« Let the spin begin | Home | Rescue Me doesn't pull its punches »

September 5, 2005


Go, journalists, go +

Some of the most impressive and diligent responders to the Katrina disaster this week have been our journalists. There's been some great work by TV journalists like Ted Koppel, Anderson Cooper, Tim Russert, hell, even Tucker Carlson, who seems to have gone through a dramatic awakening and has lately been showing up on camera in a dirty shirt with matted, greasy hair, ranting about "the shelter from hell" and the dead bodies piling up on the streets.

The media blew it so often during the start of the Iraq war and in covering the expanding scope of the Bush doctrine, so it's extra gratifying to see them getting scrappy and feisty again, demanding answers of government officials with questions like "Why haven't people been evacuated? Why are people dying in there?", asking Michael Chertoff how the government could possibly have been surprised by the flooding that has killed thousands of people, asking the FEMA Under Secretary "Don't you guys watch television?" and asking LA Senators exactly who they are angry at when they see bodies being eaten by rats on the street.

It's been especially great this week, when we haven't had much to be proud of in this country, to see our media standing up to the government administration that they rolled over for again and again over the last few years.

I don't know if any of the fire burning within the little bow-tied soul of Tucker Carlson is going to survive after he leaves the Gulf coast, but I sure hope it does. The administration is probably going to try hard to shift media attention away from the botched evacuation and needless deaths of innocent people (the disaster they are responsible for) to infrastructure recovery efforts in the flooded city of New Orleans and all the other wiped out cities (the disaster they have less direct responsiblity for.) It will be up to our journalists to keep asking the hard questions.

UPDATE: Here's a first-person account from a Reuters photographer who was in New Orleans from two days before the hurricane hit until the weekend, who recounts how dangerous the city was for anyone perceived as a part of the establishment, and also how desperate some evacuees were to get the attention of the media.

categories: Media, Politics
posted by amy at 10:49 AM | #

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: