The Matrix shatters in New Orleans
September 3, 2005 9:08 AM   Subscribe

The Matrix shatters before the eyes of the nation (sorry, WMP link) -- and on Fox News! For those old enough to remember, it's so significant that Geraldo Rivera says of conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center, "it's like Willowbrook in there." (Rivera became famous in 1972 by exposing the horrendous conditions in a home for the mentally retarded called Willowbrook; finally, after decades of degrading himself, he remembers what his job is.) And Slate's Jack Shafer on "the rebellion of the talking heads" -- the refusal of reporters on the ground in New Orleans to regurgitate the official spin. [via TalkLeft]
posted by digaman (100 comments total)
it's about time we had some actual reporting. Now if one storm can make N.O. that bad, perhaps people will start to second guess what's really going on in Iraq...
posted by tiamat at 9:17 AM on September 3, 2005

I switched through Fox last night and was amazed at how the reporters were reporting despite the anchor trying to tow the party line. Bravo, about time. Too bad they'll soon be unemployed.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:18 AM on September 3, 2005

It's been interesting watching the American press find its balls. It's taken far too long.

And, in case we ever doubted that message control has been incredibly strict and driven by coporate-level concerns during the past several years, its existence is kind of proved by its breakdown -- reporters on the scene refusing to follow the leading questions of anchors ("Do you think the President's visit instilled hope?"), anchors trying to push the message on reporters ("So things are improving down there today?"), the reporter insistently refusing to compromise the reality he or she can see before him. I've seen it happen on several of the networks at once. Actual reporting! I'd forgotten how helpful it is.

The press is un-embedded.
posted by Miko at 9:18 AM on September 3, 2005

"the server is not responding," for me anyhoo.
posted by mwhybark at 9:22 AM on September 3, 2005

This has probably been linked to before, but wow.
posted by Artw at 9:23 AM on September 3, 2005

works for me.
posted by digaman at 9:24 AM on September 3, 2005

They'll probably lose them again soon enough.
posted by drezdn at 9:24 AM on September 3, 2005


This will make you seriously fucking lose it.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:26 AM on September 3, 2005

This is such a contrast from the "he said/she said" style of reporting we're all used to. I assume we're seeing such a shift because the reporters are the ground are in such direct contact with a human catastrophe, and they just can't bear to mindlessly repeat the administration line that "relief efforts are going well in New Orleans," that we've heard so much of. CNN went so war as to blatantly entitle a story The Big Disconnect in New Orleans.

The performance of our political leaders -- mostly Republicans Like Michael Brown, Chertoff, Bush, and Trent Lott, but also including Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu -- is so at odds with reality in the face of such catastrophic human suffering that the only analogous situation we can think of is the Iraqi Minister of Information.
posted by deanc at 9:30 AM on September 3, 2005

Today finally after a week, i feel they're really helping those people. Right now on FOX, the army has finally come to those overpasses Geraldo reported from (is it bec. of FOX???)
posted by amberglow at 9:33 AM on September 3, 2005

The following will also be big news. The National Guard and the Department of Homeland Security are refusing to allow the Red Cross to enter New Orleans.,1096,0_682_4524,00.html#4524

Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

* Access 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.

* The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.

* The Red Cross shares the nation's anguish over the worsening situation inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.

* The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with security and access.

* The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant number of lives.

* As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.

posted by digaman at 9:34 AM on September 3, 2005

and they're finally showing EMS and others evacuating the Covention Center--thank God! Where the fuck were they for so long???

digaman, i'm still furious about that--how dare they not allow the one organization that would have helped that minute? i want them all removed from office, from Local on up to Bush.
posted by amberglow at 9:37 AM on September 3, 2005

many of the people at the Convention Center are too weak to walk, it looks like.
posted by amberglow at 9:38 AM on September 3, 2005

And CNN is not showing it at all as i surf channels. FOX is. (altho it's about the hero rescuers more than the people now)

Many many of the people are being carried--they went too long without help.
posted by amberglow at 9:47 AM on September 3, 2005

It looks like citizens were starting to help with the boat rescues, too, but have been asked to stop.
posted by Alison at 9:49 AM on September 3, 2005

I just sent some of these links to my very smart and acerbic Mom, who is a newspaper editor. She also saw the Shepard-Geraldo rebellion. She responded : "Fox has suffered an insurrection of journalism."
posted by Miko at 9:51 AM on September 3, 2005

Further down the rabbit hole:

"WASHINGTON - Several states ready and willing to send National Guard troops to the rescue in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans didn't get the go-ahead until days after the storm struck..."


