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Posts Tagged ‘Leland Vittert’

Cable News Covers Wayward Plane with ‘Unconscious and Slumped Over’ Pilot

ScottCable news networks have been covering the story of an unresponsive single-engine turboprop plane that eventually crashed near Jamaica.

Two F-15 fighter jets scrambled over the Atlantic Ocean trailing the plane, which U.S. officials said was being flown by a pilot “unconscious and slumped over” in the cockpit. The plane departed Rochester, NY this morning heading to Naples, FL. It was last heard from at 1oamET, flying off course and into Cuban airspace, ultimately crashing in the ocean just north of Jamaica.

Fox News’ Jon Scott, a licensed pilot, first reported the news at the top of “Happening Now” at 1pmET. Scott went to former pilot and Fox News correspondent Leland Vittert for a report on the plane, later talking to another former pilot, correspondent Trace Gallagher. Wolf Blitzer first reported the news at 1:14pmET, speaking with Aviation Correspondent Rene Marsh. Ronan Farrow reported the news at 1:20pmET. Scott also first reported the plane’s crash at 2:37pmET. Joy Reid reported the news at 2:46pmET; Brooke Baldwin reported the crash at 2:51pmET. The cause of the crash is unknown at this point.

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Network Correspondents Converge On Syria And Surrounding Countries

All eyes are turning to Syria, as escalated rhetoric suggests that a U.S. attack could be imminent. Unlike Iraq, which saw correspondents reporting while embedded with U.S. troops or from the balcony of their hotels, it is not nearly as clear whether U.S. networks will have the same presence in Syria.

It seems as though the situation is fluid for pretty much every network, so things will likely change before any potential U.S. action. That said, some outlets have people in place inside Syria, while others are working on it. Interestingly, two U.S. networks (NBC and ABC) are relying on UK correspondents for reports out of Damascus.

CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer arrived recently in Damascus (see photo to above), and is expected to be there for some time. She reported for the “CBS Evening News” and “CBS This Morning.” NBC News’ Richard Engel reported from Syria earlier this week, and is currently on the Turkey/Syria border. ITN’s Bill Neely is in Damascus (NBC and ITN share some content and correspondents), and has been reporting there for NBC, and Ayman Mohyeldin is reporting from Beirut. ABC News has chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran and Middle East correspondent Alexander Marquardt reporting from Beruit, Lebanon, Muhammad Lila from Antakaya, Turkey, Matt Gutman from the northern Israeli city of Haifa, Molly Hunter from Jerusalem and the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen contributing to ABC News coverage from Damascus.

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Broadcasters Gear Up For Gaza Coverage

With the situation in Gaza continuing to escalate, the broadcast news divisions are making sure their people are in the region. Additional changes may be made, but for now here is the latest on the assignments in Gaza, Israel and beyond.

ABC News has Christiane Amanpour in Jerusalem, joined by Lama Hasan. Matt Gutman is reporting for ABC from Tel Aviv, while Alexander Marquardt reports from Gaza.

NBC News has Ayman Mohyeldin and Richard Engel in Gaza, Stephanie Gosk and Martin Fletcher in Tel Aviv, Jim Maceda in Cairo, Egypt and Ali Rouzi in Tehran, Iran.

CBS News has Clarissa Ward reporting from Cairo, Charlie D’Agata reporting from Gaza and Allen Pizzey reporting from Israel.

Fox News has Jerusalem correspondents Leland Vittert and David Lee Miller reporting from southwestern Israel, near the Gaza border.

Rising Tension in Middle East is Lead Story in U.S.

The escalating violence between the Israeli military and Hamas militants was the lead on “NBC Nightly News” and “ABC World News” tonight and has been in heavy rotation on the cable news channels today. Among those covering the story veteran NBC news correspondent Martin Fletcher, ABC’s Alex Marquardt and Fox News correspondent Leland Vittert. Earlier today I asked Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes about international news coverage and the importance of having reporters on the ground rather than just talking heads in the studio:

“Everybody in the whole goddamn world is a pundit,” Ailes said. “My doorman thinks he should be running the 101st Airborne Division. It’s good to get people from various Administrations who’ve had some experience. But sometimes you’ve just got to have a reporter out there.”

Ailes talked about watching Vittert’s reports last night (video here). “I’m watching and he’s saying, ‘We’re standing here and a bomb hit this building and we’re over here…’ and I’m thinking, “Oh Christ I’m going to get this kid killed.” And I was thinking should I call [Steve] Harrigan in Florida and put him in. Because he’s an old combat reporter. I’d been worrying about that kid all night.”

“You need analysis, you need all that stuff. One doesn’t necessarily replace the other. Journalism is journalism. Somebody’s got to see it and say it.”

Fox News Adds New Middle East Reporter

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Leland Vittert, anchor at Denver Fox affiliate KDVR, is joining Fox News as a Jerusalem-based reporter. “If you had asked me in college what I wanted to do, this would be it,” 27-year-old Vittert tells the Denver Post. “An international correspondent for Fox. For me, this is the ultimate.” Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Phil Keating are also former Denver anchors.