Television coverage of the rescue of the Chilean miners was certainly compelling TV. In many ways this rescue was reminiscent of the first moon landing in 1969. I was only 8 years old then but I remember watching the grainy footage of Neil Armstrong and thinking how amazing it was that we could see this event live.
The mining rescue was equally compelling. Incredibly the Chilean government had lowered television cameras and lights into the mine some 2000 feet below the surface of the earth, and we could see the rescue taking place in real time.
Unfortunately the mine rescue footage could not be condensed in real time, meaning that the anchormen and women had a lot of dead space to fill. Despite exhortations from Larry King of all people to just “sit and watch” the rescue, the anchors simply could not keep quiet.
Perhaps the silliest comment of the evening, and perhaps in the top 10 all time was uttered by Gary Tuchman, a CNN anchor. While waiting for the emergence of the rescue capsule containing rescued miner Mario Sepulveda, Tuchman and Larry King noted that one of the busiest streets in Los Angeles is called Sepulveda Boulevard and that “it is named after another Sepulveda.”
Really. I never would have assumed than a major thoroughfare in Los Angeles was not named after a heretofore unknown Chilean miner.
Gary Tuchman followed up this compelling non sequitur with the following comment, which I am quoting directly from the CNN transcript:
“October 13th may become a national holiday in Chile, and Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles may also be named after Mario Sepulveda, the second miner who’s about to come up any minute.”
Okay. Not much I can add to that.
Larry King then quickly turned to another guest, presumably with the hope that something worthwhile might be said.