Roger L. Simon

The Great Media Tsunami

One of the minor ironies of these bizarre times will be that Bush was ludicrously branded with racism (toward blacks) in his response to Hurricane Katrina when the media itself, if anyone, could be accused of racism (toward Asians) in its equally absurd comparison of the hurricane to the recent tsunami. While well over a hundred thousand people (possibly double that) died in the Asian cataclysm, the latest death toll figures I have seen for Katrina stand at 197 (at least for Louisiana). Horrible as that number is (and I’m sure it will grow), the comparision is of course absurd.

It is the media too that fanned the flames of partisanship here, looking to assign blame before anyone could possibly understand what was happening. They are an increasingly reactionary force in our society, driving people toward partisan reactions and further and further from the ability to reason with each other. People like Nancy Pelosi, screeching for the head of the President during a natural disaster, are essentially creatures of the media. They are nothing more.

UPDATE: The following just went up on Drudge:

After weeks of intense Katrina coverage from the main press, LA TIMES guru and former CNN host Michael Kinsley divulges that CNN was coaching guests to artificially enhance emotions!

Kinsley writes:

“The TV news networks, which only a few months ago were piously suppressing emotional fireworks by their pundits, are now piously encouraging their news anchors to break out of the emotional straitjackets and express outrage. A Los Angeles Times colleague of mine, appearing on CNN last week to talk about Katrina, was told by a producer to ‘get angry.'”

Well, no kidding. Also, almost simultaneously, I noticed some (of course) anonymous commenter on here justifying the media reporting outraged sound bites by African-Americans about Bush’s performance (or lack thereof) during the immediate hurricane aftermath. Given Kinsley’s comment, I wonder who tarted those up. Of course, if you look at it with any sophistication, you realize that using isolated sound bites to create an impression of one group’s opinion is itself deeply racist in its essence.

SECOND UPDATE: This will also be revealed to have been Bush’s responsibility. [No, it’s your fault. –ed. You are blogging from LA — hogging all sorts of energy — and not for a single second have you gone off line.]