Needless exaggeration

In today’s NY Post, Jonah Goldberg does a good job (better than I have done) examining the issues of reporting exaggeration and rumor in the heat of crisis in Katrina.

He did not use this deflation of the scale of the horror — as others have — as an opportunity to make it seem as if the disaster and thus the response to it weren’t so bad, after all. No, he leaves all the responsible on the hook, not just media and also local officials but also his guy, Bush:

The president isn’t blameless either. The initial response to Katrina was a mess. We’ll have plenty of time to debate how much of a mess and who was responsible. But it’s a political fact that when the media was hysterical and local leadership behaving abysmally, Bush did not successfully impose order. That’s something he’d have to do in the wake of terrorist attack, and it’s something he should have done with Katrina.

Let’s hope lessons were learned all around.

There are, indeed, lessons to be learned all around and that is where we need to keep our focus.

At a media blatherfest I attended yesterday (more on that later), the talk turned, as it inevitably does at such events, to who’s more trustworthy: Big-media folks thinks they’re trustworthy and they hint that bloggers aren’t; bloggers remind big-media types that a huge hunk of their (former) audience does not trust them and they argue that they have a better means of correction. There was also talk about the need for journalism to stop acting as if it is always right and owns the truth when, in fact, there is far more ambiguity and uncertainty and error than they’ve admitted and the public needs to be — if they aren’t already! — attuned to recognizing the mistakes that come in the fog of war.

But in the case of Katrina — and in spite of very good reporting and commentary across media — it’s still true that everybody messed up, everybody (myself included; Goldberg includes himself as well) bought the exaggerations as news.

Some would say that had an impact on the response. It’s also reasonable to say that the response was all the more shocking because it wasn’t more decisive even in the face of all the Armageddon reports. But the truth, at this end of the day, is that the reporting was merely — as we say online — a presentation layer over the reality. And it was flawed.

What I keep trying to say (and I’ll stop now) is that I hope the debate about the coverage of the story — which needs to happen — will get in the way of the real story, of the lessons everyone needs to learn.

  • Gray

    I’m torn on the MSM, but Jonah Goldberg surely isn’t trustworthy. I never read any article by him that wasn’t distorting the facts, leaving out important details or plain simply presented his prejudices as common knowledge. From time to time, he may post a story that’s looking neutral and moderate, but it’s always a trojan horse, transporting his extreme right wing point of view.

    Just look at this: “But it’s a political fact that when the media was hysterical and local leadership behaving abysmally”
    Well, imho, and I don’t think I’m alone, the media didn’t act hysterical (hysterical is the Holloway story, ok?), and it’s far from a proven fact that the local leadership was abysmal. Quite to the contrary, under this kind of strain, facing emergencies from all sides and lacking communication means and supplies, it looks as though regional authorities did a good job. There are lots of stories reporting a great ‘can do’ spirit and determinism under pressure. What’s missing are reports that FEMA officials were up to the task. I can’t recall any. While my opinion doesn’t reach the status of fact, it’s at least more substantiated than Goldberg’s assessment. On what evidence is the evaluation of ‘abysmal’ based? He should come forward with his sources or shut up.

    I’m totally dumbfounded that you take this partisan hack seriously. Imho, this is raising severe doubts on your sanity and reason.

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    Jeff: You are missing a “not.”

    “What I keep trying to say (and I’ll stop now) is that I hope the debate about the coverage of the story — which needs to happen — will get in the way of the real story, of the lessons everyone needs to learn.”

    That’s will not get in the way, right?

    You can delete this after you fix it.

  • John

    Jeff, I think the problem many of us see is that once the scale of destruction in New Orleans became apparent on Aug. 30, too many in the media who were not in New Orleans began to see this as “Hurricane Andrew II”, recalling the Florida storm in 1992 that helped sink Bush 41′s re-election hopes.

    I can understand the problem of the reporters on-site in dealing with rumors — if the mayor of New Orleans tells you there are bodies stacked up in the Superdome or that there are going to be 10,000 dead, well he’s the head of the city, and at the very least, his statements are newsworthy — but the story by those guiding the coverage back in New York and Washington quickly turned into near total absolution at the time for local officials with no effort to follow up their initial cliams and/or actions and inactions, in favor of a simple black-and-white story line that just blamed FEMA and the federal government.

    There was no effort at attempting to get the context of the situation as to who was responsible for what relef/rescue efforts, and no one assigned to do background on why Lousiana was so ill-prepared. Instead, you had pompus windbags like Jack Cafferty throwing lightning bolts from Columbus Circle at the federal government, or people like Aaron Broussard going on Meet the Press and trying to gain sympathy with either a horribly mistaken belief or a charge that bordered on blood libel. And for the better part of two weeks, no one at the big media outlets cared enough to do any checking on the accuracy of those stories.

    The old newspaper saying was “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” While it’s extremely hard to do immediate fact-checking on a 24/7//365 news cycle, where TV viewers and Internet news site readers expect to find out things fast, the slowness of the media to fact-check their own reporting on Katrina has been embarassing.

  • Gray

    “the mayor of New Orleans tells you there are bodies stacked up in the Superdome or that there are going to be 10,000 dead”
    “And for the better part of two weeks, no one at the big media outlets cared enough to do any checking on the accuracy of those stories.” John

    “In New Orleans, Nagin upticked his estimate of the probable death toll in his city from merely thousands, telling NBC’s “Today” show, “It wouldn’t be unreasonable to have 10,000.” ” Foxnews 09/05

    ” “My guess is that it will start at 10,000, but that is only a guess,” Vitter said, according to Agence France-Presse.” worldnetdaily 09/02

    “Alarming predictions of as many as 10,000 dead in New Orleans may have been greatly exaggerated, with authorities saying Friday that the first street-by-street sweep of the swamped city revealed far fewer corpses than feared. ” Yahoo news, 09/09

    Hmm, now what was your point, John?

  • latenite

    wheew….How Gray can say that the local and state pols did a commendable is beyond me. The local and State Pols only caused problems by their whining instead of reacting like people did in Mississippi or Alabama. Did FEMA screw up? Yep! Did Bush screw up? Yep! But the biggest screw up was by the local authorities. Their job was to be ready for this type of disaster. The first response is by them NOT the Federal Goverment and should remain that way.
    Lets not forget the Media. The Media flew around in helicopters (how many did they tie up from possible rescue work) and showing people on their roofs waving shirts or towels looking for help. Did they help them, no they flew on while the look on the faces of the people where “what the he..??” Did the media offer those helicopters for rescue work or help in flying in water and food? I would like that question brought up to them. They only seem to want to report on the lack of response by “other” sources. Guess they do not classify themselves as being able to help in an emergency? I just watched CNN report that the media got the story right on Katerina. When asked about the reports of exaggeration by the Media, the reporter stated that “The question is not if we exaggerated but did the Media get it right on how the people wanted to be helped”. Well.. DUH! Sounds like the Media is taking a page from the Politicions. Don’t answer the question, just answer the question you wanted to hear. Just shows a poor response by all responsible groups in the disaster. Lets hope everyone learns from this. Being a cynical type I have my doubts.

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    I think Jonah Goldberg makes it into Buzzmachine to counter thread hysteria from Bush’s extreme defenders, which has filtered through the comments at earlier posts Jeff wrote on the same subject.

    They’re not content with claiming that state and local governments share mightily in the blame for the poor response. They don’t feel that a complex picture of divided responsibility provides the President with enough vindication because that vindication isn’t total; and when you’re using propaganda to battle what you see as propaganda, total is what you need. Only the categorical will do. “The president was unfairly treated by a ‘blame Bush’ press…” isn’t even close to enough for them. They’re hard core. Their truth is marching on no matter what.

    The need–and I do think it’s a psychological hunger–is for even more innocence for Bush, an even purer record; and the way they get there is to spotlight even greater media bias, a staggeringly dishonest press corps that knows the truth, but won’t report it. Accordingly, and magically, to the extremists there was no federal failure at all, no lapse in leadership whatsoever– a position that even Republican office-holders aren’t taking.

    Thus in a previous thread Eileen offers one extreme and categorical statement after another: “The problem many of us see is that the only story the media has told is that Bush and FEMA failed, without providing any factual support for the claim….” “MSM continues to studiously avoid all efforts to investigate or report upon any issues related to local or state actions/inactions…” “…Not only are myths and legends being reported as reality, but the lack of accurate reporting on roles and responsibilities combines to create an utterly false picture about ‘what went wrong’…..” and so on.

    Bottom line for those afflicted with total innocence hunger: “I believe most of us would acknowledge federal faults if we’re shown them. So far that hasn’t happened. And until it does – if it does – we’re not going to accept this meme that ‘‘failure occured on all levels, while the MSM continues in its tireless efforts to bring down this administration (as well as its party in the next election) on the back of Katrina.”

    Dids you get that? No failure at all levels of government– only failure at “their” levels.

    Against all that Jonah Goldberg of National Review–a conservative–is brought in to say:

    The president isn’t blameless either. The initial response to Katrina was a mess. We’ll have plenty of time to debate how much of a mess and who was responsible. But it’s a political fact that when the media was hysterical and local leadership behaving abysmally, Bush did not successfully impose order. That’s something he’d have to do in the wake of terrorist attack, and it’s something he should have done with Katrina.

    I think Jeff felt sorry for them, and hoped that someone on “their” side could restore sanity.

  • Gray

    “How Gray can say that the local and state pols did a commendable is beyond me.” Easy. I’m sticking to what was reported. You say, media did distort the situation. OK. But then you have to show facts supporting your point of view. Where are there reports showing srewing up among regional authorities? Where are the reports about successful FEMA actions? Do we have to rely on your word? Sorry, but I won’t.

    “The local and State Pols only caused problems by their whining instead of reacting like people did in Mississippi or Alabama.”
    As we all now, with only a few exceptions, the media ignored Mississippi and Alabama. It owuld be right to point out this asymetry in reporting. Still, we have seen coverage of Biloxi, with officials whining about the total lack of support. And what’s wrong with whining? Those locals have to care about their citizen in the first place. If they could accelerated rescue efforts by making a fuzz in the press, that’s perfecly ok.

    “But the biggest screw up was by the local authorities. Their job was to be ready for this type of disaster.” Spinmaster latenite, check the DHS national response plan again. It’s their job to prepare for disasters. That’s a proven fact. And I would still like to see any evidence that the locals did screw up. What is the basis of this evaluation?

  • Gray

    Jay, ok, grudgingly I admit that Goldberg is more balanced in his evaluation than many other hardcore rightwingers. Still , he can’t resist in pointing his finger at the locals. We shouldn’t forget, those people have a lot of other tasks in their poor countries and cities beside preparing for disasters. On the other hand, DHS has a huge budget and FEMA was build solely for the purpose of handling disaster preparation and relief efforts. And if, in hindsight, there are cases where locals didn’t make the right decisions (like the evacuation of NO), where have the feds been that should have provided advice and pointed out those flaws? My sympathy is with the locals, not with the unqualified bureaucrats on this matter. And the reporting supports this view. All Goldberg has to offer for his shifting the blame is an implied misreporting by ‘liberal’ media. Lame old, lame old…

  • John

    My personal opinion is that as former Texas residents, Bush and Brown could not have not known about the systemic corruption and incompetence that is Louisana government — this is the state that gave up the Edwin Edwards vs. David Duke gubernatorial race, remember? — whch is something Brown somewhat sarcastically stated to the congressional committee on Tuesday. But it should have been a factor in FEMA’s initial response, based on New Orleans’ evacuation problems from 2004, when Hurricane Ivan looked as if it would come ashore in that area. Screw-ups like that dates all the way back to the 1927 flood that helped put Huey Long in power, and the feds had warning that the area’s emergency response plans were problematic at best and potentially fatal if a worst-case situation happened.

    FEMA also deserves its share of blame for redirecting relief trucks around the area in haphazard fashion and in not ordering a streamlining of paperwork in the inital days following the levy break. But it wasn’t until after Bush’s speech 10 days ago on the possible expanded role of the federal government in dealing with hurricane relief efforts that the media began any serious discussion of what the government under current law could have done in handling Katrina, and what duties were the reposnsibility of state and local officials.

    And Gray, I’m puzzled about what point you’re trying to make by pointing out Nagin’s 10,000 death estimate and adding Vitter’s comment. If you read my posts on the earlier Broussard threads, I said the cover-your-ass strategy of the Louisiana pols was bi-partisan, and that aside from Vitter, Republican Bobby Jindal (who was endorsed for Congress in ’04 by Democrat Broussard) also sought to direct responsbility for the problems completely away from the locals and onto the federal government in an interview on Fox News.

