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.