I’m feeling extremely pessimistic about the press, these days, especially as they seem to be in a collective meltdown that precludes any chance of common sense and reality tearing them away from their carefully constructed memes.
Ed Morrissey is wondering if this disturbing report will shake the press out of their collective, mindless – almost sonambulant – chant of “Bush’s Fault” and make them finally ask questions regarding the sheer ineptitude of Mayor Ray Nagin (whom the press loves) and Governor Kathleen Blanco (whom they do not love but will protect).
Writes Ed:Mayor Nagin’s failure to follow the emergency operations plan again resulted in more deaths and unnecessary panic. The hospitals should have been the first sites evacuated when the voluntary evac order got published, and certainly should have been at the top of the list for the mandatory evacuation. The buses should have rolled to the hospitals before anywhere else, but even without the buses, the mayor’s office should have contacted the hospitals and ordered them emptied by the Friday before landfall.
Will this gruesome discovery finally wake up the Exempt Media to the utter failure of New Orleans city management in minimizing the deaths and hardship of Katrina’s effects?
The short answer: No. The mainstream press still…STILL…has not reported, and clearly has NO INTENTION of reporting that both the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are swearing that the STATE HSD would not allow them into New Olreans to give aid and comfort to those trapped in the Superdome and elsewhere. The press will barely allow themselves to admit that thousands of buses were not deployed to evactuate New Orleans residents. They are not interested, at this point, in facts – they are interested in memes and whatever divisions they can foment. They are interested in race-baiting and the promotion of the patently – demonstrably false notion – that President Bush “hates black people…”
I think we are witnessing the utter self-destruction of the press, before our eyes, and what is destroying them is their hate. Rampant, out of control, hyperventilating, leering and damn near carnivorous hate, directed at half the country through a one-man target, George W. Bush.
Hate consumes the hater. It has always been this way. Martin Luther King said it, and he knew what he was talking about. He also said that “lies never last forever…” When the press is done screaming about “10,000 bodies,” when they are done mischaracterizing and whitewashing “funding cuts to the levee,” when they have shouted themselves hoarse over the hundreds of thousands of ways in which that one person – George W. Bush – both caused the hurricane and precipiated every problem and tragedy which developed in its aftermath, they will still be faced with some uncomfortable truths:
Max Mayfield, the Director of the US Hurricane Center has said repeatedly that he called Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco and said, “get those people out of there.” Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco did not do that. They did not evacuate the hospitals. They did not evacuate the people who had no other means of transportation. They did not call for mandatory evacuations until very late. Gov. Kathleen yeah-well-I-guess-I-really-need-to-call-in-troops Blanco was clearly in over her indecisive head from the start, but “didn’t know” she had to invite the feds in to help her, and when she was offered the opportunity to federalize the catastrophe needed “24hrs to think” about it before rejecting the offer.
FEMA did not cover themselves in glory, it is true – although more evidence is coming forward that they outperformed their responses to both Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Andrew – and President Bush was a little slow getting out of the gate – he seemed that way after 9/11, if you recall – but the press’ absolute reluctance to discuss the failure of the (it must be said, DEMOCRAT) leadership in Louisiana is going to contribute to their already expanding credibility problems. As Rich Lowry says – to the press, the finger of blame can only point one way.
President Bush is slated to address the nation on Thursday, the 15th. On the Catholic Calendar, that is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows – follows the 14th, the Triumph of the Cross. It will be interesting to see what he has to say. I am certain he will be short on blame-gaming it and long on conciliatory tones. But I am praying – PRAYING – that he brings Michael Gerson in to write that speech. No one else has begun to capture Bush’s style, and he doesn’t pronounce anyone half as well!
Although, really, it doesn’t matter who writes the speech or what he says. The members of the fourth estate (with a few exceptions, but very few) are already writing their hate-screeds about it.