ABC's Cuomo Exploits Disaster to Push FDR-Like Government Growth

<img vspace="0" hspace="0" border="0" align="right" src="http://newsbusters.org/media/2005-08-31-ABCSPECCuomo.jpg" />During ABC's Wednesday night prime time special, <i>In the Path of Katrina</i>, reporter Chris Cuomo exploited the tragedy to push for a permanent expansion of the federal government, just as occurred under FDR, &quot;the last time the country responded with unprecedented sweeping changes to help the least fortunate. Today may demand an equal effort.&quot; Interviewing Randy Cohen, ethics columnist for the <i>New York Times Magazine</i>, Cuomo asserted: &quot;Hurricane Katrina is perhaps the most economically destructive event in American history since the Great Depression, the last time the country responded with unprecedented sweeping changes to help the least fortunate. Today may demand an equal effort. Couldn't this hurricane be something that is a historically relevant event that may change how we deal with each other in this society?&quot;<br /><br /><b>Video</b>: <a href="http://newsbusters.org/media/2005-08-31-ABCSPECCuomo.rm">Real</a> or <a href="http://newsbusters.org/media/2005-08-31-ABCSPECCuomo.wmv">Windows Media</a>. Some more context and description follows.

<!--break--> This item was posted earlier today in the <a href="http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2005/cyb20050901.asp">September 1 edition</a> of the MRC's <i>CyberAlert</i>.<br /><br />For a taped piece on the August 31 ABC News special which aired at 10pm EDT/PDT, 9pm CDT/MDT, Cuomo, the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, raised with Cohen the ethics of looting and price gouging, before getting to this proposition in the form of a question:<br /><br /><blockquote>&quot;Hurricane Katrina is perhaps the most economically destructive event in American history since the Great Depression [video of 1930s depression scenes], the last time the country responded with unprecedented sweeping changes to help the least fortunate. Today may demand an equal effort.”<br /><br />Cuomo to Randy Cohen,<i> New York Times</i> ethicist columnist: “Couldn't this hurricane be something that is a historically relevant event that may change how we deal with each other in this society?&quot;<br /><br />Cohen: &quot;The outcome is unknowable, which is another extraordinary thing about such events. We don't know how we'll respond.&quot;<br /><br />Cuomo: &quot;While it may take weeks and even months to know the full extent of the damage, one thing is for sure: Even among the worst affected, people here say no one is giving up.&quot;<br /> </blockquote>

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center