The Cutline
  • Letterman (CNN)

    Piers Morgan is in London this week preparing for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, so CNN has lined up a string of celebrity guest hosts for interviews with other celebrities, including Seth MacFarlane--whose interview with Bill Maher will air on Wednesday--and Harvey Weinstein (who gets Oprah on Friday).

    But Tuesday's pairing--with a combined age of 145--is by far the most intriguing, with David Letterman giving a rare, mostly serious hour-long interview to Regis Philbin, who is making his first return to television as a host since leaving "Regis and Kelly."

    In excerpts of the wide-ranging interview--taped last week--released by CNN, Letterman opened up about his return to late night television less than a week after 9/11. "I remember not wanting to go back, not feeling ready to go back, but knowing we had to go back," Letterman told Philbin, his guest on the somber Sept. 17, 2001 "Late Show" episode. "And you know, my concerns were minimal compared to people who really suffered."

    Letterman also recalled his late-night idol and predecessor, Johnny Carson.

    "He was, I think, the biggest star in television," Letterman said of the late "Tonight Show" host. "And I was just a kid who has followed the beacon of his light coming out of Burbank."

    The 65-year-old Letterman recounted the last time he saw Carson, who died in 2005:

    "The way life is, you don't know that that will be the last time, but it turned out to be the last time, and it couldn't have been a lovelier evening. And I cherish that because it was unusual. It was not going to happen under any other circumstances. And it was my wife, myself, Johnny and his wife on Johnny's yacht that he had anchored in the Hudson. And it was a Friday evening and we sailed off just before sunset and went up the Hudson, up under the George Washington Bridge, which is lovely, turned around, now the sun is setting. We go out to the Statue of Liberty and see that at night, as the sky is darkening. And then you turn around and we headed up the East River, and you see the lower tip of Manhattan, and it was a sight and an experience ... You never get to see New York like that.

    Read More »from Letterman opens up about 9/11, Carson and Clinton in rare interview
  • Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC's weekend morning talk show "Up," has apologized for comments he made on Sunday about use of the word "hero" to describe fallen U.S. soldiers.

    After an interview with Lt. Col. Steve Beck, a former Marine whose job was to notify military families of the death of a loved one, Hayes described his personal discomfort with the term "hero."

    [Slideshow: Grief camp helps children of fallen soldiers cope]

    "I feel uncomfortable about the word 'hero' because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war," Hayes said. "I don't want to obviously desecrate or disrespect the memory of anyone that's fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I'm wrong about that."

    The comments, coming on the eve of Memorial Day, sparked a near-immediate backlash. On Monday, Hayes apologized.

    [Slideshow: The nation honors military on Memorial Day]

    "I don't think I lived up to the standards of rigor, respect and empathy for those affected by the issues we discuss that I've set for myself," Hayes wrote in a blog post on his show's website. "I am deeply sorry for that."

    He continued:

    As many have rightly pointed out, it's very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about the people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots. Of course, that is true of the overwhelming majority of our nation's citizens as a whole. One of the points made during Sunday's show was just how removed most Americans are from the wars we fight, how small a percentage of our population is asked to shoulder the entire burden and how easy it becomes to never read the names of those who are wounded and fight and die, to not ask questions about the direction of our strategy in Afghanistan, and to assuage our own collective guilt about this disconnect with a pro-forma ritual that we observe briefly before returning to our barbecues.

    But in seeking to discuss the civilian-military divide and the social distance between those who fight and those who don't, I ended up reinforcing it, conforming to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war. And for that I am truly sorry.

    Read More »from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes apologizes for questioning use of ‘heroes’ to describe fallen soldiers
  • (FMK)

    The Daily Caller, the conservative website founded by Tucker Carlson, has launched an unusual publicity stunt to say the least: Now through Nov. 6—Election Day—the Washington, D.C.-based site will give away a handgun a week.

    The gun giveaway is part of the launch of a "Guns and Gear" section "devoted to Second Amendment issues and firearms product news and reviews."

    Each 9mm "FMK 9C1" handgun will be "engraved with the Bill of Rights." The Daily Caller, which is a Yahoo! News partner, plans to give away 25 in all.

    "Like most Americans outside Washington, D.C., New York City and most of our nation's news rooms, large numbers of Daily Caller readers love guns," Daily Caller publisher and former Dick Cheney policy adviser Neil Patel said in a release.

    [Related: Trayvon Martin's mom appears in gun control video]

    When asked by email if it was really a good idea to give away guns to readers, Carlson responded: "Seems obvious. Why wouldn't it be a good idea? We trust our readers."

    Of course, all winners "must obey all local, state and federal laws governing the lawful transfer of a firearm and meet all local, state and federal requirements for firearms ownership."

    Specifically, each "will be required to have proper identification suitable to receive a firearm in their jurisdiction and will be required to complete an ATF Form #4473 and pass a NICS background check at their local firearms retailer that holds a valid Federal Firearms License. Failure to comply with each of these requirements will result in a forfeiture of the prize."

    Read More »from Daily Caller giving away guns to readers now through Election Day


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  • Hundreds of earthquakes strike central Idaho, rattling nerves

    By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Hundreds of low-level and medium-sized earthquakes have struck central Idaho since last month, puzzling geologists who wonder whether the ruptures portend a much larger temblor to come or are merely the rumblings of a seismic fault previously thought to be dormant. The recent earthquake swarm, beginning on March 24 and climaxed by a 4.9 magnitude tremor on Saturday, has produced no reports of injuries or severe damage but has rattled nerves in a region where Idaho's most powerful known quake, measured at 6.9, killed two children in 1983. Saturday's earthquake was the strongest recorded in the state since 2005 and was followed on Monday by a magnitude 4.4 event that struck 10 miles north of the small ranching community of Challis, Idaho, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The likelihood of a severe earthquake coming on the heels of the recent swarm is low, but much is perplexing about the series of tremors, said Bill Phillips, a geologist with the Idaho Geological Survey at the University of Idaho.

  • William, Kate and baby George kick off Australian leg of tour
    William, Kate and baby George kick off Australian leg of tour

    Prince William and his wife Kate flew into Sydney on Wednesday with their baby son George to kick off the Australian leg of their tour Down Under. The royals disembarked from an Australian air force 737 under sunny skies after arriving from New Zealand, an AFP photographer said. Eight-month-old Prince George was in his mother's arms as Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove -- who represents William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in Australia -- greeted the couple at Kingsford Smith airport.

  • 'Fargo' coming to TV on Tuesday
    'Fargo' coming to TV on Tuesday

    The new series adapted from the Coen brothers' cult movie will premiere Tuesday, April 15 on FX.

  • Is This Statue of a Homeless Jesus Offensive?

    A vagrant sleeping on a park bench may not merit a second glance for many hardened city dwellers, but a statue of a homeless Jesus sleeping on a bench in Davidson, North Carolina is getting a lot of scrutiny. But Rev. David Buck, 65, of St. Alban's Episcopal Church says the statue is a good lesson for those used to seeing Jesus depicted in religious art as a figure cloaked in finery. "He was, in essence, a homeless person." Sculptor Timothy Schmalz, a devout Catholic, says the sculpture is meant to challenge people.

  • N. Korea officials 'target London salon over Kim haircut ad'
    N. Korea officials 'target London salon over Kim haircut ad'

    London (AFP) - Police said Tuesday they had intervened after North Korean embassy officials reportedly told a London hairdresser to take down a discount haircuts advert featuring leader Kim Jong-Un.

  • Putin warns Ukraine on brink of civil war as Kiev sends army in
    Putin warns Ukraine on brink of civil war as Kiev sends army in

    Izyum (Ukraine) (AFP) - Russian leader Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine is on the verge of civil war, the Kremlin said Wednesday, after the Kiev government sent in troops against pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country. "The Russian president remarked that the sharp escalation of the conflict has placed the country, in effect, on the verge of civil war," the Kremlin said in a statement on telephone talks between Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

  • False leads in search for missing jet
    False leads in search for missing jet

    If the signals detected deep in the Indian Ocean are truly from the wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, they ultimately will close the book on a frustrating long list of false leads in the effort to find the jet. Here are the most prominent moments in which hopes of solving the tragic aviation mystery were dashed:

  • Here are all the passwords you need to change right now because of Heartbleed
    Here are all the passwords you need to change right now because of Heartbleed

    By now, we all know what a huge deal Heartbleed is. The massive vulnerability in OpenSSL protocol impacted 66% of all sites on the Internet at the time of its discovery, and now companies are scrambling to fix the issue. Most big companies seem to have done a pretty good job of acting quickly, but this bug is several years old so users have been at risk for quite some time regardless of how quickly a site might have patched the flaw. As such, the cybersecurity experts at LWG Consulting have compiled a great list of all the huge sites that were impacted by Heartbleed. Do you have accounts on any of the sites listed below? Change your password immediately —

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