05 September 2005

Anderson Cooper.....a thank you.

My deepest respect and thanks go out to Anderson Cooper once again for truly shining such an important and honest light on what is happening on the Gulf Coast. His brave and in-depth coverage of this tragedy will certainly help us understand the enormity of it's harm.

He has not stepped back from looking this calamity in the face as well as the idiots who were supposed to be there in it's aftermath.

Watching his program, you could feel how tangible his frustration and anger was when it was apparent the crisis was not being dealt with as he stood amongst the destruction. No aid in sight. As Politicians crowed and patted each other on the back and gave staged photo-ops and press conferences he became visibly agitated and, at times, moved to tears. Thank you Anderson for shedding a very real, very empathetic, very personal perspective on this ongoing and unfolding story that cuts deep into our American psyche.

Here are few of the more telling exchanges with our detached Government employees while the people of of this region suffered.

Interview with Sen. Trent Lott (MS):

COOPER: So you're happy with the federal government response?

TRENT LOTT: Look, I'm one of them. And I...

COOPER: Well, I know. I understand that. But you're pleased with the federal government response?

LOTT: I am pleased with the federal government response. And by the way, while they're hurting, and I understand it, this is not a time for complaining.

And with Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA):

COOPER: Excuse me, Senator, I'm sorry for interrupting. For the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated.

And when they hear politicians slap -- you know, thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours.

Do you get the anger that is out here?

LANDRIEU: Anderson, I have the anger inside of me. Most of the homes in my family have been destroyed. Our homes have been destroyed. I understand what you're saying, and I know all of those details. And the president of the United States knows those details.

COOPER: Well, who are you angry at?

LANDRIEU: I'm not angry at anyone. I'm just expressing that it is so important for everyone in this nation to pull together, for all military assets and all assets to be brought to bare in this situation.

And I have every confidence that this country is as great and as strong as we can be do to that. And that effort is under way.

COOPER: Well, I mean, there are a lot of people here who are kind of ashamed of what is happening in this country right now, what is -- ashamed of what is happening in your state, certainly.

And that's not to blame the people who are there. It's a desperate situation. But I guess, you know, who can -- I mean, no one seems to be taking responsibility.

I mean, I know you say there's a time and a place for, kind of, you know, looking back, but this seems to be the time and the place. I mean, there are people who want answers, and there are people who want someone to stand up and say, "You know what? We should have done more. Are all the assets being brought to bare?"

LANDRIEU: Anderson, Anderson...

COOPER: I mean, today, for the first time, I'm seeing National Guard troops in this town.

LANDRIEU: Anderson, I know. And I know where you are. And I know what you're seeing. Believe me, we know it. And we understand, and there will be a time to talk about all of that. Trust me.

But I want to thank the president. He will be here tomorrow, we think. And the military is sending assets as we speak.

And, lastly, when Bill Maher interviewed Anderson Cooper on HBO's real time:

MAHER: How come you were able to get through and how come Harry Connick, Jr. was able to get through and how come Campbell Brown was able to get through but not the National Guard?

COOPER: Well, it is probably called advanced planning. People here are angry....their angry is white hot. You can feel it. All week we have been hearing politicians on television saying "I understand your frustration". A man come up to up to me the other day and said "we are NOT frustrated, people are dying and people are dead". People are asking very basic questions and they are not getting any answers.

MAHER: It is the guy on the street that is asking the questions. And, they are asking the questions of you, the reporters because no one else is listening. Maybe, due to this tragedy, we have finally gotten our press corps back.

Real Time poll:

Do you think the government could have been better prepared for the Gulf Coast disaster now unfolding?
Yes 94%
No 3%
Maybe 3%


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