September 10, 2005


Rerouted: Sen. Lott of Miss. steps in to divert hospital ship (Henry J. Holcomb, 9/10/05, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Most of this hospital ship's crew bunked down Thursday night thinking they were headed for New Orleans.

They didn't know that Trent Lott had other thoughts.

As the ship approached the mouth of the Mississippi River, it was turned around. Yesterday afternoon, the crew docked at Pascagoula, in the Republican senator's home state of Mississippi, waiting to receive victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The former Senate majority leader had pressed leaders of the relief effort late Thursday night to have the ship go to his state, saying three naval vessels were already in New Orleans and able to meet its medical needs now that so many people had been evacuated.

Some pols get things done.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 10, 2005 7:04 AM

Trett's lucky this story's hitting on a weekend. Were it midweek, we'd incessantly see TV images of A.) Lott; B.) The ship; C.) Displaced black New Orleans residents (even if the footage used is from Houston; D.) Displaced white homeowners in Mississippi; E.) Strom Thurmand; F.) Lott's 100th birthday message that the U.S. would have been better off if Strom had been elected in 1948; G.) George W. Bush meeting with displaced white homeowners in Mississippi.

They may still come up with this montage for the weekend news shows, but few people are going to be paying attention, and by Monday they'll have to show shots of the hospital ship treating both black and white storm victims in Mississippi.

Posted by: John at September 10, 2005 11:22 AM


You kidding? That could get him Majority Leader again.

Posted by: oj at September 10, 2005 11:25 AM

OJ is right. Besides, New Orleans is now empty, no?

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 10, 2005 11:38 AM

Much of the media still thinks America is burning in outrage over Lott's Strom birthday speech, and would love to claim a hospital ship was diverted from poor black residents of New Orleans to help rich white beachfront property owners in Mississippi -- even if hardly anyone is still in New Orleans right now.

When haven't the big media outlets overplayed their hand when it comes to evil/racist/sexist/anti-environment/anti-poor/anti-whatever Republicans in the past three years? But the story's only good as long as the ship's out at sea not helping anyone, and the talking heads can insert their own hypotheticals into the mix about who actually is going to receive treatment. Once it docked and began its job, the visuals defeat the message.

Posted by: John at September 10, 2005 11:58 AM

I noticed in several California earthquakes that the press fixates on one or two images of events or locations (for example, people shoring up the sides of the single burning building in the Marina Dist. of S.F in the Loma Prieta Quake) and replay them endlessly and forever as if that was all that happened. This disaster was widespread,but it will always be thought of as only happening to a single city. Those buses should be the icon, but I expect that CNN & co will find a way to make some photo of a corpse their icon.

Lott was right to use a little pull to help his constituents. That's his job, and unlike Lousiana pols, he seems able to do it without the high-ptiched whine of victimhood. (Note we're hearing about this after the fact, that Lott didn't go on national TV to cry about not getting his state's fair share or any other such nonsense, either.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 10, 2005 12:00 PM

I was just reading the local paper and noticed a spin so obvious that even amateur readers of the media should be able to spot it.

An article reports that there will be far fewer deaths in NO than the predicted 10,000, but doesn't report the actual death count so far. Knowing how the media love to keep track of the dead (see Iraqi coverage), this must mean that the majority of deaths are the result of murder and mayhem and not the result of nature's violence.

Posted by: erp [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2005 1:14 PM

Note that few in the media say that Mississippi's death toll is probably higher than Louisiana's.

A dead white body in Pass Christian doesn't have the same value as a dead black body in Arabi or the Ninth Ward.

But CNN is showing pictures of looting victims and people at the Convention Center - some of whom, according to Anderson Cooper, were mutilated.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 10, 2005 6:40 PM

As a poster on another site labeled them:

CNN - the Cadaver News Network

Posted by: obc at September 10, 2005 8:52 PM