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Re-bashing Katrina response by NO and LA

Reported by Chrish - October 24, 2005

Using Jeb Bush as their gold standard, Fox via Bill Hemmer on Special Report 10/24/05 used Hurricane Wilma to once again fault the response to Katrina by the local and state agencies, and in doing so reinforce the notion to viewers that the fault for the massive failures post-Katrina were not the responsibility of FEMA, and indirectly Bush for his incompetent delegating.

Hemmer began the segment reporting from Naples Florida (where Wilma made landfall on the west coast) that Jeb Bush, "known by many to be the hurricane governor" was there only four hours after the hurricane had passed through to survey the damage left behind. (Comment: in stark contrast to his brother's tardiness in visiting after Katrina, though, ahem, that was not pointed out.) However, it WAS remarked that "in what was a clear reference to the aftermath of Katrina, and what happened in New Orleans and in Louisiana, the governor set out today to say that his state does it the right way." (his emphasis.)

Video of Jeb: "It's working the way it's supposed to, that you have professional first-responders at the local level, backed up by professionals at the state level, and then, we get support from FEMA. And this is the model (looking down and trying to appear modest) for how to respond to hurricanes."

Hemmer then narrated how the Florida National Guard had truckloads of water and ice and food standing by, "but again he (Jeb) pulled no punches, in a comment heard from here back to Baton Rouge:"

Jeb again: " In the case of,,,Louisiana, it kind of was left to the federal government to fill a void, and um, the consequences are there for people to see."

Hemmer notes that Florida has had a lot of experience dealing with hurricanes - 8 in 14 months - and while the early assessment is good, there are still millions of people without electricity "in their own homes."

Comment: Having experience with hurricanes I am in no way dismissing the power and destruction of Wilma, but it was no Katrina and Naples is not New Orleans. We're talking apples and oranges. This was simply a way to give Jeb face-time and polish his image for the anticipated eventual White House run and more importantly, considering the scandals facing his brother's administration, to again shift the blame for post-Katrina failures to local and state levels. A known right-wing echo chamber tactic is to keep repeating talking points, even after they're disproven and discredited, and the echo-brains will keep the falsehoods alive.

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