Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
June 8th, 2012
11:06 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Friday, June 8, 2012

Opening today's show from CNN correspondent Richard Roth's playlist was "A Horse with No Name" by the band America. Roth reports from Belmont Park in preparation for this weekend's Belmont Stakes and I'll Have Another's potentially historic Triple Crown win.

Also played:

Panelist Margaret Hoover's playlist:
Naked Eyes - "Always Something There to Remind Me."
Dexy's Midnight Runners - "Come On Eileen."

Panelist Ron Brownstein's playlist:
The Black Keys - "Gold on the Ceiling."

Soledad O'Brien's playlist:
Rihanna - "Please Don't Stop the Music."

May 30th, 2012
01:03 PM ET

Tenn. mosque ordered to cease and desist construction, spokesman says he thinks it was 'singled out' for its faith

Last year, Soledad visted the town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee outside Nashville to report on a local mosque-building controversy. Reminiscent of such occasions as the 2010 "Ground Zero Mosque" outrage in New York, her report prompted the obvious question: What is the state of American tolerance?

A Tennessee judge ruled yesterday that construction of the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro must be halted because the city wasn't given enough notice of the project, rendering permits invalid.

Saleh Sbenaty, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, talks with Soledad about his concerns this morning on "Starting Point."

"We have a church next door, and they have applied thorugh the same process, and they were approved through the same process," Sbenaty says. "I"m not sure why we would be any different. We're just American citizens, as everybody else. Why are we singled out?"

See the rest of the interview in the clip above.

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Filed under: Islam • Tolerance
May 25th, 2012
11:05 AM ET

'The Demise of Guys:' Are video games and pornography ruining America's young men?

Where have all the good men gone? Nikita Duncan, psychologist, artist, and recent author, joins Starting Point today to offer her answer to that question: blame male struggles on video games and porn.

Together with Stanford professor emeritus and fellow psychologist Philip Zimbardo, Duncan authored the e-book "The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It," released on Wednesday.

As stated in the book, by age 21, the average guy has immersed himself in approximately 10,000 hours of video games - the equivalent of the amount of time it takes to earn two Bachelors degrees.

Duncan says that the digital era is literally rewiring how the male brain functions and creating a generation with an unprecedented addiction - to arousal.

Unlike drug or alcohol addicts, an arousal addict doesn't merely crave arousal each time, Duncan argues. Instead, he craves novelty: something new, something better, something different.

Duncan stresses that this mindset can be highly damaging to an individual's interactions and relationships.

"If you watch excessive amounts of porn, you're going to find it hard to have real life relationships, because you're developing your sexuality independently of real people," Duncan explains. "You're not going to be stimulated."

May 24th, 2012
11:28 AM ET

Utah Sen. Mike Lee talks Romney campaign, federal regulation

Utah Sen. Mike Lee joins Starting Point this morning to talk politics– primarily, Romney's promise to cut the unemployment rate, the current housing market, and his state's infraction of a federal soda ban in schools.

An outspoken Mitt Romney supporter, Lee believes that Romney's laissez-faire approach to government is exactly what the country needs to relieve both the current 9.8 unemployment rate and 800 million dollars of equity debt in the housing market.

"When you have less revenue coming in the door, you have more money going out the door," Lee says. "You have to find ways of trimming." Romney, he insists, knows where and how to do so.

As for federal fines issued in his state over soda sales in schools, Lee says:

"It's certainly wildly inappropriate for the federal government to be saying 'look, you had a vending machine that was on too long in our opinion, so we're going to fine you $15,000.' This is going to cost real students real oportunities in the classroom. These are decisions that should not be made from Washington DC– they should be made at the local level."

May 23rd, 2012
11:51 AM ET

Alice Eve on her role in 'Men in Black 3' and working with Will Smith

Actress Alice Eve wanted Soledad to know one thing when she first stepped into the Starting Point studio this morning: the spectacular blonde hairstyle for her latest film is, in fact, her own hair.

On today's show, the “Men In Black 3” leading lady discusses the experience of working with seasoned stars Will Smith and Josh Brolin.

Eve plays the young Emma Thompson in the blockbuster trilogy’s final installment. She also starred as Emily Hamilton, the love interest of Edgar Allen Poe (played by John Cusack), in last month’s “The Raven."

Eve says she's no stranger to learning how to fit in; a good thing, considering she's new to the MIB series. She went to nine different schools during her educational career: "I swapped accents and cultures - and dress codes," Eve says, laughing.

The first “Men In Black," released in 1997, grossed close to $251 million domestically; the sequel, released in 2002, brought in about $190 million. “Men In Black 3” hits theaters this Friday.

May 23rd, 2012
10:35 AM ET

Rep. King: 'Body-bomb' passenger should have been screened more thoroughly

After a French woman handed a note declaring that she had a "device" implanted under her skin to a flight attendant on US Flight 787 yesterday, the plane made an emergency landing in Maine.

Passengers were told that the plane was landing to refuel after experiencing strong headwinds. In-flight, doctors searched the woman and found no recents scars that would indicate a "body-bomb."

Nevertheless, the 179 passengers and nine crew members aboard were greeted by law enforcement upon landing. The woman in question, who had been flying alone without luggage, was arrested and is reportedly undergoing psychological evaluation.

On Starting Point this morning, Rep. Peter King says he was "very concerned" about the situation because terrorists have been exploring the potential use of "body-bombs."

King insists that the fact that the woman was traveling alone for ten days without luggage should have raised suspicions, saying,  "I think she should have been taken aside and at least given what we call a secondary screening."

King also weighs in on an upcoming movie about Osama Bin Laden, saying that although he gives the Obama administration "tremendous credit" for killing the terrorist, he’s concerned about the degree of "cooperation and collaboration" between Hollywood and the administration.

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Filed under: Terrorism