Thursday, July 08, 2010

Team Gupta Continues To Keep 'Em Honest In The Gulf

Hi everyone. Now that I've had over 24 hours to calm down, I'm not quite as rage-y about the Octavia Nasr firing, though I am still pretty ticked. Much (MUCH!) has been written about the subject by others, so it would feel a little redundant to weigh in here (though maybe later). In any regards, Nasr's firing speaks to layers of issues that go beyond just one reporter, or even just one news outlet. If you're interested in delving into the topic further, I have many links on my Twitter page.

As for the show, tonight the 360 kids shook things up a bit and came at us from a fishing dock in Port a la Hache, Louisiana, where Sanjay Gupta showed us around an oyster boat. What a difference a change of scenery can make to freshen up a broadcast. Plus? No bell! And the good doctor is clearly taking his role as Anderson Cooper's substitute very seriously, right down to the uniform. Black t-shirt? Check! I think it's about time for the bullet points, don't you? Away we go:
  • Though we've seen Jefferson Parish Council Chairman John Young before, his presence has yet to become stale, and it was nice to hear the new perspective of Reverend Tyronne Edwards of the Zion Travelers Baptist Church. To be clear, I'm not dissing on Billy Nungesser here (I actually like him), but he's been very much overused.
  • Reverend Edwards on Obama: "He's the very first president in history that toured all of Plaquemines Parish. And we're excited about that. But we're saying we would like to see the president, Obama, do the same thing that he did for the mortgage company, the banking company. He would have these town hall meetings where he would actually have dialogue with community people." Good point. The first block of the show is below:

  • Randi Kaye's piece about Mississippi's Pecan Grove landfill was very good...and very disgusting. Pretty messed up that Waste Management can basically just override a county board and then dump an oily mess in people's backyard.
  • Attack of the critter! At about 6:00 minutes in, a bug apparently seeking its 15 minutes of fame gave Randi a little scare. My favorite part is her trying not to laugh after she (mildly) freaks.

  • While I appreciate Tom Foreman taking a look at the White House website, did we really think it wasn't going to contain a lot of positive spin? I mean, hello! But it's good to know it at least contains some useful information, like how to make claims for damages.
  • I liked the segment with Don Beshel, Byron Enclade, Stanley Enclade, and Vlhao Mjehovich. It was nice to see and hear from the locals who are living and working in this disaster, rather than professional commentators (i.e. Carville, Julia Reed...). If we have to have discussion segments, I wish they'd do it this way more often. The opinions of Carville et al. aren't worth any more than those of these men tonight.

  • Sanjay's report on testing the seafood was crazy. There's an actual taste test involved?! Mmm, oily. Yeah, I'm not exactly comforted--especially given they're not yet testing for dispersants. This piece is at the beginning of the video below.
  • Joe Johns with the headlines: "And more about LeBron James. In the event you happened to be off the planet for the last hour or so, then possibly, just possibly you do not know that the NBA superstar is going to Miami to play for the Miami Heat. Settle down. Welcome back to earth and listen to this." Oh Joe, you are winning me over with your snarky ways.
  • It is at this point in my viewing that the sky opens up, the rain pours down, and my satellite says, "Oh hey, were you watching something? Because I think I'm going to go out, like, right now." And...suddenly it's like I'm half Amish. So that was the end of my time with the 360 kids. But the latter half of the video below contains a really nice piece on Haiti. Next week the show is heading back to see where things stand at the six month mark. I'm grateful they're going and very much looking forward to the coverage. All of the original team are scheduled to be there--even Gary Tuchman and Ivan Watson.

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Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

CNN fires Ms. Nasr, the same network that hired Erick Erickson. The same network who had Glenn Beck. It's a disgusting situation. Andrew Sullivan's blog addresses it in depth. I sure got much more out of the oysterman panel than from the paid pondering pundits. It's so painful, I hope that General Honore will be utilized. This BP disorganized cleanup needs a change. I am looking forward to AC and company in Haiti, also.

5:01 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Anne: Yep, another great decision by CNN! They'd argue that Erickson is a commentator and therefore can't be equated with Nasr, but still. It's disgusting that they'd just throw away almost 20 years of loyal service because they're huge cowards. And let's not forget that CNN has PUSHED Twitter on their employees. So Octavia goes the extra mile for her company, makes an error in judgment (and it WAS a big error in judgment), and gets totally burned for it.

I was so glad to see the panel with the locals. I keep thinking back to the Katrina coverage and all the amazing regular people we met. This coverage has been more celeb focused. I wish they'd stop that because it's not what they do best.

4:03 PM  

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