If you don't see them, Nodody died here in New Orleans


I guess this sentiment would mean nothing to you, huh?

“the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect.”

What good would be served by seeing dead, decomposing bodies? Purient interests? Or, more likely, you would just like to see emotions stirred up against The Evil Bush, who hates Blacks, and actually ordered secret weather control technology to be used by the military’s “black helicopter” brigade to steer Katrina towards New Orleans.

Jesus Christmas Christ. :roll:

Maybe it would hammer home the point that a catastrophe happened here? That the bastards responsible for fucking up the relief effort need to be fired and prosecuted immediately, and the whole system overhauled so that this doesn’t happen again?

Assigning blame isn’t just a pissing contest.

Freedom of the press. I’m also not sure how society will keep this sort of thing from happening again if they don’t see the consequences. Kind of like how the government does its damnedest to keep photos of returning military coffins out of sight - it’s entirely for evil reasons.

I think that when the final death polls are tallyed, and published, we will all have an idea of the magnitude of this catastrophe. Then again, maybe we should see the dead bodies, maybe we should see all the footage of the people jumping from the WTC also.

I can understand the idea of not photographing the bodies from a humane angle. You don’t have people finding out that their loved ones didn’t make it in full-color glory on the evening news.

Doesn’t mean I agree with it, it’s just a tough issue.

Do you really think that? Wasn’t it the ~3000 deaths on Sept 11th, 2001 the reason FEMA was restructured and assimilated into Homeland Security to the point of being completely ineffective?

Do we really learn our lessons with a scorecard of the body count?

Apparently they are going into full press lockout. Stories starting to pop up of the press not being allowed into various areas, and not just being stopped from taking pictures of the bodies. Some NBC reporters have had automatic weapons aimed at them it seems.

Actually, yes. I would like to see some emotions stirred up. If you can think of any good reason why people shouldn’t be getting emotional about what is likely to add up to thousands of deaths that could have been prevented by the simple remedy of the federal government doing its job, I’d like to hear them.

I would LOVE to see the emotions stirred up, and I disagree with the trivializing use of just. The rest is of course nonsensical hyperbole meant to cheapen people’s outrage.

Personally I think this country needs to get way more pissed at its politicians because we’re letting them get away with doing a lousy, self-serving job. The government’s goals don’t often jive with the needs of the population. Fuckers like Tom DeLay restructure voting districts, republicans talk about avoiding the blame game while they take every opportunity to blame local and state authorities, Clinton discovers some of the finest hairs ever split under oath, Ken Starr gets $100 million to investigate blow jobs, Kerry voted against something before he voted for it. I’m sure we could spend the rest of time going over all the stupid shit from both sides. I feel like we need to take stock of our government and figure out just what it is we want and need it to do.

And if you really believe that was the reason for this, I have a bridge to sell you. :x Remember, FEMA is the agency still covering up their Miami boondoggle last year…

Wasn’t much of an embargo on photos of corpses when that tsunami hit.
I can understand the humane angle because of the likelihood of some people recognising the corpse but really, I’d rather see a moratorium on the publishing of them rather than banning the act of taking shots.
The public record needs to show what happened rather than what is said to have happened.

Clearly there was just a leetle too much freedom of the press last week, eh?

I’m not as quick as some to link to blog editorials but this one’s worth some thought and Josh Marshall’s got a decent reputation.

At first the evidence was scattered and anecdotal. But now it’s pretty clear that a key aim of the Bush administration’s takeover of the NOLA situation is to cut off press access to report the story.

First, there were the FEMA orders barring members of the press from photographing anything to do with the recovery of the bodies of the dead.

Perhaps there could be guidelines about photographs which in any way clearly identified the deceased. No one wants to get first confirmation of the death of a loved one by seeing their body on the nightly news. But a blanket ban serves only to prevent the public from knowing what really happened last week. And the right of FEMA or any branch of the federal government for that matter to issue such a ban on American soil seems highly dubious to me. It’s one thing with military casualties: the military operates under its own legal code and not under normal civilian rules. But this is happening on American soil. This isn’t a war zone. Nor is it any longer a situation where police or National Guard troops are in the midst of retaking control from mobs or looters. This is a recovery from a natural disaster.

Now comes this post from Brian Williams, which suggests a general effort to bar reporters from access to many of the key points in the city.

Take a moment to note what’s happening here: these are the marks of repressive government, which mixes inefficiency with authoritarianism. The crew that couldn’t get key aid on the scene in time last week is coming in in force now. And one of the key missions appears to be cutting off public information about what’s happening in the city.

This is a domestic, natural disaster. Absent specific cases where members of the press would interfere or get in the way of some particular clean up operation, or perhaps demolition work, there is simply no reason why credentialed members of the press should not be able to cover everything that is happening in that city.

Think about it.


Here’s the relevant excerpt from Brian “NBC Anchor” William’s blog:

An interesting dynamic is taking shape in this city, not altogether positive: after days of rampant lawlessness (making for what I think most would agree was an impossible job for the New Orleans Police Department during those first few crucial days of rising water, pitch-black nights and looting of stores) the city has now reached a near-saturation level of military and law enforcement. In the areas we visited, the red berets of the 82nd Airborne are visible on just about every block. National Guard soldiers are ubiquitous. At one fire scene, I counted law enforcement personnel (who I presume were on hand to guarantee the safety of the firefighters) from four separate jurisdictions, as far away as Connecticut and Illinois. And tempers are getting hot. While we were attempting to take pictures of the National Guard (a unit from Oklahoma) taking up positions outside a Brooks Brothers on the edge of the Quarter, the sergeant ordered us to the other side of the boulevard. The short version is: there won’t be any pictures of this particular group of Guard soldiers on our newscast tonight. Rules (or I suspect in this case an order on a whim) like those do not HELP the palpable feeling that this area is somehow separate from the United States.

At that same fire scene, a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media… obvious members of the media… armed only with notepads. Her actions (apparently because she thought reporters were encroaching on the scene) were over the top and she was told. There are automatic weapons and shotguns everywhere you look. It’s a stance that perhaps would have been appropriate during the open lawlessness that has long since ended on most of these streets. Someone else points out on television as I post this: the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (The Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history.


Now while it seems Williams is trying to be diplomatic about things I suspect that if these incidents didn’t trouble him they wouldn’t have found their way into this story.

That’s an exceptional post.

Hyperbole isn’t an argument. In your case we have the bonus of it being poorly done.

Of course anyone with half a brain knows this acgtion has nothing to do with dignity or respect and everything to do with CYA for the administration.

Truly “respecting the dead” in this case would be allowing the press in so that we can determine, as a political body, whether or not their deaths were caused by the hurricane or the massive fuck-ups that followed. They will rest in peace when we have done everything possible to assure that it will not happen again.

Hyperbole isn’t an argument.

. . . says Andrew Mayer !?!?!?!?!? :shock:

Why are they accepting the roder? they really think they will be shot? I thought there are reporters that would risk those things in warzones, etc… Keep walking, keep taking photos. If they shoot you, well, theres a fucking story and a half.

Exactly. It seems wrong to me that the government, or rather the military on the scene, are deciding what the media can visit or photograph. How strong is the freedom of the press? Or do natural disaster zones fall under some sort of post-911 secrecy zone? While I understand entirely that no one wants to see a family member’s corpse on national TV, doesn’t hiding them help dilute the seriousness and gravity of the situation? In a way it is like the fairly recent law against taking pictures of US military coffins (which seems ridulous, as lowering the morale of the nation shouldn’t be a crime).

I also thought that it was a serious no-no for the regular army to be used in a civil situation? Have the regular military ever been used before for this sort of policing action on US soil? But that’s another issue, and I don’t want to sidetrack the thread. I’m just curious as I thought it was a constitutional issue.

Since when did our freedom of the press end when it could potentially upset some people? I call bullshit. More power grabbing and covering up by the federal government.

Weird how conservatives can still summon up outrage for Clinton’s blowjob, but, oh no, we musn’t get emotional about thousands of dead American citizens.