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June 20, 2010

Where's The Video?

Posted: 09:46 PM ET

By Ed Lavandera
CNN Correspondent

One day in early May, I flew over the oil spill site with a prominent environmental attorney from New Orleans.  As I saw the oil sheen and streaks of orange-tinted oil, I realized we would never really grasp the magnitude of this disaster unless we could see the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

Later that same day a source told me, "you know they have video cameras that record the oil leak 24 hours a day."  That set off a series of requests to BP, the Coast Guard and anyone else who would listen asking for access to video images of the leak.  Myself and several CNN colleagues asked for days and days to no avail.

So on the morning of May 11th we rolled out a story essentially asking, where's the video?  We showed how BP's public relations machine had time to produce and edit videos showing off the CEO Tony Hayward's handling of the response.  The company could put out these videos but it wouldn't let the world see the most critical aspect of the story – the actual leak.

The day after our report and with pressure from Congress, BP released a 30-second video clip.

I would argue that's when the story became a huge deal. The oil flow rate estimates have skyrocketed ever since that day. From 1,000 barrels a day to almost 60-thousand barrels a day now. And that number will likely go up again.

The video let the world see first hand this wasn't just any ordinary oil spill, it was quickly becoming this country's worst environmental disaster ever.

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill


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Chasing the Devastation

Posted: 09:39 PM ET

By David Mattingly
CNN National Correspondent

For 37 days, I chased the economic and environmental devastation of the oil spill across four states.  As each day passed, the stories I encountered grew progressively worse.   I watched the oil spread into sensitive waters and I listened as the numbers of families hit by job losses grew.

There are images burned into my memory that will never fade.  I will remember the sea turtle, distressed and gasping for air, as it swam through massive orange bands of dispersed oil.  I will remember the thick crude oil that coated my hand like hot chocolate syrup when I dipped it into the polluted water.  And I will never forget the sadness I felt as I collected melted tar balls on the Gulf beaches where I played as a kid.

But most of all, I will never forget the fisherman who looked at me with anger in his eyes and said, "It's done.  Everything we worked for is gone and it's probably never coming back."  The people and communities of the Gulf are hurricane-tested and resilient, but no one can guess when or if this storm will ever pass.

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill


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Monday night – LKL 2-hr telethon to help the Gulf coast

Posted: 08:43 PM ET

TUNE IN ON MONDAY for our special two-hour Larry King Live telethon, “DISASTER IN THE GULF: How You Can Help,” from 8 to 10pm Eastern, a star-studded effort to raise funds for United Way, The National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy, organizations working directly with the families, individuals and wildlife affected by the Gulf oil spill.

Guests include Justin Bieber, Deepak Chopra, Cameron Diaz, Philippe Cousteau, Ted Danson, Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler, Randy Jackson, Kerry Kennedy, Lenny Kravitz, Jenny McCarthy, Tim McGraw, Alyssa Milano, Aaron Neville, Edward James Olmos, Victoria Principal, Robert Redford, Gloria Reuben, Tyson Ritter, Richard Simmons, Ian Somerhalder, Sam Trammell, Melania and Ivanka Trump, Pete Wentz, Herbie Hancock, India.Arie, with a special performance by Sting.

Guests talk with Larry on set and via satellite and also participate in the program’s telephone banks taking viewer calls, or in a special online Social Suite—hosted by Ryan Seacrest—for participants using internet social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Celebrity guests post live Facebook updates during Monday’s telethon and the hashtag #CNNHelpGulf is used for viewers and online participants wanting to join the conversation on Twitter.

For more information on the three organizations involved in this initiative please visit the following:

HELPING COMMUNITIES with UNITED WAY

United Way is offering help to the families along the Gulf that are facing financial, educational and health-related challenges as a result from the economic disruption from this Oil Spill. The United Way Gulf Recovery fund will provide emergency assistance, such as help with food, rent and utilities, and support long-term recovery efforts to rebuild these lives and these communities.

SAVING WILDLIFE with THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION

The National Wildlife Federation Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund supports efforts to find and save oiled wildlife, and help recover their delicate ecosystems that make up their nesting and breeding grounds.

RESTORING THE GULF with THE NATURE CONSERVANCY

In response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, The Nature Conservancy has launched their Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration, expanding their efforts for long term recovery for the Gulf of Mexico and habitats along the coast, including salt marshes, oyster reefs, marshlands, beaches and estuaries.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Larry King Live


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Worst case scenario for the Gulf oil spill: 4.2 million gallons per day

Posted: 06:36 PM ET

You've seen the devastation. Now it's your chance to help. Tune in Monday night for a special "Larry King Live, Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help" telethon featuring an all-star panel of guests joining forces in the Gulf region. Don't miss "Larry King Live," 8 p.m. ET Monday on CNN.

