In the wake of the Haitian earthquake, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien rushed to the region to deliver the same sort of high-quality, eyewitness coverage that she has dependably broadcast in the past on location after location from such disasters area as the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Because of her seemingly effortless style and her People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People List looks, what tends to get lost about this intrepid, Emmy-winning reporter is that she’s also a Harvard grad with a keen intellect, a razor sharp wit, a great sense of humor and an ever-inquiring mind.
I’ve interviewed a bunch of bright people in my day and, trust me, Soledad might very well be the brightest. You’ll instantly see what I mean, if you ever have the pleasure of engaging her in conversation one-on-one. Until then, I hope that this revealing tete-a-tete about the Haiti relief effort effectively conveys the essence of her brilliant mind and very likable spirit.
Soledad is never one to shy away from a difficult or probing question, but is rather refreshingly frank and forthcoming in addressing in considerable depth whatever issue she’s asked to address. That’s the reason I sought her out in the first place to get the scoop on what’s really happening in Haiti.
Keep in mind that this interview was conducted soon after her return to the States, while she was cooking for and frequently distracted by a house full of rambunctious kids, and she even paused briefly from our conversation to pull one of her 5 year-old twin’s baby teeth, all without ever missing a beat.
Kam Williams: Hi, Soledad, thanks again for the time.
Soledad O’Brien: Hey, how’re you doing? I hope you don’t mind but the kids are running around so we might have some interruptions. The conversation’s definitely going to be like that from my end. That was Charlie [one of her 5 year-old twins] who answered the phone.
KW: Of course, I understand. The kids missed mommy while she was away, and now they come first.
KW: Well, I guess my first question is, how’s Haiti?