Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Live Update From Haiti, Sean Penn Interview, Radical Muslims, More Hollenbeck, Oscar De La Hoya, & A Child Calls 911 During A Home Invasion

Hi everyone. We're beginning tonight with the subject of Haiti. Today Obama hosted Haitian president Rene Preval at the White House. Anderson Cooper tells us that extreme rains will begin in the country approximately a month from now, putting about 200,000 displaced people in serious jeopardy.

We then go live to Sara Sidner in Port-au-Prince for the situation on the ground. She tells us the people living in tent cities are very concerned about the rainy season and are disgusted that no one has told them where to go. Sara talked to one of the leaders of the commission for reconstruction and basically, Haiti is not ready for this impending second disaster. As for all that pledged money, the government is scheduled to go before the U.N. with their plan at the end of the month. Okay, but the clock is ticking.

Next up, Anderson has an interview with Sean Penn who is currently back from Haiti, though will be returning later this week. Sean co-founded the Jenkins Penn Haitian Relief Organization, which is working to relocate quake survivors to save them from the rains. (You can go to their site to learn more.) They talk a lot about the rain threat, and Sean touches on the prevention of disaster-profiteering.

Rural relocation is also brought up, which you might remember (or, okay, probably not) was a subject stressed by Robert Maguire when he appeared with Anderson on Charlie Rose's Haiti panel. As he did then, our anchor again notes the conflict with that idea--i.e. the city being the center of economic life (not to mention heath care factors).

Sean also emphasizes that the U.S. has put a lot of effort into Haiti and it's important that we keep our eye on the ball because all we've accomplished can be undone if we lose focus. He makes the fairly shocking statement that "there is a high likelihood in this next month tens of thousands of people will die." Let's hope he's wrong. As for the question of why he devotes himself to the country, Sean basically says it's because Haiti is only 90 minutes away by plane, but a world away in resources and the comforts we all take for granted. Good interview.

Moving on to a Drew Griffin piece on radical Muslims, which I'm going to skip to save time. But I'll add that despite my problems with Drew, I didn't really have any issues with his report.

Stephanie Elam has the bulletin tonight. Actually, she's had the bulletin for several nights. I'm not really sure where she's come from, but uh, sorry to her for that whole prior ignoring thing. Anyway! Really I'm only mentioning all this so that I can link you to this clip of Patrick Kennedy (which was one of the headlines Stephanie had) opening a can of whoop-ass on the media for their Afghanistan coverage.

Admittedly, I do want to slip him a Valium (simmer down a tad, son!), but he makes a good point. Yes, Congress is filled with idiots who are constantly doing idiotic things. And the media loves to cover the idiotic things. Hearings and debates about important issues? Those tend to get less coverage, which is probably why the public thinks Congress doesn't do anything. I guess that's why I was so pleased with last week's coverage of food safety. Also? Before airing the Kennedy clip, it was noted that lawmakers voted down a measure to end our mission in Afghanistan in 30 days. Here's a question: If the Kennedy clip didn't exist, would we still get that headline? Only 360 can know the answer to that.

Next up, more Homicide in Hollenbeck. In an Anderson piece, we learn about the killing of Gabriel Ayala, a well-known gang member. The twist here is that he was most likely killed by his own gang. A couple years before his death, he and another gang member were charged with the murder of Francisco Sanchez. That other member was convicted of first degree murder, while Gabriel's case fell apart and he walked.

Detective Dwayne Fields thinks that Gabriel's gang probably thought he talked (which he didn't) and he was subsequently killed for being a snitch. And...I'm confused. I don't understand Anderson's laser-like focus on the stop snitchin' thing when it seems pretty clear (despite what he implied the first night of coverage) that "snitchin'" will get you killed. Yes, I realize Gabriel didn't have police protection since he didn't actually go to them, but still.

All I'm saying is the issue is a lot more complicated than what he's painting. If he's so repulsed by the movement (and hey, who wouldn't be?), I wish he'd focus more on the corporate side, which is where investigative journalism can really be of benefit here. Constantly harping on the fact that people won't come forward isn't exactly helping things. Witnesses are probably scared.

This notion is actually echoed in a subsequent interview with boxer Oscar De La Hoya, who grew up near Hollenbeck. He tells us that his parents gave him choices in life and he realized he wanted to be somebody. Now he funds a charter school in East L.A. to help other kids. And about that stop snitchin' thing? "Anderson, it's fear. I grew up with fear in East L.A. I grew up in fear in Hollenbeck. But if we can take away that fear, you know, that's a step in the right direction," says Oscar. Amen.

Moving on now to a Randi Kaye piece on a seven-year-old named Carlos who called 911 when three armed men broke into his home. Here's the piece. Everyone is okay, but the sound of screaming when Carlos is found by the gunman is pretty terrifying.

The "shot" tonight is handled by Stephanie, which is code for upcoming Silver Fox embarrassment. Apparently on Regis & Kelly, Kelly and her husband Mark Consuelos were playing "Newlywed Game" and Mark was asked that if his wife could marry one celebrity, who would it be? Since Mark is a celebrity, he picked himself. But oh, that is not what Kelly said. Ok, we all know what's coming--it's the reason we're watching this clip right now: she picked Anderson! Awkward!

"Maybe you're like her TV husband sometimes. Is that it?" asks Stephanie. But sorry ladies, our anchor doesn't seem to be down with even that. "I don't know about that," he says, looking none too thrilled. Why do I feel like my gender just got extra rejected? Oh, Silver Fox, we only want to love you! Is that so wrong?

The show was good, I thought. Yay to significant Haiti coverage. I think I've kinda given up on trying to understand Anderson's stop snitchin' obsession. They could do some kick ass reporting on those companies who promote the movement if they wanted. Oh wells. That'll do it.

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