NOTE FROM LAURA LEIGH:
UPDATE on “the where, when and what.”
Yes, there are segments in the line-up for NBC on wild horses and burros. The first segment was to air this morning, April 4, on the TODAY show. The segment was “bumped” by other “news” and sits awaiting airing. Usually networks don’t discuss a piece until it airs but the bump has made this a bit of a special situation. (However the final edit was not complete even as of yesterday and may yet be edited again, although I think the producer may jump out a window if that happens).
The original piece was to be three minutes on the TODAY show, two minutes on NBC Nightly news and an accompanying web piece. Then it went to a longer segment about 6 minutes and has now been edited again, taking out a couple minutes.
The program is entitled “Wild, but not free.” It will appear for less than 5 minutes on the TODAY show (at this juncture possibly on Monday/Tuesday morning, but the TODAY show is a live studio piece and content is not confirmed until the night before it airs) with an accompanying web piece also “live” Monday/Tuesday (possible) am. The NBC Nightly piece may or may not air Monday/Tuesday dependent on other news in the world that day.
After speaking with the producer Michael Austin today it appears that much of what was in the first
edit is now on the cutting room floor because of a lack of time to cover the story on air. HOWEVER the six minute edit, plus two side bar pieces (one with Carole King presenting the pro-horse side and one with Joan Guilfoyle representing BLM) will all appear on the web on NBCnews.com. Accompanying the three videos online will be an extensive, magazine style, written piece that presents both sides of the BLM wild horse and burro program and accompanying photos.
These pieces, as I understand them, are simply an overview not an expose. This story (as anyone familiar with the wild horse and burro program knows) grew from a piece that began as focused on treatment and roundups to a much broader piece. We can only hope it remains provocative enough to get people interested enough to ask questions.
The majority of interviews were done the two weeks prior to the Press Freedoms (access) case being heard.
Wild Horse Education participation:
At the Diamond roundup in Eureka I was told by other advocates they would cover Swasey so I could get to Reno to prepare for court. NBC went to Swasey. NBC called me and asked “where are you?” and I explained that I was in Reno prepping the case as others were covering Swasey… so the producer came to Reno. We spent a few days together. He did an extensive interview with me at Palomino Valley. We literally opened up our library and let NBC shop like they were in a toy store. (Although reliving the last three years left me a bit raw as we prepared the court case the day NBC producer Michael Austin left Reno). After NBC left they continued to contact us as they viewed newer material I was editing and posting. We gave them all the info on court cases, vet reports, Triple B review, Hope the foal whose feet fell off after Calico (had to dig in the recesses of the dusty truck for that one), Chance the baby that died in holding, Sorro the baby that starved at Broken Arrow, the chopper chases, the hotshots, the injured and bloody horses, barbed wire, limping babies… you name it, they got it. Leslie Peeples, former VP of Wild Horse Education, also provided NBC with footage and photos.
NBC has talked to a few orgs and individuals, (there are literally thousands of orgs that advocate for horses) and you will only see very brief recognition of participants on air. NBC did not want to tag each clip or photo on air with the source it came from so the piece stays focused on content. So one clip or 50 we all will get the same credit. This story should create enough focus on the content, not people.
But those of you that have followed the work of Wild Horse Education will recognize the multitude of wild horses documented by our organization. Yes, another org did put out a list of people that were interviewed and did not include us. Full list of advocates interviewed on camera are Laura Leigh, Ginger Kathrens, Suzanne Roy and Carole King. The station will edit according to a pre-determined script. Content was provided by several individuals in addition to that given to NBC by organizations including Elyse Gardner, Carl Mrozek, Mike Lorden and Leslie Peeples. Again what makes the final edit is still unknown.
Please let this be a piece that opens doors to more in-depth reporting by NBC and other major media. Please post, share, comment and encourage others to comment on the web piece. Let’s show NBC that wild horses and burros are a bigger star than any in Hollywood and we want MORE!
This video embedded below (that has gone viral) created a major interest for NBC.
The audience for our beloved herds is growing and growing. The court cases we have in front of Federal Judges that cover 4 roundups in 3 separate Federal suits are gaining ground every month. As we grow in number and raise our voices… change is not impossible, but inevitable.
Check back on Sunday night and we will update you if confirmation comes of an air time for Monday. ~ Laura