Haiti Six Months Later
Hi everyone. Six months ago an earthquake devastated Haiti. Tonight the 360 kids return to Port-au-Prince to see where the country stands. I've heard Anderson Cooper say more than once previously that he's not one for marking anniversaries, but in the news business, I suppose you take every coverage opportunity you can get. As I noted in January, "significant milestones will bring network coverage." Here we are. To 360's credit, they did a really nice job with keeping on the story for a quite a while. Then? Not so much. The oil disaster happened, and as per usual, they had trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. I mean, Gary Tuchman was there and we didn't get any coverage. But this is just a little recap of where we've been story-wise. I'm grateful they went back and admire the dedication. So! Let's get on with the bullet points, shall we?
- Anderson Cooper began the show in complete bogglement that customs made them pay taxes on relief supplies they had been asked to bring in with them. This confused me. I mean, obviously, yes, this is an outrage. But we knew this, didn't we? I would understand if the issue was that it's still happening six months later. That's not the vibe I was getting from Anderson though. He clearly seemed to be relaying that this was something new to him. I guess it's possible that it was news to him, since he was not there when it was reported on his show by Soledad O'Brien. Still. Maybe there's a nuance here that I'm not getting. Or maybe our anchor just likes to be perpetually shocked.
- Anderson: "There are more than 1.6 million people still living in camps, like the one behind me, the one that sprouted up six months ago tonight. Those people are all still there. I recognize many of them that we talked to six months ago." That's crazy that he recognizes them. It's like time stands still in Haiti.
- The funny is really hard to find for you people during these broadcasts, but there was a slight chuckle-worthy moment in our anchor's piece when he showed us the the inside of a living structure. "What you don't see on video is just how incredibly hot it is in here," he says, and perhaps thinking this needs some sort of demonstration, wipes his face. Yeah, okay, that's not really funny. I got nothing! The first block of the show is below, including Anderson's piece.
- Our anchor talked live with Sean Penn, who continues to be awesome. I know I've been pretty outspoken regarding 360's now comical level of celebrity obsession as of late, but I don't even consider Penn a celeb. He's the real deal. His organization, beattherain.org, has just begun using heavy equipment to clear debris. Penn hits on a several topics, though coordination seems to be one of his primary concerns. He tells us that General Hospital and NGOs don't even know where to get blood. Insanity. Watch the interview below.
- Sanjay Gupta's piece was heart-breaking. That poor little girl with hydrocephalus. Gah, 360 why must you show me kids who are going to die? (But the situation needs to be seen.) So, so sad. The fact that hospitals are closing down due to lack of money is outrageous. Hopefully the attention all this "six month" coverage brings can maybe do at least a little good on that front. Maybe. Also? Run, Sanjay, run! Just watch:
- We got an update from Gary Tuchman on little Jenna who has been living with her mother Elizabeth Dowling in Colorado. Things have been a bit rocky. Apparently, Jenna and other former orphans like her are now beginning to act out. Seems like it would be natural, then again, Gary's piece about the Ranch for Kids comes to mind as well (though I think fetal alcohol syndrome might have been more a factor there). Let's hope the kids work though it soon. You can read more about this story from producer Justine Redman, and the video is below.
- Randi Kaye pops in to give us some potentially really good news about the oil disaster. They put a new cap on, and though the oil still flows, they hope it will eventually be fully contained. Now, this is BP saying this, so call me cynical, but I'm waiting until I see an improvement with my own eyes before I celebrate.
- Anderson interviewed Bill Clinton, co-chair of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, and, uh, our former president. They talk money, NGOs, and reconstruction.
- The broadcast wraps up with a group I have been referring to as "my boys"--Anderson, Gary, Sanjay, and Ivan Watson--talking about what they've seen and how things have changed. Seriously, save the behind-the-sceners--you're pretty much looking at the only reasons I watch CNN at this point. (The network has great international reporters, but I never see them on CNN Domestic, so they're pretty much moot.) Also? As one of my friends noted while watching this segment with me, they could so totally do a calender. For charity, boys! One more bit of irrelevancy: was I the only one wondering about the person (who appeared to be) on the ground holding the microphone and whether or not their arm was getting tired? Just me then? Okay. Despite my total non serious blogging of this segment, I do find all of the perspectives useful in getting a fuller understanding of the overall story. Wasn't trying to belittle. Watch it below:
- Also, watch this report from Ivan (about Michel Corvil, the man he just talked about), who got very little love tonight when it came to getting his stuff on air.
- The broadcast was good. I'm very glad they came back.