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Bishop Long: Ready to Fight; Making Healthy Choices in Schools; Flood Warnings in the Midwest; Gift Ideas for Computers and iPads; Colbert Testimony Called "Inappropriate"; Boehner Confident He'd Become Speaker; O'Donnell: "Evolution is a Myth"; Dad Bloggers Unite

Aired September 26, 2010 - 14:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Bishop Eddie Long at the pulpit saying he's ready to fight. This, days after lawsuits are filed against him alleging he coerced young men into sex. A discussion with our panel.

And the Pentagon destroys books. One author's work is rubbing the military the wrong way. He'll join us in the 4:00 Eastern hour to talk about the Pentagon's decision.

And a student film on steroids now going viral on the Web. We'll check out all the top clips from this week coming up in the 5:00 Eastern hour.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

With television cameras rolling and a jam-packed congregation listening, mega church leader Eddie Long took to the pulpit today for the first time in days to address allegations that he sexually abused young men. Four lawsuits filed against him last week claim that he coerced young men into sexual relationships during overnight trips, then lavished them with expensive gifts.

Here's how Bishop Long responded this morning.



BISHOP EDDIE LONG, NEWBIRTH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH: There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man, but I am not the man that's being portrayed on the television.


LONG: That's not me.

As I said earlier, I am not a perfect man, but this thing I am going to fight.


LONG: And I want you to know one other thing. I feel like David against Goliath, but I've got five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet.


WHITFIELD: Bishop Eddie Long this morning before his congregation.

So many people, including members of Long's church, were waiting to see what the pastor would say this morning, and there was just a piece of it right now.

Joining us to discuss today's developments and the sexual abuse allegations against Long, Shane Lee, an associate professor at Tulane University, joining us from New Orleans, and the author of "Holy Mavericks." And here in Atlanta, Craig Washington, who recently wrote an article about Bishop Long and the sex scandal on, and CNN's Martin Savidge.

So Marty was there at the church, along with a number of correspondents from around the country.

Give me an idea of what that reception was like, what the restrictions were like during his sermon as well.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, first of all, probably the most anticipated day in the history of that particular church, especially on the part of the congregation. People began showing up at 5:30 in the morning -- in fact, that's when we got there -- and they were already in the parking lot waiting to get into the sanctuary for a service that wouldn't begin until 8:00.

When the 8:00 service began, there was still a huge line of traffic of people trying to get in to get to that service a half hour after the service was under way. And it wasn't until an hour after that service began that Bishop Long actually appeared.

So that gives you the sense of the anticipation and the sense of -- as we walked to the building and the parking lot, you felt that crowd. You could hear singing, you could hear the celebration. They were in a very joyful mood, even though when we spoke to people on the way in -- we said, "Well, what do you want to hear?" And they said, "We want to hear the truth," and most of them believe that that is exactly what they heard.

We want to play for you -- there was a press conference. And I use the term loosely now. It was more of a statement that was made by Bishop Long in between the services.

WHITFIELD: It sort of changed the rules a little bit, because initially it was going to be a Q&A, but then once it happened, it became just that, a statement.

SAVIDGE: Correct. We were told that we would be able to question both the bishop, his wife, and his attorneys. They stepped on the stage and said there will be no questions.

There is only this statement, and here's a portion of it.


LONG: I will say that I am going to fight, fight very vigorously against these charges. And I've been at this church for 23 years. This is the first time I realized that we are as important as we are to get this much attention, and we're going to continue as a church to do the things that we do to touch the world.


SAVIDGE: I think there's a great deal of understatement there. He knows exactly how important his church is.

Now, as people left, we wanted to talk to them to find out what their feelings were. Had their impressions changed in any way? And here's some of the people, what they had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- that he's innocent and that he didn't do anything. I believe him. And that's all that matters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been going here 11 years. And before this, you couldn't have paid me to go to a church. And since I've been in this ministry, it's a wonderful ministry. And no, I don't think he did it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're supporting the bishop. We're going to support him all the way. The spirit was in the church today. You have to be in there to feel it, and I actually felt it.


SAVIDGE: And so those were the people he wanted to reach, and it's clear his message got through to them. They believe it.

