Saturday, February 10, 2007

New Orleans Crime, WWL's Garland Robinette, Murder Of Dinerral Shavers, And French Quarter Fear (Thursday's Second Hour)

Hi everyone. This hour is a little better, but we still kick it off with a bunch of Anna Nicole coverage. Then we're on to a Rick Sanchez piece where he goes out on patrol with cops in New Orleans. These just aren't any cops; they're an elite unit called the "jump out boys" because, I'm assuming, they jump out on your butt. These cops are trying to get the crime in New Orleans under control and end the murder epidemic. So far they've made 1,000 arrests. In the piece the cops bust some drug dealers and Rick shows us a half ounce bag of weed. Oh, bust Rick! Unfortunately in New Orleans busts are one thing and convictions are another. After the piece Anderson asks Rick what the problem is and Rick explains that with the city so abandoned there are basically about 10,000 potential crack houses just waiting for criminals. Rick then partially acts out the process of the "jump out boys" going after somebody. He makes sweeping hand gestures and if you watch closely, momentarily freaks Anderson the hell out. It's okay Anderson. I'd be a little afraid too if Rick was swinging his arms wildly in front of me.

Next up we have a repeat of last hour's Randi Kaye piece and then we're on to an interview with Deputy Chief Anthony Cannatella of the NOPD. Again Anderson asks what's going on in the city. Anthony believes that the increase in crime is because all the criminals are now vying for territory that has gotten smaller. Anderson notes that it seems the social structure in the city has broken down and Anthony agrees. He points out that there are actually a lot of teens living in the city now without their parents. Where are these parents? There's no way I'd let my kid live in any city alone. We also find out from Anthony that their DNA lab was destroyed and they still don't have a crime lab. What?! It's been like 18 months! This is just unbelievably ridiculous. After this interview we have a Randi Kaye piece on Helen Hill, which was covered last time they were in the city.

On now to an interview with Garland Robinette, radio host on WWL in New Orleans. Some of you may recognize Garland from Spike Lee's documentary "When the Levees Broke." I bought the DVD a couple of weeks ago and have so far watched the first two acts. It's infuriating, heartbreaking, and highly recommended. Garland explains to Anderson that everyone in any kind of power seems to be blaming everyone else. It's like blame game redux I guess. Anderson really admires Garland for holding people accountable on his radio show or, ahem, keeping them honest. Garland believes all the officials are good people, it's just that stuff isn't getting done and that's hella frustrating. He also points out that there's this conflict with fighting the crime and keeping tourists. Apparently last time they had a curfew it helped with the crime, but people in tourism were upset that it scared tourists away from the French Quarter. Anderson notes that he himself has wrestled with the fact that bringing up the crime aspect might scare people away. Yeah, but you can't ignore reality. Problems don't get fixed if they're swept under the rug. At the end of the interview Anderson goes all fanboy. It's kind of cute.

Now we're on to a Gary Tuchman piece about how the violent crime rate among teens 17 and older is spiking. Just Wednesday a 17 year old was shot to death and Gary talks with a 15 year old who says she hears gunshots every weekend. I can't imagine what that must be like, but really, I don't think it's just specific to New Orleans. After the piece Gary informs us that they're spending a lot more money now on securing schools. That's good to hear.

Moving on to an Anderson piece on the murder of Dinerral Shavers, an accomplished drummer that 360 met not that long after Katrina. He loved music so much that he actually convinced the principal of a local high school to let him start the school's first marching band. Unfortunately Dinerral was gunned down at just 25. The bullet was meant for someone else. His murder and that of Helen Hill were really the tipping point for protests held in the city last time 360 was there. I'm glad they're covering Dinerral more indepth this time because last time they only did Helen Hill. The kids of the high school were so upset that they put tape all over his chair so no one would ever sit in it again. Aw. So much senseless killing.

The final piece of the night is from Susan Roesgen and it focuses on how dangerous the French Quarter is becoming. This leaves me comfuzzled for the next few minutes because I've been listening to Anderson and others say that the French Quarter is safe. Anyway, apparently people who live there are now afraid to go out after dark and we meet a couple that was mugged. They say they feel like prisoners in their own home. Well that's not encouraging. Although I do have to chuckle at the fact that the woman who got mugged has now planted vines around her house that have thorns all over them. That's one of the most original home security systems I've ever seen. After the piece Anderson admits that they've just had people on claiming the French Quarter is safe. Susan says she's been telling people the same thing, but now she's not so sure. Wow. That's kind of telling right there if she's not sure anymore. And the rest of the country and its government just look away.

I'll probably have the first hour of Friday's show up sometime this weekend. I tried to pay attention to the second hour, but just couldn't do it. Besides a repeat piece I think it was literally devoid of news. I would have thought you'd actually have to try to pull that off. Have you seen Spike Lee's documentary? Has New Orleans been forgotten? Have we lost the city? Please don't forget to donate to help Herbert Gettridge rebuild!

Screencaps by storm0611 and jld1119.


Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

At my house (the one I had before I moved to an apartment) I planted bougainvillea, which is pretty AND horribly thorny- in front of all the windows. It's a great idea that I got from the landscaper. Much more pleasing than bars on the windows....

I haven't seen Spike Lee's documentary, but I've heard from more than one person "wow".

