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.
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