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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Could it Be This is Why the Left MSM Wants to Show Those Dead Bodies?

Denver Post tv critic Joanne Ostrow tells us something important in her column today about why some journalists are bent on showing grisly photos of Hurricane Katrina victims - they think it will do further damage to President Bush. Like Republicans waving bloody shirts during Reconstruction, today it is the dead of Katrina who are to be used as political weapons.

Notes Ostrow:

"The cadavers tell a story; they are evidence in the debate in Washington: Why were there so many fatalities from a predicted natural disaster? Defenders of the administration warn against pointing fingers (former President George H.W. Bush disparages the 'blame game' and makes a face as if the idea smells as bad as New Orleans). Critics of the weak, delayed rescue efforts want answers."

But to whom are these "critics" addressing their questions? Only to Bush? Why not ask New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagins why he failed to use the 500+ public school buses at his disposal to evacuate people? Why not ask Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco if her obvious feud with the Mayor stems from his endorsement of her GOP opponent in the 2003 gubernatorial race?

I have emailed Ostrow asking if she was aware of these issues before she wrote her column for today's Post and whether she believes Nagins and/or Blanco bear any responsibility for the response. Her answer will appear in this space as an update, assuming such a response is received .

Another aspect of Ostrow's column bears comment here and that is the respective comments of the heads of CNN and MSNBC on the issue of showing Katrina casualties on tv. Ostrow quotes MSNBC's Mark Effron saying: "Our role is to show reality. We are showing bodies but not in close-ups. Our correspondents and videographers have conveyed the sense of horror without close-ups."

Effron expresses the same view as I did yesterday in the interview with a Reuters reporter. You can read my post on the issue from yesterday here.

As for CNN, expect to see the worst, most graphic video. Why? CNN's Jonathan Klein explains, via Ostrow: "As they drain the city you're going to see things that are very tough."

It is strictly coincidental that, as Robert Cox of The National Debate has documented here, here, and here, CNN's on-air interviewers have been the most aggressively critical of the federal response.