Steve Hartman had trouble holding back his own tears on Friday's CBS Evening News, as he profiled the beyond kind act of an eight-year-old boy in Ohio. Myles Eckert, whose father was killed in Iraq when he was just a baby, enclosed a $20 bill he found in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant in a note, and gave them to a member of the Ohio Air National Guard who was having lunch there.
Hartman interviewed both Eckert and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Dailey, who received the heartfelt message from the Gold Star son (text of Eckert's note, and CBSNews.com video of Hartman's report below the jump):
On Friday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Steve Hartman made fun of Texan Robert Havercamp, who helps monitor border cameras via the internet as part of the virtual border fence: "Whether you think I'm naive or he's paranoid, this is a story that will astound you regardless...It's about how concerned citizens like Robert Havercamp, a truck driver from south Texas, are taking on illegal immigrants and drug smugglers from the comfort of their own computers...Although it's hard to say exactly how much safer he's really making us...Paranoid? Maybe. Patriotic? Unabashedly."
In addition to mocking Havercamp’s efforts, Hartman criticized the funding for the virtual fence program: "Donald Reay oversees the project...He runs the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition, which got a $2 million grant to put up the cameras and run the web site for a year...And yet, so far the program has only produced eight arrests and four drug seizures. Not much bang for the buck." Following his report, Hartman remarked: "After the grant expires, the coalition hopes to keep the site up by selling ads, and since it is a virtual stakeout, the first sponsor they're hoping to get is Dunkin’ Donuts." Anchor Katie Couric chimed in that people like Havercamp could be rewarded for their work with: "Maybe a free doughnut at some point?"
However, NewsBusters called up Mr. Reay and asked him if he had a donut discussion with Hartman. Reay replied: "None. It never came up. The truth of the matter is that most of the towns that we serve don’t have a Dunkin’ Donuts....In El Paso, Dunkin’ Donuts went broke here. Sorry, it wasn’t cute." Reay said the interview wasn’t that jokey: "We had a very serious discussion of close to three hours with him" and said "considering some of the publicity we’ve gotten, it’s not that bad." He tried to persuade Hartman of the seriousness of fighting crime on the border with concerned citizens. Reay also said "The Daily Show" has been calling around, trying to do a segment. Apparently, there’s nothing but comedy in border vigilance.
On yesterday’s CBS "Sunday Morning," reporter Steve Hartman demonstrated why illegal immigration is actually a good thing: "Good news about an illegal immigrant...By all accounts this man they call Dr. Q is one of the best up-and-coming neurosurgeons in the country." Interestingly, this story was actually first aired on the May 18 "Evening News." Apparently CBS is really going green, it even recycles its own biased reporting.
The segment began by Hartman actually admitting to the mainstream media’s usual doom and gloom reporting: "Because it never leads the news...because war and scandal and planet melting always make for catchier headlines...It's easy to forget all the good stories that happen every year." Hartman decided to focus on three "good" stories for a change, which included a brief profile of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa:
Clinically brilliant, relentlessly charming. His patients say it's almost like he was born to be a doctor. If they only knew...Just 20 years ago this renown neurosurgeon was about as anonymous as a human being can get in America. An illegal immigrant working the fields of California's San Joaquin Valley...after he jumped the U.S.-Mexico border and took up residence in this leaky old trailer, Alfredo says the moon seemed closer than medical school.