My Bob Simon Envy

During the football season, it’s tougher to watch 60 Minutes. It’s on after football, so the start time drifts. The DVR is fooled.

I watched last night. Zip – right through A-Rod story. I just didn’t care.

What did catch my attention was an amazing story by Bob Simon. He went to a pristine, untouched area in Indonesia, hundreds of miles from any kind of civilization. As his scientist host said, “It�s probably basically the way it was five or 10,000 years ago.”

Think about the financial and resource commitment from CBS News and Simon. This story cost a small fortune to produce.

After a 20-hour flight to Jakarta, Indonesia, followed by a seven-hour plane ride to New Guinea, Simon and the team had concluded the easy part of the trip. They then boarded a single-engine plane with Bruce Beehler, the lead scientist from “Conservation International,” which stirred the world with its discoveries in 2005. After an hour in the air, they were looking for a grass runway.

The next morning, we loaded up a helicopter for the 45-minute journey up to the mountain. It’s at least a two-week hike from the village and there are no trails.

The destination was a jungle paradise never touched by man – never. These would be first footsteps over much of the ground. It was lush, green, astoundingly beautiful and bounding with life (though curiously, very few mammals).

I would love to go there. I probably never will. At the moment, I don’t even have a valid passport.

There aren’t many jobs like Bob Simon’s left. Some big newspapers still have foreign correspondents. The TV networks have deemphasized international news.

Bob Simon travels the world, covering wars and this week, covering paradise.

6 thoughts on “My Bob Simon Envy”

  1. You still using MythTV? If so there is a plugin out there that attempts to monitor sporting events to tell when it’s done and then record your show. I don’t know how well it works – I have not tried it myself, but might be something worth tinkering with.

  2. that piece was amazing – it struck me the same way as you – that much time and effort dedicated to a 10 – 15 minute story, I thought that kind of thing wasn’t done any more.

  3. Geoff,

    Unsolicited advice: If I were you, I’d arrange to get passports for your family. You’ll never know when you’ll need one (a fun surprise opportunity for a trip?) – and now you even need one to go to Canada. And it takes forever now.


  4. Good advice, DAF – Except about the long wait. Passports are now being received about 2 weeks from the time of submission. That’s with the normal service not the rush service.

  5. FYI we went to the post office to get passports for the family on election day. We had them 10 days later. They’ve fixed the backlog problem. We didn’t put a rush on them, nor did we indicate we needed them for a trip, so it was standard processing. Impressive for the gov’t!

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