WHITFIELD: So, Shane, you were watching also from afar, right? You wrote also -- or Craig, I'm sorry. You also wrote on your kind of thoughts about what this should mean.

This really is a teaching moment not just for large churches, but also for people who attend these big churches.


WHITFIELD: Were you satisfied with what you heard from Bishop Long today? And are you sort of in agreement with his congregation who says, we believed him all this time, that's why we've been attending this church, and we still believe him?

CRAIG WILLIAMS, WRITER, "THE ROOT": Well, actually, I thought that it was not necessarily a declaration -- overt declaration of innocence, as much as it was an implication that he's innocent. And that may be about how he was advised to speak and how explicit he was advised to speak.

I certainly understand that his congregation would see themselves as being very publicly loyal to him. I am not surprised. His church, if you ask anyone who is a member of the church, they'll tell you the good that the church has done and the importance that it's had in their lives, in their growth.

And so regardless of the truth of the allegations, I think this debacle brings up several issues that we have to address. Again, whether -- regardless of the outcome of this case, so to speak. One is that we have to have a safe -- a culture of safety for our young people in our institutions, our churches, our communities, our families.

WHITFIELD: And he was trying to help cultivate that with his youth ministries.

WILLIAMS: Yes. Yes. That -- and I suggest in that, what safety means is having open communication so that young people can feel like they can come to their mentors and leaders and talk to them. And if they are victimized by sexual abuse or other forms of abuse, that they will be heard, and that their victimizers will be challenged even if those abusers have more authority than the people who they are revealing this to.

WHITFIELD: So let me bring in Shane, Shane in New Orleans.

If there is a teaching moment that you would see come of this regardless of what Pastor Long said or didn't say, you have articulated that your hope would be that this would create some open dialogue, particularly in black churches, as it pertains to the issue of homosexuality, whether he is guilty or not. In what way?

SHANE LEE, ASSOC. PROF., TULANE UNIVERSITY: The fact that the church, because of the biblical doctrines that different denominations in black churches hold, don't really deal with the complexity of the practical situations that members face with their erotic urges and trying to still serve Jesus as their savior, a lot of the discussions about their urges are put under the rug. And I think talking about this issue, showing a powerful man like Bishop Long, who I feel based on his body language, based on the press conference statement, I think his career is in for an early demise. And I think that his demise is going to generate a greater discussion about sexuality, a greater discussion about leadership, and I think there's going to be a lot of house cleaning because I think there are going to be some emboldened members of other churches, too, that might speak out against situations that have happened.

So, I think on the one side, the positive is we're talking about sex, we're talking about sexuality, and we're acknowledging that a powerful, spiritual man might wrestle with those urges. On the negative side, we're about to see a powerful ministry crumble.

WHITFIELD: Well, go ahead, Craig. You have something to say on that.

WILLIAMS: I just wanted to add to that, I'm glad that you brought that up, Shane, because, again, there's clearly a record of anti-gay rhetoric, of sermons that preach that homosexuality is an immoral or not an ethically-sound condition. WHITFIELD: And in the words of Bishop Long, he said it's not God's way.

WILLIAMS: It's not God's way. And also, Eddie Long and the church -- Eddie Long has used his political and economic clout to advocate for the disenfranchisement of lesbians and gay, bisexual and transgender people through the 2004 Reuniting the Legacy March and other means. And so we have to recognize the impact that this has on lesbian and gay, bisexual and transgender people who internalize these messages as self-hatred and walk in shame, and it causes conflict.

WHITFIELD: There was some acknowledgement Bishop Long made, right, Marty, in that he said he's never professed to be a perfect man? And I wonder if that -- if those words, the choice of words, resonate to all of these issues that we're talking about here.

SAVIDGE: Well, I think there is. There's certainly what we might call wiggle room there in that statement in that you don't categorically deny. And he did not come out and say -- and you would think if there was a moment you would say it -- and again, we may be parsing the words too much. But he did not say that it is untrue.

So perhaps what we're looking at here is a man who is speaking to his congregation and realizes later, of course, he must speak to a courtroom. And there is going to be a different sort of communication.

I thought it was very interesting that he used that analogy of David and Goliath and portrays himself as David, when, in fact, he is the head of one of the largest churches in this country.

