Friday, September 16, 2005

Katrina Victims Don't Blame Bush

Did anyone see ABC last night after the Bush address? This was great.

ABC News, Ted Koppel had a special early edition of Nightline with reporter Dean Reynolds last night for the Presidents address. They found these evacuees from New Orleans at the Astrodome and set up a town hall meeting outside the astrodome, where the evacuees watched the President's Speech and then would be asked to comment on it.

They were taken outside the air-conditioned Astrodome, made to sit outside in the heat and humidity and the insects of Houston, Texas, while watching this speech. Why did they do this? Why didn't they do it inside the Astrodome? Well I don't know but my guess is because they wanted them to be irritated when they interveiwed them after the speech. ABC just knew that these people were going to rip Bush to shreds.

The reporter, Dean Reynolds, says, "I'd like to get the reaction of Connie London. She spent several horrible hours at the Superdome. You heard the president say repeatedly that you are not alone, that the country stands beside you. Do you believe him?"

LONDON: Yeah, I believe him because here in Texas they have truly been good to us.

REYNOLDS: Did you get a sense of hope that you could return to your home one day in New Orleans?

LONDON: Yes, I did. I did.

REYNOLDS: Did you harbor any anger toward the president because of the slow federal response?

LONDON: No. None whatsoever, because I feel like our city and our state government should have been there before the federal government was called in. They should have been on their jobs.

REYNOLDS: And they weren't?

LONDON: No. No, no, no. Lord, they wasn't. I mean, they had RTA busses, Greyhound buses, school buses, that was just sitting there going underwater when they could have been evacuating people.

Now my friends these are evacuees, victims of Katrina saying this. They can see what is going on.

The rest of the broadcast continued on like this. Dean Reynolds kept probing and kept asking and kept hinting and kept imploring them to rip into Bush, but it didn't happen.

Dean Reynolds goes to another guest. "Now, Mary, you were rescued from your house, which was basically submerged in your neighborhood. Did you hear something in the president's words that you can gleen some hope from?"

MARY: Yes. He said we're coming back and I believe we're coming back. We're going to build the city up. I believe that.

REYNOLDS: Do you believe you'll be able to return to your home?

MARY: Yes, I do.


MARY: Because I really believe what he say. I believe, I've got faith.

Now onto evacuee #4. Dean Reynolds is really getting frustrated about this you can hear it in his voice. I want you to notice how he tries to bait the evacuee to say something, anything bad about the speech.

REYNOLDS: Now, Brenda Marshall, you spent, what, several days at the Superdome, correct?"

MARSHALL: Yes, I did.

REYNOLDS: Well, what did you think of what the president told you tonight?

MARSHALL: I think the speech was wonderful. You know, him specifying that we will return back and that we will have like mobile homes or, you know, whatever. But I think it was a well defined speech.

REYNOLDS: Was there anything that you found hard to believe? That he said that you thought, "Well, that's nice rhetoric, but, you know, the proof is in the pudding?"

MARSHALL: No, I didn't.

REYNOLDS: Good... Well, very little skepticism here.

Dean Reynolds talking to evacuee No. 4, and here is the question.

REYNOLDS: And Cecilia, did you feel that the president was sincere tonight?

CECILIA: Yes, he was.

Then Reynolds gets desperate, he goes back to evacuee No. 1: "Mary, what is the one mistake that could have prevented -- that would have made your lives better? Is it simply getting all of you out much sooner? What was the one mistake?”

MARY: I'm going to tell you the truth. I had the opportunity to get out, but I didn't believe it. So I stayed there ‘til it was too late.

LONDON: And really, it wasn't Hurricane Katrina that really tore up the city. It was when they opened the floodgates.


LONDON: It was not the hurricane itself. It was the floodgates. When they opened the floodgates, that's where all the water came.

REYNOLDS: Do you blame anybody for this?

LONDON: Oh, yes. I mean they've been allocating federal funds to fix the levee system, and it never got done. I fault the mayor of our city personally. I really do.

You talk about a major backfire. This was not what ABC had planned on. ABC hand picked these people, sat them outside in the heat and bugs to watch the President just knowing they were going to rip Bush. I mean after all they were black and we know the Bush Administration and the Federal Government are racist. It was suppose to be a bash Bush night and it completely backfired on them. So then Reynolds sends it back to Koppel who looked like some one had just ate his lunch.

REYNOLDS: Ted, that is the word from the Houston Astrodome, and as I said, when the president said that the Crescent City will rise again, there were nods all around this parking lot.

Koppel: Dean Reynolds, thank you very much. If the national response is reflected by that small group of people in the parking lot of the Astrodome, the president has made some major progress tonight.

Koppel tries to downplay what just happened here by calling them a small group in the parking lot.

A small group that they hand picked. It was really great to watch.

Here are some links. some have audio.
(NewsBusters: To ABC's Surprise, Katrina Victims Praise Bush and Blame Nagin)
(FOXNews: Bush Pledges Full Recovery From Katrina)
(Boston Globe: Many in poll say they'll stay in Texas)
(American Spectator: The President's speedy recovery from Hurricane Katrina)
(MRC: Katrina Victims Praise Bush and Blame Nagin)

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