Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Tale Of Two Countries (Wednesday's First Hour)

Hi guys. everyone depressed yet? I haven't been able to get that baby in respiratory distress out of my head. Anyway, I find the back and forth coverage between our country and Africa so striking. Here at home the country is going crazy over dirty emails, and we of course should take it very seriously, but when you hear politicians talking about children's safety and then you hear a story about a three year old being raped, it kind of puts things in perspective and glaringly reveals the crass politicking that is currently going on. Okay, on with the show.

We begin tonight with Anderson live in Rutshuru in the Congo and then he throws to John Roberts, who I have to say, seems a little off tonight. Big studio making you dizzy, John? Our first piece is from Dana Bash and it brings us the bombshell that Foley's former chief of staff Kirk Fordham has resigned (although in other places it's reported he said he was fired) and is now claiming that he tried to warn the republican leadership about Foley TWO YEARS AGO. This of course contradicts Hastert's timeline and he of course denies everything Fordham is saying. Roy Blunt is throwing Hastert under the bus too, saying he would have handled the situation differently. Whatever Roy. Hey, tell your spawn Matt (MO governor) to stop ruining my state.

Next we have a piece from Joe Johns about how democrats are jumping on this with campaign ads and republicans are distancing themselves from Foley and Hastert. Some conservatives still think the timing of all this was an October surprise. However, ABC's Brian Ross has said his source was not a democrat, so that pretty much slaps that down. This little tidbit was not included in Joe's piece and it was public knowledge at the time of air, so what's up with that Joe? Step it up next time. After the piece we get Joe live and he reveals there is a rumor that Foley went to the page dorms drunk.

On now to David Gergen and Joe Klein live and they reveal that the FBI is moving in. The general consensus is that things don't look good for the republicans and especially don't look good for Hastert. Following this we have a Brian Todd piece on former pages that had contact with Foley. They emailed and IM'd with him and it got a little creepy sometimes. One of the pages explains that he continued his contact with Foley even after it got weird because it was an extraordinary thing for a 17 year old to be able to converse with a US congressman. I don't know about you guys, but I think the media's focus on this story is causing us to miss out on other stuff. For example, Rices keep changing her story about that warning she got regarding a threat from Al Qaeda. What's going on there? And what about Iran? I'd like a little warning if we're about to go to war. The Foley thing is huge, but why can't they do several stories at once?

Transitioning now to an Anderson piece set in a hospital in Goma. This one is brutal, folks. We learn of a three year old that has been gang raped. Three year old. Three year old! We also meet a woman named Angela who has been brutally raped and her child horrifically burned. Angela's husband kicked her out of the house because he fears HIV and there is of course the rape stigma. Anderson explains that the brutal rapes often cause fistulas, which are holes in the vagina and rectum that cause an inability to control bodily functions. The physical wounds can often be fixed, but the emotional ones never go away. I remember an Oprah from a couple of years back that covered fistulas and how the woman's family would usually shun her because of the mess and smell associated with the condition. Horrible. Following the piece we get Anderson live with Dr. Romain Gitenet of Doctors Without Borders and he tells us the rapes are increasing. Just today 19 women have come in and it's noted the rapists are never brought to justice.

Next up we have a Sanjay piece from a refugee camp right on the border of Chad. Sanjay asks the people in the camp to raise their hands if they feel safe there. No one raises their hand for that question, but almost all of them do when asked who has lost someone. The refugees live in huts made from trees and there is not enough food or water. They barter at a market. Sanjay tells us the story of a women whose two year old was shot dead as she carried the toddler on her back. Sanjay also notes that these people want what everyone wants: a good education and some land to call their own. After the piece, Sanjay is live in the Congo with Anderson and informs us that the camps are expecting about 40,000 more people. This is the first time Sanjay has been to the Congo and he says it's as bad as he had heard. Anderson mentions it's the violence against women that get to him. It's everything that gets to me.

On now to a rerun of the Anderson gorilla piece. They must have gotten a lot of email love for that one. I don't blame them rerunning it because how can you go wrong with gorillas? Okay, probably several ways, but the piece was adorable...and sad. Afterwards we have a taped interview with Jeff Corwin who introduces us to endangered animals from the region 360 has been covering. The bush baby is probably the cutest, but parrots are cool too. These animals are being sold for their meat and sometimes bush meat ends up in north american markets. Poor animals. Well, that's it for the first hour. These shows are hard to grade. The Africa coverage has been great, but the other stuff has just been meh. Oh hell, it's all arbitrary anyway. A-

Screencaps by liberation337 and stormi0611.

The question: Are you planning on doing anything to help the situation in Africa? If so, what?


Anonymous Sharla said...

I signed that Darfur petition (from your links) and I also looked into Unicef and the African Aid one from the 360 Blog. It kills me that I can't do more- like you said "everything gets to ME"- yeah, me too!

I like that Anderson admits that things bother him. Most reporters just stand there and report the most awful news with a blank look on their faces.

You notice that Sanjay didn't actually answer the question about the baby in distress (whether he made it). I also noticed when Anderson was talking to... someone... I forgot who.... I'm not sure if in the first or second hour, but anyway, he was asking about the rapists and said "and they're never brought to justice" and then turns and just stares at the camera sort of in disbelief as the other guy keeps talking. He's like, WTF is up with THAT?!

7:41 PM  

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