"At one point Friday, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses pulled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line — much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the Superdome since last Sunday."


"Bill Wattenburg, a consultant for the University of California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and one of the designers of the earlier food drop programs, said that he has lobbied the administration and the military to immediately begin something similar. He said he was told that the military was prepared to begin, but that it was awaiting a request from FEMA."


"Northern Command Unit READY - BUT WAITED on Bush Orders...So we had things ready. The only caveat is, we have to wait until the President authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can't just act in this fashion, we have to wait for the President to give us permission."

posted by mr.curmudgeon at 9:54 AM on September 3, 2005

Well, if you play at being a reporter long enough it might make you want to actually be one.
posted by tiamat at 9:57 AM on September 3, 2005

we have to wait for the President to give us permission."

They all waited for him to visit there! It's not about feeding or helping, but about them arranging and making it politically advantageous to them--so that Bush arrived with the cavalry.

They should be shot. This is unbelievable.
posted by amberglow at 10:00 AM on September 3, 2005

This will make you seriously fucking lose it.

Not hyperbole.
posted by found missing at 10:05 AM on September 3, 2005

If I didn't know better I would say that the conditions in New Orleans are due to a policy of "containment", to keep poor black people from entering the surrounding suburbs. I really can't think of any other explanation for the complete lack of response in the last week. It's unreal. Do politicians really believe that such overt rascism can go unnoticed? No reporter with an ounce of credibility can sit and listen to what the politicians are saying without calling them on it. The Fox footage is especially telling in that you can see the disconnect between people in a studio in NY or DC and the reporters on the ground in NO. Is this the same disconnect we're seeing from Bush?
posted by gallois at 10:05 AM on September 3, 2005

I tend to agree with the whole 'glitch in the matrix' analogy, but I don't think the coverage has been exactly top notch. They are still mediocre and sensationalist, just that this time they aren't 'manufacturing consent'. Of course that alone is great, but it is worth keeping things in perspective.
posted by Chuckles at 10:06 AM on September 3, 2005

posted by Freen at 10:06 AM on September 3, 2005

Creepy how the studio presenters were so hell bent on positive spin, emphasising that aid was getting in, even as Geraldo Rivera was close to tears at the conditions he was seeing.

(Off topic: I don't know who Geraldo Rivera is, what was he doing to degrade himself for decades?)
posted by jack_mo at 10:08 AM on September 3, 2005

jack_mo: Al Capone's Vault.
posted by Chuckles at 10:12 AM on September 3, 2005

This has probably been linked to before, but wow.

"George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Wow, indeed.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:14 AM on September 3, 2005

I don't know who Geraldo Rivera is, what was he doing to degrade himself for decades?

Ah, you're in the UK. Fair enough. Here's your answer.

And what everyone else said.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:14 AM on September 3, 2005

Jack_mo: he was an investigative journalist who made a name for himself in the '70s exposing the abuses of a mental health facility called Willowbrook. He did pretty good work (imo) for several years, then sold out in the '80s and '90s doing sensationalist crap (like blowing open Al Capone's vault to see if there was buried treasure) and hosting a daytime talk show. (He did get into a big fight with a bunch of neo-Nazis on his show, once, and he was known in the the midwest back in the '90s for going on anti-Klan rallies and marches, so I'll give that to him.)
posted by scody at 10:14 AM on September 3, 2005

(sorry--it was in the other thread--Willowbrook)
posted by amberglow at 10:14 AM on September 3, 2005

Amberglow: That is an important link. That letter is the single most damning thing I have seen for any evaluation of the federal response. Everything is detailed.

I started having a couple of doubts last night as I watched Ted Koppel interviewing the Congressman for parishes south of NO. Koppel pressed the guy on the governor's response, suggesting that she didn't ask the feds for aid, and pointing out (rightly) that the federal government does agree not to interfere with state matters unless requested. The Congressman kept saying "she did ask!" but I wasn't convinced, because he was vague. If this letter is as legit as it appears, that's all she wrote.

