There are bodies of reporters everywhere in Galveston and Houston being blown hither and yon by Hurricane Ike.
None look as pretty as Anderson Cooper, of course, stage managing the show miles from the action, being all earnest and stuff in his cute red CNN slicker as he goes from one increasingly drenched and windblown reporter to the other.
What is this all about, anyway? As Hurricane Ike moves in and the intensity of the winds and rains increases, you can barely make out who is speaking, or what they are saying. Is all this risk taking really necessary?
Then lo and behold, we are switched back to Anderson Cooper where he has magically summoned the spirit of Dan Rather from the outer cosmos where true journalism lives, and beamed him onto our screens to explain what it all means.
Dan Rather should know. He started it.
Yes, it was Dan Rather some 40 or 50 years ago when just a babe reporter in Houston who originally came up with the idea of putting the radar images live on tee vee so viewers could watch a hurricane as it approached. It was innovative, informative and exciting. Most importantly of all, seeing it this way made it real to people. This meant they were more willing to leave their homes and move to safety.
Of course, Rather being the man he is did not stop there. He did the unthinkable. Rather put on a raincoat, grabbed a mike and a poor old cameraman, left the safety of the studio and went straight into the center of the action, reporting live and unscripted. Thus started a reporting tradition that continues to this day.
As Cooper fittingly acknowledged when he signed off with Rather, “We are all following in your footsteps . . .”
Hurricane Ike Humor. I saw a sign like this on the back of a pickup truck. Couldn’t find an image of it, but here’s a guy who has it on his house. That’s the Texas Spirit.