American Morning

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June 26th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
June 26th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen! Your comments 6/26/09

Editor's Note: American Morning’s Friday audience mourned the untimely death of Michael Jackson. Many shared their memories of “The King of Pop,” and expressed their condolences for his family. Others speculated on the cause of his death, and wondered about his estate and pending financial issues.

  • John: WOW! The death of Michael Jackson yesterday was a surprise, guess I found out what it means to be in shock because it seemed like a dream until I woke up today and now it is upsetting. I am a 38 yr old man whom I grew up listening to Michael Jackson and even did breakdancing with some of his songs! Now I understand how the Elvis Presley fan felt! What a shock and terrible trajedy
  • Mary: The world will miss Michael Jackson, he had a tremendous influence on pop music of the 70's and 80's, he was a music icon. He influenced artists such as Usher, Prince, Justin Timberlake and many more. He will be sadly missed.
  • Jina: MJ was the greatest entertainer of all time. But, lets not forget how great of a humanitarian he was. Lets remember him for that too.
  • Kristen: Michael was a great man even though he had troubles in life he still made a lot of people happy.REST IN PEACE MICHAEL!
  • Dawn: I am a cnn diehard. It's like my daily fix but aside from the election of Barak Obama nothing you have broadcast to date has affected me this much. The passing of Micheal Jackson, has left me broken. I hardy slept last night. I am in complete shock. He was a part of my childhood that I cherished deeply. I will never forget him.

Filed under: We Listen
June 26th, 2009
10:48 AM ET

Meet AM: Joe Belfiglio – Writer/Producer

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Joe Belfiglio works with reporters as they write and put together their segments."]

Editor’s Note: Each Friday in “Meet AM,” we introduce you to the people who get American Morning to air.

Today we’d like you to meet Joe Belfiglio. Joe is a writer/producer at American Morning. This means he has a wide assortment of duties – he could be working on any story that airs on AM at any time, writing, or helping reporters with their stories. He’s been working with AM for seven years.

How did you end up doing what you do?
I always had a passion for television. I hosted my own TV show in college which helped me land an internship at "American Morning." I steadily worked my way up the news ladder, and here I am!

Describe your average day:
I arrive around 1am and immediately immerse myself into the day’s top stories. Some days I am pre-assigned to work with a specific show-based correspondent. I often work with reporters on producing, writing, updating, and gathering supporting elements for the story they cover. When I am not assigned a reporter to work with, you can find me cross-checking the show’s rundown to see if we are missing anything or can add more to a particular story. I also pitch in writing and producing special features for the broadcast.


Filed under: Meet AM
June 26th, 2009
09:42 AM ET

Fmr. Jackson family attorney alleges drug abuse

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A former family attorney for the Jackson family claims people around Michael Jackson enabled drug abuse."]

Results from an autopsy on entertainer Michael Jackson are expected Friday, according to the Los Angeles coroner's office. The "King of Pop," who was prepping a comeback tour, died Thursday at age 50.

Brian Oxman, a former attorney for the Jackson family, says Michael Jackson was over-medicated and that he was surrounded by “enablers.” He spoke to T.J. Holmes on CNN’s “American Morning” Friday.

T.J. Holmes: You spoke of these “enablers” who didn't help Jackson and that he was over-medicating and it had a lot to do with these drugs. Your quote was that the Anna Nicole Smith case was nothing compared to what happened with Michael Jackson. Do you know what kind of medication he was on?

Brian Oxman: I have not discussed what medications he's on, because I think that's a matter for Michael's privacy, which should not be discussed. My main point has been that I talked to this family about it. I warned them. I said that Michael is over-medicating and that I did not want to see this kind of a case develop. And in particular, in the Anna Nicole case, I said if that's what's going to happen to Michael, it's all going to break our hearts.

And my worst fears are here. I do not know what the cause of Michael’s death was. I don't know if it’s cardiac arrest. I don't know if it's an infarct. I don’t know if it’s a congenital abnormality. We have to await the coroner's results and the toxicological screening to make sure we know before we can say any kind of allegation to anyone.

Holmes: You say he was over-medicating. He was getting this stuff from somewhere. Was he surrounded by people who were doing everything they had to do in making sure they kept this medication close by when he wanted it?

Oxman: He had over-medication and it was a serious problem. And the exact people who were doing this – I'm not going to point any fingers. All I know is that I had warned that this was a problem and this is my worst fear. It is a nightmare.


Filed under: Entertainment
June 26th, 2009
08:16 AM ET

Avlon: 'Wingnuts' scream partisan talking points

Editor’s note: John P. Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast. Previously, he served as Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Ed Schultz (L) and Ann Coulter (R). CNN and Getty Images"]

I call it the ‘split-scream’ – partisans screaming talking points at each other on your television screen. Usually it’s so predictable that you can figure out what they’re saying with the sound off.

But sometimes the epidemic of political infotainment gets so extreme that it veers into cruelty, callousness and the near-justification of violence. That’s what we see in this week’s "Wingnuts" – Anne Coulter on the right and Ed Schultz on the left.

On Monday night, author and conservative commentator Anne Coulter went on Fox News’ "The O’Reilly Factor" to talk more about the killing of abortion doctor George Tiller. A trip to Crazy Town ensued.

When O’Reilly asked why conservative male commentators had been silent about Dr. George Tiller’s murder, as opposed to Coulter and some of her female conservative colleagues, Coulter replied: “I’ve noticed there haven’t been a lot of people talking about it. I’d like to think it’s because they’re hungover from the ‘Hooray George Tiller is dead’ party, but I think that’s not it.”

But Coulter was just getting warmed up. “I don’t really like to think of it as murder,” she said. “It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester.”

After that line, O’Reilly tried to bring Coulter down to earth with a reality check, saying “But you can’t diminish what that killer did or you have anarchy.” Coulter did not take the bait, offering this clarification: “I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists, but I don’t want to impose my moral values on others.”

This, of course, a dry parody of the position that most Americans have on abortion – they are personally opposed to it, but believe that individuals should make up their own mind on this most difficult personal decision. Her final shot of self-justification? “There have been only five abortion doctors killed in 35 years.” Only.


Filed under: Wingnuts of the week
June 26th, 2009
07:07 AM ET

'King of Pop' Michael Jackson is dead

Entertainer Michael Jackson died after being taken to a hospital on Thursday having suffered cardiac arrest, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's office. Getty Images
Entertainer Michael Jackson died after being taken to a hospital on Thursday having suffered cardiac arrest, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's office. Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) - An autopsy on entertainer Michael Jackson has been scheduled for Friday and results are expected by afternoon, according to the Los Angeles, California, coroner's office.

The "King of Pop," who was preparing for a comeback tour, died Thursday at age 50.

Jackson, under apparent cardiac arrest, was taken from his home by paramedics to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where a team of physicians tried to resuscitate him for more than an hour, said Jackson's brother Jermaine. He said the music idol was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. (5:26 p.m. ET).

Another one of Jackson's six siblings told CNN that he learned of Jackson's death through his manager, Frank Dileo.

"Frank told me that Michael last night was complaining about not feeling well. He called to tell him he wasn't feeling well," Marlon Jackson said. "Michael's doctor went over to see him, and Frank said, 'Marlon, from last night to this morning, I don't know what happened.' When they got to him this morning, he wasn't breathing."

Keep reading this story »

iReport: Share your memories of Michael Jackson

Filed under: Entertainment
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