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Look at What Bloggers Have to Say About Convention; 'Daily Dose'

Aired July 27, 2004 - 11:30   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Daryn Kagan at CNN Center in Atlanta.
Let's check what's happening right now in the news on this Tuesday, July 27th. A live picture for us, live, Hillary Rodham Clinton addressing a meeting, a Democratic women's women's caucus, in Boston, just wrapping things up there. Democrats are ready for day two of their presidential nominating convention. Tonight we'll focus on John Kerry's personal story. One highlighted speaker this evening will be his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

John Kerry rallied a crowd in Norfolk, Virginia this morning. You saw some of this live here on CNN. He called on the 9/11 Commission to remain at work past this August mandate, to make sure its recommendations are put into place. Kerry used his appearance to tout his military appearance. Norfolk is home to the world's largest Naval base.

Running mate John Edwards is heading to Boston today. With acceptance speech in hand, he watched the opening speeches of the convention at his home in Raleigh last night, while putting the finishing touches on his own. Edwards, by the way, has been nursing a raspy voice in recent days.

Martha Stewart's company is appointing a new chairman. Stewart's personal legal troubles and criminal conviction have taken a toll on the company that she built. Earlier this month, she was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home confinement.

Keeping you informed, CNN, the most trusted name in news.

The Boston celebration is shaping up to be a harmonious one for Democrats, but surely, someone has a beef about something.

CNN's Dan Lothian takes a look at that.


DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A protest rally in Boston. Music, speakers, signs, but where is the audience?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I expected it to be larger but in some sense I'm not surprised.

LOTHIAN: Not surprised because demonstrators say the heavy police presence has been intimidating, keeping many away. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...the police presence here in Boston. On the subway there's national guards and then the free speech zone which was crazy.

LOTHIAN: That free speech zone, a fenced-in area across from the Fleet Center, was the site of the silent protest, a statement against what they called an extreme crackdown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do the Democrats remain silent while the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of democracy occurs in the shadow of the Fleet Center itself.

LOTHIAN: Civil rights lawyers say there has been a converted effort to silence dissent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putting pressure on people certainly scares people away. I certainly suspect that that may be one of the reasons that it's done.

LOTHIAN: In an effort to be seen and heard, a few hundred protesters took to the streets. A peaceful march through Boston accompanied by police on bikes and motorcycles. Law enforcement officials say because of security concerns a strong presence is necessary. But they insist there is no effort to silence protesters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to do everything in our power to accommodate those who want to demonstrate peacefully.

LOTHIAN (on camera): One other development, some civil rights lawyers are suing the MBTA, which operates the T service, the train that runs through Boston. They're trying to halt the random searches of backpacks and persons of passengers getting on to the train. They say it's unconstitutional. Law enforcement officials say it's necessary because of security concerns.

Dan Lothian, CNN, Boston.


KAGAN: And now let's take a look at one of those campaign snapshots that is sure to be around for a while. John Kerry, decked out in a green clean room suit yesterday, at Florida's Cape Canaveral. Republicans immediately pounced on this one. Operatives e-mailed the dispatch, comparing it to Michael Dukakis' awkward appearance in a tank back in 1988. Subject line of the Republican e-mail: "Earth to Kerry."

Well, John Kerry, already on Earth. He's making his way to Boston. He had a stop in Virginia today. The senator still has a stop in Philadelphia, before making his entrance at his nominating convention in Boston.

Our Richard Quest has crossed the pond, as we like to say, for his weeklong look at our grand American way of choosing a president.

Now Richard is behind in Florida, as the Kerry campaign has moved up the East Coast, but it sounds like you -- looks like you found some friends, some ducky friends.

Richard, good morning.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Daryn.

Now, you see, we're going to talk politics in just a moment. But as I continue my travels across this great Sunshine State, I'm learning about some very local traditions. I'm at the Peabody Hotel where the Beeline (ph) Diner. This is a local tradition. They have ducks here.

KAGAN: I've see them.

QUEST: Not just any old ducks. Yes, but never mind these ducks. Look at these ducks. They actually take the ducks. They take the ducks, and they walk them out of the lobby, across the hallway, on a red carpet and put them into a pool, a pond. I suspect this is a local tradition, the sort of thing that maybe nobody else quite understands. I didn't understand it.

