Polk in the eye

The George Polk Awards for 2006 were announced on Monday by Long Island University. The awards seek to honor journalism in the tradition of George W. Polk, a CBS correspondent killed in 1948 covering the civil war in Greece. The New York Times carried a good summary of the 12 winners. Some of the winners seem deserving of recognition for excellence, some not. Among the winners was Spike Lee, who won for “When the Levee Broke,” his HBO documentary on Hurricane Katrina. Stephen Spruiell’s NRO review dissented from the acclaim that greeted Lee’s film:

When the Levees Broke fails because it consciously does what the media did so naturally: It channels the emotions of a devastated population at the most convenient and obvious targets. To this end, much of the film is recycled news footage from the week after the disaster, when the media brimmed with outrage. We see the maddened crowds at the Morial Convention Center. We see CNN

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