Choking up in Haiti: a genuine moment.
While covering the devastation in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake, NPR’s Jason Beaubien was recording a two-way with All Things Considered host Melissa Block from outside a medical tent. As he was describing the heart-breaking scene, his voice choked:
Jason: “Right now I’m outside the Villa Creole Hotel, which is in the Petionville neighborhood an elite neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. And it’s really quite amazing, people have brought their injured children out front here because they know that there are medical – Western medical doctors staying inside. So, people have come here to try to get attention for – mainly for their children. There’s a girl – I’m sorry. There’s a girl right in front of me at the moment. [Jason chokes a bit; his voice breaks.] She’s covered in bandages. She’s laying on just some what are they they’re from the deck chairs that would be by the pool. She’s naked except for what looks like a tablecloth on top of her. And she keeps lifting her head and her lips are shaking.”
(Soundbite of crowd as Jason catches his breath.)
Jason: “Sorry, Melissa.”
Melissa: “That’s okay.”
Jason: “It’s heartbreaking what’s happening here. And there are people just in the streets everywhere. When you drive through, there are tent cities that have been sort of set up just in little lots. People are clearly just living wherever they can.”
The exchange was broadcast, Jason’s moment of emotion included. It was “a display of grief or dismay in the wake of a tragedy” that was clearly authentic. And after that moment, Jason appropriately recomposes himself to address the important context.
October 23, 2011