WHITFIELD: Twenty-five thousand.

SAVIDGE: And yet, he is supposedly the little guy here, and that would imply that the young men who have made these accusations and the attorney who represents them is somehow much bigger than his whole mass of political, religious and financial organization. And that's hard to imagine.

WHITFIELD: All right. Martin Savidge, thanks so much.

Craig Washington, you got another quick thought you want to spit out? Got 10 seconds left.

WILLIAMS: Yes. I just hope that this, again, brings about reconciliation and some speaking to truth. The time has passed where we can use religion -- religious faiths and tradition as a means of robbing people of their rights and deeming them as unfit. And so, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders deserve a place in the gospel and deserve a place in the sharing of equality for human rights.

WHITFIELD: All right. Craig Washington, Martin Savidge, of course, our CNN correspondent. And Shane Lee joining us also from New Orleans.

I can give you three seconds, real quick, Shane, if you've got a last thought.

LEE: His body language, his words, I think, shows that he's hiding something. He wasn't defiant like I would expect an innocent man to be.

WHITFIELD: Gentlemen, thanks so much. Appreciate that.

I know this is just the type of the iceberg. We'll be talking much more about Bishop Long and the accusations against him throughout today, and for many days to come I'm sure.

Thanks so much.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Economic hard times. Experts say the worst may be over. We'll see if regular people agree, next.


WHITFIELD: Economic experts say the recession is over. But what do you think?

A brand new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll is out today, and it shows that nearly three-quarters of you think that we are still in a recession, while 25 percent are siding with the experts.

We went out on the street with the same question: Is the recession over?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess the top economists don't live in the different communities everybody else lives in. I think the recession is ongoing. I think in some communities, it's more like a depression.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Until I either get a job or get a job interview, it's not over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a Masters degree and I haven't found a job yet. I graduated in May, and I'm working retail. And I also -- my other roommate is working retail, and we do live paycheck to paycheck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look around. I don't know. I don't see many people here at the restaurant. So it may be coming back, but it's coming back slow.


WHITFIELD: Well, this week Republicans offered their plan for the economy. It's called the "Pledge to America." GOP leaders are calling it an important first step heading into the midterm elections.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (R), WASHINGTON: This is a document, a governing document for today. These are plans -- these are our positive, constructive solutions for the issues of the day that we would like to see brought forward in Congress whether it's related to economic recovery, creating jobs, getting our fiscal house in order, changing the way government does business.

This isn't the Republican platform. This isn't everything the Republicans want to accomplish. These are the first steps. These are priority issues that we believe need to be addressed today, and we can very much take on a balanced budget amendment at a different time.



SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Look where we are today. If we had not moved forward with a recovery plan, we would be in a deeper recession, maybe even a depression.

Now what does the Republican "Pledge to America" say? That is the original job-killer strategy. They want to return to the Bush economic policies, policies that doubled the national debt and drove us into this recession, and they just proudly announced they want to return to them.

Now we have a clear debate in this election, a clear difference. And that's what election is about, choices. And the choices I think are very stark.


WHITFIELD: And in his weekly address, President Obama called the pledge "an echo of a disastrous decade we can't afford to live."

All right. Remember your school lunches? Does the word "healthy" even come to mind? We highlight one school system that is giving kids healthy choices.



WHITFIELD: OK. So all this week coming up, CNN puts food in the spotlight, "Today's Students and Healthy Foods."

At a high school in Syracuse, New York, students are finding packets of baby carrots alongside their favorite potato chips and cookies in the vending machines. And it's just an experiment, but many schools the country are looking for ways to encourage students to make healthier choices.

So CNN Student News anchor Carl Azuz joins me now because he's had some very candid conversations with some young people in public schools about healthy eating, what's on the menu, what they prefer, what they don't prefer. What I remember about school lunches, Tater Tots and pizza. And I was perfectly happy.

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Those were the two best things oftentimes for us.


AZUZ: But these students, surprisingly, are very much in tune to what they should be eating. Now, that's not to say they always do it, but I think one good side-effect of the obesity epidemic in America is that more schools are focused on educating students about what they should be eating. More parents, you at home, many of you have had conversations with your students about what they should be eating.

