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Monday, May 25, 2009

Pakistan, Afghanistan ... and MOB visits PDX

Stan Grant (in Kabul) spoke to a former high-ranking Taliban official about his internment at Guantanamo Bay and his return to Afghanistan. Stan also discusses a major drug seizure in Helmand province:


Afghanistan supplies most of the illegal opiate trade to the world, but Reza Sayah reports that Iran is doing some PR to make it clear that the drugs are not welcome in that country:


Ivan Watson was one of the reporters flown into the Swat Valley by the Pakistani military so that they could show off captured Taliban turf. Friday, a brief bit of footage from that excursion:


Saturday, a longer look at the bunkers as the tour continues, but Ivan also points out that the military took reporters on a similar tour early last year. At the end of the clip, a brief Q&A from Islamabad:


And what about all those refugees? Yesterday Dan Rivers reported from a refugee camp near Peshawar:

Using your cell phones, Americans can text the word “SWAT" to the number 20222 and make a $5 contribution that will help the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees provide tents, clothing, food, and medicine to hundreds of thousands of affected people.
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Well, here's a familiar face we haven't seen on ATC in awhile ... this past week, PBS has been airing a documentary by Miles O'Brien titled Blueprint America: Road to the Future. Part of the program was filmed last month here in Portland, and I pulled a couple minutes of it:


The locals don't like anyone bragging up the city, afraid it will bring more people up here, so shhh... But it was great to see Miles riding the Max and seeing some of the sights. I still really miss his NASA coverage on CNN. You can keep up with Miles on Twitter and True/Slant.

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Where in the World...?

MONDAY: Wolf Blitzer hosted TSR from New York, where he accepted the Peabody Award given to TPBTOT; Larry King also hosted his program from New York all week as he promoted his new book.

TUESDAY: Anderson Cooper was one of the guest hosts for Larry King Live.

WEDNESDAY: Candy Crowley was in New York.

THURSDAY: Candy was back in Washington; Cal Perry was on from Baghdad (above). Don Lemon was in for Heidi Collins.

FRIDAY: Dan Rivers reported from Islamabad; Ivan Watson was in the Swat Valley region of Pakistan; Reza Sayah was in Zahedan, Iran. Don was in for Heidi; John Roberts was in for Wolf (from New York); Kitty Pilgrim was in for Lou Dobbs; Ryan Seacrest was in for Larry.

SATURDAY: Ivan was back in Islamabad. Alina Cho was in for Betty Nguyen; Randi Kaye was in for Don.

SUNDAY: Stan Grant was on from Kabul; Dan had a piece on from Peshawar. Alina was in for Betty; Randi was in for Don. Domestic carried the International feed for about 20 minutes starting around 1amET to cover North Korea's nuclear test, with Zain Verjee and Don Riddell hosting.

That's it for me today... hope you had a good Memorial Day. Now it's back to work tomorrow. Speaking of which (nice segue there, huh?):

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Pati Mc said...

Thank you for posting the clip of Miles. I am so glad to see him back on the air and his PBS show was amazing. He is such a great guy and I am happy to know that he is doing well.

Anonymous said...

Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket, that should be CNN's motto, but it is not. According to the NYPost today, Memorial Day, AC 360 is their biggest disappointment, after he signed a multimillion dollar contract when their ratings were high last year. It is entitled: Sinking Anchors Hobble CNN: "But the biggest disappointment is the cable channel's big silver haired hope, Anderson Cooper." The Post on page 6, refers to him as the former host of "Celebrity Mole," and top brass are questioning the strategy of turning CNN into the Anderson Cooper network, because as one source says, "It's not working."
Just today we were treated to a repeat of the failed "Extreme Challenges," a ratings flop, while Fox, brought us relevant news.
Isn't CNN a 24 hours News cycle? Does everyone take the holiday off, even when N. Korea tests a nuclear bomb underground we see AC and David Gergen and the gang repeating something of yesteryear....and you wonder who's at the helm?

Anonymous said...

CNN should NEVER have let Miles go. He was a major talent and in his place Jon Klein stated something to the effect: We have PIP. Is he for real???

Cyn said...

Anon@11:10, the Extreme Challenges special isn't exactly "yesteryear," it aired last Thursday, and in the 11pm hour, which a lot of people don't watch. Randi Kaye started tonight's 360 with the latest "Breaking News" updates, and spoke with the International correspondent. I don't think an hour filled with her talking by phone with their stable of pundits about the ramifications of the test would have drawn great ratings, either.

CNN's ratings are bad because too many Americans would rather watch a network where screaming and pontificating are considered journalism. Those of us who prefer intelligent discussion are, I'm afraid, in the minority.

Decisions about news coverage should not be made based on ratings. They are a tool for deciding advertising rates, and their usefulness ends there. The Post can't even get basic facts straight (it wasn't Celebrity Mole) and quotes from anonymous sources (who probably work for the competition anyway) are worthless.

Anon@11:37, I agree wholeheartedly about Miles. The science/tech area is one that should have been strengthened, not deleted, in this era.

Anonymous said...

@Cyn: The source was NOT ANONYMOUS. It has been in the NYT and though you may doubt the Post, it does tend to sensationalize, they always check their sources, and what they print is true. Yes, it tends to slant to the right, but not this particular story. All you have to do is check TVNewser and USA Today, to find out cable ratings.
The only mistaken was The Mole, not "Celebrity Mole." big difference...doesn't change the truth one bit.