John King was in the Los Angeles studio this morning for State of the Union. Other than the introduction and the news break at mid hour, the first hour of the program was pre-recorded.
John King interviewed former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell earlier in the week. They discussed the "America's Promise" program that assists children as well as encourages youth to serve. Powell discussed that his family was key to keeping him on the right path and that kids today need a "gang" and if their family doesn't provide this support then some will find it with a street gang.
They also discussed whether or not the country will be able to support the veterans that are coming back from war as well as the Iraq war and the withdrawal of troops from the cities. The conversation progressed to discussing whether Powell's way of approaching conflicts could have worked better than Rumsfeld's in Iraq and how the US should proceed in stabilizing Afghanistan. King asked Powell about the "don't ask; don't tell" policy and received the answer that Powell thinks that it should be reviewed, but that it is more complicated that just reversing it.
The next topic of discussion was the nomination of Judge Sotomayor and the Republican party's inability to reach out to minority voters.
When asked about the cost and size of government, Powell was worried and stated he wants a government that is as small as possible but a government that works.
Powell admitted that he understood the impact that Michael Jackson had had on pop culture, but that his memories of Jackson were of his younger years singing with his brothers in the Jackson Five and that the success of Thriller wasn't of his generation. Powell speculated that he may have been in Vietnam or Korea at the time.
The last part of the discussion was about the Independence Day holiday and what it meant to someone who had served in the armed forces.
King spoke with Tora Burns who works with Americorp as a mentor in Washington, D.C. She's a Howard University student who is spending her summer as an instructor in a Heads Up program.
At 10AM, you would expect a segue to Howard Kurtz, but not this morning. Instead another pre-recorded interview of King speaking with the Joint Chief's Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen. Mullen got to use the magic wall while he explained the Helmand strategy. They also discussed troop levels and who the enemy in Afghanistan is.
Then the discussion moved to Iraq and how the troop withdrawal in the major cities is going to work.
The next topic covered was the recent actions of North Korea and the relations in that part of the world. As well as the President's visit to Russia and the military's policy of don't ask/ don't tell.
We got a shortened pre-recorded version of Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz, who according to his tweets, is on vacation. Kurtz started with the coverage of Michael Jackson and began by claiming that the "wall to wall" coverage has been "out of control." His first panel included Sharon Waxman, Don Lemon, and David Zurawik. The conversation was spirited with Kurtz being the only one with the position that the coverage had been too much. Lemon justified the coverage that he was more than just an entertainer and described those that have criticized the coverage as "elitist." Zurawik also agreed that the coverage wasn't overdone because Jackson represents the conflicts within our culture. Bottom line- we have several more days before there is any chance of this story going away.
Next, Kurtz talked with TMZ founder, Harvey Levin. TMZ has been the first to break several of these stories, but other news sources have been hesitant to report and credit TMZ. Levin defended TMZ saying that they have high news standards and doesn't put information out without multiple sources and chasing down verification of the story. Kurtz took issue with paying for information, but Levy justified it since some news organizations pay for interviews.
I'd guess that the program was taped prior to Gov. Palin's announcement that she was resigning. I would have expected this story to have been mentioned at some point, otherwise.
Kurtz had a clip on the CNN.com website that did not air on today's program about last week's Nico Pitney versus Dana Milbank discussion and the coverage of it that followed.
Back to John King in Los Angeles at the beginning of the 11AM hour & the first live segment of the program. Donna Brazile, Bill Bennett, and Ed Rollins were on the strategist panel, this morning. The first topic was the Palin resignation. Even though there were two Republicans and only one Democrat, Rollins was very critical of Palin's decision. Bennett floated the idea that maybe the wrong governor resigned (referring to Gov. Sanford of South Carolina). The next debate was over the economy and what went wrong with the stimulus package.
The CNN Diner segment was at the Walter Reed Medical center. King spoke with Maj. Bryon Vaughn Bridges, a chaplin, and Sgt. Joseph Highberger, a medic.
Will post a link to the video clip if it becomes available.
The next political panel was with Barbara Starr, Jill Dougherty, and Ed Henry. Doughtery and Henry are currently in Russia covering the President's trip. They discussed Iran policy, the don't ask/ don't tell policy, the military actions in Helmand province, and the politics of US relations with Russia.
King visited central Florida to discuss Hispanic health care issues.
The top of the noon hour brought a repeat of the taped programming from earlier. It was 12:44pm when the Last Word started. King spoke with Queen Noor Al-Hussein earlier in the week when he was in Washington, D.C. and she was in London. Her Majesty has supported efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons within the next 14 years. They also discussed the difference between the view & popularity of the President versus the United States and what service & the 4th of July holiday means to Queen Noor.
This week's behind the scenes clip was once again the staff meeting in Washington, D.C.
And finally, here are this week's podcast links: