The Early Show. [2001-09--excerpts], Hurricane Katrina

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Betacam SX
Created: 2005


The Early Show. [2001-09--excerpts], Hurricane Katrina
Summary: "We are proud to submit The Early Show's incredible and inspiring coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As one of the biggest stories of the year, Hurricane Katrina was not a small story by far but yet an event that affected thousands, ruined towns and cities, devastated a region and proved to be no match for the Early Show team.

'CBS National Correspondent Tracy Smith was one of the first network correspondents in New Orleans immediately after the city was ravaged by the hurricane. Tracy was also one of the first to report from the Convention Center -- thought to be one of the most desperate and dangerous places in the city.

'Tracy became part of the story as well. While accompanying rescuers on a boat trip into flooded neighborhoods, Tracy actually had to help save some people. In disaster situations like this one, reporters are faced with the dilemma of sticking solely to their jobs or helping those in need. This was not a conflict for Tracy, who did not think twice about helping to rescue several people trapped in their homes. And while doing it, she maintained her journalistic integrity throughout.

'Also on the scene was Early Show anchor Harry Smith. A seasoned newsman who has reported from Baghdad and Kuwait on the eve of the war with Iraq and recently witnessed the destruction caused by the tsunami in Sri Lanka, called the scene in New Orleans, 'surreal'.

'When Harry arrived in New Orleans he saw that many neighborhoods were completely inundated with water, despite days of pumping it out of the city. Harry noted that the only way to get into these areas and really look around was by boat - so he decided to paddle himself around in a canoe, as cameras followed. As Harry paddled through the area he gave viewers a first hand look and understanding of the destruction that was caused to the area. 'What you have to understand is that this scene is repeated on untold hundreds and hundreds of blocks throughout New Orleans,' he observed. And, Smith continued, you wonder where they went: "Are they in a shelter in Houston? Are they in a shelter in Baton Rouge? Are they in Minnesota, or Colorado? -- It gives you an idea, as you get the kind of ghost town feel to all of this, all of the woe and all of the sorrow that goes with all of the empty buildings. It's very sad. It's very sad."

'When it seemed that the chaos and heartbreak were too much to bear, The Early Show made sure to concentrate on the good that comes out of such awful event. During her reporting, Early Show Correspondent Hattie Kauffman met a woman, Kathy Phipps, who had lost her children during the storm. Kathy was evacuated to Utah and did not know where her children were.

'In the meantime, volunteers were touched by her story and by working the phones they tracked the kids to a shelter in Austin, Texas. Hattie was there when Kathy go the call that her children were okay but was worried because she had no way to get to her children. So, The Early Show bought Kathy a ticket to Texas to retrieve her children!

'The remarkable coverage of Hurricane Katrina by The Early Show team is certainly worthy of a Peabody."--2005 Peabody Awards entry form

Corporate Producers: CBS News | CBS Television Network

Persons Appearing: Harry Smith (Anchor) | Tracy Smith (Correspondent) | Hattie Kauffman (Correspondent)

Broadcast Date: September 1-2 & 8, 2005