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Friday, September 2, 2005
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Ok, I have watched quite a bit of the MSNBC coverage over the last several days, and while I have been impressed with the actual information and reporting (and they have had some of the best pictures). However, I have a few gripes/critiques.

The first one is: there has been a great deal of criticism tonight and last night on both Hardball and Countdown about how the fear that rescue workers felt (which was part of why more relief didn’t come in yesterday, it would seem) was overblown—that the people in the city have not been threatening on balance, but rather quite cooperative.

Ok, fine. But please note: it has been the wall-to-wall cable news coverage that has been accentuating the notion that city has been in utter chaos and the coverage (on all the stations) has especially been underscoring anything involving shootings—including shooting that have often been reported as “unconfirmed.�?

Is it just me, or are there some serious problems, therefore, with the critiques coming out of the mouths of MSNBC reporters, anchors and commentators?

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Filed under: Hurricanes/Weather, MSM, Cable News | |


  1. Easy for Matthews to sit on his rich butt in New York & tell folks actually confronting a crisis that ‘they should feel no fear’. Has his Chris-ness EVER walked unarmed into an angry mob to tell them “I’m here to help you”? Since he always brags about having been in the Peace Corps, why doesn’t he use some of that vaunted expertise & get his Manolo boots dirty? Oh, wait; his job’s just to 2nd guess & to kibitz.

    Comment by cagey — Friday, September 2, 2005 @ 8:19 pm

  2. The problem is, it only takes a couple of incidents of shooting at relief workers to make the rest fearful, and rightly so when it’s obvious that the normal respect for authority is breaking down. The news coverage has absolutely nothing to do with the response of the relief workers, I suspect, because there’s very little chance any of them saw any of the coverage.

    Comment by Harry — Friday, September 2, 2005 @ 8:58 pm

  3. there can be no doubt that the relief workers new of the reports of shootings.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 2:08 pm

  4. How does Dr. Taylor know there “was no doubt that relief worker new of the reports of shootings”? Telepathy? Clairvoyance?

    I’ve been part of hurricane relief efforts in Florida, where I live, last year. I can tell you this, you’re too damnned busy and too damned tired to watch CNN or MSN. I see bigger problems with your critique of the press than their critique of relief efforts, the lack of order the horrilby, tragically inadequate early response and near total lack of disaster planning that is exacerbating the suffering. The Bush admin. gutted flood control projects in the New Orleans area, shipped 30% on National Guard troops and 50% of their equitpment to Iraq. Maybe you ought to critique that instead. It’s far more important than what Chris Matthews thinks of the situation.

    Comment by Sonny — Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 5:30 pm

  5. Because a) it was all over mass media and the rescue workers were in a position to have heard those reports and b) there were reports that that reason the rescue workers didn’t want to go into the city was because they had heard reports of the shootings and were scared to enter.

    It really isn’t rocket science, Sonny.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 7:46 pm

  6. Plus, a little logic: why would they be afraid to go in (as was reported in more than one place) if they were unaware of the reports on the violence?

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, September 3, 2005 @ 8:18 pm

  7. My experience in similar a situation, i.e., Punta Gorda in the aftermath of Charlie last year, is simply that you don’t have time to mind what the talking heads are reporting and you aren’t exposed to it. You have people to help things to do and very little exposure to the media. When the electricity is out the best you can do is a battery operated radio, but I exhausted my batteries in the first few days and replacements are impossible to get. The reality is the people you’re trying to help and much of the coverage at the national network level isn’t of much value. You can see the same pictures they keep repeating by looking around outside and the anchor comments are shallow and near meaningless. The were a few places where a generator was running a TV, but there was no cable just off the air local stations. It took weeks to get power and cable back up. My point is, no you don’t get to hear what Chris Matthews or any other national network talking heads think of the situation. If the relief workers in N.O. heard something, most likely it was word of mouth.

    Comment by Sonny — Monday, September 5, 2005 @ 10:03 am

  8. Telepathy How

    Online shopping for Subjects from a great selection of

    Trackback by Telepathy How — Tuesday, December 5, 2006 @ 12:00 pm

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