Reality versus DC -
September 2, 2005 2:14 PM   Subscribe

CNN of all places has a great overview of the BS coming out of washington about Katrina - "security is really good", the bodies in the convention center are "rumors" - versus reports from the ground. Fantasy land.
posted by brookish (88 comments total)
CNN? I'm shocked, and impressed.
posted by delmoi at 2:19 PM on September 2, 2005

Bad no-no.

I disagree, item. The news isn't that that bullshit is being called, but that CNN is actively calling bullshit. Can't wait till more major outlets get in on the action, i.e. start doing their damn jobs.
posted by lia at 2:25 PM on September 2, 2005

I just watched Soledad O'Brien's interview with Michael Brown. Wow. Unbelievable.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:26 PM on September 2, 2005

Item: actually I had not heard that much about the 'disconnect' between public statements and what was really happening. To be honest, I wasn't really paying that much attention to what they were saying, just what they were doing.

Also, this brown guy is the head of FEMA. All he ever says is "I've haven't got reports on that" Why the hell not? Why is the head of FEMA totally clueless here?
posted by delmoi at 2:27 PM on September 2, 2005

I have been roundly impressed with CNN's coverage. Anderson Cooper's choking up while unleashing on Senator Mary L. Landrieu last night.

"Your sitting here patting yourself and other politicians on the back for what your about to do.... we watched rats eating a corpse last night because there's no way to deal with the dead... it's thursday, we were able to get food to Indonesia in TWO DAYS."
posted by trinarian at 2:29 PM on September 2, 2005

Watching Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarbourough turn on their party last night like bulldogs on pork shops warmed my heart. They seem *gasp* almost human now.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:33 PM on September 2, 2005

CNN has also reported on blogs calling the evacuee situation "the invisible hand of capitalism." A pretty radical comment for a mainstream news outlet, even if they weren't endorsing it. At least they put it on air. CNN's coverage over the past few days has been consistently impressive. Several of the anchors (especially Kyra Phillips) have let some anger at the slow response creep onto the air. And then there's Jack Cafferty, who has been amazing on the wacky wacky Wolf Blitzer "Situation Room"
posted by zaack at 2:35 PM on September 2, 2005

Delmoi: He's not a disaster expert, he's a bush ranch cronie. Ask him about Arabian Horsies instead!
posted by zaelic at 2:35 PM on September 2, 2005

Cooper grills a senator. Kagan immediately questions back-slapping presidential photo-op. Cafferty unloading on everybody.

Between Cooper, Kagan and Cafferty (and others I'm sure I just haven't seen - Carlson, really?), I'm getting the idea that CNN just remembered what journalism should look like.
posted by blendor at 2:38 PM on September 2, 2005

Is that the pendulum slowing from it's ascent to the right or am I just jittery from drinking too much coffee?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:38 PM on September 2, 2005

Pendulum is definitely swinging.
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:51 PM on September 2, 2005

Brown needs to STFU. Every time he gets defensive and combative he makes this administration look that much more like the assholes they have been this week. Muzzle the guy! I mean, Bush is even contridicting him today (Brown says things are good, Bush said things are unacceptable). He tries to spin, then lie and if that doesn't work, blame others. I am so sick of this bullshit.
posted by UseyurBrain at 2:55 PM on September 2, 2005

For some reason they just don't understand the significance of "80% of the city is flooded". I don't get it.

It's the swamp, right? Aren't there hundreds of swamp boats available to go street to street looking for people? If that's happening, I haven't seen it on CNN.

I watched NOLA tv/news, it's a lot different, much more possitive - there is a LOT to do and a lot is being done, just not NEARLY enough.
posted by tomplus2 at 2:56 PM on September 2, 2005

The CNN coverage overall has been pretty amazing... the Situation Room finally has a reason for its existence. Cafferty is frequently visibly angry at the government's response. MSNBC also has pretty good coverage, with more focus on what's happening in Mississippi. On the otherhand, most of the time Fox has foaming-at-the-mouth sensationalism (Looters! Arson! Snipers!).
posted by strikhedonia at 3:03 PM on September 2, 2005

"Is that the pendulum slowing from it's ascent to the right or am I just jittery from drinking too much coffee?"

