Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
May 25th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

'After Etan' author 'not convinced' that suspect in custody is Patz's killer

The NYPD announced Thursday that they've arrested Pedro Hernandez in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who disappeared 33 years ago today.

Hernandez, 51, is a former Manhattan store clerk who lived in Patz’s neighborhood when the boy was killed. Hernandez told detectives he lured Patz into the basement of his store with a soda, choked him and disposed of his body in the trash.

No physical evidence or motive have been revealed at this time. Police say they were acting on a tip, and now have a written, signed confession by Hernandez in addition to 3.5 hours of video-taped statements.

Hernandez is expected to be arraigned later this morning.

The Patz family has been kept up to date with all of the developments. Police say Mr. Patz was surprised but “handled it well” after everything he’s been through.

"After Etan" author Lisa Cohen weighs in on this development in the case on Starting Point today, saying she is not convinced that Hernandez is the killer.

"I'd never heard his name before today," Cohen explains.

May 22nd, 2012
01:08 PM ET

Senators propose new bill for immigrant entrepreneurs

A new bipartisan bill, Startup Act 2.0, aims to keep global talent in America by providing benefits to immigrants who launch startups.

On Starting Point this morning, Senators Mark Wagner (D-VA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) describe their bill, insisting that they don’t think an election year is an excuse to not get anything done.

Startup Act 2.0, essentially the sequel to the Jobs Act, offers new visa classes for immigrants, as well as incentives to invest in startups and tax credits for new businesses. It will also use existing federal funds to help universities bring their research to the market faster.

To be eligible, an individual must have completed graduate-level work in science, technology, engineering or math. Within a year, he or she must launch a business that has two full-time employees who are not family members, and their company must raise capital of at least $100,000.

May 22nd, 2012
10:43 AM ET

'Dear World' photography project features Joplin tornado survivors

In honor of the one year anniversary of the tornado that ravaged their town, survivors of Joplin's tornado join New Orleans natives as part of the "Dear Me" photo project, a series of pictures by photographer Robert Fogarty that show devastated communities and people on the rebound.

On Starting Point this morning, Fogarty explains the concept behind the project, explaining that he brought his subjects to places of significance around Joplin and asked them to write how they were feeling with a Sharpie marker on their bodies.

In one photo, a man named Bradley German holds his son Brody. Across Brody’s back, under a huge scar, is the word “survivor.” Fogarty brought the two to St. John’s, the hospital they went to when Brody got his injury during the tornado, and photographed them there.

At the same hospital, Fogarty took pictures of Philip Wilkinson, a relatively unknown hero who took a wrench to a gas line at the hospital, ensuring that it didn’t blow up. Wilkinson's hands read “faith” and “hope.”

Fogarty's idea for the project came from the acknowledgement that society has become accustomed to fitting as much information as possible onto one space.

“I figured I’d distill everything down to a person’s story and message on their body,” Fogarty explains.

May 21st, 2012
11:55 AM ET

Atlantic Council VP: Summit characterized by determining how NATO will operate in an age of austerity

The war in Afghanistan is at the center of the NATO Summit in Chicago, but intertwined are issues with the economy and Pakistan.

“I think this whole summit is characterized by how does NATO operate in an age of austerity when defense budgets are tight,” says Damon Wilson, former top aid to the NATO Secretary General and current Vice President of the Atlantic Council.

President Obama might not have a lot of trouble rallying support for his exit strategy since Wilson says it includes transferring power to Afghan soldiers, which will result in cheaper roles for the other countries involved.

However, Pakistan is making some of Obama’s plans difficult. The country refused to open supply lines into Afghanistan, and President Asif Ali Zardari’s invitation to the summit came at the last minute.

Wilson acknowledges the strained relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. on Starting Point this morning, but says Zardari’s presence at the summit is meaningful.

Regarding the participation of Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai at the summit, Wilson says that he has been "saying all the right things" and explains that the White House is pleased with his attitude.

