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For two days now Fox News' Major Garrett has reported on first the Red Cross, and then the Salvation Army, being denied entrance to New Orleans by Louisiana State authorities. According to Garrett and the Red Cross website, officials didn't want the food, water and sanitary supplies to get to the Superdome and Convention Center because it might encourage others to come to those sites rather than evacuate the city. The result of the decision to withhold aid was thousands of New Orleans citizens trying to survive in horrific conditions without much needed supplies. The Louisiana National Guard, which was not tasked with providing survival supplies to evacuees, had to divert their attention from law enforcement and rescue operations to providing aid to the desperate families looking for the basics of life.


On this evening’s The Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty ran a poll asking the following question concerning ongoing rescue efforts in New Orleans:  What should be done with the people who refuse to leave? 

 “Officials want everybody out of town because the health risks of the contaminated water are  simply too great.  But not everybody wants to leave.”

This raises an interesting question that seems to be eluding media representatives like Mr. Cafferty:  If a large percentage of people don’t want to leave now as the health risks in the water that is surrounding them are mounting and obvious, why should we be surprised that a similarly large percentage of the New Orleans population didn’t leave prior to the hurricane making landfall?

Refuse To Evacuate Video



In a new low, the Associated Press has dealt another race card from the bottom of the deck. In a slanted piece called, “Katrina, Aftermath Galvanize Black America,” author Jesse Washington includes quotes from the inane:



Under video shown on ABC's Good Morning America, during Charlie Gibson's Wednesday interview with Senator Hillary Clinton on Capitol Hill, viewers saw a graphic which asked: “WHAT WENT WORONG?” ABC's spelling, for one thing. The misspelled graphic ran under video of Senator Clinton talking to people inside the Washington, DC armory, one of the shelters for those evacuated from New Orleans.


Tax cuts have been the latest craze in gas price management, but CNN’s Miles O’Brien suggested on the September 8 “American Morning” that raising taxes might be the way to go.

“I think there’s a lot of people who’d tell you long-term, raising the gas tax would be a good idea,” O’Brien said. Andy Serwer replied, “Oh yeah. That’s right. But it’s politically suicidal to suggest that, as we’ve seen.”



The misery and loss of life following Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans make it the worst calamity to hit the United States since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. But after 9/11, many journalists insisted that their correct stance was rigid neutrality, refusing to call terrorists "terrorists" and insisting objectivity would be compromised by wearing lapel pins with the American flag.


A day after CNN reported poll numbers which show a small minority of Americans blame President Bush for a slow response to the disaster in New Orleans, CBS News today reported their new polling data, which were considerably more negative for the Bush administration. The poll, unlike CNN’s, doesn’t deal with “blame” for the New Orleans disaster but rather focused on the adequacy of the governmental response. Nevertheless, correspondent Thalia Assuras on today’s Early Show chose the most negative poll numbers, failing to give a broader context to her story than the "bitter political sniping" which she portrayed as almost a natural reaction to the Bush administration's response, rather than a calculated liberal Democratic strategy: "Well the government's response to the catastrophe has unleashed bitter political sniping here in Washington, with much of the criticism directed against the Bush administration. Americans are struck by the images they have seen, and now we know just how strong their feelings are."

Assuras relayed most of the polling data but failed to report two numbers I found striking. For example, the initial public reaction from the earliest days of Katrina’s aftermath was positive, with 54 percent favoring the government’s reaction and only 12 percent opposed, and presently 60 percent of poll respondents think the federal government is doing all it can do now to address the crisis. These polling numbers, I believe, show the evolving public reaction to the stark images from New Orleans as the liberally biased national media pushed the blame towards FEMA's Mike Brown and President Bush while downplaying or ignoring the misjudgments on the ground by Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco.

Below is a transcript of Assuras’s piece, including the set-up by host Harry Smith and the opening credits tease by Hannah Storm:


CNNs American Morning says raising gas taxes might be a better move than cutting them.


Foreign aid story ignores U.S. charity and socialist aspects of U.N. analysis.


The Orlando Sentinel profiles Josh Fountain, who will be anchor of a new show on the Q Television Network. That's Q as in queer.

"Right now, QTN is a subscription channel that's available in only a few major markets, such as New York and San Francisco. But cable companies around the nation, including Central Florida's Bright House Networks, are looking at QTN to see whether they should add it to their lineup."



Tuesday's Times story by Simon Romero on the efforts of Houston businesses to assist in Katrina relief efforts was fairly unobjectionable -- but the version that appeared in the Times' international edition (the International Herald Tribune) contained some political raunch sure to delight European readers of a left-wing bent.


A couple of weeks ago, I addressed a piece from the AP's Jennifer Loven. Loven, the wife of a former Clinton administration environmental official, found it necessary to write, as gasoline prices were rising, about how George W. Bush was probably the greatest consumer of gasoline. Well, after almost two weeks of absolutely relentless criticism of the President for not taking Katrina seriously, the AP has run a Loven article today (Many Chiefs in White House Recovery Effort) which criticizes the President for having his administration focused on the Hurricane relief effort.


On last evening’s The Situation Room, CNN’s Ed Henry did a report on the politicization of Hurricane Katrina.  One of the first segments was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with some rather unkind words about our president:

“He chose someone with absolutely no credentials. You know what? When I said to the president that he should fire Michael Brown, he said why would I do that? I said because of all that went wrong with all that didn't go right last week. He said what didn't go right. 

“Oblivious, in denial. Dangerous.”

And that was just the beginning of Ed’s report.  It gets even better.

Video Link

Extended Pelosi Link



On Wednesday night's Countdown, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, one night after he scathingly attacked President Bush's handling of hurricane relief (see this Wednesday NewsBusters posting), made what seems to be a bizarre comparison between those who approve of Bush's handling of disaster relief and those who voted against Lincoln's re-election in 1864.

Olbermann relayed his belief that the current political climate was a "re-creation" of the "mindset of the national politics of the year 1864," the year when 45 percent of American voters voted for Democratic candidate George McClellan, "whose campaign platform consisted entirely of promising to immediately end the war, let the South secede, and let slavery continue there." Considering the recent criticisms made by some that President Bush was insensitive to hurricane victims trapped in New Orleans because most were black, Olbermann's choice of McClellan, a man who ran on a pro-slavery platform, suspiciously looks like an accusation that Bush's supporters similarly are insensitive to the black population, or, at least, are supporting a man who is just as obviously undeserving of support as McClellan was.

Olbermann then went on to recite Gallup poll results that shed light on whom the public blames for disaster relief problems, but excluded the finding that only 13 percent of those polled believe Bush was "most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane." He instead distorted the results by combining those who blame Bush -- 13 percent -- and those who blame federal agencies -- 18 percent -- to say that 31 percent blame "the President or federal agencies."

A complete transcript of Olbermann's comments follows:



In this week's U.S. News & World Report, Terence Samuel's profile of "fascinating" Arlen Specter, the "inscrutable" moderate chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is accompanied by a box of mini-biographies titled "Other Players in the Drama." Notice the subtle contrasts in Republican and Democrat profiles.