tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 22, 2010 2:00am-3:00am EDT
tonight, christine o'donnell ducking the tough questions but threatening to sue the watchdog group that says she committed campaign finance fraud. she's avoiding our questions but tonight talking to fox. how did her answers stack up against the facts? we're keeping them honest. also tonight what is sarah palin up to?
she's released a new ad promoting the tea party but is it the first signal she's planning a presidential run? what if you were sick and no doctor could figure out what was wrong? tonight a seriously ill little girl battling an illness, you'll meet the disease detectives racing the clock to solve her life and death medical mystery. we begin with christine o'donnell who increasingly appears to be trying to run a stealth campaign not answering questions from reporters and today not even telling reporters where her campaign event was taking place. why would she do that? well, take a look. this is what happened last night when our reporter, gary tuchman went to an o'donnell event and tried to ask her one question about allegations she spent campaign money on personal expenses after the campaign was over, which is a violation of federal election law. >> reporter: may i ask you the one question you promised you'd answer? >> i did answer it. >> reporter: why were you paying rent money with campaign money? >> not happening. >> reporter: that was the one
question. >> i answered it. >> reporter: no, you didn't answer it. >> gary called the campaign to find out where the event was today that was supposed to take place, what time so he could go, but they wouldn't say, saying it was closed to reporters. she appears to be closely following the tweeted advice of sarah palin, see o'donnell strategy, time's limited. use it to connect with local voters whom you'll be serving versus appeasing national media seeking your destruction. there are plenty of liberal media outlets that probably want christine o'donnell to fail, but i want to make it very clear, i'm not one of them. i'm not trying to beat up on christine o'donnell. we also have questions about her opponent, chris coons. these people are running for a seat in the u.s. senate. it's their choice. they should be ready and open to answering questions from all quarters. christine o'donnell wants to serve the people of delaware, not just those who agree with her, and it's our job to help voters make up their own minds. i'm not making a big deal out of 11-year-old witch craft comments or the stuff she said about touching yourself years ago, want to ask her specifics about checks she wrote, serious allegations from former aides
and employees, people who ran her campaigns. there's one media outlet sarah palin told her she should use, fox news, and tonight o'donnell broke her silence on sean hannity's program in the last hour. remarkably, though, she was never asked during the 20-minute or so interview about any of serious allegations made against her. instead it was questions like this. >> bill maher. a friend of yours obviously, you did his show a lot. >> unfortunately. >> he comes up with this tape, what was it, 1999, you made an appearance. >> yes. >> talking i guess about a boyfriend when you were a teenager. >> right, right, right. >> saying that you had dabbled into witchcraft. why don't you explain for people that may be -- what was that about? >> well, teenage rebellion. you know? some people dabble in drugs in rebel, that's how i rebelled. but who didn't do some questionable things in high school and who doesn't regret the '80s and to some extent, i certainly do, and i most certainly regret bringing it up
to bill maher. >> what's it like living under -- being the main focus of every news show? is it fun? i'm sure you're enjoying it. >> two things, it's not fun because today there was a news crew filming my father raking leaves. i went to a forum last night. >> you've got to buy him a blower. i don't know -- >> he likes that, it relieves stress and he's under a lot of stress right now. but it's interfering with my ability to campaign. >> all the talk about doing this national show, that national show, is it off the table for you? >> it's off the table because that's not going to help me get votes. i instead want to go to as many town hall forums, as many candidate forums, as many church picnics that i can fit into my schedule so that i can meet the voters. >> well, that's it, no national news shows except for sean hannity tonight on fox. she says she's going to spend time with delaware voters and because that's what counts. well, we got a lot to talk about in this hour ahead as we focus on it, gary tuchman has been reporting on the o'donnell campaign since last week trying to get her to answer those
specific questions. what jumped out at you in the interview tonight? >> reporter: it is a delicious irony she went on national media to say she didn't want to talk to the national media. but we did watch and listen, and we did not hear a lot when it came to her elaborating the stuff we checked out the past week, for example, what about the claim that you've spend $20,000 in campaign funding for personal expenditures she said she did not. it was just left at that. but opponents of hers and opponents are mostly republicans talking to us, not democrats, republicans have been talking to us about this. they stress they believe she's lived on campaign contributions over the past few years, that she's used them for gas, for restaurants, gas stations in her hometown in new jersey while she wasn't running for anything in the year 2009. but then went on, people have been speculating about what kind of jobs she had, she talked a bit about public relations work she does for nonprofit companies. >> i take nonprofit clients. i do freelance work. >> reporter: one of the