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May 18th, 2012
12:16 PM ET

David Cassidy discusses his mother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease

“The Partridge Family” star and musician David Cassidy is speaking out in support of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America in honor of his mother, who is struggling with the disease.

Although he was known for his big television family, and was actually the step-son of his TV mom Shirley Jones, Cassidy is his mother's only son. Her mind started to disappear about 10 years ago, right around the time her husband died. Now, she has severe dementia, and Cassidy stresses on Starting Point today how crucial companionship has been to fighting the progression of the disease.

“This is terribly important for someone experiencing it with a family member or friends, companionship is essential; keeping them present and being,” Cassidy explains.

Cassidy’s mother still recognizes him, but she has been found wandering around at night, lost.

To help other people avoid this scary situation, Cassidy is speaking out and spreading awareness about the disease. He says that the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America can be a great source for solutions for the disease that he refers to as an "epidemic."

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Filed under: Alzheimer's
May 11th, 2012
11:00 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Friday, May 11, 2012


This Friday’s playlist started with panelist Marc Lamont Hill’s choice, “Cool” by Anthony Hamilton. Marc also played No Doubt’s 2002 hit “Underneath It All.”

Abby Huntsman got quite a few of her favorite songs on the playlist this morning. Up first was “Bruises” by Train, the band that was known for its catchy hit “Hey, Soul Sister” but is probably about to be known for having its own brand of wine. Also on Abby’s playlist were “Satellite” by The Wanted and “This Love” by Maroon 5.

From Will Cain’s playlist today was “Nashville Blues” by Cory Morrow. Like many musicians from Will’s playlist, and like Will himself, Morrow is a Texan. He’s gained a loyal following throughout the Southwest and is currently touring throughout Texas.

Early Start anchor Zoraida Sambolin stepped in to read the headlines this morning, and her playlist pick was “She Wolf” by Shakira. The singer has been in the news recently for a multimillion dollar deal with Sony, who is said to release her next three albums. Zoraida also chose “Rain Over Me” by Pitbull and Marc Anthony.

SP guest Robert Faturechi contributed Jay Z and Kanye West’s “Primetime” to the playlist. The song samples “Action” by Orange Krush, a track produced by Russell Simmons.

Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” was on the playlist thanks to Gabriel Arana. The song only reached #86 on the U.S.charts, and was only performed live in 1979.

Closing out the week a song fromSoledad’s playlist, “My Hero” by the Foo Fighters. The song has been used a lot in popular culture, appearing in several movies and television shows. An acoustic version was released by the band Paramore.

May 9th, 2012
10:14 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Today’s show opened with Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” chosen by guest Janelle Brown of Sister Wives. The song made it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has maintained its popularity, played on shows like The Simpsons and Nickelodeon’s Angry Beavers.

Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock spoke with Soledad this morning and contributed U2’s “Beautiful Day” to the playlist. The song has received many honors and awards, including three Grammys.

Senator Bill Bradley stopped by the show and from his playlist we heard “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. The version was released in 1968, and has been remade many times, most recently remade by Tony Bennett as a duet with K.D. Lang.

The panel contributed a few songs to the playlist. “Baby I’m a Star” by Prince was Roland Martin’s choice, and “Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp played thanks to Will Cain. Margaret Hoover got two songs on the playlist: “Lost” by Coldplay and “Feelin’ Alright” by Joe Cocker.

Christine Romans played “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel, whose 63rd birthday is today.

A few special songs were added to the playlist in honor of SP guest Suzanne Somers. “I’m Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO, and the classic “Three’s Company” by the Hit Crew.

May 4th, 2012
09:55 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Friday, May 4, 2012


Starting Point was live from Atlanta this morning, but Anita Baker was back in New York to kick off her new tour. She stopped by to chat with Soledad, who dedicated her entire Friday playlist to the singer. You heard “Giving You the Best That I Got,” “You Bring Me Joy” and “Sweet Love.”

