Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bill Clinton Hospitalized, Live Haiti Coverage, And The 31st Anniversary Of The Iranian Revolution

Hi everyone. I'm short on time, so this is going to have to be one of those abbreviated blog posts. We begin with the scary news that Bill Clinton had two stents placed in his coronary artery today after suffering chest discomfort.

From Jessica Yellin we learn that one graft of his previous quadruple bypass surgery was blocked, but the procedure went fine and he will go home tomorrow. She also tells us that Clinton's doctor was very clear that this incident was not related to what some might call his crazy busy workload. So...whew! All is well.

But, well, this is CNN, so we must have ALL the angles and we must beat them to death. First up, the medical angle. How very convenient that Sanjay Gupta has been hanging with us anyway. So okay, obviously if you have a history like Clinton's and you start having chest pressure, you're going to want to get it checked out. Kinda a no brainer.

Remember how Jessica said none of this was due to the former president's workload? Well, next we're also joined by David Gergen, Candy Crowley, and Paul Begala to discuss...Clinton's workload. Right then. David tells us, "Americans know now he has a big, big heart, but just not a very strong heart." ORLY? Thank you, Dr. Gergen. I was not aware you were also a cardiologist.

Sanjay actually previously interviewed Clinton about his quadruple bypass, the vault! Yeah, it's clip time. Anderson Cooper is worried about how this heart stuff can pop up on you so suddenly like this. Nobody tell him about aortic dissections. Seriously, that stuff is scary.

Anyway, then everyone is talking about Clinton again and how much he cares about others' health, and yay for that and everything, but dudes he's not dead. I mean, c'mon. The Gerg tells us..."his passion level is extremely high." Am I just supposed to let that go? I mean, remember who you're talking about. Fine. Fine. I'll be good.

Transitioning to Karl Penhaul live for our nightly update on the arrested American missionaries. Well, it is now Thursday, the day when possible conditional release was expected. But from Karl we learn, sorry missionaries, no bail for you! (Sorry, can't resist a good Soup Nazi reference.) Actually, no real decision has been made. It's just that the judge who was going to rush things, uh, didn't. So now the attorney general has to look at it and then it'll get passed back to the judge and...complicated! Bye Karl, I guess we'll catch you tomorrow.

Up next, we have an Anderson Cooper piece set at Mercy and Sharing Orphanage, and it is filled with adorableness! Our anchor holds a baby and plays with other children. Yes, yes, let the "awwwws!" commence. Cue round two of the Enquirer rumors (kidding).

Anyway! Now that we have that out of our systems, the meat of this story is actually pretty cool. The orphanage has 106 children, 70 percent of which are mentally or physically disabled. Some are even terminally ill. All were abandoned prior to the earthquake.

Raphaelle Chenet, the administrator of the facility, believes in caring for and educating these children in Haiti, so they can grow up in their own country. They will be accepting 100 additional children (victims of the quake) upon government approval. You can learn how to help them at (Update: piece is below. Behold the cuteness.)

Moving back to the live shot, we're given an update on little Kenzie who was treated on the USNS Comfort and recently reunited with his family. We're shown some video, and man, that kid has a great smile. Sanjay tells us Kenzie's been telling people that he's been on TV a lot and people like to take his picture. So cute! Future Superstar!

Transitioning to Ivan Watson in the studio for coverage of the 31st anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Big day! Also? Does this mean 360 has heard my request for them to adopt Ivan? Let it be so! As for the news, Ahmadinejad did his speech thing, while the state media played it all out like everything was hunky-dory. Meanwhile, protesters are getting beaten in the streets.

I've really been slacking on the Iran stuff lately. Yes, I am shame-faced. But I've found CNN's Iran Twitter list to be worth a look, and as previously, Andrew Sullivan is all over it when it comes to this subject. Also, it should be noted that Gibbs is calling BS on the Iranian enrichment claims.

Candy Crowley has the "360 Bulletin" again, and unfortunately suffers what appears to be a case of broken prompter. Yikes, it gets painful. Then Anderson weirdly interrupts her in the middle of it to start asking questions, which was either cluelessness on his part or a very sweet act of chivalrous rescuing. I report, you decide.

Back to all the Clinton stuff and Joe Johns gets brought into the game (hey, why not?). Also? Animation! As in, of the heart. Then we have Sanjay and Anderson talking about Clinton's crappy genetics, which leads to them talking about their own crappy genetics. Great, now I'm thinking of my crappy genetics. Raise your hand if your dad died of heart disease. The club of which no one wants to be a member.

On now to a Sanjay piece on the follow up care situation in Haiti. Things are better in that they're now able to give care for ailments other than acute quake related injuries, but the big question is how are these people going to recover. They're living in dirty tent cities and the rainy season promises to bring infectious diseases. Mobile units are working on immunizations, but will it be enough?

Plus, after his piece, Sanjay tells us that hospital discharge instructions are often written in English (brilliant!) and even if the Haitians could read them, there are no pharmacies to get supplies anyway. The doctors are hoping the patients will return for medication, and follow up care can be provided at that time. That's a big bet.

Finally tonight, we have a Randi Kaye piece on the suicide of famous designer Alexander McQueen. I feel like a bit of a fashion failure given that I've never heard of this guy. But I can see his influence on Lady Gaga, so there's that. Give me a break. I'm from the Midwest. And also, I don't care. I mean, I care that he killed himself. That's very sad. He was only 40. It sounds like he might have been distraught over his mother's death, which occurred about a week ago. Again, sad.

The show was okay. I think they went a little heavy with the Clinton stuff, though I'm not denying it was a big story. It was good to see Ivan. More international reporters please. Anyway, that'll do it.

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Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

Your comments about Dr. Gerg were funny. Whose idea was it to have a panel discuss Clinton's workload if it was made clear it's not related to what happened? It was a very touching story of the orphanage, AC looks very comfortable around children and babies. Kenzie's smile is heartwarming. Regarding Candy, I have decided it was Anderson helping, there was too much stumbling, he must have caught that. Andrew Sullivan's blog has done an excellent job of keeping up the coverage of Iran. I also didn't know of McQueen until today. Anne D.

5:54 AM  
Blogger WDG Communications said...

Hi Eliza! Love your blog--it's sopt-on and hilarious. Also great to have a place to talk about the actual news. I agree with Anne that AC was trying to help Candy out--she had a kind of wild-eyed panicked-yet-stoic moment there. I'm hoping AC360 will talk more about the concept of Haiti as a failed state and what that means for the recovery process.

10:07 AM  
Blogger WDG Communications said...

Oops--that should have read "spot-on"--must be Friday!

10:08 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Anne: I get that they're a 24 hr news channel, so they're going to want to keep coming back to the breaking news stories for people just tuning in, but they always seem to take it just a bit too far.

That orphanage piece was adorable. And what good work they do! I hope everything goes smoothly in getting the additional 100 children.

Normally I enjoy gaffes on live TV (hey, it's how I get my kicks), but I just felt bad for Candy.

@WDG Communications: Thank you and thanks for reading! Yeah, I like to chatter about the newsers as much as the next person, but the reason I'm watching is for the actual news. I think I'm with you that Anderson was trying to help Candy. There are so many further stories to explore regarding Haiti, the question is how long the public will watch.

5:14 PM  

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