Monday, September 12, 2005

"Katrina Jolts the Press"

Now that I'm, effectively, plugged back in after about a week away from all but the blaring headlines, the better writers have discussed, in detail, most of the post-Katrina observations I might've had and have presented their conclusions with far more finesse than I have to spare these days. Rather than posting a lame imitation of their efforts, I'll instead point you to Eric Boehlert's recent Salon article for his treatment of the new Age of Reason the MSM is sampling like a young pinot:

Indeed, there was CNN's Anderson Cooper interrupting a Louisiana pol on live TV. There was ABC's Ted Koppel grilling Michael Brown, the bewildered chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There was NBC's Tim Russert barking, "How could the president be so wrong, so misinformed?" And there was the White House press corps undressing White House spokesman Scott McClellan in Tuesday's bare-knuckle press briefing.

Forgive some of us for not celebrating the press's coming-out party. The fact that this kind of aggressive questioning of people in power during times of crisis now passes as news itself only highlights just how timid the mainstream press corps has been during the Bush years.

Is it too much to ask for Russert to just once have shown the same passion -- or even hint of outrage -- when interviewing Vice President Dick Cheney about the administration's botched occupation of Iraq in which nearly 2,000 Americans have died? ("How could the president be so wrong, so misinformed?" Russert could have demanded.) Imagine if the press had shown a glimmer of its newfound truth-telling fervor while pursuing the WMD fiasco or uncovering the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth hoax last year, or half a dozen lesser episodes in which the Bush White House mugged the truth and the press knew it but then looked away.

Catch the rest. It's worth it.

6 comments:

Bill Ziemer said...

Here is the
salon story.

Lily said...

Lets keep up the climate change/ global warming links though- Dubya will be gone and replaced by another like him. But what difference does it make if we are in a world of shit? From NRDC: "Katrina destroyed the fantasy that we can
blithely go on increasing our
dangerous dependence on oil -- whether imported
or domestic. Our oil-addicted
economy is just too vulnerable to supply
disruptions.... The solution
is NOT to drill and destroy
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- or our
beautiful coastlines -- as many
in Congress are now suggesting. Drilling in the
Arctic would not have any
impact on gas prices until 2025, and even then it
would only reduce prices at
the pump by a trivial 1.5 cents per gallon. Our
nation simply does not have
enough oil reserves to affect world oil prices.
The only way out of this mess
is to reduce our appetite for oil by improving
the fuel economy of our vehicles
(which consume 40 percent of our oil) and by
relying on smarter, cleaner and
renewable ways to power our economy.

Katrina also exposed the fiction that we can
dredge, bulldoze and fill millions
of acres of coastal wetlands without paying a
price. Wetland ecosystems are
Mother Nature's perfect buffer against
catastrophic storm surges. Destroy that
buffer and you destroy the last line of defense,
not only for New Orleans but
for a host of other American cities. In this
case, as in so many others, what's
good for the wildlife of coastal America is also
indispensable to its people.
We are part of nature.

Katrina demolished the pretense that we needn't
reckon with global warming.
While no single hurricane can be directly linked
to global warming, climate
scientists agree that we are entering an epoch of
warming oceans, rising sea
levels and much more intense storms. We know full
well what kind of pollution
controls are required to reverse this trend. If
we don't act, Katrina will be
our future. You can't say she didn't warn us.

Finally, Katrina tore the lid off one of our
nation's most shameful truths:
that petrochemical plants, toxic waste sites, oil
refineries and other
industrial threats to human health are most often
sited next to low-income
minority communities. The rest of America
regularly averts its eyes from this
injustice. But with the poorest neighborhoods of
New Orleans drowning in a
hazardous sea of fuel, sewage and chemicals, it's
hard not to notice just which
of our citizens are paying the ultimate price.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Thanks, Bill, but did you mean to link to this story?

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Thanks, Lily. Do you have a link handy?

Lily said...

Hmm It was sent to me via one of their listserves- thats why I did not stick to Bitch etiquette and link. It helps when THEY post a link, but on this occasion they did not.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

Not a problem. Thanks :)