Friday, September 16, 2005

"Katrina, What Went Right"

A very interesting contrarian viewpoint by Lou Dolinar at Real Clear Politics, which goes against the conventional wisdom of the last couple weeks and points out the huge successes in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina flooding.

His thesis is actually a lot was going right, there just wasn't centralized command and control and especially there was a "press release breakdown" so the media wasn't covering the good it didn't know about.

This ties in with a theory that I've been contemplating the last few days: by stationing themselves on the front lines with some of the hurricane victims, the media (Fox News Channel's Shep Smith comes to mind) became part of the story rather than covering the story. While Smith's empathy for those suffering on the freeway overpass was appreciated on one level, on another level he lost all perspective because he was way too close to what was in actuality a relatively small part of the overall story taking place not just in New Orleans, but in three states. We saw certain problems up close and personal, but there wasn't much digging by news anchors to discover exactly who should have been doing what, who was doing what, and so on. Instead the anchors became one with the victims, a "reality TV" style of news that ultimately did a disservice to the nation.

For more on these ideas, see Victor Davis Hanson's piece on the media and Katrina, linked below.


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