Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Anderson Cooper 360 Reports Live From Haiti, The Louisiana Watergate, And More Stimulus Nonsense

Hi everyone. Tonight's broadcast begins with a focus on the Americans caught up in the Haiti disaster, an estimated 4500 to 5000 who are now listed as missing. This moves us into a very disturbing piece from Anderson Cooper. Though workers are still combing through the rubble of the Hotel Montana, a lot of debris throughout Port-au-Prince will simply have to be bulldozed. We're reminded of a man who had been looking for his American family member after the quake. It turns out that the woman's husband later found her corpse and was in the process of getting a coffin, when the Haiti government took her body away. Now he doesn't know where she's buried.

Our CNN friends talked with both the State Department and the U.S. Embassy about the situation, but no one seems to have any idea what's going on. This, unfortunately, is just one case. Unbelievably, the mass graves we saw after the quake still have not been sealed. Limbs haphazardly stick out of the ground. No respect for the dead. This clearly infuriates our anchor, as it should. After his piece, Anderson informs us that they called Haiti's Ambassador to the U.S., Raymond Joseph, as well as the Haitian government. No one is willing to come on the show.

I was going to make a Landrieu joke here, but Anderson's final words on the subject take away the desire: "... for a government to treat their own civilians or foreign civilians like this is simply unconscionable. The dead deserve better than that. And certainly so do the living." Below is Anderson's piece, along with the calling out of Joseph and the Haitian government. Warning: graphic.

Moving on now to an interview with Lauren Bruno, daughter of Richard Bruno, who is among the missing at the Hotel Montana. It's a sad conversation. We also learn that the man pulled out of the rubble today after allegedly 14 days may have actually only been trapped for an hour. That's quite a difference.

Next up, we have a piece from Christiane Amanpour on the garment industry in Haiti. The country produces t-shirts for popular American stores like the Gap. Low wages, high quality, you know the drill. Until recently, the industry had been crippled due to the country's checkered governmental history, as well as a U.S. embargo. But new U.S. legislation had resulted in a boom and things were thriving. Then came the earthquake. Capitalism is very unsympathetic, so now workers are scrambling to get the factories up and running before they find their jobs moved elsewhere. Good luck to them. You can view Christiane's report below.

Transitioning back to the states, where we find Ali Velshi surrounded by binders filled with stimulus projects. Oh my God, he built a binder fort! I know what someone's been doing during their commercial breaks. Paging Jon Stewart. Anyway! Ali then gives us a preview of a couple of projects he's going to talk about coming up in the show. I am totally on the edge of my seat.

Back to Haiti, and a meeting of the Live Shot Boys' Club. Karl Penhaul, Ivan Watson , and Gary Tuchman tell Anderson about the goings-on of their day. Disturbingly, Karl saw Brazilian forces pepper-spray Haitians who were seeking aid. Yes, things were chaotic, but did they really have to do that? They're desperate people; not animals. You can see Karl's report from earlier in the day below.

Ivan tells us he saw missionaries giving out food and things were calm. Gary is then in the middle of talking about an ignored village called Bourdon, when suddenly scary things happen. There's a noise, and Gary's all "what's that?" And for the next two seconds everyone--including viewers--is very alert. Everyone that is, except Anderson, who almost immediately says, "It's fine. It's fine." Apparently, there's been a power surge and a line went down. Will someone please inform our anchor that though he has recently added "awesome rescuer" to his resume, he is still not an electrician. Yeah, it's fine, it's fine. What does he know?!

What's hilariously sad is that if that were a frog? He sooo would have been out of that live shot. Oh Anderson, I do not understand you sometimes. Anyway! This is reminding Gary of that first night almost two weeks ago when everything got all scary behind them because people thought there was a tsunami. I think he was a tad freaked for a second there, with good reason. Then Anderson's all, "sit down." Dude. Okay, Live Shot Boys' Club, I love me some Anderson Cooper, but I think you all need to make a pact that when there is potential danger, he is not in charge. Just sayin.'

Moving on now to a Sanjay Gupta piece on Haiti's doctors in training. The country only has 2000 doctors for nine million people, so to say that they are understaffed would be an understatement. Now the quake has demolished the medical schools. More problems and hardship on the horizon.

On now to some domestic news with Joe Johns. Remember that asshat James O'Keefe who posed as a pimp in order to discredit ACORN? He just got arrested for worming his way into Senator Mary Landrieu's office and trying to tamper with the phones Watergate-style. Schadenfreude! For the record, ACORN did nothing illegal (though the doormat Dems still pulled their funding), while this guy's crimes might cost him 10 years in prison. Maybe justice really isn't blind.

The approaching State of the Union address is also brought up, with our anchor noting that he doesn't think anyone ever even remembers them after a day or two. Not true! C'mon, SOTU 2006 was a classic. Bush pledged to save the world from the scourge of animal-human hybrids. That's some good stuff there. Now that we have a sane president, these speeches are not nearly as fun. But it's a price I'm willing to pay.

Back at Anderson's shot, there seems to be some sort of spontaneous religious procession going on. It's a bizarre and stark contrast to the politics we were just talking about,which suddenly seem a world away.

Transitioning to Ali again, and he tells us about a couple of stimulus projects...and it's all pretty context-free and pointless. I think I've figured out what's going on here though. CNN always does this. All their shows have to be focusing on the same thing. This is their "stimulus week" or whatever. Fine and dandy, except 360's kinda ocupado at the moment with the whole horrible earthquake thing. So, in order to be able to check off the box noting that they have in fact participated in this project, we get these very pointless segments with Ali.

True contextualized stimulus reporting is going to take time. Yesterday, I was pretty hard on CNN's economic reporting from last year. But to be fair, it wasn't all bad. Actually, there was some good information online. In fact, while I railed against the television counterpart, some of the online reporting actually contradicted what was being said on the TeeVee. I suspect that when this stimulus project is over, there will be a decent report online, and perhaps even an okay hour long special. But these segments they're trying to throw into every show are just stupid.

After Ali, we have a Randi Kaye piece, which I thought was pretty good. She looked into the issue of some states (specifically Ohio) using stimulus money to pay for signs that point out projects being built with stimulus money. Maybe I just like irony. Anyway! Lots of money wasted, and while I sympathize with the transparency defense, there's got to be a better way to do this.

The hour ends with an update on little Monley. He has an aunt in Florida who wants to adopt him, so that's great news. I don't have any extra video for you tonight, but Anderson did an interview with Mediaite's Steve Krak. It's worth a read. Anderson still isn't giving a date to come home. It sounds like the team will probably have to be ordered to do so. Hopefully this weekend, especially if everyone is getting sick. The reporting has been phenomenal, but they need a break. They can always go back, and I hope that they will.

That'll do it. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@newsjunkie365) and check out my Haiti Twitter List.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliza, I didn' get to read this till tonight-long days, guess I shouldn't complain, nothing like going on in Haiti.

I just had to post that I laughed through part of this post. You are right Anderson would have been out of there in a NY minute if that had been a frog and I don't think I would take his word that everything was ok.

I am probably not saying things right, but I needed that laugh tonight.

You are doing a great job as always.

If I remember right, you had been sick. Are you doing better? Hope so. Take care and thanks again.

7:51 PM  

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