    From their point of view, I don’t think it mattered whether or not there was an R or a D in the White House, the goal was to make sure the local voters didn’t put the blame on them, and instead redirected it towards Brown and other faceless FEMA officials. But for a number of people in the media, the White House occupant did make a difference, and steering the blame northeast to Washigton without any sort of anaylsis of the situation by people who were in position to do so was more a case of wish fulfillment than accurate reporting.

    Logistically, people like Brian Williams, Anderson Cooper or Shephard Smith couldn’t be expected to report on any more than what they could see around them, while taking the word of local officials, because mobility in New Orelans was so limited. It was the efforts of the big media outlets by people not inside the city itself that was lacking in the days immediately after the levee breaks.

  • Gray

    “And Gray, I’m puzzled about what point you’re trying to make by pointing out Nagin’s 10,000 death estimate and adding Vitter’s comment. ”

    John, this was intended as a direct rebuttal to your claim:
    “but the story by those guiding the coverage back in New York and Washington quickly turned into near total absolution at the time for local officials with no effort to follow up their initial cliams and/or actions and inactions”

    Plus, I wanted to show that Nagin wasn’t the only one fearing a very high number of deaths. I think it’s unfair that you singled him out.

    The Yahoo news quote should show that there has been an effort to follow up on claims (in this example, 10000 deaths). It’s only one of several sources reporting a revised estimate.

  • Gray

    “From their point of view, I don’t think it mattered whether or not there was an R or a D in the White House, the goal was to make sure the local voters didn’t put the blame on them, and instead redirected it towards Brown and other faceless FEMA officials.”

    Hmm, ok, my preuduce is that politicians always think of the next election, too. But this is mindreading, not factually based arguing. We could discuss that Brownie engaged in so many interviews to present himself in a favorable light and keep his job, but that would be mindreading, too. We can’t know this and it will lead us nowhere.

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    The psychology of total innocence hunger is something else, Gary, quite different from the charge of bias and misreporting by the get-Bush MSM. Goldberg’s criticisms may be well supported, poorly-supported or not supported at all, but he recognizes a bridge too far. Even if he sees Bush as largely innocent, and the news media as a corrupt influence, it doesn’t occur to him to try to take it all the way to: they have no facts and no truth, we have all the facts and all the truth. He lets some realism in.

    Tom Grey, who is himself a hard core press hater, put it this way in a prior thread: “The real story is that FIRST Dem Nagin failed; then Dem Gov. Blanco failed, and the LA director of HS failed (invisible Gen. L.); THEN later, FEMA failed. (72 hours later?).”

    You have to contrast that–a complex picture of shared responsibility–with Ravo in a prior thread: “all the venom directed at Bush, in over three weeks we’ve yet to be shown even ONE clearly defined wrong move on the Katrina disaster Bush that has perpetrated.”

    That’s what I’m calling total innocence hunger. There is no bridge that is too far. Realism never has to enter in. Bush made no wrong moves, which is actually more than Bush himself has claimed. I don’t think you can get there with media bias, or Limbaugh-style culture war, or even demonization of Dems.

    The need for total innocence goes beyond all that. It’s closer to cult behavior than anything found in politics or media criticism.

  • Jane

    The need–and I do think it’s a psychological hunger–is for even more innocence for Bush, an even purer record…

    Mr. Rosen, no less than 4 individuals told me on the Sunday following the hurricane that Bush was evil, that Bush deliberately let New Orleans flood so that developers* tied to Bush could acquire the rights to the land being vacated by the poor, that if those had been white people on the roofs that Bush would have had the choppers in a heartbeat, and so on.

    One of these individuals is a lawyer, the other a paralegal, the other works in advertising at a Gannett newspaper, the other a designer. I, here in Vermont, a registered Democrat, have been tagged as a Bush apologist. So, yes, there is a psychological hunger.

    I fully understand the FEMA stumbled and I fully expect they will stumble in the future disaster. As for Bush, I wish he hadn’t been on vacation, I wish General Honore had gotten there sooner and I hope Brownie is not the only departure at FEMA/Dept. of Homeland Security.

  • Ravo

    But it’s a political fact that when the media was hysterical and local leadership behaving abysmally, Bush did not successfully impose order.

    (Bush is supposed to impose order on the media?)

    Well, there you have it. After a month of asking:

    “What exactly should President Bush have done…and exactly when…and exactly what difference would said action have made.”

    the above quote is the ONLY and the most detailed answer on the subject I’ve yet seen!

    This is so like pulling teeth…..I ask: …. “when the media was hysterical and local leadership behaving abysmally, Bush did not successfully impose order”….

    What exactly should President Bush have done…and exactly when…and exactly what difference would said action have made to keep order in the media and among the local government?

    He did not have this “chore” with any other local governments.

    (I can only see a difference being made, if Bush called the local government inept before the storm, and the feds came in THEN…which of course was against the constitution to do so. If he even tried it…..wow, the resulting charges of racism! As it was Blanco held him off for days during which people suffered and died.)

    WHAT exactly was the reason for the two days delay?

    Another poster wondered if Blanco was keeping the feds at bay while “negotiating” for more disaster money – a time delay which cost some their lives.

    And Mr. Rosen, since when is it cult behavior to believe in someone’s innocence in the absence of even one tangible charge?

  • Ravo

    sorry for the italics. They were supposed to stop after

    “What exactly should President Bush have done…and exactly when…and exactly what difference would said action have made.”

    PLEASE, PLEASE, BRING BACK PREVIEW

  • Gray

    Jay, I guess I see your point. Yup, the hunger for innocence and honesty is coliding with the real world of politics and public relation. But on the other hand, a completely cynical view of the world isn’t much better than a baseless idealism. Imho what’s needed is a middle road. Clinging to the facts with a good measure of scepticism and still calling for a better world.

    I’m very uneasy about the growing number of people who adopt an ideological view of the world. Polls and scientistical research show that this blinders prevent humans from percepting facts that would contradict their convictions. History tells us that this is a very dangerous trend.

  • latenite

    Interesting comments. Were are the reports of exaggeration. Well the Superdome comes to mind. The NO Picayune says that there were 4 deaths in the superdome. Two by natural causes, one by suicide, jumping from a balcony (maybe, could have been thrown from a balcony) and one they have say they cannot tell cause of death. The Picayune may also be wrong but their storyline was about the medias panic coverage of this event. The Picayune also reported on the shooting at helicopters. They could not confirm these shootings either. They are reporting them as being false.
    As to the DHS National Response plan, I have read it along with taking courses this year in CERT and ICS training. All the training I have taken this year was training that each and every Police, Fire and EMS Department in the U.S. is suppose to have already taken or are in the process of taking. This training shows how to setup and carry out a response to a disaster. Each of these courses are for FIRST RESPONDERS on the local level followed up by State and the Federal takeover if the disaster warrents it. Katerina definitely classifies as a disaster on a Federal scale and FEMA should of been there faster. But it still does not explain why the local responders did not get it right. I do not plan on letting FEMA off the hook with their response (not that they care about my little old opinion) and I expect the Locals to stand up to the same type of scrutiny. Not be excused because they had to much to do. They have been given plenty of money during the past years to prepare for the worst and have trained personnel there on a local level that knew what to do when it happens. The decision to use the Superdome was a good one. But no one there thought to stock up on food and water or make sure the generators could handle the load if they lost electricity in an emergency. Simple planning that should of been done on the local level that would have made a major difference in this storm.

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    Those who think “Bush deliberately let New Orleans flood so that developers tied to Bush could acquire the rights to the land being vacated by the poor,” and those who say “there is no evidence that Federal officials failed at anything…” are members of the same cult of absolutism, but don’t know it. They have more in common with each other than with normal people.

  • Gray

    “What exactly should President Bush have done…and exactly when…and exactly what difference would said action have made.”

    Hmm, imho Bush made one grave mistake regarding disaster preparation. He shouldn’t have succumbed to the demand to place as many GOP friends as possible at administration posts, especially at FEMA and DHS. It looks like the republicans had their own affirmative action program that was putting party affiliation before qualification. GWB praised Clinton for the choice of James DeWitt for the helm of FEMA, why did he lower the standard when he became president?

  • Ravo

    normal people?

    If the normal people are now the people who lie like rugs, “for the greater story”…we are indeed all in deeper doodoo than any of us could ever have imagined.

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    You’re not listening: normal is someone like Jonah Goldberg: “The president isn’t blameless either.”

  • Gray

    “But it still does not explain why the local responders did not get it right.”
    latenite, great to have someone with first hand experience here. There were some reports about disaster exercises and they left the impression that all participants sat at conference tables in climatized buildings. Did the training cope with missing communication means, broken down electricity and water supply? Was the nerve rattling effect of imminent danger and human suffering taken into account, like the military tries to emulate at reality based drills (I have personally witnessed how fog grenades and fake explosions shake your coolness)?

    While I have the suspicion that certainly some local disaster experts weren’t up to the task (arrogant Terry Ebbert from NO comes into mind), I think it’s unfair to engage in ‘one size fits all’ arguments like ‘the biggest screw up was by the local authorities’. Accusations should be based on facts.

    Btw, what have you been doing after Katrinas impact? Have you been involved?

  • Ravo

    Thank you Latenite…you are correct. FEMA is not a first responder. I believe they are required to be there within 72 hours.

    I also believe they were there well within that time frame.

    It was Blanco’s decision, or lack of one for two days, that kept them from operating immediately after their arrival. They are merely civilians, rescuers, not allowed to go into unsecured conditions. The areas were not secure due to BLANCO’s ???????????…what was that woman doing?

    Remember that interview, by ABC I believe, where they tried to get the victims to lambast the federal response. Unrehearsed…they couldn’t find ONE victim that day to do so…all blamed LOCAL. They KNOW their government.

    As for FEMA ….. problems are more about the cesspit that is NOLA, ….and Brown paid.

    http://chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=16848

  • Ravo

    You’re not listening: normal is someone like Jonah Goldberg: “The president isn’t blameless either.”

    If I said “Jay Rosen isn’t blameless either” you’d need more than that to go on.

    I want specifics for Bush as well.

  • Gray

    Ravo, afaik Jay wasn’t involved in disaster measures, Bush was. And I did point out a specific mistake of GWB. Hello?

  • Gray

    “I believe they are required to be there within 72 hours.”
    Nope. It was the DeWitt agency that was putting up a time schedule. Afaik Republican FEMA didn’t make any promises.

    Imho, 72 hours seems to be a bit long, after all, the 82nd airborne can be dislocated at any part of the world in 36 hours and declared to be able to arrive at the disaster area in 18 hours. And even if it really couldn’t be done faster, the clock starting ticking on Saturday afternoon after Bush signed the orders.

    “The areas were not secure due to BLANCO’s ???????????…”
    Huh??? It took 40000 national guards to secure the area, Blanco had 4000. Are you aware of even the main facts of this case?

  • Ravo

    No Gray, you were just as vague. GW put people he knew in FEMA positions?

    I can’t comment on that as I don’t know about that – and it is an extremely vague concept. All politicians do so, – didn’t a former Democratic NJ gov put his foreign gay lover in charge of NJ homeland security?

    The question is: were those appointees of GW inept? Then again…we come back to WHERE,HOW,WHY and what effect if any they had on THIS debacle.

    As usual, – no specifics.

  • penny

    The need for total innocence goes beyond all that. It’s closer to cult behavior than anything found in politics or media criticism.

    “Need for total innocence”? I don’t think so. Countering erroneous facts and simplistic conclusions that the MSM simply won’t appears to me what most commentors are attempting.

    Here’s one: blaming Bush for FEMA’s failure is just too simple. The knuckleheads in Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, folded FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security behemoth insuring that it would be less nimble and autonomous.

    Am I driven by a “psychological hunger” to say that? You bet, but not to defend Bush per se. I point this out because the MSM has failed so badly at in-depth analysis of complex situations.

    Although, Bush, in my opinion, is right on the WOT and Iraq he has poorly managed the budget and immigration reform. I think there are a lot of commentors here that are perceived by you as fellow Bush-as-absolute-innocent cultists that will agree readily with me which shreds your whole theory of motives.

  • Gray

    “No Gray, you were just as vague. GW put people he knew in FEMA positions?”

    Ravo, this isn’t the first time we’re having a discussion here and in every new thread you deny the facts that have been presented in media all over the country. For god’s sake, start watching TV or reading newspapers. It’s not my job to provide you with facts that are common knowledge. Hint: Do a google search like ‘bush allbaugh brown FEMA qualifications’.

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    If I said “Jay Rosen isn’t blameless either” you’d need more than that to go on. I want specifics for Bush as well.