(CNN) - A BP estimate made after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon noted that as much as 100,000 barrels per day could leak into the ocean if the blowout preventer and wellhead were removed, a higher worst-case scenario than previously reported.

According to an internal BP document released Sunday by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, BP believed that the worst-case scenario could be as high as 100,000 barrels, or 4.2 million gallons of oil per day.

The figure is the highest yet to surface regarding the leaking oil well. At the disaster's outset, BP claimed the leak was about 1,000 barrels a day, a number it later revised to 5,000 and then much higher. BP told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the worst-case scenario was 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) a day, lower than what the document states.

The document, submitted in May, maintains the 60,000 barrel estimate, but stipulates that if the "blowout preventer and wellhead are removed and if we have incorrectly modeled the restrictions, the rate could be as high as 100,000 barrels a day."

Markey said the document "raises very troubling questions about what BP knew and when they knew it."

READ MORE

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill


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As the oil spill continues, BP CEO Tony Hayward goes yachting

Posted: 12:50 PM ET

A posh weekend at an annual yacht race off the coast of England has embattled BP CEO Tony Hayward once again treading water in social media, and tweeting a defense.

After Hayward took a verbal pummeling on Capitol Hill last Thursday over his company's handling of the Gulf Coast oil spill, photos surfaced Saturday of the CEO spending this weekend clad in sunglasses and a ball cap at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race off Britain's Isle of Wight. His 52-foot yacht "Bob" was part of the festivities.

In an apparent response to the slew of online complaints about Hayward's weekend away and his management duties, BP tweeted Hayward's response Saturday: "Gulf response efforts remain my top priority. To assure continued focus, Bob Dudley will support me on this full-time to make it right.Tony."

But even the White House weighed in on the stark contrast of out-of-work fisherman on the Gulf and the glamour of the yacht race. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel spoke of Hayward's activities during an interview to be aired Sunday morning on ABC's "This Week."

"Well, to quote Tony Hayward, he's got his life back, as he would say," Emanuel said, according to a blog post from fill-in anchor Jake Tapper. Emanuel continued, "I think we can all conclude that Tony Hayward is not going to have a second career in PR consulting. This has just been part of a long line of PR gaffes and mistakes."

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill


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Can the power of prayer stop the oil spill in the Gulf?

Posted: 10:06 AM ET

You've seen the devastation. Now it's your chance to help. Tune in Monday night for a special "Larry King Live, Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help" telethon featuring an all-star panel of guests joining forces in the Gulf region. Don't miss "Larry King Live," 8 p.m. ET Monday on CNN.

(CNN) - While cleanup crews and technical teams continue efforts to stop crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana lawmakers are proposing a different approach: prayer.

State senators designated Sunday as a day for citizens to ask for God's help dealing with the oil disaster.

"Thus far efforts made by mortals to try to solve the crisis have been to no avail," state Sen. Robert Adley said in a statement released after last week's unanimous vote for the day of prayer. "It is clearly time for a miracle for us."

The resolution names Sunday as a statewide day of prayer in Louisiana and calls on people of all religions throughout the Gulf Coast "to pray for an end to this environmental emergency, sparing us all from the destruction of both culture and livelihood."

Also Sunday, wildlife officials were planning to transport and release 40 pelicans that rescuers rehabilitated after finding them covered with oil. The birds will be moved from New Orleans, Louisiana, to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Port Aransas, Texas.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill


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June 18, 2010

Monday's Telethon: A Two-Screen Experience

Posted: 05:27 PM ET

By Eric Kuhn
CNN Audience Interaction Producer
(yes, this is a real title)

Tune in and log on this Monday, June 21, for a special LARRY KING LIVE telethon focusing on what you can do to help the Gulf Coast. "Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help," which airs on CNN between 8 – 10 PM ET, is going to be a great two-screen experience, so pull out your laptop!

During the telethon, Larry will check in with Ryan Seacrest, who will be hosting a special “Social Suite” with celebrities such as Alyssa Milano, Pete Wentz, Deepak Chopra, Chelsea Handler, Jenny McCarthy, Tyson Ritter and Edward James Olmos.

Before and during the broadcast, we are encouraging people to participate on their favorite social media platform to help spread the word, have conversations and share ideas about how you can help.

Here is how you can participate:

Facebook: We are asking that you change your Facebook profile photo in support of the Gulf. Please save the photo in this blog post and use it as your new profile photo on Facebook. Also, update your status message about how you are helping with the environmental disaster.

The Disaster Relief on Facebook Page, which was launched hours after January's devastating earthquake in Haiti, serves as a collaborative resource for individuals, non-profits, governments and industry to raise awareness for those in need around the globe. Celebrities, such as Ivanka Trump, will be posting questions on that page throughout the telecast and are excited to hear your thoughts. Some of the comments left on that page will be read on air.

