Perhaps you’ve heard of Ali Velshi. He’s an anchor and chief business correspondent for CNN in New York City. And all day Monday he stood in the middle of an intersection in downtown Atlantic City, bringing us live updates as Hurricane Sandy wrought its wrath upon New Jersey. As the coverage went on and the waters rose, Ali’s position became more and more precarious. In a few hours around dinnertime, I watched him go from knee to waist deep. When last I looked, he was clinging to a traffic pole as the wind-whipped seawater raced past him down the street.
I don’t pretend to know Ali personally. I know from his LinkedIn page that he has a BA in Religious Studies from Queen’s University, which no doubt helped hone his critical thinking, but did precious little to prepare him for yesterday’s gig.
All I hope is that he’s home now, freshly showered and changed into thick warm socks. And that someday soon, given the sophistication of digital visual effects, we get over our compulsion to send reporters out in dangerous conditions merely to fulfill our idle curiosity. There’s gotta be a better way.