Katrina Fact vs. Fiction

Jack Kelly at post-gazette.com wrote a piece entitled “The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed.” He contends that the response was actually quite quick under the circumstances and that it was faster than for past disasters. Here is part of what he had to say about the coverage of the response as portrayed by the media:

Mr. Bush’s performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency,”

Yet he contends that this is opposite of the truth. The piece sites Jason van Steenwyk a Florida National Guardsman who has been activated for a number of hurricanes. Here is part of the assessment:

“The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne.”

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.

So they libel as a “national disgrace” the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history.

I write this column a week and a day after the main levee protecting New Orleans breached. In the course of that week:

More than 32,000 people have been rescued, many plucked from rooftops by Coast Guard helicopters.

The Army Corps of Engineers has all but repaired the breaches and begun pumping water out of New Orleans.

Shelter, food and medical care have been provided to more than 180,000 refugees.

So it would seem that not everyone feels the same as the mindless sycophants who called for, and got, the head of FEMA director Michael Brown who resigned today after being made a scapegoat for contrived difficulties within the system. As I stated in the past, there were problems but they were not of the magnitude portrayed.

Too bad we can’t have a media that is truthful. Yet, there are those who still believe the members of the media do not show their liberal bias in their work.

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