PDF: ...I have determined that this incident will be of such severity and magnitude that effective response will be beyond the capabilties of the State and the affected local governments and that supplementary Federal assistance will be necessary."
posted by Miko at 10:16 AM on September 3, 2005

It is nice to see the American media finally getting of their asses. It is a shame it takes tragedy in their own backyard before they feel any obligation to change their ways. The Rivera segment was pretty amazing.
posted by chunking express at 10:16 AM on September 3, 2005

RE: Geraldo: While he has been acting really cheesy on air for far too long, many people don't know that he founded and owned this local newspaper until last year, and as publisher, he was able to direct investigative stories that resulted in, among other things, the re-opening of a decades-old arson investigation. The arson had killed a number of mentally retarded men in a group home, and the culprits had never been identified. As a result of the investigation, the FBI picked up the case and got the guilty parties convicted. The paper has done quite a lot of this sort of good in its community.
posted by Miko at 10:20 AM on September 3, 2005

what scody said. for all his lameness and terrible intellectual dishonesty, when Rivera goes he will at least leave behind one shinging moment of kickass journalism, ie the horror that was Willowbrook.

and he hates the fucking Nazis, too, in such a way that I suspect he is, for once, sincere.

so these two simple facts alone put him -- as a journalist and as a human being -- many steps above his Fox "News" brethren, mostly made of lackeys and GOP operatives
posted by matteo at 10:21 AM on September 3, 2005

My lessons learned from volunteering in New Orleans.
posted by atchafalaya at 10:33 AM on September 3, 2005

*wonders how long till the link to the LA Gov.'s letter is on CNN...*
posted by scody at 10:33 AM on September 3, 2005

I cried when I saw that segment with Geraldo and Shep. It made me appreciate the magnitude of the government's role in worsening this disaster. Was anyone else surprised that Shep is actually human?
posted by Happydaz at 10:47 AM on September 3, 2005

My lessons learned from volunteering in New Orleans.

Does anyone else find it absolutely fucking astounding that you need to go through such elaborate cons just to help people? This is fucking insane. It's not like the people have infectious diseases that require quarantine. What the fuck!? Or is this just the administration's way of dealing with poverty--"just let nature take its course." From that Kayne West clip, he looked about two seconds away from completely losing it. I'd be batshit-insane right now if I were a black man. This is simply fucking outrageous.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:48 AM on September 3, 2005

Was anyone else surprised that Shep is actually human?

Yup. I think it might have been the first time he ever saw suffering firsthand.
posted by amberglow at 10:48 AM on September 3, 2005

and what CD said.
posted by amberglow at 10:49 AM on September 3, 2005

no, he's cool
posted by matteo at 10:49 AM on September 3, 2005

I meant Shepard of course
posted by matteo at 10:50 AM on September 3, 2005

Atchafalaya, thanks for posting that.
posted by scody at 10:53 AM on September 3, 2005

To me, the most telling thing about this administration's perspective on this region is apparent in Bush's consistent
referral (in his press conference) to this area as "this part of the world."

Is the disconnect so huge that Bush cannot even fathom that "this part of the world" is actually IN AMERICA??
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 11:02 AM on September 3, 2005

Hmm... just on Fox News was the strangest disconnect I've ever seen. During the FEMA press conference Michael Chernoff on the left side of the screen was describing the terrifying conditions, and on the right side Fox showed a happy white family frolicking in a swimming pool in flooded New Orleans.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:04 AM on September 3, 2005

We have so few real journalists on TV. I think many of these folks ("unembedded"is exactly right -- watch the feds come up with a plan for the next disaster to fix that) have led such sheltered lives that they are looking at mass human misery for the first time face to face. Not Geraldo, to his credit. But Shephard Fucking Smith ? That experience has changed many a person historically. Add to that the years some of these dudes have spent mouthing the platitudes of american exceptionalism and you have the real fuse here. I cannot count how many of the reports I've seen from the field that have emphasized, in disbelief, that "this is in America, and it looks like the third world." Welcome to reality, assholes.
posted by realcountrymusic at 11:05 AM on September 3, 2005

Thanks for the Riviera info, everyone, and sorry for the derail. What a peculiar career he's had.
posted by jack_mo at 11:06 AM on September 3, 2005

"unembedded"is exactly right -- watch the feds come up with a plan for the next disaster to fix that

Oh, they're not waiting. It seems as if the National Guard -- whom I greatly respect -- has been given at least two jobs down there:

"A National Guardsman refused entry [to the Convention Center].

