Jaws dropped across America in the middle of NBC's Concert for Hurricane Relief, hosted by Matt Lauer. In between musical numbers, stars would report on the damage and call for help. Comedian Michael Myers made a serious pitch. Then rapper Kanye West started rambling, clearly improvising, saying that black families are called looters, while white families are described as just looking for food. That must have put the NBC folks on the button, but West shortly after blurted out: "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
CAFFERTY: Do you suppose, Wolf, that the arrival of the relief convoys and the political photo ops on the Gulf Coast happening at the very same time were a coincidence today?
BLITZER: Well, I'm sure our viewers have some thoughts on that as well.
CBS correspondent and wife of former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, Michelle Miller, took a swipe at Congress for the speed of its reaction to Hurricane Katrina:
In the days since Hurricane Katrina struck, there has been a lot of hand-wringing and finger-pointing at the Bush administration concerning budget cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers that might have shored up the levee system surrounding
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is a picture I would like the Democratic Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, to see after he blasted President Bush for his slow response to the hurricane devestation.
Just what was the mayor saving those buses for? Maybe Election Day, 2006? Then, it seems, Democrats have no problem moving black people around quickly and efficiently.
The Early Show on CBS treated FEMA Director Mike Brown and Governor Kathleen Blanco (D-LA) to tough questioning, although Brown was seared by co-host Hannah Storm while Harry Smith, reporting from New Orleans, only slightly singed the state's chief executive, and mostly on relief efforts underway now, not on what the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans could have done before the hurricane.
Below are the questions to Brown and Blanco respectively as I transcribed them.:
Video: Real or Windows Media
Complete transcript follows. UPDATE: Friday's World News Tonight featured Moran's question.
From CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Thursday, September 1, 2005, covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: (audiotape on file, emphasis mine)
BLITZER: "You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold."
As depicted in a recent posting by NewsBusters own David Pierre, cable outlets like CNN have started to depict race as a "hindrance of choice" to the rescue efforts that are taking place on a massive scale in
No longer mincing words, a New York Times editorial puts the blame for the current post-Katrina disaster area in New Orleans squarely on the backs of the Bush administration and its diverted attention to the war in Iraq:
Yesterday's lead New York Times editorial, "Waiting for a Leader," asks: "While our attention must now be on the Gulf Coast's most immediate needs, the nation will soon ask why New Orleans's levees remained so inadequate. Publications from the local newspaper to National Geographic have fulminated about the bad state of flood protection in this beloved city, which is below sea level. Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?"
Perhaps they were reading old Times editorials on flood control. As the EU Rota blog notes, the Times editorial page has often criticized such efforts as anti-environmental boondoggles.
Hurricane Katrina gave New Orleans a head fake on Monday, then slammed a right hook into Mississippi instead. But just as the Garden City thought it had gotten through the worst, the storm-created floods began -- 24 hours later. That day-long gap accounts for most of the bitter griping about inadequate preparation and aid. And the floods hurt worse than the storm, far worse.
Anyone seen Kathleen Blanco lately? Remember her, the Democratic Governor of Louisiana, the lady who put in a few shaky, overwhelmed performances at the beginning of the Katrina catastrophe? She seems to have disappeared off the MSM radar screen.
How about the Mayor of New Orleans, another Democrat? How many Americans can even name him? Compare and contrast with the role Rudy Giuliani played in the wake of 9/11.
Instead, Today's focus this morning was almost entirely on the shortcomings of the federal [read Republican-led] government in its response to Katrina.
“The 17th Street levee that gave way and led to the flooding of New Orleans was part of an intricate, aging system of barriers and pumps that was so chronically underfinanced that senior regional officials of the Army Corps of Engineers complained about it publicly for years.”
The second and third paragraphs say: