I'm the early writer this week. It's my job to be in the newsroom at 11 a.m. for the "senior" call. That's when executive producer David Doss and the senior staff discuss what stories we're working on for the show.
It's a preliminary rundown and always subject to change, but it's a good jumping off point. (This conversation begins on Blackberry and phone around 7 a.m. everyday, and the show is not on until 11 or 12 hours after the senior call.) My job is to offer editorial suggestions, work on early scripts and take notes and e-mail them to the rest of the writers. New ideas are always welcome.
Usually, one person does most of the talking on the morning call. Today it was senior producer Barclay Palmer. He started things off with Iraq. There was an attack on Shiite pilgrims. Barclay said two CNN correspondents, Arwa Damon and Michael Holmes, had a couple of reports on violence in Iraq, and in particular, the Shia resurgence. That got us talking about an e-mail note another senior producer, Ted Fine, had sent earlier. Here's what Ted wrote:
"Reading Arwa and Holmes makes me wonder: Didn't the U.S. KNOW what would happen when they kicked out Saddam? I mean seeing this now, how could people in the know NOT know that Iran would fill the power vacuum in Iraq? It seems like such a huge mistake and bad planning."
Ted's note got us thinking: With centuries of sectarian hatred in Iraq, how could the White House not anticipate this would happen?
Our Baghdad correspondent, Michael Ware, told Anderson recently that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shiites fled to Iran during Saddam Hussein's regime. When it fell, they returned, backed by Iranian forces. Michael had much more to say. We're going to air the interview tonight, breaking it up into several segments. I've got to run. David's asking me if I'm done with this blog already.