Friday, September 02, 2005

WOLF BLITZER: HURRICANE VICTIMS 'SO BLACK'

Thanks to Jes, we can now be certain that Wolf Blitzer -- bearded anchor of CNN -- has gone 'round the bend. Off the reservation. To the land of Commander Koo-Koo Bananas.

During his Thursday afternoon "Situation Room" show, Blitzer was yammering; curmudgeon Jack Cafferty has just finished blasting the federal government for its slow response to Hurricane Katrina (that Cafferty, he's such a delightful bastard).

Guess Wolf felt he needed to say something memorable:
"You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold."
Welcome to Friday. We will never forget this day, or this week, as long as we live.

Soon the water will come
and claim what is mine.
I must leave it behind,
and climb to a new place now.

4 comments:

John Stone said...

If you didn't listen to the KWTO-crap call in this morning you would have heard that some Ozarkers think that it's just a bunch of stupid nigros who are troublemakers and criminals anyway ... and good riddance, let them all die.

We are such loving Christians in this part of the country.

If I were still down there and George the Lesser flew over I might even pick up a rifle and empty a clip ....

Horrid situation ... and horrid response ...

Anonymous said...

I try to watch the news reports on the Hurricane when I get home from work. It is most distressing.

I believe the news videos of the victims,,,,desperate people trying to stay alive,,,,,and yes, the majority of them are, to us in Springfield, a racial minority (funny, but in NO, we'd be the racial minority). John Stone said it well. More effort was spent on Terri Shivo (sp?) by congress than Katrina.
I am just sick over what our government hasn't done. One of my co-workers said that those people expect the federal government to give them handouts--she doesn't get handouts, why should they?
They could've left but chose to stay.
They need more than prayers.

Anonymous said...

The majority of people who remained in New Orleans, La. did not leave because they were too poor to do so. They did not own a car and could not afford a bus ticket or means to leave.

Some were in hospitals and were critically ill and could not be moved. Is she saying they 'chose' to stay because they were too ill to be evacuated? Some were the doctors, nurses and hotel staff who remained to care for those under their charge. Should they have abandoned the ill or tourists visiting New Orleans and leave their posts to evacuate?

Please tell your friend that while her biggest concerns right now are making sure she beats the traffic along Glenstone or Chestnut Expressway on the way to work each morning, these 'hand-out' seekers are fighting to stay alive and keep their children from slowly starving to death before their eyes.

Those that lived through Hurricane Katrina were left without food, water and/or supplies for five days. Real tangible help just arrived for the first time on Friday. Babies without formula. The elderly without heart and blood pressure medications keeping them alive.

I would encourage your friend to take a spiritual fast and forego food and water for a week to really understand why things have gone so badly in New Orleans.

Additionally if she or her children or family takes any medications on a regular basis or has any chronic health problems, remember that she and they need to abstain from all of them and sleep on the ground outside with only the clothes on her back to truly understand the pointed ignorance and total absurdity of her 'hand-out' and well 'they chose to stay' comments.

And you are right, our FELLOW AMERICANS need more than just prayers right now. And these are truly our fellow Americans, whether they be black or white. You are not watching refugees from a third world country. Until a few days ago you could travel from Springfield to go there on vacation.

They need compassion, a future to look forward to and understanding. They need real help and not continuous press conferences detailing all the government is doing to help them while they slowly die in the streets of New Orleans with sewer rats gnawing on corpse toes.

Remember just because a hurricane does not seem likely to hit Springpatch does not mean that we may not one day suffer from some other kind of natural disaster.

I would be very cautious in the words we use about those 'other people' who 'chose' to stay and who now only want 'hand-outs.'

We may find them being said about us one day.

tesseract said...

Ron,
I think if you look at Wolf Blitzer's comment in the context of the dialogue with Jack Cafferty, it isn't as offensive. I agree that standing alone it sounded terrible. I looked on the transcript of "The Situation Room" segment you quoted to see how in the world he could say such a thing. But, Jack Cafferty had raised the issues of race and class and how the media was ignoring them. And he closed his segment by asking the question: "What role have race and class played in the Gulf Coast crisis? You tell us."

Blitzer then commented on some new pictures coming in, and then echoed Cafferty's issue:
"As much as you see that picture, though, you simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals. As Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold."

I would bet that he said "these people... are so poor" and then wanted to echo the race issue, and instead of saying "...and they are predominantly black, and this is going to raise lots of questions..." He didn't think fast enough. I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt in this case. I don't believe he had bad intentions, just bad wording.

I pasted the whole relevant transcript:
----JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: It could happen. And with a couple of days' notice, as you suggested, it was taking shape and drawing a bead on the city, and we knew it was coming. And yet, the poorest and the neediest and the most helpless of those in New Orleans, well, they're still there, aren't they?

Despite the many angles of this tragedy -- and lord knows there've been a lot of them in New Orleans -- there is a great big elephant in the living room that the media seems content to ignore.

That would be until now. Slate.com's Jack Schafer wrote today in his column that television coverage has shied away from talking about race and class. Schafer says that we in the media are ignoring the fact that almost all of the victims in New Orleans are black and poor. And he's right. Almost every person we've seen, from the families stranded on their rooftops waiting to be rescued, to the looters, to the people holed up in the Superdome, are black and poor.

Many of them didn't follow the evacuation orders because they didn't have the means to get out of town. They just couldn't do it. A lot of them are sick. A lot of them don't have cars. A lot of them just didn't have the means to leave the Big Easy. And they're still there.

So here's the question: What role have race and class played in the Gulf Coast crisis? You tell us. CaffertyFile -- one word -- @CNN.com.

Wolf, we got something like 7,500 letters in the first hour of the program today. I thought we got a lot yesterday. We got about 6,000 letters over the course of the three hours yesterday. Seventy- five hundred e-mails poured in, in the first hour.

One of them suggested I could be tied up in IRS audits for years after the things I said about the federal government in the first hour.

BLITZER: That's all right. You have nothing to hide, Jack.

CAFFERTY: Okay, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Jack Cafferty.

I want to show our viewers some pictures that are just coming in. We're getting multiple feeds. These are live pictures you're seeing over here from the airport, New Orleans Airport, individuals being brought in by helicopters or planes. They have got an emergency medical facility unde rway right now. And New Orleans Airport has become a major source of attention.

These pictures over here, look at this. Individuals continuing to do what we've been seeing for days now, simply walking through the water -- we have to assume it's disgusting water, and rapidly becoming disease-filled water -- just trying to get to some location with what meager possessions they have. We see that picture over and over and over again.

As much as you see that picture, though, you simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals. As Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold.

We'll take a quick break. More of our special coverage right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)