Wednesday, March 28, 2007

March Madness

Here are more answers to your questions from John Roberts. I've been told that JR is subbing on American Morning this week. And Book Asylum has sent us a link to a post JR did Tuesday, on Tony Snow.

From Carrie M.
What type of story do you most enjoy reporting? Is it politics, war from the front lines, breaking news, human interest stories, or something else and why?

JR: To be honest, I like them all. Politics is great because you’re covering the evolution of the nation. Wars are non-stop adrenaline, as is breaking news (though without the bombs and bullets) and human interest stories are rewarding (particularly a story like Hurricane Katrina). Wars are probably the most interesting stories to cover – there are so many aspects to them. But every time you go to one, you push your luck, and luck can only be pushed so many times before it jumps up and bites you big-time. I’ve lost some good friends in Iraq.
From Fran M:
Where does he like to go on vacation?
JR: We do a lot of beaching – Outer Banks or Martha’s Vineyard in the summer – Caribbean in the winter – my daughter just loves the ocean. My son goes to school in Colorado – so we always try to make a point of getting in a few days of skiing every winter. My favorite vacation of all time, though was two weeks in Tuscany. We had a great house on a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. It was just magical.
From Phebe:
What’s on your nightstand? What are you reading for pleasure, for work and what’s your most recent read?
JR: A lamp and Bose wave radio are the permanent fixtures. Temporary occupants right now include Vali Nasr’s Shia Revival, Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope, Time and Newsweek, and the latest issues of BikeWorks and Guitar Player magazines.
Shia Revival is my latest read…just finishing it. I work on my motorcycles myself a lot, so I read BikeWorks for tips on repairs and modifications, and Guitar Player has some good lessons to further my playing. My problem is that I read so much research during the day, and work such long hours that by the time I pick up a book at home, I read for about 15 minutes, then fall dead asleep. It can take me weeks to finish a book.
From M. Silva:
Who is the most interesting person you have interviewed?
JR: I think Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf back in 1999. He had survived an assassination attempt, taken control of the country and was in the middle of a nuclear standoff with India. It was pretty compelling stuff.
From Pixie:
If you could select ANY topic to cover in-depth for a 2 hour special, or a series of specials, what would the topic be?
JR: I think the climate change crisis facing the world. It’s probably going to be the most important story of our lifetime, and lifetimes to come.
From Cheryl:
As a journalist, what is your honest opinion, about the progress in Iraq?
JR: As I said on This Week At War last weekend, I believe that we are beginning to see a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The open question: Is it success? Or an oncoming train? Things in Baghdad have become marginally better in just the past few weeks. Now the challenge is to sustain that and build upon it. But when I was there in October/November, it was a total disaster.
From Aruna:
Do you want the "more important" story to take precedence over the "breaking news" and how is the distinction made, if any?
JR: It’s a tough call. Some stories are important. Some are ‘interesting’. I’ll always lead with the story that’s most important to our viewers. It’s often a judgment call, which is why, on occasion, you’ll see three different leads on the network newscasts.

Did you ever just have one of those days? Well Tuesday was like that for me. I spent the entire day working on my taxes, with little success. I wasn't even looking forward to AC360, just stressing about some lost files. So DH (this time it stands for damn husband) decided to search the computer for my missing documents, in an effort to relieve my stress. For some reason he did a shut down and stopped my recording during the second hour of the show. But of course my favorite moment of the night came during the second hour.

Did you catch it? My buddy Mike Watkiss was back on the show. He looks so distinguished since he shave off the Elvis sideburns. I always enjoy Mike's take on the polygamy story. He has lived and breathed Warren Jeffs for many, many years. It was so kind of Anderson to mention that Mike is going to receive an Edward R. Murrow award. In the news business that's a big deal. Congratulations Mike!

Did you see Gary Tuchmans report on the Warren Jeffs trail? Jeffs looks positively ghastly. Very gaunt and pale. The big news was that Jeffs confessed to his brother that he wasn't really born to be the profit. Really, I never would have guessed! His followers are so brainwashed I doubt that they will ever believe that he wasn't coerced into that revelation.

I'm ashamed to call John McCain my senator, especially after his asinine comments today on the safety in Iraq. Michael 'balls of steel' Ware said 'the Senator couldn't be further from the truth'. I've got an idea, why don't we all pitch in and buy Johnny Mac a ticket to Baghdad and tell him to take a stroll? I'd pay big bucks to see that.
On a related note I thought MW was looking better tonight than he has in ages. Maybe having Kyra Phillips in Iraq has brightened his spirits? I can't believe Mic has been in Iraq since 2003. He's an amazing journalist.

Most of Tuesday's second hour was taken up with Breaking News. It always seems like a tough call when it comes to this type of coverage. There wasn't much to report tonight and AC seemed to struggle with keeping it moving. You'd almost have to be a psychic to know if this story will be tomorrow's headline or something that fades away into oblivion. For the sake of the captives I hope it ends up being a non story.

