Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin - Moratorium on Politicians Congratulating Each Other

I was blown away by what I heard when I clicked on an innocent looking CNN feed on the Real Guide homepage:

Mayor fed up with slow response
In an interview with WWL Radio's Garland Robinette, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin expresses frustration and anger at the federal government. (August 2)

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

I don't want to see anybody do any more goddamn press conferences. Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city, and they come down to this city, and stand with us, with their military trucks and troops that we can't even count. Don't tell me there are 40,000 people coming here, they're not here! It's too goddamn late!
Get off your asses and let's do something

And I'm telling you right now, they're showing all these reports of looting, people doing all that weird stuff, and they are doing that. But people are desperate. They're trying to find food and water. The majority of them.
You have some knuckleheads out there, taking advantage of the lawlessness, this situation where, you know, we can't really control it, and they're doing some awful, awful things. But that's a small [minority] of the people. Most people are looking to try and survive.

When I heard The Garland Robinette Show interview with Mayor Ray Nagin, it was very moving and rare to hear a politician talk so sincerely and with such passion. His radio interview highlighted how, much real compassion and empathy is missing from most reports on the people stuck in New Orleans. He talked like he was OF the people instead of doing something FOR the people lke most politicians. I feel like Mr. Nagin was playing New Orleans Mayor Russian roulette. He happens to be the guy in the mayor seat when everything went down. Just making the best of living with the legacy of decisions made long ago. Even before he was born.

Most news reporters distance themselves from the people, emotionally. But I have to hand it to Shepard Smith [New York Times Article that mentions the incident] from Fox News. He wouldn't let Bill O'Reilly do his regular belittlement and dismissal of people who don't toe the line of the point he's trying to make. (O'Reilly was making the point that all people were impacted by Hurricane Katrina equally without regard to race or class.) Smith recklessly told stories about how some tourists were marched to the front of the line to get on the next busses in front of locals who'd been waiting up to 5 days in the Superdome. I'm sure these are the same tourists who ordered and paid for busses that got commandeered by the military. Of course, the media and people in the Superdome wouldn't know that.

Regardless of the reprecussions of the interview, know that at least one person out there in cyberspace stands behind Mayor Ray Nagin. Even if he did commit political suicide, it was for a worthy cause.

A Couple of Random Comments

Great Quote from a local radio DJ

It's nice that the President can interrupt his vacation to see how we livin'.

Baton Rouge Police Scanner

Hurricane Katrina Help Hub

Hurricane Katrina "I'm OK" Registry

Representative Elijah Cummings (D - Maryland) attemping to make Bush and his crew feel shame about the response Hurricane Katrina aftermath.

Donate Housing :: Find Shelter

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