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October 03, 2005

Comments

Argh. The first week reporting on New Orleans is turning out to be worthless--or perhaps made things worse.

I think the helicopter sniper story was in the NYT. Once as something that definitely did happen and more recently as something that definitely didn't happen. No links handy.

Sebastian Holsclaw: Argh. The first week reporting on New Orleans is turning out to be worthless--or perhaps made things worse.

Except for the parts that weren't worthless. For example, the media telling the federal government that people were stranded at the convention center without food, water, or medical care, wasn't exactly worthless.

Well, how much can the mass media be blamed here? In other areas, you can do some solid reporting and investigation, but I would think that's less possible here (access both to the areas and to the pilots/crews are more restricted).

As I commented in Charles' thread below, citing the same K-R story, the willingness of authorities to believe and promote such stories, and the media's willingness to amplify them -- without any real confirmation -- cost lives and needless suffering. Would the baseless stories have been so easily spread and believed if so many of the people left in New Orleans had not been black?

I'm not sure that I even believe that a hurricane and the destruction of New Orleans occurred.

It might just be an RNC planted story in the worthless, compliant media to enable a flat-tax, school and health insurance voucher, and environmental waiver regime across a broad swath of the South, where a good deal of the base lives.

I expect soon to hear other parts of the country are begging for terroism, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and plagues to get a piece of the action.

Partial smiley icon.

Would the baseless stories have been so easily spread and believed if so many of the people left in New Orleans had not been black?

Does this matter since, according to Charles, what matters is that some black leaders overstated their feelings about such acts of prejudice?

And, of course, there were so many other baseless stories that tracked this racial profiling of the black victims. But what must be punished is hyperbole by angry people in response to such racism rather than acknowledging these incidents of racism.

The ugliest episode of all was the police of the white neighborhood across the river shooting over the heads of black victims trying to escape in order to drive them back into New Orleans -- and then righteously defending it afterwards.

And Republicans wonder why they can't get more than 10% of the black vote?

I think Nell's point is spot on, but I would like to take it a step further. I don't think the stories are 'baseless'. What I imagine happened was that you had people on rooftops trying to get the attention of helicopters going overhead. Get the gun, shoot off a couple of rounds to get their attention. We're under sniper fire! CNN's Sanjay Gupta was on the roof of Mercy Hospital with patients on gurneys, and the helicopters landed across the street on Tulane medical center to evacuate their staff. When they started evacuating Mercy, all of the staff ducked down hearing a shot and the evacuation was cancelled and the Mercy Hospital folks had to wait at least another day.

I detect in this pummeling of the news media the sort of reaction that people get when they get very angry at someone else for a mistake that they themselves made. We (note the pronoun here) are furious with the media because if they hadn't reported it, we would have never ever ever thought about black people and looting, no siree. That we are going to blame everything on the media suggests that we haven't even gotten close to what truly ails us.

Because of a year-eating sampling error, I once wrote a 12,000-source thesis that, when applied to this situation, basically says "Duh."

Because of a year-eating sampling error, I once wrote a 12,000-source thesis that, when applied to this situation, basically says "Duh."
I'm taking "duh" there to indicate an intent to communicate "yes, obviously," rather than the almost equally likely, in the vernacular as I've know it, "I have no idea."

carpeicthus is invited to confirm or deny.

And Republicans wonder why they can't get more than 10% of the black vote?

I'd think it'd be more cost-effective to simply divert some of the money from highway pork to purchasing the black vote, but I'm feeling particularly cynical this morning.

Blacks fared poorly in New Orleans. It wasn't because they were poorer and perhaps less likely to have access to transportation and provisions than white people, and it wasn't because they happened to live in a city that's got a whole lot of land area below sea level, and it's not even because NOPD is tiny, and it's not EVEN because NO vies for the highest crime rate of any major US city. And it's got NOTHING to do with the fact that they were, to cross-thread us a bit, Left Behind. No, it's just because they're black. And since George Bush (and the Republican Party as a whole) doesn't care about black people, they got the shaft.

If you're going to go with simplistic arguments, sooner or later you're going to wind up with the above. Why not just take the direct route? Why go half-hog?

I'd think it'd be more cost-effective to simply divert some of the money from highway pork to purchasing the black vote

It was fairly cost-effective in 2000 in Florida to eliminate large swathes of the black vote, rather than purchase it.

