Hurricane Katrina Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Hurricane Katrina Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
hundreds of personnel, dozens of vehicles - Chicago Tribune, 9/2/05
FEMA won't let
Red Cross deliver food - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/3/05
FEMA fails to
utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board - Chicago Tribune, 9/4/05
FEMA turns away
state-of-the-art mobile hospital from Univ. of North Carolina - CNN, 9/5/05
FEMA won't accept
Amtrak's help in evacuations - Financial Times, 9/5/05
FEMA turns back
Wal-Mart supply trucks - New York Times, 9/6/05
Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel - New York Times, 9/6/05
FEMA blocks 500-boat
citizen flotilla from delivering aid - News Sentinel, 9/8/05
FEMA asks media not to take pictures of dead - Washington Post, 9/8/05
back German government plane loaded with 15 tons of food - Spiegel,
Responders Urged Not To Respond" Unless Dispatched - FEMA's own website
For those who are ready to go even deeper, read about FEMA's shady beginnings by clicking here. Then, to see Online Journal's revealing analysis article "New Orleans: Dress rehearsal for lockdown of America," click here.
In another gesture symbolizing the continued confusion of the federal response, the man President Bush immediately named to succeed “Brownie,” proves to have been the same FEMA official who, two-and-a-half years ago, suggested that Americans stock up on duct tape to protect against a biological or chemical terrorist attack. David Paulison, then the government's Fire Administrator, joined with the then-head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, on February 10th, 2003, to say that duct tape and plastic sheeting should be part of any home's "survival kit" in preparation for a terrorist attack. That set off a run on duct tape at stores, and widespread criticism of the administration. It might have been the first time after 9/11 that a large number of Americans wondered if the government really knew what it was talking about when it came to disaster preparedness. And the man behind that politically explosive proposal, has just been named to succeed the man who had been the face of the politically explosive response to Hurricane Katrina.
DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: This is the actual levee that runs along the canal on the eastern side of the city. You can see the massive breach here and...what the water did to the Lower Ninth Ward. It completely destroyed neighborhoods. JOE EDWARDS, JR., 9TH WARD RESIDENT: I heard something go "boom"!!! MUIR: Joe Edwards rushed to get himself and as many neighbors as possible into his truck. They drove to this bridge, where they've been living ever since. Was it solely the water that broke the levee, or was it the force of this barge? Joe Edwards says neither. People...in this neighborhood...actually think the city did it, blowing up the levee to save richer neighborhoods like the French Quarter. MUIR: So you're convinced... EDWARDS: I know this happened! MUIR: They broke the levee on purpose? EDWARDS: They blew it.
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast. That order...delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems. Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Mike Callahan said the U.S. Department of Energy called him [stating that] opening the fuel line was a national priority. Manager Dan Jordan said Vice President Dick Cheney’s office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately. Callahan said energy officials told him gasoline and diesel fuel needed to flow through the pipeline to avert a national crisis from the inability to meet fuel needs in the Northeast. “Our concern was that...it would be a national crisis for Mississippi,“ Callahan said.
As Katrina roared into the Gulf of Mexico, emergency planners pored over maps and charts of a hurricane simulation that projected 61,290 dead and 384,257 injured or sick in a catastrophic flood that would leave swaths of southeast Louisiana uninhabitable for more than a year. These planners were not involved in the frantic preparations for Katrina. By coincidence, they were working on a yearlong project to prepare federal and state officials for a Category 3 hurricane striking New Orleans. Their fictitious storm eerily foreshadowed the havoc wrought by Category 4 Katrina a few days later, raising questions about whether government leaders did everything possible...to protect New Orleans residents from a well-documented threat.
When U.S. officials asked the news media not to take pictures of those killed by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, they were censoring a key part of the disaster story, free-speech watchdogs said yesterday. The move by the Federal Emergency Management Agency is in line with the Bush administration's ban on images of flag-draped U.S. military coffins returning from the Iraq war, media monitors charged in separate telephone interviews. On Tuesday, FEMA refused to take reporters and photographers along on boats seeking victims in flooded areas, saying they would take up valuable space needed in the recovery effort and asked them not to take pictures of the dead. A FEMA spokeswoman wrote: "The recovery of victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect and we have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media." FEMA's policy of excluding media from recovery expeditions in New Orleans is "an invitation to chaos," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a part of Columbia University's journalism school.
Note: Death tolls were reported prominently on a daily basis after the Asian tsunami, so why are the media and government so reluctant to give figures on the number dead in this catastrophe?
Two Navy helicopter pilots and their crews returned from New Orleans on Aug. 30 expecting to be greeted as lifesavers after ferrying more than 100 hurricane victims to safety. Instead, their superiors chided the pilots...at a meeting the next morning for rescuing civilians when their assignment that day had been to deliver food and water to military installations along the Gulf Coast. While refueling at a Coast Guard landing pad in early evening, Lieutenant Udkow said, he called Pensacola and received permission to continue rescues that evening. According to the pilots and other military officials, they rescued 110 people. The next morning, though, the two crews were called to a meeting with Commander Holdener, who said he told them that while helping civilians was laudable, the lengthy rescue effort was an unacceptable diversion from their main mission of delivering supplies.
