Wednesday, July 2, 2008


One of the most tragic things about Hurricane Katrina is the way the press reported the situation. They (the press) keyed into the looting and houses, businesses and buildings that were destroyed and the mistakes made by the contractors and government. They rarely touched on the lives that were destroyed. I know they did, but it always seemed as an afterthought. One thing that they press seems to do lately is sensationalize anything that they think can generate interest and sell newspapers, attract viewers or get web-hits. When did we lose integrity in the news? Did we ever have it? Why does news only discuss the tragedy, the deaths, the misanthropic moments that are portrayed daily in the press? Could it be that the population thrives on the misanthropic, the hatred and distrust of the human species? (I call this the "NASCAR syndrome". People are watching to see accidents, otherwise it is just high speed traffic - nothing more, nothing less) I know that I find a story that generates a large volume of reader comment to be more entertaining and affirms my belief that the average reader doesn't comprehend half of what they read.
No, this isn't a new FEMA delivery. It is simply a roof still submerged in the Bayou and probably will be for years to come. It doesn't appear that they whole house is below, but you never know. 
This is an all too common sign on many of the houses in St Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward. A good number of houses have taken to marking their houses to denote that they are coming back or just their general frustration. Most have just let the city tear down the houses and moved on. The press talked about the looters, but they didn't mention that they were mostly looking for food... instead they focused on the few people that went after the 40" flat screen. 
This house might be a disaster, but on either side of it is an empty pad (a common sight). You can imagine what "nightmares" were for his neighbors.

Who is to blame for this? Oh, I don't mean the hurricane. I mean the aftermath. The clean-up, the re-building, the restoration. Some people in the press blame FEMA. Some blame Bush for being stupid and slow to act. The locals I talked to blame the governor for not mobilizing the National Guard in time or allowing them to help. There is plenty of blame to go around and when all the water clears we can all point our fingers at the profiteering, the nepotism in awarding business, and the foot dragging on getting supplies to where they were needed most. So many people took advantage of a catastrophe while thinking that they were just delaying the rebuilding of houses - they forgot about the lives that filled the houses. So much foot dragging by all caused people to go elsewhere to pick up the pieces.

Someone please kick me off my soapbox! 

No comments: