February 18th, 2014
10:55 PM ET

Should the U.S. swap Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl?

Is the U.S. trying to make a deal with the Taliban?

There is word the United States is trying to negotiate the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held captive by a Taliban-affiliated group for nearly five years. He is the only know U.S. prisoner in Afghanistan.

U.S. launches push to gain release of soldier Bowe Bergdahl

In exchange for Bergdahl, the U.S. would reportedly free five senior Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.

For Bergdahl's family in rural Idaho, the wait is excruciating.

OutFront: Gunnery SGT. Jessie Jane Duff, a 20-year veteran of the Marine Corps who provided logistical support to combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Filed under: Afghanistan • al Qaeda • News
February 18th, 2014
10:25 PM ET

"Dirty Jobs" Host Mike Rowe fires back at Walmart criticism: I'm not selling out

Did the working man's champion selling out to Walmart?

Reality star Mike Rowe, the former host of the reality TV show "Dirty Jobs," has come under fire for narrating a new Walmart ad. The ad promotes Walmart's pledge to buy $250 billion on American-made goods:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojMW7deRsOs?rel=0&w=560&h=315%5D

Critics are blasting Rowe on social media for promoting the retail giant saying, "It's hypocrisy. Walmart's products are all made in China. Walmart contributes to those empty factories. What's so 'powerful' about an ad that makes absolutely no sense?"

"I've looked up to you for the longest time, What happened to your support of the underdogs? Sad times Mike," Kevin said on Facebook.

CNN's Erin Burnett spoke to Rowe about the blacklash over him teaming up with Walmart - one of the biggest retailers in America.

Burnett asked Rowe what he would say about this criticism that he no longer supported the "underdogs."

"People find what they look for, right,” Rowe says. “And you can look at "Dirty Jobs" and you can see an honest tribute to hardworking skilled labor. And that is exactly what it was. But it was also a tribute to risk and entrepreneurship and the business. I have never looked at it as selling in or selling out. It is just work. And the idea of it, you can either be on the employee side or the employer side. It is a bad choice. I just don't want to make it."

Rowe went on to say the backlash has less to do with his work philosophy and more about the people he is associated with.

As an example, Rowe said he was recently a guest on HBO’s Bill Maher and Glenn Beck during the same week. He talked about the same subjects on the shows, including manufacturing, skilled labor and college debt, but the takeaway for viewers can sometimes be clouded by whether they like the person he’s doing the interview with rather than his raw point of view. (Those views have largely been the same since he started his  foundation in 2008.) These backlashes, he says, "didn’t come from anything anybody said. It just came from who I was talking to."

He says it’s similar to what is happening now with his association with Walmart. "It is hell of a thing when somebody you have been trained not to like, suddenly does something that you actually agree with,” Rowe says. "It is cognitive dissonance and it forces you to look at American manufacturing as separate and apart from really everything."


Mike Rowe weighs in on income inequality and whether there is a war on the '1%:

Filed under: News
February 18th, 2014
10:14 PM ET

Actress Elaine Stritch adds to a long list of "F-bombs" on TV

You can't compliment Elaine Stritch on her anything-goes attitude and expect her not to take advantage of it.

On the "Today" show Tuesday, Stritch let a curse word slip while she was speaking with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford , and didn't seem to have an ounce of regret.

The 89-year-old actress, who's won hearts everywhere from the stage to "The Cosby Show" to "30 Rock," was on the morning program to promote her documentary, "Just Shoot Me."

"Elaine, you are so beloved as much for your work, of course, but for your mouth," Gifford said. "You say whatever you want to say. When did that all happen?"

As it turned out, it "happened" right there on live TV.

"Thank God it hasn't been passed on television. If you just say things naturally, it's fine," Stritch said. "They just think and f***."


Filed under: News • OutFront Outtake
February 18th, 2014
09:23 PM ET

Syrian Boy in desert Photo: Propaganda or true suffering?

The White House is again stressing that military action is off the table when it comes to ending the brutal civil war in Syria.

The heartbreak of that bloody conflict has been captured in a photograph a Syrian child surrounded by United Nation workers as he trudged through a desert in Jordan.

His family, it appeared at the time, nowhere to be seen.

Bill Weir is takes a closer look at the picture.

Filed under: International • News • Syria
February 18th, 2014
09:15 PM ET

Chris Christie attends private fundraiser; postpones town hall

Scandal plagued New Jersey Governor Chris Christie hit his fourth city Tuesday fundraising for the Republican party.

The fundraiser took place behind those doors at the Harvard Club in New York City.

The event was chock full of major Republican donors, supporters, and lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But for the second time in a row, Christie postponed a town hall meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning due to snowy weather conditions in his state.

It is now rescheduled for Thursday.

It will be the first time Christie faces questions in person from voters since the George Washington bridge scandal exploded.

Christie vehemently denies knowing anything about his administration's involvement in shutting down lanes on Bridge for political retribution.

CNN's Erin Burnett talks to Host of New Jersey Capital Report Steve Adubato and CNN political commentator Paul Begala about the appearance of Christie spending a lot of time on fundraisers, but not much time speaking directly with the New Jersey voters.

"He needs to demonstrate that he is the governor governing the state." Adubato said, "He's got to hold that town meeting and answer all the questions. Totally unscripted."

In Adubato's new book, "You Are the Brand", he devoted a chapter called "Governor Chris Christie: When Being "Blunt" is Your Brand" to Christie's straight forward approach.

"This is who the people elected, and the irony is that while people say they want honesty and candor in their elected officials, when they get it in spades it can be surprisingly upsetting to some. Chris Christie’s popularity hovers around 50 percent at the time of this writing, and I’m not convinced he’s ever going to be as “Reaganesque” as Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn claimed when he complimented Christie for “offering the voters a dose of Reagan republicanism—with a Jersey twist.” But that’s not really the point. The fact is, Chris Christie tells it the way he sees it."

However,  for this upcoming town hall, Adubato said the governor will need to be a 'kinder, gentler Chris Christie - tough and strong, but not as in your face."

Democratic Strategist Paul Begala disagreed with Adubato, saying the New Jersey governor doesn't have a "kinder, gentler gear".

"If he could go an hour at a town hall meeting and not call one of his own constituents an idiot, I'll be impressed," Begala said.

Filed under: Chris Christie • News • Politics
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