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On Tuesday, I posted an item about how Harry Smith worried that Christians who put up Hurricane Katrina evacuees in their homes might force their guests to attend church in order to eat breakfast. It was a silly question in an otherwise non-biased interview with Pastor Rick Warren, author of the best-selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life. Well, our favorite religious scholar made another gaffe today which similarly shows his ignorance about the beliefs of his interview subjects.

Smith asked a female parishioner:

Who decides whether you hear more about the Red Cross or the Salvation Army? Its the news producers.

Friday's "news analysis" by Richard Stevenson, "The President From 9/11 Has Yet to Reappear," follows in the slanted footsteps of his previous one. The text box reads: "Still looking for vision in the face of national calamity."

The BBC reports that tonight's telethon to help victims of Hurricane Katrina will not be cut to "edit political statements out" of the live show. The BBC also reports that Kanye West has again been invited to perform. During NBC's telethon last week, West deviated from the script to say "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

"No special precautions will be taken to edit political statements out of a live US TV benefit for Hurricane Katrina survivors, the show's producer said...

Was FEMA head Mike Brown Assistant City Manager of Edmond, OK, or was he Assistant to the City Manager? And did he serve from 1975-78 or from 1977-80?

Small beer, you might think, but a heady enough brew for the Today show to lead with this morning.

Andrea Mitchell reported on a Time Magazine piece which she claimed raised "serious questions about the management training" Brown had received.

After insisting that “I don’t do opinions,” on Thursday’s Daily Show on Comedy Central, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams seemed to come dangerously close to endorsing the view that racism was behind the slow rescue of residents in New Orleans as he approvingly relayed how, a “refrain” he heard from “everyone watching the coverage all week,” was “had this been Nantucket, had this been Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, how many choppers would have-” At that point, audience applause caused him to cut off his sentence as he gestured toward the audience to cite affirmation of his point.

Hard to imagine that if Williams heard the refrain, which is out there, that the hurricane’s destruction of abortion clinics in New Orleans shows it was meant as God’s punishment of sinful behavior in the city, Williams would have so willingly passed along that line of reasoning.

Transcript follows. Video Excerpt: Real or Windows Media

In keeping with trying to figure out which Republican is to blame for Katrina, TIME has launched an in-depth "investigation" into FEMA Chief Mike Brown's online resumes. While accusing Brown of both padding his resume and having no emergency management expience prior to becoming FEMA head, TIME simply doesn't acknowledge his work as having "served as FEMA's Deputy Director and the agency's General Counsel.

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.