Yesterday, while sitting at the Opera House cafe waiting for the motorcade to arrive, an older man at the next table spoke to one of the friends I was with - an Albanian man in his twenties.
My friend told me that the man had said that when he was my friend's age he had been thrown into prison by the Hoxha regime. Now as an old man he was sitting watching the American President visiting his country, driving through a square where the former site of the statue of Enver Hoxha was sheathed in banners bearing the American and Albanian flags, and proclaiming their partnership. Wouldn't that have made a great story?
Perhaps by the time they get to be White House correspondents following the President around they are too full of themselves to try any more.
Anon, I think that's the same story - the NYT owns the IHT. I'm all in favour of telling the story of the Guantanamo guys since I think they are in a terrible situation.
But I was thinking of some of the more positive stories - it's all very well saying Albania is pro-US, but a personal story or two or three gives that some meaning.
Journalistic platitudes about President Wilson or Kosovo tell us nothing.
The problem is that getting those stories requires some work - sounding off with platitudes is easily done from the air-conditioned comfort of a nice hotel with free food and drink.
I called my friend in albania yesterday to say hi and what he told me was "Can't talk I am busy our president Bush is talking on TV" and I thought Ok lets call mom, but I was wrong no interest on me whatsoever. The line from my mom was like that "Now did you decide to call that Bush is on TV, call me later, I think Bush has lost some weight, he work to hard, bla bla bla bla bla". My second and last sentence for that conversation was Ok mom speak to you next week.
I think it's important that Albanians read this too...it's really really sad what mess these poor innocent fellows are in.
Albania will never attract the necessary capital to develop, and Kosovo will never survive as an independent country.
How about journalist takle that pickle?
sure, I think I will be in Belgrade at the time, just contact me through Belgrade2.0 blog.
"I think your story this morning on the Today Show about the President's watch in Albania was in very poor taste. First you insinuate that it was stolen by the people of Albania. Then, after doing that at least four times before commerical breaks, you showed that President Bush showed a total lack of trust and removed it himself.
I just felt the piece was garbage, shame on the Today show for picking on such a small, poor, and beautiful 3rd world country; the same people and place that gave the world Mother Teresa (a Macedonian born ethnic Albanian)
Albania has become the dumping ground for those released from Gitmo by the US. The US State Department can't find any other countries willing to take these refugees.
Albania, as poor as that country is, still has troops deployed to Afghanistan & Iraq.
I've been a loyal watcher of the Today show for YEARS, but I believe that will end... today."