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The New York Times’ Elisabeth Bumiller has an article today that continues to dwell on the supposed impact that racism had on the immediacy of hurricane recovery efforts, and how this is hurting the president as well as Republicans:

“The storm also appears to have damaged the carefully laid plans of Karl Rove, President Bush's political adviser, to make inroads among black voters and expand the reach of the Republican Party for decades to come.

“Many African-Americans across the country said they seethed as they watched the television pictures of the largely poor and black victims of Hurricane Katrina dying for food and water in the New Orleans Superdome and the convention center.”

Ms. Bumiller felt it was necessary to quote a rapper in her political analysis:

“The anger has invigorated the president's critics. Kanye West, the rap star, raged off-script at a televised benefit for storm victims that ‘George Bush doesn't care about black people.’"



This morning Today show viewers woke up to the following from Katie Couric: "Good morning. Up close and personal. With his approval ratings at an all-time low President Bush gets set to take his first ground tour of New Orleans." Co-host David Gregory, subbing for Matt Lauer then piped in: Katie the President is making his third trip this morning to the hurricane zone but it's really it's first detailed look at New Orleans. He, of course, has taken a major political hit through all of this."



Ten times? A dozen? Maybe more? Eventually I lost count of the number of times that this morning's Today show trumpeted President Bush's low poll ratings. This was liberal schadenfreude on steroids.

In the very first words out of her mouth opening the show, Katie Couric spoke of W's ratings being at an "all-time low," while archly noting that W's visit today was his first "ground tour" of New Orleans.



Colorado will consider a major tax increase this fall, loosening the tight taxing and spending restrictions known as the TAxpayers' Bill Of Rights, or TABOR. Some of the money raised in Referendum C will be earmarked for roads in Referenum D. As part of its attempt to influence - er, inform - the public, the Denver Post today ran the first of a four-part series, "The Truth About TABOR."

If only.



Harlingen, Texas, September 10, 2005: You need to look long and hard if you are attempting to find any information about the use of tugboats, towboats or barges in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. In fact, the only reference to these watercraft noted was in a September 1, 2005 Reuters pool release. It stated “A tugboat pushes barges past an oil refinery in southern Louisiana.


Some calm and dispassionate political analysis Saturday night on Comedy Central's Weekends at the DL. Actress/comedian Kathy Griffin delivered not comedy but her vitriolic personal opinion as she shouted, to loud audience applause while she gesticulated with her arms: “The President is a moron! I'm saying it. I don't care. He's an idiot. Cheney is evil. I'm sick of, impeach them, get them out! I hate them! I hate them. Get them out. They got to go!" She later pleaded: “What is it going to take for you people? Get Bush out! Impeach! Out! Out! Out!” Griffin also denounced FNC's Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity: “He and Hannity can suck it. I hate those two idiots! Those liars.”

Griffin is the star of the reality show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the d-List on NBC-Universal's Bravo cable channel, a regular on the E! channel's “red carpet” coverage before awards ceremonies, has had roles in several movies, as well as appearing on such TV shows as NBC's Suddenly Susan sit-com and currently on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Transcript follows. Video: RealPlayer or Windows Media



It is not a hold-the-presses moment when a major Hollywood actor comments on American politics and demonstrates that he/she is ignorant as a board fence on the subject. However, as a reminder that some people ARE paying attention and DO know truth from falsehoods, some comments are in order about an interview with Donald Sutherland today (Sunday).

Sutherland was interviewed at the Savoy by Jasper Gerard, and the article was published in the Sunday Times, in the UK.



On September 3, a question was asked here: “How Will Hurricane-Related Halliburton Contract Be Reported?” Yesterday, Reuters answered this with an article entitled “Firms With Bush Ties Snag Katrina Deals.”

“Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

“One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.”

A lot of focus was given to Vice President Cheney in this article:



The mainstream press does not always blame only Republicans or conservatives. There's a tendency in some quarters to believe that, but it's not true. What is true, however, is that the tendency to blame or criticize Republicans and/or conservatives is much, much stronger than the tendency to blame Democrats and/or liberals. This fact manifests itself in a couple of different ways. The first thing that happens is that a Democrat can get away with things that a Republican just can't. Trent Lott, for example, made an offhand remark at a birthday party for Strom Thurmond that could be read as racist, and the outcry was immediate and widespread. When Richard Durbin went to the floor of the Senate to make comments that were far more inflammatory and inappropriate, comparing the US military to Nazis and genocidal Cambodian dictators, there was no coverage at all for several days, and the little coverage it eventually got didn't compare to what Lott got. The other thing that happens is that Democratic follies and foibles tend to get grouped with others by Republicans, and presented in "everybody does it" arguments. I've said for years that there are three mainstream blame assessment scenarios: if the Republicans are wrong, they get blamed; if both parties are wrong, the Republicans get blamed; and if the Democrats are wrong, both parties get blamed.


On Friday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s Charlie Gibson and Barbara Walters, while doing a promo for her upcoming interview with former Secretary of State Colin Powell to be aired on 20/20 later that evening, appear to have distorted the meaning of some of Powell’s statements:

Gibson: There's a number of things in this. Number one you ask about whether he, he laid out in that speech some connection between terrorism and Saddam Hussein and you asked him about that.

Walters to Powell: When you learned that you had been misled how did you feel?

Powell:  Terrible.

This is creative editing to make a point different than what Powell was stating.  Gibson asked Walters about a connection between terrorism and Saddam Hussein.  However, Walters’ question to Powell about having been misled was concerning weapons of mass destruction.  This is how the ABC News website related the exchange:



1. Christopher Fotos at PostWatch notes that Kanye West has company in WashPost columnist Colbert King. King also was offering his respect for Kanye on the talk show Inside Washington, and Charles Krauthammer quickly told him he was nuts.



On CNN’s The Situation Room last evening, Wolf Blitzer adroitly set up Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean with questions surrounding racism in Hurricane Katrina rescue and prevention efforts:



On Fox News this morning, Geraldo Rivera claimed that the New York Times’ Allessandra Stanley lied about him pushing people in New Orleans so his camera crew could catch him assisting folks being evacuated from a retirement home.  Please reference Ian Schwartz’s post from Tuesday concerning this.



For almost two weeks since Katrina devastated New Orleans, America’s media have been lambasting the president for not properly funding the Army Corps of Engineers. An article at CNSNews this week deals specifically with a NY Times hypocrisy in this regard.

This morning, NY Times columnist John Tierney has an op-ed suggesting that much of the media – including the Times – might have no clothes on:

“Or suppose the investigators try to find out why the Army Corps of Engineers didn't protect New Orleans from the flood. Democrats have blamed the Iraq war for diverting money and attention from domestic needs. But that hasn't meant less money for the Corps during the past five years. Overall spending hasn't declined since the Clinton years, and there has been a fairly sharp increase in money for flood-control construction projects in New Orleans.

“The problem is that the bulk of the Corps's budget goes for projects far less important than preventing floods in New Orleans. And if the investigators want to find who's responsible, they don't have to leave Capitol Hill.”



During the Friday night (SOS) Saving OurSelves: The BET Relief Telethon, actor/comedian Steve Harvey and singer/actress Queen Latifah came to rapper Kanye West's defense. Harvey imparted: “We love you, brother. And do keep your head up, and we understand what you were trying to say, and you have a lot of people's support in spite of all the ridicule that you're receiving, man. Do stay strong.” Latifah saw West as a martyr, chiming in with how “you always going to pay to speak what's on your mind and what's on your heart. But that don't mean you shouldn't say it.”

Last Friday (Sept. 2), on NBC's Concert for Hurricane Relief, West ludicrously contended that “we already realize a lot of the people that could help are at war right now fighting another way and they’ve given them permission to go down and shoot us.” He later added this slam: “George Bush doesn't care about black people." (Previous NewsBusters item on West.)

Transcript of the comments from Harvey and Latifah follows. Video Excerpt: RealPlayer or Windows Media