And so, at a high school in Atlanta, Grady High School, I spoke to the director of nutrition for Atlanta Public Schools and a number of students about what options there are and why students sometimes pick thick them and why sometimes they don't.

Take a listen.


AZUZ: If you were to ask students, by and large, at the middle school level, at the high school level, whether they would choose a grilled chicken salad or fried chicken tenders, what would most of them say?

ANNA FULLER, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL: Fried chicken tenders.

KOYA SIEBIE, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL: Fried chicken tenders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fried chicken tenders.

AZUZ: OK. Why is that?

FULLER: I think mostly because when you're a child, I guess you're raised on that friend chicken tenders. And it's, like, the crunch in your mouth and the grease.

SIEBIE: Most people may eat that every night. And that's what they know, that's what they love, that's what they're raised on.

MARILYN HUGHES, ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: These students have fresh fruit, fresh vegetable choices daily. I believe that offering items such as vegetables, carrot sticks and sliced cucumbers, and those items to young children, and as they progress and want after-school snacks, then they become items that children will naturally want.

FULLER: I used to be overweight. I recently lost that weight through better eating.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like, when you don't eat a healthy meal, you are tired all the time and you lose a lot of energy. But when you do eat a healthy meal, it's like, oh, I have this type of energy that is like the best energy ever because I ate that healthy meal. HUGHES: Well, healthier choices is part of the education that starts in our classroom. We toy with how to meet the nutritional needs of the student, but yet bring the healthiest and best food items. And to that end, we've been able to meet that particular mark by looking at our locally grown produce. They don't have to travel as far, so we can get a better price.

AZUZ: And let's say you have a friend and you see that person constantly choosing unhealthy foods. How do you encourage that person to change his ways?

FULLER: Just eat less calories and make sure you know what's in the food.

CARMEN BOOKER, GRADY HIGH SCHOOL: I would say you probably need to watch your food intake of fried foods or whatever it is. They need to try to, like, balance their nutrition plus their indulgences.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want to say they don't care about their life, but they don't really care how they are affected by what they eat. And they don't know what they're eating.


AZUZ: That same group of three students had talked to us pretty extensively about things even they told their friends when they saw their friends making unhealthy choices.

WHITFIELD: That's nice.

AZUZ: Yes. I mean, generally, what they agreed on was, do the legwork, find out how many more calories are in the fried chicken fingers, as opposed to the chicken salad, and then make your choice based on that. So, it's a little more homework for them --


AZUZ: -- but it's all with the goal of trying to get their friends as healthy as they are.

WHITFIELD: But, you know, sadly, a lot of people will argue that healthier food is more expensive.

AZUZ: It is.

WHITFIELD: And school districts, too, when they're cutting back, is this an area -- the cafeteria -- is this an area that gets sliced and diced, too?

AZUZ: I think absolutely. I mean, whenever you cut budget in any part of school, it seems like so many other parts are affected.

The solution that Dr. Marilyn Hughes had suggested -- and she's the director here for Atlanta Public Schools, and their nutrition services -- she was suggesting to look locally, to talk to local farmers, and also do a bit of menu forecasting and find out what's popular among students so that you're bringing in local foods that they'll actually eat. And the more you're bringing it --

WHITFIELD: They see it and it's part of their lives.

AZUZ: Exactly right.

WHITFIELD: And of course, you know, you're going to eat better maybe at school because you are eating better at home. The two have to kind of go in tandem, right?

Did the kids say anything about that?

AZUZ: They mentioned that. Dr. Hughes and the students were talking about how it starts in the home.

Some of them were talking to us about how there were family issues. That because of the health problems that some family members had, it had influenced them to eat better to start there.

So that's going to be the focus of my next report in this series, which we'll have later on this week on CNN.

WHITFIELD: Oh, good. We'll look for that. And that means we're going to see you next weekend, too.

AZUZ: I hope so. Look forward to it.

WHITFIELD: Carl Azuz, excellent. All right. Thanks so much. Appreciate that.

AZUZ: Thank you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And, of course, what we choose to eat, where we buy our food and how much we spend on it says a whole lot about who we are. And you might actually think -- so, you want to catch our series, "Eatocracy: Mind, Body and Wallet," all this week in the CNN NEWSROOM.

