On this day....

June 17, 2009 1:54:37 PM PDT
If you're counting, it was 37 years ago when the gang that couldn't steal straight broke into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters, looking for dirt. It took nearly 22 months, but eventually their crime (a two-bit burglary is how the White House at first described it) brought down a President.

And it was 15 years ago today that O.J. Simpson, rather than turn himself in to police for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend, led cops on a slow-speed chase in his white Ford Bronco down Interstate 405 in Los Angeles.

I was in Miami when the Watergate burglary happened - planning anti-war protests for the upcoming political conventions.

I was in Los Angeles covering the Simpson case for Good Morning America when the Bronco chase interrupted national TV programming (including the NBA finals- remember the split screen?). In fact, at the time of the chase, I was watching it on TV with former football great Jim Brown. In our interview, that next morning on GMA, he made news when he said that one of Simpson's problems was his use of cocaine.

So where will you be in 15, or 37 years, from today? And how important will the day be in the scheme of things? Something to ponder as we bring you tonight's 11 p.m. news.

We're going to show you some more protests - massive gatherings - in Iran, where reformists are demonstrating against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They are cell-phone videos - because the government won't let independent reporters cover these events, so we can't truly vouch for their authenticity. But we've no real reason to doubt them. Tonight there's a rally and vigil in support of the opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, in Union Square.

Also at 11, Eliot Spitzer gives his first speech since his resignation as New York Governor in a sex scandal that rocked the state and ruined his political career. It's billed as the inside story of how the "Sheriff of Wall Street" fought the Gambino crime family and reinvented the state Attorney General's role. Oh yeah, he also will talk about the events leading to his downfall.

He's giving the speech at the Czech Republic Embassy. Go figure.

And our investigative reporter Sarah Wallace takes a look at a controversial new procedure at a parole office on Long Island. Parolees, when they arrive, are ordered to go through a "safety sweep."

Sounds logical - why not check these guys (and they ARE mostly guys) for weapons?

But parole officers question the effectiveness of the screening. Why, they ask, would a parolee come in, knowing they could get busted for carrying a weapon? (Why, I would ask, would a parolee carry a gun?)

And there's another issue: some parolees might panic if the parole officer finds a gun. They might pull out their gun, and that say the parole officers, poses a danger.

Sarah has an exclusive look at one parole office that today started this "safety sweep."

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports, including the latest on Derek Jeter's injury. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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