Briefing Day

Prior to Katrina’s landfall, fully 50,000 emergency response people were in gear and preparing for it.  The Navy had a task force moving up the Gulf behind the hurricane so when the storm moved inland, the ships could pull into ports and start providing relief.  Within a few days after landfall, fully 100,000 emergency responders were in gear.  It was the largest natural, or national emergency response effort ev-ah.

What exactly was supposed to have been done differently?  Take the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana out, stand them up against a wall and shoot them?  All of the problems with getting relief to people, or for that matter putting people in peril lay with those two.

Why does Bush get hammered on Katrina?  Because the press said so.  Surely by now we should all have a better grip on the reliability of the press than the pres has on the truth.

My favorite Katrina story was Sheppard Smith standing in front of the entrance to the Super Dome gravely reporting that hundreds were dying, bodies were stacked up inside like cord wood, and cannibalism was occurring.  The actual number who died was six.  One gunshot.  One suicide by diving  off a balcony.  Four died from exposure to un-air conditioned air.  (The contribution of air conditioning to longevity is not fully appreciated by the medical community)

NOW! a real reporter might possibly have considered sticking their head through the entrance and ask something utterly reporter like, like, “Show me the bodies.”  Oh, but not Sheppard.  He stood there with his face in front of his national audience and repeated any rumor anybody wanted to whisper into his ear.  And it was on the basis of sound reporting like that that Bush is castigated for Katrina.

Ya’ll will miss W when you see how Obama handles a situation like that.


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