Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Anderson Cooper 360 Reports Live From Haiti With Coverage Ranging From Orphans To Quarantined Patients (Plus Snowpocalypse!)

Hi everyone. Like last night, we begin this broadcast with Anderson Cooper emphatically trying to portray the importance of the story of Haiti. He concedes it's falling out of the headlines and may seem repetitive, but the story deserves to continue to be told. In essence, he's shaking us all by the shoulders, yelling, "Care, world!"

Our first piece of the night is from our anchor, and it explores the challenge of helping kids who appear to be orphaned. We follow along with workers from Heartland Alliance as they attempt to locate family members of 10-year-old Stephanie Jacques (ph). Unicef does the same for five-year-old Kenzie Charles (ph), currently being treated on the USS Comfort. By a stroke of luck or divine intervention (I'll let you choose), the little boy's parents are located nearby. At least one family is having a good day.

Sanjay Gupta then joins Anderson to talk about the 28-year-old man allegedly pulled from the rubble after a month. He seems to be doing fairly well and is even requesting chocolate. If I hadn't eaten for a month, I think I'd be asking for every food known to man. Of course, he's no doubt not going to be able to eat much for a while.

From Sanjay, we learn that the man actually heard the bulldozers coming and feared he too would be scooped out and tossed in a dump truck like trash. Our doctor also tells us that in terms of emergent cases, things are improving. But the health of Haiti overall is very much up in the air. One wonders what the follow up situation is going to be like--if there is one at all.

Next up, we have a piece from Anderson that gives us a tour of one of the tent cities that have been popping up all over Port-au-Prince, where an estimated 450,000 are now homeless. Anderson explains that initially, people just used sheets to create their living quarters. As time goes on, however, they're beginning to scavenge for materials to make the structures more permanent.

Part of our tour occurs at night, and people are quite pleased to see our anchor, who informs us there might be a bit of drinking going on. Others are cooking and selling food. Team 360 also stumbles upon a very ill woman and subsequently secures her a way to the hospital. Somewhere in another tent city, there is another deathly ill woman with no television crew there to help her. The story of Haiti goes on.

Moving on now to a Karl Penhaul piece for the latest on the saga of the American missionaries. As we learned previously, the group actually tried to take another group of children from a tent city out of Haiti on a bus, and were prevented from doing so by a police officer. Karl finds a woman who says the missionaries offered to take her son and daughter, as her husband had died in the quake and she didn't think she could care for them. Ultimately she did not put her children on the bus.

But Karl also finds a boy who was forced onto the bus by his father. He didn't even know where he was going. An attorney for the group states he was not aware of this attempt to take children. Following Karl's piece, Anderson tells us that the little boy forced on the bus had been given toys by the Americans, but once the scheme failed, they actually asked for the toys back. How very Christian of them.

For a bit of levity, I double-checked this story against the transcript, and it says the missionaries gave the boy "Toyotas." Not quite as impressive as it would have been a few weeks ago.

Transitioning to...Snowpocalypse! SnOMG! And don't forget Snowmageddon. Kinda sad that this latest storm hasn't even happened yet and we've already blown the coolest names. Anyhoo! As you might have heard, there's some snow making it's way to the Big Apple, most of the East Coast, actually.

Chad Myers informs us that some of our CNN friends will be spending the night in a hotel to ensure they're able to deliver their regularly scheduled newsiness. As for my neck of the woods, I woke up, saw snow, heard the schools were closed, and contacted my boss to say I was moving my office day to tomorrow. Then, not three hours later, almost all the snow was gone from the streets. WTF? Snow fail. Was flippin' cold though.

Candy Crowley has the "360 Bulletin" tonight and Anderson makes sure to lavish on the praise regarding her debut broadcast as anchor of State of the Union. Last week she had noted she was a little nauseous about diving in. "No vomiting?" asks Anderson. Thankfully, Candy assures us that she refrained. "I think I might have vomited my debut on 360," says our anchor. TMI, Cooper. TMI.

On now to a Sanjay Gupta piece that takes us inside a tent of patients quarantined for tuberculosis. Yes, he wears a mask. Given how closely the Haitian population is currently living, spreading of TB is a big concern that could potentially have ramifications for us all if it begins to be carried by air travelers out of the country. Scary.

