Shep Smith In Category 5 Histrionics Over 9/11 Commission Report Card Shortcomings

Quick! Someone buy the man a Valium. Make it a double.

I'm sure most here remember the histrionics in which Shep Smith engaged while reporting from New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.

Smith was back in high emotional pitch today, shouting, screaming and accusing the government for its shortcomings as detailed in the just-released 9/11 Commission 'report card' on implementation of its national security recommendations.

Thankfully, Shep had James Carafano, across the video lines, to hold his hand and soothingly assure him that the sky wasn't falling.

Carafano, a cool customer, is a top scholar on security issues at the Heritage Foundation. A West Point grad and retired Army colonel, he also has a doctorate from Georgetown University and a master's degree in strategy from the U.S. Army War College.

As Shep raved on, Carafano explained that we have in fact made a lot of progress, that many of the recommendations simply take a lot of time to implement, and that the one short-coming on which Smith harped - the failure to have a radio frequency on which all first-responders can communicate - would not, contrary to Shep's fulminations, have made any difference in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Look, I don't really know how good a job or not the feds have done. Government being government, I'm sure there has been plenty of inefficiency, etc.

But Shep Smith's histrionics don't help. It's hard to see them as anything more than self-indulgent grandstanding.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.