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November 24 , 2007

As I Saw It

How a TV Cameraman Covered News in Bygone Days


In the early sixties American networks started looking for cameramen to cover the military events in Vietnam and the Dominican Republic. CBS News hired Carl Sorensen. He tells how, with Correspondent Dan Rather, he survived an attack by a Vietnamese’s fighter plane and how a Vietnamese helicopter dropped Morley Safer and Sorensen into a combat zone leaving them covered to their necks in a swamp with muddy waters. In Cambodia, two Khmer Rouge cadres surprised Correspondent Bert Quint, Sorensen and Soundman Patrick Forest, wounding Forest. The author describes vividly how the Mexican Army in 1968 attacked the Plaza of the Three Cultures killing defenseless students and onlookers, and how a colonel smashed Sorensen’s camera lens and threatened to kill the CBS team. During the Cyprus conflict Turkish jets attacked the Nicosia Hilton Hotel wounding the author with a rocket fragment. In Iran, Sorensen was arrested by the Islamic Committee guards and put in prison accused of being an American spy. He also covered Pope John Paul II traveling in search of love and peace receiving enough papal blessings to last a lifetime.

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