'Rock Center with Brian Williams' premiere: Jon Stewart and some other stuff
The lead story for the premiere episode was about the oil industry that is booming in Williston, North Dakota. It was incredible. There are tens of thousands of jobs up there available in the oil industry, but in addition to that, as the town grows, they need people to build houses, work at the hospital, teach in the schools. It was a great story to kick off the episode.
The second segment was about Richard Engel's secret trip to Syria. He had to be smuggled into Syria from southern Turkey. Once there, he speaks with a human rights lawyer who lives in hiding and says to Engel that the Syrian people are fighting for the same freedoms the citizens of the United States enjoy.
The third piece was a somewhat silly segment about airline travel. "Rock Center" finds a participle astrophysicist who has come up with a new way to board an airplane, all in a way to advertise for "This vs. That," a show about the better way to do various things.
The fourth segment was an interesting piece about "birth tourism" - these houses across the country where wealthy Chinese parents come to give birth to their babies. Once they secure an American birth certificate, and therefore citizenship for the baby, they fly back to China. It costs as much as $30,000 on airfare, lodging and medical expenses. The point is that the babies can now attend American schools as residents and make it easier for their families to get green cards when they turn 21. The opposition to "birth tourism" has drafted a bill that reinterprets the language of the 14th Amendment. It would mean a baby has to have one parent who is a legal citizen in order to be granted citizenship at birth.
The first live in-studio guest is Jon Stewart, which we thought would be a great first interview for the show, as we really enjoy every time Williams comes to "The Daily Show." The main topic of conversation is Occupy Wall Street, but it's a little dryer and a little more awkward than we were expecting.
What were your thoughts about the premiere episode of "Rock Center"? Will you tune in next week?