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:



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.



When David Brooks first joined the NY Times in September 2003, it initially seemed that he was going to be able to keep his conservative leanings, and would be a fine replacement for William Safire once the latter had retired.  However, lately it seems that Mr. Brooks is being co-opted by others on the Times editorial staff.

In fact, his latest op-ed sounds like it could have been written by either Paul Krugman or Maureen Dowd:

The scrapbook of history accords but a few pages to each decade, and it is already clear that the pages devoted to this one will be grisly. There will be pictures of bodies falling from the twin towers, beheaded kidnapping victims in Iraq and corpses still floating in the waterways of New Orleans five days after the disaster that caused them.

And:

Katrina means that the political culture, already sour and bloody-minded in many quarters, will shift. There will be a reaction. There will be more impatience for something new. There is going to be some sort of big bang as people respond to the cumulative blows of bad events and try to fundamentally change the way things are.



CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday afternoon repeatedly prodded reluctant Congressional Black Caucus member Elijah Cummings to blame racism for delays in rescuing hurricane victims in New Orleans. Blitzer asked Cummings on The Situation Room: “Do you believe, if it was, in fact, a slow response, as many now believe it was, was it in part the result of racism?” When Cummings demurred from such a blanket accusation, Blitzer wouldn’t give up: “There are some critics who are saying, and I don't know if you're among those, but people have said to me, had this happened in a predominantly white community, the federal government would have responded much more quickly. Do you believe that?"

Later, on CNN’s NewsNight, Aaron Brown took up the same agenda with Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones: “What I'm wondering is, do you think black America's sitting there thinking, if these were middle class white people, there would be cruise ships in New Orleans?” When she wouldn’t take the bait, Brown lectured: “Now, look, here's the question, okay? And then we'll end this. Do you think the reason that they're not there or the food is not there or the cruise ships aren't there or all this stuff that you believe should be there, isn't there, is a matter of race and/or class?”

Opening the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams predicted that the "catastrophic hurricane strike, and the U.S. government response to it, will in the years or decades to come, perhaps necessitate a national discussion on race, on oil, politics, class, infrastructure, the environment and more.” ABC’s Ted Koppel charged on Nightline that “the slow response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina has led to questions about race, poverty and a seemingly indifferent government.”

Transcripts follow.



With little fanfare, the Houston Chronicle reported that Vice President Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, had been awarded a contract to assist in post-Katrina cleanup efforts:

The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Halliburton subsidiary KBR will also perform damage assessments at other naval installations in New Orleans as soon as it is safe to do so.

Given the media’s fascination with this company, along with the ongoing insinuations that the war in Iraq has been a financial boon for Halliburton, one has to wonder how this announcement will be disseminated by a currently scandal-hungry press.



Our friends over at the AP who never tire of using any excuse to Bush-bash are at it again in style.



The Associated Press posted an article by Barry Schweid detailing hurricane relief aid being sent by a number of other countries. In the process the writer just couldn't help taking a cheap shot at U.S. generosity, which has pumped billions of dollars in foreign aid to others in need.


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 New Orleans/>/>.  The most recent such tirade comes fro



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.:



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 New Orleans/>/>.  Predictably, old media outlets like the New York Times have followed suit.