In the months leading up to the imminent announcement from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald concerning “Leakgate,” there has been an endless stream of gloomy predictions from mainstream media representatives that indictments would destroy the Bush administration, and totally dismantle the president’s agenda for the rest of his second term. For example, as was reported here, David Gergen stated on yesterday’s “Early Show,” “If indictments are handed down, it's going to be a real blow to the administration and comes at a terrible time.” And, “If [Bush] were to lose Karl Rove, he'll lose a right arm. And it’s really hard to climb out of a hole without your right arm.”
By contrast, CBS’s Hannah Storm had Democratic strategist James Carville and Republican strategist Ed Rollins on “The Early Show” this morning, and the two high-profile pols didn’t agree with this assessment. In fact, both stated that if indictments are issued for Lewis Libby and Karl Rove which force them to resign, it could end up being a good thing for this White House (video link to follow):
[An update to my colleague Tim Graham's posts on Good Night and Good Luck co-star and director George Clooney found here and here.]
CBS Early Show host Harry Smith today interviewed George Clooney in the last half hour of the program. At one point Smith---who apparently from the interview really liked the film---notes he saw a screening of the film in New York City, with other journalists and asks Clooney for the reaction he received from his colleagues:
Harry Smith: "I saw it at a screening here in New York. Every newsperson in the city was in the room. You were there. What did they tell you afterwards?"
[Clooney: "...for us, it was quite something to have Morley Safer or Walter Cronkite or Tom Brokaw, any of the guys come over and tap you on the shoulder and say, 'you got it right.'"]
Smith: "Got it right, got it right. It's interesting because the battle in the newsrooms. We think of that time back then as being simpler in some way, because here is Murrow who is clearly on a crusade. But he's fighting with his bosses, he's fighting with Bill Paley. Let me run this clip, and it shows that, were it ever thus. Things never change. Take a look at this."
Smith went on later in the interview to lament the lack of modern day Murrows willing to "sacrifice" what Murrow was when airing the McCarthy documentary:
As reported here by NewsBusters, U.S. News and World Report’s editor-at-large David Gergen on CBS’s “Early Show” last Friday made the claim that the Wilson/Plame affair had some similarities to Watergate. Today on the same program, Gergen changed direction, and is now comparing this “scandal” to former President Clinton’s impeachment proceedings (video link to follow):
“Well, you know, the country went through a large conversation about that just a few years ago about Bill Clinton because the underlying events there with Monica Lewinsky were not illegal. But what he got charged with and what he was impeached by in the house was whether he had lied about it after the fact. So -- and we know -- you know, Harry, going way back to Watergate, that the standing rule -- standard rule in Washington is the cover up is always worse than the crime. So I would be cautious in dismissing the idea that if there's no underlying crime, there's nothing serious about this. Perjury and obstruction of justice have long been regarded as serious crimes. You're expected under the majesty of the law, to tell the truth to investigators. And Richard Thornburgh, a former Republican attorney general, has taken a view, I think rightly, that perjury and obstruction are in and of themselves serious.”
The first half-hour of today's Early Show featured a brief anchor read by Hannah Storm on the 1,998th and 1,999th American deaths in Iraq, followed two segments later with a Bill Plante segment on the Valerie Plame leak investigation (sandwiched between was an obituary for civil rights icon Rosa Parks who died yesterday). At the end of Plante's piece, he suggested the upcoming 2000-fatality benchmark is just the cherry on top of the problems the White House is having with the Miers nomination and the Plame investigation:
Adding to the President's problems, of course, the fact that the U.S. death toll in Iraq will soon pass 2000, and that links directly back to the argument at the heart of the leak investigation, the justification for the war. Hannah?
Yet the particular political tussle which sparked the leak and hence the investigation---the assertions of Valerie Plame's husband Joseph Wilson--- has since been discredited or severely questioned in a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report, a fact Plante doesn't mention but was reported prominently at the time, including Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post on July 10, 2004:
Filing a report from the White House lawn shortly after 7:30 this morning on CBS's Early Show, White House correspondent Bill Plante described Vice President Cheney's chief-of-staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby as both high-profile and little-known:
Fitzgerald has turned out to be more thorough than just about anyone has anticipated. He has focused on two of the President's highest-profile aides: Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Both of whom talked to reporters about the Valerie Plame case and her husband Joseph Wilson. Libby is the Vice President's chief-of-staff and his national security adviser. A little-known but key analyst and confidante. A major proponent of the war in Iraq, Libby was reportedly enraged by Valerie Plame's husband Joseph Wilson's criticism of the war. His testimony to the grand jury about what he said and when may be at odds with that of some reporters.
Of course, Rove has been a source of mainstream media fascination as well as a left-wing bogeyman since President Bush took office. Lewis Libby, however, has not had the same cachet. A search in Nexis of "Karl Rove" in CBS News transcripts from January 20, 2001 (President Bush's first inauguration) to October 1, 2005 produced 178 hits while a search for "Lewis Libby" in the same time frame produced only 25 hits, with all but six of them occurring since June 2004. A search for "Scooter Libby" produced 17 hits, some of which were duplicates of the "Lewis" search.
My colleague, NBC analyst Geoff Dickens, earlier noted the Today show ruminating on the 2000 casualty-benchmark which may soon be reached in Iraq. CBS's Early Show also featured a story on this theme in their first half-hour. Unlike the Today show, however, the casualty story was not linked with unrelated political stories like the Plame investigation, indeed, the Early Show treatment of that came in the next half hour. Another difference: the Early Show's Syler did ask for positive news (see portion in bold below), from Baghdad-based correspondent Kimberly Dozier on the constitution referendum:
Rene Syler in New York Early Show studio @ 0708 EDT: "In Iraq, the US military approaches a painful milestone. Nearly 2000 American troops have been killed since the war began. Again, today, insurgents are on the attack. CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier is live in Baghdad. Good morning, Kim."
David Gergen was questioned this morning during a CBS segment concerning the possibility of indictments to White House chief aide Karl Rove and Dick Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby. The “Early Show's” Bill Plante mentioned that the White House is behaving like it’s business as usual. Gergen responded: “Bill, I was in the Nixon White House during Watergate, and we pretended that we were all about business as usual. And we had a president who was talking to the portraits. It was not business as usual, but you have to say it.”
Gergen later in the interview said: “This is a presidency that has almost collapsed.”
What follows is a full transcript of this report, and a video link.
Bernard Goldberg never got on CBS' Early Show, but that's because he was not supporting MSM dominance.
CBS Political Analyst Craig Crawford recently released a new book entitled Attack The Messenger: How Politicians Turn You Against The Media and it was very well-received at CBS, which helped launch the book on The Early Show on Wednesday. Among the book's claims is that it is politicians and their supporters who are making it seem as though the Media is biased, and not that the media actually is biased. People claiming Media Bias are merely "attacking the messenger" instead of the message.
CBS’s Hannah Storm introduced a new problem to America this morning on “The Early Show.” It’s called “presenteeism,” and it stands for employees who show up to work sick. Syler and her guest, Dr. Emily Senay, suggested that this is almost as big a problem as absenteeism, which, of course, is people NOT showing up for work.
Senay presented some statistics to support her case. She mentioned that 48 percent of employers surveyed see presenteeism as being a problem. However, isn’t that a minority? Moreover, 36 percent of employers discourage their employees from coming into work when they’re sick. Conversely, this suggests that 64 percent don’t.
It would have been interesting to see some methodology concerning these surveys. For instance, what kind of employers were questioned? Were they business owners, or managers and supervisors of large corporations?
What follows is a full transcript of this report, along with a video link.
So a preacher, a comedian, and a scientist walk into a bar...
Okay, I'll spare you that joke, but all of the above comprised Harry Smith's theological roundtable in the second half hour of today's Early Show. The question for Jerry Falwell, Andy Borowitz, and Bill Nye "the Science Guy," was, "Is God mad at us," given all the natural disasters---tsunami, hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides---that have beset the planet since last December.
It's an odd theological panel to have, and a relatively unserious segment given the makeup of the panel. If Smith's intent were to have a theological discussion, he'd have been better served by having perhaps a Catholic priest, Falwell, a Jewish rabbi, and an Islamic imam to showcase theological opinions from those four faiths. Instead the audience was served an odd mishmash of Falwell expounding on Christian doctrine, Bill Nye plugging global warming, and Andy Borowitz jokingly blaming Paris Hilton for flooding in the Northeast.
In August, I blogged about CBS reporters using the medical term "fetus" to describe an unborn child, even in stories where the child was a "planned and wanted child" as former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders was wont to say.
The Early Show's Rene Syler continued the practice today in setting up a report on a Pennsylvania woman accused of attempting to remove an unborn baby from her eight-months pregnant neighbor, to claim the baby as her own. But the correspondent Syler introduced, a reporter for the local CBS affiliate KDKA in Pittsburgh, used the term "unborn baby" and noted that one of the charges the suspect faces is "assault on an unborn child."
Rene Syler: "As we mentioned, there was a horrible attack on a pregnant woman near Pittsburgh. A woman is in custody for allegedly beating her neighbor and then trying to steal her fetus. Ralph Iannotti of our Pittsburgh station KDKA reports."
CBSNews.com's blog, Public Eye, has a post today on their Early Show viewer demographics, broken down by half-hour block. They show that two-thirds of the audience are women throughout all four half-hour blocks of the show, but that the first half-hour is younger and has more male viewership.
