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Monday, September 12, 2005

The Fourth Estate's Fifth Columnists

Jack Kelly: No shame
The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed
Sunday, September 11, 2005

"The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.

Reporters are supposed to at least pretend to be objective and unbiased, aren't they?


Blogger flippityflopitty said...

It took a disaster of biblical proportion. President George W. Bush says he takes full responsibility. Now, all the apologists are coming out of the woodwork pointing out how great the federal response actually was. Maybe Michael Brown resigned too soon. I guess blaming the victims didnt work out as planned.

9/13/2005 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger flippityflopitty said...

Just a followup:
Fri 8/26 Bush declares emergency and directs DHS & FEMA to coordinate disaster relief; Army Corps activates teams.
Sat 8/27 National Hurricane Director Max Mayfield notifies Nagin this is the worst case scenario - mandatory evacuation needed.
Sun 8/28 Gov Bill Richardson offers NG troops to Gov Blanco; National Hurricane Director Max Mayfield briefs President Bush.
President calls for mandatory evacuation but decision already made by Nagin & Blanco; Coast Guard preparing to deploy; (Unkown number of) LA NG Troops on the ground in NO;
Mon 8/29 Hurricane strikes at 8:00 am; levee breaks, Michael Brown arrives in Baton Rouge; Brownie requests 1,000 more FEMA employees and gives them 2 days to arrive.
Tue 8/30 DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff activates the NRP and declares Katrina a disaster of national significance.
Wed 8/31 3000 LA NG Troops on the ground; Nagin & Blanco plead for more help from feds.
Thu 9/1 NG troops from other states finally authorized to go to NO and begin deploying; interviews with chertoff and brown find them cluelees regarding people stranded at convention center

Standard timeline? Unprecedented support? No one is questioning what was accomplished as far as response; everyone is question preparedness and response time. This is the problem the National Response Plan of 2004 was supposed to fix - we cant rely on standard timelines of the past. It is a post 9/11 world, is it not?

Chertoff waited until after the hurricane passed to invoke NRP even though he was given authority by the president 2 days before it struck. NG troops werent deployed from outside the state until 3 days after the hurricane.

Imagine if the massive response in the 72-96 hour window was perfomed 24-48 hours after the hurricane hit. There would be NO nay-sayers, not one.

Bush handed the baton to Chertoff and he dropped it. Luckily, they had Brownie to fall on his sword.

9/13/2005 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

To which apologists do you refer? I haven't heard anyone say the fed response was "great". What I see is for every one sober voice in the media with some sense of perspective and proportion there are ten Bush-haters playing reporter driven by the emotion of this disaster to finally lose control and jump at the chance to harpoon their Great White Whale.

I'm talking about Aaron Brown, Chris Matthews, Jack Cafferty, Keith Olbermann. Among others.

You are kidding yourself that Bush could have done anything differently and silenced the "nay-sayers". The Bush-haters hate Bush. Get it? No matter what he does they blame him. Rational observers aportion some blame to Bush, some here, some there, and the myopic Bush-haters go: AHA! See! Even his own apologists blame him!


9/13/2005 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger flippityflopitty said...

So the point of your posting is to say "Bush-haters hate Bush", "Clinton-haters hate Clinton", "Grateful Dead haters hate the Dead"? Or that the media will say anything about anyone or anything (including Bush-bashing, etc.) to make ratings?

If there was an ounce of blame to be passed onto Nagin and Blanco, we heard about it. If you stayed in NO despite the warnings, some opined it was their fault regardless of the circumstances. I heard about the "corrupt" louisiana legislature. And I heard about the poor federal response, sometimes referring to FEMA, sometimes referring to Bush. The apologists rarely, if ever, refer to Bush directly and the nay-sayers level nearly all the blame squarely on Bush.

Reporters are subjective and biased just like everyone else. Jack Kelly appears to be yet another one. I read the complete piece and what Jack Kelly fails to report (which I saw live on Fox & CNN) is that the NG Troops were waiting for orders for 48-72 hours after the hurricane hit and 5 days after Bush directed Chertoff to take the ball. what people are directing their ire at is the federal lack of "preparedness & response" during hours 0-72. The apologists, to this day, keep making excuses for the president (i.e., the governor wouldnt give up control, we didnt expect the levees to break, Louisiana spent federal money on pork projects instead of the levees, poor people cant afford swimming lessons)- (its true, they dont refer to the response as great).

"The federal response to katrina was not as portrayed" - what TV was he watching? I saw heroics, i saw suffering, i saw the trucks loading and rolling. I didnt see the Army Corps failed attempts at plugging the levees, i didnt see the convention center (reportedly hell), i didnt see the response to repair the refineries (reportedly a high priority). I was deluged with "human interest" - not particularly my interest.

9/14/2005 01:39:00 PM  

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