An Adversarial Media

So, when was it exactly that CNN grew a pair? This slapdown of the official administration line on New Orleans versus the reality is pure creamery goodness.

Also, if it wasn’t clear to everyone by now, FEMA head Michael Brown is the designated whipping boy. Don’t expect him to be around for too much longer. And good riddance.

Also, anyone wondering when the state and local authorities were going to take their share of the blame is advised to go here, where Nick Mamatas posts a message from a New Orleans refugee. Yes, there is more than enough blame to go around here.

21 thoughts on “An Adversarial Media

  1. I could barely believe it when I saw that page earlier this afternoon. It’s the sort of reality check I expect from The Daily Show, but not too many other outlets.

  2. Reminds me of the Jon Stewart bit about the Karl Rove scandal. “We’ve secretly replaced the White House press corps with actual reporters!

  3. Don’t expect him to be around much longer.

    Are you kidding? Do you know who his boss is? Expect him to be promoted.

  4. I dug into that IEM story a little bit after I saw Mieville’s notes. Another one of the subcontractors was James Lee Witt & Associates, which is run by Clinton’s FEMA director, universally acknowledged as the best in the agency’s history. So how does a plan to which they contribute turn out so badly? Did they not have enough input in the long run? Or did they contribute to a good plan which simply sat on the shelf unimplemented?

    Keep in mind that Mieville also comes down hard on Nagin’s weak performance record when it comes to dealing with hurricane threats in New Orleans. For all the massive screwups at the federal level, state and local authorities have a lot to answer for as well.

  5. 90,000 square miles of damages, roads and bridges, turn from N.O. to the florida
    border. You think it’s easy to move troops
    through there. The port is flooded, can’t
    really go through there. I guess, we could
    could try it; the way the Brits did it in
    1814-1815, but that’s not an easy route.
    Sure, Bush may cut back the growth in programs
    like the Army Corp of Engineers, an argument
    even the Times, proposed back in March, under
    Clinton, the Republican Congress, voted more
    money for the levees than the President.(link
    Eurota.. .August 26, 2005) The Governor and the Mayor failed on their side of the deal; by the way; the majority of NG troops are stateside, so don’t try that canard. It takes a good 72 hours
    to get the troops into the area; moving them any
    closer, would risk them getting flooded and waterlogged; like the NO public bus network;
    which was not utilized in any capacity

  6. Narciso79:

    “the majority of NG troops are stateside, so don’t try that canard.”

    Yeah, unfortunately, the troops that would be especially useful right now (and their equipment) is over in Iraq. A shame, that.

    You know, all the apologists for the absolutely appalling response time in this emergency forget the little things. Like those magical machines known as helicopters, which, you know, might have dropped supplies to tens of thousands of starving and thirsty people if someone had thought to think ahead, and if someone had bothered to tell FEMA director Michael Brown to turn on his goddamned TV so CNN could tell him where all the needy people were.

    Needless to say, I find your excuses for this administration’s criminally slow response time both crappy and unconvincing. Go peddle your junk somewhere else.

  7. Another argument presented by Soledad O’brien (sp?) was we had troops and supplies on the ground in Indonesia witin 2 days of the tsunami, but it took at least 5 for New Orleans. She mentioned this in an interview with the soon to be Medal of Freedom winner, FEMA head Michael Brown.

  8. Scalzi sez:

    Needless to say, I find your excuses for this administration’s criminally slow response time both crappy and unconvincing. Go peddle your junk somewhere else.

    ….well, at least I’ve got company in getting attacked for daring to think differently than “God”….

    John, I confess you’ve disappointed me – you like to present yourself as the voice of reason who only deals with “Facts” and “Logic” ….but you’re just another partisan knee-jerk critic.

    It’s a free country – do as you like. When you talk about writing, I enjoy you….guess I’ll pass on the rest.

    When every negative turn becomes yet another excuse to crap on the prez – you might need to take a good look in the mirror and truly consider your motivations. I’m not betting on it though….

  9. Chris Gabel:

    “But you’re just another partisan knee-jerk critic.”

    Chris, first off, you’ve clearly missed my recent rant about partisanship. Go read it. In it you’ll find links to me praising the president when I feel he deserves praise. This is emphatically not one of those times. I’m happy for you that you can find some way to still manage to respect this sad lot of incompetent schmucks, but I don’t really feel the need to do the same, and I especially don’t feel the need to treat an obvious click-and-paste attempt at political commentary with any sort of respect, especially when it has holes you can drive a friggin’ truck through.

    Non-partisan holes, incidentally, unless you can explain to me coherently how not putting helicopters in the air asap to deliver food and supplies to battered survivors of a hurricane is a partisan issue rather than a competence issue. I could give a shit how Michael Brown votes, but I care rather deeply that CNN could find his ass before he could.

    So, yeah, when someone comes trundling by with an argument I think is just a piece of crap, I’m going to call that argument a piece of crap. This jackass narciso79 so clearly cut-and-pasted his argument into this thread that it still has the formatting from the place he cut it from. Screw him. I treated him exactly as he deserved.

    If that disappoints and saddens you, I refer you to the site disclaimer, which should dispel any illusions you have about this site being anything other than a place for me to air my opinions. You’ll want to take particular note of points 7 and 9.

    Also please note the notices directly above the comments, particularly the one that begins “The proprietor generally responds to commenters in kind…” You may assume that I reponded to your comments exactly as I felt they merited. You are welcome to question my judgment, of course. But you know, generally my judgment is pretty good.

    The short form of this is: My house, I can do what I damn well please. If you don’t like it, the door is right over there. If you can deal with it, you’re welcome to stay and take part. It’s up to you.

  10. Scalzi sez:

    The short form of this is: My house, I can do what I damn well please. If you don’t like it, the door is right over there. If you can deal with it, you’re welcome to stay and take part. It’s up to you.

    …Well, you’ll note I already said that…..but it doesn’t change the knee-jerk nature of your comments. In a disaster there is always plenty of blame to go around, humanity being what it is. Clearly the worst was the local officials – the feds ALWAYS take a few day to get in there… But the fact is you’ve gotten so negative about this admin you can’t even think straight and take every critical piece of information at face value because you are predisposed to think the worst of these folks. Of course it’s distructive to us as a people, but what the hell, it makes you feel so GOOD,k so RIGHTEOUS, so all-knowing….

    My opinion – your house….do what you will with it – you still have a mirror….I’m encouraging you to use it.

  11. the feds ALWAYS take a few day to get in there

    Is this a law of nature, like gravity? Is there an invisible barrier that goes up around any disaster? “The shield bars the fast Federal assistance but admits the slow National guard”, is that it?

  12. Chris Gabel:

    “But the fact is you’ve gotten so negative about this admin you can’t even think straight…”

    Oh, for Christ’s sake.

    Hey, Chris, when even Michelle Malkin is suggesting that this administration is an absolutely incompetent job handling this hurricane, guess what? It’s not a partisan issue. I mean, Jesus, Malkin couldn’t be any further this administration’s ass if she were a sigmoidoscope. She’s gotten the memo to pin it all on Mike Brown, of course; I prefer to aim a bit higher.

    The reason I think this administration is populated with incompetents from the head down is because it is. If the administration were competent, I still wouldn’t like them politically, but I wouldn’t feel the intense loathing I feel for them today. If the feds had managed to create a timely useful response, I’d be the first to say “I’m not a fan of Bush, but he sure handled this disaster well.” Indeed, I ache to be able to say that. But I can’t. And I don’t see why anyone with a single firing neuron in his brain would.

    Yes, the state and local response was appalling as well; I don’t think this was ever in question. But that has nothing to do with this administration’s incompetent response. It’s not partisan, for God’s sake. It’s reality.

    Also, for the record, what’s destructive is not some guy laying blame on the administration on his blog. What’s destructive is the head of FEMA not helping people at the NO convention center for days because he can’t be bothered to watch CNN and register the fact that they exist. Oh, and, here, Chris, have another a whole bunch of other examples of how the federal administration is screwing the pooch responding to the worst natural disaster in the history of the US. Thousands of people are going to die because of an incompetent federal administration response and you want me to be nice to the jackasses who will be responsible. You know, I think I’ll pass.

  13. Chris Gabel: I’m a lifelong Republican, a lifelong resident of hurricane states and someone whose work has had him in the aftermath and sometimes middle of hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms and such. I am here to tell you that the federal delay in responding to this disaster is both unprecedented and unforgivable. This isn’t about partisanship, this is about accountability, and the level of accountability we’re talking about here is that government officials have blood on their hands, including, but not limited to, the mayor of New Orleans, the governor of Louisiana, the head of FEMA, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the President of the United States.

    People — possibly thousands of people — died because they didn’t do their jobs. That’s not my opinion, that’s stone fact. If you can’t handle it, then move to a country where citizens aren’t expected to hold their government responsible.

  14. Listen to Col. H. James Young, the FEMA official responsible for organizing and supplying the disaster medical assistance teams throughout New Orleans address doctors’ complaints of
    chaos, inadequate security, and most of all, insufficient supplies :
    “These doctors, they work in these ERs or these big hospitals or whereever it might be and they may not have certain procedures they have to
    go through. They can say ‘I want this right now and they have it. Well, this is the federal government, and it has procedures that we go through.”
    Fullstory audio:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4846592

    If we need a poster child for how not to manage resources in an emergency, Col. ‘Those silly doctors want to heal people’ Young gets my
    vote.

  15. About Being Poor:

    Being poor is having to make the choice of having an abortion because you know you cannot afford another child when you already have a three year old.

    Being poor is going to the dollar store every week for your main groceries. and I do LOVE dollar stores!

    Being poor is having an associate’s degree that everyone has and still getting paid $8.00.

    Finally, but not least being poor means your mind has to act crazy and you have to wind up in the mental hospital before getting diagnosed with bipolar depression and finding out you have had this illness for life, which makes it even worst because then you remember all the bad choices you’ve made with the illness and how it led you to be poor!!!

  16. The reason I think this administration is populated with incompetents from the head down is because it is. If the administration were competent, I still wouldn’t like them politically, but I wouldn’t feel the intense loathing I feel for them today. If the feds had managed to create a timely useful response, I’d be the first to say “I’m not a fan of Bush, but he sure handled this disaster well.” Indeed, I ache to be able to say that. But I can’t. And I don’t see why anyone with a single firing neuron in his brain would.

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