allegations is how has she survived without making much money because the reports we've investigated do show she has not made a regular liveable salary for at least five years. she also talked about tax problems she has. she was asked about a lien that the irs gave to her. they said she owed a lot of money. she made it very clear at least to the viewers listening to her, that perhaps she did not owe any money, she had no problem whatsoever and there were no more problems with the irs. listen. >> i've paid my taxes, they're trying to go after an erroneous tax lien that the irs admitted was a computer error. >> reporter: the irs admitted it was a computer error but records we have this spring show she did indeed this past spring pay thousands of dollars in back taxes after the irs said it was not a computer error. she also talked about a panel discussion that was held last night with candidates that chris
coons did not show up to because it was a mostly conservative audience. she's right, he did not show up at that, and she stressed she showed up last week before a liberal audience, a jewish community center in delaware. what we should say is wasn't necessarily a liberal audience. it was also packed with tea party supporters, people wearing t-shirts that said o'donnell. she got lots of loud applause, polite applause from those not necessarily in favor. it was a very friendly crowd but it's very fair to say there was loud applause from tea party supporters at that particular political panel which was held last thursday in wilmington, delaware. one final thing we should mention. she said the media was pushing and shoving at that particular event. i've been covering politics almost 30 years and it was nothing out of the ordinary. they were coming up to here. that's what happens with any high profile political campaign and she mentioned perhaps it would be good if the media was kept out of certain events. and frankly i think for most americans that gives you a little chill.
when we go to places like cuba and iran and north korea and china we're often kept out. the media's kept out. there's no free reporting. it's just something we really don't like to hear in the united states of america to keep the media out. anderson? >> gary, appreciate it. tonight plenty of raw politics for our panel tonight. we're also looking into allegations being made against her opponent. trying to see what's true and what's not about him. but first john avlon, senior political writer for daily beast and author of "wing nuts," erick erickson, editor in chief of red state.com and john ridley editor and founder of thatminoritything.com. and an npr commentator. erick, what do you make of this, on fox news saying everyone's attacking her and the media is getting in the way of her campaigning? does that -- does that strike true to you? >> look, this is a campaign and she's playing to her base. she's mobilizing the base. the base thinks there's a liberal bias in the media. some of the questions and
answers, some of the attacks, so-called attacks in the media play to the base. they rally them, make her look sympathetic, and she can get people out to vote based on this, and you know there are a lot of republicans in washington patting themselves on the back today because the media is so focused on christine o'donnell they're not looking at other republican candidates and they're all thinking, glad it's christine o'donnell. >> i get the hatred of the media and stuff, but to hear a major candidate for the u.s. senate saying, they're hurting my campaign by asking me questions and they're taking pictures of my dad on the lawn, i'm certainly sympathetic to that, someone's family shouldn't be bothered and stuff. but if she actually made herself available to the media rather than run away and refuse to ask questions, i mean, it just seemed odd. >> frankly she doesn't care about the national media and she doesn't really need to. it's kind of the rand paul strategy in kentucky. he's raising a lot of money, he's now 20 points ahead although admittedly she's
behind, but they're focused on local media and the national media stuff, to have gary bring up the point about christine saying maybe there's some events that the media shouldn't go to and then jumping into this is china, korea and cuba, when conservatives hear that, they're thinking obviously this is biased whether it is or not. she's playing to her base and the media's just helping her. >> john is the media making it easier for her? >> she's able to play the victim card which may play well to certain elements of the base, but you need to be consistent about the standards. so often in the political debates we have in this country are filtered through a partisan prism. if she's trying to play locally, how come she only got five in-state donations this year? most money was national money, activist money that flooded the campaign late in the closed partisan primary she won. she's trying to win in delaware where she's got a huge deficit against republicans and electoral advantage towards democrats and independents. she can talk about trying to connect to her base and play in state but that hasn't been how
she's conducted her campaigns in the last times she's run in the last five years. >> john, you know, election's only six weeks away from tonight. is it fair for voters to be influenced by a group, crew, calling for an investigation, an investigation that won't be completed by election day? i mean, that would strike some people as unfair against her. they're basically making these allegations against her and no one's going to be able to investigate it in time, really. >> i don't know whether it's unfair or not to bring up what could be a real issue, and she certainly has an opportunity to answer those. she talked about on the show she posted letters from the irs that address these issues. i read them. to me, they're fairly inconclusive. but she does, john and erick both talk about playing to the base. playing to the base is not going to work. she's got very negative numbers in delaware. 60% of likely voters think she's not qualified. this is a state where the electorate is actually in line with a lot of the tea party principles, getting rid of health care, reducing the budget, reducing government and things like that.
this for her is not about the issues. this is really about likability. people have got to learn what she's about. so bringing up these issues, whether they're fair or not fair, that's politics. it's can she answer them, and will she answer them for the people who are going to vote for her. and by the way, not just to close a republican primary now, this is wide open now. >> you know, john avlon, erick brings up an interesting point, something gary tuchman said, which seemed kind of overboard to me, but he raises an interesting point about bias, and i think bias is something that certainly i'm obsessed with and try to eradicate it to the extent that it's possible. do you think the media or us or anyone in the media is focusing more on her -- do you think if she was a democrat, would -- and she just had kind of appeared on the national scene, won a surprise election, do you think she'd be getting, with the same kind of record, she'd be getting the same focus? >> maybe not. i think both sides do tend to take a look at crazies on their own side and say, well they may be crazy but they're our
crazies. they're quick to give them the benefit of the doubt. that's why it's so important to be consistent in the standards you apply. the witch craft story is just an issue of the larger iceberg of stories that seem to be coming out consistently about her, because she put herself on television throughout the 1990s as a professional social conservative activist. now that's coming back to haunt her. now the questions coming into play, you can't spin your way out of, those are legal issues. >> also to some extent you have former campaign workers doing -- you had a former campaign worker doing a robocall against her during the campaign and you had karl rove coming out subsequent to the campaign, that rarely happens so that certainly adds to the focus on her, i think. >> absolutely. i'm willing to bet there's been more national media ink spilled on christine o'donnell than there ever was on alvin green, except for the fact he may or may not have been a republican plant and when it was proven he wasn't a plant they ditched the story.
the republicans have sabotaged this lady. but people like karl rove went after her and sean hannity a few weeks ago, the night she won, they've savaged her. i've said all along the republicans aren't going to win the senate, she's probably not going to win delaware. the republican establishment turned on her so viciously because she dared to beat their precious mike castle. i frankly find kind of funny. they're eating their own. the humor here and the irony is the media and republicans are so focused on christine o'donnell they're not focusing on sharron angle or rand paul or linda mcmahon or any of these other candidates, all of whom are breathing a sigh of relief. >> i think the o'donnell story compounds that narrative about sharron angle and adds fuel to that fire. the reason there was conservative concern about her winning from magazines like "the weekly standard," "reason" which called her a crack pot of the first order before the primary was in part because they knew mike castle could win joe biden's seat and that would move them towards winning the senate.
they knew this would be a disaster coming down the pike. >> we've got to take a break. appreciate you guys being on. thank you. just ahead, the watchdog group christine o'donnell is threatening to sue, what do they have to say about her claims of libel. let us know what you think. live chat is happening. ac360.com. also ahead, her challenger, chris coons caught up in a controversy of his own, words he wrote a quarter century ago about being a bearded marxist. those two words are being used against him. we check the record. and sanjay gupta, this little girl battling an unknown killer. tonight kylie's parents continue their desperate search for a diagnosis. >> i feel like a bad parent. why can't i help my kid? >> can't really put it into words. just helpless. have made me, rich and hearty.
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as we mentioned, christine o'donnell is firing back against accusations she's misused campaign funds. citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington has filed complaints with the federal election commission and the u.s. attorney's office in delaware alleging o'donnell used campaign money to pay her personal expenses. the executive director of the group melanie sloan has called o'donnell a criminal who should be prosecuted. o'donnell's attorney is now threatening to sue. >> i've looked at what ms. melanie sloan has filed and what she is saying is untrue. she's libelled christine o'donnell, we're looking into that because she has committed libel per se, slander per se, by calling my client names. i am the counsel to the campaign and i've looked at lots of campaign, fec reports, and the things she's saying simply are not true. >> melanie sloan is back with us tonight. melanie, what about that? ms. mitchell is not parsing her words, accusing of you slander and libel.
what's your response? >> she needs to go back and hit the law books. christine o'donnell is a public figure and we've said nothing but the truth about o'donnell. they'd have to prove c.r.e.w. acted with reckless disregard for the truth at the very least and we've only spoken the truth, as anybody who goes through ms. o'donnell's finance forms can clearly see. we're very comfortable with where we stand. >> i want to play you something else ms. mitchell had to say. >> c.r.e.w. is a left wing george soros funded liberal group that makes -- gets its donations because it goes after republicans and conservatives. that's what melanie sloan does. she should not have a tax exempt organization, she should lose her tax exempt status because of the way that she interferes and intervenes in partisan campaign activities. >> i mean, what about that? george soros-funded liberal left-leaning group? >> c.r.e.w. is not a left
leaning group, we take all comers. we go after republicans, democrats, liberals, conservatives. we go after public officials and candidates who do the wrong thing. we're about right and wrong, not democrat -- >> funded by george soros? >> indeed, the open society institute which gets its money from george soros has given us money, but if soros gives money to us because he thinks we only go after republicans i guess he's sadly disappointed by all of the actions we've taken against so many democrats including eddie bernice johnson, charlie rangel, maxine waters and a whole host of others. c.r.e.w. is nonpartisan. >> plenty of republicans will see this and say, look, or anyone watching this, you're saying christine o'donnell is guilty of this. wasn't she just as guilty a few weeks ago and you didn't raise this up prior in the campaign. it's only now that it's in the final weeks of the campaign, you could have even waited until after the election, you know, and once the american people
decided and then bring up these allegations. i mean, because these allegations can't be proven or disproven in this short amount of time, you know, by officials. >> well, you asked earlier if it was fair to bring this up, and, of course, it's fair. character is a critical issue to american voters when considering candidates at the polls. when there are issues that reflect upon a candidate's honesty and integrity, we have questions and a candidate should answer them. instead christine o'donnell is refusing to answer any questions about these issues when it's reporters for your show who confront her or any other media. instead she says she's ethical and you can't question her. i think voters want to know how she can explain living off her campaign funds for so many years and basically stealing supporters' money. >> we also had a woman from the tea party group on last night who said she looked through the people running your organization and they're basically all democrats or people who experienced democratic politics, you don't have republicans and
so how can you really say you're nonpartisan. >> the people who work for c.r.e.w. are nonpartisan. i've also been a federal prosecutor. that's not a partisan position. i think c.r.e.w.'s record speaks for itself. it doesn't matter, it's about right or wrong, not democrat or republican. >> melanie sloan, appreciate your time. christine o'donnell's democratic challenger is also facing questions about his past. his critics are calling him a marxist, it all has to do with an article he wrote years ago. we have the article and the raw politics and we'll see what he has to say about it as well. we'll show you the sarah palin ad wondering if this is her bid for election. you can watch it and judge for yourself. and later, a woman whose body is turning against her, most doctors cannot tell her why. dr. sanjay gupta shows us why she's desperate to get answers from a unique team of disease detectives. >> i felt certain that if there wasn't a diagnosis, i felt it was pretty certain that it would
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tonight, christine o'donnell's democratic challenger, chris coons has been speaking out about his own controversy. he has been called a marxist, pointing to this article he wrote for his college newspaper in 1985. the headline, "chris coons, the making of a bearded marxist." he talked about the allegations against him. >> i am not now, nor have i ever been a marxist.
