Weekly BlogScan: Katrina and the Mother of All Spin
The gale-force spin of Hurricane Katrina has nothing on the response in the blogosphere. Before the remnants of the storm had vanished from the weather radar, pundits and commenters were already busy pointing fingers. From the marginally plausible to the seriously looney, many bloggers thought it would be more helpful to establish who caused the disaster than to organize relief.
Horrified by the length of time taken to purchase a candy-bar in this post-Katrina world, Blunderford tells his readers why "I Won't Contribute to Katrina. He advises, "You want disaster relief? Impeach George W. Bush." And his reaction is comparatively mild.
Daily Kos lays bare the unconscionable crimes of our President in a comment about a moment captured from CNN. Above the caption "Bush: I'm incredibly proud of the Coast Guard", we see... well, let Kos describe it:
Notice the nicely positioned Coast Guard helicopters in the background, not rescuing people and delivering supplies. Notice the uniformed personnel standing at attention in the back, providing a nice backdrop to Bush, not rescuing people and delivering supplies...
At the same site, a diary by Patricia Taylor lays out talking points to tie lack of hurricane relief to the war in Iraq. She asks "Where are the Louisiana National Guard?" and answers, essentially, that they are "blowin' in the wind." (I paraphrase.) Paul at Wizbang (who is there on the ground—in fact, in the Superdome) has a different answer for Taylor's question. "Actually if [she had] used Google news [she] would have known the Guard is in the Superdome. (among other places)"
Jmaximus (aka John Bill) is tweaked about the lack of foreign help for the US in recovering from this disaster. "Where is Jan Jan the Norwegian Man of late?" John asks, referring to the suggestion by Norway's UN Ambassador, Jan Egelands, that the United States was being "stingy" with relief funds for the 2004 tsumani.
With tongue firmly in cheek, John Burgess left a comment for Wizbang (carrying Katrina news from the Superdome), in response to a post decrying the partisan spin on Katrina:
You guys have clearly forgotten Karl Rove's Super-Secret Time Machine(TM) [SSTM]. Karl went waay back and started the Industrial Revolution--see, it's always Halliburton! That started the CO2 thing, which lead to global warming, which lead to catastrophic hurricanes every other week... It was only THEN that he had the gall to pull the [National Guard] out of LA to make the Democrats, the poor, and the undocumented aliens suffer this untoward fate.
Power Line blog quoted an AP story from August 28 to show that President Bush is not being given credit for steps taken to get help on the ground before the storm hit New Orleans. "Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference [last Sunday, as they called for evacuation], said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding." On Viewpoint Journal, David Flanagan added to this the observation that the "President declared that whole area a disaster area before Katrina hit so that FEMA could move into the area and prepare for recovery efforts. Which they did."
The spin to left and right inspired Chris Muir's Day By Day ("The best cartoon you're not reading."—Michael King) comic for today. Just four days after the storm dribbled out over the Mississippi Basin, Chris' characters drink coffee as they muse on reaction to the disaster. Don't skip it, click on the link!
CThomasEsq of DeToqueville Blvd muses about "Root Causes" for the disaster on the Gulf, laying the blame squarely on ordinary drivers (you and me) for contributing to global warming. Oh, yeah, and President Bush for not signing the Kyoto Accords.
Okay, that does it! It must be true, -I- caused Hurricane Katrina. I mean, what is it, a giant moving mass of hot air? I rest my case.
And what does it matter? A few weeks from now, when every single person who can be rescued has been brought to safety—then is the time to explore who's at fault. Tort law being what it is, I guarantee this will happen. Meantime, there are better things to do than point fingers.
This week's BlogScan supplements the Special Edition posted Augest 30, 2005.
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