After Sanjay's piece, he discusses the issue with Anderson, who interrupts his own point about sanitation to identify and remove a bug from Sanjay's shirt. Hilariously random. But I'm thankful, since it was, uh, bugging me. Our anchor's about to have PETA on his tail. I mean, if the president couldn't even get away with it...

Next up, Anderson interviews Sean Penn. That's right, I said Sean Penn. Now, normally this is when I would hit DEFCON 5 in terms of needing to snark, but Penn is kinda the real deal and has apparently been working his butt off in Haiti the whole time. He talks about how proud he is of the U.S. military.

Anderson worries about the coming rains and the soon to be nonexistent coverage. He notes the Olympics are airing soon and fears people will get involved with watching that, forgetting about Haiti. I actually didn't think people cared all that much about the Winter Olympics, but was informed by friends that I am mistaken.

Sean thinks the games should be politicized in order to put the focus on Haiti. I can't help but think of the Kashmir quake that happened in October 2005. Remember that? Almost 80,000 people died. Sanjay traveled there that December as winter began to take hold. Everyone wondered what would happen to the homeless as it became bitterly cold.

I don't know the answer to that because Sanjay's reports are the last ones I remember. After that, the story of Kashmir just...disappeared. Haiti is probably an easier story to cover in terms of logistics, but I fear that might not be enough.

Part of Anderson's conversation with Sean is below. Because I was sincere with this celebrity segment, I now feel I must mock someone. (It's like an itch I need to scratch, people!) I believe my douchebag of choice is going to be Dr. Phil. After Katrina, like a lot of celebrities, he showed up in New Orleans looking to help. And hey, if he got some publicity for his show, all the better, right?

I remember I was with my brother watching the news when it was announced Dr. Phil was on his way. With completely sincere horror, I exclaimed, "My God, haven't these people been through enough already?!" Normally it's a line I would deliver with ironic intent, but I totally meant it, which drove my brother to practically fall on the floor laughing. Ah, memories. Seriously, what a douchebag.

Anderson and Sanjay then talk about the children being airlifted out of Haiti due to illness. We also learn that Medicare is paying 110 percent to hospitals in the United States to care for Haitian children. Um, what? Ruh Roh. My initial reaction is cue the outrage of people freaking over their tax dollars being used on Haitian kids. I don't know though. This one could go either way. Will it blow up into a big political thing or will it fall off the radar? Only time will tell. Discussion is below:

Moving on to a clip of Michelle Obama discussing childhood obesity on Larry King. A good topic and all, but are we seriously not going to talk about what's going on with Larry's hair?

Candy then returns with some more headlines, which ultimately leads to she and Anderson bitching about airline pillows and blankets. Bah. Quiet you babies. I've never even been offered one. We then move on to the "shot," which is Donna Brazile and Wolf Blitzer dancing. Sorta! Backing it up a bit, Donna got her groove thing on to the joy over the Saints' recent victory. She then asked the Wolfbot to join in, and he did--in his own special way. It kinda looks like this.

Donna then joins us in a little taped interview where she sings the praises of New Orleans' recovery and deems Anderson a "favorite son." Our anchor adds to the love-fest, name dropping some of his favorite restaurants in the area. "Anderson, next time you want some good Creole gumbo, come to Chez Donna, my house, baby," says Donna. Oh my! I do believe she is flirting. You lead the poor anchor along, but won't allow him to become your boo? Oh Donna. Such a tease!

Back with Candy again, she asks Anderson if he would have accepted a request from Donna to dance. Hmm readers, based on the history of forever, what do we think? Slow dance, probably. Anything else? Yeah, not so much. Candy actually seems a bit frightened of the Wolfbot dancing, as she should be.

Anderson reminds us of weird Blitzer facts: "Wolf loves the music, you know. He was in that band when he was a kid. And he claims he was in the original band called The Monkeys. He had a band that he claims predated the actually Monkees. But I'm not sure I believe him." Unlike Micky Dolenz, our anchor is not a believer. Apparently, there is a trace of doubt in his mind. (Monkee puns! Oh, they should pay me extra for this.)

That'll do it. The show was very good tonight. Keep on truckin', 360. We'll be here.

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