or an enemy of the people of the united states. frankly at a time when we've got 35,000 delawarians out of work, real economic problems to tackle, i'm just disappointed we're spending time talking about the title of an article written in a student newspaper 25 years ago. but i think it is important to speak to it and put it to bed. i'm not a marxist. i've never held marxist ideas. i believe strongly in the free enterprise system and have worked hard for eight years in one of delaware's most innovative private sector manufacturing firms. >> if that's true why did he write that article with that headline? tom foreman tonight is keeping them honest. tom? >> reporter: the attacks from the right against the democratic nominee are taking two base being tacks, is he a left-leaning anti-american communist, or, he's a left-leaning anti-american communist tax and spend liberal. that's pretty much what they're saying here. the trouble dates back to 19 85 when he was in his 20s, a student at amherst college. an active young republican. when he went to africa to study, saw great poverty and he came back changed.
writing this article that you just mentioned for the student paper. chris coons, the making of a bearded marxist, in which he says, i came to suspect that the ideal of america as a beacon of freedom and justice providing hope for the world was not exactly based on reality. and the conservative talk circuit is tearing him up over this. >> i mean, this democrat is a marxist. i mean, there's a joke going around he's a bearded marxist or marxist with a beard. he describes himself that way. this guy is a sitting duck. >> if she says she's a witch, this guy said he's a marxist? who are you going to vote for? i'd rather have the witch than the marxist. >> reporter: the coons campaign and the candidate himself denies all this. they say the term bearded marxist was a joke among his staunchly republican family members who suggested when he became a democrat it was essentially the same as becoming a communist and the campaign
says he was reacting to what -- he was reacting to with what he saw as failures in the reagan policies, especially in africa, not failures to the overall american system. anderson? >> well, the natural thing to ask is what about his actual policies? he has a track record, a number of conservatives say he's repeatedly raised taxes as a county executive and presided over a nearly bankrupt budget. >> reporter: he's getting pounded on that by big-name republicans including newt gingrich who brought it up at this past weekend's values voters summit. >> he has raised taxes dramatically, raised spending dramatically and dramatically lowered the bond value of the county. >> reporter: so we have three things to consider here, anderson, and we want to go over them. we went over both of them with a spokesperson for coons, and a political science professor. first, coons and the county counsel did raise property taxes three times in the past five years.
that is a fact. second, the latest operating budget for the county where he is the chief executive is just under $236 million, that's of about $7 million from the previous year, that is up. and third, the bond rating, which is essentially the government equivalent of a credit score, it shows how likely the government can pay back debt. this county has been bragging lately it has in fact had the highest possible bond rating for nine years, anderson. >> so it seems what you're saying is from what i'm hearing, a mixed bag of facts and a little bit of fiction to what mr. gingrich said. >> reporter: you're absolutely right about, but it also needs context. coons spoke person and the professor confirmed that the county had embarked on unsustainable spending programs before coons was in charge, then they were hit with the housing crash and recession like everyone else so he had to cut some programs and raise some taxes to keep from going too deeply into the red. that said, he has tended to
remain popular enough with moderate voters there who did not see his actions as too severe on either front and delaware still has some of the lowest taxes in the country. anderson? >> tom foreman, appreciate the update. thanks very much. let's talk about this with our panel, back again john avlon, erick erickson and john ridley. erick, what do you make of this? is chris coons, do you believe he's a marxist, once bearded? >> i was raised in a family where any democrat is a marxist. i don't really know about chris coons. i would love cnn to do all my defenses on the charges raised by conservatives. he will go into washington and vote for the obama agenda. he would vote for a stimulus plan if he were there, he would vote for a health care plan if he were there, he would vote for financial regulation plan if it were there, and that's what the tea party movement and i are fighting against. >> john avlon are, the charges -- are the criticisms that have been made against him fair? he did raise taxes he's -- >> that's legitimate.
