It is always a chore to arrange video interviews and also be at Fort Meade to cover all hours of the proceedings in the court martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning. There is no good place on base that the military makes available for journalists to Skype. In fact, I once turned down a “Democracy Now!” interview because I did not want to miss the proceedings. (I’ll say that is why Michael Ratner has been doing the Manning segments for “DN!” or why Col. Morris Davis appeared on The Young Turks tonight. It’s easier for them.)
No longer will it be too much of an issue to do interviews for HuffPost Live. I downloaded the Google Plus app to my iPhone and did an interview just after the proceedings wrapped. With reporter Matt Sledge, we discussed how it came out that Manning had tried to contact the New York Times and The Washington Post, but neither of the outlets appeared interested or called him back when he left information. We also discussed what will happen next for Manning and the fact that he will be going to prison. How long he will be in prison is yet to be determined.
This video will give you a flavor of what it is like to cover the proceedings. I had just finished a post and was ready to leave the base and head to the visitors’ parking lot to do the interview outside the gates of Meade when it became apparent the military escort was not going to be making it to the gate by the time I was to go live. Additionally, one of the reporters we were waiting on now needed to have his car jumped. This caravan would not be leaving so I backed my car up, turned around and headed to a part of the lot without informing any of the public affairs people of what was going on and began the interview because the HuffPost Live people were wondering if I was going to be signing in for the segment.
I sat in the Zipcar I am driving and could have been interrupted at any moment. This is live broadcast news where anything could happen. I held the camera up and did the interview segment. It went well and, as everything was wrapping, the military escort pulled up and motioned at me to drive off. It all worked out. There was no interference from the military public affairs people.