Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'll be on ABC's 20/20 this Friday

I was interviewed this week by ABC News correspondent Brian Ross for a special two-part investigation into Bernie Madoff, the man behind the $50 billion Ponzi scheme. The first part will air this Friday on ABC's 20/20.

Readers of CLL Diary are already familiar with my family’s longstanding acquaintance with Madoff and his wife Ruth. A producer at 20/20 read my post Bernie Madoff screws leukemia patient and one thing led to another. The post goes rather heavily into the leukemia angle, and that is part of the interview as well. I discuss how my losses in Madoff and my family’s losses impact my health c
are, including a possible stem cell transplant. I also talk about the perspective that my CLL diagnosis has given me on life, which affects how I feel about the Madoff mess.

Part of my motivation
for doing the interview was as a patient advocate -- to get CLL into the national media, however briefly or obliquely (and also to be living proof that you can be a younger person with the disease). If people find my blog through the story -- perhaps patients and caregivers who are not familiar with the online resources available -- then they will also find the useful links I have selected on the right side of the blog page.

The producers offered to fly me and Marilyn to New York City for the interview but it was on too short notice, so ABC sent a film crew here to Sedona. Besides me sitting in a chair talking to Ross via satellite, they also took some atmospheric shots -- me looking over old Madoff statements, me standing on my deck looking at the red rocks, and me walking across Highway 89A, which is the main four-lane road through town. It's a bit odd walking for the camera -- I was reminded of Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks as I tried to nonchalantly navigate my way down the street. I was also thinking about Miss America starting down the runway and tried not to walk like that.

I don’t know yet what will end up on the cutting room floor, or how the story will be handled -- I am a very minor part of the report, but perhaps a human face on the scandal. I do feel that the producers and Ross are dedicated to doing a proper, investigative job when it comes to digging into the Madoff affair, and that is long overdue.


Deb Light said...

Anxious to see it David!So glad you didn't walk like Miss America!!LOL!

I hope some good comes to you from this.You deserve it.
Maybe your transplant pd. for or your money returned.I pray for that!

Take care!
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Shame they won't show it in Australia - let us know if it gets up on YouTube.

Best wishes

David Arenson said...


I am told by a friend in Oz that the program will be replayed there at 2:10 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22nd on Sky News.



Anonymous said...

Most of the interview will not be aired. I've been interviewed at length, and about 10 seconds of a half-hour interview eventually ended up on the screen.

I hope your CLL goals were met, but don't be surprised if much of what you say is edited out.

As you say, it's about Madoff, not about CLL.