    Yes, of course you would, and I am sorry that reality has been unable to furnish you with those covincing specifics, but if you said “Rosen isn’t blameless,” my instinct would be to agree with you, since Absolute Innocence is to me a rare state in human affairs, in one’s own life, and certainly more so in politics. Whereas it seems to you, Ravo, and others who help put the cult into culture war, that absolute innocence is in fact a rather likely state for George W. Bush to be in after Katrina, (just as murderous evil, according to others in your cult, is likely to be the explanation for Bush’s response during Katrina.) One believes unless shown evidence to the contrary.

    Why No Blamelessness for Bush? is a question better asked of Jonath Goldberg. That is my recommendation to you. Ask him.

  • Gray

    “One believes unless shown evidence to the contrary.”
    Sry, Jay, but for many here that sentence has to be changed to:
    “One believes DESPITE shown evidence to the contrary.”

  • http://sonicpuke.blogspot.com/ Sonic Puke

    JARVIS:He did not use this deflation of the scale of the horror — as others have — as an opportunity to make it seem as if the disaster and thus the response to it weren’t so bad, after all.
    This makes no sense to me at all…

    Even though the “facts” were TOTALLY OFF THE MARK we mustn’t take that to mean that they weren’t as bad as it seemed?

    All I here from the media (And you and Goldberg ARE the media like it or not) is self-congratulation and now excuses…

    First I heard the media talking point that the local officials aren’t our concern cause they are local (Which made it PLAIN that the media coverage was about blaming Bush first and only… We don’t really CARE who’s fault this is or HOW this happened, we are going to blame Bush)

    Now we are going to be REQUIRED? to accept that even though it clearly WAS NOT as bad (not even CLOSE to as bad) as we were told that it was still JUST AS BAD AS WE ALL HYPERVENTILATED ABOUT…

    You and others weren’t trying to “spread the blame around” until it was found that the media in a frenzy to blame Bush went hyperactive hyperbolic BS…

    I guess the truth is a defense doesn’t apply here? Reality doesn’t change anything?

    Is this one of the speaking truth to power moments? (IE truth don’t matter we simply have to blame Bush?)

    You are really unbelievable on this Jeff… There simply is no excuse for getting all hyperbolic in a transparent attack on Pres Bush, congratulating yourselves for the great media reportage then sort of saying “Oh well there is plenty of blame to go around” when it turns out you outraged the American people against Pres Bush…

    The situation simply WAS NOT AS BAD as you and others were claiming… There is no espcaping that… And after watching all the “AMERICA OUTRAGED” chin scratching retrospective BS on CNN (Yes I know you don’t represent them) there is very little chin scratching on the unfairness of this to Pres Bush… (And there is no denying that is WAS unfair) I don’t see even a HINT of that in your or goldbergs comments… Spreading the blame around won’t do… Pres Bush holds ZERO responsibility for the irresponsible acts of “reporters” (I use the term loosely in this case)

    I wonder how many awards will be handed out for the false coverage of this…

    And where does Pres Bush go to get his poll numbers back? (Coming soon a chin scratching retrospective on how oh how did Pres Bush’s poll numbers drop so quickly)

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    “Need for total innocence”? I don’t think so. Countering erroneous facts and simplistic conclusions that the MSM simply won’t appears to me what most commentors are attempting.

    But I wasn’t speaking about most commentors, only a thread of absolutism, to which I attached statements and names. Blamelessness for Bush is, in my opinion, an important form of post-Katrina extremism. But it’s just one thread, different from charges of sloppy reporting and anti-Bush bias.

    Let me put it to you as a question, penny: why do you think Jonah Goldberg, who counters erroneous facts and simplistic conclusions from the liberal media every day at The Corner, chose to separate himself from Blameless Bush? Any ideas?

  • Jane

    I dunno, I consider myself solidly in the Cult of Diminished Expectations for Bush.

    The New Yorker had an wonderful article by David Remick on Hurricane Katrina. It retold how President Johnson was cajoled by Senator Long into going to New Orleans after Hurricane Betsy flooded the city. It paints of portrait of President Johnson entering into a darkened elementary school being used as a shelter, flashlights guiding the way, announcing, “This is your President! I’m here to help you!”

  • corvan

    I see we’ve decided to call all those who happened to notice that the press screwed this story up one side and down the other, “extreme Bush defenders,” now. That’s very helpful. It’s also not the point.
    All normal people ask is that the press get its fact right. When it doesn’t we expect it to admit it. Instead what we get is spin and more spin.
    It’s not the press’s fault they didn’t bother to check even one statement they were given. “The phones were out, the President is a bum, all our readers are racists or they never would have believed us anyway, and by god that Michael Brown! What are we going to do about that damn Michael Brown?! How can we in the press be expected to do our jobs? There is a Michael Brown, for god sakes! You get rid of that Michael Brown and boy we press hounds will straigthen right up.” And we get this crap from both sides of the aisle.
    You know, when politicans screw up they change the subject, they spin and they find some one else to blame. When the press screws up it does the exact same thing. Maybe you’re all in the same business…opinion shaping. Maybe facts just don’t have anything to do with your business at all.

  • Ravo

    Gray, you haven’t shown a shred of direct evidence that would hold water in any court in the land.

    ROSEN: Yes, Jay, last I looked

    One believes unless shown evidence to the contrary.

    Believing in one’s innocence unless shown evidence to the contrary is still the basic for our country and certainly the legal system.

    Seems the left is doing their best to destroy that however.

    Scary.

  • latenite

    As to the training for ICS and CERT’s the initial training is mostly classroom with some hands on courses. Our area has done one drill on a county wide disaster. Pointed out some good and some bad points. As to the nerve rattiling problems that they experienced in NO, it would be hard to setup that kind of training. Still the courses do point out communication problems that you run into and how to cope. Even a simplistic as using runners to communicate. Again, it sets the tone in the first 4 to 6 hours of a disaster on how the locals handle it. But enough bashing. I hope some postive things come out of this.
    One problem, communication, has been a know problem since 9/11 and still there is no one answer on how to tackle this problem. Redoing a town/cities communication is costly and since towns/cities can’t spend money on things they are suppose to I do not see this problem going away. But it is still a local/state problem that must be resolved by those Pols. I beleive NYC is still working on getting one type of communication for every first responder group.
    As to my volunteer sar group, we have worked with other volunteer EMS to discuss and train them on using the ICS method.
    We have been put on response 3 times since Katerina but the OEM in my state sent our first responders (police, fire and paid EMS groups) and asked us to backfill. We elected to backfill because of the problems volunteer groups were having during the first few weeks. Which is another problem.

  • Gray

    Ravo, we are not in court here. I don’t have prove facts that most of the readers here have already read online, in newspaper or seen in TV. It’s outright ridiculous that you deny that Michael Brown had no qualification whatever in disaster management. He got a post at FEMA because his buddy Allbaugh was appointed by Bush. Allbaugh has a history as a repub fundraiser. All this is undisputed fact. If you deny this, show us evidence substantiating your opinion.

  • Gray

    Hmmm…’I don’t have to prove facts…’

  • Sweetie

    “Blamelessness for Bush is, in my opinion, an important form of post-Katrina extremism. But it’s just one thread, different from charges of sloppy reporting and anti-Bush bias”

    You can equivalize the extreme left-right reactions because they both have little regard for reality (I hear the calls for Bush specifics, and there is a point there, but as the leader of the Federal gov’t he is defacto responsible for the inevitable inefficiencies and poor real-time decisions made that occur in response to every natural disaster). But are the repurcussions from these positions also equivalent? Put differently, if we look at the post impeachment vote Democratic ‘gathering’ on the White House lawn there was quite a bit of wagon circling. I think this diminished the party and had a negative net effect on the country. But was it worse then Republicans that advanced the Vince Foster murder ‘tale’?

    I’m not sure but I think the villification of political opponents is somewhat worse for the country, and the respective parties, then the flipside – essentially putting party/party leadership above country. I think my belief is based on that ‘party adulation’ is tempered by the opposition party. There will always be a ‘market’ for negative news – no matter the political affiliation. But the positive stories to debunk villification of leaders is, I believe, less ‘marketable’. So the villification gets lots of exposure with ‘buried’ caveats. The adulation isn’t news at all (and can be dismissed as opinion anyway) – it’s just dog bites man – so for the ‘middle’ the message that makes it into the ‘great middle’ are just the villification stories. I don’t see that as healthy.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/topics/politics/index.html Carson Fire

    Some would say that had an impact on the response.

    And some would say that emergency workers probably weren’t watching TV or reading blogs. Some would say that journalists getting away with patting themselves on the back only goes as far as having a monopoly on the information they are reporting, and that when shoddy reporting comes to light people will go right back to not trusting them.

    I’m still not sure how blaming or not blaming Bush has anything to do with Russert and correcting the record on a falsified story. Much of this conversation seems to have devolved back into partisan bickering, when the real question seems to be one of journalistic standards and ethics.

  • Gray

    latenite, thx for additional info. What’s your opinion, were all participants prepared for their difficult job even when the going got tough?

    As for the communication problems, I want to point out that NO based internet service directNIC was online all the time, while the police had no connections at all. It seems that a new approach is what’s needed, taking into account all modern commuication means like VoIP. Also, I’ve read several accounts that there were much too few satellite phones and no generators to reload them. It’s surprising that (functional) generators for admin centers aren’t standard, and it would have helped much if the feds had a stock of satellite phones to deploy in case of national emergency. Imho this is evident by now, I hope there will be some changes in the future.

    The locals had to depend on messengers and relaying information, like the situation simulated in ICS exercises. I think that’s one of the major points of failure, you can’t give detailed information about your needs to a bureaucracy if there is no dialog and every communication is delayed.

    You say, “it is still a local/state problem that must be resolved by those Pols.”. Hmm, depends on if you tend to give responsibility to the states or to the feds. I seem to remember that the Bush administration promised to solve the communication problems that became evident on 911. Regarding the repub majority, it would have been a no brainer adding provisions for communication improvement in one of the bills for national security. How did Bush want to keep his promise to make the nation safer if he did leave it to the states? What went wrong?

  • penny

    Blamelessness for Bush is, in my opinion, an important form of post-Katrina extremism

    Sorry, Jay, it’s nowhere on the scale of matching the past years of unrelenting Bush=Hitler extremism on the left and in lots of the MSM.

    Jonah Goldberg’s balance doesn’t surprise me. It has been my experience that conservative writers like Jonah Goldberg are more reasoned and factually correct when measured against far too many liberal shills. Just start adding up the corrections and who disproportionately stands corrected. How many scandals and lame corrections has the WSJ had versus the NYT’s? FOX versus CBS? Anyone versus Krugman? I could keep going.

  • corvan

    Perhaps the first lesson we should learn here is that the press should try to make a token effort to be factual in its reporting. Is is okay if we take that as a lesson, Jeff? You and Mr. Rosen seem rather opposed to that lesson being taught.

  • Ravo

    Gray asks “what went wrong?”

    start here:

    “James Lee Witt, Governor Blanco’s Paid Liar,” September 4, found here:

    http://newsbusters.org/node/927

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    The title of Jeff’s post is needless exaggeration. “Bush is Blameless” is an instance of such.

    Why does it invalidate criticisms of the news media to point out that “Bush is blameless” doesn’t help matters at all?

    corvan: I see we’ve decided to call all those who happened to notice that the press screwed this story up one side and down the other, “extreme Bush defenders,” now.

    No. We’ve specifcally decided not to do that. I wrote: “I wasn’t speaking about most commentors, only a thread of absolutism, to which I attached statements and names. Blamelessness for Bush is, in my opinion, an important form of post-Katrina extremism.”

    I believe the press screwed up this story, and the interpretation of it’s own performance.

    And I think the attempt to hold Bush blameless pus the cult into culture war.

  • Gray

    David, I thought you were aware of the people on this list?
    “Bush pardons W.Va. coal mine bomber”
    http://wvgazette.com/section/News/2005092854

    Hey, I’m pro unions, I think that WalMart ought to be punished for their active shutting out of unions, but blowing up your company’s assets is just not a way to conduct industrial action. It isn’t legal, it isn’t the ethic thing to do, it’s just a terrorist act. I’m surprised that he just got 25 months for that. OK, that has been 1990, even before Oklahoma. Dunno what the sentence would be today.

  • http://katrinacoverage.com Katrina Coverage

    I didn’t believe the worst reports to begin with, and now I don’t trust the latest attempts to downplay all the violence that occured. I imagine more on that is going to come out, although the fact that reporters were prohibited from the disaster zone for a while isn’t going to help.

  • Ravo

    http://www.ieminc.com/Whats_New/Press_Releases/pressrelease060304_Catastrophic.htm

    …certainly not appointed by Bush. Where’s the half million? Where’s the executed plan?

