No analysis please, we're the MSM
I've commented before on the unwillingness of critics of the administration's response to Katrina to engage in any analysis of how that response compared to the responses to prior, but less severe, hurricanes. Without such an analysis, it's baseless to say that, on balance, the federal response this time was poor. This means that such a claim arises not from the facts of the matter, but from the a priori view that Bush is incompetent and/or a villain, or from unhappiness over non-hurricane related events (in Korb's case the war in Iraq). Unfortunately, when it comes to the MSM, this phenomenon is reinforced by natural laziness and the desire to entertain and scandalize, rather than to think and inform.
Jack Kelly supplies the information about hurricane response time that the MSM is too biased and lazy to provide. For example, he quotes Florida National Guardsman Jason van Steenwyk, mobilized six times for hurricane relief, who states: "The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne." Indeed, Kelly makes a good case that the response to Katrina represents "the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history." If true, then the MSM's coverage must rank among the most monumental and (thus far) successful frauds in the history of journalism.
Posted by Paul at 08:37 PM
The Power Line piece quotes this Jack Kelly editorial. Here are some more quotes:
Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.
So they libel as a "national disgrace" the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history.
Journalists complain that it took a whole week to do this. A former Air Force logistics officer had some words of advice for us in the Fourth Estate on his blog, Moltenthought:
"We do not yet have teleporter or replicator technology like you saw on 'Star Trek' in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your worthless communications degree while the grown-ups actually engaged in the recovery effort were studying engineering.
"The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson dinners to an underwater city through an area the size of Great Britain which has no power, no working ports or airports, and a devastated and impassable road network.
"You cannot speed recovery and relief efforts up by prepositioning assets (in the affected areas) since the assets are endangered by the very storm which destroyed the region.
"No amount of yelling, crying and mustering of moral indignation will change any of the facts above."
"You cannot just snap your fingers and make the military appear somewhere," van Steenwyk said.
Exhibit A on the bill of indictment of federal sluggishness is that it took four days before most people were evacuated from the Louisiana Superdome.
The levee broke Tuesday morning. Buses had to be rounded up and driven from Houston to New Orleans across debris-strewn roads. The first ones arrived Wednesday evening. That seems pretty fast to me.
A better question -- which few journalists ask -- is why weren't the roughly 2,000 municipal and school buses in New Orleans utilized to take people out of the city before Katrina struck?
Slanderers, ignoramuses, and squawling infants. That is all the MSM has become.
See also this brilliant and ruthless fisking of Newsweek.