'It doesn't need to be seen, it's a make-shift morgue in there,' he told a Reuters photographer, 'We're not letting anyone in there anymore. If you want to take pictures of dead bodies, go to Iraq.'"
posted by digaman at 11:12 AM on September 3, 2005

Think this quote outta go down as the stupidest response in history:

American Morning host Miles O'Brien asks Govenor Barbour, "Do you have the sense that the federal government has dropped the ball here, sir?"

"I think it's very unfair for the federal government, for you to say we knew this was a great powerful storm," Barbour said. "This was a category 1 hurricane when it hit Florida. Now that's the truth."

*shakes head*
posted by squeak at 11:21 AM on September 3, 2005

From digaman's link:
She said she found a dead 14-year old girl at 5 a.m. on Friday morning, four hours after the young girl went missing from her parents inside the convention center.

"She was raped for four hours until she was dead," Joseph said through tears. "Another child, a seven-year old boy was found raped and murdered in the kitchen freezer last night."
posted by blendor at 11:22 AM on September 3, 2005

Shep: "That is perspective, that is all the perpsective you need!" Wow.
posted by Potsy at 11:25 AM on September 3, 2005

Yo I just saw some people try a smear attack on Geraldo Rivera based on stuff from the 80s.

Wtf enters people's minds that no matter what happens and what's going on, a smear attack is the ultimate answer.

Yay fuckin yay, we are a great people.
posted by nervousfritz at 11:35 AM on September 3, 2005

Yippee, now all news shows will be like Crossfire.
posted by esquire at 11:40 AM on September 3, 2005

Please take the time to write to all the major media and tell them what a good job they are doing reporting, advocating for citizens, and holding our officals' feet to the fire. Tell them that is what we need and expect from them all the time.

They need to get a critical mass of positive feedback or they will slip back to their cravenly kiss-ass ways.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:45 AM on September 3, 2005

If I didn't know better I would say that the conditions in New Orleans are due to a policy of "containment", to keep poor black people from entering the surrounding suburbs.

But it sounds like you do know better. The idea doesn't make sense, because what passes for 'suburbs' around New Orleans is a mix of small towns and backwater rural communities with a racial blend very similar to New Orleans itself.
posted by Miko at 11:45 AM on September 3, 2005

CNN/Money overview of the broader economic impact of Katrina -- gas prices, trade (all that agriculture that can't come down the Mississippi now!), etc. Weirdly, they don't seem to be factoring in the unemployment of everyone displaced by the disaster who lost either their jobs or their own businesses, though.
posted by scody at 11:48 AM on September 3, 2005

Please take the time to write to all the major media and tell them what a good job they are doing reporting

Second that.

I am very hot on writing folks these last few days. Midweek, I wrote my senators and sent an e-mail asking everyone I knew to do the same. Today's news on my Senator. I'm not suggesting my one letter had an impact -- I'm sure I was one of thousands -- but I am saying that the more individuals that write, the more solid their convictions become that this is what they ought to be doing.
posted by Miko at 11:49 AM on September 3, 2005

Hannity & O'Reily (as well as Colmes) are editorialist rather than reporters. H & R didn't have the good sense to tone down the spin ("spin free zone" - ha!) in the midst of a tragedy. Shep Smith's touched me deeply as did Anderson Cooper (Mary Landrieu, a dem, didn't have the sense to tone down her inner politician). As I mentioned in another thread they both Smith and Cooper have connections to the area hit by the storm which may have made it that much more personal for them. Geraldo may have been completely sincere but I'm not convinced he knows how to be sincere.
posted by Carbolic at 11:53 AM on September 3, 2005

From digaman's Red Cross link:
* 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.

WTF. I can barely type anymore, I'm so pissed. What, if the Red Cross enters the city to deliver aid, that's going to keep the poor from pulling themselves up by their bootstraps? They won't be motivated to 'help themselves'?? Fuck HS, fuck thier stupid ideology. I want to see their smug heads on the end of sharp sticks.
posted by maryh at 12:06 PM on September 3, 2005

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.