It's not a left/right thing, in my opinion. It's a "New Orleans just got flushed and went swirling and the federal government is too fucking incompetent to do anything about it" thing.

What's interesting about it is watching this administration's people get confused as to why their alternate reality force field isn't working anymore. Hint: Entire American city flushed and swirling. And it's New Orleans.
posted by jscalzi at 3:10 PM on September 2, 2005

I can't decide whether this is intentionally snarky or not.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:22 PM on September 2, 2005

On ABC World News Tonight last night, they showed Bush saying "No one expected the levees to break", then cut to a montage of all sorts of congressmen and officials warning of exactly that. It could have been the Daily Show.
posted by cillit bang at 3:22 PM on September 2, 2005

Wow, they sure roast Michael Brown in this article. If he's got any sense, he'll resign and get his ass out of the public eye quick.
posted by mullingitover at 3:26 PM on September 2, 2005

What's interesting about it is watching this administration's people get confused as to why their alternate reality force field isn't working anymore.

jscalzi, thank you. That's the first time I've laughed today. I've been driving myself crazy reading about NO online for about seven hours straight; time for a break, I think.
posted by jokeefe at 3:27 PM on September 2, 2005

100% snark.

CNN knows there's blood in the water.
posted by mullingitover at 3:30 PM on September 2, 2005

Goddamn, anyone seen the cover of today New York Times? Not the site, I mean the hard copy. Jesus...
posted by bluedaniel at 3:32 PM on September 2, 2005

What's interesting about it is watching this administration's people get confused as to why their alternate reality force field isn't working anymore.

Sorry, but this saddens me. The only reason this admin became this deluded is because they were allowed to get that way. How many free passes does it take till you start thinking you're invincible?
posted by dreamsign at 3:32 PM on September 2, 2005

Goddamn, anyone seen the cover of today New York Times?

Link here.
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on September 2, 2005

OT/ I just listened to Bush speaking from New Orleans. I was struck by how many things that the victims "need to understand." I can't say I felt reassured.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:43 PM on September 2, 2005

A lot of posts get called Worst Post Ever.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:51 PM on September 2, 2005

This guy Brown is an idiot. I saw him on the news last night; he was asked directly why it was that all the helicopters flying overhead could not be delivering pallets of water to survivors. He didn't answer, didn't give any sort of timeline or explanation, and said only that everything was going well in terms of getting food and water, and that they were going to "work even faster".

I got so frustrated and angry that I turned the TV off.

This post is fine. I'm glad to know that CNN is calling bullshit.
posted by Specklet at 4:03 PM on September 2, 2005

I take it that repeating a question is just so not done.

Reporters should be asking the same fucking question again and again until an answer -- any answer -- is given which actually addresses the question. And on the fifth go the reporter can start pistol-whipping them.
posted by dreamsign at 4:14 PM on September 2, 2005

Trent Lott had no answers for Cooper on CNN just now--he thinks the relief is going really well, tho, in case you wondered.
posted by amberglow at 4:31 PM on September 2, 2005

rush thinks the response was good too.
posted by bonaldi at 4:32 PM on September 2, 2005

how many things that the victims "need to understand."

That language is the public side of some enlightening internal dialog.
posted by nervousfritz at 4:42 PM on September 2, 2005

Talking about watching CNN, why did Trent Lott get a National Guard Helicopter ride, with what seems like his wife, to check on his home today???
I suppose they didn't have any room for some water, food or clean clothes....
posted by threehundredandsixty at 4:47 PM on September 2, 2005

Remain calm!! All is well!
posted by psmealey at 4:49 PM on September 2, 2005

Lott seemed to think that folks shouldn't be complaining, even though they're hurting and have lost everything they own. If you're hungry and thirsty and you keep hearing that help is coming and that after three days (or more) help hasn't come and you're stuck in the hellhole that is the Superdome, I think you have every fucking right in the world to complain. That's just me, though.
posted by eilatan at 4:52 PM on September 2, 2005

at least Lott's attempt to blame the media fell flat like his house (one of his houses, that is). Do they not realize that the whole country if not the world has been watching this unfolding horror all week, and asking the same questions?
posted by amberglow at 5:02 PM on September 2, 2005