There was another very well done story, by Drew Griffin, about child abuse at the hands of a priest on Tuesday's show. There is nothing funny about this topic, but it did remind me of an email I got from a reader on Monday night. He asked me if I could hear birds during AC360. Birds? Do you have any idea what he was talking about? Well it seems that CNN has now added sound effects to that annoying, spinning graphic that they impose on the bottom right corner of our screens. It was bad enough before, but I could almost ignore it. CNN must have sensed that and so they have now made it completely impossible to ignore. CNN please fire the graphics guy who creates the whirl-a-gigs and strangle the sound effects guy while you're at it. Thank you!
And here is where we stop for tonight. No Christiane Amanpour, Tom Foreman or Mike Watkiss. I'll be sure to pass your complaints on the DH, believe me. Oh yes, one more thing, Mr. Cooper you need to take care of that cold. You're sounding so stuffy.


copperfish said...

@Phebs, I laughed at how you described MW "balls of steel". An embedded journalist in Iraq for 4 years now and had a close encounter with death itself, I think that is what he should be.

I just hope this hostage crisis in the Phil. will soon be over. Senatorial elections is due and this man choses to air his grievances using this situation.

Ac looks like he needed rest. He sounds different.

ACAnderFan said...

Last nite's 360 was OK.

The story about the preiest using church money for sex was interesting. I felt bad for his son.

As always I enjoyed the Warrne Jeffs piece. He looks terrible. Gee shock of the centruy he wasn't to be the profit his followers think he is (note the scarcism here).

Honestly I didn't pay much attention to the breaking news, however what little I did pay attention to it I did see that Andy was strugiling to keep the story going. I think at one point I dozed off for about 5 minutes.

FanGirl moment: Andy looked great last nite. It was nice to see him wear that purple tie. And I don't know what it is, but lately his hair has been looking so good. I guess that means a haircut is coming soon.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your recording Phebes, if it's any consolation I missed the regular broadcast so tuned in to see the repeat - and CNNi kept breaking in every 5 minutes or so with coverage of the Phillipines bus accident. I didn't see the Warren Jeffs piece, but was so saddened by the story about the priest in Alaska. I can't imagine what that guy (the son) must go thru knowing that this creep is his biological father.

swmpratt said...

Great post. Andy did sound pretty stuffy. Sort of like a Looney tunes character - the reason I say that is that I found in the archives a Nth degee that he did on Looney Tunes characters of the future - complete with him imitating the characters. It was hilarious. However, tonight he sounded a little like one of his imitations. Poor Andy....lets all go up and take him chicken soup and get him healthy again.

I hope the Phillipines child hostage situation is resolved peacefully with no bloodshed and no one hurt. I hope the children know the hostages (Andy said it seemed they knew one of them) and aren't scared out of their minds. Poor babies.

Well, lets hope Andy is better tomorrow or takes a day off to get better. I don't see how he does everything he does. He has the energizer bunny beat by a mile!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh lordy, Michael Ware. He *did* look a lot better than he has in weeks...dare I use the S word? Dare I betray my normally-exclusive Anderson lust by swooning over another correspondent on the show? Alright, here goes, shhh...Michael Ware was looking mighty sexy tonight. Ooooh. Forgive me for starting off with the fangurl, but the guilt (and lust) were eating me from the inside out.

I am SO glad I wasn't alone in my huge "WTF!?!" reaction to John McCain's easy assurance of the safety situation in Iraq. Big kudos to Anderson for asking Michael Ware that one awesomely-detailed question about being willing to stand in one place, alone, sans security, in Iraq for 10-15 minutes. I'm sure we all knew that the answer to that would be a resounding Hell No, and Michael didn't disappoint. The hubris of these politicians--they really, REALLY think we're just so gullible and uninformed, that they can state anything as fact and we'll all believe them. Not so much.

Anderson handled the breaking news really well tonight, becoming stronger in his delivery and asking better questions as the hour wore on. I remember from the LKL interview that he savors those improvised opportunities; good for him! Hope he feels better soon. :)

Unknown said...

I fell asleep during Larry King and woke up just in time to see Anderson's LIVE tease on LKL - for a moment I couldn't figure out what was going on. And I kept falling asleep during the show so I'm watching the tape now.

Michael Ware's portion was fantastic as usual and his observations should be taken very seriously since he lives there and sees things first hand.

The Warren Jeffs portion was somewhat interesting. I sent them a copy of a press release I received earlier today regarding the trial and let them know people are still interested in the story and some of us are keeping on top of it.

Poor Anderson you ca tell he wasn't feeling well especially in the 2nd hour, sorry Phebe, to me he sounded tired and in need of rest and relaxation. I don't care if he doesn't do vacations well Anderson for heaven sake get out of the city , go to the Hamptons, sleep, read AND leave the phones off the hook.

Anonymous said...

Hey..more great questions and answers from JR.

Warren Jeffs is a complete nut! Like we didn't know he wasn't a prophet! I bet his people won't believe that he said he was a sinner and not born a prophet. They'll still back him every step of the way.

John McCain,well,I can't even go there! RIDICULOUS! Michael Ware is looking mighty fine here recently! I noticed that the last time he was on. Wonder what's up with him that's got him so spirited? Maybe he found him an SO! HHMMM

Thst priest working in Alaska...he needs to be in jail! I don't care how old he is! And these churches keep protecting people like him..WHY? it's just crazy! As long as these religions just sweep this stuff under the carpet these problems are going to keep getting worse.

I too hate the graphic that they run on the bottom! Didn't notice the birds though...I guess I'm really good at blocking it out! LOL

I hope the situation with the men holding the children hostage ends peacefully! And noone gets hurt!

Andy sounded bad last night. He didn't look like he felt that well either. I felt bad for him when the breaking news happened because he had to talk the whole time. At least when the show was going he had breaks when they showed a story.Hope he went home, took some meds., and curled up in bed and got some good rest. I think he is wearing himself out. You can only go so much before it catches up with you!

And hey...Anderson wore my tie last night!! LOVED IT!! He looked so handsome..even if he is sick. He's handsome in anything!!


Anonymous said...

Phebe, I hope your day gets a little better. I had one of those as well. I've been working double shifts all week 8-midnight. Yuck!!!

I did catch AC tho at 1am. I agree our guy sounds pretty sickly and looks rather pale but thankfully not as bad as Mr. Jeffs.
On a good note it was great to see "balls of steel" He's actually looking a lot better then the last time he was on.

Anonymous said...

doghouse for the DH, eh?

hope you get your taxes done soon.

Anonymous said...

Loved the Michael Ware comment. I would paid for McCain's ticket to Baghdad too. Let's see him walking around outside the green zone without any security. I think MW is so effective as a reporter pull no punches on what is REALLY going on in Baghdad, because he lives with the everyday Iraqis not in a bubble.
Poor Gary on the Warren Jeff story again. We should give him an award on trying to get Jeff's followers for comment.
AC needs a vacation(or just sleep 24 hour straight for a change). He should took couple days off after each PIP assignment. He is jetlegged for travel, but he is still back to work, no wonder he is sick. Is he out for a book signing tonight? Does it mean we will get a sub?

Roonie said...

YAY!!! Thanks again for posting more questions/responses :) Fantastic!

Ugh, I missed the show again. I'm curious about the Warren Jeffs trial's so creepy. I'll have to catch up online. I hope Anderson feels better soon!

Anonymous said...

@ Alice..The book signing is in May..if your talking about the one in NY. But it is from 6-8 so he'd have plenty of time to do it then to do 360.

I agree he does need a vaca.! He is totally just wearing himself down. If he doesn't get some rest he is going to end up really sick! And we deffinately don't want that!


Unknown said...

John Roberts above Anderson in your post, Phebs... hmmmm LOL

The show was pretty good last night. At least the breaking news went over most of the repeats they were going to show.

I hope they cover the British hostages tonight. Looks like that story is getting big and it's important. Sometimes I wonder if Iran wants war with us. Things are getting scary.

sydney said...

I only caught a few minutes last night, but I did notice our poor boy was sounding and looking a little rough. I hope he got plenty of rest last night and some chicken soup. I would recommend hot tea w/ honey and lemon, but I know he won't go for that. DH has the same hot beverage aversion (what's that about, anyway?) and I still try to force hot tea on him when he's sick - I guess it's my version of mothering.

aries moon said...

Anderson said he doesn't do well on vacations, but he might burn out if he doesn't take a break soon, or at least that's how it seems. He may be perfectly fine for all we know.

Anonymous said...

John King was also in Iraq. Maybe Michael has perked up because of him! lol

swmpratt said...

Great post - the chicken soup picture looked yummy. Probably just what Andy needs.....

Glad Michael Ware debunked McCains comments. In the special interview that Andy did with Michael you could tell he knew exactly what was going on and where. He has to - his life depends on it literally.

Unfortunately, looks like we are in for some more celebrity news tonight as the blurb on tonights show mentions Ophrah's school and the parents accustions that it is more a prison than a school. I'm sure they will drag that out plus any ANS news today. Andy should stay home and get some rest and let Chetry do this kind of news and keep the meatier stuff for himself.

Andy has said he likes breaking news stories - that it is a great mental exercise. He didn't look like he was enjoying much of anything tonight. Between jet lag, exhaustion from all he as done since January, and his cold, he looked pretty miserable. I wonder if he feels like he CAN'T take off because someone might replace him - its an awfully competitive business.

I wonder how Jeff Corwin's arm is doing - no one has mentioned since they got back. Hope it wasn't anymore serious than what they thought that last day.