The video that’s currently sweeping the web is called “Kony 2012″, which currently has over 50 million views on YouTube. It tries to bring awareness to the atrocities that Joseph Kony and his rebel army are committing in Uganda, where he induces children to take arms against their parents, among other crimes. The filmmaker who produced the video, Jason Russell, appeared on the “Today” show this morning to talk about how the video has helped raise awareness about Kony and his crimes.
Ann Curry was in her comfort zone here, and she did a great job of challenging Russell, while making sure she was supportive of the film and its mission. First, she defended Russell’s notion that the Kony story has gone unreported for a quarter-century, and also that Kony’s influence is waning in Uganda. Russell, for his part, felt that even a reduced influence is dangerous, saying that if someone kidnapped 200 children in San Diego and turned them on their parents, people here would take notice.
It’s not like the US hasn’t taken notice, as the country sent a small number of troops to Uganda to fight members of Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, according to the New York Daily News. And Curry, whose best work has been in overseas danger zones like Uganda, was well aware of what’s being done there. She challenged Russell on how much of the donations to his Invisible Children charity is being spent on stopping Kony, and what his association is doing to affect change. Russell’s answer: a phone app that tracks Kony’s atrocities. Nice, but not exactly a solution.
But, again, there are 50 million more people know about Kony — including many high-profile celebrities — than there were a few days ago, which is always a good thing. But will his efforts affect real change? Time will tell.