Not long after some 1,000 firefighters sat down for eight hours of training, the whispering began: "What are we doing here?" As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters...a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday [less than a week after landfall] in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers. Instead, they have learned they are going...to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA. On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency.
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The U.S. government agency leading the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina said on Tuesday it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from the flooded New Orleans area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, heavily criticized for its slow response to the devastation caused by the hurricane, rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims. "We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media," the spokeswoman said in an e-mailed response to a Reuters inquiry.
Note: Though a Washington Post article mentioned this news a couple days later, no major media picked up this important Reuters story.
On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals. We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources...and scores of buses were pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible... Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway. As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. A few of us...managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move. We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River... Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up...aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the f... freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water. The next days, our group of 8 walked most of the day, made contact with New Orleans Fire Department and were eventually airlifted out by an urban search and rescue team. This official treatment was in sharp contrast to the warm, heart-felt reception given to us by the ordinary Texans.
Note: Though this and other stunning accounts spread widely over the Internet and alternative news services, no major media would report this highly newsworthy account by to emergency medics caught in the disaster.
Mullen has a schoolteacher's kindly demeanor, so it was jarring to hear him say he suspected that the levee breaks had somehow been engineered to keep the wealthy French Quarter and Garden District dry at the expense of poor black neighborhoods...a suspicion I heard from many other black survivors. And it was surprising to hear Mullen's gentle voice turn bitter as he described the scene at the convention center, when helicopters bringing food didn't even land and the soldiers "just pushed the food out like we were in the Third World." I literally stumbled into the Rev. Jesse Jackson. He looked genuinely shaken, [saying] "this looks like the hold of a slave ship."
Defending the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued...that government planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur. But in fact, government officials, scientists and journalists have warned of such a scenario for years. Chertoff...said government officials did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that would flood the city of New Orleans. As far back as Friday, August 26 [three days before landfall], the National Hurricane Center was predicting the storm could be a Category 4 hurricane at landfall, with New Orleans directly in its path. The National Weather Service prediction proved almost perfect.
An Arlington-based Halliburton Co. subsidiary that has been criticized for its reconstruction work in Iraq has begun tapping a $500 million Navy contract to do emergency repairs at Gulf Coast naval and Marine facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc., won the competitive bid contract last July to provide debris removal and other emergency work associated with natural disasters. KBR has been at the center of scrutiny for receiving a five-year, no-bid contract to restore Iraqi oil fields shortly before the war began in 2003. Halliburton has reported being paid $10.7 billion for Iraq-related government work during 2003 and 2004. The company reported its pretax profits from that work as $163 million. Pentagon auditors have questioned tens of millions of dollars of Halliburton charges for its operations there. Last month three congressional Democrats asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to investigate the demotion of a senior civilian Army official, Bunnatine H. Greenhouse, who publicly criticized the awarding of that contract. Vice President Cheney headed Halliburton from 1995 to 2000.
E-mailers sent me copies of two news photos that revealed an apparent double standard regarding black and white flood victims in New Orleans. One of the images, shot by photographer Dave Martin for The Associated Press, shows a young black man wading through chest-deep waters after "looting" a grocery store, according to the caption. In the other, taken by photographer Chris Graythen for AFP/Getty Images, a white man and a similarly light-skinned woman also waded through chest-deep water after "finding" goods that included bread and soda in a local grocery store, according to the caption. Apparently, quipped a cynical blogger at Daily Kos, "It's not looting if you're white."
Note: For both photos and more on this disturbing story, click here.
NBC's levee broke and Kanye West flooded through with a tear about the federal response in New Orleans during the network's live concert fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The rapper was among the celebs and singers participating in the one-hour special, produced by NBC News. West was not scheduled to perform; he was one of the blah, blah, blahers, who would read from scripts prepared by the network. West: I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, "They're looting." You see a white family, it says, "They're looking for food." And, you know, it's been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black. And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I've tried to turn away from the TV because it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I'm calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest amount I can give, and just to imagine if I was down there, and those are my people down there. Parent company NBC Universal said in a statement, "Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks." West's comments would be cut from the West Coast feed, an NBC spokeswoman told The TV Column.
No one expected that weak spot to be on a canal that...had received more attention and shoring up than many other spots in the region. It did not have broad berms, but it did have strong concrete walls. Shea Penland, director of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of New Orleans, said that was particularly surprising because the break was "along a section that was just upgraded. It did not have an earthen levee," Dr. Penland said. "It had a vertical concrete wall several feel thick."
As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. "It's not if it will happen," says University of New Orleans geologist Shea Penland. "It's when."
Emergency planners believe that it is a foregone conclusion that the Big Easy someday will be hit by a scouring storm surge. This watery "big one" will produce a staggering amount of damage. Yet, this doesn't necessarily mean that there will be a massive loss of lives. The key is a new emergency warning system developed by...Louisiana State University. Within 30 minutes to an hour after raw data is collected from monitoring stations in the Gulf, an assessment of storm-surge damage would be available to emergency planners. Disaster relief agencies then would be able to mobilize resources.
Some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus, and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least. Alvin Toeffler has written about this in terms of some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops. Others are engaging even in an eco- type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. It's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our efforts.
If terrorist organizations have the capability to set off earthquakes and other major natural disasters, do you think huge military research laboratories with vast budgets might have some of the same capabilities? For more, click here and here.
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.