I'm wondering if they're just trying to prevent more people from witnessing it.
posted by Miko at 12:11 PM on September 3, 2005

20 years from now, if there's an American civilization left standing to contemplate it as the ice caps melt, it will be obvious that much of what has happened since 9/11 -- from the war in Iraq to Bush's rigged "re-election" to the gutting of the Bill of Rights to the drowning of New Orleans -- happened within a media mirage created by opportunist extremists (Rove, Rumsfeld, Cheney), pill-popping hypocrites (Rush), neurotic sleazeballs (Coulter), a media mogul who built his empire running tabloids (Murdoch), self-hating closet cases (McClellan, Drudge, Savage, et. al.), and one millionaire ne'er-do-well frat boy (Bush), all working for larger interests (Big Oil) who executed a coup while the country was in deep grief and confusion. That's the Matrix that's glitching now.
posted by digaman at 12:14 PM on September 3, 2005

Just because it's easier when it's right there in front of you -- per mjjj's suggestion, here are contact forms for some major broadcast media. Please feel free to add others. I haven't listed any that I think are already doing a pretty good job; just the surprises:

CNN-TV News Dept.

Fox News


ABC News


CBS News "Contact Us" link at page bottom
posted by Miko at 12:31 PM on September 3, 2005

(I apologise for my above post. The last 6 days, and the last 6 years, have left me somewhat frayed with helplessness.)
posted by maryh at 12:31 PM on September 3, 2005

well stated, digaman.
posted by rebirtha at 12:43 PM on September 3, 2005

I'm still reeling from the Fox clip.

Yeah, both Rivera and Smith have had so many years of "star reporter" schtick corroding them that it took this to strip away the rust. Amazing.

Landrieu totally deserved the reaming she got from Cooper. She was trying to grease relationships by mentioning people on air like a Christmas card or something. Even if it was for the ultimate good of the state, it was wrong. She kept her cool as Cooper blasted, but maybe she should have come over to his side instead of getting defensive. Right now there are too many people faking outrage at the chosen moment.
posted by dhartung at 12:47 PM on September 3, 2005

digaman, you are brilliant, as always.
posted by wadefranklin at 12:51 PM on September 3, 2005

Congress Likely to Probe Guard Delay--
Several states ready and willing to send National Guard troops to the rescue in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans didn't get the go-ahead until days after the storm struck — a delay nearly certain to be investigated by Congress.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson offered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco help from his state's National Guard on Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Blanco accepted, but paperwork needed to get the troops en route didn't come from Washington until late Thursday.

California troops just began arriving in Louisiana on Friday, three days after flood waters devastated New Orleans and chaos broke out. ...

posted by amberglow at 1:11 PM on September 3, 2005

also from that article: In addition to Guard help, the federal government could have activated, but did not, a major air support plan under a pre-existing contract with airlines. The program, called Civilian Reserve Air Fleet, lets the government quickly put private cargo and passenger planes into service.
posted by amberglow at 1:12 PM on September 3, 2005

I don't know if this has been posted in any threads, but this kid deserves a fucking medal.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:34 PM on September 3, 2005

America Reaction to Katrina as of 9/2/05: 2 of 3 Americans today Friday 9/2/05 say the Federal Government is * not * doing enough to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. This is up from 59% yesterday (Thursday 9/1) and up from 50% on Wednesday (8/31). 49% today say the government's response to the hurricane has been "surprisingly disorganized," up from 34% Thursday and up from 20% on Wednesday. ...
posted by amberglow at 1:42 PM on September 3, 2005

The kid does deserve a medal.

"But the 18-year-old who ensured their safety could find himself in a world of trouble for stealing the school bus." Any official who pursues him would be freakin' nuts!
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on September 3, 2005

"I dont care if I get blamed for it ," Gibson said, "as long as I saved my people."

Well, there you go. Wish we could all say the same.
posted by Miko at 1:49 PM on September 3, 2005

Two key U.S. senators said on Friday they will launch a bipartisan coverup of what they described as an "immense, but probably unavoidable failure" of the government response to Hurricane Katrina.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who heads the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the panel's other top-ranking Republican, said they hope to shift as much blame as possible to lower-ranking officials and career federal employees -- ideally at an obscure government agency that few Americans have ever heard of.

"In keeping with recent congressional practice, we will try to shield the president and the senior members of his administration from directly responsibility for this fiasco, ...
posted by amberglow at 1:55 PM on September 3, 2005

mr_crash_davis, I think he deserves more than a medal.
He should get a free ride to college..he showed more drive and leadership than the people who are supposedly leading the relief efforts.
posted by gminks at 2:03 PM on September 3, 2005

...Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the panel's other top-ranking Republican...

Heh. Props.
posted by umberto at 2:08 PM on September 3, 2005

I don't know if this has been posted in any threads, but this kid deserves a fucking medal.

