MEMORIES AND MISERY IN CNN LAND WHILE HOMEOWNERSSEEK MORTGAGE JUSTICE AND FORECLOSURES MOUNT
By Danny Schechter,Author of The Crime of Our Time
Atlanta: Somehow, I can't escape CNN. Last Saturday I joined Ted Turner, Wolf Blitzer and more than 300 current and former CNN employees at a celebration of the network's 30th anniversary at the National Press Club in Washington. I was there as one of the "CNN Originals," the many staffers who helped originate what was mocked as the Chicken Noodle Network in Atlanta back in June l980.
There was pride and sense of achievement in the room by those who pioneered 24 Hour Cable News on small budgets but with lots of heart, coffee and sleepless nights. Being there was often thrilling and part of my personal learning curve on how big media works, a story I tell in my book The More You Watch The Less You Know. It was an unforgettable time, and even though I soon moved on to ABC, I was pleased, even honored, to be part of it.
As fate would have it, a day after that CNN celebration, I was back in Atlanta at CNN Center, actually, across the street, at the Georgia World Congress Center where another news-making network was holding forth.
Drawing tens of thousands of people trying to save their homes, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) was holding its 19th SAVE THE DREAM event, this time in cooperation with the City of Atlanta.
Fox in Atlanta called it "hugely successful." CBS reported what I saw up close and personal:
"More than 25,000people have asked for help. NACA said so far it's their biggest event. They said people were coming in from all over the country.
Judy Richmond from Lithonia has waited more than 24 hours. She said, "We knew there would be a lot of people, but we thought the process would be a lot smoother."
She said she was willing to wait for help navigating the mortgage world.
Bruce Marks, CEO of NACA, said, "When you have the opportunity to save thousands of dollars a month people are willing to do that.