Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Morning is evening in Bangkok
There are moments when I wake up and I'm not sure where I am or what time it is. I guess it's the jet lag, but our schedule doesn't help.

To broadcast "360" live from Bangkok, Thailand, we have to be on location by about 7 a.m. local time. We are on the air from 9 to 11 a.m. and then head into the Bangkok traffic to shoot more stories for the next day's broadcast. We usually finish shooting around 9 p.m., which means we spend much of the night writing and editing pieces. Most of the crew is getting very little sleep, which certainly doesn't help fight the jet lag.

We are focusing this week on trafficking, the trafficking of both humans and animals. I interviewed someone from the United Nations earlier today who made the point that when we speak of the trafficking of humans, we should call it what it is: slavery.

I think it's a good point. The word trafficking is kind of antiseptic, clinical. I still find it hard to believe so many men, women and children are slaves in this day and age. Here in Southeast Asia, they work in brothels and sweat shops, on fishing boats and in back alley factories. We'll focus on their plight in the coming days, even as we continue to track the illegal trade in endangered and threatened species.

There are a number of other stories we'll cover tonight, of course. Dan Rivers has a disturbing piece on elephants maimed by landmines, a story he also blogged about. Tom Foreman will take a look at one of the new U.S. attorneys who replaced those who were pushed-out. And Brent Sadler and Randi Kaye will examine the plight of Iraqi and Afghan refugees.

It's almost 10 p.m. here now, which means it's almost 11 a.m. in New York, time for our morning conference call. Or is that now an evening conference call? As I mentioned, it's easy to get confused.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 1:05 PM ET
  26 Comments
hang in there and keep up the great work!

Good night, or good morning, or ... whatever :-)
Posted By Anonymous Marcy Mobile, AL : 3:54 PM ET
Anderson

Thank you and your team for your hard work. It is a tiring job with no time to actually rest or relax. So again thank you, taking time that you could be getting a quick power nap, you took the time to blog and let us in on what is going on in the "know".

Maybe after this trip you can try to take at least a few days just for your self, if that means just staying in bed and having a few lazy days....we of course would miss you but you need it.

Again you and your team stay safe :)
Posted By Anonymous Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 3:54 PM ET
Your point about calling "trafficking" by what it is (slavery), is well made. I hope your critique will focus on demand as well as supply, i.e. the customers. Addressing supply by, for example, diverting vulnerable persons out of the sex trade, won't make much difference as long as there is a demand for their services (replacements will step in). What does it say about our society that this kind of demand exists and that there are people willing to profit from it?
Posted By Anonymous Mary Campbell, Ottawa, Canada : 4:13 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
It was easy to see how disgusted Jeff (and everyone else)was with the ease of buying those endangered animals. And I'm unclear as to why the police can't go into those booths when they are closed. If they have suspicion of the illegal sale shouldn't that be enough? It seems the laws once again have some catching up to do.

Keep up the good work!
Stay safe and see you tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Jessica, Milwaukee WI. : 4:16 PM ET
Again, another excellent choice of situations to bring to the world's attention, to heal. Great juxtaposition with Jeff Corwin again showing the disregard of animals, while Anderson presents the disrespect of human beings.
The truth will set us free, and cause healing.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Martin, Mammoth Lakes, CA : 4:21 PM ET
Hey Anderson,
Sorry to hear that you and your crew aren't getting much sleep but we really appreciate it, getting these stories out about the trafficking in not only humans but anmials too will make a difference in the world, I hope! Love that your are blogging again, your fans missed it, get home safe and keep up the good work.
Posted By Anonymous Kimberly, Denver, Co. : 4:23 PM ET
Are you complaining? There ARE worse jobs in the world than being a globe-trotting international correspondent, aren't there?...
Posted By Anonymous Steve - Peoria, Illinois : 4:23 PM ET
Anderson,

Thank you for blogging. It is so interesting to read about how your show gets put together, and the challenges of anchoring from so far away, in different time zones.

Your show last night was great. It is such important information you are reporting. I look forward to tonight's show.

Linda
Boulder, Colorado
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Boulder, Colorado : 4:26 PM ET
AC,

These are the stories I don't want to hear, yet I know I need too. We should all listen, hear what's being said, then join, call, write, any and all persons who need our help! Although I'm not sure why, it's always the animals you show that affect me the most. How sad that we were meant to care for them, but all we do is injure and destroy. (Such cute little puppies weren't they?)

All of you place yourselves in danger, eat God knows "what is that on your plate!" confront disease, and lose so much sleep. Forget the bites, stings and weird things growing all over your body.

If you continued to make this same type of report, under these same, yet different conditions, I wonder how long it would be before you just simply felt nothing by way of compassion and pain for the things you report on? Thankfully you won't have to find out. I certainly hope not anyway!

Keep an eye on Neil! He doesn't seem to be a good luck charm!

Be mindful, all!

Maggie
Posted By Anonymous Maggie, GV, MO : 4:33 PM ET
Hi Anderson

It is easy to get confused (I am afraid its a sign of the pending 40th birthday ! - I had my 40th in February and I am advised that confusion is par for the course - only joking!!)

We are seeing events here in the UK to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery - I guess we really have not progressed.

This whole series is raising some very important challenges, and I commend you and the team for taking the time to bring these issues to notice.

Great job.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Canterbury, UK : 4:36 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

I really don't know how you do it. Me,on lack of sleep, equals clumsy and certifiable. I'm so focused usually but without sleep,I have no coordination and I laugh without any good reason. Being a mom, I know about sleep deprivation! My hats to you guys!

You're right, it is slavery and it is disgusting. You have to be evil to do that to another human being. But,if some of the parents "sell" their kids,thinking they'll be working honestly,because they lack the knowledge what really pisses me off are the scumbags that "buy" those kids but most of all, the ones that pay to abuse them. Especially the tourists from our beautiful countries(yours and mine)that go there especially because they know they won't be bothered and can pay to have sex with children. However you put it, they are sexual predators.
I saw the story about the kids in Iraq. Saddening. How easy children are hurt by the stupidity of adults. When I look at my son sleeping,I can't begin to understand how you could hurt children. TO me, it's just evil,no soul,no heart.
Thank you Anderson, for caring about them(children & women).
See you tonight or is it this morning or tomorrow?!??!??
Joanne R.
Laval QUebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R.LavalQuebec : 4:53 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
I guess child labor laws and human rights violations are a foreign concept in a country that didn't abolish slavery.Is anything currently being done to stop this? Also, good luck catching some Zzz's.
Posted By Anonymous Carol B., Frederick, MD : 4:54 PM ET
Anderson, please spare me the whining. You make VERY good money for losing a little sleep, travelling the world and reporting on what you see. Those poor people who are slaves have the right to whine. I won't even whine and I make far less than you, don't get to travel even though I love it and I don't have throngs of adoring fans to fawn over my littlest thing.

Suck it up dude. Yeah, you won't post this because there isn't any fawning, I know.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canda : 5:00 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

The description of your day sounds confusing, exhausting, and exciting! I am sure you also find it exhilarating! I often wondered if it is difficult to reorient yourself when you return home.

Last night's report on illegal wildlife trafficking was disturbing, but informative. This is Landmine Awareness Month so Dan's report will be timely indeed. Unfortunately, most of the victims of landmines are not the intended targets and many of them are innocent children and animals.

It is difficult to believe that there is still so much slavery in the world today. Do you know if any of the products produced in these "sweatshops" and "back alley factories" are sold through "legitimate" companies in the United States? I have read about U.S. companies in China that utilize sweatshops in the production of their merchandise that ends up being sold in the United States. My senator, Sherrod Brown has co-sponsored the "Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act (S.3485 & H.R. 5635)," in order to adddress some of these issues. It is still in committee.

I will watch your continuing reports on the the black market animal trade with great interest. Thank you for helping to educate the public on this important issue.

Also, thanks for repeating "Sins of the Father" last night; it is an important story and one that everyone should see.

I look forward to the rest of your reports from Southeast Asia. Take your medicine and get some sleep!

Take care,
Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 5:08 PM ET
Anderson,
Interesting that you say slavery rather than trafficing. There is a new book out by Zach Hunter, a 15yr old trying to end slavery worldwide. He was on Good Morning America last week.

The book is called Be the Change: Your Guide to Freeing Slaves and Changing the World.

I have ordered it, but it has not arrived yet. It just struck me that you used the term slavery, after hearing what he had to say.

Stay safe
Posted By Anonymous Kathy, Arlington Heights, IL : 5:18 PM ET
It is hard to believe that slavery still exists in modern times.

Why is it that those who have the least so often pay the highest price?

Is it just geography that finds me here, clean and comfortable, reading about atrocities, instead of there, on the streets, living them?
Posted By Anonymous Claire Colvin, White Rock, BC : 5:24 PM ET
Anderson, et. al.--

WOW! What a schedule you guys are keeping! I'm an insomniac, and it made even ME tired, just thinking about it.

"Trafficking" does seem like a rather innocuous word, for something so insidious. I, too, find it hard to believe that we haven't come farther as a population, and that there are still people who are enslaved. It makes me sick, really. If this is something that aid organizations around the world are aware of, and trying to stop, why isn't it part of the general interest of the world? It is, after all, a human rights issue. Thank you for doing such a great job in getting this information out there. It's 2007, for God's sake. NO ONE should still have to live the life of a slave.

Please, you guys...take care of yourselves. As I'm sure you all well know, getting dog-tired can lead to all kinds of weird, depressed immune system things, and you definitely don't want to pick up anything over there!

Em: Whining? I didn't think Anderson was whining at all. He's telling the truth about what their schedule is like, and what they're up against.

No amount of money in the world can make up for lack of sleep and the things that come with it. But, Em, I guess the fact that you don't complain makes you a better person, right? "Suck it up, dude"? How rude.

Take care, you guys. Looking forward to tonight's broadcast.
Posted By Anonymous Mandy, Boston, MA : 6:08 PM ET
Hey Anderson, Does shining the spotlight on trafficking(slavery) in these foreign countries do anything to stop the abuse? Man's inhumanity to man in this way boggles my mind and I see no end to the abuse.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn, MI : 6:28 PM ET
Hey Anderson and crew,
Does Amnesty Internaional get involved this? While I think it's great that all these stories are being covered, please let us know what *we* can do to help. This seems like it will remind me of the Congo story w/the sugar cane 'slaves'. Stay safe and good afternoon? (playing it safe right down the middle of the day)
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl, Johnston RI : 6:35 PM ET
Slavery, human inflicted destruction of the seemingly only life supporting planet in our solar system, corrupt politicians, sexually deranged perverted priests, extinction of animals at the hands of man, religious wars, senseless bloodshed ...maybe I'll go live in a cave. Someone wake me up when the insanity is over.
Is there any hope for humankind? Doesn't seem like it.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Darby, Denham Springs, LA : 6:40 PM ET
Hi AC, might be a great time to develop a taste for coffee-try mocha! People will do anything for money, it doesn't matter who or what gets hurt in the process. We need to have tougher punishment and reduce the market and demand for these services. It breaks my heart to see these animals butchered. The child slavery story really scares me. I teach a class of 5 and 6 year olds on Tues. morning. They are still so sweet and innocent. They deserve a childhood without hurt and fear. These are tough topics this week. Thanks for all of your hard work and get some rest! P.S. I watched your story Sunday night and I'm sticking with AC360. AI doesn't need any more viewers and Simon is a strange bird!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 6:41 PM ET
Slavery. To think that word has resurfaced (or never left) in hundreds if not thousands of years and has permeated around the world. It's hard to imagine that we in the United States think that slavery was abolished by the Emancipation Proclamation, but in fact, still occurs right under our noses on entirely different levels.

People claim child labor as a way of life in many countries. Do people make similar claims with regard to sex slaves?

Anderson and the 360 team, although it may be difficult, try to get some rest!
Posted By Anonymous Aruna, Minneapolis, MN : 6:43 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

Yikes, take it from someone who has been travelling twice a week for months, you need to get some rest at some point or your poor body will just shut down on you. I know, it just happened to me. Not that I intend to imply that I know what you are going through. My travel is not to the distances that you go. Phew, I can only imagine.

What you are doing is so important and I understand that you don't want to rest as you will miss an opportunity that you can never regain. I get that and I am that way myself, somewhat. Please just be careful and take care of yourself. I am surprised that you even remember where you are and what day it is.

I just saw the movie "Amazing Grace", it has made me do a lot of thinking about slavery and what an abomination and embarrassment it was to our country. To think of this still going on around the world is sickening. Dosen't matter if it is people or animals it is dreadful all the same. Trafficking DOES equal slavery, well said. We need to call it what it is and deal with it accordingly.

Important issues that we need information on. Kudos to you guys, seriously, well done. This elephant story sounds so sad. We so tend to take unfair advantage of things as humans. When will people wake up? I pray that it is not too late on all accounts and that people pay attention and glean some wisdom from all of your hard work.

You hang in there Anderson, and don't pay attention to those who criticize you, it is obvious that they do not have any idea what you go through and why. Small minds, what can I say? Keep doing what you are doing...IT MATTERS and that is something to be proud of. (Proud and dog tired!)

All The Best to the whole gang - take care of each other and safe travels.
Posted By Anonymous Pati McMillan, Camp Hill, PA : 6:44 PM ET
Anderson: So, some bloggers think you are whining, eh? I, on the other hand, think you are just being honest and I enjoy when you share your thoughts with us on the blog as well as what goes on behind the scenes at 360. Afterall, you obviously don't have to! Rather than get any more mushier than I already have, I'll just say "thanks". All the work and subsequent lack of sleep is appreciated!
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 6:45 PM ET
hey.
I was reading over some of these comments, and someone was wondering about why America doesnt have slaves, then suggested the geography. I think it's because North America is a consumer society, and that's what gives us the high standard of living. Places like Cambodia just don't have that to the same degree, resulting in inner trafficking on a much higher level than in N.A. Also, the government of Thailand seems to be taking a backseat in trafficking.

But that's just me.

Peace.
Posted By Anonymous Maynan R, Winnipeg, Manitoba : 7:03 PM ET
What can be done? Will exposing the traffickers make a difference? These segments always leave me feeling helpless, that people, animals are suffering, and I can't do anything about it. Or can I?
Posted By Anonymous Stacey; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada : 7:12 PM ET
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