Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A letter to ABC News re: Haiti Earthquake

Dear Robin Roberts and ABC News,

It's been a little over a week since the Haiti earthquake rocked the capital, Port-au-Prince. It's good to know that you, Diane Sawyer, and the "others" are keeping things under control down there. Oh wait, you're not?

Well,thank you for still going through hair and make up at 5 am every day. I can only imagine how dire your situation is down there-the heat, the humidity, the smell of dead bodies. A far cry from the comforts of the New York office and studio.

I sleep better at night knowing that you still have some of the amenities from home, though. Food, water, SUV with tinted windows, and my favorite, Skype. Thank you for informing the American people that Haiti is currently without power, clean water, food, and much needed medical supplies. We had absolutely no idea. Thank for you repeating this every single night...I didn't watch the news on Monday, and nearly forgot. Thanks for reminding me, phew.

Thank you for showing immoderate levels of footage from the tarmac. Look at all of those planes FILLED with food, water, and medical supplies. Why are they just sitting there?! Oh, you just asked that same question...10 times. I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the violence and acute unrest that is happening in the surrounding area. Are the volunteers just lazy? Why do you keep showing pictures of them just standing around the airport? Are they waiting for a bus, or maybe the US Military to arrive to secure the area before they deploy help. Nah...they are probably just lazy. Thank you for calling them out.

Robin, thank you for identifying an issue that matters most to the American people: a 4-year old Haitian girl named Esther. It was so very thoughtful of you to take time out of your busy report to seek out a child that is waiting to be adopted by a young couple from Pella, Iowa. A 5 minute segment would not have been nearly enough time to illustrate the emotion and delicacy of this dramatic situation. Thank you, and your producers, for dedicating SEVERAL nights to this matter. I think I can speak for the American People when I say, "Thank You". Thank you for focusing on the issues that matter MOST-getting Esther back to the United States.

How are you doing with the heat down there? Is your memory okay? I hope so. Just in case it's not, here is a clip for you to reference:

My favorite part of your report was when you touched young Esther's back and said, "Mommy and Daddy love you, Esther. They said they are going to come to get you soon". You can't script that now, can you? Oh wait-you did? Oh...well, good delivery and tone, Robin.

I, along with millions of American viewers, formed quite the attachment to little Esther. I was not content in only knowing that Esther did not receive any injuries, was well cared for, and had clean water. I needed to know for CERTAIN that Eshter made it home with her adoptive parents...immediately.

Thank you for the live footage of Matt and Amy (Esther's soon to be parents), driving in an SUV to the American Embassy. I'm glad they got to "skip the line" when they arrived there. I heard thousands of people were waiting in line for days in the hot sun, without food or water. Golly-can you imagine? Good thing Esther did not have to go through that!

I found it interesting that your co-worker, Diane Sawyer, mentioned that some Haitians were outraged that rescue efforts were directed toward Hotel Montana, the UN, and other 'areas of interest' to The United States. I always thought a human life was a human life...

Tonight when you report, I look forward to hearing updates about little Esther and her new life in Pella, Iowa. While the camera pans over areas of destruction, human despair, and young children (parent-less and dying), amidst the rubble of Port-au-Prince, I hope it does not upset the American people too much. After all, we have "small victories" like Esther's to keep the faith, right?