I get asked all the time why I spend so much time on GretaWire. It has been years and years and yes, it takes lots of my time.
I started GretaWire more than 12 years ago on a whim. No other anchor had a blog at the time (and even to this day I don’t think any has one that he or she actually does himself….and certainly not as regularly as I post.) I started GretaWire because I wanted to get out of the ‘show biz’ aspect of journalism which is the one way relationship in a studio with a camera. I enjoy anchoring cable news and we do have influence (scroll back to the story about Social Security Administration) but I wanted to be able to interact more with viewers and I like the persistence one can have with the internet. GretaWire does provide me the forum to reach beyond the camera and interact with the viewers.
Every time I think maybe to give it up and do something else with my spare time, I am reminded of the influence of GretaWire. I know it has influence because I get calls from Capitol Hill all the time when some Member of the House or Senate is unhappy with something I posted (and that is often.)
I am proud that I got a nasty op/ed in Sudan for criticizing the evil President Bashir for bombing and killing innocent people in the Nuba Mountains here on GretaWire. I posted pictures and video for the world to see of my trip there with Reverend Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse. The state run newspaper accused me of all sorts of things. I even got accused of being a member of Mossad and lying about what I saw (children living in caves and eating bugs and leaves to survive) when I was in Nuba Mountains. Yes, he is evil. (By the way, this pic is of kids living in a cave hiding from President Bashir. I guess I didn’t make this one up, right?)
GretaWire is so influential that in the last year, the Sudanese Government took it one step further besides the op/ed. President Bashir sent his Foreign Minister to Washington to talk to me. He wanted to talk me out of posting about President Bashir and how evil he is and to stop calling for his arrest. I told him I would stop when Bashir stopped killing innocents in the Nuba Mountains. The Foreign Minister said it was not happening. I said, I saw it with my own eyes…I saw graves, I saw bombers overhead, I saw children starving to death hiding in caves. He then said I had no permission to enter Sudan.
I am determined to see President Bashir answer to his indictment for genocide and GretaWire gives me that lasting platform. TV is powerful but the attention span of all of us in TV is admittedly and sometimes regrettably short which is why GretaWire has been such a useful adjunct. It lasts forever. Perhaps when he is arrested would be a convenient time to stop blogging?
And then there is YOU. Your collective voice, gathered by our joint presence on GretaWire has an impact. Without GretaWire, we would not have that collective voice. I know that I can depend on you to help — eg email a foreign country who is planning to host the the ICC indicted President Bashir to arrest him etc. Together we have done things and I thank you.
PS – If you don’t believe me that GretaWire has reach and influence, here is the proof: you are reading it…and many of you are also part of it.
Below — people gathering in a refugee camp next to a truck with food. The food gets tossed and everyone desperately grabs for it. It is very difficult to watch people so hungry.
That orange colored tint to the child’s hair (left) is a sign of malnutrition. This child has no food because President Bashir has bombed her village, killed many, burned the fields so no farming/food etc.