Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chaos In Cairo

Anderson Cooper.  Katie Couric.  Christiane Amanpour.

They're among the well-known journalists in Cairo reporting on the horror happening right now in Egypt, where more than 300 are reported dead and thousands injured.  Anderson Cooper and his CNN crew were punched and kicked for about five minutes Wednesday morning, virtually every news outlet known-to-man has reported.  And Couric and Amanpour have been on the scene anchoring for CBS and ABC respectively about the troubles there, with the fighting and violence playing out right behind them.

I had to ask myself, "What if I was a part of one of these journalists' families?"  It's a selfish job - going to a country in the middle of a violent uproar to see it firsthand, tell the story and bring it back to viewers who sit in the comfort of their own homes.  But, someone's got to do it.

The New York Times is reporting that, in fact, journalists from all over the country have been attacked.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Cooper said "A man jumped out of the crowd and tried to push us around.  It sort of allowed other people in the crowd to focus on us. Other people came out of the crowd. Somebody punched me in the head, and from there things escalated quickly."

Crowds followed them, hitting and cursing them as they scrambled for safety.  Anderson admitted this was the first time he'd ever been attacked when reporting in such a setting and vowed not to go back to the area where they were attacked.  He told The Huffington Post it's not safe for any journalist to be in Tahrir Square.

Too bad it took four blows to head for him to come to that conclusion, but fortunately, he and his crew are OK.

Imagine being the child or the spouse of a newsperson like Cooper or Couric or Amanpour right now (or any newsperson - producer, cameraman, etc - there).  Knowing that your loved one is so close to harm's way is surely an unsettling feeling.  I can only hope these newspeople are able to communicate to their families back home, let them know they're alive and well and continue on their mission to safely bring the world the unfolding news from Egypt.

God bless them.

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