people should feel free to criticize a candidate based on what they've done in an executive or elected capacity. that is 100% legitimate. people need to be held accountable for what they've done professionally. but we're in a political season now and political era where the term marxist is getting thrown around without any context. in this case it's a joke about a 25-year-old in a college newspaper. and the fact that some people would frame this election as a choice between a witch and a bearded marxist says everything you need to know about the silly psychotic season we're in right now. so a sense of perspective and sense of humor and be equal about the criticism lenses of which we judge our politics. >> john, do you think voters really care on either side with the level of detail about whether it's o'donnell's -- whether she paid for personal expenses with campaign money or if, you know, what this guy wrote 25 years ago in a paper? >> i think to a large degree we're in the wile e. coyote politics, people throw a boulder in the middle of the road and have you to go around it. everybody, left or right, has to
go around these boulders and really get to the policy issues. and it's unfortunate, but these are things that stick with a lot of folks. it is interesting, though, talking about the hannity program earlier, they talked about, have you ever seen in terms of christine o'donnell a local politician being hammered on a national level and then we turn around and deal with this with chris coons out of delaware. a lot of focus on things that don't really matter. >> halloween comes before the election season this year. >> came early this year. >> that is for sure. erick, want to play this video sarah palin has put out, a new video on her youtube channel. talk about really what's behind it, what the thought is here. let's take a look. >> the soul of this movement is the people. everyday americans who grow our food and run our small businesses, teach our kids and fight our wars. they're folks in small towns and cities across this great nation who saw what was happening and
they got involved. it is just so inspiring -- >> this is a really well-made ad. this isn't a cheap youtube ad, this is really well shot, well done and produced. is this a signal of running? >> it's not the first ad like this she's done. they've all been extremely well produced, probably better than any other potential candidate or frankly some of the national committees on the republican side. i don't know yet that sarah palin wants to run, a lot of people say she does. i'm still not convinced she just wants to be the king maker and not necessarily the king herself. one thing she is doing is she is moving voters, her endorsement is probably the only republican endorsement that matters this year. nikki haley in south carolina will be probably the governor of south carolina after november. she would not be on the map but for sarah palin and she's not the only candidate. joe miller in alaska and probably even christine o'donnell in delaware. she doesn't have a perfect track record but her endorsement is the one that matters this year. and she's really wooing the
base. productions like this, these are professional quality and you don't see that coming from a lot of the republicans these days. >> you've got to give her props, whether you like her or not, and the country is clearly divided on her, but she really took a gamble on the people she backed it wasn't like she was waiting to see which way the wind blew, she reached out, picked out some people and really elevated them. you look at mitt romney who suddenly endorsed o'donnell after she won, you know, after she won the primary. mitt romney is like, why, yes, i endorse her. sarah palin is out in front taking real political risk on things. >> you can't take it away from her, she is a conviction politician. i think jim demint's endorsement this cycle has been at least as influential. but she's hugely polarizing figure, popular along the base, polarizing not in the electorate at large but her supporters love her. there is an emotional connection. an inspirational factor that she has that rallies the base unlike anybody else in the republican
field right now. that gravitational pull towards running for president becomes very powerful, very seductive. right now she's benefiting from it personally, politically, financially. but the drift is towards 2012 and there are going to be a lot of people saying your endorsement can make all the difference, especially in a caucus state like iowa. >> john ridley, you think she'll run? >> i hope if she does run it's as a tea party candidate. i don't love the tea party but i'm really excited about a third party campaign and this is interesting in politics. this is the titans overthrowing -- the olympians overthrowing the titans, and i like her as a person, don't love her as a politician. but when was the last time you saw someone outside of the system who can really turn every deficit into a positive? she can quit and people love that about her. i would love to see her run as a tea party candidate. we'll see if that really is a national moment. >> i'm so stealing that olympians versus the titans line. >> you can have it. i get 10%, but you can have it. >> thank you. >> john ridley, john avlon,
erick erickson, appreciate it. thanks very much. >> thank you. still ahead, shocking allegations against a popular pastor with more than 25,000 followers, ties to the martin luther king, jr., family. now eddie long is accused of trying to coerce young male church members into sex. and part two of our series, a family's desperate search for answers that could save their little girl's life. >> this is our last hope but at the same time it's -- we finally made it to the people that are going to find out what's wrong. pearblossom highway? it's just outside of lancaster. sure, i can download directions for you now. we got it. thank you very much! onstar ready. call home. hi, daddy! i'm on my way. send to car and...done! you have one saved destination: dillon beach. would you like those directions now? yes, i would. go north on route 1. check it out. i can like, see everything that's going on with the car. here's the gas level. i can check on the oil. i can unlock it from anywhere.
