Thursday, July 01, 2010

"We Are Not The Enemy Here"

Hi everyone. Sorry about my absence last night. It came down to blogging versus enjoying a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles while watching an episode of 21 Jump Street on Hulu. I am sorry to say that you all cannot compete with Officer Tom Hanson and chocolate-y goodness. Don't feel bad, not many can.

Anyway. Just like for the past 70-odd days, tonight the 360 kids kicked things off with some badass keeping 'em honest. It seems the government have themselves a new rule: nobody is allowed to come within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms out on the water or on beaches. That's not creepy at all! This does not make Anderson Cooper happy, y'all. He starts off by doing some of that Daily Show clip action I love so much--showing us Admiral Thad Allen of last month versus Admiral Thad Allen of now regarding the subject of transparency. Then he gives what is pretty damn close to a "special comment" (minus the multiple camera angles and extreme self righteousness), which is where I got the title of this post. In fact, I liked it so much I'm going to block quote some of that bad boy out:
We're not the enemy here. Those of us down here trying to accurately show what's happening, we are not the enemy. I have not heard about any journalists who has disrupted relief efforts. No journalist wants to be seen as having slowed down the cleanup or made things worse.

If a Coast Guard official asked me to move, I would move. But to create a blanket rule that everyone has to stay beyond 65 feet away boom and boats, that doesn't sound like transparency. Frankly, it's a lot like in Katrina when they tried to make it impossible to see recovery efforts of people who died in their homes.

If we can't show what's happening, warts and all, no one will see what's happening. And that makes it very easy to hide failure and hide incompetence, and makes it very hard to highlight the hard work of cleanup crews and the Coast Guard. We are not the enemy here.
A-freaking-men. This is ridiculous. We're supposed to have a free press in this country. Following Hurricane Katrina, once the government started to get their act together, one of the first things they did was ban the press from photographing the bodies. CNN balked. They sued, and they won. This was a big deal, people. One of the few examples of them truly being a fearless news network. If the Coast Guard continues to uphold this stupid rule, CNN should again step up to the plate--show the country that fearless network still exists. The video below contains the first block of the show, including discussion with Billy Nungesser of Plaquemines Parish and Craig Taffaro Jr. of Saint Bernard, and yes, the bullet points follow:

  • Nungesser: "Now, listen, Craig said I had to be nice tonight, because it's Fourth of July." Good to see someone's keeping Billy in line, heh.
  • Nungesser: "Saying words like war and kick butt, saying it don't mean diddly, unless you do it." Exactly. I think it's stupid to use those terms in the first place, but whatever.
  • I was glad to see them covering the return of the FEMA trailers. This was a subject 360 hammered post-Katrina. My reaction to today's story was pretty much the same as Congressman Ed Markey: "It's stunning on the one hand, but not surprising. This has been characteristic of everything that has occurred since day one."
  • Randi Kaye went out with Governor Bobby Jindal to survey the damage from Hurricane Alex and her report is below.

  • The dispersant saga continues. Ed Lavandera reports:

  • What is going on with Al Gore?! WTF? From Joe Johns we learned that massage therapist Molly Haggerty is accusing the former VP of sexual assault, which allegedly occurred in 2006. On the one hand, trotting out her story to the National Enquirer and threatening a civil suit makes her look like she's after his money. On the other hand, we're dealing with a politician here. These type of scandals seem to be standard operating procedure to them.
  • Did you hear? Jimmy Buffett was on the show tonight. I found the whole thing bemusing. Is Buffett really that popular? The 360 kids promoted the hell out of this interview. My regular readers know how I feel about their celebrity obsession. I was fine hearing about Buffett's concert, but I'm not sure why we needed the long walk on the beach where we heard all his views on the disaster--even if I agree with a lot of them. I suppose they'd argue they're bringing attention to the area. Whatev.
  • Ha! I did a Twitter search to see what people were saying about Jimmy Buffett and found this tweet by a @joshuagates that was retweeted over 30 times: "Did I just smoke crack cocaine or is Anderson Cooper doing an in depth interview with Jimmy Buffett about the oil spill."
  • Jimmy Buffett: "Well, I just say that when I wrote 'Margaritaville,' all those tourists covered in oil, this is not what I had in mind. No."

  • The show continues to be good. These past few nights have been stronger than Monday. It was nice to see the other parish president. I still think they need to watch that rut.
  • This bullet point contains a Margarita. Because duh.

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Anonymous Unstoppable Family said...

“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.”
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Unstoppable Family
Brian and Rhonda Swan

6:26 PM  

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