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Friday, January 25, 2008

First Class Seating?

CNN has really stepped up their blogs over the last few weeks. There have been a variety of contributors and hardly a day goes by that there isn't something interesting that pops up.

Yesterday, one of the posts that caught my eye was on the CNN Political Ticker. Photojournalists Derek Davis and Jung Park described their adventures traveling with Governor Huckabee on the campaign trail:

(CNN) – Amid reports that GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee's campaign is running low on cash and making cutbacks, embedded CNN photojournalists Derek Davis and Jung Park filed this diary entry just days before the campaign announced it would no longer give journalists an opportunity to buy a ticket and travel with the candidate. This week, the campaign grounded its chartered press airplanes entirely.

A ton of gear, a non-stop schedule, and constant airplane travel. If you’re a CNN photojournalist like me who’s embedded with a presidential campaign, those things are part of a typical day.

Not so typical: an afternoon riding a toilet seat in a propeller plane over South Carolina.

Late last week, we were with the former Arkansas governor as he campaigned in South Carolina in his final push before the GOP primary.

As photographers for CNN, we have the opportunity to witness politics up close, literally to have a front row seat to history in the making. But, politics also means something else to people like us in the trenches: It’s physical. It’s exciting. It’s tough.

Our recent travel with Huckabee took the toughness to new heights. After covering an event where the GOP presidential candidate discussed the economy with South Carolina steel workers, we made our way to the airport and discovered that we’d be flying the rest of the day on a double-propeller, 8-seat airplane. There were a total of three of these planes – one for Huckabee and his staff, and two more for the press traveling with the campaign.

We shared our plane with a crew from CBS News. Once we’d loaded our gear (two cameras, tripods, audio equipment, tapes, boom poles, etc.) and the other crew had loaded its equipment, there wasn’t much room left for us.

I am now much closer to a CBS sound technician than I ever wanted to be – we shared a seat on the flight. But at least I had one.

My colleague Jung wasn’t so lucky. It may have been covered and padded but make no mistake about it, Jung flew all around South Carolina on a toilet. (They did a good job on camouflage: He didn’t know it was a toilet and nobody thought to tell him.) Isn’t cable news glamorous?

On Thursday's American Morning, Veronica De La Cruz did a follow up report about the student that called a school administrator complaining about not getting a snow day. And John Roberts had a thing or two to say about the student's reaction to the attention.



Mystery Journalist

Ready for a little game of name that ear?
Can you name this CNN journalist?

Let us know who you think it is and we'll reveal this journalist's identity in Sunday's post.

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Anonymous said...

I agree 100 percent about the blog. I love it and
spend a whole lot of time on the 360 blog these
days. It is like a daily podcast for those of us
who don't have the time to download the
podcassts on

ACAnderFan said...

I have no idea who the mystery journalist is, but for some reason I am going to say!!!

Sapphire said...

I am going to guess that is Anderson's ear. I may be wrong but it seems to look like his ear :P