Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Molly Henneberg's Happy Hurricane

Reported by Ellen - September 1, 2005 -

I posted last night about Molly Henneberg's condescending attitude toward evacuees from New Orleans. Tonight, she was even worse. Reporting from the Red Cross shelter in Baton Rouge, she was so perky about well, the perks of the shelter, you might have thought everyone was at one big slumber party. Of course, I'm sure Henneberg didn't have to sleep or eat there. But it was obviously more than good enough for all the poor people who didn't have the luxury of an expense account.

Henneberg started by reporting breathlessly about the forms the Red Cross is giving the evacuees so that they can provide information that will be emailed to their contacts about their whereabouts and safety. It's undoubtedly a good thing but Henneberg put all the focus on the form and the procedure and skipped any human examples of its use or necessity.

Then, even more upbeat, she said, "I want to show you something here that's uh, you know something THESE PEOPLE (my emphasis) look forward to." She pointed to a family that she described as having been "on the floor for two days" and said, as if they had just received a special Christmas present, "and now they've just gotten COTS." (her emphasis) "That is something that just makes their day here when they get a cot and they get up off the floor." Who needs a home when you could have an army cot, right Molly?

But there was even more good news, if you can stand it. People were being fed. Perky as ever, she said, "I mean it is AMAZING that they are able to feed 5,000 people three meals a day here! And the Red Cross and volunteers? They buy the food and in this case, today, the local Southern Baptist Churches, they cook the food and then the Red Cross distributes it and these people got a hot meal of barbecue and baked beans and a soda."

Next, Henneberg interviewed a couple of kids (obviously prescreened) who told the audience how much fun they were having at the shelter, that the food was good and what a swell place it was all around. No mention of what else might be happening in their lives. Was their entire family together? What were the children going to do about school? Had they been forced to leave any pets behind? Who cares, if the kids are getting barbecue cooked by the local church?

Henneberg chirped on. "You know it's interesting, today they had MOVIE DAY for the kids. They showed The Incredibles upstairs. They let the kids come up and have some time watching the movies."

Alan Colmes thanked her "very much for that fine report. Still to come tonight, Molly will join us for some more emotional stories of survival." I could hardly wait.

Henneberg started the "emotional story of survival" segment by saying she spoke to some people who didn't like being called refugees (which FOX News repeatedly calls them) because they're American citizens. "So the people staying here, they definitely have their opinions about who they are, and what they are and what should happen next." Isn't that special of you to acknowledge, Molly. Decent of you to report their concerns at all.

She moved on. "Right now, what's happening here is that the Red Cross volunteers are giving out some JUICE (her emphasis) before people go to bed - some pineapple juice and orange juice, but let me step out of the way so you can see what's happening (all I saw was a big room filled with people and things). As always happens at night, you see all the cots and blankets come out..."

She spoke briefly with a man who was in Metairie when the levee gave way. The man said that water came up four to five feet in 15 seconds. At last, I thought, the emotional story of survival that Colmes promised was about to begin. But that was the beginning and end of it. How did the man survive? How did he escape? We never found out. Henneberg changed the subject. "And you found yourself here. How is the shelter?"

The man said it was fine, of course. Compared to a flood, how could it not be? Henneberg sounded quite cheerful as she ended the interview. "And now it's the challenge for Mr. Wagner (the interviewee) to figure out where to go from here, as all these people have to do."

No problem!

Note: There was a real report of the human dramas people are facing by Greta Van Susteren elsewhere in the show.