The Fifth Horseman: Media Criticism of the Chickenhawk Brigade

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Media Criticism of the Chickenhawk Brigade

Today must be my birthday. Honestly, this is amazing.

It seems that the Main Stream Media has finally decided to grow some balls, criticize the bungled Federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

First up was MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who made these statements on MSNBC.

No one is suggesting that mayors or governors in the afflicted areas, nor the federal government, should be able to stop hurricanes. Lord knows, no one is suggesting that we should ever prioritize levee improvement for a below-sea-level city, ahead of $454 million worth of trophy bridges for the politicians of Alaska.

But, nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping the country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the reopening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer. Yet they couldn’t even keep one school or power station from being devastated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans — even though the government had heard all the “chatter” from the scientists and city planners and hurricane centers and some group whose purposes the government couldn’t quite discern… a group called The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

Amazing. Simply wonderful. If you wish, you can view the full video here.

This was followed up by Meet The Press's Tim Russert, who leveled his own criticism of the government's pitiful response. Here's a choice quote:

And the reason that we need to figure out what went wrong is not just so's that the red guys can point at the blue guys and the blue guys at the red guys, it's because Homeland Security is supposed to make us safer. Based upon what we've seen, they have failed miserably. There will be another hurricane, there will be another terrorist attack, and when that happens, we cannot survive another response like we've seen in our southlands.

You can get the full video here.

Wow. Just wow. Perhaps this disaster has brought about a change in media for the better in the media. Maybe the media will stop spewing out infotainment and start actually asking reasonable questions of the establishment.

CNN's Anderson Cooper has started.

Hell, even Fox News correspondents have begun to question the Administration's shoddy response to the tragedy. You need to watch this video from Hannity and Colmes. Both Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera were furious about the Administration's awful response to Hurricane Katrina. When presented with the horrid truth from Smith, Hannity began his usual spinning: "...let's get this in perspective..." However, Smith cut him off, screaming "This is perspective!" Geraldo Rivera appeared on the same program, holding a child and crying, in hopes of bringing the inhumane conditions in New Orleans to light. Of course Geraldo was, as usual, grandstanding and promoting his favorite person: Geraldo. However, a kernel of rebellious altruism can nevertheless be detected at the heart of his melodramatic self-promotion. And, for a man as self-absorbed as Geraldo, this is monumentally significant.

These people aren't shrill left-wingers. They are correspondents from Fox News. And even they realized that the Administration fucked up big time. And now New Orleans is paying for that mistake with blood.

We pay these people to protect us, and they failed. Now, our own citizens are dying for their mistakes. There needs to be some accountability, and some heads need to roll. The Administration, Bush and Chertoff included, fucked up big time. And they need to face the consequences of their failure.

This is dereliction of duty, my friends. It was the duty of Chertoff and Bush to protect us. They failed. And, now, they need to pay for that failure. There needs to be some regime change around here. The nation simply can't afford to have that man in office for a second longer. Not if we want to make it out of this term alive.

I saw the video on Fox with Geraldo crying about the babies. It was pathetic. He was being the baby. He takes a baby from a woman and cries into the camera, they cut away from him and go to Sheppard Smith and then back to Geraldo. Geraldo now has another baby in his arms and asks the mother her name. After she replies, she starts to try to tell Geraldo about missing family members and he cuts her off so he can cry to the camera again with a baby in his arms. He did not care about the woman only the ratings. If he really cared, he would have put the baby down and brought the woman some of his water and taken them with him when he left town.
Oh, I'm not going to argue with you there.

Geraldo Rivera's number one priority is always more publicty for himself, Geraldo Rivera.

And the stunt with the baby was, indeed, a shameless publicty grab.

However, I've come to expect this sort of thing from Geraldo, so I am hardly surprised.

What is surprising is that Geraldo was using a despicable publicty stunt to criticize the Administration's sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina, as opposed to using a despicable publicity stunt to promote the typical pro-Bush party line of Fox News.

For Geraldo, that's a big step. However, I still have little respect for him as a human being. Geraldo is, and always will be, a selfish publicity whore above all else.
Hello. I am sitting here watching Fox and they are back to form criticizing the mayor and concentrating on how nice Texas is. It sure was fun while it lasted. Bill O'Reilly will be on soon... get the sick bag ready!

Mr Fox in CA waiting for the Big One.
Hmmm...I can hardly say I'm surprised. Fox News is utterly incapable of sticking to the truth for longer than a couple of newsdays before reverting to its usual propoganda.

However, one important thing should be noted. There seems to be a rift of opinion in the Fox News team. It seems that the field reporters that are actually on the ground in New Orleans (Shepard Smith, etc.) are the ones demanding accountability from the Administration, while the more prestigous studio reporters (Hannity, O'Reilly, etc.) remaining safely at home are sticking to the usual Pro-Administration Party line.

It could be interesting to see if anything comes of this rift. I doubt anything will, but it will still be interesting.
If you want to see real journalism that goes on being real journalism for more than just a few days, watch Olbermann. He's been the kind of journalist he is for long before Katrina and will continue to be so long after. Too bad it's taken so many people so long to learn it.
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