KAGAN: They do also -- it's not just in Orlando, they do it in Memphis, at the Peabody Hotel; they do it there, too. This is across America ducks are walking across hotel lobbies.

QUEST: Yes, it's a very strange one. And look at this. I've got the menu at the diner. I don't see any duck on it. I suspect if there's those ducks -- no, let's talk politics now. I'm here in Orlando, in central Florida. And what is fascinating -- let's get the ducks out of the way. What is fascinating about what we've been talking about and hearing about, I've been asking people whether or not they bothered to listen to President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, Al Gore last night. And I'm sorry to say, but the people I've been talking to here, which admittedly is a conservative part of the country, but a swing part of Florida, the I-4 corridor, the bit that will make all the difference in this key state.

Guess what, Daryn?

KAGAN: What's that?

QUEST: Nobody watched them last night.

KAGAN: Really? Yes, the ratings reflect that as well, the television ratings.

QUEST: And that is interesting, because it means how do you get the message out? How do the Democrats introduce Kerry, produce Kerry, make people feel comfortable, as one CNN analyst was saying, make Kerry seem acceptable to America, if frankly everybody is watching ducks and nobody's watching the convention?

KAGAN: Well, and you know, and one other point that you had there about the ducks, if there was duck on the menu, don't you think the duck union would have a huge problem with that and the ducks would literally waddle off the job there in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel?

QUEST: Listen, I can tell you, those ducks look mighty tasty as they were walking across the lobby. They'd do nice in my sandwich.

KAGAN: Well, you've got a nice per diem over here for CNN, so use it and eat up. And safe travels. We'll check in with you again tomorrow for your insights.

QUEST: All right, until tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be in Miami Beach with the chiseled, the beautiful, the big and the buff.

KAGAN: Oh, my goodness. I don't know if South Beach and Miami is ready for you. But we will check in, just to see what you find.

Thank you so much. Richard Quest, on the campaign trail, trying to figure out American voters, if he can.

All right, another part of the campaign story, the bloggers are logging into the Democratic National Convention. AOL online adviser Regina Lewis is back today to tell us what they're saying. She joins us from the FleetCenter in Boston this morning. Good luck following, Richard Quest.

REGINA LEWIS, AOL ONLINE ADVISER: I'll tell you what, I think was online last night. I was online when Gore and the Clintons spoke. And there's been a lot of talk about how a Kerry request, or mandate, depending if you want to roll in his cabinet or not, to keep it positive and restrain from Bush bashing. Online, no restraint. None at all. There were a lot of people posting, here's what Gore really wants to say, here's what he's really thinking. I bet lines like this got cut. You can imagine what people are we writing.

KAGAN: We talked about the television ratings, which on the broadcast networks were not fantastic. Is there a way how of monitoring how the bloggers, how many people are making hits on there?

LEWIS: There is. The online numbers were pretty consistent. You see big polling numbers, a lot of interest in specific issues. Also, you know, the rumor mill. That's what people are really after. So these circulated things mean yesterday, a blogger account, we talked about they want to get into the parties, well, here's why maybe they wanted to keep them out. Someone went up to Hillary Clinton's handler and asked her a question that you and I have asked a lot of people, "Who are you wearing?" Apparently, they were told, look, you're wearing a black shirt, she's wearing a white blazer, get over it.

Also, you know, Terry McAuliffe was spotted. I guess young girls tend to flock to him when he walks in places. Note to everybody here: Cell phone cameras, they are everywhere. So that's the kind of stuff that seems to be getting a lot of traffic. It's more the gossip than the substance, for better or worse.

KAGAN: And here's a blogging angle for you, Regina, you might know about. The bloggers are actually watching this show, and they watched your segment yesterday.

LEWIS: Oh, absolutely. KAGAN: I received an e-mail from a blogger named "skippy the Bush kangaroo." Not really sure where that comes from. But he or she, whatever Skippy is, took offense at our discussion of perhaps that bloggers are not putting complete truth out there, and he said, "Aren't mistakes sometimes made in journalism as well?" Skippy, point taken. And we appreciate you watching.

LEWIS: Yes, and I think what you're seeing is -- yes, I'm glad to hear that. The lines are blurring, too. You know, there's the opinion pieces, and a lot of the bloggers are also linking to resources like the Associated Press and talking about what they see on CNN. So it's kind of the merging of the best of both worlds, if you're mindful of what you're reading and where it's coming from.

KAGAN: Absolutely, and we want all the bloggers out to know that this is a blogger-friendly program, and we do appreciate your viewership.

LEWIS: Yes, we have to show the must-click photo of the day.

KAGAN: Oh, what is that?

LEWIS: Yes, it's the "Earth to Kerry" shot that appeared on Drudge yesterday, on the cover of newspapers today, and now they are circulating a doctored up version. I think we've got it. If it's not in your e-mail box, it will be soon. This is coming your way, Daryn.

KAGAN: You know, I did see it on paper. We're working on it. Are we going to have it in time, guys, or do we need to show it -- there it is.

LEWIS: It doesn't get any better than this.

And we have the Bloggers for Bush to thank for this, not surprisingly.

KAGAN: Yes, shockingly that is the source of that photo, and I imagine the bloggers for Kerry will have a chance to get some payback next month from New York City.

Regina, thank you. We're going to check in with you again tomorrow.

LEWIS: Terrific. Thanks.

KAGAN: And for those bloggers, keep writing about us and keep tuning in. Appreciate it.

Meanwhile, here's a look at CNN's primetime lineup tonight: Wolf Blitzer hosts an "AMERICA VOTE" special at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. Aaron Brown and "NEWSNIGHT" follow than. Then "LARRY KING LIVE" from FleetCenter, and midnight Eastern live on the West Coast.

Politics, you know we do get some giggles in there, but politics, of course, is serious business. Well, not to the guys who created this little number. You've seen it, but now they might find out how serious things can get when you go to court. It's hitting a sour note. We'll tell you more about that when we come back.

But some say the acetaminophen that your downing might be doing more harm than good. Find out what a new study says next, in your "Daily Dose."


KAGAN: Time for our "Daily Dose" of health news. A new study warning that a popular pain reliever might not be good for your kidneys.

Our medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here with details on that.

Good morning.


I know, it sounds really scary, doesn't it?

KAGAN: Well, especially since it's something that a of us use on a regular basis.

COHEN: Right, exactly, the painkiller we're talking about is acetaminophen, and that's the ingredient of Tylenol, which of course millions of people use. Researchers at Harvard University looked at 1,700 women over a period of 11 years, and what they found is that those who took a lot of acetaminophen over the course of a lifetime were much more likely to have kidney damage.

Now how much acetaminophen? How much Tylenol is too much? Unfortunately, there's no good answer to that question. All we could do is sort of give some parameters. Researchers found that the women who took fewer than one tablet a month for 25 years had an 8 percent risk of kidney impairment over the course of time. Those who took more than one tablet a day for 25 years had a 15 percent risk of kidney impairment. Now you can see that is a huge difference.

Now, the makers of Tylenol dispute the findings of the study. They say other studies have found the opposite. They say it's found use of Tylenol does not cause kidney impairment. Interesting, they also looked at Ibuprofen, which is Advil and Motrin are, and Aspirin, didn't seem to cause the kidney problems.

KAGAN: Is there a reason we're talking about women, in terms of the painkillers.

COHEN: The only reason we're talking about women is that this was the Nurse's Health Study, which is this big and very famous study down out of Harvard University, which is women, because it tends to be nurses, and so they -- that's who they did it on, but there's no reason to think this would not be true for men as well.

KAGAN: OK. And people take painkillers in different ways, some every once in a while like you were saying, and some have chronic pain and take a lot. COHEN: Right, exactly. And what the researchers found that was so interesting, was it didn't really matter if a woman took it, let's say, once a day for years, or took lots of Tylenol, maybe four or five doses in a period of a day, or two or three, a couple of times a year. If it all evened out to the same number of pills over a period of time, that's what mattered. It was a cumulative effect. So if you take a little over a long period, or in sort of clumps over a long period, it doesn't matter.

Now the researchers don't say stop taking Tylenol, but they do point out, some people just pop these things and don't realize why they're doing it, and so you might want to think about some possible side effects.

KAGAN: And some other alternatives perhaps.

COHEN: That's right.

KAGAN: OK, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much for that.

COHEN: Thank you.

KAGAN: And for your daily dose of health news online, you can just log on to our Web site, You'll find the latest medical headlines. There's detailed information from CNN and the Mayo Clinic. The address is We are back in a moment.


KAGAN: A recent addition to our lineup here on CNN LIVE TODAY, a segment we're very excited about, it's called "Your Spirit." Today we're going to focus on a new movement under way. One that might be coming to a cubicle near your workplace. It's worship in the workplace.

CNN's J.J. Ramberg has details.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So would you pray with me and would you reflect at this time?

J.J. RAMBERG, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): During Homebanc Mortgage's annual meeting, the CEO doesn't just talk about the bottom line, he also addresses a higher power.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God's plan for each of us is unique.

RAMBERG: Top management invoking God may not be that common, but increasing numbers of corporations are adapting to allow employees to practice religion on company time.

DONNA MONROE, HOMEBANC EMPLOYEE: I've been a person of faith since I was a little girl. And if I were in a work place that didn't allow me to express that or where I felt like I had to hide it, I feel like I would be not being true to myself. RAMBERG: So a growing number of companies, Tyson Foods, the Coca-Cola Company and Sears among them, are letting employees start religious groups, allotting space for meditation and prayer and in some cases, hiring corporate chaplains.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how is life treating you?

RAMBERG: Those who study such trends say the recent stretch of massive layoffs, corporate scandals and the impact of 9/11 have driven people to reevaluate the role of religion in their lives.

DAVID MILLER, YALE CENTER FOR FAITH & CULTURE: People are fed up of a compartmentalized life where they do their worship thing on the weekend and their work thing on Monday.

RAMBERG: The Faith at Work movement, as it's known, also supports employees outside the office. There are management workshops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When something good happens through your leadership, are you the very first person to give God the credit?

RAMBERG: And a growing selection of books on the topic. But while bringing spirituality to work is credited with everything from lower absenteeism to increasing productivity, it does carry risks.

DUDLEY ROCHELLE, ATTORNEY, LITTLER MENDELSON: Employers have to be careful that they are not creating an atmosphere that causes people to feel that if you don't believe the way I do or believe the way your supervisors do or go along with certain activities in the work place, then you can't get ahead in the company. You have hit the same glass ceiling.

RAMBERG: Some companies have already heard complaints. So lawyers are quick to advise management that Faith at Work should be something that's accommodated, not promoted, and should include all religions.

J.J. Ramberg, CNN Financial News, New York.




KAGAN: So who hasn't seen this by now? It's a political animation that's a hit on the Web, but the company who owns the rights to the song is not singing a happy tune. The music publisher says the Woody Guthrie classic "This Land" is not for you and me to use as a joke. They've ordered the Jibjab Web site to stop distributing the animation, but Jibjab says no way. They say the animation is political satire, and therefore exempt from copyright laws.

Killer whale goes on the attack in Texas. It's all caught on tape. Spectators thought this was part of the show. The whale, though, was not following the script.

Jenny Davis, of our affiliate KSAT, has the story.


JENNY DAVIS, KSAT REPORTER: It was towards the end of Friday's show at sea world when Ky the killer whale started to do his own thing.

STEVE ABEL, KY'S TRAINER: It looked like Ky lost a little bit of focus.

DAVIS: Steve Able (ph) has trained with Ky for the last 10 years. And what happened next even caught this veteran off guard.

ABEL: Seventeen years with training animals, and I've never had an experience like that.

DAVIS: At first, it seemed like part of the show, but then Ky began diving right over Steve. The killer whale wouldn't let up. As soon as Steve could come up for air, he was slammed back underwater.

ABEL: What I kept saying, what I kept telling myself the entire time I was in the water, was you have to look for the right things that he's doing.

DAVIS: As trainers rushed to the side of the tank, there was little they could do.

ABEL: No, no, I wasn't frightened.

DAVIS: What probably seemed like a show that would never end finally did. And even a somewhat stunned audience was thankful for that.

ABEL: I think that by being calm throughout the process, that helped to calm him down.

DAVIS: He credits patience and excellent training for getting through the situation. Trainers aren't exactly sure why it happened, but say Ky's near the age of breeding, which could have caused erratic behavior.

Meantime, it's back to business to both.

ABEL: Did he apologize? He squeaked a lot.

DAVIS: Jenny Davis, KSAT 12 News.


KAGAN: A happy ending in San Antonio. That's going to do it for me, Daryn Kagan. I'll be right back in the chair tomorrow morning. Hope you'll join me. Wolf Blitzer now, starts right now, from Boston, Massachusetts.


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