American Morning

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April 22nd, 2009
10:11 AM ET

Online hate speech

CNN's Carol Costello reports on the growing problem of sexist, hateful speech on the Internet.
CNN's Carol Costello reports on the growing problem of sexist, hateful speech on the Internet.

It would be easy to dismiss the war of words between Miss California Carrie Prejean and Perez Hilton as pop culture fluff, but some experts say that’s a mistake. Robert Siciliano, a cyber crime expert, says Hilton’s sexist rant is feeding into a growing problem online—hateful, sexist, racist rants.

“When someone like Perez Hilton, who is hired by Donald Trump, then goes out and spews vile content about a Miss USA you know that the problem is a lot bigger than it seems,” said Siciliano.


Filed under: Controversy
April 22nd, 2009
09:29 AM ET

Craigslist feels 'terrible' about killing

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster responds to the Web site's connection to a recent murder.
Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster responds to the Web site's connection to a recent murder.

There are new developments to the possible Craigslist killing today. The suspected killer, Philip Markoff, is being held without bond in a Boston jail cell. Police were back in his apartment last night looking for evidence on what the district attorney is calling a “brutal, vicious crime.”

What drove the medical student to allegedly kill a young masseuse and assault one other woman? Early reports suggest that Markoff owed gambling debts. While the district attorney is not commenting on that, he is telling CNN when Markoff was picked up there was evidence to suggest he was headed to a casino in Connecticut.

The story is giving new attention to Craigslist. It's not the first time the site has been the center of a criminal investigation. In a taped interview Wednesday on CNN’s American Morning, John Roberts spoke exclusively to the CEO of Craigslist, Jim Buckmaster, about the case.

Jim Buckmaster: We feel terrible and it’s quite sad that anyone would lose their life and we’re horrified that use of Craigslist could in anyway be connected with a violent crime of this nature. It causes us to redouble our efforts to try to get across to users to take a few common sense precautions that eliminate most of the risk.


Filed under: Crime
April 22nd, 2009
07:17 AM ET

Fast Forward

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Here are some of the stories that will be making news later today:

It's Earth Day and President Obama will spend part of it in Iowa promoting alternative energy sources. At 12:20pm ET he'll visit a former Maytag plant in Newton that's now building towers for wind turbines. The president will tour the facility and meet with workers.

Some major U.S. companies will release earnings reports today. Mcdonald's, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Apple & E-bay are due to announce first quarter numbers.

And at 9am ET, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner delivers a speech on the Obama administration's continuing efforts to address the global recession. On Capitol Hill yesterday, Geithner was grilled by a panel overseeing the bank rescue program. He said even with the bailouts credit markets remain tight. Geithner also told the committee most banks have enough capital to weather the current economic crisis.

Filed under: Fast Forward
April 22nd, 2009
06:00 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Wednesday April 22, 2009

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • Developing… President Obama has opened the door to prosecutions related to alleged torture techniques used on al Qaeda suspects during the Bush Administration.  At the same time, Republican officials have released a memo from the president’s own Intelligence Chief, suggesting these “harsh interrogations” like waterboarding, may have prevented attacks.  Where do you stand?  Call 877-MYAMFIX and become part of the newscast.
  • Craigslist CEO live.  One sheriff has called the classifieds site the world’s biggest “bordello.”  Now the section labeled “erotic services” is getting more dreadful publicity – after a 22-year-old, clean-cut and engaged med student is arrested for allegedly murdering a woman who offered massages on the site.  Should Craigslist do more to protect its users and clean things up?
  • Turbulence Paralyzes Woman.   A South Texas woman remained paralyzed Monday and in intensive care, after her flight experienced severe turbulence.  Her attorney says she hit her head on the bathroom ceiling as the plane dropped.
  • A new most wanted terrorist.  The FBI has posted a photo of a California animal rights activist alongside those of 23 operatives from al Qaeda and other groups, marking the first time a domestic terrorist is featured on the bureau's "Most Wanted Terrorists" list. The FBI announced the addition of Daniel Andreas San Diego to the list, hoping a burst of international publicity associated with the move will help investigators find him after six years on the run.
  • Abusing Women Online.  Perez Hilton stirred controversy when he referred to Miss California as a "dumb b-itch" on his blog.  While some might dismiss the post as just part of his usual snarky commentary, this kind of sexist language toward women is not uncommon online.  In the best case scenario such language can create a hostile environment on social networking and video posting sites.  In the worst case scenario it can serve as a red flag for people who commit violence against women in the real world.  Such was the case with Anthony Powell, a college student who posted numerous YouTube videos with sexist language about a young woman on his college campus.  He eventually shot her in a campus classroom before killing himself.

Filed under: What's On Tap
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