Saturday, February 5, 2011
Anderson Cooper feels the heat in Egypt
A friend said she wanted to clutch Anderson Cooper's small grey head to her bosom, after seeing pictures of the CNN reporter being repeatedly punched by pro Mubarak supporters.
I am pleased to report I have no desire to clutch Anderson Cooper's head to my rather insignificant bosom, although you had to feel for Anderson and all of those other journalists who wre roughed up in Tahrir Square this week.
Maybe not anyone from Fox News. Well not too much anyway.
Anderson managed to keep his 'war correspondent cool' for the most part, even if he did look a bit startled like his gray alter ago, Groundhog Phil, when he was pulled into the daylight to give an improptu weather forecast.
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who strikes me as being a tad right wing, had some rather constructive comments about two New York Times journalists who were detained by Egyptian authorities this week.
I don't feel any anger over this. Do we feel happy? Well -- uh -- do we feel kind of going like, "neh-neh-neh-neh"? he said.
Apparently Limbaugh became more serious about journalists being detained by thugs later in the show when the same thing happened to some reporters from Fox.
Limbaugh said nothing about wanting to clutch any journalists to his rather enormous right-wing man boobs, which sparked a tsunami of relief in the media world.
The events in Egypt gripped me one day this week. There were some rather far off live scenes of Molotov cocktails being thrown across bridges, cars being torched and the sinister sound of automatic gunfire into the Cairo night. The feeling of fear seemed to ooze from the television screen. It was like seeing history at its most frightening, the Paris Commune, the Russian revolution etc.
By Thursday night the streets had turned very ugly indeed and Anderson was broadcasting live from a secret location. He kept going on about it to embelish his bravado. Rumors that he was really hanging out in the basement his great auntie Betty's home in rural Georgia and pretending he was in Cairo, were probably inaccurate.
These are frightening times in Egypt and who in their right mind would want to be there?
Well actually I wouldn't mind.
This may seem like a strange statement but when you are a journalist part of you is addicted to the big story. The few times you have been involved in one, the adrenalin has pushed me forward to amazing feats of endurance. When it's removed, you can miss it like a drug.
As writers, there's always a part of us that's unhinged and obsessed with the danger. We are vulnerable to alcoholism and a number of other thrill seeking activities.
Admittedly we aren't as unhinged as painters who are apt to slice off the occasional ear when the going gets tough.
So if the call came to go to Egypt, of course, I would be on the next plane. I've actually only been sent to Egypt once, to find a guy who had kidnapped his son and was hanging out in a hotel in Hurghada. When I arrived there, I was appalled by the father's choice of sleazy friends and asked his girlfriend why he was hanging out with these sleazebags.
"They're the journalists from the nationals," she informed me.
As I'm unlikely to find myself in Tahrir Square any time soon, I'll have to content myself with the happenings at City Hall. I think a pawn shop is up for a use permit next week.
I'll sign off with my first attempt to post a YouTube video. When Anderson describes his attack he says:
"Suddenly a young man would come up to you, look at you and punch you in the face."
Sounds like any night club in the north of England when one of the locals has erroneously thought I'd called his pint a poof.