THE BOB EDWARDS SHOW HIGHLIGHTS – December 15-19, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014: This week, we’re replaying some of our favorite documentaries from the past decade. In the summer of 2012, we visited the military’s billion-dollar National Training Center and met some of the people who prepared our troops for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Covering more than a thousand square miles of California’s Mojave Desert, Ft. Irwin and the NTC includes realistic mock villages populated by role playing Iraqi nationals and military spouses who are looking for a way to contribute to the war effort. We also witness a group of Army reservists training in a “trauma lane.” Amid IED blasts and sniper fire, the untested medics have to deal with role players pretending to be the enemy, frightened villagers demanding their attention and actual amputees who act like they just lost their legs in the explosion. Their commander, Sergeant First Class Bertran Schultz, describes the action and gives a blow by blow account of what his men are getting right and wrong. Then, for something completely different… we head to Nashville to visit WSM’s historic and unique broadcasting tower and a guided tour from chief engineer Jason Cooper. The station’s studios were damaged in the flood of May 2010 WSM had been broadcasting from a cramped building at the tower for the past seven months.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014: We’re continuing documentary week today. In 2008, Bob spent hours interviewing homeless men, women and children, social workers and government officials to learn about the problem of homeless families and kids. The resulting documentary, The Invisible – Children without Homes won the Edward R. Murrow Award that year for presenting the story about economics, education, healthcare, and culture.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014: We’re replaying some of our favorite documentaries this week and today we go all the way back to 2006. On a reporting trip to Arizona, Bob spoke with agents Gustavo Soto and Jose Garza, both ten-year veterans of the Border Patrol. Agent Soto drove us down to the border at Nogales, where we witness an apprehension. Then we joined Samaritan volunteers Michael Hyatt and Dr. Bob Cairns, as they drove along Highway 286 towards Mexico, keeping an eye out for dehydrated migrants in need of medical attention. Twelve miles from the border, we came upon a group of Border Patrol agents arresting a dozen migrants. One of the migrants appeared dazed and had a bloody wound on the top of his head.
Thursday, December 18, 2014: We’re continuing documentary week with some of our favorites from the archives. Today we feature our award winning production from 2012 titled An “Occupational Hazard”: Rape in the Military. One in three active-duty women serving the US military has reported being the victim of sexual assault, which is double the rate for civilians. Based on estimates from the Department of Defense, 19,000 servicemen and women were sexually assaulted in 2010 and most of those violent acts don’t get reported because in the military, victims are required to report up their chain of command. Defending itself in civilian court in 2011, the Pentagon argued that sexual assault is an “occupational hazard” in the military. We’ll hear from servicemen and women about their military sexual trauma, from advocates who help treat and raise awareness about the problem, and lawmakers about what is and isn’t being done to change the culture that protects these sexual perpetrators.
Friday, December 19, 2014: We conclude documentary week with our first award winning production. Today Bob takes up the controversial issue of mountaintop removal in the south-central Appalachian Mountains with our 2006 documentary called Exploding Heritage. The method of extracting coal by blowing off the tops of mountains is devastating to plant and animal life and causing trouble for the people who live nearby. Bob explores how mountaintop removal is leveling the oldest mountain range in America — leaving the landscape, the local economy and the local culture ravaged.