Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lessons of Hurricane Katrina

The meaning of the disastrous Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans and the Gulf Coast ten years ago, is now in clear focus.  Law professor and commentator Glenn Reynolds writes (link) that “the extremism [in the media reporting] … did real harm.  New Orleans, a city battered by disaster, was portrayed as … ‘a snake pit of anarchy, death, looting, raping, marauding thugs, suffering innocents, a shattered infrastructure, a gutted police force, insufficient troop levels and criminally negligent government planning.’ ”  But, as we now know, much of the worst said was profoundly untrue.  The motive of the ultraliberals behind all their lying propaganda was to damage the Bush presidency, and they achieved their aim quite well, but once again, as it is all too clear now, they showed they have no moral scruples and that they could care less who else was damaged in the process.  As Reynolds writes, “by playing up anarchy and danger [in New Orleans], [the liberal media] may even have delayed the arrival of aid, as rescuers feared to go in without armed escort.  Overall, a horrible media performance.”  The ongoing drumbeat of lies also probably stoked some lawlessness that would not have been there otherwise if the media had told the truth.  Moreover, the distorted reporting perhaps discouraged post-Katrina business investment to an area perceived as especially prone to violence and social breakdown.

The disaster that was New Orleans after Katrina was primarily the responsibility of the gross negligence and incompetence by the Democrat black mayor and the grandmotherly-looking, deer-in-headlights female Democrat governor, whose deadly non-management and mismanagement were vigorously covered up by the liberal media.  President George Bush played a role in not directing the federal relief agencies to step in more aggressively early on in the face of local and state abdication of their primary responsibility.  Finally, Bush and his Republican brain trust showed great political incompetence as well.  Bush’s abject failure to push back against politically-motivated lies, unfortunately a theme throughout his presidency, hurt him, hurt Republicans, hurt the ongoing political cause of true American patriots, and hurt the American body politic.  Overall a very bad showing by everyone involved.

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