The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

30 August 2005

From Loma Prieta To Hurricane Katrina

What Katrina Reveals

Moonbat Evolution, Insensitivity, Silly News Coverage

While lefties probably aren't going to win support blaming Bush for Hurricane Katrina's extensive damage, it does show how much their movement has changed since 1989.

Why 1989? That's when the magnitude-7.1 Loma Prieta Earthquake hit California's Central Coast, while another Bush was in the White House.

I was just a few miles from the quake's epicenter in Santa Cruz County. As with Katrina's news coverage so far, it took several days for the outside world to discover the real extent of the area's damage.

All access to the region had been cut off, so television coverage at first dwelled on San Francisco and Oakland, 75 miles away. It was some time before the national media was able to get in to see the mess Santa Cruz had become.

There's nothing wrong with an initial news media focus on individual survival stories, but we need a better sense of Katrina's big picture as soon as it's available. That should include the selfless efforts of so many to help its victims, not just looters and prison rioters.

Bush vs. Bush

Comparing the left's 1989 and 2005 responses truly underscores the unraveling of their ideological movement.

In the past day, "progressives" have been quick to blame President George W Bush for Katrina's wrath. Citing program "cuts" and leveling a variety of charges, they'd obviously like to see a political price paid (see links in first paragraph).

It doesn't get angrier, or go lower than that, does it?

So far, it's backfiring, merely providing easy conservative fodder.

In 1989, it was a far different story when George H W Bush visited Santa Cruz to view the city center's destruction.

Despite the area's ultraliberal reputation, only a few protestors waved signs, as his motorcade traveled one of the few clear streets. I was there to see it.

Nobody paid attention to the handful of soreheads, instead cheering the President's arrival. Watching Governor George Deukmejian, a conservative Republican, teamed with Bush and local "progressive" leaders, made quite an impression.

Their message: that partisan politics have no place here, it's about rescuing survivors, surveying damage and rebuilding the city.

It never occurred to anybody in 1989, including the myriad of leftist groups with offices in Downtown Santa Cruz, that President Bush could immediately be blamed for any aspect of the earthquake and the government's subsequent response.

Only later did some inevitable grievances emerge over FEMA's notorious bureaucracy, but it wasn't associated with ideology or partisan causes.

The "progressive" movement in 1989 may have been just as misguided, but leftists knew better than to move into such silly territory.
While tending to matters much more important than politics, I believe they understood the need for at least temporary unity.

What a difference 16 years can make for a fading political movement.

Local News Coverage Stinks

Hate to say it, but local Katrina coverage has become embarrassing.

The intense focus on the hurricane's gas price impact, to when its minor remnants will reach the northeast region, is horribly misplaced.

Sure, area TV news outlets always need their "local" angles, but sometimes they must simply focus on the story itself, no matter how far away.

I don't care if gas prices are heading up another twenty cents per gallon, there are people who still need to be rescued. Are we really that selfish?

Boston's FOX-25 did a lengthy segment on a station that jacked prices into the $3.40 range overnight. But it was the exception, not the rule and most drivers were taking off as soon as they recognized the gouging attempt.

Just a few minutes into the 10pm newscast, the station then reverted back to petty, irrelevant local stories. Who cares?

And it really doesn't matter if it brings a little bit of rain here on Thursday, we already had five inches today, anyway. After what the Gulf region has endured, why should we worry about a few upcoming sprinkles?

People in New Orleans aren't safe, even in shelters, from which they now face evacuation.

Local news outlets need to get their priorities in order, quickly.

--- Something else: why did the broadcast networks primarily stick with regular primetime programming Tuesday? Sitcoms and reality shows seemed out of place in these circumstances.

--- Bloggers jumped into action immediately Monday, bringing their own details, perspectives and providing help whenever possible. Some to check out: Michelle Malkin, Little Green Footballs (especially good moonbat coverage), Instapundit (partly affected by the outages, now back with a roundup of relief efforts), Captain's Quarters, Power Line (back up after hurricane server damage), RedStateRant and many others.

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  • Tonnes of traffic on other blogs about Katrina. Nothing here. That says it all about Baloney.

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 30 August, 2005 23:51  

  • Hmmm... still nothing. It appears that it is Baloney's ideological movement that is unraveling. Whatever...

    I urge everyone to pray for the victims of Katrina and to donate to the Red Cross disaster relief. Call 1-800-HELP-NOW.

    By Blogger HeadHunter, at 31 August, 2005 10:13  

  • Ahh, the memories. Mama Earth's Rock 'n' Roll Fest '89. We gave it a '7.' Good beat, but you couldn't dance to it.

    I actually missed the main event because I was driving over the bridge into the mall in Monterey. By the time I got well into the mall parking lot, all the shops had emptied and everybody was out on the sidewalks. Having grown up in the 60's, my first thought was "bomb threat." Back home, a lot of my stuff was tossed around but nothing had broken, and there was no damage to my building.

    And doesn't it still just chap your hide when you hear people talk about the "San Francisco" earthquake of '89? Grrrr....

    I do remember at least one moonbat back then talking about the wrath of Mother Earth, and how we had better listen up and take notice. I don't remember exactly who she was blaming for inciting said wrath, but I feel fairly safe in assuming it was the usual suspects, i.e. descendants of dead white guys, because those are the only people capable of despoiling the planet, don't you know. But I never heard anyone actually blame the Republican administration in the White House.

    By Blogger CrankyBeach, at 31 August, 2005 10:22  

  • I agree that it's silly to directly tie anyone to a natural disaster, but...

    In the aftermath of 9/11, our common response was: "Go get Al Quaeda", since Al Quaeda was responsible. We got hit by a problem, and went after it.

    Perhaps it's too early, but why isn't our common response here: "let's go after man-made climate change," since the recent rash of hurricanes (far more than usual -- not to mention the record snowfall in the northeast last yr, etc.) is most likely an end result. Sure some scientists disagree, but the VAST majority believe man-made climate change is to blame. just read the peer-reviwed science.

    I never quite understood why/how environmental conservation became a liberal vs. conservative thing, but perhaps Katrina will put such silly fueding to an end.

    By Blogger Justin, at 31 August, 2005 11:23  

  • I hate to disagree w/ Brian - but I can understand why the networks are putting on "normal" programming... some people just don't care (I do and have MSNBC streaming into my headphones as I write this).

    The rest of this post - I concur.

    By Blogger Josef, at 31 August, 2005 12:46  

  • Brian -

    I hope you will direct your readers to the almost 500 bloggers who are doing a joint appeal on Sept. 1 on behalf of Katrina victims at the suggestion of Hugh Hewitt.

    TTLB has the master list of paricipating bloggers - from 8 countries!

    By Blogger Peter Porcupine, at 31 August, 2005 21:56  

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