Thursday, October 05, 2006

More Foley And Our Congo Connection (Wednesday's Second Hour)

The faces of the forgotten.

We start the hour with Anderson and then we're straight back to John. I sense a pattern here. John then recaps the Foley headlines and intros us into a Rusty Dornan piece about Foley's molestation claims. In any story there's always a who, what, when, where, why, and how. The claims seem a little suspicious because all we've got is the 'what'. We don't know who specifically did the molesting or when and where they did it. The alcohol thing is also up for question because not even his own brother in law knew he had a problem. New York representative Peter King also doesn't buy it, but he's kind of a piece of work himself, IMHO. Following this piece we have a Brian Todd rerun.

Next up we have a taped interview with George Washington University law professor and former page, John Turley. Turley is proposing a new page system and states that it's grotesque some conservatives want to get rid of the program all together. I have to agree, that's stupid. Turley thinks the page program is one of the few good things left in Washington and at this point, he's probably right. John says some of the republicans are basically saying, "trust us with running the country, but don't trust us with your children." Right on, John.

Transitioning now to the blood bath in Iraq, we have a Jamie McIntyre piece that informs us we have lost 19 soldiers in a span of only four days and Iraqis are dying at about a rate of a thousand per month. Of note is that a whole brigade of Iraqi police have been pulled because there is suspicion they are involved in militia killings. Jamie tells us that about 300,000 forces are now "standing up", but we're no where near being able to stand down. After the piece Michael Ware joins us live and tells us that Shia death squads have institutionalized themselves in the govenment, police units, and even hospitals. We've now got all of our eggs in a Malaki basket, but the prime minister is powerless. The plan is to prop him up and give him the credit. John asks Michael if we're losing and though he says we're not winning, the question is difficult to answer. One thing is clear though, the war has emboldened both Iran and Al Qaeda. Once again, mission accomplished. Michael reinterates that we're almost at our target for trained Iraqi forces, but it hasn't made any difference with the insurgency.

Transitioning back to Anderson and a piece that is sure to make everyone feel guilty. You see, the Congo is very rich in natural resources, but the government and officials are so corrupt that the people never see any of the money. Anderson takes us down in a mine where workers are mining tin. This is where the guilt comes in. Tin is used in circuit boards in cell phones and other Congo resources end up in lithium batteries and other gadgets. So half a world away most of us carry a piece of the Congo around every day. These resources should be taxed, but they're not due to the corruption and therefore there are basically no social services in the country. The violence across the country is often related to power struggles over the minerals. Congo's mineral wealth may benefit us, but it has been nothing but a curse for the people living there. After the piece we have a live interview with a worker from the International Crisis Group. He states that the Congo has been a kleptocracy for the past 30 years and it's time to make the state work for the people. More die from humanitarian issues than the violence, so social services would definitely help. Also discussed is the fact that moral society has broken down there and there is no court system to punish those that commit horrific acts.

On now to a former marine who was with the African Union. He tells us what he saw with his own eyes and it's not pretty. People dismembered. Body parts everywhere. You get the picture. It's the stuff of nightmares. After this we have a Sanjay piece from the camps in Chad. This is where we see that baby I mentioned in the first hour post. He's in such respiratory distress that he's using his stomach muscles to get air into his body. A simple twist of fate and that baby, if even sick at all, would be intubated and taken care of in a hospital in the US. But this baby is in the Congo. And he's going to die. And there are thousands just like him.

After a bit of Sanjay live, we move on to a Jeff piece about aid workers being forced out of Darfur. Since the peace deal, 12 workers have been killed and the women are constantly at risk of being raped. Yet everyday they do their work expecting no praise for the amazing things they do. We get Jeff live after the piece and he tells us that the situation is getting so bad that people are actually getting redisplaced out of the displacement camps. It seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel for Darfur. As we end the night, Anderson does his best kiddie show host impression and tries to get the kids hanging around the live shot to wave us goodbye. Unfortunately, it looks like they should have practiced it. On that awkward, yet adorable note, we end the night.

Screencaps by sherynroyce.

So what image from the show is sticking in your head?


Anonymous Mathilde said...

Does it bother anyone else that people are throwing the word pedophilia around in reference to Foley? An adult coming on to a 16 or 17 year old is gross, inappropriate and wrong but I wouldn't call it pedophilia. Especially when juxtaposed with the story of a raped 3 year old. God bless Anderson for doing this Africa story-- I'm sure he knew the ratings would go down because some Americans don't want to know about these horrors. It is hard to get these images out of your mind, but we need to know.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Sharla said...

I agree with mathilde. Pedophilia, in my head, applies to say, CHILDREN. I'm not saying "put an age on it", really, but it IS sort of ludacris to say that he's a pedophile because he was looking at a 16 year old.

The saddest image that sticks in my head the most is the one of the skinny little baby being weighed in the drop sack.

For a funny image, I'd say that armpit-sniffing-gorilla will be in my head for months.

Also, I have problems watching Michael because I want to (a)comb his hair and (b) smack his nose the other direction. I like his reporting though!! *laugh* I get rather distracted by watching the reporters THEMSELVES, rather than what they are saying sometimes.

12:24 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

Re: mathilde
Yeah, I guess there needs to be some sort of distinction between a 17 year old and say a 5 year old. The guy is obviously a sicko though. I don't get why he didn't just come out and then he'd be free to have relationships with younger guys out in the open as long as they were legal and consenting. Of course I guess when you're a member of a party that demonizes gays it's kind of hard to come out as one.

12:55 AM  
Blogger midnite6367 said...

There isn't one particular image that sticks in my mind; the entire series so far has been devastating. The horrific stories and atrocities are staggering and almost impossible to believe. Human beings are capable of the most inhumane acts. I've been pretty much speechless watching 360's reports on Africa, it makes you feel totally helpless and as if you can't really help in any significant way. I'm still going do what I can.

Kudos to CNN/360 for bringing their viewers this important story.

4:55 AM  
Anonymous mathilde said...

I wasn't defending Foley, I guess I was trying to say that it diminishes true pedophilia when people-- not so much on CNN, but some other networks-- use the word for an older teenager. The most depressing thing about Anderson's Africa coverage was the drop in ratings. Do people want to be ignorant?

3:02 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Do people want to be ignorant?

In a word, yes. It really is sad when the ratings go through the roof for Angelina Jolie, but drop for genocide coverage. People make me sick sometimes.

3:20 PM  

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