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December 7th, 2009
03:18 PM ET

Waiting To Embed

I know, I know: this BackStory segment is from Friday.

Let's just say I posted it late on purpose, to tie into the whole "waiting" theme. (Yeah... that's the ticket!)



October 12th, 2009
02:43 PM ET

BackStory: An Afghanistan Embed

Friday's BackStory had us shipping out to Afghanistan, for a rough-n-tumble embed with correspondent Fred Pleitgen and camerawoman Claudia Otto.



In the end, we had to blow out that second BackStory hit. Y'know. Because the president was speaking. But for folks who wanted to check out Cal Perry's Special Forces stint in Iraq - we've got you covered:



October 3rd, 2009
07:47 PM ET

It's Their Party: BackStory From Beijing

When our correspondents go out to do interviews and collect video elements for a piece, it can take hours and hours. All to produce a two- to three-minute package.

In this week's BackStory segment, we got a look at John Vause & crew's very early morning... and very tight restrictions... as they covered China's National Day celebrations.



September 26th, 2009
05:08 PM ET

Taking the Show on the Road... to Afghanistan

Getting a live news show on the air can be challenging, even under "normal" conditions. Going live from the hinterlands of Afghanistan - well, that's a whole 'nother story!

CNN's Anderson Cooper did just that, to mark the 8th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, and the U.S. military campaign against the Taliban.

Well, this week's BackStory segment gave us a behind-the-scenes look at how the AC360 crew got there, and got it done. (All the cursing's bleeped, I promise.)



September 20th, 2009
01:49 AM ET

BackStory: Iraqi Shoe-Thrower's Homecoming

A flock of sheep + ululating womenfolk + a hot & bothered Cal Perry = this week's BackStory - brought to you by Michael Holmes and Miz Betty Nguyen, sitting in for Kyra.



August 24th, 2009
04:35 PM ET

The Calf Chronicles: Goodbye, Norma Jean...

Photo by Deborah Feyerick
Photo by Deborah Feyerick

Her name is Norma Jean, and she had a pretty rough entry into the world. That much we knew. But there was so much more we WANTED to know about our new favorite bovine, so we wrangled some details from CNN correspondent/cow midwife Deb Feyerick.

She writes:

I snapped this picture four hours after the calf was born. We found her stuck in the mud, not too far from where we delivered her. The farmer pushed her up the hill a little and she settled in under these trees.

We called her Norma Jean in honor of Billy Crystal in "City Slickers", who names his cow Norman. She started out as Norma, but I spiced it up to give her little somethin' special.

Awwwwww! Too cute, right?

But wait:

Our farmer actually sold Norma Jean for about $75 to another farmer. She was half Holstein and half Jersey, making her smaller and reducing her milk production about 15-20% - 100 pounds a day compared to 120 pounds a day.

We believe Norma Jean is somewhere between Vermont & NY. šŸ™‚

I don't know about you, but I kinda envisioned "our" calf living the life of a barnyard celebrity - maybe going on to star in one of those Happy California Cow ads. Blargh!


Filed under: BackStory • Kyra Phillips
August 21st, 2009
07:49 PM ET

"Oh my gosh. I gave birth to a cow."

Today's BackStory segment was certainly a talker:

The entire newsroom stopped to gawk. We got a mess o' tweets, the minute it ended. It's already made the blogs.

If you saw it, then you know why. If you didn't, well, settle in for some bovine birthin'!



UPDATE: I just found out that Deb Feyerick and her crew actually got to name the calf. Welcome to the world, Norma Jean!


August 17th, 2009
10:28 PM ET

Hamdi: The BackStory

Team Kyra's launching a new weekly segment, in conjunction with our friends at CNN International. Every Friday, the anchor of CNNI's BackStory, Michael Holmes, will join Kyra with his pick of the week's "BS" pieces. (I swear... that's THEIR abbreviation for the show, not mine!) The show's mission: to show you some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into CNN's reporting.

We've kicked things off with a special BackStory segment, on a special day, about a special guy.

Meet Hamdi: one minute, a CNN Baghdad security consultant... the next, a stranger in a strange land. He's just moved to the States with his family after gaining refugee status.



If you want to watch the full piece BackStory ran on Hamdi's journey, you can find it here. And as Kyra said - keep an eye out for Hamdi's :30 Pitch - we hope to make it happen this Thursday!