September 1st, 2010
12:31 PM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Michael Douglas

The Oscar-winning actor and producer surprised viewers last night when he told "Late Show" host David Letterman that he has Stage 4 throat cancer. Looking thinner after finishing his first week of radiation and chemotherapy, Michael Douglas said he'd felt symptoms and sought medical attention earlier this summer, but the disease was not diagnosed until three weeks ago.

Audience members gasped when Douglas, 65, said the disease was at Stage 4. Letterman – polite, but persistently curious – asked, "Is Stage 4 where you want to be, or not where you want to be?"

"No." Douglas said with a humorous beat. The good news, he said, was that the disease has not spread and that he has an 80 percent chance of recovery. Also not apparently affected yet: Douglas' trademark voice. "This is just the first week," Douglas admitted, "so the progression goes down. ... The radiation continues to burn your mouth. ... You can't take solids."

Douglas said smoking and drinking contributed causing the cancer.

In a People magazine cover story released today, Douglas and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, admitted the treatment was exhausting the otherwise indefatigable performer. Still, Douglas said, "I'll beat this."

Michael Douglas: Radiation, chemo 'really knocks you out'

Michael Douglas's throat tumor won't delay 'Wall Street' opening

Amy Kremer

The chairwoman of the Tea Party Express added another victory for the organization with Lisa Murkowski's concession in the Alaska Republican Senate primary last night. Kremer has been in Alaska since the August 11 primary, with the Tea Party donating $600,000 to Joe Miller's cause.

Calling the win "the political shocker of the year," Kremer said in a written statement yesterday: "Joe Miller's campaign based on a constitutional conservative platform resonated with the state's Republican primary voters and should serve as a wake-up call to the political establishments of both parties."

Kremer also credited former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for connecting Miller and the Tea Party Express. Other candidates who have benefited from Kremer's organization include Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sharron Angle of Nevada, Mike Lee of Utah and Ken Buck of Colorado, CNN reports.

What makes Kremer most intriguing is how quickly she has risen as a political influence. Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, the former Delta flight attendant did not become politically active until 2008, when she began blogging. After a complicated start founding the Tea Party Patriots, Kremer came to the Tea Party Express in 2009. She was the keynote speaker at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, earlier this year and has traveled the country stumping for chosen candidates.

Alaska Daily News: Murkowski concedes GOP Senate race to Miller

Mohammad Sharif Ur Rahman

A 33-year-old computer programmer who was released on bail last week told the Boston Globe yesterday that he was not involved in a plot to bomb Times Square this year.

Mohammad Sharif ur Rahman told the Globe's Shelley Murphy that he was swept up an FBI investigation of a computer software company he once worked for that was suspected of sending money to the Taliban in Pakistan. Rahman and two of his cousins were arrested in May, originally in connection to Faisal Shazad, the man who reportedly left a bomb-laden SUV in Times Square. While none of the men has been charged with that crime, they all face deportation charges.

Rahman, originally from Pakistan, was adamant that his work was legitimate, adding that he put in 16-hour days in the 10-year period that the was employed at the software company. "I have never been involved in any criminal activity, not even a speeding ticket," he said during the interview, which included his American wife, Sara. "I don't want to be associated with that group whose crimes are against humanity. I'm a human being."

Boston Globe: Out of plot’s shadow, a call for peace

Tony Blair

The former prime minister of Britain is releasing his memoir today, the same day he'll be at the White House as an envoy in the Middle East talks. The book, "Tony," earned Blair a reported $7 million advance.


Blair, 57, never expected the Iraq war to become such a "nightmare," adding that while he never formally apologized, he deeply regrets the deaths in Iraq.

Blair says he knew Gordon Brown would not succeed as prime minister, and he should have done something about it.

Just weeks before her death in a car accident, Blair directly questioned Princess Diana about her relationship with her boyfriend, Dodi al-Fayed.

Reviewers are wondering whether Blair will ever rehabilitate his image. When he first came onto the scene as the leader of the "New Labour" party, Blair offset British formality by insisting that he be called Tony. Today, he often faces war protesters and is criticized for his support of the George W. Bush administration.

Still, Blair pushes onward. He'll sit down with President Obama, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas this evening in an effort to launch renewed Mideast talks.

Memoir puts spotlight back on Blair

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Danh4321

    We all hope he makes it. Isn't it obvious, but when will we learn that the tabacco industry doesn't care about our health?

    September 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Larry

    He's a great actor. I hope his treatments go well. My favorite movie of his has always been The Game.

    September 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pamela Sellers

      Thanks for your comment!

      Yes! Excellent film, "The Game" and of course "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!"
      Happened to catch a rerun of "War of the Roses" just last week, as well.

