Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Soledad O’Brien Leads CNN’s Network-Wide From Lincoln to Obama

CNN Press Release - Special Coverage Examines Bridge Between 16th and 44th Presidents on Feb. 12, Beginning at 9 a.m. (ET)

Anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien leads a CNN special live event, From Lincoln to Obama, on Thursday, Feb. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (ET). Along with Newsroom anchors Don Lemon and Kyra Phillips, O’Brien and CNN will take a network-wide look at the bridge between the times of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama on the bicentennial celebration of Lincoln’s birth.

CNN will broadcast live from Lincoln bicentennial events in Washington, D.C., and Springfield, Ill., as the network builds upon the original and innovative coverage of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the Obama inauguration. With live reports on the new administration, the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, CNN explores the state of affairs – both now and in the 1860s – that tie these two presidents together.

The day’s coverage includes live reports about Obama’s visit to Lincoln’s home in Springfield. Campbell Brown: No Bias. No Bull. will air the president’s speech from that location at about 8:45 p.m. (ET). Anderson Cooper 360° will include analysis and reporting about Obama’s day in Springfield at 10 p.m. (ET)

From the Springfield announcements of their respective presidential campaigns to Obama using Lincoln’s inaugural ceremony bible at his own swearing-in ceremony, Lincoln and Obama face a number of extraordinary national challenges.

Additionally, Obama’s public admiration of Lincoln has inspired a renewed fascination with the 16th president. A Lincoln biography hit the best seller list after Obama was photographed with it as he carried it with him on the campaign trail. Fan clubs and Web sites are dedicated to Lincoln 200 years after his birth, stimulating a new pop culture captivation of his life and times and how they bridge across current affairs today.

Award-winning actor Sam Waterston will re-enact Lincoln’s famous speeches for CNN’s audience. Waterston has portrayed Lincoln on stage and screen and also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Lincoln Bicentennial., the network’s user-generated online news community, will invite contributors to read Lincoln’s second inaugural address, which will be edited together to recreate the speech in a video that will be a part of CNN’s special coverage.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

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