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New Hurricane, Same Old Story

Reported by Janie - September 21, 2005

Yesterday (9/20) Dayside was all Rita, Rita, Rita! Amidst the coverage, including an in-depth interview with Juliet Huddy's mother, was a brief interview with Congressman Peter King (R - NY) on the response to both Rita and Katrina.

At the end of the interview, an audience member posed this question to King: "Congressman, whatÂ’s the number one lesson that's been learned in preparation for Rita from the disaster in New Orleans?"

King responded: "Is that the local governments have to prepare better. Governor Bush is obviously doing that in Florida, I know Governor Perry is doing that in Texas. Now, Admiral Allen and General Honore are really handling the preparation in New Orleans, Governor Blanco is ordering an evacuation. It's that the first responders have to be ready. Right now in Louisiana, in effect, the first responders are the military, we need to protect our military, we need to get them out. Also the police and fire from all over the country who are now working in New Orleans. But the main thing is the local first responders have to do a better job than was done in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana."

Comment: THAT is the most important lesson that has been learned from the response to Katrina? I guess if you're a Republican spouting party-line on Fox, that's the only lesson that's been learned. While there certainly need to be changes made to the local response, I was hoping the most important lesson learned was to not appoint someone with a background in show horses to the most important disaster management agency in our country. Or that maybe we need to focus on things other than just terrorism to keep our country safe.

There were no follow-up questions asked, and the segment ended there, with the audience once again believing the federal, Republican controlled government, and Bush were off the hook.

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