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Fox News: Racism & Classism Live, On a TV Near You

Reported by Melanie - September 1, 2005

Neil Cavuto opened Your World today (September 1, 2005) saying it was a special edition titled, "America's Challenge." He said, "New Orleans is under siege. Fights and fires breaking out. Rescue helicopters being shot at. And all across the Big Easy, a big uneasy." A chyron at the bottom of the screen read, "More National Guard Troops to Combat Looting."

Cavuto tossed to reporter Anita Vogel who was standing high and dry on the median of I-10 in New Orleans where, the "situation is still pretty dangerous." Vogel reported that the "refugees" gathered there were thinning. She then turned and pointed over her shoulder and said, "let me show you what they're leaving behind - a whole lot of trash" and "human waste and every kind of possible debris you can imagine left behind by refugees coming from the inner-city."

Vogel talked about how much people have lost, and how frustrated they are and then wrapped with, "and then, of course, there's all this trash, left on the interstate and someone has to clean that up."

Next it was on to Shepard Smith near the Superdome. Cavuto reminded Smith that National Guard troops are on the way, and Smith said they'll be welcome because,

This place collapsed into chaos, Neil. There's no other way to put it. There were bands of thugs roaming the streets with AK-47's. Police were being ambushed. Police precincts shot-up. A Chinook helicopter shot at. Many riots inside the Superdome. The convention center torn apart last night. First hand reports, multiple, including some from police officers, of carpets being ripped up, shots being fired. Reports of murders all over the city. 47 carjacking's in one night. Looting in every neighborhood in the city as the water rises. Police not able to get out and about. There's just not enough of them to control all the chaos. On top of that, no businesses open. No food available. No water available. No air conditioning. No shelter now from the rain and thugs roaming around and hunting each other.

Smith said it was a, "third-world environment," people are anxious for, "all that help coming from the federal government."

Smith told Cavuto, who whined Tuesday and Wednesday that foreign countries hadn't "called" to express their sympathy, that "20 different nations have volunteered with monetary aid so at long last," it looks like "things around here will turn the corner."

During Smith's report, Fox ran the following chyrons at the bottom of the screen:

-President Bush urged 'Zero Tolerance' for Lawlessness.

-Report: US Military Helicopter Was Shot At.

-New Orleans: Mayor Ordered Cops to Drop Rescue Ops to Fight Crime.

-Nat'l Guard Soldier Was Shot and Wounded in the Superdome Arena.

-La. Gov: Will Do What it Takes to Bring Law and Order.

-Bush Condemned the Rampant Looting after the Storm.

-Bush Warned Against Price Gouging at Gasoline Pumps.

-Report: Evacuation Put on Hold When Shots Were Fired at Choppers.

-New Orleans: Gunshots Repeatedly Rang out & Fires Flared.

The second part of Smith's report was about the inevitability of a rise in the casualty count.

Comment: Superimpose these two reports over 48-hours of near-continuous video showing hundreds and thousands of disheveled, dazed, dirty, wet, starving, frightened African-Americans, who, as you probably noticed, Fox refers to as "refugees." Never mind that the Bush administration has been missing in action since late last week, at the least. Never mind that we have known for years and years that something like this could happen in the New Orleans area. Never mind that the people stranded in New Orleans are the poor and vulnerable; people living on the edge in the best of times. Never mind that most of them have lost their homes, possibly family members and friends, and most likely, their livelihoods. Never mind all the questions raised by this horrific disaster. Never mind any of it. On Fox, the "news" consists of blaming the desperate and stranded citizens of New Orleans. Fox is looking down its long, aloof, arrogant, nose; what's going on there is racism and classism live, on a TV near you.

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