tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN March 8, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
there's a lot of sugar. i don't sleep that much any way. >> the things we learn in a presidential campaign. one of their views on tax and spending and cereal. crispx is a bit of a throwback. not a breakfast guy. little granola. that's all for us tonight. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com just moments ago, israel's prime minister announced a timetable for strikes on iran and we have a ruling today on haley barbour's pardons. and the obama administration has hired a team of engineers to learn as much about you as possible. oh, yes. what did they find out and what are they going to do with it? let's go "outfront."
good evening, everyone. tonight, is it time to trust? time for a breakthrough between the west and iran? e today was all about trust until moments ago when the prime minister gave an interview throwing cold water on the situation and laying out a time frame for a strike. in an interview with channel 2, benjamin netanyahu said this. >> translator: i am not standing with a stopwatch in hand. it is not a matter of days and weeks. but also not a matter of years. everybody understands this. >> this is his first interview since visiting with president obama and confirmed what we reported on this show, which is that president obama delayed israel's plans this spring, but had not stopped them. netanyahu's words of course leaves the extremely sensitive u.s. election time frame wide open for a strike, but on a day when the u.s. and europeans have
agreed to go back to the negotiating table with iran, the news is a splash of cold water, proving israel is not backing down on trying to force a quote unquote window. talks have failed since 2009 due in part to the west's assistance, that all of iran's nuclear activities be on the table including enriching uranium -- it is something the ambassador to the irk, iaea told me recently. there was one other unexpected thing that happened today. iran's supreme leader praised president obama who cited a quote window of opportunity to revolve the standoff over iran's nuclear program. quote, this is expression is a good word. this is a wise remark indicating talking distance from illusion. sources tell cnn that he may be seriously worried about a
military attack on about the united states' crippling sanctions, so he's trying to make an overture to the president. is it possible for a major breakthrough between iran and the west? david albright, a former weapons inspector -- entitled starving iran will not free it, and also, jamie reuben. great to have you with us. what he said about president obama. >> i think he was allowing some room. a clear indication for iran that negotiations is their preference. they constantly say we won't negotiate under threats. when you start stepping back from the threat of war, that's an opening and i think the he
wanted to signal that. that they are open as long as these threats are stepped back from. >> do you think there will be talks and breakthroughs especially with this whole issue of preconditions? it makes a lot of sense that iran would say get out of my business if i want to have nuclear power. a lot of countries have nuclear power. why should that be a precondition? >> i think there's a lot of smoke being thrown in people's eyes. let's start with prime minister netanyahu. the israels want the world to be talking about the possibility of a nuclear strike. they believe and have said candidly, the more that seems real to withdrawn iran, is greater the chance this can be revolved without it. secondly, he said clearly worried about sanlgss and clearly likes president obama. they've said from the beginning,
personally. so when president obama was talking very disparagedingly abt republicans and others who were talking of war, it suits the ayatollah to praise president obama for that. it's going to require some hard things from the united states that we've never been prepared to do and hard thing frs the iranian. we have to accept a deal that's less than a complete ending of iranian enrichment and the iranian will have to find a way diplomatically or openly to admit that some programs occurred in the past that were military in nature. because that's what the inspe inspectors are going to try to determine and until they've gotten to the bottom of those pieces of evidence, the world will not be satisfied that this program is only of a peaceful nature. >> and david, that brings me to you as a former u.n. weapons inspector.
