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.
This is a significant story of bureaucratic bungling on a huge and deadly scale, and yet Fox is the only mainstream broadcast entity reporting this story. Despite running on Fox for two days and being carried throughout the blogosphere and on talk radio, none of the other mainstream media outlets have picked this story up. Why? My guess is they've already written the conclusion to the Katrina story - Bush fiddled while New Orleans drowned - and facts which contradict that conclusion are simply too inconvenient to report.
Had the governor of Louisiana been a Republican, would the mainstream press have given this story a pass? I think not.
UPDATE: CNN's Tom Foreman on Thursday's NewsNight reported the Red Cross complaint about not being let into New Orleans.