Mira Sorvino -- Oct. 23, 2005

A weekly feature on This Week.


Our voice this week, Mira Sorvino. The Oscar-winning actress is speaking out against slavery. It's hard to believe, but millions of people, mostly women, are bought and sold every year and that outrage was on the president's agenda this week.

President Bush: "We're going after criminal organizations and 'coyotes' that traffic in human beings. These people are the worst of the worst. They prey on innocent life. They take advantage of people who want to better their own lives."

Sorvino has taken up the cause, leading Amnesty International's campaign to stop violence against women and starring in a Lifetime mini-series, "Human Trafficking."

Mira Sorvino: "It's a very, very weighty and timely subject because right now internationally anywhere from 800,000 to 1 million people, mostly women and girls, are trafficked every year, sold into slavery. And in the United States we have between 17,000 to 100,000 people trafficked in every year, and when I read this script for the "Human Trafficking" mini-series, I was really impressed with how moving it was.

"The word 'trafficking' people generally associate with drug trafficking, and they think of crossing borders. And when they hear human trafficking, they think of it as just sort of a smuggling operation of people. To be trafficked, you don't have to be smuggled.

You're fraudulently put into a situation where you are then coerced to work for little or no pay. You are abused, often sexually, even if it's not sexual slave labor. You have no basic human rights. You are owned by another person. It is slavery. And I wasn't aware that it was happening in America. I really didn't think that within our shores we had people being kept as slaves and worked to death, essentially.

"If one out of a hundred people who watches this show makes a phone call when they see something strange in their community, that will make a huge difference to many lives of people who are trafficked.

"And every time you meet a person who was actually trafficked, you get choked up. You can hardly talk because you feel like, You know, what have I done to compare to that? I mean, what have I undergone? They are treated as people who have no basic human dignity or no rights. And I find that shocking and horrifying. And I think, I don't know, that most Americans will, too, once they know more about it."


The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:

Jay Leno: "No, the trial has begun and Saddam's lawyers say they, they will accept any judge except Harriet Miers. They don't feel she's qualified."

Weekends at the DL:

D.L. Hughley: "I was reading today that George Bush's approval reading among black people is at 2 percent. Two percent! Thomas Jefferson had a higher rating among black people and he owned them."

The Colbert Report:

Stephen Colbert: "And we're also trying to learn from the news veterans out there. For instance, take a look at how most of the news stations are covering the avian flu."

Lou Dobbs: "Bird flu crisis is widening."

CSPAN: "...died of bird flu."

CNN: "...died of bird flu."

MSNBC: "...sickness if not death."

MSNBC: "...extending its ban on bird."

MSNBC: "...we don't have the reserves that we need."

Anderson Cooper: "...the pandemic that he says is all but certain."

Colbert: "Well here's what I learned. Nobody likes a Gloomy-Gus. It's not the end of the world, guys. Thank God there's a ray of sunshine over at Fox.

FOX announcer: "Bird is the word over at Fox. Why the avian flu could send stock soaring."

Colbert: "There you go. See. Fox knows how to put a shine on a rotting chicken corpse. Every global pandemic has a silver lining."

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:

Jay Leno: "And Tom DeLay was booked yesterday. He's smiling in his mug shot, as I like to call it, his smug shot. I'm thinking, why would anybody be smiling during their mug shot, and I figured out why. Ellen pull back the camera. See, he's getting more money. He's getting more money."

Late Night with Conan O'Brien:

Conan O'Brien: "Much to talk about, a lot going on in the world. Tough times at the White House, tough times. A lot of bad news these days. And this is the latest, the Washington Post reports that morale is so bad at the White House that Vice President Dick Cheney has been giving the staff pep talks. Yea, you know things are bad when Dick Cheney is the most cheerful guy in the room: Cheer up, everything is going to be fine, it's going to be fine."

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

Jon Stewart: "More relevantly, the questionnaire asked Miers to furnish information. Quote: 'Describe all communications by the Bush administration, or individuals acting on behalf of the administration, to any individuals or interest groups with respect to how you would rule.' Miers written response, and we are not making this up, was, 'No.' Just no. So she's given an incomplete and insulting questionnaire to be Supreme Court justice, I guess finally the game is up and she'll withdraw."

Sen. Specter: "Sen. Leahy and I took a look at it and agreed that it was insufficient, and are sending back at detailed letter."

Stewart: "She gets to retake the test. Apparently getting on to the Supreme Court is like high school Spanish. But for Sen. Leahy, more basic questions about the process still remain."

Sen. Leahy: "We'd actually like to know what the heck is going on!"