The benefit concert's on MSNBC and NBC (and whatever other channels they own, i guess) now.
posted by amberglow at 5:03 PM on September 2, 2005

Whoever was just on, with Mike Myers, said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people. He gave orders to have us shot in the street." On NBC. Uncontradicted. Now Aaron Neville is singing. I'm speechless.
posted by muckster at 5:46 PM on September 2, 2005

Off topic...I was just watching the live coverage of the "Concert for Hurricane Relief" on MSNBC. They cut to a two shot of Mike Meyers and Kanye West. Myers made a comment, then it was Kanye's turn...he blurts out,"George Bush doen't care about black people." Myers does a classic double take and they cut away. Amazing live TV.

I have it all on my TiVo. I just wish I had things set up to make a video I could post!
posted by tdstone at 5:53 PM on September 2, 2005

Muckster...I am 99% sure that was Kanye West...MSNBC somehow didn't air the second line you posted.
posted by tdstone at 5:55 PM on September 2, 2005

FEMA spokesman Butch Kinerney, on WTOP radio in DC today(direct RealAudio link), was waxing eloquent about how great a job is being done, and that the problem is that New Orleans is too hard to get to. Also that so many people stayed. Although he conceded that some of them may have had 'problems' evacuating. It sounds like they were waiting for the airport to reopen before they did anything.

Perhaps he pissed me off because of the self-congratulatory tone. Or because he attributed part of the difficulty to the unforeseen breeching of the levees. Unforeseen by FEMA, anyway. But mostly because he just had to chuckle happily when he announced there were guns on the ground in NO now. Official US guns, I mean. If this had happened two of three days ago, the guns might not be necessary, I keep thinking.

That NYT front page is grim stuff. Maybe in a couple of days someone well tell Michael Brown about it.
posted by umberto at 6:10 PM on September 2, 2005

Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:50 PM on September 2, 2005

CNN's coverage is great. This article makes me like General Honroe more and more.
Honore repeatedly went up to military vehicles, National Guardsmen standing sentry and even to New Orleans police officers, telling them to please point their weapons down and reminding them that they were not in Iraq.
Hopefully his actions will be remembered when this is all over.
posted by Potsy at 7:57 PM on September 2, 2005

I just got back from N.O. for the second time. The security concerns are mostly bullshit. The city is a complete wreck. There are boats out there, lots of boats, but the most effective are being held back in an attempt at "getting control" of the relief effort. Yes, there are bodies, but there are also still people alive and waiting to get out.

From what I've seen, almost none of the organizations get in the water before noon. They stop at dusk.
posted by atchafalaya at 8:08 PM on September 2, 2005

Brown ought to follow his also Bush appointed predecessor and go work for Haliburton. Those fucktards can have him!
posted by johnj at 8:12 PM on September 2, 2005

they ought to put those displaced people at his "ranch" in Crawford and in the White House.
posted by amberglow at 8:16 PM on September 2, 2005

"But mostly because he just had to chuckle happily when he announced there were guns on the ground in NO now. Official US guns, I mean."

Let me get this straight. The official FEMA PR flack was chuckling happily that American soldiers with rifles and battle gear are entering an important, nay critical, US city in the aftermath of a natural disaster?

My offense buffer is about this close to being blown.

I almost turned around on an obviously-well-off post-yuppie white couple on the street today in West LA, after I heard them discussing how "those people" in New Orleans deserved what they got because "those people" have 4 or 5 kids on welfare and that We Americans have to pay for them, and what about the killing? and the raping? how can "those people" act like "such animals?"

Took all I had not to turn around and subject them to the very pinnacle of my ire. I'm glad I succeeded, because I might have punched the guy. Fatuous, racist pigs with $1,500 watches. Trent Lott's peer group, eh?

