Haiti Shows Why We Need CNN
Anderson Cooper's 'boots-in-the-rubble' coverage can't be beat
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2010 9:28 AM CST
A coffin containing the body of an earthquake victim sits in the street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti yesterday.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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(Newser) – The appalling suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, and Anderson Cooper's effectiveness at "boots-in-the-rubble" coverage of it, have reminded us of the importance of news stalwart CNN, writes James Rainey. CNN has taken an enormous beating for sticking with straight news over political commentary, as cable competitors Fox and MSNBC have edged farther and farther into sparring over reporting. Their offerings this week paled next to Cooper's riveting footage of the rescue of a 13-year-old girl trapped for 18 hours, Rianey writes in the Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times notes that the AP's Jonathan Katz—who survived the quake to write a first-hand account—was the only foreign correspondent based in Haiti when the disaster struck, leaving media organizations to scramble to get there, and once there, to power their equipment, and to keep their composure in the face of the suffering they're seeing. "Wherever you are,” Cooper, the first US anchor to arrive, told CNN viewers Wednesday night, “hug a loved one close and thank God you are not in Port-au-Prince tonight.”