  • penny

    Why does it invalidate criticisms of the news media to point out that “Bush is blameless” doesn’t help matters at all?

    It shouldn’t and you are right on it not helping matters

    I’m interested in your observation of my perception of more accuracy as measured by less corrections/scandals with conservative newspapers and journalism.

    I’m not putting that out there as a partisan opinion either. It just seems to be noticable.

  • Gray

    Ravo, interesting info about those consultants. As for your questions, why don’t you interview the unnamed FEMA official responsible for the deal? And what does this have to do with Bush appointments?

    And, no, thx, for your newsbusters.org link. Firstly, in several attempts the site never opened up completely, stopping after the firsat sentence. Secondly, I found in google cache that the site’s goal is “exposing and combating liberal media bias”. Are you kiddin me? What would you say if I would link to one of the fox watchers as a source? Ridiculous.

  • Ravo

    More Gray…on what might be “wrong”.

    it would have been a no brainer adding provisions for communication improvement in one of the bills for national security.

    Gee, I bet 60 million might’ve bought a hellva communications system, hey?

    WASHINGTON — Senior officials in Louisiana’s emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck.

    And federal auditors are still trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-money17sep17,1,5736422.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

    Darn that Bush…it’s must be his fault poor down and out NO didn’t have a proper communications system……when the 60 million disappeared into a black hole….

    I don’t want ONE more effin dollar given to NOLA! We need a grass roots effort to prevent more monies sinking into that corrupt cesspit. I’ll take Bush’s appointees over this corrupt crapola any day.

  • Eileen

    Thanks for reiterating my words, Jay Rosen, (albeit by adding italics which were never there). Shall I describe to you what your efforts at discrediting those of us who choose to wait for facts, and what your name calling reveals about you?

    My favorite part is it is “extreme” to state, “I believe most of us would acknowledge federal faults if we’re shown them. So far that hasn’t happened.” Normal people might disagree with you, Jay. Normal people might actually think it’s *prudent* and *rational* to wait for facts before assigning blame. If Jay Rosen were charged with murder, would he welcome his own conviction without the establishment of any evidence or facts of his guilt? Would he call those who defended his right to receive a fair hearing extremists?

    Jay says to Ravo: “…and I am sorry that reality has been unable to furnish you with those covincing specifics…” regarding Bush’s blameworthiness.

    Go ahead then, Jay. I invite you to state what your reality and convincing specifices consist of. List them for us here, please. And provide authorities for your take on reality while you’re at it, please.

    Goldberg’s comments are more poppycock. He [also] assigns blame without facts. To state there was ‘a mess’ and Bush isn’t blameless because he “didn’t successfully impose order” is an absurdity, particularly when it wasn’t until the end of the third day after the storm hit that authorization to utilize federal troops was even given. And how many national guard troops did Blanco call up when? The good ‘ole Posse Commitatus Act and laws related to state jurisdiction over state National Guard troops just might have come into play.

    By the way, Jay, I’m one of those who is also displeased with Bush’s budgetary and immigration policies. Now what?
    Is that even more ‘evidence’ of my pure “hysteria/absolutism/total innocence hunger/cultist/extremist/categorical/psychologial hunger” purported afflictions?

    I’d like to see a transcript of the Brown grilling the other day. As I was In the background (i.e., not sitting in front of the tv) I believe he stated that FEMA budget requests for communications related equipment had been denied by the DHS. If that is true, that would qualifiy in my book as a federal black eye if it impacted Katrina relief. Did it? We don’t know yet. If you add in Ravo’s last citations, it only adds more questions, not answers.

    I’ll continue to wait for facts, thanks.

  • latenite

    I can see we are going to agree to disagree on what the local/federal response should have been. I’ll let you have the last word. I only hope that towns and cities across the U.S. now start taking this type of training seriously.
    Do I think some responded properly. Sure, again the superdome was a good idea. Just not done properly. As with all disasters. 10% overreact, 10% don’t react and the 80% that do react are never heard about because the MSM only covers the 20% group that I listed.
    I am interested in DirectNIC. Since just about all lines go through a Central Office by the local Telco and those building were under water, I would be curious on how they communicated outside the city? Satillite? Not sure what would be a good finale answer for the communication problem. I like the old reliable radio network. Just need everyone to replace their old radios with new ones that carry more frequencies. But everyone gets into a pissing match over this issue.
    To your last question of why Bush and the Repub. did not provide for this? I could go on a 2 day rant of how Congress is doing more harm anymore than good. Instead of fixing things, they have to restructure everything. No one gets FIRED in goverment anymore. They spend no time evalutating what went wrong and tweaking the laws and/or Departments to fix the problem. To simple. You can have the last word

  • Ravo

    Thanks Eileen, …it used to be if “reality has been unable to furnish you with those covincing specifics”, any charges were considered baseless until it could.

    How did it ever get otherwise?

  • Grrr4y

    test

  • Grrr4y

    Ravo, this is just your usual tactic of changing the topic. The Bush administration promised to make the US safer after 911. Billions were spend for DHS, does anybody think the US is prepared for an attack with WMDs against a major city?

  • Eileen

    Ravo,

    You’re most welcome.

    “How did it ever get otherwise?” The word desperation springs to mind, but without specific facts to back it up, I’ll withdraw that observation until I can provide them. How’s that? Insert smiley.

  • corvan

    Mr. Rosen,

    No one was discussing Bush until you and Jeff decided to make that side trip. Which you made by way of accusing everyone who is asking reporters to be factual of being “Bush extremists.”
    In your rush to protect the lessons that you want learned (none of which have anything to do with press sloppiness and deceit, surprise, surprise) you folks in the media forgot to do your jobs. Now instead of having the decency to say “we screwed up we won’t do it again,” you’ve decided to call everyone who has pointed out your errors extemists.
    And for your information. I’m not a Bush extremist. Jeff made me a part of the “Bernie Goldberg hit squad,” a couple of posts back. Keep your perjoratives straight.
    Which leads me to the other thing politicians do when they’re obviously wrong. Aside from spinning, spreading the blame and changing the subject they also call people names. Something you and Jeff are doing alot of.
    At least politicians have to run for office. Who elected the two of you information czar?

  • Ravo

    does anybody think the US is prepared for an attack with WMDs against a major city?

    Certainly not if the rest of the country used their monies like NOLA did.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-money17sep17,1,5736422.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

    Can any country ever really be ready for WMD’s? I think not.

    I think you have to kill the monster at the root.

    I too, am dismayed at our national budget. But leaving terror unchecked for eight years has put us into the fight of the ages. Defeating terror in Iraq has larger stakes than WWll and if terror wins there, the resultant spread will make whatever else we discuss here moot.

  • Ravo

    “How did it ever get otherwise?” The word desperation springs to mind, but without specific facts to back it up, I’ll withdraw that observation until I can provide them. How’s that? Insert smiley. “

    Like a breath of fresh air :-)

  • Grrr4y

    latenite, you found the directNIC.com link? Great guys. Their blog is interesting, I was checking it every day right after Katrina. There was a story that they lost two out of three connection points of their local Telco (sry, forgot the name) because generators ran out of gas. When the national guard arrived in force, they were able to resupply them and get them up again. I guess the connection must be via underground cable or satelite.

    “Congress is doing more harm anymore than good” Hmm, dunno, sure there’s an incredible lot of pork and many provisions serving special interests, but I’m not an expert to decide if it has been better in the past. But one thing is certain, the GOP controls house and senate.

    If you see the responsibilty at the states or at the feds, doesn’t matter. There is nothing to be gained by pointing the finger and waiting for the other side to act. The authorities have to get together and solve those problems asap. The next hurricane is waiting round the corner.

  • Ravo

    The authorities have to get together and solve those problems asap. The next hurricane is waiting round the corner.

    True, and now that Blanco was proved totally inept in both Ivan and Katrina, do more people have to die in the next one, while Blanco takes her 24 hours on her “fainting couch?” Can it be assumed Nagin and Blanco are inept once and for all. How many chances to they need?

    Perhaps there is a way for Congress to make La the only state in the union that feds can rule over in an emergency without dealing with the Gov first, at least until a new Governor reaches office.

    (The emboldened is mine)

    http://chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=16901

    In the past she knew how to roll the buses. When she was running for governor, she got the buses rolling in New Orleans Parish, with signs and Dixieland bands to turn out voters for Blanco. Which is the higher priority–getting votes for Blanco, or saving lives? Hellooo.

    Was FEMA “late” in helping New Orleans? Let’s review.

    Katrina is the worst hurricane measured by square miles of territory wiped out. The second worst was Hurricane Floyd in 1999. It lingered over North Carolina, wiping out roads, electricity, gas lines, and letting loose millions of gallons of sewage and agricultural waste on the eastern third of that state.

    In 1999, the governor did not retire to his fainting couch to “think about it” for 24 hours as Floyd approached. Yet FEMA’s response to Floyd (a smaller destroyed area) was slower than its response to Katrina now. Blanco has to know this, because her hired gun for the political aftermath of Katrina is James Lee Witt, Director of FEMA in 1999. Hellooo.

    Asked about her comment which CNN taped that she “should have specifically asked for more troops,” she said:

    “BLANCO: Well, that was at a point in time when we were wondering if we were getting any significant federal aid. I guess because of the dynamics of the situation, when I asked for help, then I started getting bombarded with, ‘Did you ask specifically for this, that or the other.’ …. When people ask me for help, I know what kind of help I can get to them, and I can get it to them pretty quickly… Nobody bothered to ask me those questions.”

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    In discussing Goldberg’s comments and needless exgaggeration about Bush in a post called “Needless exaggeration” that discusses Goldberg’s comments about Bush….I think I am on topic. You disagree? Okay by me.

    Jeff says of Goldberg: “he leaves all [those] responsible on the hook, not just media and also local officials but also his guy, Bush.” I elaborated on his observation. That is not an attempt to change the issue; that is a discussion of a Jarvis post.

    “Who elected the two of you information czar?” Our statements only have the authority you give to them, and vice versa. If you divide into czars and little people a comment thread equally open to all, that’s your problem.

  • http://www.geniusnow.com Greg Burton

    latenite – re:communications. Creating a single-band interoperable first responder system was a Federal commitment following 9/11. DoD initiated a process to develop and provide that – it was zeroed out of their budget last year. Whule paying for implementation should certainly be partly a state/local responsibility, developing a nationally functional interoperable system was determined to be – and initially accepted as – a Federal responsibility.

    Grr4y – yeah, directnic has a deeply buried fiber connection.

    Eileen – Brown did state that, and as I point out above, we can’t even point directly at DHS, since the project funding was zeroed from the DOD budget. But a Fed responsibility. Perhaps more directly, it appears that a FEMA audit directly addressing some of their issues was rejected by Brown on August 3 as “too negative” msnbc story. The audit was done by the HSD acting Inspector General.

    Jay – shhh. You’re disturbing the reverberation of the echo chamber. You can’t do that, lest you be accused of wanting to have Jeff’s love child (yeah, I actually got that one).

    Ok, here’s a question on exaggeration and media responsibility, not Katrina related. All DoD estimates of insurgents in Iraq have been in the 20,000 range, at the high end. Members of the Iraqi government have estimated it as higher than 200,000. A private populations-based analysis with transparency in calculations shows a reasonable expectation that the figure is between a best-case of 38,000 and a worst-case of 450,000 insurgents, with a reasonable figure of 150-180,000. All of these conflicting estimates have policy implications. How should the media report this? And what responsibility does the media have for either over or under reporting each estimate?

    This isn’t a trivial question, but I think it illustrates the difficulties the media itself has in making decisions of that kind, and how easy it is to second-guess after the fact.

  • Ravo

    If you divide into czars and little people a comment thread

    “Little people” There’s little people here?

  • Ravo

    How should the media report this? And what responsibility does the media have for either over or under reporting each estimate?

    That’s SUPER easy! They should report it exactly like this:

    DoD estimates of insurgents in Iraq have been in the 20,000 range, at the high end. Members of the Iraqi government have estimated it as higher than 200,000. A private populations-based analysis with transparency in calculations shows a reasonable expectation that the figure is between a best-case of 38,000 and a worst-case of 450,000 insurgents, with a reasonable figure of 150-180,000.

  • http://www.geniusnow.com Greg Burton

    “Little people” There’s little people here?

    Yes, I am garden gnome. Why – are you prejudiced?

  • corvan

    The representative from punditville, Jay Rosen (J). Has spoken I am silenced by his ethical and moral superiority. I still wonder, though, if the journalism class insists on acting like politicans, talking like politicians, and presenting information the same way politicians do why should we treat them as anything other than politicians? Why do they deserve more first amendment protection than the rest of us? Why are their sources sacrosanct? Why are their motives always pristine? Why should we listen to anything they say about anything, beyond the fact that we have precious little damned choice.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Journalism majors have the lowest SAT scores of any major except Education. The hubris of the journalistic establishment is simply a consequece of a deep-seated and highly justfied sense of inferiority.