This is not my America anymore.

"Hint: Entire American city flushed and swirling. And it's New Orleans."

I'm still having trouble absorbing that one myself, mostly because I'm very very well aware of NO's significance as our largest seaport. In about 5 weeks, the vast majority of the soybeans, wheat, corn, and other produce and foodstuffs that we export around the world are supposed to come down the Mississippi to NO to be loaded on cargo ships and delivered. There are even now probably thousands of cargoes that are not coming down the river that will be delayed or will not get to their destinations at all... because the New Orleans seaport is closed and nobody's there to handle the cargo.

This is going to be a huge, huge hit to the economy, which will only be magnified by the oil and natural gas production shortfalls. Every last one of us is going to feel it, we're only seeing the immediate effects right now.

And the "officials" are just offending me, worse than anything has ever offended me.
posted by zoogleplex at 8:24 PM on September 2, 2005

The Forest Service has offered fixed plane aircraft used to fight forest fires to help extinguish blazes in New Orleans,
according to two congressional sources. But the sources said the planes, which can pour large amounts of water on fires, remained grounded in Missouri Friday because the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t authorized their use.

posted by amberglow at 8:43 PM on September 2, 2005

Holy crap, someone at the AP has balls!

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Iraqi insurgency is in its last throes. The economy is booming. Anybody who leaks a CIA agent's identity will be fired. Add another piece of White House rhetoric that doesn't match the public's view of reality: Help is on the way, Gulf Coast.

Newsview: Rhetoric Not Matching Reality
posted by Remy at 8:45 PM on September 2, 2005

"But the sources said the planes, which can pour large amounts of water on fires, remained grounded in Missouri Friday because the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t authorized their use."


After this is over, we dismantle the DHS, I think, and anyone in any position of power there who is a Bush crony should be out on their ass.
posted by zoogleplex at 8:56 PM on September 2, 2005

atchafalaya, thanks for your first person report, I appreciate it. It seems like the media coverage has shifted from the rescues, and I am very fearful there are many more dying by the day that might have been saved with a more aggressive effort.

I for one would be interested to hear anything else you have to say about your visits if you are so inclined to share. Did you go in by boat?
posted by madamjujujive at 8:56 PM on September 2, 2005

what juju said, atcha.

the media has stopped talking about the people still needing rescue from roofs and homes, and even stopped doing live reports at the Convention Center (where there are still tons of people)...
posted by amberglow at 8:58 PM on September 2, 2005

Conason in Salon:-- For the third time since George W. Bush became president, Americans are paying a catastrophic price for bad government. As the costs are tallied once more in death and dollars, we are being told that the wise and patriotic thing to do is shut up -- as if good citizens are obliged to remain silent about unwise and incompetent leadership. ...

Does this all sound strangely familiar, like a nightmarish flashback?

A repetitive pattern is emerging whenever a terrible event occurs that is due at least partly to governmental incompetence. The president and other high officials offer deceptive utterances to excuse themselves. And reinforcing their self-serving statements is a chorus of admonishments from the right against any dissent or criticism.

After 9/11, the White House falsely claimed that there had been no warnings and that the Bush administration had been preparing for an attack by al-Qaida since its earliest days in office. Anyone who said otherwise -- or who merely wanted to investigate the underlying weaknesses that had enabled the attackers -- was a "partisan" seeking to "undermine the war on terror."
The pattern continued with the invasion of Iraq, which has become a disastrous misadventure owing to the poor planning, inept management and mendacious propaganda of the White House. ...
And now we are told that only bad people dare to criticize their bad government. ...

posted by amberglow at 9:05 PM on September 2, 2005

Holy shit, is it me or did Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera just go batshit crazy on Fox News on Hannity and Colmes? That.. kind of rocked.
posted by Stan Chin at 9:10 PM on September 2, 2005

And the American people are heard saying, "These rose-colored goggles, they do nothing!"
posted by johnj at 9:14 PM on September 2, 2005

Holy shit, is it me or did Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera just go batshit crazy on Fox News on Hannity and Colmes? That.. kind of rocked.

