On the anniversary of one of the Bush administrations greatest domestic crimes, the negligent homicide of New Orleans, we get to hear NPR's coverage of Bush's visit there today. Introducing the story Robert Siegel mentions that Bush "has been sharply criticized" for his handling of the disaster, and then turns to Audie Cornish for the report. What we get is more of the phony-folksy propaganda of Bush starting his day at Betsie's Pancake House with a "short stack and a promise," telling the waitress, "No Maam (pause) not again" when she asked "Mr. President, are you going to turn your back on me?" We also learn that he was in the front row of the cathedral with Laura for memorial services. Finally we hear that many who traveled in to hear the president "applauded the president's message of rebirth and self-sufficiency."
I'll be sharp here. This is not reporting, this is worthless propaganda--a Bush campaign commercial. I'm tired of hearing NPR state that Bush has been "criticized" or "sharply criticized" with no follow up about why. How about serious reporting? How about accountability? This is the president cum fool who was hiding out on vacation when Katrina struck, who appointed an incompetent boob to run FEMA, who helped starve New Orleans of federal funding, who was informed long before the storm hit that thousands could die because of being too poor or infirm to evacuate, who was informed when the levees broke--and who did NOTHING. And what does NPR serve up? This threadbare hucksterism of Bush as a gee-shucks good guy who eats at pancake diners, says "Yes Maam," and gets applauded for speechifying. Give me a break!