"The Baby Business" and "No Ordinary Life", on CNN Labor Day evening

On Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2022 CNN presented (pun) two documentary films.

The first was a one hour report, The Baby Business (9 PM EDY(, narrated with interviews by Alisyn Camerota , with this press release preview.

The trailer was a YouTube short.

The “business”, spurned most of all by infertile couples (about 1/6 of couples can face fertility problems)  furcates into several sectors, all a bit questionable.  The problem increases as economics drives couples to delay the first child (now the median age is 30).

Male donors get paid for sperm, and some can make $1500 a month or so. (It sounds analogous to plasma donation.)  They may well have lots of incentive to hide unfavorable genetic or health information. This may be handled in the future by Steven’s Law.

There are cases among the kids conceived this way turning up with genetic diseabilities.

The report also looked at egg donation and egg freezing.

Finally it got into surrogacy, where genes are not shared. The report did not mention that this can be important for same-sex male couples. There would be a danger that some red states might try to prohibit gay surrogacy on the theory that a child so born is denied a “normal” mother, especially given the aftermath of the Roe reversal.

I shall include a CNN report on the past baby formula shortage.

At 10 PM CNN aired No Ordinary Life, from Array Films (and CNN Films), by Heather O’Neill.

The film (78 minutes) surveys the work of women as live camera reports in combat or conflict zones, over decades going back to the 70s.  The film offers Christiane Amanpour as narrator, and histories oh Maria Fleet, Margaret Moth,Mary Rogers, and Cynde Strand

The women are shown doing original source camera journalism in most conceivable hotspots:  Lebanon, Mosul (Iraq – I worked one time with a woman who had lived in Mosil), Sarajevo in the 90s (where journalists were seen as the problem because they had no tribal allegiance), China (Tiananmen Square in Beijing), Somalia, Rwanda, and South Africa when Mandela took over. 

In some situations, women were not hired.  In one instance an execution was delayed because a female reporter was present.

The gear the reports carry is intricate and massive.  Yet I am amazed at what you can do with a simple Cannon Power Shot or cell phone.

(Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at 1 AM EDT)