All right. Days of downpours lead to rising rivers in parts of the Midwest. We'll tell you who exactly is at risk and update the warnings and the alerts, too.


WHITFIELD: All right, today for the first time in days, Bishop Eddie Long appeared before his congregation to respond to the sex scandal that rocked his Atlanta area mega church.

In lawsuits filed last week, four men claimed Long coerced them into sexual relationships while they were in their late teens. Without specifically mentioning the lawsuit, Long insisted today he's, quote, "not the man that's been portrayed on television," end quote. After his church service, Long spoke to reporters.


BISHOP EDDI LONG, NEWBIRTH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH: I just want to take this moment to address you again as advice of counsel, I am not going to address the allegations and the attack that's been levied upon me at this moment.

Because, again, as I stated earlier in the service, you know, I would want this to be dealt with in the court of justice and not by public opinion. I will say that I'm going to fight, fight very vigorously against these charges and I've been at this church for 23 years.

This is the first time I realize that we are as important as we are to get this much attention and we're going to continue as a church to do things that we do to touch the world. There are so many things and I even increased my commitment to working with youth.

I've always done that. We've always done that as a church. We've always helped young men and young ladies and families and to make sure they're able to move forward and to move into college and do things that make them better and more productive citizens.

The things that New Birth has stood for and good things that we've done and we will continue to do and increase in all of that. So without violating anything that my attorney has so commissioned me and put me in to instruct me and I appreciate your time, I appreciate you being here and I thank you.


WHITFIELD: Last Thursday, Long released a written statement categorically denying the allegations.

In the meantime, let's talk weather now. Dozens of rivers remain out of their banks in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and there are new concerns that those rivers are dumping into the Mississippi and will cause problems later on in the week.

I-Reporter Tim Krause sent us this video yesterday. Take a look at that. Neighborhoods are flooded after days of rain and families near the river have already evacuated and states of emergency are also in effect in both states.

Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras here in the Weather Center. Boy, this is some serious rain and flooding.

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know, lots of people being impacted by these rivers and you know, many of them have crested just a couple haven't crested yet, but they're going to remain in flood for the next couple of days.

As you mention, we're going to watch those rivers dump into the Mississippi and then we're going to start to get some flooding downstream here into Lacrosse down towards Winona and so we'll be watching those areas probably by the middle of the week.

It's just minor to moderate flooding expected along the Mississippi and there you can see all of the counties that are still under flood warnings as a result of that rain that we had in the middle to latter part of last week. So this is really a long stretched out event unfortunately.

Now we also have some flood concerns across parts of the southeast. There you can see in the dark green areas highlighted right here from Atlanta on up into the Carolinas where we're expecting to see anywhere between 4 to 6 inches of rain in the next couple of days.

We got an area of low pressure that has developed and it's just bringing in a very steady rainfall and we'll get some of these isolated thunderstorms that will be a little bit stronger and could bring as much as an inch per hour so be aware of that going on through your Monday.

We've got some delays at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, a ground stop meaning nobody is taking off to get into the ATL until the top of the hour. This rain is going to start spread up the east coast and so if you are traveling later tonight or tomorrow, Washington, D.C. on up towards Philadelphia into New York City expect to have some delays particularly for tomorrow.

Here you can see one of our computer models picking up just a tremendous amount of rain and when you start to see those purples and those whites throughout that area, that's anywhere between 5 and 6 inches of rainfall. That is going to cause some flooding.

Granted we're looking at drought conditions across the southeast. The rain is needed unfortunately it's a little too much at one time. Want to take a quick look at the tropic. Remnants of what's Matthew is still kind of lingering over there across parts of Mexico and into Central America. It's no longer a tropical depression even any longer.

No more advisories are being issued, but there's another area of circulation over here that is trying to develop and so we're going to watch that and we might get some of the energy and moisture from Matthew wrapped up in that.

So there's a small chance of development in the next couple of days, but down the line things look more favorable so we could see some kind of a comeback potentially with Matthew. We'll just kind of have to wait and see as things continue to develop.

WHITFIELD: Well, we really have gotten far on that Atlantic alphabet.

