Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Stand

For understanding the potential long-term economic effect soon to be wrought by Katrina, there are two very good exposes at MyDD and at Billmon's Whiskey Bar.

Probably most striking are statements such as these:

Billmon: As a living, functioning city, then, New Orleans has ceased to exist.

MyDD: New Orleans as the world has known it will never exist again.

Seems hard to fathom but based on the pictures we're seeing, it's likewise hard to see how this is fixed.

On the cable-TV front, I imagine I'll be glued to the tube again tonight to see what the major networks and cable "news" outlets are letting us know about the catastrophe and which video clips (housetop rescues, looting) they choose to rerun over and over.

Last night, MSNBC's Rita Cosby, a refugee, if you'll pardon the expression, herself from Fox "news" ripped into the looting and (mostly black) looters, whose pictures (again, basically the continual cycling of a short clip) whose replaying nonetheless inspired a great deal of angst and irrighteously feigned outrage. And to an extent, I have to admit I bit on it, too.

But seeing some of the pictures again this morning and reading the insightful analyses of bloggers brighter than myself such as Steve Gilliard and Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon have made me cautious about responding to the media's presentation--designed to draw ratings more than help or being objective--of this tragic event and the people caught up in it.

Nevertheless, as Newsweek's Howard Fineman comments today, the implications of this week's natural disaster may join with other unnatural disasters to create a geopolitical hurricane of its own:

...[you] do get the sense, as President Bush finally arrived here after a month-long vacation, that a political hurricane is gathering force, and its going to hit the capital any day.

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