Oh yes they did. Bush is toast.
posted by fungible at 9:41 PM on September 2, 2005

That clip is what should be buzzed on tonight, not the Kanye clip (though that was amazing too).
posted by Quartermass at 9:49 PM on September 2, 2005

omg: "it's like Willowbrook in there" (Willowbrook made Geraldo--a notorious horror-filled institution here--it's the worst description he would ever ever use.)

Fox is going to pull them both out within 24 hours--mark my words--Ailes is probably doing it as i type. Hannity should be drowned. I'm proud of them--and it shows us that what we're seeing is not everything, and that it's even worse even tho we're already horrified.

don't know where to put this but: why are we all giving to the Red Cross when they're still not allowed into New Orleans?
posted by amberglow at 9:55 PM on September 2, 2005

Thank GOD this was showed on FOX.
posted by johnj at 10:06 PM on September 2, 2005

Bush won't have to worry, I think. You can see the wagons circling. Got those media silos targeted already: Louisiana; NOLA; Blanco; Nagin. Probably especially Nagin. It'll be like the Reconstruction. 'Sensible folk wouldn't let that happen to 'em.' Read around a little. It's like watching black ice crystallize in slow motion.

I feel oddly conflicted. I've never bonded with Geraldo or Shepard before....
posted by umberto at 10:08 PM on September 2, 2005

(this finally made me turn to FOX just now--Greta's not in Aruba anymore, and all about Texas)
posted by amberglow at 10:09 PM on September 2, 2005

I love this post! Thanks brookish. It's news to me. I don't have cable. I've gotten more info here on MeFi than anywhere else. We must start holding our government accountable. And the only people with the access to do that are fund raising fat cats and journalists. Democracy doesn't work without a serious and critical press, and an attentive and thoughful audience. I have to hope that this is more than just a flash in the pan.
posted by marsha56 at 10:20 PM on September 2, 2005

Because the Red Cross is already feeding people elsewhere, and will be feeding many of these people when they are out.
posted by jb at 10:30 PM on September 2, 2005

Yeah, like jb said, the Red Cross is going to continue to step up long after the news media and the government have moved on. The residents of the whole region are going to need help for months to come, and the Red Cross is going to provide it. Right now is horrifying, but October and November are going to be horrifying as well, just in a less newsworthy way.
posted by climalene at 10:56 PM on September 2, 2005

But isn't the aftermath (housing, money, food, etc) FEMA's responsibility, and the Red Cross was needed for immediate emergency assistance, which they can't do in NO? Whose job is what?

a biting thing from the Independent (UK): The questions a shocked America is asking its President ...While it has the firepower for fighting wars, it does not have the leadership and skills to combat natural disaster.
posted by amberglow at 11:18 PM on September 2, 2005

FEMA's instructions for evacuees & victims:
- Watch TV or listen to the radio for instructions .. you know, the ones that you probably looted
- Call the Red Cross (don't bother us) ... find a pay phone to do so
- Need Food & Water? The Red Cross will be bringing it to you (after we allow them to, that is - not quite yet)
- Road closure information? Click here But remember, MAC doesn't operate 24/7! (As of 9/2 1900 PDT, latest map is 8/31 0045 .. guess they weren't kidding.)
- Additional road information? Call the State Police. Anyone. Just don't bother us. We're on an air conditioned ship, 'overseeing' the devastation, and releasing propaganda.

BTW - Gotta love CNN these days, huh?!?
posted by Ochiee at 11:26 PM on September 2, 2005

Oh yeah - And be sure to file an insurance claim!
- And here's some tips for hiring a contractor ..
posted by Ochiee at 11:30 PM on September 2, 2005

amberglow, the way they phrase the questions itself is damning -- How can the US take Iraq, a country of 25m people, in three weeks but fail to rescue 25,000 of its own citizens from a sports arena in a big American city?
posted by normy at 11:38 PM on September 2, 2005

the Brits do that tone really well--restrained yet cutting.
posted by amberglow at 11:41 PM on September 2, 2005

...and I'd never imagined in this lifetime that I'd be posting on MeFi in praise of Geraldo.... but that was exactly the urgency we need on the TV news right now...

...somebody tell me I didn't accidentally stumble through a wormhole into an alternate universe sometime last weekend? It all just gets more and more bizarre...
posted by normy at 11:45 PM on September 2, 2005

This nation is a powder keg waiting to blow and the fuse is getting shorter. If the New Orleans situation continues to spiral out of control we could see widespread riots in metropolitan areas all over the country. Remember Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict? Now picture that in New York, Detroit, Chicago, LA, San Fran, Atlanta, Birmingham...
posted by wsg at 11:55 PM on September 2, 2005

maybe it's time. maybe it's past time.

(altho they'd spin it immediately and use it to lock down the whole country--the patriot act would let them, too)
posted by amberglow at 1:19 AM on September 3, 2005

Snarling. That's a very good word. That's where I am now. God help any smug PR flack that comes within earshot of me with his or her glib newspeak bullshit.

There are babies. starving. in a major. US. city. And the people who are supposed to be helping them are locking them into a de facto prison. And don't even try to tell me it's not because they're poor and mostly black.

I agree with wsg. Powder keg, for sure. I've already said it here and I'll say it again: has the government bothered to look out the window in DC anytime in the last 5 years and notice that they are surrounded by poor black people? Most of whom probably have cable? Most of whom have seen these clips on the news?

Utter and complete incompetence.

Yeah, we can take Iraq in 3 weeks with 140,000 troops, but we can't feed starving babies in New Orleans. Louisiana. USA.

Snarling is too mild a word. I'm right about at raging, and I'm damn frustrated that from here, I can't do a damn thing.

On preview: amberglow: "(altho they'd spin it immediately and use it to lock down the whole country--the patriot act would let them, too)"

Perhaps they've forgotten that the majority of the armed forces are also not white. There aren't enough troops to hold America down if it rises, and more than half of those here would join against the government. New Orleans isn't the only place where people own lots of guns, or where people have some know-how as to fight.

This administration is politically dead. They have zero credibility and have been exposed for the frauds they are. They have a calamity beyond their wildest dreams, but there's nobody they can bomb to "make it all better" this time.

Kanye West's "George Bush doesn't care about black people" is going to ring in everyone's ears over and over again. It's ringing in mine, and yours too.
posted by zoogleplex at 2:36 AM on September 3, 2005

Oh, and I love this (from):

"Said Limbaugh, "The whole purpose of this story for Mr. Shafer and these stories on these lower level websites that hopefully they think will percolate to the mainstream press is to eventually indict the American way of life, to indict the American culture, to indict the American society as inherently unfair and racist.""

Yes, Rush. Exactly correct. Thanks for saying it plainly.

Now go take your Oxycontins, you psychopathic freak. You're gonna need them for the hurt that will fall on you soon.
posted by zoogleplex at 2:50 AM on September 3, 2005

After the authorities in Baton Rouge had prepared a field hospital for victims of the storm, Fema sent its first batch of supplies, all of which were designed for use against chemical attack, including drugs such as Cipro, which is designed for use against anthrax. "We called them up and asked them: 'Why did you send that, and they said that's what it says in the book'," said a Baton Rouge official.

How can anyone be so incompetent?
posted by fullerine at 2:59 AM on September 3, 2005

I blame the liberal media
posted by matteo at 5:43 AM on September 3, 2005

Today, WWLTV reports that National Guardsmen halted the evacuation of the Superdome. About 2,000 people could still be there until Sunday. Guard members were told the buses had stopped coming. See item at 2:15 am.

I thought that was supposed to be empty by now.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:48 AM on September 3, 2005

I went in by small boat, with a group of volunteer boaters mainly from Lafayette. The impression I get is most of the people who were stuck and could not get out by themselves have been pulled out. I didn't get to the Superdome or Convention Center, but that might just be a logistical bottleneck.

My experience was FEMA was in the way. I was in there wearing a Red Cross disaster relief volunteer badge I heisted from the office in Lafayette, but did not see any other Red Cross.

