Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Looting Out of Control

Oh my god! What about my stuff?!?

Every press conference with the Mayor and his Police Chief begins with an update on the number of looting arrests. There have been just a handful. It hasn't really been an issue.

But the looting update still leads the press conference and then leads the article, like this one from yesterday.

It's a dishonest picture of the situation here. The top story in New Orleans right now is the chaotic food stamp distribution process and the economic impact of the evacuation on the poor.

The Mayor and the Chief get to pat themselves on the back about tens of looters arrested for petty crime when they need to be challenged for their responsibility to the thousands needing the basics - food. The media should challenge Nagin's knowledge of the evacuation economy given his recent delusion regarding the high salaries of short-order cooks.


I should point out that the article which I sort-of criticize does do a great job challenging Nagin's almost comical assertion about what Gustav tells us about our levees.

This one is a C. Ray classic, only much more destructive to our recovery than usual:

"Gustav proved . . . that our community and the levee-protection system probably can handle a Category 3 storm, " though he acknowledged that it had weakened to a Category 2 before making landfall.

The reporters, Gordon Russell and Andrew Vanacore smartly go to Rising Tide key note speaker John Barry for a response:

"I don't think the mayor's comment is helpful, " said John Barry, author of "Rising Tide" and a member of the levee board that oversees the city's storm protection. "I wish he were right. He is, unfortunately, simply mistaken. We were lucky. The storm missed us. But it is good to know that in the areas where the storm did exert pressure, everything held up well."


jeffrey said...

How many of those "tens of looters" were sent "directly to the big house" as the Mayor so brashly warned? Not that it matters much but I'm betting zero.

Leigh C. said...

If these folks are looking for an organized way to distributed sorely needed necessities, they need to hand it all over to Chief Brenda Dardar Robichaux of the Houma Nation. That woman has got it TOGETHER.