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tonight, sanjay gupta takes us back inside the world of an elite team of disease detectives they're working deep inside the sprawling campus of the national institutes of health in bethesda, maryland, and they take on the cases no one else has been able to crack. true medical mysteries. the undiagnosed diseases program. the patients who come here, well, they're running out of time. sanjay joins me now. >> reporter: anderson, for the last year we've been following the heart wrenching stories of two patients whose lives literally are hanging in the balance. one is a little girl, just 6 years old. the other, a 53-year-old mother of five. over the years both have seen dozens of doctors but no one has been able to tell them what is making them so sick. so the undiagnosed diseases program really has become their last hope of finding answers they so desperately need. tonight we pick up the stories of kylie and sally. and the disease detectives who might, just might be able to save their lives.
kylie mcpeak was sick and getting sicker. her parents spent two years with specialists. >> perfect. >> reporter: no one could diagnose what was happening to kylie. her voice tremored. the twitches convulsing the entire right side of her body. >> i'm a bad parent. why can't i help my kid? so -- >> i can't really put it into words. just helpless. >> reporter: kylie had once been a perfectly healthy toddler until it was as if an invisible force was at war with her body. her parents videotaped their little girl's descent. >> turn your head towards us. good girl. look at mama. >> reporter: but not a single doctor knew what was happening to kylie. >> reporter: chief investigator
at the undiagnosed diseases program at the national institute of health. >> i remember vividly when i met her by video. it was at one of our meetings. >> can you smile for me? >> you could have heard a pin drop. there were 65 people and they're all essentially emoting over this, you know, terrible occurrence. >> reporter: last year, kylie was accepted into the program. >> this is our last hope but at the same time it's -- we finally made it to the people that are going to find out what's wrong. >> reporter: a mysterious force was also assaulting sally massagee's body. at 53, a wife and mother of five, her muscles were growing out of control. she was in excruciating pain. she, too, was accepted to the undiagnosed disease program. >> i felt certain that if there wasn't a diagnosis, i felt like it was pretty certain that it would kill me.
>> reporter: this is super impressive. i mean, you really see a cleavage right in the middle of her back because those muscles are so, so big. first suspicion? sally looked like a steroid junkie. but she wasn't. absolutely no evidence of that. >> i just turned off the feelings and i just couldn't -- it was really painful. to look in the mirror. >> reporter: sally's husband, buddy. >> oh, it was scary. you're just waiting to find out what's next. what normal, functional thing people have to do to get through the day was she not going to be able to do next. >> reporter: no one could offer an explanation for what was happening to sally. the medical s.w.a.t. team at the undiagnosed diseases program quickly ruled out one possibility. >> bottom line, it's not acromegaly, it's just confined to the muscle, what in the world can this be? >> reporter: that's always the question.
kylie and her parents made their way from reno, nevada, to bethesda, maryland, in hopes of finding out what in the world could be wrong with kylie. do you want to know what's going on with kylie if the next sentence was, but there's nothing we can do about it? >> yeah. >> reporter: why? >> just, i think it would be nice to have a prognosis, to know, i mean, even if it's not treatable, if it is terminal, then how much time we have left as opposed to not knowing, you know, it could all end tomorrow. >> reporter: kylie will undergo a week-long series of complex tests and evaluations by top medical specialists at nih. it's physically draining for everyone. and for kylie's mom and dad, emotionally wrenching. >> bad feelings. >> reporter: the week is intense. >> i don't think anybody's seen
anything quite like kylie. this is a very complex case, and could be difficult to solve. >> clearly on the right leg i see a lot of movement. the right foot is turned inward. they call that dystonia, or abnormal tone. a lot of tone in these muscle groups over here. the left side has it a little bit as well but not quite as bad although there's that constant movement going on. you can see it in the feet, can you see it in the hands, you can see it in her eyelids and clearly her voice. >> can you pinch the wings of the fly for me? >> reporter: the team look at everything for clues. >> what happens with sleep? >> oh, it stops when she sleeps. >> it stops when she sleeps. >> reporter: that's a very important clue, isn't it? >> very important. yes. >> reporter: kylie's tests begin in early morning. >> beautiful. can i tell you something? you are all done. good job. >> reporter: and go late into
