Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Notes on Politics: Correspondents' Dinner & Lara Logan Speaks

White House Correspondents’ Dinner

In the craziness surrounding the Osama bin Laden death, other interesting newsy stories got lost in the shuffle . . . like the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that happened over the weekend where Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers did a great job at skewering Washington politicians. Chief on Meyers' list was Donald Trump, whose Obama birth certificate antics now seem terribly silly in light of the massive news from Pakistan.

As I watched the C-SPAN coverage, I was amused when the cameras frequently panned over to Donald Trump who looked stone-faced as Meyers directed his fire at the would-be presidential candidate and Celebrity Apprentice star. (Trump looked like he wanted to strangle Meyers the way Homer Simpson is apt to strangle Bart when the boy enrages him.)

While it’s true that Meyers clearly leans toward the liberal side of the political spectrum – like saying that Obama would’ve “loved” the 2008/campaign version of himself, and questioning what “happened” to his appearance – he didn’t seem overwhelmingly liberal in his humor as he attacked his own network, critiqued MSNBC for drinking the Obama “Kool Aid,” mocked Anderson Cooper’s tight clothing and noted the size of Brian Williams’ ego in addition to the animal-like "hair" on Donald Trump's head.

The Bravery of Lara Logan

Also over the weekend, Lara Logan shared with 60 Minutes the story of her attack in Egypt two months ago at the hands of a mob. It takes a strong, brave woman to give voice to the nightmare of vicious violence, which landed her in the hospital for four days.

Particularly poignant moments from the interview:

She thought she was going to die as the mob ripped off all her clothing and took cell phone photos of her, sexually violated her, tried to tear chunks of her hair from her scalp, distended every joint in her body and beat her with flag poles and sticks.

When she saw her children -- ages 1 and 2 -- after the attack, she said she felt like she’d “been given a second chance” that she didn’t think she deserved because she said she “came so close . . . to abandoning them.”

By the end of the interview, I only wished Logan emotional strength and hoped that the love and respect of her friends, family and her fans help to build her back up again.

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