The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

03 September 2005

TV News Anchors Pump Up Racial Tensions

'If Seattle Were Underwater...'

Boston Anchor: Americans Indifferent To Black City

For Boston-area NBC-TV viewers Friday, it was a quadruple-dose of unfounded allegations as news anchors, reporters, commentators and musicians worked overtime to promote racial tensions.

WHDH-7's local evening newscast kicked off the guilt-fest, pushing an evidence-less assertion that white America is indifferent to the suffering of a black city such as New Orleans.

How does this help the recovery effort?

From the transcript of NBC-7 commentator Andy Hiller's unjustified on-air tirade:

Little comfort comes from the comment of a former mayor of New Orleans: "...many of the people who did not evacuate could not evacuate...they are people who are African-American, mostly but not completely."

And there has been some biased news coverage... like these two pictures: one, showing a young black man, captioned with the word "looting"...the other--of two whites--described as "finding bread and soda from a local grocery store."

As pictures like this fill television screens around the world, black officials are angry that words like "anarchy" and "chaos" are used to describe them.

"Who are we to say what law and order should be in this unspeakable environment?" Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) Illinois said.

Even before he began viewing the Gulf States today, the President conceded government has failed:

"The results are not acceptable," Bush said.

We come in many colors, but we all share the same basic need: to survive.

The battle in the Gulf States is a fight for life, so how different do you think it would be if, instead of New Orleans, Seattle were submerged?

I suspect you'd see what's happening after Katrina is black and white.

When long-entrenched New England media hacks comment on other regions, luckily not often, their ignorance of America quickly becomes clear.

No exception here: Hiller should know Seattle has a majority ethnic population in its South End districts and suburbs, with African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics alike. Certainly, Seattle is sometimes cited as an example of a "white" American city, perhaps why Hiller chose it for his example.

Second, from where exactly are the two 'biased' newspaper photos referenced here and in so many other places Friday? What do the captions say and what was the context for each?

If Americans are so unconcerned with the plight of New Orleans, why the outpouring of emotional and monetary support from every corner of the country?

Some Massachusetts homeowners are now offering extra bedrooms for Katrina victims.

As for the government's response, that's an issue of bureaucracy, organization, resources and competence at local, state and federal levels. The city's unique geographical conditions worked against it, as well.

If another large American city were to be hit, I don't believe the response would necessarily be any more effective.

Hate to break the news, but FEMA's track record has long been poor. Ask earthquake, flood, tornado and hurricane victims nationwide if you'd like. This isn't new.

It wasn't just Hiller's intellectually dishonest Howard Dean-like guilt trip that greeted WHDH viewers. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams maintained the theme, with reports like this:

Katrina is, in its aftermath, exposing a part of the Big Easy overlooked in all that hype about Mardi Gras, jasmine and flaming desserts, the catastrophe has shed light on misery and provided an unfortunate commentary on race and class.

Then, of course, it was on to NBC's relief concert, where Kanye West delivered this baseless accusation:

GEORGE BUSH DOESN'T CARE ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE... They're saying black families are looting and white families are just looking for food...they're giving the (Army) permission to shoot us'... Actor Mike Myers asked people to donate... then Kanye West went on a tirade about Iraq... MORE... (Drudge Report)

To top off Channel 7's bias-fest, their 11pm newscast kicked off with a lead story saying President Bush had "finally" arrived in the region. A nice editorial comment slipped into what was supposed to be news reporting.

Do you think WHDH gets its talking points memos from Air America's Randi Rhodes?

Beyond that, how much responsibility do you think the station and network are willing to accept for potential damage caused by blatantly encouraging racial tensions?

Update: more on the photo controversy here. Tip: Mike Anderson of St Louis Media.

Update: who's really discriminating? Could it be the mayor? Brainster's got it here.

Hurricane relief efforts in the blogosphere are primarily centered around Hugh Hewitt's site. Check here for the latest, it's a substantial movement of hundreds of bloggers joined together.

Your Amazon orders help to support this site's efforts. Thanks!


  • "Beyond that, how much responsibility do you think the station and network are willing to accept for potential damage caused by blatantly encouraging racial tensions?"

    How much responsibility does AP have for showing two pictures of people in chest deep water, carrying food. The photo of a black man was captioned "looter" and the white couple "were getting food".

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 03 September, 2005 03:42  

  • Hey, Dick?

    Maybe you ought to do a little research before shooting from the hip in ignorance. Snope has the analysis of the "looting vs finding" photos which were from TWO different agencies .. AP and AFP AND were from two different photographers.

    Weirdly, why is it that I'm finding so many people almost GLEEFUL about this natural disaster? Could it be because their own religion is POLITICS and they can view it as a venue to score points?

    By Blogger Darleen, at 03 September, 2005 11:53  

  • Darleen, maybe you should do a little research before shooting your mouth off. Both photos were captioned by Yahoo, and went by the same editor.

