Friday, January 22, 2010

Anderson Cooper 360 Reports Live From Haiti Following The "Hope For Haiti Now" Telethon

Hi everyone. I hope you donated during the "Hope For Haiti Now" telethon. If you missed out, there's still an opportunity to do so online. The benefit featured some pretty cool musical acts. For those wondering about Wyclef Jean's shout out to Anderson Cooper, I'm pretty sure it was just because he's high profile and was the first network reporter to make it into the country. Anderson interviewed Wyclef on 360 the night he left. There's no "beef" there. No anger.

Tonight's broadcast felt like a wrap-up of sorts. There were a lot of updates on stories our CNN friends have been following the past 10 days. For those visiting here for the first time, you can see my prior posts for more extensive recaps of those stories and accompanying video. The show began with a report from Anderson on little Monley Elize, the five-year-old boy pulled from the rubble by his uncle after almost eight days. At that time he looked near death. Now he looks amazing! That's the (very) good news. The bad news is that Monley is now an orphan. He's currently living in a tent with his uncles, but they cannot afford to continue caring for him. His future is still very much up in the air.

After his piece, Anderson talked live with Gabriella McAdoo, a registered nurse who helped treat Monley, and the little boy sat with them as well. Our anchor then interviewed George Clooney--host of tonight's telethon--via satellite. Of particular note was the discussion about keeping Haiti in the news. We've all heard this song before. Sure Haiti's on our minds now, trending on Twitter, but soon people will forget. The news cycle moves quickly, and unlike Katrina, our politicians have no constituents in Haiti. This is an election year. The suits of the networks will be tempted to move on. It will be up to the reporters who have seen the horror to keep the story alive. A big burden to bear. You can view the interview with Clooney below.

Sanjay Gupta reported from a tent city and found conditions relatively clean. There is a worry of a wave of infectious disease spreading throughout the people, but the doctor believes these concerns may be overblown. However, the heat continues to present a risk to survivors' health. Sanjay came across one adorable baby girl who was wearing a shirt that said, "Does this diaper make my butt look big?" You can find a laugh in the most unlikely place.

Karl Penhaul then talked with Anderson about the mass exodus out of Port-au-Prince. Residents simply want out. He also relayed a very disturbing story about a woman who was leaving the city. Her two young children were crushed to death in the earthquake and when asked if she had time to bury them, she simply replied, "I threw them away." Karl then asked her, "Why don't you Haitians cry?" Her reply: "There's no point." We've barely scratched the surface on the trauma these people are going through. Karl and Anderson's talk is below.

As noted up top, this broadcast contained some recapping and updating of previous stories. Gary Tuchman has been covering the story of the Bresma orphans and tonight he happily gave us the good news that's occurred. When his initial report (see my prior posts) on the orphans aired, Elizabeth Dowling was watching and was delighted to see her daughter Jenna featured. After a lot of previously reported logistical maneuvering, Jenna is now home in Colorado.

A little boy named Alexander David was also one of the Bresma orphans. His parents, Jean Griffith and Ross Haskell, contacted CNN to try to find information on their son and Gary was able to find him. Again, much logistical maneuvering, but again another child ultimately ending up home in the states (Kansas this time). Ironically, these orphans' adoptions would still be pending if not for the earthquake.

As they have been most nights lately, Anderson, Sanjay, Gary, and Ivan Watson all gathered at the live shot to talk about their day's experiences. Ivan reported learning of a localized tsunami that had killed at least seven. Video of Ivan at the location is below.

Gary spent time with a 109-year-old woman and her family today. She's blind, her house was destroyed, yet she still smiles. Amazing. The men also gave us some behind-the-scenes info. According to Ivan, there really is no plan on a given day. They just drive and the stories are all around. As for at night, the CNNers are shacked up in a hotel, but Gary informed us not all of them are comfortable sleeping inside. Given the aftershock we saw on camera last night, I can't really blame them.

For the record, Anderson confirmed that he does sleep inside, but I think regular viewers already knew that. Because we're well aware he's crazy. Not that sleeping inside is crazy, but I think you know what I mean. For our light moment of the night (there always miraculously seems to be one), a quote from our anchor: "I will say when one of the aftershocks hit I put on a pair of jeans and stood in the doorway and I kind of thought to myself, is this how I would want to be found?" I'm not laughing at him, I'm laughing with him. Whenever there's tornado weather here, along with finding a flashlight, I always do a quick clothes check. Because nobody wants to be found in their stained sweatshirt and socks with the holes in them.

The broadcast basically wrapped up with Anderson introducing photojournalist Jonathan Torgovnik who has been taking pictures for Getty Images. You can view some of his work here. Given the general tone of the show tonight, I assumed that the reporters we've been watching are getting ready to rotate out of Haiti. But then Anderson said they will be there all next week if they can.

The State of the Union address is coming up, so I'm not sure how that will all work. I have a feeling that Anderson (and perhaps others) will have to be pried out of the country. He stayed a month in New Orleans, as well as Israel. I want them to stay, but I also think they need a break. I guess we'll see what happens. The coverage remains stellar. Besides Jonathan Torgovnik, other shout outs tonight included photojournalist Neil Hallsworth, producer Charlie Moore, producer Mary Anne Fox, and translator Vlad Duthiers. I also know that Sanjay's producer's name is Danielle Dellorto. Kudos to all. CNN needs to name-check all their people on-the-ground. Their hard work should be acknowledged. (Update: Anderson's "Reporter's Notebook" is below.)

I hope to get another post up sometime this weekend, be it Haiti-related or not. I'm just going with the flow right now. My spiel: At this time, my main focus is distributing information, and highlighting the stellar work of the CNNers, which is causing the world to take notice of the crisis. 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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anderson tweeted that he is staying over the weekend and all next week.

Eliza you have done a great job covering this story all week. Keep up the good work. This is a heartbreaking story to follow, but as Anderson says "it is a story that needs to be told"

11:52 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

Thank you. After donating, I've felt pretty helpless. I've been trying to delude myself into believing that I'm helping this way. I'll do anything I can to get the information out there. Yes, the story needs to be told and not forgotten. The day Haiti is no longer in the headlines is the day that help begins to stop.

8:18 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Also, I just read Anderson's tweet. He said almost the same thing after Katrina. It's pretty clear he's not going to leave until CNN makes him. I hope they all take care of themselves.

8:21 PM  

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