Indeed, preventing ethnic minorities from voting, rather than acting in a way to persuade them to vote Republican, appears to be the Republican party's generally preferred technique. I don't know whether it's cheaper, or they just figure it'll take too long to do it the other way.

"It was fairly cost-effective in 2000 in Florida to eliminate large swathes of the black vote, rather than purchase it."

Lots of rumors, but the investigation afterward didn't find that.

Please, Sebastian, Jes is not here to argue with facts. We've already established that.

Sorry, I meant to say: we've already established that. Typo.

Slarti: the 'and Republicans wonder...' comment came right after a reference to the Gretna police closing the bridge. It would have been a lot cheaper to let the people from the Convention Center pass. As an added benefit, compassion beats subversion of our democracy morally.

Sebastian: Lots of rumors, but the investigation afterward didn't find that.

Really? Ooh, goody. Show me that the investigation proved the 94K+ black voters eliminated from the electoral roll were all fairly eliminated, and cite me where anyone conceded that ChoicePoint were right to remove those names before they could vote, and the state of Florida was right not to correct the electoral rolls prior to Jeb Bush's running for election in November 2002. I like this, Sebastian: Slarti's method is just to close his eyes and deny any electoral fraud ever happened in Florida, but you're going to cite facts? Excellent. Go ahead. Cite them.

Slarti: Please, Sebastian, Jes is not here to argue with facts

Slarti, I used to cite facts; you ignored them: I got bored citing facts to have you ignore them without bothering to do any research of your own to prove me wrong. Sebastian, apparently, proposes to cite an investigation that proves it didn't happen! Why didn't you do that?

It would have been a lot cheaper to let the people from the Convention Center pass.

It certainly would have been. What that has to do with the Republican party, I have no idea.

Slarti, I used to cite facts

This is the part where Jesurgislac claims to have cited documents that don't refute her thesis.

But I can play that game, too. My thesis: Gore tried to steal the election. My proof: I've already given you the proof; you're simply in denial.

Jesurgislac, the Civil Rights Commission Report (which in my opinon was slanted toward bending over backwards to find bad action) was not able to find anything that would be consonant with "It was fairly cost-effective in 2000 in Florida to eliminate large swathes of the black vote...."

Well, how much can the mass media be blamed here?

As I wrote in another thread, not one reporter asked "show me the dead people". Similarly, it sounds like no reporters asked "show me the guy who was shot at". It was all based on secondary sources, which is a media problem. I'm not a reporter, but my work involves gathering information using primary and secondary sources, and there is no substitute for having one or more primary sources.

what matters is that some black leaders overstated their feelings about such acts of prejudice?

Let's not distort, dm. The issue I addressed dealt with serious charges of racism, not simply "overstated feelings". That said, what happened in Gretna probably did have a racist component to it.

Via a commenter on another blog, the Sept. 21 post from Rivka at Respectful of Otters is another, persuasive account of rumors and their reception.

Sebastian: Jesurgislac, the Civil Rights Commission Report (which in my opinon was slanted toward bending over backwards to find bad action) was not able to find anything that would be consonant with "It was fairly cost-effective in 2000 in Florida to eliminate large swathes of the black vote...."

You're right. I do not believe the Civil Rights Commission Report expressed any opinion on how cost-effective it was to illegally disenfranchise so many black voters.

Slarti: My thesis: Gore tried to steal the election.

Yeah, you're right. His sneaky strategy of getting more people to vote for him than voted for Bush almost worked, too. Good thing Jeb Bush stood up for the right of a Bush to be President and stopped those sneaky voters almost stealing the election for Al Gore!

Disappointing, but not unexpected.

That said, what happened in Gretna probably did have a racist component to it.

How generous of you.

This thread seems like the logical home for the http://www.washtimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20050929-114710-8545r>HUD chief forecasts a whiter New Orleans link.

Unrelated, the fourth paragraph of this http://www.splcenter.org/center/splcreport/article.jsp?aid=83>report href> from last year might be slightly on-topic too.

Anyone know Red Cross volunteers who worked in LA or MS? One couple from here went, but his article for the local paper was two paragraphs plus excerpts from the "Welcome to Mississippi" sh!t-on-your-neighbors chain letter, so I declined to chat him up about it. Many links for that letter, but I like http://www.hspig.org/v-web/bulletin/bb/viewtopic.php?t=22503&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=&>this href> one. Nice of the site admin to pass it along.

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