Feb. 14, 2005 11:24 a.m.
When news breaks in this region, the folks here jump into action as fast as any crew I've ever worked with. Within moments of word that a car bomb had gone off in Beirut, phone calls were being made to local contacts, officials, and other cooperating news organizations. Incoming feeds from Lebanon were being recorded here and sent on to New York. I was getting briefed by almost everyone in the office, including bureau chief Eli Fastman and senior producer Mark Abrahms. They were great about giving me the latest facts, and background on former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who according to early reports dodged the blast, but later was confirmed dead.
Meanwhile, producer Ibrahim Hazboun called me into his office, and translated the Arabic voice-over on the graphic tape shot at the scene. Producer Dana Zimmerman was on the phone with the foreign desk coordinating my live shots, which began in the first hour of “FOX & Friends,” roughly 30 minutes after the blast.
The video you probably haven't seen, which most would agree is too awful for TV, shows a man in flames in the front passenger seat of an SUV. He somehow manages to pull himself through the open window and then tumbles to the street, still on fire. Another man rushes up, frantically looking around for help, takes off his own jacket and tries to smother the flames. I seriously doubt if the man on the ground could've survived.
[Ed. note: Click the video tab in the upper right to watch Leventhal's reports.]
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