Media Coverage of the Firesposted by The Vidiot @ 12:01 PM Permalink I was watching the 20/20 special last night for god only knows what reason. They were doing a special covering the fires in California. The host or whatever was that Gibson guy I think. I just couldn’t get over what an idiot he was. Besides using the word “spectacular” way too much, his seemingly off-the-cuff statements were mind-blowing. First, when the showed footage of the people who were taking refuge in the stadium, he could barely control himself, saying the contrast between the order in San Diego during this tragedy versus the disorder and confusion in New Orleans during Katrina was “stark.” What an idiot. First off, all the people in the San Diego stadium have electricity. They have insurance on their belongings and bank accounts with plenty of cash. They also have information pouring into them via cell phones and wireless internet. They know what’s happening and how it’s happening. The folks in the superdome did not have so much luxury. They couldn’t go outside. They didn’t have electricity and nobody could tell anybody what was going on. Further, they were treated as criminals and social outcasts. They waited in long lines to even enter the Superdome as their bodies and property was checked for weapons or drugs. Instead of feeling safe awaiting government help they were left full of panic and fear. There’s also an issue with the fact that most of the people in the Superdome were the underclass, that is they are the impoverished and excluded. Generally, the government doesn’t give a damn about these people. The middle class and upper class however, are an entirely different story. You can’t treat them like crap because they have some forms of capital and are able to make some sort of a stink, unlike the underclass. On top of that, Gibson, as well as the people who are displaced from their million dollar homes, are so far removed from the working class that they can’t even begin to comprehend the fact that there are people who don’t have any money saved, who don’t have anything but the clothes on their back, who haven’t eaten and may not eat for sometime, who have aches and pains but ignore them because they can’t afford medical care. They can’t begin to understand the kind of panicky behavior that will create.
Then later, that idiot Gibson was interviewing Chertoff and the FEMA manager du jour. At the end of it, he said something like, we wish you the best of luck. Nobody likes to see the government struggle and we wish you the best in your endeavors, or something to that effect. And I was “nobody likes to see the government struggle”? Is he smoking crack? What the hell does that even mean? Government is incompetent. They struggle all of the time and their failures are painfully obvious. That’s why police and armies are used to keep protests at bay when governments fail at their endeavors. There is no truth to what he said, unfortunately people don’t like to see the veils lifted from their reality. It makes them uncomfortable and all too aware that the system is a sham.
And there was something else. They kept saying how they’re trying to protect property. Over and over and over, protect the property, save the property. Now, I get that property is important, but nobody should die trying to save it. It’s just property. Save lives, of course. But property? Do what you can and then leave.
These fires are natural, that is, they happen. Those crazy floods a few years back probably created perfect conditions for a lot of shrubbery to grow and during dry conditions, that’s the stuff that catches fire. Had more money been provided for prevention and controlled burns, then these fires wouldn’t have been able to get so big. On top of that, during that dumb program, only a brief and fleeting mention (that I noticed anyway) of the fact that had they had all of their fire-fighting equipment and all of the usual manpower, a lot of the damage from these fires would have been prevented. You would think that at some point, the program would’ve delved a bit deeper into why these fires have happened, where the money went that could’ve prevented it and where the equipment and troops were to help fight it. (Hint: Iraq)
Oh, and don't even get me started on the logo and theme music. Jeebus.
(Note: Points about class and the state were refined by Mr. Vidiot 'cause he's the sociologist.)