Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In Katrina's Wake: Live From New Orleans

Hi everyone. Did you miss me? For those of you wondering just where your blogger has been, this is what happened: the world done gone crazy!! Terror babies! Obama's religion! Muslims who want to exercise their constitutionally protected freedom of religion! Clutch. Your. Pearls. People.

Um, yeah.

So I was all, EFF THAT! You know who also made his escape from Crazy Town? Anderson Cooper, that's who. But tonight the Silver Fox has resumed his rightful place on our television screens. And oh! It's called sunscreen, son. Well, at least I guess this means he had some vacay fun. I swear, he doesn't wear a helmet when biking, doesn't satisfactorily protect against UV rays--what are we going to do with this anchor?! Next we'll probably hear about him doing something really crazy, like swimming with sharks without a cage. Oh, wait.

With the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina looming, the 360 kids have made their way down to New Orleans for some follow up coverage. Tonight's broadcast comes at us from George Washington Carver High, where residents hope to build a so-called Ninth Ward Field of Dreams--a community track and football field. I think this is a good place to get the bullet points rolling (oh yes, they're back!). Away we go:
  • Whoops. An apparently unforeseen kink in the new graphics package is that our anchor's face gets covered if he moves an inch. And he's a mover!
  • The look back at Hurricane Katrina was very well-done. The majority of those clips I remember like they were yesterday. Anderson Cooper rightly got a lot of attention for his reporting, but I cannot put into words the impact of Jeanne Meserve's report that aired on NewsNight that Monday night. I will never forget that. I'll be doing my own retrospective in blog form at some point, but I'm not sure exactly when. Look back! The CNN segment is below:

  • If we're being honest here, going from that great segment to discussion with James Carville and Julia Reed was a pretty big letdown. I'm done with the professional talkers. I want to see reporting and I want to hear from everyday people. Kthxbai.
  • Washboard Chaz! But I forgot to look and see if he still has his little bell. Thinking about Anderson ringing it still makes me laugh. One of the last times Chaz was on, I was chatting with other viewers and we were placing bets regarding when in the broadcast our anchor would finally ring that bell. You could just tell he wanted to soo bad. Because all men are 12 inside. If I recall, Anderson held strong until the very end. Hey man, a bell must be rung.
  • Gary Tuchman had a piece on Sarah Palin and I was like, why Gary, why?! It's okay, I still love you. Palin is a job hazard.
  • Then we had political discussion with Ed Rollins and James Carville. Yay? Actually, if we must have the pundit from the right and pundit from the left formula, can we lock in Ed here? So. Much. Better. Than. Erickson.
  • Carville on why he hopes Palin will run in 2010: "'s just there's nobody more compelling than she is in politics. I mean, forget the politics of it. But she's a force. And she keeps doing it. And she's gutsy." Annnnd James perfectly illustrates why I hate punditry as a whole and usually dislike him specifically. She's compelling! She's gutsy! Um, policy stands? Bueller? I'm sure he also wants her to run because he thinks she'll lose, but c'mon.
  • Ed believes Palin will run and added that, "I think, Anderson, you and I will spend our time at New York dinner parties arguing with the Manhattanites." I only quote this because as soon as Ed said it I knew what was coming. Ruh-roh! Anderson Cooper is not going to like you messing with his carefully maintained 'everyman' reputation. Cue our anchor: "I can't tell you the last time I was actually invited to a dinner party. But I digress." Oh Silver Fox. So predictable. We believe you're down to earth...but we also know you're a famous millionaire descended from what is basically American royalty. So there's that. But okay, no dinner parties for you. Embrace your dichotomy, Anderson!
  • Sanjay Gupta is reporting from Pakistan on the horrible flooding and he checked in from Islamabad tonight. Kudos to CNN for allowing him to go. He's still traveling, so I'm hoping that we'll be getting a lot more coverage later. A sobering tweet from him: "The UN: Pakistan flood destruction greater than the 04 tsunami, 05 Pakistan quake and Haiti quake combined."
  • I'm glad Amber Lyon's report on Craigslist got results (officials from 17 states are demanding the adult services section be taken down), but I kinda wish we didn't have to see it again. I know, I know, it's new to many.
  • Tom Foreman took a (very short) look at the Superdome then and now:

  • Anderson had a report in which he talked with Brian Bordainick, the executive director of Ninth Ward Field of Dreams. At only 24-years-old he looks like he himself could be a student at that high school. He explained to Anderson why he thinks the sports fields will lower the crime rate and improve lives.

  • After the piece, Brian and principal Lee Green joined Anderson live. They've raised $1.4 million for their project, but have $250,000 to go. To help them meet that goal, check out
  • That'll do it. The show was pretty good. I would have liked more from New Orleans, but it's only the first day.
  • This bullet point contains some NOLA food. The CNNers keep tweeting their meals and it's making me jealous. And hungry.

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