On the looting and shooting: All potential sources of food and water had already been looted. I saw no evidence of home break-ins or office building looting, but I didn't get into downtown. I didn't see anyone toting around things that looked out of the ordinary, but some of the guys I was with said they saw bags of clothes with tags on the side of the road, and commented about people wearing new shoes. I didn't see that myself.

I saw no shooting or other violence, and heard no gunshots myself. The only people I met who said they themselves had seen things were: a guy from Shreveport TV who said he would pass people in his boat and they would raise their shirts up to show they, too, were armed; a fellow volunteer boater who said he saw a cop of some kind shooting a shotgun at a crowd. I couldn't get more details, and that may be bullshit. Another boater said he saw some guys on a rooftop shooting across the street he was motoring down. Again, couldn't confirm.

I have volumes of things I could say about what I saw.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:13 AM on September 3, 2005

atchafalaya, if you do manage to write an account, I certainly hope someone will post it or link to it here. Extended eyewitness accounts are invaluable in getting a grasp on what's really happened. And thanks for trying to help.
posted by Miko at 9:53 AM on September 3, 2005

Sploid: ...In order to survive these certain catastrophic attacks, all Americans needed to do was give unprecedented power to the federal government, meekly support all foreign misadventures, and be quiet while Washington went on a historical binge that saw the major defense stocks soar in value by more than 70% since the Twin Towers fell and formerly obscure companies getting billions of dollars of taxpayer money to protect the nation from attack. And with “homeland security” as the stated top priority for the nation, it was assumed that the federal government might be at least slightly better prepared for another disaster … especially a disaster expected by everyone, even those at FEMA.

Katrina has proven the exact opposite is true. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:22 AM on September 3, 2005

I was in there wearing a Red Cross disaster relief volunteer badge I heisted from the office in Lafayette, but did not see any other Red Cross.

Old news, but it ought to be drawing a lot more attention than it is. There's a reason you didn't see the Red Cross - they were told to stay out.
posted by dilettante at 10:25 AM on September 3, 2005

The DHS and FEMA people are lying still: from their website:
In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort.

Why are they still blaming local officials, and still not releasing equipment and rescue people to help???
posted by amberglow at 10:35 AM on September 3, 2005

Ok, semantics girl on the alert here -- am I the only one who finds it disturbing that every single news outlet started using "evacuee" instead of "refugee" a few days ago? Seemed like it happened all at once, by fiat. Is the concept of having "refugees" in the U.S. that distasteful to the editorial powers that be?

(Something which occurred to me today...)
posted by at 7:29 PM on September 3, 2005

bitter-girl: It may not be for this reason, but refugee has a specific meaning in international law. The legal term is internally displaced person, actually. And I found "refugee" used many times via Google News.
posted by dhartung at 11:44 PM on September 3, 2005

dhartung, here's another discussion I found on the topic over at Americablog...brief quote:'s hard to call the people who were held up in town and unable to evacuate, evacuees because they were abandoned by the country, left to fend for themselves in a way that the so-called compassionate GOP seems to love so much and talk about.
Language is powerful (remember Gingrich's 1996 "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control"?), and the news people know it. Yes, some outlets continue to use "refugee" here and there, but most of the MSM has switched to "evacuee."
posted by at 7:25 AM on September 4, 2005

bitter-girl, I think that was largely because a lot of people were upset being called "refugees" in their own country! It was like the "this part of the world" thing, the way bush kept speaking about the people affected as if they weren't americans.
posted by mdn at 7:37 AM on September 4, 2005

...Fixing journalism’s deep structural deficiencies will take more than the Labor Day Revolt. Getting it right means more than expressing momentary indignation, however heartfelt, or reporting on the current crisis as if the important thing was how the disaster is affecting the administration’s “approval” rating. Because it’s not the administration’s spin with which we need to concern ourselves. It is the media’s long, long sleep in the face of mounting evidence that Bush and his team are not only ideologues seriously out of touch with the American public but grievously incompetent managers of the nation’s commitments, resources and people. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:59 PM on September 6, 2005

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