Life During Wartime

March 20th, 2003

It’s way too late, and I’m way too tired to articulately communicate everything that’s happened, and everything I’ve been feeling, these last 27 or so hours.

Moments after MTV News leadership sent most of the teams home, what is now being refered to as the “surgical strike” began. I was tipped off by the VP of the department running down the hall top speed yelling into the newsroom “Something’s happening.”

We were live on air within 15 minutes, and stayed live for just under two hours until 11:30. After putting the website to bed, I walked home, logged on for one last check, and went to bed around 2. I was up at 8, and back into work by 9, where we had just enough time to meet and post-mortem Wednesday night’s live coverage before the next volley began, and we raced down into the studio again. We were on the air for almost three hours, until 3:45, then again at 7.

I can’t even begin to explain what making live television is like. We were moving so quickly, I wasn’t always sure what we’d just done. I just tried to stay a step ahead, stay out of the way, and hit my marks. It’s like a time warp. Yesterday seems like years ago. This morning seems like last month.

Of course, adrenaline not withstanding, the whole thing feels quite sad. The sound of those first cruise missiles exploding was chilling. I imagine being there, in that city of 6 million, finally having fallen to sleep as dawn approached, and being jarred by that sound, that un-Godly thunder. It’s so grave. So frightening. So real.

Yet, as I walked home from work tonight just after 10, two days into this thing, this Life During Wartime, folks were leaving the theatre and stumbling drunk through the rain like any other Thursday night. What gives? Are we making TV and websites for others in the media? Does no one else care?

Anyway, I’m making no sense. I can’t think straight. I have so many feelings, so many thoughts, but I have to get to sleep, and get back in to work. We have another live show to do tomorrow.