewing sarcoma, it’s a rare, often deadly form of bone
cancer that strikes roughly 1 of every 600,000 people.
HERZLICH: It went from when am I playing
football again to when am I going to
start treatments, what are my treatments going to be, and what’s
chemotherapy like? You know, am I going to live.
GUPTA: He started a rigorous treatment schedule — chemotherapy
for two straight months and then additional radiation sessions
before and after every chemo visit. His motivation always being to
get healthy and to get back to playing
HERZLICH: I knew that if I got back on the field that I would
have come full circle. I would have beaten the cancer, I’d have
gotten my physical strength back to be where I want to be and once
again be happy doing the thing I love to do.
GUPTA: That internal drive, it’s what helped Herzlich mount a
triumphant return. Now, he’s cancer free. He’s back to playing
football this fall.
football fans young and old, well
they’re celebrating with him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we love everything about Mark
Herzlich up here in these stands.
HERZLICH: You can do incredible things as a human being. You can
defy the odds. You know, even if someone says you’re not going to
be able to make it, you’re not going to be able to do this or that,
you can push yourself and have that will to get there. And I got
GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
HOLMES: And this weekend on “SANJAY GUPTA, MD,” actress
Christina Applegate, she survived breast cancer and now she has a
baby on the way. She talks about insurance companies and what she
think thinks they’re neglecting that could save your life. That is
Saturday and Sunday morning 7:30 Eastern right here on CNN.
I want to give you an update now on some information we are just
getting in about the search for David Hartley, the American who
went missing in the waters of Falcon Lake, a lake that borders the
U.S. and Mexico border.
You see the picture, you’ve seen this story for some time now.
That’s his wife, Tiffany, with him, but she claims he was shot as
they were out on the lake. A lot of people suspected possible
Mexican drug lords had something to do with this, but now we’re
told the search has been suspended for her husband’s body. No body
has been found.
Our Paul Corson is on the line, one of my producers who has been
on this story. Paul, can you tell me why did they decide to stop
PAUL CORSON, CNN PRODUCER (via telephone): Well, T.J., we’re at
the other end of the equation right now. The regional governor of
the area where Falcon Lake is located is in Washington for annual
meetings that were scheduled not related to this at all.
But we managed to track him down while he’s here in town — the
governor’s name, Eugenio Hernandez Flores — and he just told us
that there is not yet any formal investigation into the whole
Falcon Lake incident.
He did confirm that David Hartley’s wife is going to be meeting
in Texas with the FBI and Mexican federal police today to file a
formal statement of her account of the events, but he did not say
there is any formal investigation underway right now.
But he did say that he will be meeting himself today with FBI
officials by the name of Hector Gonzalez, I don’t know his formal
title at the FBI, here in Washington to make sure U.S. and Mexican
authorities are cooperating if there’s any investigation that needs
to move ahead, T.J.
HOLMES: OK, Paul, help us understand what that means, because we
have been watching a whole lot of what appeared to be investigating
going on, certainly by Americans from the American side, if you
So what up to this point have Mexican authorities been doing? It
makes it sound like we haven’t been involved, we haven’t gotten a
formal complaint almost.
CORSON: Well, one of the things that seems to have complicated
this case is the death of an investigator that was assigned to the
Hartley case at Falcon Lake. His death was a coincidence it seems,
according to Flores, who we talked with.
And he said this is a long-time investigator in this governor’s
state, and that he had a number of cases this may have been
attributed to. He refused to link it to anything to do with the
Hartley case that Mrs. Hartley believes took place as a result of
shooting by pirates, as we’ve gotten.
And as I said, he would not elevate it to that of a formal
investigation, while saying that Tiffany Hartley does today plan to
meet with both Mexican federal police and the FBI in Texas to
possibly more formalize whatever investigative process has been
HOLMES: Paul Corson, we appreciate you tracking him down and
hopping on the line with us, again, one of our producers working
the story, like he said, from the other end there.
We also got a statement from Tiffany Hartley’s mom. I’m just
going to read it to you here. It says, quote, “We are very
disappointed. The longer this goes, the less chance there is of
Again, saying she’s disappointed because we’re getting word that
the formal search right now has been suspended for the body of
David Hartley. We will continue to follow that story.
Quick break, though, here in the CNN NEWSROOM. I’m right
HOLMES: There is always something going on day in and day out as
it pertains to the election which is now 18 days away, this
critical midterm election. Let’s check in with our Paul
Steinhauser, part of “The Best Political Team on Television” live
from the Political Desk in D.C.
Paul, hello to you, kind sir. What do you have crossing?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: T.J., I guess
that means you’re stuck with me for another 18 days, but — hey,
you and Mark Preston my buddy Mark Preston, just a few minutes ago
were talking about that big debate in Las Vegas last night between
Harry Reid and Sharron Angle, but you know what? There was also
another very important debate last night in Washington state.
I’m going to ask Jeremy Harland (ph), our cameraman, to zoom
right in here. It’s on the CNN Political Ticker and it was a big
showdown in Washington state between on the right, that is the
Democratic Senator Patty Murray, on the left, Dino Rossi, the
Republican nominee. And I tell you, man, a very different
philosophy in that debate, obviously, between the two candidates
when it comes to what Barack Obama has done in the White House. A
great article by our Peter Hamby (ph) who was there at that
That’s what happened last night. T.J., let’s look ahead to
tomorrow, because there’s a couple of things going on.
Let’s start with the president, Barack Obama. He will be in
Massachusetts tomorrow. He will be helping out his friend, Deval
Patrick, the governor up there, first-term governor who is facing a
very tough reelection, so Obama’s heading up there, the president’s
heading up there, to help out his friend.
Also tomorrow, T.J., a big event out in California. We will be
covering this one. Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican
National Committee, teaming up with Sarah Palin, the former Alaska
governor and the 2008 vice presidential nominee.
They’ll be in Anaheim, California late tomorrow afternoon, early
evening for a fundraising rally to help raise money for the
Republican Party for candidates in these closing weeks. So we’ll
have coverage for that. We’re sending Jessica Yellin out there.
You can see all this stuff, of course, on the CNN Political
Ticker and we’re talking about it, T.J., so there you go.
HOLMES: We appreciate it, Paul. Looking forward to the next 18
days with you, buddy. We’ll see you again here soon.
And to our viewers, your next political update going to be right
about an hour from now. And of course, for the latest political
news, you know the spot, CNNPolitics.com.
HOLMES: A city councilman in Texas getting very personal about
bullying during a meeting. We’re going to bring you his emotional
plea, that’s in the next hour of the CNN newsroom.
Also, you’re going to meet a young man who is educating black
students about the history of the N-word in an effort to get kids
to think twice before using it.
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- Driver dies in sanctioned race on NV mountain
- la russa will manage cardinals next season, his 16th in st. lOuis
- US and China neck-and-neck in Olympic medals race
- 20 years later, the real verdict on O.J. Simpson
- Jones may have violated his probation
- Bettors calling regulators over USC game
- Acquittal could boost Clemens’ Hall bid
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- Pacquiao dabbling in US politics, too
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- The Blitz: Concerns for SEC powers, ACC’s next task; more
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