Friday, October 06, 2006

A Scandal That Never Ends And Coverage That Never Stops Being Shocking (Thursday's First Hour)

Hey everyone. We've had some intense days, haven't we? I'm going to start right off the bat. Anderson intros in Rutshuru and then we go right back to John for, guess what? More Foley news! I am getting Foley fatigue, y'all. But I guess I'll take anything to get the country back. We've had about 5 zillion scandals over the past five years and at some point one of them has to take these guys down. So I wait. Anyway, first up we have a Dana Bash piece about Hastert, who has decided to take responsibility. Well, actually, he's decided to say he takes responsibility. Whether that actually means anything remains to be seen.

After focusing on Hastert we move to a Bill Schnieder piece that ponders whether conservatives will turn out in November. Republicans have ticked off everyone else, so they pretty much need the conservatives to just overlook this little page scandal dealie. I guess we'll see. David Gergen then joins us live and it is his opinion that Hastert should have fallen on his sword because it would have diminished the story. He thinks that they literally bet the house today. Also noted is that social conservatives aren't just important as voters, they're needed because they're the footsoldiers that really get out there and volunteer. David thinks they might stay home on voting day because they are people of principle. What principles are those, demonizing everyone that doesn't have their exact belief system?

Transitioning now to a piece from Anderson set in a clinic run by the French version of Doctors Without Borders. Anderson explains that though the war officially ended in 2003, the bloodshed continues and many soldiers are brought in with gunshot wounds. On this day there is a man that has been shot in the hand and he is in a lot of pain. The clinic is free, but crude, so they have to transfer him to the hospital for surgery. First, however, they put him in civilian clothes because the organization wants to remain neutral. At the hospital they end up having to amputate the hand and Anderson goes in the operating room. Doctor Anderson!

Next up we have a Jeff piece on the difficulties of getting aid to the refugees. Unfortunately, aid trucks have become the target of arab militias, who like to steal the trucks and the food inside. We are shown a huge warehouse of bags of grain, but are told it is really hard to get it distributed. A lot of this grain is donated from the US and for once in a very, very long time, I am proud of something my country is doing. Jeff and one of the aid workers go to try to talk to the janjaweed in order to maybe work something out with them, but they are turned away. Following the piece we have Jeff live...oh, nope, scratch that. Technical difficulties have left Jeff all dressed up with no where to go.

We then go back to Anderson, who informs us that half the population of the Congo is under 15 years old. This info intros us into a Sanjay piece set at a secret compound for women who were recruited involuntarily into rebel militias for purposes of fighting or to be sex slaves. Sanjay sits down and talks with these women, all of who are speaking openly about their experiences for the first time. The filming in this piece is done discretely and no faces are shown. One of the therapies performed in this center is to have the girls act out what happened to them. Also, because a skill set is very important, they are all taught to sew. Sanjay then joins us live and says that since the therapy is new they can't yet tell if it works. Also noted is that though secret, the compound has been attack a few times.

On now to a clip from the old Angelina Jolie interview where she is talking about the Congo. Remember all the press hoopla and high ratings associated with that interview? And yet, here 360 is covering the very place she spoke about and there has been hardly any press and the ratings have dropped. What is wrong with people? Are we so morally bankrupt that we'd really want to know more about a celebrity that what's going on in the world? Don't answer that. I already know the answer.

Following the clip we have a taped interview with New York Times columnist and frequent Africa coverer Nicholas Kristof. He and Anderson discuss how getting pregnant in these regions can be a death sentence because 1 in 20 women die in child birth. Nicholas tells the story of a woman he met named Prudence who was suffering an obstruction. The doctor did not want to operate because there was no blood, so Nicholas donated his own blood right then and there. However, the uncaring doctor basically just left Prudence to die anyway. Unbelievable. Nicholas also noted that the brutal rapes are not just incidental, but rather a form of policy to terrorize.

There's some more throw back and forth recaps after this, but the show basically ends with a reporter's notebook from Anderson. He tells us that the children follow them everywhere, calling, "White guy! White guy!" in Swahili. Anderson is probably the whitest white guy they've ever seen. I think this officially ends their Africa coverage, though I'm sure they'll recut the footage into a special. It's been draining to watch, but I'm so glad they went. A-

Screencaps by stillife.

Question: Have you read Nicholas Kristof's columns from the region?

7 Comments:

Anonymous Sharla said...

I've never read Nicholas.

And they were saying "muzumgu", which I don't think is French- prob Congolese. That's the phonetic spelling that I got off the transcript. And yeah- he's pretty pale!

I agree with you. Disgusting that no one cares about the real story but they watch the celebrities. America has it's collective heads up their butts.

I swear I'm going to move to Canada with my father's relatives!!

Oh, and I think they're doing a special this weekend, from all the stuff they did this week.

8:54 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Yeah, that's not french. I couldn't remember the word they said, but I knew that in the other piece they were speaking french, so that's why I went with that. I'll look into it later if I have time.

10:07 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Okay, I just googled it up. It's Swahili.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous mathilde said...

I heard a rumour-- a web rumour so who knows-- that Foley may be a Scientologist. There are alot of them in Florida. I too am sick of Foley-- the real story is, why does Congress think they are above the rules that apply in any other workplace. I wish Anderson could always do stories like the Africa series & not have to spend time on junk like the John Mark Karr debacle.

1:34 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

A scientologist? Heh. I haven't heard that one. Since a lot of people already think scientologists are nuts that just sounds like another scapegoat to me. He did it because he's gay. He did it because he was molested. He did it because he's an alcoholic. Now I can hear people saying he did it because he's a scientologist. What it boils down to is what he did was wrong. His sexual orientation, religion, childhood traumas, and addictions shouldn't matter.

I completely agree about the junk news. When they were going crazy over Karr I thought my head was going to explode. I posted a couple of snippy comments on the blog and sent some negative emails during that time.

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anderson supposedly speaks Swahili or so I heard.

10:38 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Really anon? I know he studied Vietnamese, but I didn't know about that. That's interesting if true.

4:54 PM  

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