CBS Uses Fires to Remind Viewers Bush 'Never Stopped' to See Katrina Victims

ABC and CBS on Sunday night pivoted from the success, of the aide efforts for fire evacuees at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, to make political points: ABC highlighted a protest about “immigrant rights” and CBS focused on how President Bush's visit to victims contrasted with how after Katrina Bush “flew home from vacation” in Air Force One “thousands of feet above the evacuees” and “never stopped.” Reporter Seth Doane contended, over 2005 video on the CBS Evening News of the Superdome evacuees, Bush peering out the window of Air Force One and that plane flying over the stadium, that “for many it was a sharp contrast with another football stadium two years ago: The Superdome in New Orleans during Katrina -- overcrowded, miserable conditions, all under a leaking roof, while thousands of feet above the evacuees, President Bush flew home from vacation in Air Force One and never stopped.” Doane suggested: “Contrast this past week when the President came to a burned-out area to press the flesh...”

Unsaid, Bush visited, within a week, areas of Mississippi hit by Katrina and made it to New Orleans as soon as conditions made a trip feasible.

Over on ABC's World News, reporter Ryan Owens looked at Qualcomm before noting “across town, a protest by an immigrants' rights group. They say officials didn't do enough to evacuate migrant workers. Four charred bodies were found last week in a field near the Mexican border.” But other news reports made it clear those killed weren't picking crops and could be more accurately described as “illegal aliens” since they were found by a border crossing.

An October 25 San Diego Union-Tribune posting, by Pauline Repard and Greg Gross, reported:

Border Patrol agents found the bodies of three men and a woman in a rocky canyon near the junction of state Routes 94 and 188, between Potrero and Barrett Junction Thursday.

The identity and nationality of the victims haven't been determined yet, but Border Patrol supervisor Joseph Mason said the canyon is part of a rugged mountain route popular with illegal immigrants and smugglers.

“There are large groups and then small groups like this one that go through there on a regular basis,” Mason said. “There are footpaths all over the place.”

Border Patrol agent Matthew Johnson said that earlier in the week, agents rescued a group of border crossers in the area who said there were more people nearby.

“We looked for them, but the fires came up and we didn't find them,” he said.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center