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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Are you happy in your job?

You have to imagine that reporting from Baghdad is a surreal experience on any given day... but imagine suddenly getting a call to come and interview Angelina Jolie about the plight of Iraq's refugees.

Celebrities lending a voice to a cause is one of those things that nearly everyone feels conflicted about: on the one hand, should their opinion on who to vote for matter to anyone else? Is it right that we ignore issues until someone famous talks about them? Why will our elected officials drop everything to talk to an actor or a rock star or an athlete, yet not open their door so readily (if at all) for their own constituents?

And yet... if someone has been handed that spotlight, that access, isn't it better for them to grab it and use it to shine light on something that needs fixing, rather than to peddle their new clothing line or perfume or book? There's no argument that people like Bob Geldof and Bono have done an incredible amount of good with the megaphones at their disposal. CNN's continued focus on the Gulf Coast has kept a lot of broken promises in front of the public, and their commitment to keeping their international bureaus staffed despite the expense means we see a lot more coverage than we would if they pulled back and just parachuted reporters into hot zones as needed.

And after Arwa Damon finished her interview with Angelina, she went back and finished work on a piece about women losing their rights in this country we promised to democratize. Quite a day's work...

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It is such a treat whenever Miles O'Brien is on. He brings such great wonder to whatever scientific/tech news he is reporting about. I have always loved watching the NASA launches, and I love watching Miles report on them.

I mean, could the man be having any more fun? Watching him is like having the proverbial kid in a candy store... except he's the smart kid who can explain how everything was made! Just a joy to spend time with.

I don't imagine there is anything fun about being a terrorism analyst... but Peter Bergen is lecturing at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government this semester, and I already love the look of his office! Wow, this guy is serious about his research!

I wonder whether this is another part of the office, or a nearby library where there was actually space to set up the cameras and lights? And in case you think he'll go easy on his students, check out the syllabus... for a one-unit course!

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In calendar news, Sunday is Glenn Beck's birthday, and the Democrats hold a caucus in Maine.

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Where in the World...?

On Sunday, Wolf Blitzer was in New York, John King was in Boston, Dana Bash was in Fairfield, Connecticut, Suzanne Malveaux was in Chicago, and Candy Crowley was in Bridgeton, Missouri. Monday, John Roberts anchored American Morning from Chicago, John King and Candy Crowley were back in New York, Dana Bash was across the river in Trenton, New Jersey, and Gary Tuchman was in Boston.

Tuesday, John Roberts was in Atlanta while Kiran Chetry was in Harlem, Suzanne Malveaux reported from both Chicago and Boston, and Dana Bash was in Phoenix. Wednesday, John Roberts got back to New York, and Rick Sanchez was also in New York, hosting a special in his old 8 pm timeslot on the deadly string of tornadoes.

Thursday, John Roberts and Heidi Collins (above) were in Lafayette, Tennessee, one of the towns hardest hit by those killer storms. Kiran Chetry was off and Alina Cho co-hosted American Morning from New York. Dana Bash was in DC, and Miles O'Brien was in Florida for the launch of the Atlantis space shuttle. John King hosted AC360.

Friday, Alina Cho again co-hosted American Morning, this time with John Roberts with her in new York. Don Lemon was in Savannah, Georgia to report on the sugar refinery fire. Anderson Cooper hosted AC360 from Los Angeles.

(Anderson also mentioned in his blog post Friday night that Michael Ware will be on 360 next week, talking about Iran's involvement in Iraq.)

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Anonymous said...

John Roberts is hitting the road a lot lately.
I love him being out in the field anchoring.
He is an awesome journalist. Maybe some
day we will get The Roberts Report on CNN.

J in LA said...

I found it interesting that CNN removed the admonishment of Arwa Damon from Angelina Jolie in the video portion of the interview for trying to ask a "Hollywood gossip" oriented question in the middle of a serious interview on Iraqi refugees.

CNN kept it in the transcript which is where I saw it. But one wouldn't have known that unless you watched both the video and read the transcript on their site. Who would normally do that?

Somehow, I just can't picture Richard Engel or Lara Logan asking that question within the context of that interview. Cable news/information has been under fire the last few weeks for some judgement calls on language and program content. It just leaves the door open for many sectors to try to use these situations for various purposes. It would be prudent for cable to remember the tenants of journalism.

Knowing language and questions can get very pointed, graphic and very crude behind the scenes in television, I find it disappointing that it is sometimes now making its way in front of the camera. It seems that organization which use the "public airwaves" should reexamine their program and content guidelines.
J in LA

JRHot said...

I agree with anonymous. He is really good out with people. I just wish he could finally get someplace where it is warm. He has frozen everywhere he has been lately. "Roberts Report" sounds good. Of course, anything with John Roberts would be great. But I'm not too bias. :)