I think Anderson Cooper is one of the coolest journalists on television today. He is currently in Haiti covering various stories and keeping the world updated with what is happening there. I was reading his blog today and was amazed at a story he recently published. Anderson is no longer just covering the news. He is making it.
Taken from Anderson's blog
In the Midst of Looting Chaos
by Anderson Cooper
We were covering another story when we heard shots being fired. We ran toward the sound and found a store being looted. Two Haitian police officers were occasionally firing into the air to try to keep order, but that only worked for a few moments, then the looting would begin again.
They were stealing boxes of candles. An American businessman named Tony who owns two stores nearby barricaded one street to keep looters away. He had armed the two Haitian police with automatic weapons, and they were assisting him, but they were not able to control anything beyond their barricade.
It quickly became a free-for-all. Young men began fighting one another for the stolen items. A number of young men had knives, and planks of wood, screwdrivers and rocks. They were using their improvised weapons to threaten and injure others who had stolen items from the store. The robbers were now being robbed. One group of looters whipped another man with a leather belt. They punched him as well, and they stole the sack of goods he'd just stolen.
I was in the midst of the melee with Charlie Moore, my producer, Neil Hallsworth my cameraman, Vlad Duthiers, my translator, and there was a still photographer from Getty Images with us, photojournalist Jonathan Torgovnik. As things got really out of control, I saw a looter on the roof of the store they'd broken into throw what I think was part of a concrete block into the crowd. It hit a small boy in the head.
I saw him collapse. More chunks of concrete were being thrown at the looters on the roof. The injured boy couldn't get up. He'd try and then collapse again. Blood was pouring from his head. He was conscious but had no control over his body. I was afraid someone on the roof would see him lying there and throw another cinder block piece onto him. I was afraid he'd get killed. No one seemed to be helping him.
I ran to where he was struggling, and picked him up off the ground. I brought him to a spot about a hundred feet away. I could feel his warm blood on my arms. I stood him up, but he was clearly unable to walk. He wiped his bloody face, and I tried to reassure him. He had no idea where he was, and he clearly couldn't walk, so I picked him up again and handed him over to someone behind that makeshift barricade. Tony, the American businessman, gave the boy a wet towel. He was then taken away by someone else. We don't know what happened to him.
I hope he's ok.
I felt a lump in my throat after reading this story and looking at the gritty images of the injured boy. The people in Haiti are growing desperate with need and have reached the point where the bonds of "civilization" are tearing apart. The people are turning upon each other, stealing, killing, and giving up hope.
To some extent, I find the fact that reporters are crawling around, trying to make a name for themselves by documenting the sufferings of others, to be morbid. And then I read this story, where Anderson is not just remaining aloof, but is taking action when he can, putting himself into danger. After all, he could have been hit by flying debris or shot by careless police who are randomly firing their weapons into the air. I don't imagine that I would be able to just stand around watching the Haitians suffer while I walked around south Haiti with a churro in my pocket, looking forward to returning to the undamaged north to lay in my hotel bed later on.
And so, I have decided that Anderson Cooper, who I already liked, is now the coolest journalist out there. Now, if only hypocrites like Pat Robertson would get their pampered asses off of their thrones, perhaps more help could be delivered now while it is desperately needed.