I'm going for "lost the city". They're trying to make it look clean and pretty but I personally wouldn't step toe in the place as a tourist....

10:10 AM  
Blogger doctorj2u said...

Thank you for the recap. I missed this viewing. Has America forgotten New Orleans? I don't think forgotten is the correct word. I think abandoned is much closer to the truth. They know things are bad and decided to turn the other way. When did America go so wrong? Please read this article by Lois Eric Elie of New Orleans. It tells the truth of our situation.

Also anything Garland Robinette says is right on.
Spike Lee's documentary is wonderful. It is the only work that lets New Orleanians tell their own story. It is not filtered through outsiders considerable misconceptions of the city and its culture.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

I am eagerly awaiting your take on the hilarious comments Anderson was making about Zsa Zsa's husband. Man. I was laughing so hard I fell off my ball!

Oh, and GEEZ. Can we see the glint of fear in Anderson's eyes when he repeatedly is freaking out that someone HIS OWN AGE can die of natural causes? Egad.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous jr said...

I watched the Spike Lee documentary on HBO when it first aired. It was great and really made me think about the situation. I admit, though, I was slightly disappointed that there was not much mentioned about AC and his coverage nor any interviews with him to get his take; just Soledad.

Did any of you see Spike Lee and Soledad's work with giving children video cameras and documenting their experiences in the region? I didn't get to see the first airing that was held on Friday. My guess is if Spike is involved, it would be a good view....

@Eliza: BTW, I wanted to donate for Herbert but got busy the last few days. I'm glad you are keeping it open this weekend. After seeing him on AC360, it just brought warm fuzzies so you can count on me to help.....thanks.

4:30 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@sharla-Aw, I'd totally go to New Orleans. I mean I live in the official most dangerous city in the US (though I think that's crap), so...

I do have to admit though that I'd much rather help someone rebuild in the 9th ward then get drunk and party in the French Quarter.

I wasn't watching the Zsa Zsa husband interview all that closely, but could tell Anderson was snarking. I'll have to check out the transcript.

People always seem to freak a little when someone their own age suddenly dies with no explanation. But it happens. That's life...and death.

@doctorj2u-You're welcome. That was a good article you posted. It reminds me of this one:

Being Poor Like the NOLAs

@jr-I've always liked Soledad, but I have a newfound respect for her after seeing her interviewed in Spike's documentary. Also, it was strange seeing that interview again that she did with Brownie. The last time I saw it was when it occurred live on that Friday morning. I had actually stayed up the whole night before watching the coverage.

Yay for donating for Herbert!

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Yes, exactly. I wouldn't mind going to help someone rebuild but I wouldn't go there to party. I'm not the party type, anyhow.

Oh, you MUST read the transcript. It was freaking hilarious when he made the "called a press conference" comment. He could barely hold in the eye rolling.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched Spike Lee's documentary when it first aired on HBO and I too was disappointed that AC was not mentioned. I had also gained a newfound respect for Soledad what I watched her Brownie interview while I was at work. We were all literally standing around the TV going "You go, girl". Yes, it was very cliche...
About the documentary, of course I was outraged by the way these people were abandoned. And the piece where Dubya is being briefed by the Hurricane Center guy and he responds with "Uh, yeah, thanks for letting us know about the... uhh.." then someone behind him whispers and he finishes with "the, uh, the big storm". That was beyond infuriating.
What was hurtful to see in the documentary were the accusations that the levees were blown up intentionally. It's one thing to call someone out for ineptitude and incompetency, but that accusation is just ridiculous. To say that just because no one bothered to strenghten the levees or help the people evacuate, that 1000 people were murdered hits me wrong. In order to believe that, one has to believe that the goverment actually had a clue about anything and that they were organized enough to compile the resources in order to pull off something like that. To think of all those people who believe that, to know what hate is in their hearts is sad. People who are that full of hatred will never recover, no matter how much of the city's infrastructure is rebuilt or what part of their former lives they are able to regain. (Not that I'm holding out hope that anyone will pull their heads out of their asses and accomplish anything.) There are fundamental changes that need to be made for that city to survive, and it just doesn't sound like that is happening. I haven't forgotten about New Orleans, and I don't 'not care' either. My heart aches for them now the same way it did 18 months ago. But I just don't know how it can be fixed.
And I would go there to help someone rebuild rather than go there to party. I'd much rather paint a house or haul off debris than get drunk and act a fool. Rebuilding doesn't cause hangovers, or blackmail photos!
(Sorry that was so long!)

2:22 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Anne-I didn't mind that Anderson wasn't in the documentary. He's gotten a lot of press for his work down there and I think it's nice that Soledad got a turn. Since you watched her interview live that Friday morning did you notice that it looked like she was about to or was just starting to cry as they cut out for commercial? I hadn't slept the night before, so maybe I was hallucinating, but I always wondered why no one ever mentioned that seeing as how much press Anderson got for the same thing.

I don't think the people that think the levees were blown up intentionally have hate in their hearts. While I don't share their belief I completely understand why they hold it and really don't blame them. These are people who have basically known nothing but betrayal from their government. Plus, the levees were blown up previously. I would say it's more of an unbelievable sorrow that's in their hearts rather than hate. Although really, even though they didn't blow up the levees I think hatred of this government is completely justified.

3:56 AM  

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