I was all set to post on this quote made by Charles Gibson during a recent Q&A with New York Magazine reporter Joe Hagan in the magazine's June 5th edition when I noticed that I have been sitting on this for too long because a few other media outlets have already confronted Gibson on this issue.
Gibson alleges Hagan's reporting did not capture Gibson's intent, but if you look at his attempts explaining himself--it appears as if Hagan was actually dead on.
When asked by Hagan:
Will you report from the field as much as NBC’s Brian Williams?
That’s because of Katrina; you saw him going down there. Now he’s in Africa. I don’t know why you do that. Why the hell do you go to Africa? It’s certainly an interesting choice. We’ll do travel, when it warrants.
I have quite a few friends who have reservations about the media's lionizing of Bono, but everyone acknowledges that his efforts are worthwhile and have had an impact. Moreover in a news industry that has become all too obsessed with the dealings of Brangelina/Britney and K-Fed or the latest missing co-ed to do enough due diligence to really educate the public on what's happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Lebanon, the last thing, even if its in jest, that any newsman should do is scoffing at another anchorman's using the American public's supposed celebrity worship to ignite a discussion on very important global concerns.
Having said a zillion things myself that should have never come out of my mouth, I understand Gibson's mistake (somewhat). So do not consider this post an attempt to start the fire Charles Gibson brigade.
Instead I would like to suggest something else, since Gibson has gone on record and proclaimed that he'll do travel "when it warrants" let's start a campaign to show him why Africa warrants travelling to. Whether your main concern is the war in Congo, the ongoing strife in Darfur or the relative tranquility enjoyed in countries such as Ghana or Tanzania I encourage as many people as possible to either email the good folks at ABC News and let them know why you think Gibson needs to get over to Africa.
They can also be reached via mail at:
You can also reach us at: ABCNews, 7 WEST 66th Street, New York, NY 10023.
This will undoubtedly not change the amount of attention given to Africa related matters as a whole, but it should further reinforce to Gibson why he needs to think twice.