Iran threat; Hospitals not taking insurance...

Behind The News
December 15, 2010 11:41:47 AM PST
I'm not scared of too many things, other than the normal stuff -- like dying before I see my kids fully grown, tornadoes I suppose, and maybe swimming crocodile-infested water. But my first reaction when I saw the warning from Iran's Revolutionary Guards that they'd attack Israeli and U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf if they attacked the Guards' military exercise, was fear. Utter fear.

It's the kind of fear that comes from the unimaginable, especially an event one has no control over.

I instantly start thinking of what made me scared as a kid - the darkened room, a shadow. All harmless. But I grew up at a time when elementary school classes were sometimes dramatically interrupted by the teacher shouting, "Drop!"

We students were supposed to immediately stop what we were doing and get under our desks, on our knees, our faces buried in our laps and our hands on top of our heads.

As if that were going to save us from a nuclear bomb and all the fallout.

And when I "go there" - I remember how scared I was when I saw the movie "On The Beach," Stanley Kubrick's brilliantly frightening and sobering movie about people in Australia waiting for The End after a nuclear bomb went off in Northern America. It was just a matter of time before the winds blew the radioactivity south; the Australian government even passed out suicide drinks to spare its citizenry any pain from the fallout.

I'm not sure how that nuclear-scare era affected me - then, or now.

But I sometimes think of those days -- especially when I see stories like the one out of Iran today (or whenever I hear the song "Waltzing Matilda," which was in the movie).

I can't imagine thinking about annihilation is recommended as a positive activity in any of the child-rearing books on the market.

I felt a tad better when, hours later, I saw Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, say that he sees "no possibility" of a war between Iran and the U.S. or Israel.


We'll have the latest from the region, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, a bizarre story at one local hospital tonight. Workers at St. Lukes Cornwall in Orange County say the hospital is now refusing to accept the employees' health insurance. Workers say it's spite, the hospital says it's business. But the bottom line: employees can't get treated at the hospital where they work. Lucy Yang is investigating for us.

And we're at the wake tonight for Anna Maria Montana, the nanny who jumped into the pool on Long Island to save the 3 year old in her care. The boy survived, the nanny did not. And there was another pool accident on Long Island today - another toddler, now fighting for his life, after he somehow got into his family's pool. It takes just a second to lose sight of a child and then, just like that, she or he is in the pool.

Finally, there's an item today from the Neilsen ratings people, who say that, despite conventional wisdom, Americans are actually watching more TV than ever before. It's now up to 127 hours, 15 minutes per month. That's about 4 hours a day, and it's up 4% from May, 2007.

We're also using the Internet more -- nearly 26 1/2 hours a month, that's up 9%.

Just FYI.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, the AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa (in for Liz Cho) and me, tonight at 11.