Friday, October 07, 2005

Katrina Round-up

Some random items:

Michael Fumento rounds up some of the media's Katrina scare stories and comments on their true cost - Katrina and the Price of Panic:

Yet for all of the talk about violent deaths that never materialized, it appears that the talk itself led to real deaths.

For example, efforts to evacuate by helicopter some of the 200 patients at New Orleans' Charity Hospital were halted for a day because of reports of sniper fire. According to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, two patients died awaiting evacuation. "The inability to get people out of these hospitals is frightening," he said.

Could he have known false reporting from his own employer had contributed to this nightmare?

The evacuation of the Superdome, where conditions may not have been as bad as described but were bad enough, was also halted because of unconfirmed reports of shooting at military helicopters.
Deaths from Katrina in all of Louisiana - 1,003
Deaths from the European heatwave in 2003 - 35,000

English Prime Minister Tony Blair on the BBC's anti-American bias in covering Katrina:

Tony Blair has re-opened the government's long-standing row about BBC bias by describing the corporation's coverage of the aftermath of the havoc caused to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina as being "full of hatred of America".

The UK Prime Minister's comments on the BBC's coverage have been revealed by Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corporation. Murdoch also claims that Blair thought the BBC was "gloating" at the slow response of the federal and local authorities in helping and evacuating the hundreds of thousands of victims made homeless and the dead who were left lying uncollected where they had fallen for days.
Bill Clinton and former CBS News head Sir Howard Stringer also detected bias:

Former US president Clinton said the corporation's coverage, while factually accurate, had been "stacked up" to criticise the federal government's slow response to the catastrophe without focusing on any of the other relief efforts or the magnitude of the task.

Sir Howard Stringer, a former head of CBS News, said he had been "nervous about the slight level of gloating" in the BBC's coverage of the devastation caused by the hurricane and the response from the federal authorities to the plight of the victims. But he noted that the tone changed after two days and that other news outlets and the government had underestimated the effects of Katrina.

From Real Clear Politics - Katrina, What Went Right:

Largely invisible to the media's radar, a broad-based rescue effort by federal, state and local first responders pulled 25,000 to 50,000 people from harm's way in floodwaters in the city. Ironically, FEMA's role, for good or ill, was essentially non-existent, as was the Governor's and the Mayor's. An ad-hoc distributed network responded on its own. Big Government didn't work. Odds and ends of little government did.
From Powerline - Thomas Friedman's solution to hurricane woes? Totalatarianism!

In Tom's view we should be emulating Singapore, a state ruled by wise leaders who know how to get things done. He quotes approvingly a Singapore newspaper columnist who states that today's American conservatives "believe in no government, and therefore conclude that there is no need for [the] country to pay for even the government that it has".

So let me get this straight. Tom wants us to be more like Singapore, an authoritarian state where voting is compulsory but there is only one candidate for President. That candidate is selected by a ruling party which has ruled the nation since its founding. How orderly compared with our messy process where candidates who fail to receive the support of the MSM still get elected.