what do you make of what you've heard in recent days from the iaea, which has been clear -- and just yesterday starting talking about one of the key sites they've been denied access to that have been quote unquote cleaned up. >> the evidence is pretty compelling that iran had a nuclear weapons program in the past that may be ongoing, so they want to get to the bottom of it and iran has not cooperated. what jamie said is very important. it's essential that iran start to what we would call start coming clean about it's past nuclear weapons activities. no one's saying they're building a bomb now or deciding to, but they need to start coming clean and restoring their credibility. frankly, their seen as being disassemblers on just basic issues involving past nuclear activities and if they would take that step forward, i don't
think they would be punished. it's a step that several countries in the past did and itted out to be a way forward. what they did at the board of governors meeting makes me think they're not ready to do that and we're heading for a difficult negotiation. >> we never ask whether the iranian are telling the truth. what if they didn't have a nuclear weapons program. david and others tend to ignore that. what have they are telling the truth whachlt if the laptop that iran for years has said is a forger, is a fake. what if that's true? how do you prove a negative? >> i was very much involved in debunking many of the claims. >> you were the one saying before the invasion that they
had chemical and biological invasions. >> i was talking about their nuclear program. >> is kind of like -- it's a little dangerous, isn't it? >> what we're seeing here, erin, is an important debate and it's important because last time the united states did make a mistake, they went to war on the promise of weapons of mass destruction and that hangs heavy over the world's perceptions of the united states an that's why i think it is important for us to do this by the book, the iaea's work and saying that once those peaceful intentions have been confirmed, that we the united states are prepared. that means lifting sanctions, figure out a way so iran doesn't want to have nuclear weapons. that's stuff that we haven't really been prepared to do or talk about openly. we need to do that if we want to avoid what president obama said,
which is the risks and dangers of using military force. >> well, it does seem rhetorically, it has been talked into a situation where there is a window. if there isn't a resolution, someone will be forced to do what -- but david, what does iran need to do to have the world trust them that whatever they did or didn't do is done and they're not doing anything? what do they have to do? >> they've looked at this information for a long time. it's not about moproving a negative. there's evidence that they want to talk ta iran and since 2008, iran has refused to talk about it. during the the last week, they further told the ia that they were to remove whole areas that they would not talk about. that concerns procurement. efforts by iran to buy things overseas, the actual buyinging of things overseas and that
information shows that something has gone on that iran is not telling the truth about and now they're starting to remove whole areas. what i hope ded is that the supreme leader will intervene and overturn this situation and start to talk openly about their program. the inspectors are the ones able to get to the bottom of the whole question on iraq's with wmd and raise serious questions before the invasion and particular, on the nuclear. to now turn on them and say they're disassembling is disingenuous. the inspectors have done the honest job to figure things out. they said there isn't much there in the case of iraq. they said there in the case of iran. >> i think what we can expect and this is the hardest thing for people to aappreciate. it's very hard for a country to say they lied. and so, we need to figure out a
way where information can be provided where evidence can be provided, where absolutelies can be given that are not in the context of they're not telling the truth. now, they admitted they lied. countries don't like to admit they lied. >> you know what rule number one is on this show, everybody lies. we all have. except for the three that are here tonight, all right? there's a lot more to come on this and we have a really fascinating story on iran and the u.s. coming up negs week. president obama hiring a team of scientists to study you is next and they're using it to target your vote. they're nuclear scientists, ironically. and the prosecution rests in the rutgers trial. and gas prices could hit record highs very soon. who is to blame? ♪ one, two, thr ♪ you say ♪ flip it over and replay ♪ we'll make everything okay ♪ walk together the right way
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patterns and behaviors. the campaign can then use it to target the people whose support it needs most. brianna, this is pretty amazin amazinging. you're into something. i'm into something else. we each get an ad saying that obama loves that thing, right? >> yeah, and this is part of the team dedicated to analyzing data and the answers they're really looking for are how persuadable are voters. what kinds of things really resognate with them. when are they moving toward president obama? when are they moving away and this is a high-tech take off of some more traditional measures we've seen like door knocking or phone calls. tw, there is one man though s unit. he's an expert in data mining and something that's called predictive analytics.
what is that? really figuring out specifically in his case, voter behavior and being able to predict how voters will respond. over the last several months, his team has hired a number of specialists who are specialists in things like social media and digital markets. >> that picture looked like some kind of a scary mug shot. there is a little bit of a creepy factor this this, isn't there? >> there's something about this, especially when looking at someone and a lot of people have an experience in data mining, it sort of evokes some of the concerns people have about online privacy or some things they learned about marketing in recent years, but the campaign is insisting they're not doing anything sketchy, they're walking on the straight and narrow. they're trying to predict voter behavior so they can figure out whether voters are persuadable an figures hout how many voters
they can register or get to the polls in battleground states to get 270 electoral votes. >> john avlon is coming on in a second. does he get the same ads i would get? >> i don't know how much this pertains specifically to this group working in the obama campaign, but for instance, i'm registered to get the e-mail frs the obama campaign for research sake as are my producers. a few weeks ago, i received an e mall from a female campaign aide talking about contraception and my producer did not. >> thank you very much. and as promised, john avenlon i here, jen saki and -- good to have you with us. but jen, i have to start with you. briana's talking about how people are getting different ads
from the president. is the white house going to keep hammering on these social issues and target them at women? >> what's interest is that the last couple of weeks, the debate has been not just about any social issue, but about women having access to birth control. and because wooe're not in 1950 and men and women support women having birth control, this has really shed a light on how extreme the republican flat form has gone. in many ways, this has motivated and excited women voters. people who weren't necessarily paying attention. what the white house is doing is raising awareness for this issue. >> you think this focus on social issues is going to be just an unmitigated thing for the president? >> no, and i think that democrats are really getting ahead of them and assuming, it is true that rush limbaugh's
comments set the republicans back. if you look at massachusetts for example, scott brown strongly defends religious freedom. the democrat, one of the democrats challenging elizabeth warren has been trying to make an issue of it. >> there's a sound bite i want to play. a man is going to be speaking at the convention, rising star in the democratic party. shows some of the possible mines the president could step on. this is los angeles mayor talking about something he thinks needs to go on to the democratic party platform in a formal way, which is not now. here it is. >> do you think ha that the democratic national platform should have a marriage equality plan? >> i do. i think it's basic to who we are. i don't think the government should be in that business and of denying people the mental right to marry.
>> so, john avlon, putting it as a formal tentative is probably not something the president wants to do. >> the president has stayed away from this issue. he is not in favor of marriage equality. >> he's evolving. >> which is code for let's talk about it in my second term. it does potentially create a real problem. fascinating is how much this issue has evolved. 59% of independent voters now support marriage equality. that's ten points up from just last year, so you've seen a sea change from american opinion on this issue. it would put the president in a double bun. >> let's talk the 2012 race here. now, this whole issue of who's getting in, who's not getting in. john, you've done some digging. just in terms of if newt gingrich got out, for example, do all those votes go to rick
santorum and if so, does that crush romney? >> not all, but the vast r majority. we've seen this. in missouri when they had their beauty pageant contest a little while ago an newt gingrich wasn't on the ballot, santorum got 55% of the vote. mitt romney, 25. that shows what santorum could do. he would have won ohio. gingrich got 15% of the vote in ohio. even two-thirds had gone to rick santorum, he would have won ohio. >> and get the nomination? >> changes the math. makes it more competitive. >> ramesh, i'll give you a chance to react to something romney said today that i just had to play tonight. here's mitt romney. >> you're keeping me up at night, not much that keeps me up. i must admit by the end of the day, i am tired and i always seat something at the end of the day. my favorite is cold cereal. full tummy and a long day, puts me right to bed. >> what kind of cereal do you
like? >> i like honey nut cheerios, chex -- >> sorry. the whole thing is just absolutely bizarre. full tummy. okay. jen? what do you think? >> wow. i'm glad that serious helps mitt romney sleep through the night given we're still recovering, our economy is still recovering. we have a few national security issues at hand. there are a few issues that keep the president up and i don't think if he has a bowl of cereal, he's sleeping through the night without worry. >> full tummy. just hearing it out of a grown man, it was somewhat strange. now to a very serious story. the rutgers trial. nearly nine days of testimony, two dozen witnesses took the stand. prosecutors rested their case against dharun ravi today.
he's accused of placing a web cam in his room to spy on his roommate. clementi committed suicide by jumping off the george washington bridge in 2010 after he learned that ravi and others watched him have a romantic encounter. some of the evidence against him came from ravi himself as detectives questioned him about his prolific text messaging. >> first thing i'm doing is getting your text logs. every text you send. so, what i'm telling you here is that i'd rather it come from you. okay listen, this is what this young man told us. if i find -- >> i have stuff to say then. i was talking to my friend from cornell. i told her what happened. we were just joking around
saying you should call in for tuesday. i was telling her we should do it and joking around, kids here saying we're having a viewinging party. >> you do a lot of joking. >> ravi's team will begin tomorrow by questioning an investigator on the case. paul cowen's a criminal defense attorney and has been following the case for us. eight or nine character withins are going to come to support ravi. is that going to be enough to get past some of his testimony, which is hard to see? >> they need a lot more than character witnesses. now, i understand why the defense is doing this. they're going to try to throw up the fact that this is a good kid. he's a nice guy. >> did something stupid, maybe heartless, but he's not a bad guy. >> like waving the white flag when you call character witnesses. it means you don't have the evidence, so let's call his friends to say he's a nice guy.
i think they need more. >> should he take the stand? >> you know, the usual thing is, don't put your client on the stand. i would put him on the witness stand. i would let him tell his story to the jury, let him cry, indicate how horrible this has been for his life. i think that's the only thing that could really save him. because if the jury likes him, maybe he walks out of that courtroom. >> before we go, he's deleted text messages, twitters that he sent, tweets, sorry. so some of his friends, one of which he tweeted, did you tell them we did it on purpose. what's that's going to do? >> wow, valuable lesson. you delete these text messages, you think they're gone. they're not. the police got them back. this is the most damaging evidence against him on the hindering apprehension charge, the charge of trying to cover up and lawyers often say watch out for the cover up.
>> cover up is worse than the crime. thank you very much. a ruling by the supreme court in the case of hailey barbo barbour's pardons and a viral video racks up millions of hits on the web. what's it all about? are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers.
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reporting, do the work and find the "outfront 5." israel's prime minister gave a time frame for a strike on iran. >> i am not standing with a stopwatch in hand. it is not a matter of tas and weeks, but also not a matter of years. everybody understands this. >> this confirms what we have been tellinging you on this show, which is that president obama delayed his plans on israel this spring, but did not stop them. david albright tells "outfront" it's essential iran go to the negotiating table ready to admit they did something in the past with nuclear weapons. it is unclear whether that happened or will happen. two, the price of ebooks are at the center of a probe. apple has been warned it could be hit with a lawsuit over allegedly teaming up with publishers to raise the price.
apple and amazon have deals which r forbid publishers from offering discounts. james mcquiby said if that is confirmed, ebook prices could drop by 20%. three, u.s. treasury selling some stake in aig. that brings in $6 billion. this may sound like a lot, but after this sale, taxpayers will still own one and a quarter billion share of aig valued at $36 billion. barclays jay gelb says it looks like the treasury is focused on getting out of aig at a profit, which probably will not happen. number four, jobless claims jumped to 362,000. today's report comes ahead of tomorrow's unemployment numbers. we're going to get that key rate
in the morning. 19 economists are predicting 210,000 jobs were added in february, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged. it's been 217 days since we lost our top credit rating. what is the united states doing to get it back? you may remember that one of the reasons we lost our rating is because congress was fighting over the debt ceiling. today, the house overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to help start businesses. the senate is working on its own version. hey, one small step for congress. one great step for the united states. more than 200 convicts including four murderers are free tonight after the mississippi supreme court upheld the pardons granted by haley barbour before he left office in january. the ruling was 6-3 this afternoon and the court decided the pardons could not be quote set aside or voided by the judicial branch. jim hood filed an injunction to
stop is pardons and told me the anchors were a violation of the law. >> people reserve their right to have that 30 days notice and my job is to bring it to the court's attention and it's up to the court. i was in the well of the mississippi supreme court for an hour and a half, just me arguing, so there are some concerns about it. but the constitution is not just some technicality. it must be strictly construed and followed. >>ing the case for us. the governor and jim hood have commented already tonight. what have they said? >> haley barbour, who has refused our requests for interviews put out a statement and said i'm grateful for the decision issued today by the supreme court of mississippi upholding the governor's constitutional authority to exercise clemency. these were decisions based on
redemption, leading to forgiveness -- to offer such people a second chance. and of course, this is continues not to go over well with victim's families who say they believe is ruling is extremely unfair and they're devastated by this and jim hood, the attorney general you interviewed some time ago also put out a statement. he wasn't doing on camera interviews, but reacted to the supreme court decision this way, saying we respect the decision of the court, but feel for now it must weigh on the victims and their families. it is these victims and family members who have lost today and the criminals who have won. which reminds me of an opinion who said this is a stunning victory for lawless, convicted criminals. >> thank you very much. talked to the victim's families as well tonight. let's bring in jeffrey toobin. you surprised? >> well, in a way.
shocked. i was just blown -- this mississippi constitution has a very unusual provision that says if you want to apply for a pardon, you have to publish your request in a local newspaper 30 days before the pardon can be issued. many of these pardons, there was no publication requirement. >> or they did publish them, but not with 30 days. >> clearly, they didn't do it within 30 days. some didn't do it at all. the mississippi supreme court acknowledged that that part of the constitution was not followed, but they said under the mississippi constitution, the governor's power is so great that that's a technicality. the three descending justies said what do you mean? this is why we have courts. we tell the governor when he's not following the law. they lost. >> so, what happens from here then? does this keep getting appealed
up to the u.s. supreme court? >> no, this is it. this thing is over. this is a decision of the mississippi supreme court interpreting exclusively mississippi law. it has nothing to do with the united states constitution. you could file an appeal, but the united states supreme court is never going to hear this because that's not what they do. this is over. these people are free and it's not just that they are like they're let out of prison. they can vote, they can buy guns, go hunting. it's like they were never convicted at all. >> right, because their past is completely wiped out. >> that's the difference between a pardon. they are not convicted felons under the law. >> it is amazing when you think abt in that context. sfwl certainly, the murderers were not on parole. several were trustys in the governor's mansions. and some of these crimes were who isk. it is just such a shocking story
and i don't think, i think as a legal matter, this thing is just over. >> thank you very much, jeff toobin. there's a viral video that has racked up millions of hits on the webs. webs, sorry. but did the group behind it manipulate some of the information? and a man who made more than a billion dollars by investing in facebook did it and you can too. it involves singing a little rap music inning. [ male announcer ] this is lawn ranger -- eden prairie, minnesota. in here, the landscaping business grows with snow. to keep big winter jobs on track, at&t provided a mobile solution that lets everyone from field workers to accounting, initiate, bill, and track work in real time. you can't live under a dome in minnesota, that's why there's guys like me. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities --
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we do this at the same time every night, our outer circle where we reach out to sources around the world and we begin in syria, where activists say 62 people died today. the violence comes today as assad's government suffered the highest level of defections. arwa damon is following the story from beirut and i asked her how dangerous this decision was and if more defections will follow. >> reporter: erin, these are incredibly dangerous because activists will tell you this is a regime that would not hesitate to kill anyone who dares stand against them and these are also very difficult because according to what others have said to us in the past, the government bans officials from traveling outside of the country without specific permissions and they're all closely monitored. the deputy oil minister is now
in hiding in an undisclosed location. we would really need to see wide scale defections for this to really force the regime to crumble from win and up until now, this is a regime that maintained a fairly solid grip on power, erin. >> thank you, arwa and this sunday, cnn and arwa are giving you a look inside. 72 hours under fire, sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. a video about a warlord has gone viral. it has racked up millions of reposes and tweets. the documentary produced by invisible children, follows an alleged former child soldier in his army and calls for action against the warlord, but the video has been criticized by some who say invisible children manipulated facts and ignores atrocities by the the uganda
government. a spokeswoman says it had to be simplified. i asked brian todd about the 2012 phenomenon. >> this video has gone more viral than anything we've seen on youtube recently. close to 40 million views on youtube in just a few days. it's a half hour long. calls attention to the atrocities committed by joseph kony. they say his army has killed tens of thousands of villagers, abducted people, forced boys to be soldiers, girls into sexual slavery. he wants to overthrow the government based on the ten commandments. he is now on the run from african forces and american troops who have been advising him. this video has really catapulted his profile. jason russell wants to bring more pressure to capture kony
and get him to international court. they say it manipulatines the facts, ignores the fact that kony's army is not as strong as it has been in recent months. the filmmakers say that's because of their work and they realize the uganda army is not innocent here. let's check in with anderson cooper. >> more on the stunning ruling today from the mississippi supreme court. these convicted murderers were freed from prison by haley barbour, now, the state's government has uphold the pardons. we'll speak to the man who was shot, nearly killed by one of those men and a second keeping them honest report tonight on president barack obama, the candidate promised he would run the white house, not washington lobbyists, so how did a guy who used to run a lobbying firm land a senior job in the
administration? we'll discuss that with the panel. those stories and a 360 follow on the shocking story of four sterilizations here in the united states. tens of thousands of people forcib forcibly. >> thanks. looking forward to seeing you then. we all know how hip hop artists are known for flaunting their dough at times. can they teach us how to make it rain? tonight's idea guest says yes. cofounder of -- which has made made a fortune. he launched his own company that he sold to hewlett-packard for $1.6 billion in cash. he came out front to tell us what bill taught him about how
erik smic should run google. >> when i was ceo, i'd listen to music, very instructive for being in business. particularly, hip hop is a lot about business and so it was very useful for me in any job and so then when i kind of became in my new job and people were looki ining to me, if i ha something hard to explain, i'd go, i learned that from a hip hop song. >> i want to see if you can give me a few of them. one set up something by bushville. >> i was writing a piece called peacetime wartime ceo i was trying to describe the difference. wartime ceo could mean a lot.
♪ for me, it's like decisions over correctness is the class ir wartime motto. we're not going to wait for all that negotiating. >> and obviously, wartime peacetime ceo was where you had peacetime, just grow. google labs. go do whatever the heck you wanted. >> take your time. get everybody's input. these kinds of things. where as wartime, we got to go. get your butt in line. we're going. this is the way. get on the bus or get off the bus, like decide. >> and what about kanye west? >> so kanye was really interesting. i had this concept that i had run into, which is really smart people who are not good employees and there's certain patterns to them.
somebody very smart, but just fundamentally trying to take down the company. there's nothing you can do about it. ju here's kanye. the great musical genius of his generation in hip hop, but like society really can't even deal with him because he's always saying something that people go, oh, i can't believe kanye said that. the thing he really had in common with the kind of smart bad employee is that there was always something that kanye said that was correct, right? like it was all wrong, but there's something that was right and that made the whole thing worse and that's always how it happens in the company. somebody is so smart and charismatic, but they're working against you. he comes out with a song, basically describing himself called run away. >> so, one more. rock him.
>> the great -- r as we call him. >> one of the great tenants of the firm, we really preferred that the founder run the company. >> when we invest in a company. so we wrote a post as to why founders do such a great job. it was a really hard post to write, but then i was listening to rock him, one of the founders of rap music. he was struggling with the same concept because a lot of guys were moving into the rap spri from other parts. ♪ and that's exactly how we feel about the professional ceos. combination for the post. >> all right. gas prices are flying. we all know that. who is to blame? and 20% of the people in beverly hills are iranian american and you know who loves them?
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and according to president obama, the united states is producing more oil today than at any time in the past eight years. so what's the deal? well, part of it is refining. crude oil turning into gasoline is a process, and a lot of our refineries are at capacity or not operating. also, fears of a conflict in iran are also driving prices. if tensions cool with iran, we could see oil prices drop very quickly, $10 to $15 a barrel, just like that. but there's something more to all of this -- speculation. and that brings us to tonight's number, 56. according to the cftc commissioner, the guy in charge of overseeing commodity charging in this country, his name is bart chillton, he says that's how many cents speculators have added to gallons of gasoline. the question is, are they to blame for rising prices or simply betting correctly on where prices are headed? part of the problem, in recent
years, many american retirement funds, through pensions and 401(k)s have started to be able to invest in commodities, and people have been putting their money there on purpose, regular investors, retirees, betting that demand from places like china will send prices for things like oil higher and higher. but the more money that floods into commodities, the higher the prices go. this issue isn't easy, and we applaud the president's oil and gas price working group, it's going to focus in on fraud. they're coming back to work this week with after a ten-month hiatus. we hope they'll find out if anybody is purposely manipulating the system just to make money. betting on oil prices may be okay, but cheating and fraud is not. well, more than half of the iranians in this country live in california, and we're going to get to, well, meet a few of the more strange ones this weekend. and hurtle us all into space, which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd and you still need to retire,
the tv channel tlc confirmed today that the reality show "all american muslim" won't be back for a second season due to low ratings. the reality show followed the lives of muslim families in dearborn, michigan, but it got its most publicity when it was involved in a controversy. in december, lowe's pulled ads on the show in response to a protest from the florida family association, which called the show muslim propaganda. when the controversy ended, the ratings dropped. turns out they were too normal. this week, this has another controversy over religion-theme