JERAS: M -- we knew it was going to be a busy season.

WHITFIELD: And November 30th is the end of the season, right?

JERAS: November 30th, that is correct.

WHITFIELD: So we have a long way to go.

JERAS: We do. We're passed the halfway point.

WHITFIELD: Yes, OK. Jacqui, thank you.

JERAS: OK. WHITFIELD: All right, if your family and friends are already compiling holiday gift lists, yes, talk about the calendar moving quickly. Holiday is right around the corner and there are some affordable high-tech items that you want to know about them. We'll show them to you next.


WHITFIELD: A look at our top stories right now. Bishop Eddie Long says he'll fight allegations against him. Speaking to his congregation this morning, the Atlanta pastor says he is not a perfect man, but he's also not the man who has been portrayed on television. Long is facing four separate lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct with young men.

An Israeli moratorium blocking new settlement construction in the West Bank runs out in just a few hours from now. Palestinians have said restarting construction could put an end to the peace talk. There was word of a possible compromise this week that would allow the moratorium to expire, but delay any new construction.

Do you think the recession is over? According to a new CNN Opinion Research poll, about three in four Americans disagree with experts who say the recession ended in June of 2009. Only 25 percent think the downturn is over.

Prices of flat screen televisions are expected to plummet just in time for the holidays. Experts predict 32-inch TVs will drop to an average of $249 to $299 on Black Friday, that's the day after thanksgiving.

Well, some are expected to sell for as low as $199. The reason for the price plunge? Demand for LCD panels this year wasn't as high as retailers had expected and now they're looking to get rid of huge overstock.

So speaking of bargains, there are also reasonably priced gifts out there for computer and iPad users. Here to tell us all about that high-tech expert Marc Saltzman. He's joining us per usual via Skype from Toronto.

All right, Mark, good to see you.

MARC SALTZMAN, SYNDICATED TECHNOLOGY WRITER: Good to see you as well. In fact, I'm in Las Vegas this time around.


SALTZMAN: Welcome from sin city.

WHITFIELD: OK, very good.

SALTZMAN: Yes, we've got -- sorry, I couldn't hear you there for a moment. You're right. We've got three gift ideas for iPad owners and three for laptop owners. So you might start wanting to think of somebody's gift ideas and they range from $50 to $100 by the way. So let start off, if you are an iPad owner and of course, we're referring to Apple's hugely popular tablet, you might want to consider an iPad keyboard dock from Apple themselves.

This is a chicklet keyboard. It's a physical hard keyboard that you snap the iPad into at the top and that it charges it up at the same time. So it's great if you're in one location for a while, let's say a dorm room, and you've got to work on an essay or book report, this is obviously a lot more comfortable than typing on the soft screen with your fingertips. So this is 69 bucks at Great, so that's one option there.

WHITFIELD: And then you still have the iPad so it means you want a little protective case and travel around with it look kind of cool and protect it all in one. What do you have?

SALTZMAN: Yes, I have a couple options so one of them is a case. These are from Balkan by the way. This one here is a purple sort of -- it's called a TPU material. It's stronger than silicon or you can go with a padded case and this adds some personality and protection to the iPad.

So this one that I've got here snaps on the back whereas this is sort of a slide in case for - for those who are traveling and again, it protects that screen that we all know and love on the iPad. These range from $39 to $69 depending on which ones you want.

Now, if you're buying an iPad gift for someone that needs a little bit more protection or a traveler, these are bags that fit. So these are from By the way, I love this company. So this is -- I'm showing this scout, which is army green bag for guys. There are lots of, you know, guys and girl options there, different colors and styles and materials so this is a very cool $50 option.

WHITFIELD: OK, suddenly that really cool sleek tiny little thing that you could, you know, carry around is now getting bigger and bigger with all these bags and all that.

So now you are looking for some, you know, accessories to go with your computers or the person you want to give a gift to. They want nice little accessories. You have a high def webcam to tell us about, right?

SALTZMAN: That's right. This is the new Microsoft life cam studio. It just came out last week. It's $99 and it is the Microsoft's first 1080-P HD webcam so the highest quality possible - video quality now available for chatting. A new version of Windows Live Messenger so --

WHITFIELD: No, sometimes we really love that Skype and sometimes it curses us like now. So we've lost Mark Saltzman. Image, audio and all, wait a minute. Are you back? I see a thumbs up.

