Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Anderson Cooper 360 Reports Live From Haiti One Week After The Earthquake And Republican Scott Brown Wins Ted Kennedy's Senate Seat

Hi everyone. Tonight's broadcast brought us a tale of two worlds. Anderson Cooper continued his anchoring from Haiti, a country that remains in hell, death and destruction everywhere. But we were also reminded of the political realities at home--partisanship, bickering, all covered by mind-numbing punditry. The contrast was so stark, it was as if the show was coming at us from two different planets. And it was.

I'll touch on the politics in a bit, but first want to start in Haiti. It was exactly one week ago that the country was devastated by the earthquake, and today there was some amazing news. A woman in her 70's named Ena Zizi was pulled alive from the wreckage of the National Cathedral. That's one tough lady. Her femur was broken, and like with many others, there was great difficulty getting her treatment, but she was eventually transported to a ship for surgery. I hope she makes it. Below is Anderson's live report from when the rescue occurred.

Our anchor's second report was from a Doctors Without Borders clinic where there simply aren't enough supplies to treat the patients. Quake survivors with infections have no choice but to wait and pray that help comes before death. The doctors have been reduced to avoiding eye contact with patients because they know they will be asked for assistance they cannot give. They've even resorted to using saws normally used to cut metal as surgical instruments. To make matters more infuriating, cargo planes with supplies have attempted to get to them, but have been diverted away from the airport on several occasions. It's unbelievable. The organization really needs help. To donate, click here.

Anderson also did a lot of talking with both Sanjay Gupta and Ivan Watson regarding the rescues they've been seeing (Ivan tells us an eight and ten-year-old have been pulled out today also), as well as the general frustrations of the overall situation. I know it's not exactly reporting, but I like to see these conversations among the boots-on-the-ground. It's more raw and gives viewers a better sense of what it's like there.

Tonight we also learned that Haiti still has a government. Sort of. Gary Tuchman tracked them down and spoke with both the President and Prime Minister. Remarkably, all members of the Cabinet are alive. As for what the hell they've been doing all this time, the President claims to have been giving radio interviews, which Gary was able to confirm with one radio host. My sense is that they're at least trying. I guess the leadership could be worse.

Gary Tuchman also again updated the orphan story. Little David Alexander is with his parents at last! The majority of the rest of the children trying to leave last night made it to the states as well, with only one little girl remaining behind because she fell asleep on the bus. Aw. Don't worry, Jamie McMutrie stayed with her and is following (or already followed) the rest of the group. This blog is posting updates.

Finally, here's a piece from Ivan that we didn't see during the broadcast:

As previously noted, I've been doing a lot of Haiti-related tweeting, and you can follow me at @newsjunkie365. I've also set up a special Twitter List of journalists and a few others on-the-ground in Haiti. And as always, check out CNN Impact to learn how to help.

The other world we visited tonight was the world of politics, specifically the special election between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown for Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat. By the time the broadcast began, we already knew the winner was Brown. But CNN can't get through an election night without analysis from The Best Political Team on Television (TBPTOT), so we were subjected to quite a bit of punditry.

The Haiti disaster has preoccupied my news time lately, so I pretty much only know the basics of this race and am therefore unable to determine whether or not the media retained their tendency to trend toward idiocy regarding specifics. But I'm guessing if I were to shake a Magic Eight Ball, that sucker would tell me "outlook good." What is it about TBPTOT that makes me want to jam something sharp into my eye?

I loved Wolf Blitzer telling Jessica Yellin that Coakley "got a call from the president of the United States, saying, too bad." Yeah, I'm sure that's exactly how Obama said that. Because that doesn't make him sound like a jerk at all. But I think my award for most cringe-worthy moment of the night goes to Dana Bash using the phrase "political tsunami." Little tip: When your colleague was just on air reporting from an actual disaster of imaginable proportions, it's probably best not to use a similar disaster as a metaphor for a political race. Classy.

As for that race, I'm really upset about the Brown win because I'm fearful for the future of health care reform, but there's really no point worrying too much about it now when things are up in the air. Also? David Gergen pondering about Obama governing too far to the left had me wanting to pull my hair out. Our president has practically pulled a muscle bending over backwards in the name of bipartisanship, yet the Villagers think he's governing too far to the left. Unbelievable.

One thing's pretty clear in all this though: The Democrats are idiots. As always, Jon Stewart nails it:

For a little more fun (God knows we need it these days), I give you the CNN Magic Wall Trailer:

CNN Magic Wall Trailer from Marjoe Aguiling on Vimeo.

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