Monday, October 31, 2005

WWL and the AP, our "news" sources

Putting the ill in shill and the Associated Press have stepped-up to the plate big time for Mayor Nagin, yet again. In an article outlining the Mayor's possible political future (link), our largest media outlet subtly makes its case for Mayor Nagin's reelection based upon a sort of cordial reception at a town hall meeting. Note this happens to be one town hall meeting which the Mayor actually attended, though 30 minutes late.

The usual arguments are put forth that the Federal government was responsible for the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, despite statements to the contrary within the City's own disaster plan. I'd reference said plan, had it not been removed from the City's website, but the New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness mission statement reads:

[OEP] is responsible for the response and coordination of those actions needed to protect the lives and property of its citizens from natural or man-made disasters as well as emergency planning for the City of New Orleans.

Yet, Mayor Nagin, despite the facts, believes he deserves credit for the, "1.5 million people ... evacuated from the New Orleans area...." And and the AP let that statement and others stand unchallenged.

Well, not me.

First, Mayor Nagin is only responsible for the roughly 450,000 living in Orleans Parish. Second, of that much smaller number, between 50,000 and 100,000 remained in the City; not quite as impressive. Third, between 25,000 and 40,000 people filled Shelters of Last Resort, while 200-400 publicly-owned buses remained idle and subsequently waterlogged. Fourth, receiving cordial receptions at public meetings does NOT equal electoral support and it is irresponsible for any reporter to insinuate otherwise.

Finally, the author of this article, Kevin McGill, states that the "[Mayor Nagin's] tearful, anti-federal government tirade on live radio a few weeks ago was an aberration." I guess Mr. McGill didn't bother to look up the Oprah interview.


At 6:43 PM, Blogger Peter Fenerk said...

Nagin will authomatically get several thousand votes against him from the police and firemen who were left to guard life and property with no food, water, communications, or emergency power. Contrast to Jefferson Parish where the sheriff's deputies got three hot meals a day, cots and shelter, and worked only 12 hours shifts. It's called PREPAREDNESS. Nagin can't even spell the word.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Jimmy Huck said...

peter fenerk - Not that I don't think Aaron Broussard did a good job during the immediate aftermath of the hurricane; I actually thought he was quite with it. But, just as Nagin has his sitting busses problem to contend with, Broussard has his catastrophic disaster pump-worker evacuation policy to contend with. Is this also what you call PREPAREDNESS?

How will this translate at the polls? Who knows? Will the three squares, cots, and 12-hr shifts for JP police, firefighters, and EMT workers be enough to offset Broussard's failures regarding manning the pumping stations?

The fact is that Nagin, in spite of the mistakes he has made, is perceived by many, myself included, as having done as good a job as any leader could have been expected to do under the circumstances. But, maybe this impression is not shared by the majority. We'll see at the polls. I'm prepared to live with the results, one way or the other. Are you?

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Scott M. Phillips said...

There's a major difference between what Mr. Broussard did and what Mr. Nagin did not do.

Aaron's fault was due to a bad plan, a plan which was discussed openly amongst many different people within the Jefferson Parish government and public at-large. The fact that it was a bad idea, partially or completely, is not Mr. Broussard's fault, unless he decided to repeat the mistake.

Mr. Nagin must be faulted for not even following his own plan, then trying to blame everyone from the Governor to the President for his mistakes.

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who was responsible-

1. not stocking even a few days food and water in the superdome. i know that no building in the city can withstand a cat 5. why not?

2. supressing cellular communications for at least a week after the storm.

3. promulgating bogus evacuation routes ("cross the ccc") when no traffic was allowed to cross the ccc.

4. forcibly evacuating well prepared law abiding citizens from dry homes while others suffered in attics and on interstates.

5. an incredible lack of communication with we common citizens (try the new orleans situaion report if you want some really obsolete information)

put me down as Anybody But Nagin ABN. and jackie wiil not get my vote either


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