“We have the opportunity to tell the world the story of Haiti,” says Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer. TVNewser talked with Hemmer between live reports late this afternoon. He and his crew are currently at the airport waiting for cargo to be offloaded from relief flights so it can be distributed, “to people who need it more and more by the hour,” says Hemmer.
“It’s awful,” says the “America’s Newsroom” anchor. “I just met a woman a half hour ago, pushing her husband in a wheelchair with a young boy. She had this massive bandage on her face, eyes and nose. She just started bawling, she was from France and they were trying to get back to Paris. When the quake hit, they went back inside, where they remained trapped for two days.”
“Even on a good day, it’s pretty tough here.”
We asked Hemmer about his colleague Steve Harrigan who got choked up during a liveshot earlier today. Hemmer was nearby, getting ready for his own liveshot. “If your heart doesn’t break for them, you don’t have a heartbeat,” he said.
Eating and sleeping aren’t much on his mind right now. Before they crossed the border from the Dominican Republic into Haiti, Hemmer and his crew stopped at a gas station for supplies. “We stocked up on a bunch of water. Pototao Chips, gum, that kind of thing. And today some MREs (meals ready-to-eat) had shipped in.”
Hemmer says just reporting the story for TV is a challenge. “There is no electricity and we’re able to provide live reports. That’s a tremendous tribute to our staff and crew and colleagues here.”
Hemmer isn’t sure how long he’ll be covering the aftermath but says “the story will move to the U.S. military. They’re going to have a pretty big role here,” he predicts.