August 27, 2010

Exclusive – Branford Marsalis: New Orleans remains in crisis

Posted: 03:37 PM ET

Editor's Note: Be sure to watch Harry Connick Jr. on LKL tonight from Musicians Village in New Orleans.  Also, check out the Marsallis Family's new album, "Music Redeems."  It benefits the Ellis Marsallis Center for Music.

By Branford Marsalis

Five years after Hurricane Katrina struck and decimated my hometown, I am certainly buoyed by the rebuilding successes of a city reinforced with an invincible spirit, and proud of the strides we have made through our partnership with New Orleans Habitat and through the contributions of individuals from around the world. I am fiercely disappointed, though, by the inconsistency of the attention paid to this disaster between these anniversaries and the lack of a sustained, long-term approach to the rebuilding our city.

New Orleans remains in crisis.

Even as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival continues to present that unique musical experience that is so quintessential; even as scientists and engineers have stopped the spillage and contained further devastation of the oil; even as citizens, friends and neighbors have rallied together to build and rebuild, we still suffer and there is still much to be done. Ours is not the world of merely a year or two, but that of decades if we are to restore her to her former glory, we must embrace a long-term commitment.

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Filed under: LKL Web Exclusive

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August 26, 2010

Harry Connick Jr. Preview

Posted: 10:25 PM ET

Harry Connick Jr. is Larry's guest Friday night for a special show
on the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  Here's a preview.

Filed under: Harry Connick Jr. • Hurricane Katrina • Larry King Live

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ICYMI: Wanda Sykes!

Posted: 10:58 AM ET
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August 25, 2010

Wyclef Jean on Two Tragedies

Posted: 03:55 PM ET

By Wyclef Jean

This weekend is the fifth anniversary of the devastation that Katrina wrought in New Orleans. As a member of the Creole community, I feel a deep connection to New Orleans and the Gulf region, and want to send out my prayers to those who are still working to rebuild there. The destruction that Katrina caused really struck home for me–so many brothers and sisters lost, and so many lives shattered.

I see a corollary to the vast destruction of the earthquake that Port-au-Prince suffered just seven months ago: Like the people of the Gulf Coast, my countrymen in Haiti have been forced to witness more despair than anyone should have to bear. And in New Orleans, as it is in Haiti, so much of the loss was suffered by those who had little to begin with.

New Orleans is still in the process of reviving its communities, and this fifth anniversary has been planned to focus on people coming together to rebuild where it’s still needed. I’m so inspired by the scores of people–and companies–who have stepped in, and are still stepping in, to show their support for those who continue to struggle to get their lives back to “normal.”

I recently read of a Washington, D.C.-based publishing company, United Communications Group, that had led a relief effort five years ago for Katrina victims; at a cost of just $80,000, this corporation and its employees were able to assist hundreds of people. Many more companies are timing rebuilding campaigns to the anniversary this week: Among them, Marriott will work with Habitat for Humanity to build a home and a playground. Barnes & Noble’s founder, Leonard Riggio, funded a nonprofit, Project Home Again, that will be putting up houses in still damaged neighborhoods in New Orleans. And Sears has partnered with Rebuilding Together on its Fifty for Five event, which will aim to put 50 families back into homes in one week (an effort I had planned to join until it became clear that the current challenges of my campaign for Haiti’s president will not allow it.).

There is probably more rebuilding in this one week in New Orleans than there has been in Haiti in the seven months since the earthquake struck. The corporate sponsors helping to redevelop New Orleans reinforces my thought that Haiti must be re-opened for business–and soon.

God bless the New Orleans natives who are still fighting to rebuild their neighborhoods, and their lives, and I ask all of them to say a prayer, in turn, for the Haitians who are still fighting to survive in my homeland.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Hurricane Katrina • Wyclef Jean

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Sean Penn and Wyclef Jean: The Saga Continues

Posted: 03:50 PM ET

What began weeks ago on Larry King Live, continues online and in the headlines.  In this article Sean Penn wrote for the The Huffington Post, he reacts to Jean's reaction to his comments on LKL, and Jean's announcement he will contest the decision to keep his name off the ballot in Haiti's presidential election.

By Sean Penn

As Wyclef Jean announces his regrettable turn-about to contest Haiti's electoral rule of law (a law he has no previous record of dissension toward), his PR team is mobilizing. See Ms. Marian Salzman's recent blog on the Huffington Post (August 23, 2010). In it, Ms. Salzman, hired to frame perception of Mr. Jean, claims that I "lambasted" Mr. Jean's candidacy on CNN. Furthermore, she reduced the political dialogue that took place that day by calling the discussion a "celebrity feud". In fact, a sensationalized celebrity feud, is and was, as far from my mind as the alleged "lambasting." Though he and his camp came back with many disparaging comments in my direction, I felt that ignoring my initial impulse to react and respond allowed the attention to refocus on the real issues facing Haitians.

One can YouTube the segment of the August 8 Larry King Live in question. In the clip, Wolf Blitzer interviews Wyclef Jean upon his announcing his candidacy. The viewer will also see a response from someone (myself) who runs an NGO in Haiti, someone who has spent most of the last six months following the devastating earthquake, side by side in that country, with so many others, doing whatever we could to lend a hand. I have never met Wyclef Jean, and all I really know of him on any personal level has come through the fond comments of a few mutual friends. Hence, nothing I might say, was in ANY way personal, or intended to be lambasting to anyone. My comments were critical observations of a political candidate and a leader of an organization in Haiti.


Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Larry King Live • Sean Penn

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ICYMI: Gov. Charlie Crist

Posted: 10:56 AM ET
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August 24, 2010

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 07:00 PM ET

All Eyes on Arizona!

John McCain’s Senate seat on the line –
will this be his toughest re-election yet?


Like son?
Former Vice President Dan Quayle’s son takes
a shot at politics – will he come out on top?

Be part of Larry’s blog!

Send us your questions and
comments about tonight’s show!

Filed under: Larry King Live • Politics

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ICYMI: Former SeaWorld Employee's Shocking Allegations

Posted: 11:19 AM ET
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