      September 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Emile Zola

    t's funny to see how the world sees wars. Before 9/11, the world saw the invaders as the criminals and the invadees as the victims. Enter Bush and Blair and those percedptions went away and now the invaders that invaded to pursue special interests under false pretenses and America makes an about face and the invaders, the criminals can retire to live live to their fullest, while a million plus of innocent civilians had to pay with their lives the crimes of our "Christian and democratic" nations and instead of jail for life they get to write memoirs and collect millions. If this isn't the proverbial heads I win, tails you lose. 9/11, unfortunately, turned America into a lawless democracy, where fear, warmongering and slogan peddlers have become the beacon to a tyranny, but disguised as democracy. Not too late, though, to bring the war criminals of Britain and the U.S. to justice.

    September 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jbonne

      Yes its terrible that the tobaco companies put a ciggaret in his mouth and lit it and then forced him to smoke, Poor Hollywooder

      September 1, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • oskhosh

      It is easy to blame America for every events in the world since it is the only super power and a democratic country where you can express your opinion openly. If you so fade up with it you can have it change by voting, if not you are free to go anywhere you like.

      September 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Worthless lap dog. He was an accessory to the unnecessary war which caused huge suffering. His rationalization that "Saddam had to be removed" is no defense for the loss of tens of thousands of lives – of all nationalities, the creation of a whole generation of young Iraqis who lost members of their families now have a real reason to hate Westerners.

      September 1, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jason

    It's refreshing that someone with this type of cancer had the balls to admit that smoking caused it. I hope he learns from this, recovers, and continues to entertain us for years to come. l

    September 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Probir Paul

    A great actor . Sorry to hear this. I admire his all movies specially the "Wall street". Hope he recover fully.

    September 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    He is a great actor. I wish him a full recovery.

    September 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. al romero

    There are two types of people in America: Republicans who want to take down Obama by taking down America, and those who want to build America up

    September 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      And what has Obama done to help this Country? Nothing but raise taxes, and tarnish our name.

      September 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric P

      Yes, mark, cutting taxes is the answer to everything. If it was that simple, everyone would do it. My state, Minnesota, used to be the shining example of how government can work well for everyone. We paid higher taxes, but we also enjoyed a MUCH higher standard/quality of life than places like Texas, Alabama, Florida, etc...states with VERY strong conservative bases who opposed taxes at all costs. We consisitently smoked everyone in educating our kids, maintaining our infrastructure, health care, you name it. Fast forward to the Tim Pawlenty era. He successfully accomplished cutting funding for "social services" he, and many conservatives, viewed as welfare and unnecessary for government to provide, didn't introduce new taxes, and cut funding for education. He DID, however, allocate more funds for VETERANS BENEFITS...which are utterly useless and redundant because Veterans Affairs is a cabinet level position and pays out billions in benefits every year to vets. Now, Minnesota is very average. Our quality of life has fallen, thanks in part to our governor's war on taxes. Taxes benefit everyone if you are good stewards of the resources. The argument against taxes isn't based on reality.

      September 1, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mark

    And we are not stopping there!!

    September 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric P

      So amusing to watch extremists blather on about how they're going to "take this country back" from fellow Americans. Good luck with that. Everyone with a brain knows the Tea Party is BS and full of crazy, gun-toting, paranoid rednecks...maybe not when it started, but it certainly is now!

      September 1, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Laura

    One of my ALL time favorite actors ever. I love your voice, but if had to choose, I would rather see you creating great moviesl!! GOOD LUCK!! My prayers go out to you and yours!

    September 2, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PAT W.

    My husband went through this treatment in January. Thank you for the superb medical system, my husband is on the rosd to recovery! When my brother came to our home (he is an ENT SURGEON IN PITTSBURGH) to tell him he had throat cancer. We where shocked but my husband said lets get started Im ready right now. We where told this was one of the most Brutal treatments in cancer. And it was none less. Mike has to have the love of his life near him with every breath he takes. Catherine will become Michale through this time his mother, his nurse, his breath, his strength. My husband chose to have the feeding tube in before anything goes any further. The absolute best decision you can make!!! Please do this. It wasn't long before the affects take toll on him immediatly. This is what kept him alive. He stopped driving immediatly, He just wanted there and back home just as fast. He had phnemonia food passage goes into lungs. He must lean on Catherine from the beginning he will take your strength. We are forgunate that I was a genious brother Doctor, that I could lean on. Many times I would say "what do I do now" he would say "its all up to Tim to get through this" did not get that at first. Thought those words where so unfair, but now I get it! Our prayers our with you, Catherine and Mike, never forget the words "You can do this."

    September 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ellen swetland

    our mom also had a bad bout with throat cancer due to heavy smoking and drinking . lets teach our kids about this horror

    November 20, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |