tv Nightline ABC September 30, 2011 11:35pm-12:00am EDT
tonight on "nightline," terror takeout. a major blow to al qaeda. as u.s. drones kill the american cleric heading in yemen who inspired the ft. hood shooter and other lone wolf terrorists. and security officials issue a bulletin, warning of possible retaliation. emergency response. dramatic paramedics testimony in the trial of michael jackson's doctor. what they saw when they arrived on the scene. >> we're going to call it here, time of december is 12:57. >> what they say his doctor refused to tell them. and funny business.
crashes, gags, wipe youments and goofs. before there was youtube, there was "america's funniest videos." we take you inside the hit show. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," september 30th, 2011. >> good evening, i'm terry moran. we're going to begin tonight with some late news. the department of homeland security has issued a bulletin, warning about possible, though unspecified and unconfirmed attacks in the united states in retaliation for the killing today of al qaeda leader anwar al awlaki in yemen. awlaki was a 40-year-old american, a child of privilege from new mexico, who became the number one most influential e van jell list of the murder of americans in the name of islam. here's abc's martha raddatz in
afghanistan. >> reporter: terry, the u.s. had actually been tracking awlaki for months, unbeknownst to awlaki the u.s. knew exactly where he was hiding. >> never underestimate the power of fear. >> reporter: anwar awlaki had been considered especially dangerous because he was, in fact, american. and therefore, knew of the targets in the u.s. that could be vulnerable to attacks. today, in a highly targeted attack, he finally met his end. the u.s. had been zeroing in on anwar al awlaki's location for months. u.s. military officials determined awlaki was hiding out in a compound deep in the back country of yemen. what awlaki could never know was high overhead, american surveillance aircraft and satellites were watching that compound 24 hours a day, while armed drones flew nearby.
all they needed was awlaki to step out into the daylight. they waited and waited. until this morning. awlaki, one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, walked out and climbed into a pickup truck. a huge break. as he began to drive, more than 7,000 miles away, likely at cia headquarters in langley, virginia, operators using remote controls raced the drones into position. within moments, the drones were locked in on the vehicle as it sped along the roadway below. moments later, at 9:55 a.m., the drones fired more than three hellfire missiles, hitting the vehicle carrying awlaki. it erupted in flames, but his was the only vehicle hit, a testament to the increased usage and accuracy of the drone program. >> with laser-like precision, you can hit that single target that you wanted.
>> reporter: in the burning wreckage alongside him was another al qaeda operative and another american citizen, samir khan. khan, of pakistani decent, was the editor of awlaki's online mag seen called "inspire," used to spread his message of terror. this afternoon, the president called awlaki's death a major blow to al qaeda. >> this is further proof that al qaeda an its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world. >> reporter: born in 1971 in new mexico to yemeni parents, awlaki went to college in colorado, eventually working in mosques in san diego and virginia. he was once considered a moderate, even asked to help the u.s. government reach out to muslims. in this 2001 "washington post" video, awlaki appeared calm. >> i mean, islam is a religion of peace. >> reporter: but it was just a year later that he moved to his
family home in yemen, creating incredibly influential online videos, preaching jihad against the united states. >> awlaki's chief contribution to the network of al qaeda is that he's an american. and he can talk in the american have knack ewe lar to potentially disaffected muslims and he's been having effective. >> reporter: his message inspired men like faisal shahzad, who attempted to blow up a car bomb nb times square in may of 2010. and according to u.s. officials, he also advised the so-called underwear bomber who tried to bring down a plane over detroit in 2009. this was the first time since 2002 cia drones had been used in yemen, but last may, million tear drones narrow low missed another convoy in which awlaki was riding. confusion in the air added to a series of errors, causing missiles to hit the back of his truck.
operators were stunned to see the truck move right through the fire ball. they seemed to have learned from those mistakes and this time awlaki wasn't quite so lucky. i'm martha raddatz for "nightline" in afghanistan. >> and thanks to martha raddatz for that report. we're going to turn now to the anchor of "this week," christiane amanpour. is this a big deal, the end of al qaeda? >> i think it is a big deal and it is practically the end of al qae qaeda, at least if you believe leon panetta. and that's because they're having a huge amount of trouble fund-raising, recruiting and being relevant. and, in addition to that, the whole dynamic has changed in the arab and muslim world. people are rising up for freedom and democracy and not for violent change like al qaeda's philosophy is. >> the arab spring is competing with -- >> exactly right. >> now, president obama, got osama bin laden, now awlaki. does this establish him, really,
is a strong president in the war on terror in people's minds? >> i think in the war on terror, yes. because he hasn't shrunk from doing these difficult things and he's really dramatically raised the tempo of these drone strikes which you know are controversial. that's a whole other issue. but the list of big bad guys who have been wiped out is quite impressive. you got osama bin laden, awlaki now and all sorts of others. but those two particularly were the charismatic linchpins and faces of this al qaeda machine and now they're gone. >> and a real continuity between the way bush fought this war and the way obama is. >> much more aggressive under president obama. much more. >> christiane amanpour, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. and just ahead, the wrenching scene that greeted paramedics when they responded to a call from michael jackson's home.
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the manslaughter trial of michael jackson's doctor has cast dramatic new light on the star's final moments. but perhaps no testimony has been so wrenching as what the court heard today. a paramedic describing a patient wearing a surgical cap, who was so thin the medic began to ask questions. here's abc's jim avila for our series "crime and punishment." >> reporter: today, damaging testimony from trusted first responders. the firefighter paramedics who told the jury today that dr. conrad murray hid important information from them as they struggled to save michael jackson's life. this is the ucla medical center trauma room where michael
jackson is pronounced dead. >> is this the bed where michael jackson was placed? >> yes. >> reporter: and this is the doctor in charge, rischelle cooper. >> he was clinically dead. he did not have a pulse. >> reporter: every modern contraption in the medical armory and nothing would bring him back. >> we attempted to determine if we could feel a pulse. there was up in. >> reporter: in fact, michael jackson is dead long before dr. kooper cements eyes on him at ucla. dead before paramedics brought him from his mansion, code three, lights and sirens. and before paramedics arrive in his private quarters. paramedic richard senneff says he could see jackson's ribs. >> the patient was wearing a surgical cap or something similar covering his hair. and he appeared to be underweight to me. >> reporter: his partner, martin blount, had little doubt that he was no longer alive. >> he was not breathing. he was not moving. and his eyes was fixed and
dilated. >> reporter: essential nech says dr. conrad murray says he is treating jackson for dehydration and xauls and nothing else. and when he asked what drugs jackson might be taking, he testifies murray stonewalls, never mentioning the dangerous anesthesia propofol that killed jackson. >> he said, no, he's not taking anything and then he followed that up with, i just gave him a little bit of lorazepam to sleep. >> did dr. murray ever mention havinged a ministered propofol to michael jackson? >> no, he did not. >> did conrad murray ever mention the word propofol to you? >> no, he did not. he mefr mentioned the word prop foul. >> reporter: the paramedics go to work, cpr, a bag to force air into jackson's lungs and drugs to restart the heart. nothing is working. and it's then that ucla medical center is ready to pronounce for the first time. >> if there's nothing further, we're going to call it here, time of death is 12:57.
>> reporter: the paramedic turns to dr. murray and asks -- >> we can stop everything right here. we can transfer to ucla. the doctor here suggests that we transfer. >> reporter: ucla says fine, but make sure the doctor accompanies them in the ambulance and the paramedic has one more cautionary note. >> all right, and, uh, we have a very high profile vip. >> reporter: code for, we're carrying michael jackson. but before the ambulance leaves, as jackson is loaded in back, the paramedics go back to the room to get their gear and are surprised by what they see. dr. murray is still there. >> would you characterize your impression of the look on dr. more rain murray's face when you returned to the room? >> he was surprised to see me. >> deer in the headlight look? >> i have characterized it that way. >> and he had a bag in his happened, correct? >> that's correct. >> reporter: paramedic blount testifies the bottles murray is
carrying are lidocaine a companion drug often given with propofol. >> tell me what you saw dr. murray do with those lidocaine bottles, please. >> he scooped all three of them up and put them into a black bag. >> two firemen paramedics carrying the first responder cloak of credibility, pointing the finger at a doctor who they say hid information and evidence. it makes for a strong prosecution day. >> all of this is a consciousness of guilt. when a fireman is getting up on the stand, saying the defendant, the doctor lied to him, it makes the doctor look really bad. >> reporter: back at the hospital, dr. kooper says she, too, could not get a straight answer from conrad murray. >> i was told that mr. jackson had been working very long hours and dr. murray thought he had been dehydrated. >> reporter: ending the first week of the conrad murray trial with so many questions for the defense team to answer. for "nightline," jim avila, abc news, los actless.
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what's so funny about a man slipping on a banana peel and falling face first into a kid pool? ask the question if you must, but millimeters of viewers every week still agree on the hilarious appeal. pun was intended. of "america's funniest videos." here's abc's david wright. ♪ >> reporter: before the stars started dancing, before america got talent, back when the founders of youtube were still in gradeschool, "america's funniest home videos" was already making millions of dollars and laughs. >> i've never been trapped.
>> reporter: granddaddy not just of reality tv -- ♪ america this is you >> reporter: but of content-sharing. the original experiment in entertainment jen rated by the vuder e viewers themselves. in a way, you are youtube before there was youtube. >> i think you're right. >> reporter: vin di bona dreamed up the idea. are did the idea come from? >> it was originally from tokyo broadcasting. they had a variety show. it had a musical numbers a little talk segment and then they show home videos. i looked at it, home videos were hysterical. said, just, broom everything else. let's take the videos, give a prize and that's going to be the show. >> reporter: timing that first show was a slight problem. >> the first thing i got a chance to do was go on "good
morning america." >> america will get a chance to produce a show for themselves. >> reporter: that's him on "gma" in 1989, pitching his idea to the viewers. >> if what you shot is funny or amazing, send it in now. because we'll put it on the air. >> really cute idea. >> reporter: he showed some japanese clips. >> here's a surprise. >> reporter: and invited people to send in tapes. >> i'm looking forward to be buried among 10,000 tapes in my office. >> reporter: that was just the beginning. >> when the show first started, we received almost 36 mail bags a day. so, we had five screeners on three different shifts 24 hours a day. >> reporter: the mail volume has slowed considerably since then. these days most of the submissions are digital. >> our job is what other people do when they're messing around at their jobs. >> reporter: graham and mark screen every single one. what percentage of the clips you see make it onto the show?
>> i think it's small like 1%. >> reporter: they catalog every clip that comes in with keywords so they can easily scan the library of nearly 1 million clips with common themes. >> people know, okay, we like birthdays. >> pets. dogs, cats. sledding crashes. the crotch shots. older woman chaising a laser light. >> bay pitches vomiting is funny. >> reporter: often the clip itself won't sustain. >> your door is closed but you're not safe. >> reporter: that's where these guys come in. >> every card you seed on the board represents another video. and as writers here we want to write funny lines, put mizic on it, sound effects. >> reporter: you don't have that many clips that stand alone. >> no. >> if we did, vin could hire much cheaper. >> oh that is great. >> reporter: they watch the videos and polish the gems. >> didn't have a handicap -- until now. >> reporter: and package them up for broadcast.
>> you can get laughs on youtube, it's going to take you 48 hours. we sift through that and just give you the cold. >> reporter: "america's funniest videos" remains really hopeful. that's by design. >> this is a pie-throwing show. it's a consistent kind of humor. it can be slightly naughty but it's never that kind of humor that becomes denigrating. there's nothing funnier than seeing your grandmother slip on a banana peel. as long as she's safe. >> reporter: for more than 20 years, they made it look easy. this is a cheap show to produce. >> yeah. >> reporter: your salary excluded. >> at the cast party, i'm the only one that shows up. >> reporter: vin is a wealthy man. >> that's only today's car. >> reporter: may not be quite so glamorous as tom bergeron's other show -- >> welcome to a special live "dancing with the stars." >> reporter: but they have their
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