The media is running all sorts of shows about Hurricane Katrina. Sensing that people are growing tired of reports that focus only on suffering, the MSM has begun the predictable blame game, beginning as always with an attempt to blame President Bush for every failing, whether federal, state, local, or meteorilogical. I note that countless stories of heroism, self-sacrifice and hope have been ignored by the networks. No one seems to have noticed the hundreds of resue missions runs this week by each and every Coast Guard crew, saving thousands of people who otherwise would still be stranded on their roofs, or worse. No one seems to have mentioned that the hospital staffs, after seeing their children and crtical-care patients evacuated to Houston and Dallas hospitals, themselves chose to stay and help the injured, working without relief or adequate supplies and equipment for days on end. No one seems to have paid attention to hundreds of Louisiana and Texas citizens who took it on themeslves to drive down the major roads with chainsaws, chains and other equipment needed to clear the roads of major debris, so National Guard troops and relief supplies could make it to the victims. There are Emmy-class stories here, stories which would uplift and encourage people, if the networks would just bother to see them.
There’s been a lot of complaining this week, from the victims and from a lot of what Michelle Malkin calls “armchair first-responders”. Polipundit readers with experience have tried to explain how successful the actual effort has been, but the facts are competing against an entrenched desire to pursue a story which drives the emotions, and the emotions chosen by the media to build on, are anger and envy. Others try to avoid dwelling on the negatives, but are overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the disaster. The first task, reaching people to get them out, was complicated by the destruction of bridges and roads, and the flooding of New Orleans by Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf wave brought in by the Hurricane. The resistance by gangs and criminals to assitance has also cost lives and brought even more misery on the victims. And the local authorities charged with maintaining order and practicing the emergency plans, have for the most part deserted their duties in favor of taking care of themselves. It’s no coincidence that when the National Guard brought in significant numbers of armed force, the relief finally began to go where it should.
A lot of attention has been focused on New Orleans this week, and given the number of victims there, that’s right. But people might consider that Mississippi got hit just as hard as Louisiana, and Biloxi as hard as New Orleans, but there has not been the looting, the violence, and the selfishness in Biloxi that we have seen in New Orleans. Granted, the flooding in New Orleans has made things very bad in sanitary terms, but the plain fact is, that Biloxi has done a great deal that we would all hope to see in our own towns, if such a disaster were to hit us. For all the attention given to it, New Orleans is the exception, not the rule. I might be wrong, but a friend reminded me this week that in Mississippi, regular people have guns. In New Orleans, only the police and criminals do. It’s a fact that the Left will never admit out loud, but there is a virtue to Force, when it’s properly used.