    I always know a giggle is coming when the newspapers try and comment on science or anything to do with statisitcs; it’s better than Dilbert.

  • corvan

    Garden gnomes unite! Rebel against the czars and their information palaces!

  • http://oldwolves.co.uk/ Ironbear

    Hrmm…

    “In discussing Goldberg’s comments and needless exgaggeration about Bush in a post called “Needless exaggeration” that discusses Goldberg’s comments about Bush….I think I am on topic.” – Jay Rosen

    In a post that starts out with:

    “In today’s NY Post, Jonah Goldberg does a good job (better than I have done) examining the issues of reporting exaggeration and rumor in the heat of crisis in Katrina.” – Jeff Jarvis

    No, Jay, I think that we’re pretty spot on topic to ignore the political blame and go straight to criticising the media for making up shit in the guise of reporting. Since that was the leadin graph to Jeff’s post and all that. ;)

    And the body of his post also mentioned like, media coverage a bit, too. I can read – I don’t need you to tell me what the topic is.

    “You disagree? Okay by me.” – Jay rosen

    Yeah, I disagree. So kind of you to give me permission, thank yew. I’m just getting warmed up.

    So. Howzabout all them bodies stacked in them freezers, and them alligators eating people and all that? Weather’s a mite carrion on out there in newland, eh wot?

    Might shock you and Jeff, Jay, but I see a “larger story” in all of this, and it ain’t FEMA, and it ain’t Bush, and it ain’t Nagin and Blanco.

    The larger story is that the media – en toto pretty muchly – took a massive natural disaster and used it as a launching pad to just sit there in print and on national Teebee and just make shit up right and left, and report it as fact without checking or investigating it.

    I tracked that damned storm from before it made landfall, Jay. I tracked *all* of the media reports on it that I could get my sweaty little hands and my Google on. I tracked the estimates, I tracked the reports of horrors, of looting, of estimated dead, of governmental failures, of personal failures, and of the rare occassions where it was reported that someone got it right. And I passed them on in links to other people who were watching this thing unfold in horrified curiousity, some of whom who were worried sick about their friends in those areas.

    And it turns out that x-amount of those “news” reports were fucking bullshit. Made up goddamned fiction passed off as “hard news”.

    And you and Jeff have the fucking nerve to try and tell me that the important things are the “larger narrative” and the “fucking lessons to be learned”. And how many people in comments and blogs and news sites and elsewhere are “making out Bush to be innocent”, or “not keeping a sense of balance” in the analysis.

    Fuck you, boy.

    The important lesson to be learned here is that when there’s a major situation, we can’t trust you and yours to tell us the fucking truth about it. We can’t trust journalists to do their fucking jobs and investigate and deliver accurate infor-fucking-mation.

    And yes, you are/were a Journalism professor: your job is to teach these people how to go out into the real fucking world and do their goddamned jobs properly. So it is “you and yours”. You don’t bloody well wiggle out of this by claiming to be seperate from “the Media”.

    “What I keep trying to say (and I’ll stop now) is that I hope the debate about the coverage of the story — which needs to happen — will get in the way of the real story, of the lessons everyone needs to learn.” – Jeff Jarvis

    Comes back around full circle. Looks to me like the real story and the lesson everyone needs to learn is… that the “Free Press” that a republic such as ours depends on for the information critical to having an informed citizenry – considers the Narrative they want to push more important than the facts and information they’re supposed to be delivering. You see a different one?

    Do you see one that’s really more important than that one?

    Man, Jay, I like you, but you are way off target on this. Bush, Nagin, Blanco, and the insert-political-apologists-for-the-side-of-your-choice are no longer the bloody story. The story is that unless we have a media that can actualy inform us, we can NOT make any determinations of who’s to blame and where. We can NOT pin point what failures by whom and what are important, and we can NOT sort out what needs to be learned from the event.

    We can not do so, because the fictions-as-fact purveyed by a wide spectrum of the 4th Estate have rendered *ALL* of the relevant information and evidence suspect. Because of the press showing itself to be incompetent, we cannot find accountable anyone in this: the evidence on which we would hang them is fruit of the poisoned tree now. The failure of the media is the critical one in this.

    I wouldn’t shoot a bloody dog on the word of any “journalist” involved in the Katrina coverage. Not one of them. As much as I detest politicians and bureaucrats, I couldn’t justify prosecuting any of them on the word of a journalist right now. Not one.

    What if we find people accountable on the media’s evidence… and then in a year, it turns out ya’ll made that up too? Like, out of whole cloth y’know? Because it fit the narrative, and after all, it was fake but like, accurate y’know. And it showed a greater truth.

    When you guys fail to do your bloody jobs, you make it impossible for anyone to act upon your infomation, upon your reccomendations, or upon your “larger lessons”. And your bloody jobs are to tell the damned truth. In your case, your bloody job is to teach your students how to find the damned truth and report it accurately.

    So you fail too.

  • corvan

    I agree with Ironbear, but what do I know? I’m a member of the “Bernie Goldberg hit squad,” and one of the “little people” as well.

  • http://yankeestation.blogspot.com Cutler

    I still don’t feel comfortably laying blame anywhere, and I sure as hell didn’t then. Seeing you supposed media gatekeepers rush to declare people guilty, beyond even rebuttal, has been an eye opener, that’s for sure. No, I’ll wait until the true facts come out – thankfully unlike you corporatists I don’t need to worry about inventing stories for ratings, and can therefore afford to. It has become quite clear we can’t expect anything from you, besides sensationalism and self-congratulating idiocy after the fact.

    The sooner you’re knocked off your perch, the better. You can’t even give us the facts, I sure don’t want you egotists giving me “the truth.”

  • Eileen

    Well, Ironbear, I’ve been barking up that tree, lately, too. I suspect it’s a combination of my previously stated opinions that Katrina coverage represents ‘dinosaurs screaming in tarpits’ due to their factfree, agenda driven, over the top mis-reporting, coupled with my insistence on *actual facts* before we fry the Prez [they already fried Brown], which resulted in the gratuitous attack I received from the prof today. I was fried up for breakfast before my first cuppa. [Take heart, corvan.]

    I figure if the things I say got him going I must have done something right. Time to [try to] shut me up for rocking the ancient media boat. The best defense is a good offense? Obfuscate…change the channel…and attack.

    Why would anyone be afraid of insistence on the facts unless they’re afraid those facts won’t paint the picture they wish to sell? But I go one step beyond what you said, Ironbear. I don’t want ANY recommendations or larger truths to be illustrated or dictated to me by the media/journalists of all stripes and their ‘useful’, unnamed sources. It’s not their job to teach me. And what’s worse, it turns out their ‘larger truths’ are only synonymous with their agendas.

    The politicosocial engineering aspect of MSM 101 has got to go, or MSM itself has got to go.

    Give us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; that is to say, just the FACTS.

  • Ravo

    Why would anyone be afraid of insistence on the facts unless they’re afraid those facts won’t paint the picture they wish to sell?

    EXACTLY!

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  • kat

    I keep reading about lessons that need to be learned and I don’t see the media having learned theirs. Is the media willing to admit that their lies may have resulted in the deaths of victims?? Did Jeff and Jay help? What lesson did you guys learn? A story laced with lies is not a story–just a lie with a spattering of facts. Should some reporters lose their jobs?
    http://online.wsj.com/public/article/0,,SB112804420733656428-sXfs3cYAWalpJUfAvdRtcvjzt4A_20060930,00.html?mod=blogs

  • Jody Tresidder

    Says Jay Rosen: “The need–and I do think it’s a psychological hunger–is for even more innocence for Bush, an even purer record; and the way they get there is to spotlight even greater media bias.”

    Wrong diagnosis of what ills “they”.

    As if some of us have been calmly reading Jeff for years (“uh, huh – great point…yep, nicely put, Jeff…oof! not that old theme again from the benchmark “Entertainment Weekly” days, but let that pass, why not…”).

    Then SUDDENLY we’ve apparently all been gripped by psychological hunger pains, and started shrieking hysterically for our Bush-is-innocent sugar before tipping into diabetic denial?

    On the contrary, Jay Rosen. It’s being magesterially instructed to view Broussard as Katrina’s wise fool that has left me mildly unhinged.

    This has now nudged me far closer to the faintly ludicrous position described by the “Katrina Coverage” commenter (in addition to Penny) above: “I didn’t believe the worst reports to begin with, and now I don’t trust the latest attempts to downplay all the violence that occured.”

    And although I’d put myself far, far to the left of Ravo, I’m now keeping my beady eyes on the bobbing story he’s noticed: “Another poster wondered if Blanco was keeping the feds at bay while “negotiating” for more disaster money – a time delay which cost some their lives.”

    I’m not a naive media watcher (ex Fleet Street hack) by any means. I think Jeff’s taken leave of his senses over journalist ethics and accountability on this one.

    I’d also add it’s becoming bloody exhausting trying to keep upright against the spin on Katrina. I’m increasingly having to self medicate with two doses from the blog right, to two from the blog left plus MSM “as required but never more than 4 times in 24 hours”…

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    I am not The Media. I don’t take messages for The Media. I am not a spokesman for The Media. And I have never worked in The Media. The Media didn’t check with me before it reported rapes at the Superdome without having reliable information. If The Media had checked with me, I would have said, “don’t report rapes at the Superdome unless you have reliable information.” When you decide The Media has failed, don’t expect me to defend or explain “it.” Nor do I answer for the latest crime The Media has committed in your rolling indictment. I don’t learn lessons on behalf of The Media, either. What The Media admits and doesn’t admit is not up to me. If your story about The Media is that The Media lies and makes stuff up, please, go tell it to The Media.

  • Linda Edwards

    Ravo
    I heard on the news this morning that the death toll for Rita was now 100, 60 of which were killed during the evacuation. This is precisely why, in an earlier thread, I stated that to try to get every person out of an area that’s being threatened by a hurricane within a relatively short period of time (24-48 hr window) is logistically impossible.

    You keep trying to make the argument (because you have no other rational one) that Nagin was at fault because he didn’t use 500 school buses to get every soul out of NO before Katrina hit. 80% of NO population got out of town during an evacuation process that worked reasonably well. You didn’t have 100 mile long traffic jams, you didn’t have masses of people running out of gas on the road. I haven’t heard of one person that died during the evacuation. People didn’t die on their way to the Superdome, they didn’t die during the hurricane, they didn’t even die by drowning there the next day. The unforgivable part of the NO fiasco occurred a couple of days later when DHS and Fema failed to show up.

    The NO evaculation process worked, as opposed to Rita, which didn’t. But to have tried to put an additional 500 buses out on the road could have easily made the Katrina evacuation as chaotic and dangerous as Rita turned out to be.

    FYI, school buses are a really lousy method of transporting people over long distances anyway. They lack bathrooms.

  • corvan

    Mr. Rosen, it’s interesting how your reponses have morphed during the course of this post. At first you seemd to support Jeff’s thesis that the actual facts reported did not matter so much as the lessons reporters felt we “the little” people should take from the reporting. (If you think that’s not Jeff’s thesis read his prior posts.)
    Then you decided that any one who expected the press to be forthright about its failures, without spreading the blame to various branches of the government (state, local and federal) and it readers wasn’t normal. “Normal” like you and Jeff and Jonah Goldberg, which is a special sort of normal, I guess, that only includes members of the journalist caste.
    Now you claim that you aren’t the media. Despite what you do for a living. Despite your numerous appearances on Hugh Hewitt’s show commenting on the media, despite your revered presence at Jeff’s “look at us media types ain’t we special,” conference.
    What you seem to be saying, and correct me if I’m wrong, is, “Don’t blame, me I wasn’t even there, and besides all you people are crazy anyway. And not only that, even if you weren’t all certifiably insane, I couldn’t help you anyway. I just train people to be journalists. It’s not like I have anything to do with it.”
    Is it little wonder that the profession that claims to be journalism is so monsterously screwed up?

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    It’s true. I do go to confabs and lunches with The Media. If you have a message for me to pass on next time I see The Media, by all means, I can do that.

  • Ravo

    Fema failed to show up.

    Fema was there Linda. It couldn’t go to work.(rescue) It needed soldiers to secure each area before the FEMA (unarmed civilian workers) leaders would send their rescuers in.

    What FEMA needed had already been sent, and was already standing by on the US Baton which had literally sailed right in on the heels of Katrina.

    Who held up permission for their deployment to protect FEMA?