Screw medals. Get him a job at FEMA.
posted by dilettante at 2:09 PM on September 3, 2005

We told you so-- ... Say 9/11 changed everything now, motherfuckers. Ooops, 9/11, 9/11. 9/11. Doesn't work anymore? Gee, maybe the sea of alligator MRE's once known as the citizens of New Orleans has something to do with that. Now you can shut the fuck up about 9/11. Bush just proved what would happen with another 9/11. Dead Americans as far as the nose can smell.
The most dangerous thing to average Americans is not some mullah in Iraq, not even Osama Bin Laden, but George Bush.
If he doesn't get you killed in Iraq, he'll fuck up saving your city so it turns into Escape from New Orleans. Armed junkies roaming the streets, looking for a fix, robbing and looting like Serb paramilitaries and about as sober.

George Bush's ineptitude has killed far more Americans than Osama could have dreamed of.

Some of you still try to see the clothes on the Dauphin, but he's as naked as Peter North around Jenna Jameson. Bush fucked up so bad, FOX turned on him like a rabid dog.

You can't hide behind racism forever. Bush fucked up, Bush is a weak, callous leader and the world knows this like it knows few other things. And all the stolen TV's in the world cannot hide that. ...

posted by amberglow at 2:11 PM on September 3, 2005

From the mouths of babes. I was impressed with this kid on NBC Nightly News last night.
posted by ericb at 2:14 PM on September 3, 2005

Give the kid a scholarship to Harvard.

I'm starting to really enjoy the fact that PP has kissed us off....
posted by zaelic at 2:14 PM on September 3, 2005

"Speaker of the House Denny Hastert declined to comment on the hurricane or the proposed Senate investigation, other than to make a loud "BRRRRRRRR" sound while pushing a toy bulldozer across a map of New Orleans." [from amberglow's link]
posted by ericb at 2:16 PM on September 3, 2005

someone could set up a collection for that kid (Gibson), either earmarked for college or if johnny law tries to press charges.

i'd be good for a buck or two.
posted by fishfucker at 2:29 PM on September 3, 2005

'My Pet Goat'--The Sequel
"This time, during a catastrophe, the president did not merely dither for seven minutes, but for three days, and his top advisors followed suit....

While a rising chorus in the press has taken the White House, FEMA and the Pentagon to task for performing miserably in their response to the human disaster on the Gulf Coast, few have focused on the most telling aspect of the entire failure. It’s not just incompetence. It’s a shameful lack of concern: The 9/11 'My Pet Goat' dithering on an administration-wide scale.

Simply stated, the president and his top advisers chose vacation over action.

While the media has done a good job in portraying the overall deadly failure of leadership, it has not focused enough on this deadly dereliction of duty....

This follows Bush himself remaining on vacation for more than two days after the storm hit, despite acknowledging this was the worst disaster in the nation’s history. He did take a trip during those days, not back to Washington but out to San Diego to deliver a political speech comparing his Iraq war to World War II. It got little play because nearly everyone else in the country, besides his inner circle, was focused on New Orleans instead. If this didn't have fatal consequences one would be tempted to merely say: Serves him right.

But at least Bush did start heading home late Wednesday. As he did, Secretary of State Rice was still enjoying her vacation in New York.

In fact, that night she enjoyed a few good yucks while attending the silly Broadway play 'Spamalot.”' Ironically, the Bush team's performance this week did indeed seem like something out of a Monty Python skit. Each, in his or her own way, took a bunch of 'silly walks.'

Condi also played tennis with Monica Seles and on Thursday went on a shoe-shopping spree on Fifth Avenue until a fellow customer yelled at her for not doing her job and bloggers exposed all of this. Then she hurriedly headed back to Washington. Turns out she was overdue in getting a grip on offers to help that were pouring in from overseas governments and organizations.

Paging Andrew Card: Turns out he was Bush's Maine man....

While the 9/11 'My Pet Goat' episode was certainly illuminating, it’s not certain what might have worked out better that day had the president dropped the book and taken action. But his failure to grab the reins in the hurricane catastrophe for three days this week probably doomed hundreds, or more, to death.

