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from townhall.com (inbox)

let me state upfront:
you all know, i'm not an american, and i have never visited the USA, i have never 'studied' the history of the US, and yet......

why does this article have a ring of truth to it??


I'm known to write occasionally that the rest of America doesn't understand the South. Now comes some clear and convincing evidence.

As fate would have it, InsiderAdvantage, the company that I lead, just this week purchased the long-established Washington, D.C.-based Southern Political Report. Hastings Wyman, a widely respected political reporter in Washington, will continue to edit the publication.

But as Hurricane Katrina approached, we were in the last stages of creating a daily web-based version of the report. Immediately, we called on all the resources of the Southern Political Report, including its vast network of contacts, many of whom live in Katrina's path.

As early as Monday afternoon, we realized the storm was far more devastating than was being reported by the TV news networks. For starters, our sources said New Orleans would start to flood by daybreak Tuesday. They also explained how entire foundations of the Southern economy had been erased, such as the burgeoning casino resorts along the Mississippi coast.

By late Tuesday night, we had been told off the record that the death toll of about 80 being announced would possibly swell into the thousands.

So why on Tuesday night was network television airing shows like "Tommy Lee Goes to College," instead of providing wall-to-wall live coverage of this historic, catastrophic event? Where were the rock stars announcing soon-to-come mega-concerts to raise quick cash for the stricken region? And why in the world was the stock market rising both on Monday and Wednesday?

I'll tell you why. It's because the know-it-alls in New York and Washington don't have a clue about the American South. They don't comprehend its political might and economic muscle, and thus the ultimately crippling impact Katrina is going to have on them, too. It's that simple.

This isn't to knock the courageous and resourceful print and broadcast reporters on the scene or the media venues that have devoted practically all their column space or airtime to this cataclysmic event.

I'm aiming higher with my complaint -- at the top-level program directors and network executives who think that earthquakes in California and attacks on New York warrant the full attention of the world, but life-threatening emergencies in the swamps and "backwoods" of the South don't.

Well guess what? They matter now.

Let the word get out: While everyone in the storm's path is grateful for the efforts of so many across the nation, it's also clear that the disconnect between the top corporate and media leaders in America and the people of the South is far more serious than even I had imagined.

Wednesday's declaration by the mayor of New Orleans that "thousands may be dead" -- whether confirmed or not at the time -- should have justified an end to regular TV network programming.

It wasn't to be. One of my own local network affiliates -- like most others around the nation -- kept airing "General Hospital" via the network feed.

You can bet that if New York City were underwater, and thousands were presumed dead with countless others' lives still hanging in the balance, these same networks would have suspended regular programming to cover every developing second of the disaster's unfolding events.

These effete national executives just can't get a handle on the South, be it our politics -- especially in predicting our elections -- or our economic significance. They are always a day late and a dollar short.

They think we're racists, when in fact the greatest peaceful mixing of races in the nation -- and maybe the world -- occurs in the South every day. Substantial African-American and Hispanic communities are an integral part of our economy and communities.

They assume we are dumb and poorly educated. That ignores the massive improvements that have been made since the Civil War ended. That's when a dual set of second-class citizens was created overnight -- destitute whites, including many in the former planter class, and uneducated former slaves.

Trace a line from Houston through Atlanta, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Miami, and yes, what was once New Orleans, and you will see the clear outline of who controls Congress and the White House.

We are the growth of America and its future.

But it took days for the nation as a whole to even tip its hat to a natural disaster that has the potential to drag America into a full-blown recession.

I'm American before all else. I'm proud of every part and each person in the United States. Like Frank Sinatra, I love New York. I travel to Los Angeles at the first chance.

But this week, I speak the words no one else wants to say: The South has been hit with the equivalent of a nuclear bomb. And too much of America didn't want to notice until it had to.

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To a certain extent...

In reply to: from townhall.com (inbox)

There was plenty of wall-to-wall on the cable/satellite channels, and there was a benefit concert as well which was aired on one of them. It might be a little early for the usual mega-concert to develop, but I bet it will come.

The networks have been abandoning news to the cable channels more and more. If the disaster had been in the Northeast it might have been covered differently; I don't know. I watch very little network stuff becaue IMHO most of it is crap.

As to the rest of the rant, some of it has the ring of truth and some the ring of hysteria to me.

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Hmm....'ring of truth'....

