And I mean barely discernible. Towards the end of Charlie Wilson’s War, Texan congressman Wilson (played by Tom Hanks) having helped finance the covert war in Afghanistan looks up at a TV screen and sees Dan Rather introduce a piece that begins with the final column of Red Army tanks crossing the Friendship bridge back into the old Soviet Union.
There is a brief upsot and the voice of CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen comes through, narrating their departure. Watching it took me instantly back to February, 1989.
I took in Petersen’s piece as a very junior CBS staffer, track and rushes. I remembered the shots and the script. Barry always did an on-camera countdown into his pieces to camera: “In — uh — three — uh — two — uh — one…”
But what I most remember from those day of multiple telexes to arrange satellite paths, microwave hops to earth stations, and unreliable landlines, is the sheer number of people involved in co-ordinating the whole process. Staggering.