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Monday’s Access Hollywood teased with a clip of rapper Kanye West’s blast on Friday’s Concert for Hurricane Relief broadcast on several NBC channels, "George Bush doesn't care about black people," followed by a clip of actor Matt Damon: “I let out a cheer.” The syndicated NBC Productions program also featured a clip of this ludicrous claim from West on the fund-raising show: “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.” (For more about West's allegations, check this Friday night NewsBusters posting by Tim Graham.)

A few minutes later on Access Hollywood, co-host Nancy O’Dell touted how “it was Kanye West’s anti-Bush remarks that caught the attention of Matt Damon and Susan Sarandon in Italy” at the Venice Film Festival. Viewers then saw this from actress Susan Sarandon as she stood at some sort of an event: “I don’t think that’s an original thought, but it’s probably true.” (With Access Hollywood’s quick cut editing, it’s hard to know what people are specifically referring to.)

Immediately after Sarandon, Access Hollywood played a longer soundbite from Damon who claimed the White House press corps is too nice to Bush and thus “not one of them’s an honest journalist.” Full quote follows, as well as Colin Farrell’s charge that white people would have been rescued faster.



According to Davids Medienkritik, a blog that monitors the German media, columnist Philipp Mausshardt wrote in the Tageszeitung that that because of Hurricane Katrina, "joy and sympathy beat simultaneously in my chest. I am, for example, joyful at the moment that the latest hurricane catastrophe hasn't again hit some poor land, but instead the richest country in the world.



In a harried, fast-moving interview with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien this morning, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin had many words of praise for President Bush, while pointing much blame at Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco:



In a poll most likely to be played down by both the Washington Post and ABC News (sponsors of the poll), it shows that "far fewer take George W. Bush personally to task" for the hurricane, and "public anger about the response is less widespread than some critics would suggest."

This is not what you would assume by the media's coverage.



        Pardon my naiveté, but I was unaware that the venom, nastiness, and malice spewed so rampantly and callously on Air America.

        On Air America's Mike Malloy show on Friday night, September 2, 2005 (link to entire show audio (3 hrs.)), Malloy said this about our First Lady, Laura Bush (audiotape on file) (emphasis mine):



Aaron Broussard, a Democrat who is the President of Jefferson Parish, Lousiana, was just interviewed on CNN.

The essence of his rant was that the federal government in general and FEMA in particular are "covering their butts" by concealing the number of dead.At one point Broussard said, verbatim, that FEMA was trying to hide the fact that they had "murdered" thousands of people through their bureaucratic incompetence.



It had to happen. When the chorus of MSM complaints of federal inaction was drowned in a sea of thousands of soldiers moving into New Orleans, the MSM nimbly adjusted. Now the problem is . . . too many soldiers.

NBC's Carl Quintanilla framed it this way on this morning's Today show, with the rubric "Chaos in New Orleans" displayed on screen:

"Now that the military is moving in huge convoys of soldiers, concerns that too strong a military presence in too small a space could cause accidents, crashes."



CBS News Sunday Morning “contributor” Nancy Giles, in the only commentary aired on the show on Sunday, delivered a blistering diatribe in which she charged that racism was behind the slow response to the hurricane victims in New Orleans, rationalized looting, claimed the real war is the one on poverty that’s being lost thanks to tax cuts, and mocked President Bush for visiting Iraq but skipping the Superdome -- thus showing he doesn’t give “a damn” about black people.

Giles asserted that “if the majority of the hardest hit victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans were white people, they would not have gone for days without food and water” and insisted that “the real war is not in Iraq, but right here in America. It's the War on Poverty, and it's a war that's been ignored and lost.” She complained that “we've repeatedly given tax cuts to the wealthiest and left our most vulnerable American citizens to basically fend for themselves." Giles scolded Bush for finding photo-ops with some “black folks to hug” while he skipped “the messy parts of New Orleans.” She castigated Bush for how he “has put himself at risk by visiting the troops in Iraq, but didn't venture anywhere near the Superdome or the convention center, where thousands of victims, mostly black and poor, needed to see that he gave a damn."

Video excerpt: Real or Windows Media

Full transcript of her September 4 commentary follows, as well as a look back at her 2003 commentary charging Rush Limbaugh with racism.



Reuters News Service left little to the imagination of its readers as to who they believe is responsible for the death's associated with Hurricane Katrina. The story, "New Orleans collects dead as officials dodge blame" reads more like an opinion piece than it does a news report.



James Lee Witt, hired by Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, stated in one of his first public appearances, on MSNBC on Sunday,

"This was our worst nightmare," Witt said. "You could point the finger at anybody and everybody. ... I don't think they turned a blind eye. I don't think the state did. I don't think the mayor did. I think they worked as fast as they could [to] do whatever they could."

Source: AP.



On NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show this morning, Chris moved the discussion in the direction of blaming flooding problems in post-Katrina New Orleans, and the failure to shore up the levee system around the city, on funding for the Iraq war, as well as tax cuts:



Sounding like a parody of a liberal, but in all seriousness, NPR and ABC reporter Nina Totenberg charged on Inside Washington, at the end of a discussion about how National Guard equipment deployed to Iraq is supposedly impairing rescue efforts, that “for years, we have cut our taxes, cut our taxes and let the infrastructure throughout the country go and this is just the first of a number of other crumbling things that are going to happen to us.” An astounded Charles Krauthammer pleaded: “You must be kidding here.” But Totenberg reaffirmed: “I’m not kidding.”

In fact, under the Bush administration domestic spending has soared much faster than inflation, a trend illustrated by the huge transportation bill this year packed with spending on infrastructure projects. And if infrastructure spending has suffered in some way, massive new spending on such things as a prescription entitlement program are just as responsible.

Video: Real or Windows Media


Full transcript, and more about Inside Washington, follows.



A Los Angeles Times article suggests that NBC made a mistake during last night's "Concert For Hurricane Relief" when it edited from its West Coast feed rapper Kanye West’s assertions that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”:



You'd think Kanye West's ill-informed remark ("George Bush doesn't care about black people": Newsbusters link) would be enough to illustrate how misguided it is to politicize a serious fundraiser. But MSNBC's blogger for the NBC/Red Cross event, Mike Miller, could not restrain himself as well. Is it that hard for some people to set aside political differences for just one hour in order to raise some money for some people who are really hurting? From Mike Miller's blog at MSNBC.com, in which he gave a chronological, running commentary of the event (emphasis mine):

5:41: ... "George Bush doesn't care about black people," West said. Myers turns to him and clearly has no idea what to say ...

5:54: Still can't believe Kanye West ripped Bush. That was great.

"Great"? What was great about it? West's view is flat-out wrong. As President, Bush has given tremendous support to Africans and African-Americans.



Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died late Saturday evening.  As reported by Gina Holland of AP:

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died Saturday evening of cancer, ending a remarkable 33-year tenure on the Supreme Court and creating a rare second vacancy on the nation's highest court.

Rehnquist, 80, was surrounded by his three children when he died at his home in suburban Arlington.

Sadly, the AP couldn’t wait to remind its readers of Mr. Rehnquist’s political leanings, his involvement in the Florida Recount Debacle, or that this will likely impact the upcoming hearings for the appointment of John Roberts to replace the recently retired Sandra Day O’Connor: