Wednesday, June 17, 2009

AC360 shows bootlegged video from Iran; then interviews "Milk" screenwriter on Obama's record on gay rights

Today June 17 Anderson Cooper 360 covered the protests in Iran, especially a 19-second video of a “silent” protest. I found a related protest on YouTube

The show explained the complicated politics around the Supreme Leader
Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The show moved on to gay rights, interviewing attorney Richard Socarides and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”), about Obama’s punting on his order today giving gay domestic partners of federal employees limited benefits. Obama mentioned the need to overturn DOMA, and proposed a Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act (patterned after such a bill in New Mexico). Dustin Lance Black (who looks about 20 on television) said that there is never a convenient time to grant all peoples equal rights, and Clinton, with all his good intentions, gave us “don’t ask don’t tell” and DOMA. There is also a problem with lifting the HIV travel ban as well as lethargy in lifting “don’t ask don’t tell.” Black discussed the reasons that gay teens feel like second class citizens and have increased suicide rates. The official CNN story from Suzanne Malveaux is here. Apparently straight cohabiting couples are left out.

Then the show interviewed Paul Stanford in Oregon, who fights for a business to offer legal medical marijuana. The show presented a cost-benefit analysis of legalizing and then taxing and regulating marijuana. Dr. Sanjay Gupta then discussed medical marijuana. Tomorrow Cooper will present a report on how the collapse of the housing market in Florida and California has encouraged illegal marijuana business (much as was the case in ranching states when farm prices fell in the 1980s).

AC360 usually repeats its hour at 11 PM immediately after the first hour and offer sophisticated live blogs with continuous comments.

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