Thursday, September 08, 2005


White Wash II:

Supressing the True Scope of the Disaster

NBC's Brian Williams is reporting that the feds are blocking reporters for key areas of New Orleans as the round up of bodies begins. What is this Zimbabwe?

Lefty Blogger Atrios states the case, and I agree...

Take a moment to note what's happening here: these are the marks of repressive government, which mixes inefficiency with authoritarianism. The crew that couldn't get key aid on the scene last week is coming in in force now and taking as one of its key missions cutting public information about what's happening in the city.

The failures of government at all levels magnified the death toll. We as the public need to know the true scope of this disaster. The government didn't act to protect the victims before the storm and I find thier newfound concern insulting.

UPDATE: WaPo picks up on this line in an excellent editorial

Hiding Bodies Won't Hide the Truth

This is astounding. I hope this story gets wide airplay, in place of the censored photos that would have been shown. Has our government been replaced by the Presidium, and Pravda? First the censored caskets, then the administration-produded "video news releases" being passed off as news, and now this.

Does anyone know if this is the first natural disaster where the government has suddenly felt the need to step in and censor? I don't recall it happening before.
It happened all the time during WWII, but there was a national security component of that. I can understand censoring news about war, or our anti-terrorism practices, but supressing the news about the scope of the disaster in New Orleans/AL, MS is just to protect state, local and federal politicians behinds...Dem or Rep.

Good that others see it!
I did mean censoring coverage of natural disasters specifically. This can only serve a CYA purpose. Presumably major media have the decency to show restraint in their footage, so that (for instance) individual identities and modesty of the bodies are respected. FEMA's "dignity" excuse is pretty transparent.

Incidentally, in case you're unaware, I found your blog through the link next to the WaPo story. Nice development, that they are acknowledging the role you all now play in the "information dispersal infrastructure"...

Mark (Maryland)
Thanks Mark!

I do think it's cool that post is now linking to blogs....
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