  • Eileen

    “And I have never worked in The Media.”

    From Jan Rosen’s bio at PressThink:

    “A native of Buffalo, NY, Rosen had a very brief career in journalism at the Buffalo Courier-Express before beginning graduate study.”…

    “When you decide The Media has failed, don’t expect me to defend or explain “it.”

    Again, from his bio:

    “As a press critic and reviewer, he has appeared in numerous magazines and national newspapers, including The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and others.”…

    “From 1993 to 1997 he was the director of the Project on Public Life and the Press, funded by the Knight Foundation.”…

    “In 1994 he was a fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, and in 1990-91 he held a fellowship at the Gannett Center for Media Studies at Columbia University.”…

    Jay Rosen doesn’t have anything to do with the media? Journalism doesn’t have anything to do with the media?

    Isn’t Jay Rosen in a particularly good position to “go tell it to The Media?”

    Yes, Jay, please on our messages at your next lunch.

  • Ravo

    When you decide The Media has failed, don’t expect me to defend or explain “it.” Nor do I answer for the latest crime

    When you’ve shared it’s falsehoods and helped to heap blame at the feet of those who are least to blame…you’ve shared in what they’ve done.

  • corvan

    I’ll skip the message passing for now and ask a couple questions, Mr. Rosen. Do you agree with Jeff’s prior posts? Is the lesson the reporter wishes his consumers to take from the report actually more important than the facts on the ground? Was Tim Russet a dirty so and so and a crappy journalist for actually pointing out that Aaron Brousard was playing fast and loose with the truth?
    You might also want to change your bio, delete everything you have in it at the moment and replace it with, “I AM NOT THE MEDIA!”

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    I’m not. I think it’s funny that you would tell a blogger who’s a press critic and works for a university, and who has never had a full time job in the news industry, “you’re the media.” I mean that is an amusing thing.

    You’re the media, answer for what went on in New Orleans!

    Don’t try to change the subject!

    You mean to say you have nothing to do with media?

    A likely story, answer the question!

    In all seriousness, folks, I will be seeing The Media (yes, again) in a few weeks. So fold your notes the way they do at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and I will make sure–I swear–they will be passed along. The Media is usually very good about that.

  • Eileen

    From Hugh Hewitt’s “Reporting Katrina” in yesterday’s Weekly Standard:

    “Of course it didn’t take long for the media to praise itself for the wonderful job it had done. NYU professor Jay Rosen collected the self-congratulatory links at his PressThink blog, in a September 9 post titled “From Deference to Outrage: Katrina and the Press.” http://weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/137flvhf.asp?pg=2

    I guess this is what it means to be a ‘media critic’ these days.

  • corvan

    You didn’t answer the questions Mr. Rosen. Do you agree with Jeff? Is the message the reporter is trying to sell more important than the facts? Should Tim Russert have pointed out that Aaron Broussard wasn’t telling the truth? From the level of dodginess in all your replies one might surmise that though not the media itself, you are the perfect media representative.

  • Ravo

    From the level of dodginess in all your replies one might surmise that though not the media itself, you are the perfect media representative.

    Corvan…I agree 100%

  • Ravo

    Actually Corvan…It’s academia which has led the way on agenda and is even worse than the media!

  • Eileen

    Oh please, Ravo. I am absolutely certain that no left wing agendas or ‘greater truth’ telling is ever fostered at programs such as “Press, Politics and Public Policy” at Harvard University, e.g.

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    I had no strong objections to what Tim Russert did. In a prior comment thread, I told Jeff that I thought it was unwise to say, “anyone can get facts,” as if that were a detail. I said I didn’t think he put that very well.

    I did not buy the story coming out of New Orleans after the first week to ten days, saying the press had “recovered its spine” because it got angry in the Gulf. (Click my name for the post.) Getting angry, I said, is no substitute for being able to think about things like divided responsibilities and the effects of past decisions on events today. I did not see Katrina as a “breakthrough” moment for the news media, but a temporary jolt of authority that came because public authority seemed to be missing.

  • penny

    But to have tried to put an additional 500 buses out on the road could have easily made the Katrina evacuation as chaotic and dangerous as Rita turned out to be.

    Please. Traffick wasn’t heading single file on a one lane dirt road out of NO. 500 school buses wouldn’t have bogged things down that significantly. Thousands of them are in traffick with us in major cities twice a day during the school year.

    FYI, school buses are a really lousy method of transporting people over long distances anyway. They lack bathrooms.

    Neither does my car.

  • corvan

    It appears from that Jeff said exactly what he meant to say. Do you disagree with it? Or is it just unwise to say it? Would you have said something different or just put it better? And I’ll ask the question again since you have studiously avoided it. Do you believe that the message a reporter wants his audience to learn is more important than the actual facts?
    Answering questions that weren’t asked of you as opposed to the quetion that was, in fact asked, is a politician’s trick.

  • http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2005/09/09/ktr_aft.html Jay Rosen

    “You didn’t answer the questions Mr. Rosen…” I love that. You do Master Inquisitor so well. With Darkness at Noon flair. You need not worry. When you guys finally win the C war and get to open your liberal media re-education camps, hundreds–maybe thousands–of good soliders will be submit my name to the authorities as someone to schedule for pick up, and straightening out.

    If you don’t know about the camps for “processing” the liberal media people, Chris Satullo of the Philly Inquirer wrote a harrowing–but unflinching–account of being sent there. Check into it. Starts like this…

    Nov. 7

    My dear wife,

    They are letting me write one letter to let you know that I am alive. I am at the new Liberal Media Re-Education Camp here at Gitmo; I am not allowed to see a lawyer or make phone calls.

    They are afraid that if I talk to a lawyer, I’ll pass a coded message to my old colleagues on the Editorial Board, telling them to oppose the flat tax or support Arlen for Judiciary Committee chairman or something. This letter will be censored, so I have to be careful.

    First thing: I am OK. I am not harmed. There has been no torture. Yet. We’re not in those steel cages in the sun or anything. It’s a simple barracks, Spartan but not filthy.

    We get three squares a day, though the fare isn’t doing much for my South Beach diet. It’s all takeout from Cracker Barrel, Hardees, Bojangles. They say we’ve got to learn to eat like real Americans.

    You must have been worried sick. I don’t know what they told you, but here’s what happened:

    Wednesday afternoon, the gang and I were on our way to a mourning lunch at that French/Arab/gay fusion bistro where we like to go and plot our liberal propaganda. Suddenly, guys in dark glasses swooped up in black vans and snatched us. They didn’t take the black hoods off our heads until we got to Gitmo…..

    It’s been fun visiting with you…. See you down the road.

  • Ravo

    bye bye, as Jay flies away on the cape of ambiguity.

  • corvan

    Not only a politician’s trick, but a bad politician’s trick. Are you going to answer the questions or not? This is the third time I’ve been forced to refer you to them. And yet you’ve avoided them each time. I’m not an inquisitor. I can’t force you to answer anything. But I hope I’m able to point out the questions you refuse to answer. Am I allowed that? I realize that I’m one of the little people, and a member of the “Bernie Goldberg hit squad.” Now i find that I am commandant of my very onw re-education camp, and quite probabaly a dangerous fascist. All becuase I assumed I was entitled the common courtesy of a reply.
    Listen, I’m not trying to educate you. I’m trying to get you to educate me. Tell me what you really believe. Not the best way of saying it, but what you truly think. Not the wise way of putting something. Is the message a reporter is selling more important than the actual facts on the ground? I don’t understand why you work so hard to avoid this question. I truly don’t.
    Though I wonder, if this was your own blog would you have closed comments, again?

  • Superwoody

    How dare you ask a professor to answer the question you asked, and what he thinks! People on hear are just so unreasonable! (BTW, dripping with sarcasm)

  • owl 1

    Still scratching my head.

    Jay says “The need for total innocence goes beyond all that. It’s closer to cult behavior than anything found in politics or media criticism.”

    Oh, really. You seem to be offended by being grouped into The Media since you consider yourself a critic. I think the statement you issued above describes what some of us feel about The Media Critics. They put out a mild criticism of The Media, and then they start tearing apart all those searching for “total innocence”. So how are the ones searching for that “total innocence” suppose to know the difference? I see this behavior in almost every Media Critic. Look at FOX’s Newswatch. They have 5 beagle eyes. Pink-a mild mannered, funny man that leans to the Right. Cal-a mild mannered, extremely respectful, polite man that whispers Right views. Jane-the nice professor that expresses and I assume teaches all Lefty. Neale-that growling, shrill attack dog for the left. And the Leader-nice man that leads it and leaves it on the left. And they say FOX is a Righty and this is what they pass off as The Media Critics.

    I say The Media Critics do not do their jobs, otherwise The Media would have changed by now. My biggest bitch is the omissions. By their total Silence, they are shaping the news as they see fit. Most of their attacks are the Silences. These are the most damning and the War.

    Oh yes, I am so far into the cult that I believe in my delusional mind that The Media are waging a war. It would be helpful if The Media Critics would address my psychological hungers and explain why The Media Critics never address my hungers. Katrina was a natural disaster that was not only reported by The Media, but was used as another campaign by The Media. You call it my need for total innocense for Bush. I call it a war being waged to get Bush. You explain The Silence in The Media reporting of Katrina and I might “open my mind” a smigen of a crack.

    Believe this is the point that Rosen would shut down comments as Corvan noted above. Corvan also even named the war The Media has been waging…….”opinion shaping”. Yup but it’s only called that for us nuts.

  • Ravo

    The media has followed Cindy Sheehan’s every fart.

    Yet, has it written about this any where at all?

    (After all, it was President Bush and the American Red Cross Cindy Sheehan and the VFP say are incompetent and dishonest)

    Cindy’s “Katrina Relief” Spends $17K For Media, $0 For Katrina Victims
    http://www.sweetness-light.com/archive/vfp-17-for-media-0-for-katrina-victims/

  • Linda Edwards

    Penny,

    “Neither does my car. ”

    I see. You can carry 66 people in your car. All with different bodily function requirements, and never have to make a stop.

    Yes, 500 buses would muck up an evacuation effort significantly. NO is surrounded by water on three sides, so your number of available roads out of the city are limited. Not to mention, you have to have 500 drivers available, which there were not. School bus drivers aren’t first responders. So when they evacuation order came, they left.

  • owl 1

    Might consider asking if anyone in the Dome can drive? You know, instead of starvation for babies. Or if anyone in the Gov’s office ever managed that skill.

  • penny

    So, squalor in the Super Dome was a better choice than bus evacuation? But, buses would be a bother because people would have to go to the potty in transit. Is that what you are saying?

    Do you have any idea what it must have been like using the few restrooms in the Super Dome? And the public health implications?

    NO is surrounded by water on three sides, so your number of available roads out of the city are limited

    The Florida Keys are surrounded by water on all sides and they make it to safety. Water has nothing to do with it. The number of roads means nothing without factoring in the number of lanes available when heading out of an area in an evacuation. And all lanes are designated out then.

    Sorry, Linda, there were alternatives to the squalor in the Super Dome if anyone more than a knucklehead had used some problem solving skills.

  • Eileen

    A billet doux for Jay Rosen.

    Roundup of unanswered questions:

    Journalism professors don’t have anything to do with the media according to Jay Rosen. He’s not The Media, so that’s the end of it, and he certainly bears no responsibility for anything to do with The Media. As a result, certainly there is no need to deign to answer the basic question: “Is relating a ‘greater truth’ more important to a journalist/THE MEDIA than reporting accurate facts on the ground?

    The professor has left the building.

    And then there’s this ‘other’ major question unanswered, although it was THE thesis for Jay lobbing many Molotoffs to the supposed ‘pure innocence hungry’ crew:

    “Jay says to Ravo: “…and I am sorry that reality has been unable to furnish you with those covincing specifics…” regarding Bush’s blameworthiness.

    Go ahead then, Jay. I invite you to state what your reality and convincing specifices consist of. List them for us here, please. And provide authorities for your take on reality while you’re at it, please.”

    I didn’t see any responses to these very ‘basic’ questions.

    It’s been fun for you, Jay? Not for me. You are the sad epitome of what JOURNALISM/THE MEDIA (and yes you ARE the same) now represents. You are Agenda Machines. You are attack dogs/anti-Bush War machinery gunning against those who don’t agree with your opinion shaping efforts.

    Worse: you have no ethics. Why? Because you could give a rat’s patoot about reporting facts. You are only intent upon oiling your own propaganda machine without any basis in reality. You cannot even provide any facts to define your own.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    You can carry 66 people in your car.

    Erm, I think that’s the whole point, Linda? Moving lots of people at one time?

    Oooh… here comes a storm. I’m either going to have to risk dying horrifically, or suffer some bladder discomfort while I escape on a bus. I choooose… dying horrifically!

    I guess it’s FEMA’s fault because they don’t keep several special emergency jumbo jets lined up in every airfield in the country. Or maybe it’s Bush’s fault because of his bible-thumping opposition to matter transporter development. Maybe it’s Brown’s fault for not issuing a directive that all buses be equipped with toilets!

    Seriously, Linda, what are you proposing to be used in place of buses during evacuations, especially for poor people with no ready transportation? Hand gliders? Horizontal bungee cords? If the evacuation during Rita seemed chaotic, it was because everybody evacuated instead of sitting around in a dome with nothing to eat or drink.

  • Linda Edwards

    Penny,
    1. The Florida keys doesn’t have the population size of NO.
    2. The Floriday Keys doesn’t have any evacuation plan other than, “get yourself out, and if you can’t get yourself out, get yourself to a shelter.
    3. If FEMA had been operational within the 72 hours they said they needed from the time the state of emergency was declared, which was the Saturday prior to the hurricane, they would have been there on Wed. The toilets in the Superdome gave out of Wednesday.
    4. Sorry if reality is hard for you to face, but considering the drive out of the New Orleans area would probably have been at least a minimum of 6 hours (probably more with such heavy traffic), can you imagine how many times a bus would have to stop to let 66 people (many of them small children and elderly) go to the bathroom?

    Carsonfire, you appear to think you’re such a genius. So perhaps you’re just the right person to find me an evacuation plan that’s in place for a major metropolitan area where they assign themselves the responsibility for the emergency evacuation of every single person in an area being threatened by a hurricane. I’ve looked at Miami-Dada, I’ve looked at Houston, I’ve looked at Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Mobile AL, just about every major coastal city up and down the Atlantic. NOT ONE OF THEM HAS AN EMERGENCY PLAN THAT CALLS FOR THE COMPLETE EVACUATION OF ALL PERSONS FROM THE AREA. NOT ONE!!! No Penny, not even the Florida Keys. Not one city mandates that school buses be used to take everyone out. Most don’t even mandate that the municipality provide for any public transportation AT ALL!! Not even to shelters.

    What the municipalities do usually provide for the people who either can’t or won’t leave the area are hurricane shelters, sturdy buildings that aren’t prone to flooding. These shelters don’t provide food, they don’t water. All they do is provide for a place to hunker down until the storm passes. That’s it.

    Why is it that municipalities will only provide for this very basic service? Because the assumption is that the Federal Government will show up in a timely manner!! Municipalities KNOW they must rely on the Feds to bail them out. All municipalities, not just NO.

    Go head, Google up those hurricane evacuation plans. Please let me know if you require any further assistance in getting to the proper web-sites, as I’ve visited dozens of them over the past month. I will be happy to direct you accordingly.

  • Linda Edwards

    Oh, and CF, the evacuation ex Houston was such a success that 60 people died in the process, which at this point, is more people than died as a result of the hurricane.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/29/AR2005092902713.html

    Perhaps, as every major Atlantic and Gulf coastal city in America appears to already know, rather than get everyone out on the road all at once, it may actually be safer for many people to go to a hurricane shelter.

    But as I said, don’t take my word for it (fight the urge), look at those evacuation plans yourself.

  • kat

    Then there were those Amtrack trains, the last one leaving NO with 1000 empty seats. Maybe people thought they’d have to go potty ~~~~~~~~

  • Ravo

    Municipalities KNOW they must rely on the Feds to bail them out. All municipalities, not just NO.

    Then why did Blanco hold the Feds up for two days?

  • Eileen

    Blanco finally authorized federal troops on Wednesday night, the 31st, according to reports I’ve read. http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/9/15/123648.shtml

    Since the storm hit early Monday morning, I’m sure those almost three days meant a lot to the people ‘waiting’…

    They waited all day Monday.
    They waited all day Tuesday.
    They waited all day Wednesday…

  • penny

    The Florida Keys doesn’t have any evacuation plan other than, “get yourself out, and if you can’t get yourself out, get yourself to a shelter.

    Well, Linda, that’s pretty much the reasonable bottom line evacuation plan anywhere in the world. And what the Keys lack in population they also lack in physical evacuation routes – one road in and out of the Keys. But, they manage it.

    You’re really laughably stuck on potty trips as the big obstacle to NO bus evacuations. Not to be snarky or make you look like an idiot but I think I would have rather wet my pants on a bus fleeing Katrina than been herded like cattle into the squalor of the Super Dome if given a choice. (Why don’t you Google how many toilets there are there per person?)

    These shelters don’t provide food, they don’t water. All they do is provide for a place to hunker down until the storm passes. That’s it.

    No water, no food, you sure about that? And geez, Linda, I bet the cheap assed shelters were only providing generic tp too.

    Oh, and by the way, how long do you think the tp lasted at the Super Dome?

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    I’m no genius, Linda. But I am a relatively poor person who does not own a car.

    I do have a friend who would drive me out in an evacuation, but if I did not, I would have to look to the city to see if they were providing alternative transportation out of the city.

    Again, what form of transportation would this take the form of?

    A. A bus
    B. A Boeing 757
    C. A luxury yacht
    D. Jet skis

    It really doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. Trying to twist Nagin’s “no buses” gambit into something positive is strained beyond belief.

    Your link to the article about the 60 deaths is interesting, Linda. Did you read why the deaths happened?

    Power outages and falling trees were blamed for at least 10 deaths.

    Right off the bat, 1/6 of that 60 died “before the storm”, but not *because* of being evacuated. Evacuation didn’t cause the power to go out or the trees to fall.

    At least one person died as he readied his home for the storm, a man in his 60s who fell and broke his leg in Texas City

    Again, not evacuation, but the preparations the man would be performing, anyway.

    You’re also forgetting that the storm didn’t just pass by harmlessly because it didn’t raze Houston. It angled off and hit smaller towns whose destruction didn’t make headlines (I know of at least one that was completely wiped out). People who evacuated from those towns are not counted among the dead because they (duh) evacuated.

    Cut to the chase: there was only one major evacuation-related accident, and one that does indeed account for a majority of the deaths, and it occurred not because of the failure of emergency workers or politicians, but because a company contracted to provide buses wasn’t properly servicing their buses. A tire caught on fire, and it exploded. Before it did, a courageous woman charged into the bus and carried out as many of the elderly occupants as she could before the explosion. Nobody here — NOBODY — questioned why those people were on the bus, especially in light of the elderly in Broussard’s parish who *died* in a gruesome and unnecessary way because they were *not* evacuated.

    Broussard’s people died because they were left to die; the people on that bus died because a company didn’t do what they were supposed to, even though they were being taken to safety.

    The idea that you would take this bare number and spin it into an argument to defend Nagin, his stranded buses, and the stupid situation that residents faced in that dome is repugnant. Further, to use these numbers to slime the people of Texas who /did what they were supposed to do/ and actually did it quite well under the circumstances is grotesque and inexcusable.

    I am no genius, Linda, but you couldn’t be more wrong about this.

  • Linda Edwards

    Penny, your making the false assumption that everyone left the Keys. They didn’t. Oh and by the way, you’re such an immature ass. My initial comment was that by trying to make a 100% evacuation, you were putting more people at risk than putting in place a more reasonable plan together, which means making an effective use of hurricane shelters and ensuring there will be QUICK response from the Feds. I then made the comment that school buses are inappropriate for long-distance travel because they don’t have bathrooms. It was you and your silly friends that thought it was cute to pounce on that issue like a bunch of junior high schoolers (potty – teehee). Grow up, foolish little girl.

    Eileen and Ravo, state of emergency declaration initiates FEMA. That was done on Saturday. I’m not making the issue of the National Guard, you are. There was no reason why water and basic medicine couldn’t have been airlifted to the people stuck at the Superdome and Convention Centers. Those that were dying outside the Superdome (no, not anything to do with the murder rumors going on inside) That could have EASILY been arranged by FEMA.

    Houston apparently didn’t open their public shelters and kept the Red Cross shelters a secret.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050924/ts_alt_afp/usweatherstormhoustonhomeless_050924064143;_ylt=Ajrlia4KxVmaZ.1UeHCKOEuCbpwv;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

    Please note here’s Florida states that if you have to go to a shelter, you have to take along you disaster emergency kit, which includes your own food and water.

    http://www.floridadisaster.org/bpr/Response/Plans/Nathaz/Brochure/placetogo.htm

    CF, did you look at the emergency plans as I suggested? Of course not, because it would invalidate your position. Much easier to throw insults, isn’t it. BTW, blown down trees and power lines are usually the result of the storm. Those aren’t included in the 60.

  • Linda Edwards

    If you’re at all interested in a serious conversation about evacuation planning, maybe you should read this from PBS program:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/fedagencies/july-dec05/prepare_9-26.html

    “MARGARET WARNER (PBS): When you are saying you are starting this public awareness campaign, I mean, how are you communicating this?

    DEPUTY MAYOR (for public safety and justice in Wash D.C.) EDWARD REISKIN: This campaign is a multimedia campaign; we’re doing it through community training sessions; we’re doing it through television, radio, billboards, as many channels as we can to reemphasize this message.
    The silver lining of what’s happening in the Gulf Coast is that it is helping to raise awareness. But we do have in the District of Columbia and now rolling out throughout the region a text alert system where people can get messages through any kind of text device, e-mail, cell phone. We also have a reverse 911 system where we basically can send a regular telephone call to people with messages.

    And I think that the chief is absolutely right. Most cases, most scenarios that are likely to happen, evacuation is not what’s best for the residents and it’s not what we would recommend. In fact, evacuation may put people more in harm’s way than keep them from it. And they, of course, also inhibit the movement of emergency response equipment. So our main message to folks is to shelter in place, is to stay where they are.

    MARGARET WARNER: And a quick question — go ahead. And one quick question. I know you are better prepared than others. But how would you avoid the two problems we saw in New Orleans? One: People who didn’t want to leave or couldn’t leave; or in this case of Houston, so many people leaving that you do have gridlock?

    CHIEF CARLOS CASTILLO (Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Management): Well, two ways. The tough part of those three questions is the people who don’t want to leave. And that change is based on their perception of a threat to them, or possible threat to them.
    For people who want to leave, and perhaps don’t have transportation, we have implemented several programs. One is a, when we bring people to shelters, or we open shelters or evacuate from the areas, the coastal areas, we have our metro buses that pick people up at predetermined points that are marked. They are called hurricane bus pick-up points, where people can catch a bus there.
    The buses are — their regular schedules or regular routes are canceled and then they just run the hurricane route. And that allows people the opportunity to come forward and to be able to leave if they want to.
    The part of eliminating or preventing gridlock, you know, it is a careful balance. If we decide on an evacuation too soon, and the hurricane takes a turn and turns away, the next time you ask for an evacuation it will be tougher for people to heed the warning. If we wait too long, then we won’t be able to get out the 400,000 people that must evacuate.
    So our purpose in getting that message out is we tell people early on, if you live in an evacuation zone, now is the time to leave; leave early so that there’s still time. We hope they have made arrangements before the storm and have a plan on where they are going to go.”

    Note that the shelters that Mr. Castillo refers to are within the Miami-Dade area. They don’t use school buses to evacuate people out of the area. NO used the same evacuation plan that Florida uses, that most major coastal metropolitan areas use.
    Your position on the school buses, is impractical.

  • Eileen

    Look Linda,

    I don’t like to see anyone trying to debate four at once, even our friend (?) Jay Rosen.

    My comment was designed to give information related to federal troop authorization only, such as I’ve been able to find.

    Ravo and I were referring to Federal Troops = must be authorized by the state due to the Posse Commitatus Act = not done by Blanco until Wednesday night. If she had asked for those same Federal Troops on Saturday the 27th, what might the outcome have been? Might she have anticipated a little looting and lawlessness in a city with the highest murder rate in the country? Might they have expedited getting people out of there? Concern regarding looting was one of the first things my displaced sister – from NOLA – expressed to me on Monday before the storm had even passed. Might Blanco have realized that a category 4 storm was going to leave her without adequate resources in terms of rescue and recovery operations, protection of aid workers, including FEMA personnel, peace keeping and etc. *such that* Federal Troops might be needed to assist the Guard, police, FEMA, and Etc.? On Tuesday and Wednesday, weren’t YOU wondering, “Gee, where’s the military?” “Why aren’t they there?” Well now you know why they weren’t there. And notice what happened when they finally Were authorized to ‘be there’. WHY didn’t Blanco authorize them sooner? What were her ‘money’ turf battles related to (per Nagin on Nightline NBC with Stone Phillips on August 9th)? For me, a lot of *key* questions continue to revolve around this one.

