Dangers of being a reporter

February 16, 2011 1:48:01 PM PST
It can be a dangerous job, reporting the news. Journalists from around the world were attacked by the scores during the revolt in Egypt.

And yet those who have chosen journalism as a career, as their passion, don't blink or think twice about flying into danger, if that's where the story is.

Eyewitness News reporter Jim Dolan and photographer Joe Tesauro had just landed in Cairo last week when their camera was confiscated by Egyptian police. Jim and Joe shot their incredible stories this past week in Egypt using a Flip camera.

And as a side note, if you don't have one, or one like it, my advice is to get one. They're incredibly simple - for even the most photographically challenged to work, and you can easily upload what you shoot onto the computer and the web. Perfect for covering both newborns and revolutions.

Covering newborns, of course, is far less risky than covering revolutions. And the latest example is CBS News correspondent Lara Logan, who is now recovering from a horrific and brutal assault in Tehrir Square during last Friday's "celebration" over President Hosni Mubarak's resignation.

Logan, an intrepid reporter, was on her second tour of duty in Egypt, having been imprisoned - roughly - the week before by Egyptian police. She had given an interview saying she knew the risks, knew it was a dangerous place for a journalist (male or female, but perhaps especially for a woman), but that she felt the story was in Egypt, and so it was Egypt where she was returning.

As I said, intrepid.

I don't know her, other than through her work, but it's hard to imagine that what she's been through won't stay with her for a while.

Meanwhile, the protests in Egypt continue to serve as a flashpoint throughout the region. Today there were incidents and protest in Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, even Libya. As I said Monday, democracy fever in the Middle East is this year's H1N1.

We'll have any developments from there, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, more fallout today from the story we reported last night - Bernie Madoff's first interview since his arrest for running the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history - about $65 billion.

The New York Times interviewed Madoff in the North Carolina prison where he's serving a 150-year sentence. He takes off on the big banks and investment firms that he worked with, saying they had "willful blindness" when it came to his scheme. He insisted that his family and his friends - like the Mets owner Fred Wilpon "knew nothing" about his fraud. But he offered no apologies to the people, hundreds of them, whose lives and savings were ruined by Madoff's stock swindle.

And we're out on the sidewalks of New York City tonight, looking into something called "Sidewalk Rage." We've all felt it at one time or another, and in varying degrees. Someone bumps into us, we bump into someone else, someone cuts us off, whatever ? with the sidewalks so crowded, and with no real rules-of-the-road, tempers can flare. Tempers do flare.

And if you scoff at the notion, consider this: There's a group of Facebook called "I Secretly Want to Punch Slow Walking People in the Back of the Head." Troubling? Yes. But popular - nearly 15,000 members.

Full disclosure: I have experienced sidewalk rage, but not the kind I think we're focusing on tonight. In fact, I felt it and acted on it today. I was walking just ahead of a father and his toddler, when a young man ahead of all of us, spit - right where the child was about to walk.

The dad tried to avoid the deposit, I think successfully. "Yo," I shouted to the teenager. What are you doing, spitting on the sidewalk, with a young kid walking right behind you. Oh, sorry, he said.

I know, I know, he could easily have had a weapon, or he could easily have turned on me, which would have been a good time to test the karate self-defense techniques I never learned but always wanted to.

Which is a convoluted way of saying, this "sidewalk rage" tonight at 11 resonates with me, and I think it will for you as well.

We're also following what figures to be the emotionally charged budget proposal from New York Mayor Bloomberg late tonight. Will he call for the layoffs of thousands of teachers? Will there be tax hikes? (The City's income and property taxes have already gone up.)

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.


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