Roger L. Simon

Annals of the Reactionary Media

What does this remind you of?

After five days managing near riots, medical horrors and unspeakable living conditions inside the Superdome, Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron prepared to hand over the dead to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Following days of internationally reported murders, rapes and gang violence inside the stadium, the doctor from FEMA – Beron doesn’t remember his name – came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.

“I’ve got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome,” Beron recalled the doctor saying.

The real total?

Six, Beron said.

Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the handoff of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice.

I tell you what it reminds me of – Baghdad immediately after the invasion. Remember all those reports of the mass looting of their national museum that turned out to be little more than some minor thefts (most returned), principally by the museum’s own directors? Yet the media behaved as this were the mass destruction of antiquities from the cradle of civilization and the US was to blame.

Of course the major intent of the misdirection and distortion in Baghdad and New Orleans was the same – to embarrass George Bush. Frankly I don’t care that much about George Bush. He’s just one guy. But I do care, intensely, about democracy. The media’s dislike of George Bush easily trumps their love of democracy. That’s why they’re reactionaries.