the night. >> say baby boy. >> baby boy. >> okay, kitty cat. >> say kitty cat. >> it's hard. it's really hard. hopefully it's for a good cause. >> reporter: in the hallways, specialists hold meetings on the fly, throwing out new theories, hoping something they've learned fits into the bigger puzzle and a single diagnosis. >> a lot of unanswered questions. absolutely. >> reporter: for a lot of patients and as we were, you know, investigating this, it really got the sense that this ends up being a place of last hope or last resort for them. that's a lot of pressure. >> well, it is. we try to be realistic about it, and get our patients to be realistic about the issues, too. you've been to the best places in the country, now you're coming here. we only have a 10% to 15% success rate, so i don't want you to get your hopes up really too, too high. but on the other hand, we don't want to take all hope away. >> reporter: sally massagee knew
what she was doing there. >> i took that disclaimer and i heard it and i still had a strong dose of hope. >> it sounds like such a tough week for any patient but for a little girl like that so sick, it's got to be just heart breaking. >> reporter: it is heart breaking. i'm not sure what was worse, sometimes that kylie would seem so resigned to it, just that she had accepted it, that this had -- had accepted this sort of awful existence that has become her life, it's the only life she's known for so many years now, that was almost worse. but kids are resilient as well. they bounce back quickly from this sort of thing and she doesn't know much different. it was harder to watch her parents so emotionally distraught watching their child go through that, i think, very challenging. i will tell you that they -- these doctors are puzzle solvers. they have all this information now. they've been puzzle solvers their whole lives, and now it's a whole process of trying to put
the pieces together, to eliminate certain things, to solve the puzzle, ultimate, that's what they're going to do over the next several weeks now. >> we'll have more tomorrow night and the night after. part three is tomorrow night. i look forward to it, sanjay. thanks. >> thank you. up next, a popular pastor with over 25,000 church members now accused of coercing men into sex. details ahead. and a key vote on whether gays and lesbians can openly serve in the military. the decision from capitol hill coming up. n america has a powertrain backed for 100,000 miles. chevy silverado half-ton a consumers digest best buy and the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road. now get 0% apr for 72 months on 2010 silverado half-ton models with an average finance savings around $5,600.
>> two young men have accused an influential pastor in atlanta of sexual coercion. a lawsuit claims pastor eddie long used his position as a spiritual adviser to coax them to have sex with him. long denies the allegations. he heads the new birth missionary baptist church, a congregation with more than 25,000 members. nine american troops were killed in a helicopter crash in afghanistan today. the chopper went down in the southern part of the country, but nato says there were no reports of enemy fire. this is the deadliest year for american forces in the nine-year war. senate republicans have blocked a bill that would end the don't ask don't tell policy banning openly gay men and lesbians from the military. even moderate republicans who oppose the rule say lawmakers are not being allowed a full debate, so they joined conservatives in stopping it for now. lawrence summers will step down at the end of the year as president obama's chief economic adviser.
summers will return to harvard where he previously served as president. and bristol palin made her debut on "dancing with the stars." she and her partner danced to the song, "mama told me not to come." bristol's mother, sarah palin, watched the show from her home in alaska and we're told bristol had to get over a bout of shyness in order to do this. it looks like she succeeded. >> i didn't actually see it but i'll watch it on youtube or something. joe, our shot tonight, some pretty crazy moments before a big college football game. we found this on youtube. a smackdown this past saturday between the mascots of ohio and ohio state. take a look. that's the ohio university mascot tackling the ohio state mascot, brutus buckeye. it goes on. the guy continues to attack him. >> i think this is assault and battery. >> apparently he's been banned from all future athletic events.
this video of course, well, it got us thinking. >> got us thinking. >> this is the other mascot meltdown, this one from a milwaukee brewers game a few years ago. it all just went downhill. boom. he hit him. the guy hit the mascot and that's what caused the collision. >> the cascading collision. >> yeah. you should not hit mascots. that's just not right. yeah. boom. all right. joe, thanks. that's it for "360." larry king is coming up. we'll see you tomorrow night. that's funny. i'm hearty because of your juicy steak, your potatoes... you're really, rich and happy. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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