This is not mere incompetence, but dereliction of duty. The press should call it by its proper name.
posted by ericb at 2:44 PM on September 3, 2005

I'd just like to thank everyone for making this thread so informative. I'm really leaning a lot here.
posted by Kloryne at 3:22 PM on September 3, 2005

ericb: those children just made me fall apart. damn.
posted by moonbird at 3:34 PM on September 3, 2005

On MSNBC right now -- survivor stories. A few reporters are standing on the interstate interviewing people who have finally just walked/swum/floated/waded out of New Orleans. They are a mess and their eyes are hollow. Every time I think I've heard the worst, I learn that I haven't, and there's more.

The blond woman whose show it is is being somewhat glib -- coming back to "the good news is, help has arrived." It may be true that aid is arriving, but I'm concerned that as soon as Americans can start ignoring this because they hear the happy phrases again, they will. And yet, we haven't even got everyone out yet, haven't healed the sick yet, haven't even begun to count the dead.
posted by Miko at 4:28 PM on September 3, 2005

CNN and MSNBC are really acting as if it's over...i don't get it. Was the Bush visit the "mission accomplished" fake signal or something?
posted by amberglow at 4:34 PM on September 3, 2005

Jabbor Gibson, that's the kids name.
posted by Carbolic at 4:35 PM on September 3, 2005

Was the Bush visit the "mission accomplished" fake signal or something?

Let's see what we see tonight when the correspondents get on. It'll be reporting, or 'reporting'.
posted by Miko at 4:40 PM on September 3, 2005

fishfucker, if you set up a fund for the kid I'll donate a small lump. Please? laurapg at nyu dot edu - let me know if you do. At a minimum we can help him and his family eat once the chaos subsides and we find him.
posted by lorrer at 4:45 PM on September 3, 2005

From the comments at Steve Gilliard's blog:

What if Bush didn't mess up? What if this was the plan? What if this isn't our tsunami, but our Dafur?
Alice Marshall

posted by beth at 4:46 PM on September 3, 2005

Err replace "the kid" with "Jabbor Gibson" - good call Carbolic.
posted by lorrer at 4:46 PM on September 3, 2005

How can it be that administration officlas were only made aware on Wednesday when I said on Sunday 8/28 that NO is going to be in a bad, bad way?

This is quite damning when you consider that a: I wasn't the only one, and b: that I'm some random nobody?

Federal officials on the scene in something like 8 hours on 9/11. We're about to hit 8 days without a similar response. This is beyond the pale, this is horrific.

Bush is the Commander In Chief. If he says "jump," people would. If DHS raised the terror level to NO to Red, things would trigger. But, I guess we can't have that for the poorest and the blackest of our country.

posted by andreaazure at 5:22 PM on September 3, 2005

May have been only a momentary lapse of message after all.

Just watched Al Sharpton being interviewed by Hannity. They showed him in split screen, with images of NO rioters and hooligans on the opposite side -- even though he was talking about long-term need and need for donations...

And Hannity accused him of 'finger-pointing'.
posted by Miko at 7:34 PM on September 3, 2005

I jumped to the bottom of the post, so if this has been covered already, apologies...

Bush faked repairs for photo op

"But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast - black and white, rich and poor, young and old - deserve far better from their national government."
posted by qwip at 10:08 PM on September 3, 2005

That is just a new low - I don't agree with the man or his government politically, but I've always thought they were misguided, not evil. But that is unspeakable. I don't think I could have written a letter fit to print, had I been the Senator.
posted by jb at 11:54 PM on September 3, 2005

it was posted in another thread, qwip, and deserves to be shouted from the rooftops--absolutely appalling and evil.

Even now, Saturday night: Thousands of people faced the prospect of spending another night outside of a New Orleans convention center...
posted by amberglow at 11:58 PM on September 3, 2005

and talking about politicizing this: from NRO: No single step would go further to dramatize the GOP's commitment to rebuilding New Orleans than announcing now that the party's 2008 convention will be held in the recovering city. Such a move would signal the party's confidence in the Big Easy's renewal, and put it at the forefront of what should be similar commitments from private actors to do their part to help New Orleans come back.

Critics will call it a transparent attempt to burnish the party's image after the Bush administration "failed" with the initial relief effort. The gesture would, however, reflect the genuine sentiment of Republicans who, like all Americans, want to help a city facing such a bleak future. We heard similar complaints — easily brushed off — about the Republicans' coming to New York for last year's convention.

posted by amberglow at 12:20 AM on September 4, 2005

« Older We need space!   |   liberals want creationism taught? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments