Thursday, September 08, 2005

More on the Media in NOLA

From MSNBC:

We are just back from the French Quarter... checking up on the condition of some old haunts... Arnauds, Brennans... and most of the landmarks that people would remember visiting from even a single Convention-attending visit to New Orleans….a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media... obvious members of the media... armed only with notepads. Her actions (apparently because she thought reporters were encroaching on the scene) were over the top and she was told. There are automatic weapons and shotguns everywhere you look. It's a stance that perhaps would have been appropriate during the open lawlessness that has long since ended on most of these streets. Someone else points out on television as I post this: the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history.

Let’s make this clear again. The media is attempt to document a major American disaster. This is not Iraq. When the federal government was busy touting its bloated, inefficient carcass around to fundraisers and shows on Broadway, the media was on the ground in NOLA, reporting about the horrible conditions, some even exposed to it by reporting inside the Superdome. They put a lot of pressure on the government and put themselves in danger by walking up to people looting and asking questions.

The military presence in the city is now overwhelming. Someone commented on NBC that New Orleans is by far the safest city in America, yet we can't get full access to something we all should see.

Meanwhile, firefighters called to help out are now being used to hand out fliers for FEMA rather than participating in search and rescue operations.

Just what the hell is going on? What is the true story that is even now being obfuscated and spun beyond any recognizable comprehension? How is this happening in America? Here’s a great quote from Brian Williams that sums up the situation as it stands:

the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history.

What’s going on? I’ll tell you what’s going on: this is the moment in the movie when the mask slips off and reveals the monster beneath. America has become that monster. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo said it best:

Take a moment to note what's happening here: these are the marks of repressive government, which mixes inefficiency with authoritarianism. The crew that couldn't get key aid on the scene in time last week is coming in in force now. And one of the key missions appears to be cutting off public information about what's happening in the city.

I highly recommend you read the whole thing…it’ll make you realize that what we’re witnessing now is the dismantling of the last of our civil liberties in this country. We have to stay on top of this, but I really don’t know what we can do at this point. I’m terrified that this is the future of America.

Posted by crimnos @ 10:13 AM

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Yep, we are clearly living in the "Fatherland" now.

Posted by Blogger james @ 5:23 PM #
 
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