    This was racist, plain and simple. I'll be generous and say it was the new and improved colorbilnd sort of racism that the right is practicing using code words and indifference.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 03 September, 2005 18:47  

  • Both photos were captioned by Yahoo, and went by the same editor.


    That blatantly Racist and Conservative Yahoo.

    By Blogger Scott, at 04 September, 2005 00:39  

  • I believe that 'dick tuck' should ask his BDS counselor to read the Snopes article to him. It goes into great detail on the context of the photos.

    What I'd like to find is a clip or transcript of (I think) Thursday's NBC Nightly News in which Brian Williams brought on the two reporters, Quintinilla and someone else.

    Just before that episode he discussed how some of the relief workers were lending an ear to the survivors complaining about Bush. It was presented in such a partisan fashion that one might assume that no one else could be complained about and that all the survivors blamed Bush.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 04 September, 2005 01:06  

  • Dick Tuck is flat out wrong.

    The Snopes file states it perfectly.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 04 September, 2005 04:46  

  • READ THIS!!!

    And then tell me whose to blame!!!!

    Preparing America

    In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort.

    If I am not mistaken the Hurricane happened at the end of August!!!

    Primary Responsibility = PRIMARY BLAME!

    Many are saying that the reason the Federal Government didn't react quickly enough was because the population of New Orleans are predominately Black. I don't think that was the reason. I think the reason was that New Orleans was "Fly Over" country. Hell, if it doesn't happen in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York or DC, then it really isn't happening in America is it? Such is the mindset of the elitists who rule our country. If it happened in one of the major urban centers in America the response would have been much quicker. But since it happened in "fly over" country it really wasn't as important. After all, all the elites in DC really don't have any friends or family in the effected areas. Heck, they look at "that part of the world" with contempt.

    And what the hell is up with Bush calling the Hurricane effected areas "this part of the world". He said that at least four times in his Friday Press Conference.

    And why did he go to California on Monday?

    By Blogger Jeff Jenson, at 04 September, 2005 12:50  

  • Open Letter to the President
    From the Times-Picayune:

    Dear Mr. President:

    We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we’re going to make it right."

    Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.

    Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason: It’s accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.

    How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and diesel-powered trucks.

    Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor bring them food, water and medical supplies.

    Meanwhile there were journalists, including some who work for The Times-Picayune, going in and out of the city via the Crescent City Connection. On Thursday morning, that crew saw a caravan of 13 Wal-Mart tractor trailers headed into town to bring food, water and supplies to a dying city.

    Television reporters were doing live reports from downtown New Orleans streets. Harry Connick Jr. brought in some aid Thursday, and his efforts were the focus of a "Today" show story Friday morning.

    Yet, the people trained to protect our nation, the people whose job it is to quickly bring in aid were absent. Those who should have been deploying troops were singing a sad song about how our city was impossible to reach.

    We’re angry, Mr. President, and we’ll be angry long after our beloved city and surrounding parishes have been pumped dry. Our people deserved rescuing. Many who could have been were not. That’s to the government’s shame.

    Mayor Ray Nagin did the right thing Sunday when he allowed those with no other alternative to seek shelter from the storm inside the Louisiana Superdome. We still don’t know what the death toll is, but one thing is certain: Had the Superdome not been opened, the city’s death toll would have been higher. The toll may even have been exponentially higher.

    It was clear to us by late morning Monday that many people inside the Superdome would not be returning home. It should have been clear to our government, Mr. President. So why weren’t they evacuated out of the city immediately? We learned seven years ago, when Hurricane Georges threatened, that the Dome isn’t suitable as a long-term shelter. So what did state and national officials think would happen to tens of thousands of people trapped inside with no air conditioning, overflowing toilets and dwindling amounts of food, water and other essentials?

    State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael Brown especially.

    In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."

    Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

    Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You’re doing a heck of a job."

    That’s unbelievable.

    There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there, too.

    We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We’re no less important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our people deserved to be rescued.

    No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New Orleans couldn’t be reached.

    Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our beloved communities work right once again.

    When you do, we will be the first to applaud.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 04 September, 2005 14:19  

  • Dick:

    Could you do us a favor and count the buses here?

    Post #13 has two aerial shots of flooded buses. These are different shots to the one that you've probably already seen many times. Get used to seeing these pictures in the weeks ahead.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 04 September, 2005 14:36  

  • I have no idea how any white person can feel guilty about the Battle of New Orleans when it was poor underclass whites and white tourists who were the main targets of bias crimes in the Superdome.

    It was worse than CNN is telling us.

    I blogged all the Anglosphere news items I could find at:

    What will it take to exorcise America from White Guilt? It prevents an honest and open exchange on the issue of class in America.

    It looks like the rest of you guys have already demolished the Yahoo! non-story.

    I have the email plea from the photographer here at:

    By Blogger The Scoopster, at 05 September, 2005 01:35  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger The Scoopster, at 05 September, 2005 01:35  

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