Saturday, September 03, 2005

Thinking For Themselves

Hurricane Katrina might be the best thing to happen to media credibility since Woodward and Bernstein. Reporters aren't travelling in their usual packs, led by the nose with pre-packaged press-releases, so they can't rely on manufactured "groupthink." And storm victims -- unlike politicans and bureaucrats -- are more than willing to be brutally honest.

Protected from spin-masters, talking points, and the conventional wisdom of each other, reporters are actually working for a living, scrambling for facts, confirming details, and seeking out newsworthy stories. A group of guests at the Hotel Ritz Carlton started their own media blitz when they realized they had to take action if they were to attract help. One of the "residents" at the convention center went to the satellite trucks and led reporters back to the story of the enormous suffering taking place there.

In the meantime, the government is stumbling and reporters aren't giving them the slack they offer in the White House briefing room.

Anderson Cooper and CNN did an unsympathetic review of government action and inaction during Katrina and he did a SHARP interview with Senator Trent Lott who didn't like Anderson's tone one bit.

CNN did a great analysis comparing the huge gap between the government's reality and real reality. FEMA Director Brown looks even more clueless than W...and that's quite an accomplishment. This is not the kind of safe coverage we usually see from CNN and they are simply letting the facts speak for themselves.

If you read Jack Shafer's article in Slate about the race and class issues of Katrina (it earned him the label of wacko from Rush Limbaugh so it must be good), you will REALLY like his latest piece on the rebellion of the reporters in the field. It's amazing what those folks can do when they have to rely on their own instincts and think for themselves. Now, if their news directors can just stay out of their way.

And, although Maureen Dowd has a lot of experience spanking the Bush family, she gives W a full-out pummeling in her editorial today in the New York Times.

Even Geraldo Rivera and Shepard Smith wouldn't let Sean Hannity get away with his usual Bush defense on FOX News. Shepard Smith? Go figure!

Finally, congratulations to the New Orleans Times Picayune. They published yesterday for the first time after evacuating their building. They are currently focusing all of their coverage on Hurrican Katrina.

It's refreshing to get the news the way it should be: objective and honest. Now if we can just get the Today show to lay off the cooking, fashion, and wedding features until we are sure the Hurricane crisis is under control.


At 2:11 PM, Blogger clusterblog said...

Anderson Cooper's interview with Trent Lott was great. AC has balls!


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