Ted Koppel beat up on the head of FEMA on Nightline tonight. Michael Brown, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency admitted that they had no idea so many people would be sticking around to wait out the storm.
Koppel ripped him a new body part for not having that knowledge ahead
of time. He lambasted the guy for not realizing that at least 100,000
people in New Orleans did not have any means of transportation for
getting themselves out of town.
Ted wanted to know why FEMA
hadn't sent trucks in before Katrina got there -- if not trucks, then
flatbed trailers, buses, whatever it would have taken to get those
people out before the storm hit.
What took FEMA so long to get in there, Koppel wanted to know. In his defense, the head
of FEMA said that they haven't been able to get into the city before
now because the hurricane problems didn't end when it passed through. They had only begun. The levees
continued the flooding long after Katrina was on her way. So instead
of showing up with help the next day, like they usually do, FEMA had to wait.
People have been told to go to the convention center and they would be
safe. Except there's no water, food, electricity, medicine or
anything for the 20,000 people who have showed up.
Brown said that his agency hadn't made any promises like that. Well, someone did.
government agencies are looking like a bunch of losers right now.
Only the coast guard and the average Joes who are using their own
boats to get people out of their flooded neighborhoods and houses deserve any credit for their quick response at
Dead bodies lying on the streets, rapes in the
convention centers, shooting at the rescue copters, cops turning in
their badges so they don't have to deal with the lawlessness -- behavior is
being reduced to it's primal levels.
Meanwhile, the news
programs up here here are sending out requests for housing for people who have
been airlifted out of there, fed their first meals in days on the
planes and now need a place to stay.
I wonder how magnanimous
we'll be when the refugees are our fellow Americans, instead of the
usual victims we see from a third world country. How will we react when the people whose lives we're saving are people who have
a sense of entitlement. People that we can't treat with patronizing
condescension and expect to have them be ever so grateful for our offer of old
clothes and a bag of flour.
This is a test. If this were a real show of concern, Bono would be doing a concert.
Some disk jockey here in Chicago has come up with a drink called the Floating Body Cocktail.
This just gets better and better.