SALTZMAN: I hope so.

WHITFIELD: OK, yes. Thumbs up, he's back. Continue.

SALTZMAN: OK, OK, good. So this is --

WHITFIELD: I jinxed us. I got a little too excited. Now, he's gone again. All right, well, you get the idea. There are some great little gadgets out there. Just in time for the holiday season.

Mark Saltzman joining us from Las Vegas. Next time maybe he will be from Toronto. He's always on the move.

All right, ready to be speaker? Republican John Boehner is already making plans for a Republican resurgence. Your update next.


WHITFIELD: All right, Time for "CNN Equals Politics," an update now. We're keeping an eye on all the latest headlines on Political Ticker. So here's what's crossing right now.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is taking shots at comedian Steven Colbert. Colbert appeared in character before a House committee last week to talk about migrant farm labor. Hoyer says Colbert's testimony was inappropriate and more of an embarrassment for Colbert than for the House.

House Minority Leader John Boehner thinks he's in line for promotion. Boehner says if Republicans regain control of the House in November, he's confident his colleagues will vote to make him speaker.

And comedian Bill Maher has carried out his threat to release more old video clips of Delaware senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell. Last night, he showed a 1998 clip from his old politically incorrect show.

O'Donnell said evolution is a myth and when pressed she asked, quote, "then why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans?" end quote. Daddy bloggers, they are growing force in social media these days.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a lot of things that guys just don't talk about with anybody after the baby is born. We get a fair amount of traffic on articles about sex after pregnancy because the relationship has changed with that first baby.


WHITFIELD: So what men really think in a very candid way about fatherhood and more.


WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back here in the "Newsroom." Even though, yes, you are seeing a lot of little girl scouts out there, they are part of the scene here at the "CNN Newsroom" studio. Welcome back, I'm sitting here with Josh Levs who's going to tell us all about men and daddy bloggers these days. They've been having their say particularly in this Modern Man Summit.


WHITFIELD: That took place in Atlanta recently.

LEVS: Yes.

WHITFIELD: You were there. You talked to these men who are talking amongst themselves.

LEVS: I mean, this is a sign of big picture changes that are happening in America. You know, and what's been happening is more and more guys are at home now, right.


LEVS: More and more guys even though they work are expected to do more at home as fathers and because the economy more fathers have actually -- men have been adversely impacted. More men are at home, right and 158,000 are full time. They have been there for a year.

You know, there are places online for women, right? That want help with parenting, changing diapers -

WHITFIELD: Sure, how do I do this? How do I make that to my kid? Yes.

LEVS: Well now there's more are guys because dads are in this situation and they're like I need something for me. They want a support system. They want a community. They are looking out there saying I need basic answers.

And some of these guys started writing blogs and they found that this actually really a big audience for that so I got together with a group of them and asked them what are dads looking for online?


ERIC ELKINS, DATINGDAD.COM: They are really looking for other dads who are going through the same things they are. Looking for some support and looking for some funny stories and really wanting to share the magic that is being a father.

PAUL BANAS, GREATDAD.COM: Guys are responding the same way that a lot of women have traditionally responded. They look for articles on potty training, how to get the baby to sleep, how to name their baby and they end up being a lot on relationship issues.

Because there are a lot of things that guys just don't talk about with anybody after the baby is born and we get a fair amount of traffic on articles about sex after pregnancy because the relationship has changed with that first baby.

LEVS: You don't hear about this stuff a lot, right? These issues don't come up a lot - yes, go ahead.

CLAY NICHOLS, DADLABS.COM: This role is being completely reinvented and lots of men are out there wanting to talk about it because there's not a previous generation you can go to.

You can't go to your dad because his form of fatherhood was completely different than what we see today and so it's new media, it's new fatherhood and that's what we are talking about here.

LEVS: So on your blog, you find that this is a place where you can present information about ideas about how to have a conversation with other dads about it where they're sharing their experiences because they knew that sense to communicate and to know other guys out there go through the same thing.