Also check for updates about the show on Larry’s Facebook Page and CNN Impact Your World.

Twitter: During the broadcast, we are encouraging people to tweet to the celebrities by using the hashtag #CNNHelpGulf (Hashtags, in the twitter universe, provide an easy way to keep track of conversations by searching specific phrases or keywords). Share your feelings and thoughts about the disaster in the Gulf.

Gowalla: Now through Monday go out with Gowalla, the location-based mobile and web service, and check-in at any Spot in the "Parks and Nature" category and receive an official "Larry King Live: How You Can Help" pin for your Gowalla Passport, as well as information on how to help.

By staying connected, we can all make a difference. We hope, with your help, and by spreading the word, we'll build support for how you can help in the Gulf.

Thank you.

Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • How You Can Help • Impact Your World • Larry King Live


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LKL MONDAY: Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help telethon

Posted: 02:20 PM ET

TUNE IN ON MONDAY for our special two-hour Larry King Live telethon, “DISASTER IN THE GULF: How You Can Help,” from 8 to 10pm Eastern, a star-studded effort to raise funds for United Way, The National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy, organizations working directly with the families, individuals and wildlife affected by the Gulf oil spill.

Guests include Justin Bieber, Deepak Chopra, Cameron Diaz, Philippe Cousteau, Ted Danson, Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler, Randy Jackson, Kerry Kennedy, Lenny Kravitz, Jenny McCarthy, Tim McGraw, Alyssa Milano, Aaron Neville, Edward James Olmos, Victoria Principal, Robert Redford, Gloria Reuben, Tyson Ritter, Richard Simmons, Ian Somerhalder, Sam Trammell, Melania and Ivanka Trump, Pete Wentz, with a special performance by Sting.

Guests talk with Larry on set and via satellite and also participate in the program’s telephone banks taking viewer calls, or in a special online Social Suite—hosted by Ryan Seacrest—for participants using internet social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Celebrity guests post live Facebook updates during Monday’s telethon and the hashtag #CNNHelpGulf is used for viewers and online participants wanting to join the conversation on Twitter.

For more information on the three organizations involved in this initiative please visit the following:

HELPING COMMUNITIES with UNITED WAY

United Way is offering help to the families along the Gulf that are facing financial, educational and health-related challenges as a result from the economic disruption from this Oil Spill. The United Way Gulf Recovery fund will provide emergency assistance, such as help with food, rent and utilities, and support long-term recovery efforts to rebuild these lives and these communities.

SAVING WILDLIFE with THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION

The National Wildlife Federation Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund supports efforts to find and save oiled wildlife, and help recover their delicate ecosystems that make up their nesting and breeding grounds.

RESTORING THE GULF with THE NATURE CONSERVANCY

In response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, The Nature Conservancy has launched their Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration, expanding their efforts for long term recovery for the Gulf of Mexico and habitats along the coast, including salt marshes, oyster reefs, marshlands, beaches and estuaries.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Larry King Live


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Politics is King: Goat press conference gone bad

Posted: 12:16 PM ET

As oil continued to spread along the Gulf Coast this week, President Obama returned to the region for his first overnight trip.

Upon his return to Washington, D.C. , he spoke to the nation from the White House, marking his first address from the Oval Office.  No doubt, that location would have been preferred for BP CEO Tony Hayward, who was grilled on Capitol Hill by lawmakers over the company's handling of the oil spill.

These are all stories you've probably paid attention to this week... now for some you may have missed:

1. Rep. Anthony Weiner is recovering from an injury sustained at a press conference he held jointly with a goat.  Seriously.  Check it out HERE (The Hill)

2. Guess which former Secretary of State has 'very firm breasts' according to a Korean foreign minister?  No, it is not Henry Kissinger.  Found out who it is HERE (The Hill)

3. The FBI file on former U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy was released this week. A lot of it was regarding death threats made against the senator, with one involving someone with 'psychic powers' (SmokingGun)

4. Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart tied the knot this week.  What does this have to do with politics (rest assured it isn't an 'Indiana' joke)?  Click HERE to see who presided over their wedding! (K-Earth)

5. The Council on Foreign relations added a HUGE A-list celebrity to their roster.  Click HERE to find out who it was, and click HERE to find out exactly what the Council on Foreign Relations does. (Washington Post)

NOTE: DON'T FORGET TO TUNE IN TO OUR SPECIAL 2-HOUR LKL TELETHON, "DISASTER IN THE GULF-HOW YOU CAN HELP," ON MONDAY FROM 8-10pmEastern!!

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Larry King Live • Politics is King • Ted Kennedy


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ICYMI – LKL on BP CEO's grilling on Capitol Hill

Posted: 08:54 AM ET
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