In reply to: from townhall.com (inbox)

Hi Jonah,

The townhall.com (inbox) individual says,
"I'm known to write occasionally that the rest of America doesn't understand the South" indicates to me he is just ranting again to be ranting.

I keep a 25" TV on right next to my main computer which gets local and Satellite (DishNet) broadcasts. Our local free over the air TV networks NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX has been cutting in an awful lot since last Saturday about the Hurricane coming, and then right after it hit interrupted for great periods of time, seems like every few hours, all week long. I can hear other TV's that the wife has on in the house and don't know of a single 'soap' that hasn't been interrupted. On the Satellite networks like CNN, FoxNet, MSNBC, TWC it has been 24 hr coverage, non-stop suspension of regular programming, devoting full time to the Hurricane disaster.

JR

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Sorry Jonah, its townhall.com, what do you expect but

In reply to: from townhall.com (inbox)

New York, Washington, and California bashing. News agencies have gotten away with slow-ish reporting for years because there was no option. Even the television revolution left them a day or two to catch up on a story as big as the Hurricane. And there's been a lot of flack recently about "rushing to broadcast" news that hasn't been properly vetted which makes them cautious. No news organization wants to report a disaster of this magnitude because of the political questions that it raises, and the name calling and polarization that will inevitably result.

By the way, the President is supposedly a Southerner and it took him 4 days to come back from vacation to respond. Why beat up the news organizations when there's a guy on whose desk the buck supposedly stops who could care less. I was personally disgusted by Bush's lack of involvement beyond platitudes and photo ops. It took Clinton only 2 days to fly to Florida after Hurricane ?Andrew? or whichever it was.

Rob

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Jonah, please e-mail me. I'll try to put together a Django

In reply to: Sorry Jonah, its townhall.com, what do you expect but

CD for you.

Rob

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Bush declared disaster area BEFORE the hurricane hit.

In reply to: Sorry Jonah, its townhall.com, what do you expect but

And you say he was not involve Gotta bash regardless of fact.

You remind me of that FedEx commercial about Ned.

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(NT) (NT) So why didn't FEMA get the call? Why all the delays?

In reply to: Bush declared disaster area BEFORE the hurricane hit.

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Response

In reply to: (NT) So why didn't FEMA get the call? Why all the delays?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina#Preparations_and_expectations_before_landfall

On August 27, after Katrina crossed southern Florida and strengthened to Category 3, the President declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, two days before the hurricane made landfall [4]. This declaration activated efforts by Federal Emergency Management Agency to position stockpiles of food, water and medical supplies throughout Louisiana and Mississippi more than a day before Katrina made landfall.[/i

Do you expect stuff to just teleport to where it's needed? I think you are just bashing for the sake of bashing. Not very helpful.
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I'm just responding to the time it has taken to get the food

In reply to: Response

and rescue to the people who need it. There's no doubt that State and City officials screwed up too, but what about all the cries of Nobody asked us, Nobody called us, from various Federal Agencies over the last few days or is that all fiction in your Bushy eyed universe. Face it, your attitude is that Bush can do no wrong. Evidence, even of your own eyes, won't convince you otherwise. Personally, if he walked barefoot across the Potomac I'd think he was running to get away. And that's my bias stated for the record.

Rob

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Does your bias stated for the record..

In reply to: I'm just responding to the time it has taken to get the food

really count in this country. Noooo I think its just a lot of smoke adrift in the wind. Sad

George

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Yeah, you like to bash our President

In reply to: I'm just responding to the time it has taken to get the food

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Your Bush bashing never ceases

In reply to: Sorry Jonah, its townhall.com, what do you expect but

Quite frankly, all Presidential visits to disaster areas are absurd IMO. They create security nightmares when precious resources should be used elsewhere. Be advised that no President in the modern age is every "on vacation"

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You're right. I thoght he was a shmuck then, I think he's

In reply to: Your Bush bashing never ceases

a shmuck now. I just think his handling of this, the worst natural disaster since the founding of the Republic, is apalling in its lackadaisicalness and lack of leadership.

This is that 11 minute gap after the plane hit the twin towers writ far larger. I hope history records that when New Orleans was destroyed, the President stayed comfortably at his ranch and then went to California first, before finally deciding to put in an appearance.

George, "the DO NOTHING" Bush. I'm sure he's rejoicing in the good fortune of all his oil industry cronies. What a "Windfall" for them. Bet they screw the US for the whole of the winter claiming insufficient capacity while begging for relaxed safety standards on new refineries. Talk about your win, win, win, Ka-ching, Win again situations.

Rob

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Stop the BS

In reply to: You're right. I thoght he was a shmuck then, I think he's

Really, this is just the usual hate-filled nonsense. We don't need it right now thanks.

Get a clue. Get some class.

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class

In reply to: Stop the BS

Some things you can't teach or legislate: morality, common sense and class!

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The guy who needs some class is the President.

In reply to: Stop the BS

Just don't look for it before 2009 (if then).

I kept my mouth shut while I watched this disaster unfold. I don't think I posted anything for 4 days. 4 days of nothing from the President but finally a photo op of him with his arms around two young girls well away from New Orleans. And he's blaming everyone else, The Mayor, the Governor, all the relevant Federal Agencies that he's been budget cutting for 4 plus years. Anybody.

I think it's Horse**** and I think anyone who falls for the compassionate President act is an idiot. But as loyal little Bushies I don't guess you'll see it that way. Hope the Congressional Hearings on this turn into Under-Watergate for the sanctimonious little creep.

The trouble with this disaster is that all my worst fears about Bush have been confirmed. Indecisive, Insensitive, Uncompassionate, and unable to see past the Special Interests of his class and his cronies. He's there to ensure the supremacy of the upper business classes and the near subjugation of the rest. All you have to do is look at who left and who stayed to see who's in charge. Those who left were those that could afford to, those who stayed were those too poor, too sick, too frightened to lose what little they had or too disconnected from the social network to have anywhere else to go. Really impressive testimony to the President's leadership.

Rob

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Wasn't Andrew, Rob

In reply to: Sorry Jonah, its townhall.com, what do you expect but

That was on the Watch of george the First, and the abysmally slow response (largely inconvenience, w/o consequent deaths, thank God) helped lose Florida and the presidency for him.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Yeah, and...

In reply to: Wasn't Andrew, Rob

Yeah, and Betsy was during LBJ. So what in both cases? BTW, to save you the trouble of looking it up and then ignoring it, During Betsy the LA Governor was McKeithen, a Democrat.

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Hugo, then? Don't remember the hurricane, do remember

In reply to: Wasn't Andrew, Rob

Clinton meeting with Jeb Bush and the Governor being very grateful and full of praise for Federal efforts then.

Thanks Dave.

Rob

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I believe the President stated

In reply to: Sorry Jonah, its townhall.com, what do you expect but

that he didn't want to come sooner because he didn't want to interrupt the attempts to help people there. That took priority.

I dislike Bush and his Presidency but give the guy a break. If he had been there the next day, ya'll would have said that he was just there for a photo op and was diverting needed police officers from protecting the city to guard him.

Diana

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It is a photo op! And it is expected that the President will

In reply to: I believe the President stated

put in an appearance to give the illusion that he cares, and particularly that he is aware of the difficulties. The President has his own Guard, his own Helicopter, his own everything. A Photo op wouldn't have interfered with anything but the President's scheduled meeting in San Diego with his over-stuffed, self-satisfied, well-heeled supporters. His choice was typical of the man who couldn't make up his mind to leave a school room for 11 minutes when a simple, "I hope you can excuse me, there's something important I must attend to right now" would have sufficed and would not have frightened the children, but might have disappointed them. They would have understood later. At least it would have proved he was conscious, had a brain, and was aware of something other than his bank balance.

From those to whom much is given, much is asked, to descend to the realm of the catch phrase. While not anywhere in the same solar system as the Bushs' I grew up in a reasonably privileged background enabling me to go to University without counting the cost. I also grew up with that phrase echoing in my ears, which is why I tried to become a University teacher, have worked in public service all my life, and is why I'm married to a physician.

Bush has indicated by his every action that he considers the world his plaything. Don't like the Draft, jump the queue into the National Guard. Don't like the Guard duties, go to Alabama and blow them off. The only thing about him I respect is his loyalty and respect for his wife. Sadly that doesn't translate to anyone outside the family. This is a man determined to remove every last vestige of Roosevelt's legacy of a social safety net which takes care of the least well off. You know, those people who died, who walked through the water and were rescued from roof tops, the left behinds of New Orleans.

The man's a pygmy in the guise of an emperor, both intellectually and biblically. The second great question of the Bible is "Am I my brother's keeper?" Not in Bush's America you're not.

Rob

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