"Chi chi chi! Le le le!"
Who doesn't know that chant?
Who doesn't know the story of "los 33," the Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days while the world watched and waited? And who will forget the images of each rescued man walking into the arms of loved ones?
You can thank Reinaldo Sepulveda.
He's the media director for Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, himself a former TV station owner. Although Sepulveda produced other major events, this may be his tour de force, his finest hour. Some may argue that the event was masterminded to augment Chile's and Pinera's image, but it was a calculated gamble if that was the case, because it could all have gone so terribly wrong. President Pinera is not eligible to run another term, so it's not as if he was looking towards a re-election bid down the road.
Not to mention, what if a freak accident occured and "los 33" were entombed for good? On live TV and on the internet?
The eyes of the world were watching and the pressure was on.
Chile delivered, with help from friends of course. But it was their willingness to reach out for that help, and the transparency which the entire ordeal was handled on live television and the internet that cannot but fail to impress.
Contrast this with Katrina and how George Bush took awhile to get with the program. Ditto for BP with the Macondo blowout.
Maybe the United States needs to hire Sepulveda and Pinera to boost our image.
Amen, and pass the mustard.