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Old 09-03-2005, 10:49 AM   #1
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CNN grows a pair, or, The Rebellion of the Talking Heads

The big disconnect on New Orleans

The official version; then there's the in-the-trenches version

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Diverging views of a crumbling New Orleans emerged Thursday, with statements by some federal officials in contradiction with grittier, more desperate views from the streets. By late Friday response to those stranded in the city was more visible.

But the conflicting views on Thursday came within hours, sometimes minutes of each of each other, as reflected in CNN's transcripts. The speakers include Michael Brown, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, evacuee Raymond Cooper, CNN correspondents and others. Here's what they had to say:

Conditions in the Convention Center

FEMA chief Brown: We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need. (See video of Brown explaining how news reports alerted FEMA to convention center chaos. -- 2:11)


Mayor Nagin: The convention center is unsanitary and unsafe, and we are running out of supplies for the 15,000 to 20,000 people. (Hear Nagin's angry demand for soldiers. 1:04)


CNN Producer Kim Segal: It was chaos. There was nobody there, nobody in charge. And there was nobody giving even water. The children, you should see them, they're all just in tears. There are sick people. We saw... people who are dying in front of you.


Evacuee Raymond Cooper: Sir, you've got about 3,000 people here in this -- in the Convention Center right now. They're hungry. Don't have any food. We were told two-and-a-half days ago to make our way to the Superdome or the Convention Center by our mayor. And which when we got here, was no one to tell us what to do, no one to direct us, no authority figure.


Uncollected corpses

Brown: That's not been reported to me, so I'm not going to comment. Until I actually get a report from my teams that say, "We have bodies located here or there," I'm just not going to speculate.


Segal: We saw one body. A person is in a wheelchair and someone had pushed (her) off to the side and draped just like a blanket over this person in the wheelchair. And then there is another body next to that. There were others they were willing to show us. ( See CNN report, 'People are dying in front of us' -- 4:36 )


Evacuee Cooper: They had a couple of policemen out here, sir, about six or seven policemen told me directly, when I went to tell them, hey, man, you got bodies in there. You got two old ladies that just passed, just had died, people dragging the bodies into little corners. One guy -- that's how I found out. The guy had actually, hey, man, anybody sleeping over here? I'm like, no. He dragged two bodies in there. Now you just -- I just found out there was a lady and an old man, the lady went to nudge him. He's dead.


Hospital evacuations

Brown: I've just learned today that we ... are in the process of completing the evacuations of the hospitals, that those are going very well.


CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta: It's gruesome. I guess that is the best word for it. If you think about a hospital, for example, the morgue is in the basement, and the basement is completely flooded. So you can just imagine the scene down there. But when patients die in the hospital, there is no place to put them, so they're in the stairwells. It is one of the most unbelievable situations I've seen as a doctor, certainly as a journalist as well. There is no electricity. There is no water. There's over 200 patients still here remaining. ...We found our way in through a chopper and had to land at a landing strip and then take a boat. And it is exactly ... where the boat was traveling where the snipers opened fire yesterday, halting all the evacuations. ( Watch the video report of corpses stacked in stairwells -- 4:45 )


Dr. Matthew Bellew, Charity Hospital: We still have 200 patients in this hospital, many of them needing care that they just can't get. The conditions are such that it's very dangerous for the patients. Just about all the patients in our services had fevers. Our toilets are overflowing. They are filled with stool and urine. And the smell, if you can imagine, is so bad, you know, many of us had gagging and some people even threw up. It's pretty rough.(Mayor's video: Armed addicts fighting for a fix -- 1:03)


Violence and civil unrest

Brown: I've had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they're banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I've had no reports of that.


CNN's Chris Lawrence: From here and from talking to the police officers, they're losing control of the city. We're now standing on the roof of one of the police stations. The police officers came by and told us in very, very strong terms it wasn't safe to be out on the street. (Watch the video report on explosions and gunfire -- 2:12)


The federal response:

Brown: Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well.


Homeland Security Director Chertoff: Now, of course, a critical element of what we're doing is the process of evacuation and securing New Orleans and other areas that are afflicted. And here the Department of Defense has performed magnificently, as has the National Guard, in bringing enormous resources and capabilities to bear in the areas that are suffering.


Crowd chanting outside the Convention Center: We want help.


Nagin: They don't have a clue what's going on down there.


Phyllis Petrich, a tourist stranded at the Ritz-Carlton: They are invisible. We have no idea where they are. We hear bits and pieces that the National Guard is around, but where? We have not seen them. We have not seen FEMA officials. We have seen no one.


Security

Brown: I actually think the security is pretty darn good. There's some really bad people out there that are causing some problems, and it seems to me that every time a bad person wants to scream of cause a problem, there's somebody there with a camera to stick it in their face. ( See Jack Cafferty's rant on the government's 'bungled' response -- 0:57)


Chertoff: In addition to local law enforcement, we have 2,800 National Guard in New Orleans as we speak today. One thousand four hundred additional National Guard military police trained soldiers will be arriving every day: 1,400 today, 1,400 tomorrow and 1,400 the next day.


Nagin: I continue to hear that troops are on the way, but we are still protecting the city with only 1,500 New Orleans police officers, an additional 300 law enforcement personnel, 250 National Guard troops, and other military personnel who are primarily focused on evacuation.


Lawrence: The police are very, very tense right now. They're literally riding around, full assault weapons, full tactical gear, in pickup trucks. Five, six, seven, eight officers. It is a very tense situation here.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/kat...nse/index.html
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:52 AM   #2
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Should we ever be surprised when the Bush Administration lies to us? The difference this time is that there's no Pentagon gag order on our press here, unlike Iraq.

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Old 09-03-2005, 06:33 PM   #3
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Should we ever be surprised when the Bush Administration lies to us? The difference this time is that there's no Pentagon gag order on our press here, unlike Iraq.

Melon
I'm sure the situation would have been rosey with Kerry in charge. In my opinion it is more a Federal government problem than a presidential administration problem. FEMA, local, state and federal government have a lot of blame to share also. The politicizing of this tragedy is a big part of the problem.
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Old 09-03-2005, 06:48 PM   #4
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It's not just people on CNN who have developed testicles. This may be old news here (haven't read through all the threads) but amazingly, Fox news has 'renegade' reporters on the street who are refusing to toe the Fox line. I have a new found respect for Shepard Smith and Geraldo (alright, that's kind of hard to say) for telling it like it is. They are there and they know what's going on.

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/09/02.html#a4763
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Old 09-03-2005, 06:49 PM   #5
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quote:
I'm sure the situation would have been rosey with Kerry in charge. In my opinion it is more a Federal government problem than a presidential administration problem. FEMA, local, state and federal government have a lot of blame to share also. The politicizing of this tragedy is a big part of the problem.



It sounds like you're politicizing. What happened to people in charge accepting responsibility as well as praise?
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:00 PM   #6
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It sounds like you're politicizing. What happened to people in charge accepting responsibility as well as praise? [/B][/QUOTE]

Accepting responsibility or placing blame? I don't think you can pin responsibility or blame for mother natures wrath on the president, whoever that might be. But if that is your thing, rock on !!
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:11 PM   #7
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Don't assume.

I think most in the Fed Gov. haven't done their job.

The disaster couldn't be stopped but the preparation was supposed to be for the response.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:26 PM   #8
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I agree whole heartedly. But the planning goes on at all levels and political parties. I don't think the president attends many FEMA planning meetings. It's just a horrible human tragedy. God bless all effected.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by medmo
It's not just people on CNN who have developed testicles. This may be old news here (haven't read through all the threads) but amazingly, Fox news has 'renegade' reporters on the street who are refusing to toe the Fox line. I have a new found respect for Shepard Smith and Geraldo (alright, that's kind of hard to say) for telling it like it is. They are there and they know what's going on.

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/09/02.html#a4763
I was just going to post that .
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:31 PM   #10
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We should distinguish between CNN reporting the news and the talking heads joining the "outrage" over the lack of instantaneous response to every need.

Perhaps there is an element of injured pride in seeing this type of suffering. Rather than the endless fingerpointing, perhaps we can approach such a catastrophy (bigger than 9/11) with constructive solutions.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:36 PM   #11
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From Der Spiegel

Quote:
It would be one thing if President Bush and his inner circle - Dick Cheney was vacationing in Wyoming; Condi Rice was shoe shopping at Ferragamo's on Fifth Avenue and attended "Spamalot" before bloggers chased her back to Washington; and Andy Card was off in Maine- lacked empathy but could get the job done. But it is a chilling lack of empathy combined with a stunning lack of efficiency that could make this administration implode.
This is what is unacceptable.

And I don't believe any reasonable, sentient being would defend it.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
We should distinguish between CNN reporting the news and the talking heads joining the "outrage" over the lack of instantaneous response to every need.

Perhaps there is an element of injured pride in seeing this type of suffering. Rather than the endless fingerpointing, perhaps we can approach such a catastrophy (bigger than 9/11) with constructive solutions.


without outrage, where is the impetus for such solutions? solutions come from rage, sadness, anger, sorrow, and the conviction that this must never happen again.

injured pride? what do you mean by that?

it is from this anger, from the news media reporting on the story because THEY were the first responders, that we can then approach these catastrophies with constructive solutions.

however, it's rather clear, when it comes to dealing with the catastrophic -- and these scenes really creep me out because they look, to me, like what DC would look like if godforbid a dirty bomb were to level Capitol Hill -- the federal government deserves a big, fat F.

that's why my original thread was not really about the outrage, but about the huge gap between what the reporters were seeing and what Michael Brown, Chertoff, Bush, Landrieu, and the others were saying about the situation.

THAT's where the outrage comes from. not a lack of instantaneous response.

what's been happening today should have been happening on Wednesday or Thursday.

24 hours is an eternity if you're a newborn, on dialysis, diabetic, have lung cancer, emphysemia, are elderly.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:41 PM   #13
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I think the outrage is pretty warranted.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:47 PM   #14
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Celine Dion just had a complete breakdown on CNN.
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:48 PM   #15
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Originally posted by Irvine511
injured pride? what do you mean by that?
The often made statement that this should not happen in the US. As if we can withstand any natural disaster. As if we cannot have people suffering (that's for other countries).

As if, other countries should suffer when hit and we alone should be able to relocate/feed/house/care for over a million people within 24 hours.



Outrage doesn't care much weight when done from the comfort of our living rooms
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