KEVIN METZGER, THEDADVOCATEPROJECT.COM: Yes, we're not the - the Peter Griffin or the Homer Simpson that we're often portrayed as. We're involved in our family. We're working. We're trying to provide. We're working at home in a lot of cases and our role in the family is being real men.

LEVS: And what real men means, right? I mean, that's part of what it means to be a real man now. Guys could get together and have poker night and talk. Guys could call each other. What is it specifically about being online that is offering dads something? What do they want from the web?

CC CHAPMAN, DIGITALDADS.COM: We're not out, you know, going to the PTA meetings necessarily or we're not meeting the other guys in the neighborhood as often as we should, you know.

The nights of poker night are not that easy. They don't happen as much. So it's one core group of guys, but with the web, you get to talk to guys all around the world that you may never meet in person and you can share these ideas and have this conversation.

LEVS: When are they getting on blogs because my day is so busy? If you have a job and you get home and you have your kids. Are they staying up late at 2:00 in the morning because they couldn't have sex? When are they getting online?

DONNY CLAXTON, DADDYCLAXTON.COM: We're finding that they are saying that I'm on the computer at work, but they're also saying there's a huge segment of time between 30 minutes and 2 1/2 to 3 hours a day when they get back home where they are actually going online.

LEVS: What are the biggest things that you think in general people in society don't understand about dads?

CLAXTON: Dads are so active in their kids' lives. Whether it's -- I mean, I work from home. I worked from home for four years. My kids come home. I have to help them with their homework.

You know, I'm the one doing that. I'm the one going and signing forms and going to the play. I love it. I would have it no other way. I think that's the biggest thing people seem to miss.

It's not -- you still see all of the advertisements, all the literature and anything, it's always with the mom's slant on it. It is a slight.

ELKINS: Not only are we active, but we're competent. We're really good fathers, you know.

BANAS: I like changing my baby's diaper. I like getting the milk at night or whatever because there's -- it's a very human thing whether you're a woman or man caring for a little baby is a very human emotion.

So we want to promote that same feeling or that acceptance of that to other men to promote men being involved dads who felt uncomfortable as well, but also to, you know, larger society to see us that way.


LEVS: And Fred, I'll tell you. This I want to point yesterday. I've been hearing from dads all over the country saying they don't see enough representations like this.

But when I was walking out of the building, one of the guards ran over and stopped me and said thank you because there were so many representations of guys that it's good to see other guys about being committed fathers.


LEVS: You were just saying the same thing that there's some representations that are beginning now.

WHITFIELD: Yes, I mean, if you watch "Parenthood." Playing on another network, but NBC's "Parenthood" has this dad at home. He is a very strong figure. He's got the family kind of intact. His wife is a high powered attorney. He's always keeping her informed about what's going on with their daughter, the connections with other parents. So I think it is a new example of, you know, kind of the modern day family.

LEVS: I have to check this out, you know, and what these guys --

WHITFIELD: I love with these dads that you just talked about.

LEVS: I know, well, they're fantastic. They really are representative of millions of dads out there. There are about 68 million dads in this country and more and more are spending more time at home and there's the expectation now, right?

I mean, still in general guys make more money. In general working dads 42 percent of working dads are the sole providers, but even still expected to know how to do everything at home. So what these guys are out there doing is they're helping you learn how to do it, right?

They're showing you what you need to know when you want to learn these things just the way that women have had resources in the past, now guys have more. Thanks to --

WHITFIELD: There are guide posts for dads whether they're at home or whether they're working outside of the home and they developed their own little network. Well, actually a big one not even little, a big network and it's working.

LEVS: It's growing fast.

WHITFIELD: It's working. Well, that's very impressive. I like it. All right, thanks so much.

LEVS: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: From top daddy dog right here.

LEVS: Doing all right.

WHITFIELD: All right. Josh Levs, appreciate it. Thanks so much.

All right, an Army reserve officer's tell all book about his duty in Afghanistan, well, it's causing quite the sensation to the tune of the Pentagon buying up nearly 10,000 copies of it and then burning the copies.

The Pentagon says the book threatens national security. We'll hear what the author has to say about all of this 4:30 Eastern time right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And now CNN looks at your financial bottom line on "YOUR MONEY."