Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tragedy no impediment to The Guardian's agenda

At the conclusion of what was otherwise a generally sympathetic and reasonable editorial look at the effects of Katrina, The Guardian’s editors can’t help themselves but to conclude with this unsupported, and unsupportable, knock on the US government:
And, just when the victims most need the support of the federal government, they find themselves dependent on one that is least inclined to accept its responsibilities.
Oh really? From the AP:
As the Category 4 the storm surged ashore just east of New Orleans on Monday, FEMA had medical teams, rescue squads and groups prepared to supply food and water poised in a semicircle around the city, said agency Director Michael Brown.
FEMA, by the way, stands for Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The EPA dispatched emergency crews to Louisiana and Texas, because of concern about oil and chemical spills. The agency has set up facilities for checking on the damage, but won't be able to quickly assess the region's needs until it can safely send more people into the field.
For those who might be unaware, the Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government.
More than 40 Coast Guard aircraft from units along the entire Eastern Seaboard, along with more than 30 small boats, patrol boats and cutters, were positioned around the area to be ready to conduct post-hurricane search and rescue operations and to do waterway damage checks and begin any needed repairs.
The Coast Guard, in case you were wondering, is a part of federal government.
The Agriculture Department said it will provide meals and other commodities, such as infant formula, distilled water for babies and emergency food stamps, through its Food and Nutrition Service.
Its Natural Resources Conservation Service has an emergency watershed protection program. Its Rural Development office offers housing assistance to keep people from being delinquent on housing payments. The Farm Service Agency has state emergency boards with members who will help assess damage to agriculture and help decide the type and amount of recovery aid available in areas where disasters have been declared.

That would be the same Agricultural Department which is a department of the federal government.
The Defense Department dispatched emergency coordinators to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to provide a wide range of assistance including communications equipment, search and rescue operations, medical teams and other emergency supplies.
Yes the Defense Department, as you might have guessed, is a department of the federal government.

Bloomberg also tells us that:
President George W. Bush, after getting a bird's-eye view of Hurricane Katrina's destruction, plans to ask Congress for emergency relief and recovery funds, his spokesman said today...

Congressional leaders already are planning to work on special legislation to aid victims of the storm, states, local governments, and businesses when lawmakers reconvene next week, said Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican. The amount will depend on a damage assessment made once rescue operations are finished.

For the apparently unedified editors of The Guardian, George Bush and those congressional leaders referred to are, of course, member of the federal government.

If the editors of The Guardian feel free to deceive its audience about the US government in their very own editorials, what should that tell us about their inclination to ensure that their reporters are portraying the news honestly and accurately?

(And, BTW, what's up with this bizarre reference to post-Civil War times in the same editorial: "Increasingly too, these regions depend on tourism, but tourists could stay away for many months until the reconstruction - a term with unhappy resonance in those parts - kicks in.")