    National Guard troops = STATE authority = several accounts (including my above citation) indicate that emergency management officials stated Blanco didn’t bring in enough Guards soon enough, which would have quelled whatever level of looting/violence anyone can believe actually existed by reading/listening to the MSM. What Guard numbers did she call in when?

    FEMA was on the ground in Baton Rouge and many other locations on Saturday, *August 27th*. Several reports indicate they had to leave the dome due to violence in and around it and lack of local law enforcement (or National Guard) to keep the peace. Please google away.

    We are still missing so many facts. But to try to suggest that ‘full evacuations’ in neighboring states for Rita were botched by the locals in order to attempt to comparatively argue that what the locals DIDN’T DO in NOLA in Katrina was *better* and therefore everything is still all the fault of Bush/FEMA is stretching it, based upon what facts we do have. Thanks to MSM, that is still precious little.

    As to your comment: “People didn’t die on their way to the Superdome, they didn’t die during the hurricane, they didn’t even die by drowning there the next day.” Oh Really. Kind of like those people in the St. Bernard Parish nursing home I guess? Have some authority for how the as yet unknown total of those who perished actually did die, including those at the dome and center, which is still not at all clear?

    Will you agree that we need more FACTS, Linda? MSM? If we little people commenters see all the horrific, gaping gaps in your coverage, don’t you?

  • Eileen

    Carson Fire,

    You have riches in heart, soul and intellect beyond description. I learn from you every day.

    If you should ever need a backup to take you out of the path of a storm, just give a holler. I’ll hightail it out of Idaho to pick you up in an instant.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Thanks, Eileen!

    Linda: I was strongly taken aback by your position, but I don’t think I have insulted you. When I say “it doesn’t take a genius to know” what seems to me to be common sense, I was referring to your own sort of back-handed slap at me for considering myself a genius.

    I consider some of the things you say here on this subject to be “repugnant” — perhaps that strong language is what you’re referring to — but it’s your position I find disturbing, and the way you seem to be misusing the death statistics in this instance, and not you personally.

    As far as I’m concerned, using buses to evacuate people without transportation — when evacuation is warranted, as it was in both storms — is simply common sense, whether it is specifically addressed in a particular evacuation plan or not. My question to you wasn’t whether it can be found in a document, but what alternative transportation you would provide these people instead, since you seem to have a distaste for buses.

    I have had to ride buses all my life. I managed to read all of Moby Dick riding the bus. It’s never particularly pleasant, even on nice days, but it’s a necessary method of moving large numbers of people at once.

  • Linda Edwards

    Eileen, please refer to the experts I linked to. They know that full evacuations out of the threatened area can be just as, if not more, dangerous than providing safe shelter within the area. THIS is my point.

    When I said people did not drown there, I meant in the Superdome.

    CF, please refer to the Red Cross statement on their website that I’ve linked to before. The Red Cross say they applaud the decision not to effect a full evacuation out of NO and that providing the shelter of last resort at the Superdome probably saved lives. This comes from an organization with much more experience in hurricane emergencies than any of us.

  • Ravo

    Excellent summary Eileen!

    I’d like to reiterate the facet that seems to cause the most confusion.

    It’s been hard to sort out the facts. But IF this is correct….surely it bodes closer scrutiny. As I understand it:

    Blanco requested MONEY on the 27th by declaring a disaster area.

    Most folks seem to mix this up with the authorizing of military help, which is required for soldiers to come into any state.

    That Blanco would not authorize the soldiers at this point, thus they were DENIED the opportunity to help

    (even thought they were ready,willing and able by forethought from Bush – who had the US Baton following Katrina, and a faster federal FEMA response available than in any hurricane in history)

    is the basis for most of the “Bush blaming”.

    Blanco held the feds at bay, FINALLY giving required PERMISSION for Federal SOLDIERS to help on the 31st.

    Of course, it was soldiers, not money that was immediately needed. Federal military help was NOT authorized until the 31st…under much pressure FROM Bush to do so.

    Money was requested on the 27th. Soldiers were denied access to help until the 31st.

    WHY? What went on behind the scenes, if anything, during that time period, besides unnecessary suffering and death?

  • penny

    FYI, school buses are a really lousy method of transporting people over long distances anyway. They lack bathrooms.

    Hey, Linda, your words that stand alone regardless of content. Deal with the criticism.

  • Linda Edwards

    Eileen, I’m not defending anything about what (or when) Blanco did or didn’t do with the National Guard, because I agree that the facts aren’t fully known. And we probably won’t know it until an independent investigation is done.

    What I also said was that there’s no reason why water and basic medicine couldn’t have been airlifted to the evacuation shelters. The Coast Guard certainly didn’t wait for the National Guard to start rooftop rescues, so why couldn’t the Army, with their heavy-lift helicopters, start the drops? Well, they could, and they were on standby, but they had to wait days for orders from Washington before they could start.

  • Linda Edwards

    Penny, you can’t cover up for your childishness now.

  • kat

    There’s no reason why water couldn’t have been in the shelters if they were to be used as such. And basic medicine should have been taken with the evacuees–only an idiot leaves home without their medicine knowing they may not have a home to return to.
    Hell, Linda, they could have even had extra portapotties in the Superdome if the mayor and governor had a scintilla of sense. But I guess if you are used to the government doing everything for you, you’d want them to drop toilet paper and portapotties from the sky with heavy lift helicopters.

  • owl 1

    This is not hard. Use your eyes and common sense.

    I agree with ONE thing that my eyes observed. Bush should have been watching 24/7 TV and half of this would not have happened. He has “out of touch” media advisors that keep him “out of touch”. I can’t understand how they could possibly have missed for 24 hours that not only did they have a huge natural disaster, but the enemy finally found the right ammo. That this campaign had all the elements for winning. How could the Black Caucus, “black voters are being screwed” Jackson, “they are eating the corpes”, Bush hates and traps black people……LOOK….LOOK….not be a winner when 90% of them vote Democratic? Those people are poor and it’s Bush fault……..not be a winner? LOOK…LOOK…he is starving them. He took all our soldiers so they cant’t help US. He let this disaster happen……he refused to sign Kyoto. FEMA is crap because he appointed someone on HIS side. I can name a thousand others……..but……..forget it. As I said, the person that needs to be fired is the Bush media watcher. Buy a TV and think.

    Bush should have come to the cameras on his first trip down and said “The LA government is playing “political chicken” with me. They are hiring Democratic advisors instead of acting. I hereby declare the state of LA under FEDs. I take this state with military force and “bring it on” if you want to try to impeach me for it”.

    Is this what you wanted Linda?

    My gripe with The Media and grade of F- from the jump go…….Identify the problem instead of doing another political campaign. Then do something in stead of standing in one spot and crying. The problem Day#2: No transportation out of there. So ask the question, like The Media being inquiring minds might consider doing. The question: Who has the authority to get all those damn buses in Baton Rouge to roll into NO? Then point at that person. Next problem: No food and water. Question: Where is it? Hint to The Media……..get off your concrete marker and go find it. Oh, you found the Red Cross? Do they have food and water? Question to Red Cross and Salvation Army: Why are you not in NO? Then point to that person.

    Linda, I am a very proud Texan over our general effort at moving about 3 million spooked people when we were already overflowing with our generous efforts for Katrina victims.

  • Eileen

    Thank you, Ravo.

    Here’s something. Blanco issued Executive Order No. KBB 2005 – 31 titled “Emergency Evacuation by Buses”, which required all school districts to provide an inventory of their buses and drivers for use in Katrina evacuations on AUGUST 31, 2005. That would be WEDNESDAY following the storm. The PDF file didn’t allow me to cut and paste, but may be found here: http://www.gov.state.la.us/2005%20Executive%20orders/31execEmergencyEvacuationbyBuses.pdf

    That order was subsequently rescinded and replaced by KBB 2005 – 25 on September2, 2005.
    http://www.gov.state.la.us/2005%20Executive%20orders/25EmergencyEvacuationbyBuses-ReplacmentEO.pdf

    Was Blanco aware that all of NO’s buses were left in place and therefore subject to the vagaries of a Cat 4 storm prior to Katrina’s landfall, say, while all of those people were being sent to the dome on Sunday? Did she only learn about them after the levees broke and they were submerged in floodwaters on Tuesday?

    Either way, it took until *Wednesday* to start making arrangements for obtaining buses to get those people out of there.

  • Eileen

    “The Coast Guard is the only federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in both U.S. waters and on the high seas, and is the only U.S. Armed Service not constrained by the Posse Comitatus Act.” http://www.navyleague.org/seapower/united_states_coast_guard.htm

    This is why, Linda, you immediately saw the Coast Guard performing rescue operations. It was not POSSIBLE for, e.g., Army helicopters or other federal military assets to be utilized until after Blanco authorized it on Wednesday night.

  • Eileen

    Linda says, “CF, please refer to the Red Cross statement on their website that I’ve linked to before. The Red Cross say they applaud the decision not to effect a full evacuation out of NO and that providing the shelter of last resort at the Superdome probably saved lives. This comes from an organization with much more experience in hurricane emergencies than any of us.” NO, the Red Cross did NOT say it applauded the decision not to effect a full evacuation out of NO. Here is what they *actually* said:

    “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.” http://www.redcross.org/faq/0,1096,0_682_4524,00.html

  • Linda Edwards

    Kat, insulin has to be kept cool. Taking your insulin with you doesn’t do any good if it goes bad. There are high rates of high blood pressure and diabetes in NO, so insulin is a “must”. Several people died because they didn’t have their insulin. Keep trying, dear.

    Eileen, first you said yourself we need to wait to see who authorized what and when, which I agreed with. Now your saying it’s Blanco’s fault. What is really your position. Plus, there’s no significant difference between what I said and what Red Cross said, except in your own mind. I wasn’t making a direct quote. What ever ponts your trying to make are just alot of noise.

    Owl, thousands of people who got tied up in the gridlock ex Houston turned around and went home, like this guy:

    http://www.pww.org/article/view/7796/

    There were few shelters to go to, so going back home was they’re only option. Thank God the hurricane didn’t make a direct hit on Houston.

    The state that gets hit with the most hurricanes, and therefore has the most experience in dealing with the evacuation process, Florida, doesn’t even attempt a 100% mass evacuation like they tried in Texas. They understand how risky it is to put that many people out on the road all at once. They know the wisdom of making use of hurricane shelters. I give Jeb alot of credit for the way Florida coordinates and organizes their evacuations. And since he’s been through the drill so many times, he also knows how FEMA and the Feds should work. My own source at the Red Cross, a gentleman who just returned home last week after going to Baton Rouge the day after Katrina to set up the RC center there, told me FEMA was bungling it last year in Florida, too. Ol’ Jeb had to hold their hand through the entire process.

    IF we’re really interested in sane and rational plans for emergency evacuation (and I doubt that many of you are and would just rather be belligerent), I think the officials from the cities of the major metropolitan areas should study the model used by Florida.

  • kat

    Insulin storage
    Insulin does not need to be refrigerated, however extreme temperatures should be avoided. It is a good idea to purchase a protective case for your insulin and be sure to bring additional vials. Insulin pens travel well.  Ask your doctor about using them.
    http://www.diabetic.com/newsletter/archives/Mar2001/index.asp

  • Ravo

    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.”

    All this says is that …..

    it saved lives to let ‘em in the Dome rather than leave ‘em outside.

    It does not say that the Dome was a better option than evacuation.

  • Linda Edwards

    Read the first part, Ravo. Don’t cherry-pick, now.

    “The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to safe places outside the city.”

  • http://www.leadernotes.com Hal Halladay

    Jeff – I came across you and your Blog quite by accident but I am thrilled to track you down.

    I enjoyed your take on Goldberg. The greatest natural disaster in U.S. history severely tested our leadeship. In the aftermath of it all, perhaps we should turn to the President that understood national crisis better than anyone. He summed up the importance of finding and communicating truth.

    “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
    — Abraham Lincoln

    It seems like the blogoshere is on the right track but as duly noted by Goldberg, there are lessons to be learned not only by local, state and feederal government officals but also by the media. I am glad to see someone like yourself (who has experienced old school media) is making a difference in the new media. Your perspective is important.

  • owl 1

    Linda, try again. I said I was proud of Texas general effort to move about 3 million……….”spooked”……….people when we were already overflowing with Katrina victims. I do not believe our governor intended for 3 million to move, but rather the coast residents in possible immediate danger. Many in Houston had NO REASON to jump out there on the highway, when a little reason about gas and crowded conditions made it a “no-brainer”. Listen up: I even give Houston’s mayor excellent grades and he is a DEMOCRAT. He did do his duty to the best of his ability. Not his fault so many in Houston were “spooked”.