Former mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin joined the panel and played Kelly Clarkson’s hit “Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You),” the original American Idol’s best-selling single of her ten-year career. Shirley’s second choice was “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief at, also sat on the SP panel this morning. His choice for the playlist was “This Girl” by the Punch Brothers.

Former Real Housewives of Atlanta star DeShawn Snow was another panelist and got three of her favorite songs on the playlist: “New Life” by Monica, “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, and “Lullaby” by Nickelback.

And finally, Christine Romans’ contributed a couple of playlist songs this morning, starting with “Stay (Wasting Time)” by the Dave Matthews Band. Also, in honor of all the Star Wars fans out there, Christine played the movie’s classic theme song by John Williams. May the fourth be with you!

May 2nd, 2012
10:50 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Wednesday, May 2, 2012


This morning Seth Jones, former senior adviser of U.S. Special Operations Command in Afghanistan, stopped by Starting Point and began the playlist with “Talk” by Coldplay. The song was almost scrapped when the band was trying to decide on the tracklisting for the “X&Y” album because of recording difficulties. Lead singer Chris Martin said that when it was finally mixed properly, it sounded “mega.”

The next choice was panelist Meredith Baxter’s. She chose “Smooth” by Santana, featuring Rob Thomas. The 1999 song had huge success, and was the last #1 song of the 20th century. Meredith also played a SP playlist favorite, “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.

Will Cain’s playlist included “New York Groove” by Ace Frehley; it was the most successful single any of the KISS members released as solo acts. Will’s other song choice for the day was “Jack and Diane” by John Mellencamp.

Christine Romans woke everyone up with her contributions to today’s playlist. First up was “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5, which sold 7 million units last year, making it the band’s most popular song to date. Christine also played M/A/R/R/S’ “Pump Up the Volume,” a popular British dance song from the 1980s.

Governor Tim Pawlenty brought Bruce Springsteen back to the SP playlist with “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight).” The popular song was released in 1973 and is a fan favorite at live shows. It’s even received a lot of radio play, despite the fact that it was never released as a single in the U.S. and is just over seven minutes in length.

“Mr. Wendal” by Arrested Development was John Fugelsang’s music selection this morning. The 1992 single did well on the charts when it was released and has remained in the minds of pop culture enthusiasts. It was mentioned in an episode of American Dad when a character was dressed as a bird; the song is about not treating the homeless differently because of how they look.

What do you want to hear on SP in the morning? Leave your suggestion below in a comment or!/StartingPtCNN!

April 27th, 2012
11:54 AM ET

Starting Point playlist for Friday, April 27, 2012


This Friday’s playlist began with Will Cain deviating from his country roots and playing “Brass Monkey” by the Beastie Boys. He continued to switch it up with two more songs: “Hard to Handle” by the Black Crowes and “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin. Like Soledad said, he got quite a few songs in today because his beard was the subject of this morning’s Get Real.

Marc Lamont Hill, a professor at Columbia University, sat on the SP panel this morning and had a diverse couple of songs as well. Up first was “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, better known to some as Will Smith and his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sidekick Jazz. Marc also chose “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses.

John Fugelsang’s playlist also saw a lot of airtime today, beginning with The Band’s “Atlantic City.” We also heard “The Day” by the Roots and Franz Ferdinand’s cover of the Blondie hit “Call Me.”

In honor of mixed martial artist and Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre stopping by the studio, today’s playlist included “It’s a Fight” by Three 6 Mafia and “Fuego” by Pitbull.

Actor Tony Hale, famous for playing Buster Bluth on Arrested Development, checked in with Soledad and the panel to discuss his role on the new HBO series VEEP. Tony sent in a couple of his favorite songs for the playlist: “Let Him Fly” by Patty Griffin and “Washed by the Water” by NeedToBreathe.

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