Sunday, December 23, 2007


Digby posts about her understandable horror and revulsion she felt at witnessing CNN's coverage of the tasering and pepper spraying of protesters in New Orleans the other day. The issue is simple enough: New Orleans public housing, most of which survived the hurricane with little or no damage, has been slated for demolition by the City Council [edit: and HUD]; much of this housing could have been made available to its residents soon after the hurricane, but instead has been allowed to deteriorate without residents. The City wants these residents gone, and this housing gone.

Railing against CNN's execrable coverage of just about anything is customary in the haute blogmonde, and Digby is one of the best at it. But there is an important element missing from the constant denunciations of CNN and the other major mass media: rarely are we offered any indication that there is an alternative to the hideous corporate "news" that infests our land. Blogospheric criticism of the MSM is necessary, but so is pointing to alternatives.

In this case -- as is so often the case -- Democracy Now! offers that alternative, and it is available online if it isn't provided by local outlets. But you will almost never see it mentioned. As much as we feel like slamming something into our teevees when the cable and network "news" shows go off the rails (which is almost all they know how to do anymore), it would be useful to point people to alternative outlets before we all suffer a collective aneurysm.

Meanwhile, this whole episode reminds me of Father Gapon's March on the Winter Palace in 1905. Our own Imperial Guards haven't used lethal force on We, the People yet, but it's only a matter of time before the escalation of force reaches that point. And then what?


  1. Why should public housing exist when a developer can build million dollar condos with ocean views and make a killing, enriching his buddies as well? Methinks that was always the plan.

    Now Atlanta is facing a major water crisis and no one there has any ideas as how to deal with it. Is Atlanta going to be the next NOLA? That may be a stretch, but did we think we would lose NOLA two years ago?


  2. Your point about Atlanta is well made. Will it be the next American city on the chopping block?

    WRT to NOLA, I heard a report on NPR as I was taking a pot of posole over to a friend in town today that claimed New Orleans ("and surrounding parishes") was back to "self-sustainability" with 87% of the population having returned... this "fact" was belied by their own statistics: former population of ~450,000 now perhaps 300,000 are back. Doesn't look like "87%" to me. Oh, I forgot. All those "surrounding parishes." Ah. Well, of course! Silly moi.

    The strange thing is no one can afford to live there. Huh. Who'd a thought?