Wednesday, June 28, 2006

In Case You Missed Anderson Cooper Monday Night

Couldn't post last night, gave up around 8:15 or so* and decided to use a relative's extra room. Over the weekend, CNN promoted Anderson Cooper's report on:
So, the mayor of New Orleans says he has a plan to rebuild the city. So, how's that plan working so far? Tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest" -- next on 360, live from New Orleans.

The commercials also mentioned that the city was poised to receive billions of dollars of your tax money. I didn't like the sound of that last part, but with billions of dollars being spent, you'd think that somebody would ask some questions, keep them honest as it were.

Anyway, if you watch cable news often, you know that any segment that's advertised that heavily usually turns out to be a biased hatchet job or two minute fluff piece. Surprisingly, this was neither, although Couhig did not come across well:
KAYE: But no matter how many times we asked neither Rob Couhig or the mayor's office could explain where that money will be spent. Mayor Nagin declined to be interviewed for this story, but Monday afternoon announced progress.
That led to an inadvertently funny quote from the mayor:
I don't know where this came from but there seems to be this incredible perception that we have done no planning.

Well Ray, have you tried sharing any details? If you missed it, you have to scroll down a bit (past the segment on Warren Buffett), to read the interview with Couhig. He didn't really come across that badly, just evasive. The main thing is, Nagin,Couhig or whoever better do a lot better when they face some really hostile reporters.

If that swipe at DeBerry seemed gratuitous, all I can say is school buses. DeBerry's column on flooded buses appeared in December (Stephanie Grace's never, to my knowledge). I didn't expect advocacy, but the T/P and the rest of the local media were silent when the images of flooded buses were all over the national media. The T/P's ardor for defending the city government cooled noticeably between the first and second weekend of September. I've said it before, you'll find nothing defending the state or city (either on the op-ed or editorial page) between Bush's Jackson Square speech and Marty Bahamonde's testimony--other than an easy response to Larry Craig. I'd love to hear how they can justify failing to speak up about unfair criticisms of the mayor that made the entire city look bad (when they also had a national audience), but defending the mayor from criticisms that only made the mayor himself look bad (during the election of course). Worse, they somehow decided that the criticisms were so "unfair" (well, Jarvis, it would have been unfair if Brinkley had really been that critical of the mayor for merely crying) and "politically motivated," that it was their duty to defend him. Actually they didn't defend the mayor, they counter-attacked the critic with such gusto that anybody who benefited from the criticism could only get caught in the fire. I'd love to hear an explanation for the contrast. Now that the election's over, I don't expect the journalists at the Picayune to start acting like Inpsector Javert where Nagin is concerned. But it would be nice if they started acting like Lois Lane. Or Walter Annenberg.

*Don't know how prominent this will be in tomorrow's paper, but this bears watching:
"I have four letters for you: C-D-B-G," Vince said, referring to Community Development Block Grants. "This ought to be the wake-up call for the LRA (Louisiana Recovery Authority) and the state and the feds that we have to have money to rebuild the electric and gas system," he said. "You can't rebuild the city unless you have reliable electricity."

That just makes me less likely to support CDBG money for entergy, if he were from Entergy it definitely would. Even though he's from a Boston and Washington law firm, apparently he's been the city's energy advisor for two decades. I won't rush to judgment, but I don't the fact that the city's advocate is also acting as Entergy's advocate--I'm more concerned about the city's position than Vince's integrity. That CDBG money could disappear awfully fast.

Thanks for the update. Where's Couhig's spine? Or does he just stir sh*t for his own glory?

And the T-P -- I'm sorry to say -- is, like CNN, like much of New Orleans, returning to its pre-Katrina mode of mediocre operation based on the short-term bottom line.

Nice work!
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