As such, CBSNews officials admit, they tend to stick the hard news in the first half hour, with features dominating the later half hour blocks, but feel they still leave enough hard news scraps to go around in the news briefings in the other half hours:
The first hour is geared more towards the transitional audience, and the second hour includes programming designed for people who are sticking around.
That doesn't mean people who stay at home only want soft features, says Katie Boyle, a senior producer with the CBS "Early Show." She points out that the "Early Show" runs newsblocks on the hour and half-hour, and says that there is a mix of stories so the same topics aren't covered over and over. "In a two hour morning show you want some variety," she says. And the fact that the proportion of women is slightly higher in the second half of the program, she adds, doesn't mean they don't care about hard news. "Women are watching morning television, period, at the beginning and at the end, when there's hard news and soft features," she says. "They want it all."
Hurricane devastation has left millions trying to rebuild their homes and lives. But flood-damage lawsuits against insurance companies now threaten the industry’s solvency across the country, and the broadcast media are helping make the case against industry.
According to reporters on CBS and NBC, the fact that some homeowners didn’t have flood insurance is “an ugly surprise” and a “hard lesson” for people “who thought their insurance companies would pay for the wreck they used to call home.”
Reporters have given the impression that Gulf Coast homeowners didn’t understand their insurance policies and that that might give them the legal standing to demand money they weren’t contracted to receive.
CBS’s Harry Smith introduced trial lawyer Richard Scruggs, famed for his $250 billion settlement from tobacco companies, on the October 5 “Early Show.” Scruggs has indicated plans to file suit against three private insurers for coastal clients, accusing insurance companies of misleading them and denying coverage for hurricane losses.
The New York Times reported on October 5 that Scruggs’ first suit, filed on October 4, centers on one Mississippi couple who did not have flood insurance. They say their insurance company misled them into thinking they had protection that they didn’t. Scruggs has said he might file more than 1,000 similar suits, avoiding a class-action suit.
The Early Show's Rene Syler introducing a guest in the 7:30 a.m. half hour of today's program: "Last year, Ashley Smith became front page news when an accused killer took her hostage..."
Um, actually, Rene, that happened THIS year, in March.
Of course, with the 24/7 news cycle it feels like it was five years ago, sometimes looking back on it. At any rate, I'm sure I'm the only one of the show's seven-person audience who noticed, Rene, so don't feel too bad.
In the 7:30 a.m. newsbrief, Early Show co-host Hannah Storm set up a soundbite with New York Times reporter Judith Miller where she slams special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for her 85-day long jail service for refusing to testify in the grand jury investigation of the Valerie Plame leak. But Storm didn't mention that Miller was there by her own volition for failing to divulge the name of her source, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who had months ago given Miller the go-ahead to testify to the grand jury.
Hannah Storm: "A formerly jailed New York Times reporter is speaking out. Judith Miller was thrown in jail for refusing to cooperate with the CIA White House leak case. Well, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wants to know who leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame. On CNN last night, Miller said she's anxious to see if Fitzgerald brings criminal charges."
Judith Miller on October 4, 2005 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight: "I'm waiting to see like everybody else what he produces. But if he doesn't have anything, I will wonder about why I had to spend 85 days in jail."
Storm: "Miller says her 85 days in jail was [sic] demeaning and degrading."
Rene Syler delivered this little blurb at 8:01 today on the Early Show:
In upstate New York, a plea deal in a teacher sex case. Beth Geisel, a former Catholic school teacher, will be sentenced in November for having sex with a 16-year old student. The 42-year old mother of four will serve six months in jail.
Maybe I'm missing something, but why is Geisel's status as a "mother of four" included? The woman is a self-confessed rapist, having had sex with a minor, and what's more a minor under her care and responsibility as a school teacher. But with the news item delivered as it was, it sounds almost like we should feel sorry her for her being kept from her kids from the next six months just because she had a tryst with some guy.
A day after NBC's Matt Lauer asked on Today, "why are there so many hurricanes this year and is global warming to blame?" and Robert Bazell ominously concluded an NBC Nightly News story by asserting that "many experts say" hurricane-fueling global warming "results partly from humans releasing greenhouse gases possibly creating even more violent storms in the future," ABC and CBS aired stories which largely dismissed global warming as a culprit. On Thursday's World News Tonight, ABC's Ned Potter featured a soundbite from National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield, who in little-reported congressional testimony Tuesday, discounted global warming as a factor. CBS's Russ Mitchell, on The Early Show, featured a scientist who "says hurricane activity comes in cycles that can last several decades. It seems Mother Nature has mood swings." Mitchell explained that "hurricane cycles are primarily driven by rainfall patterns in Africa and the Amazon basin." As for hype about hurricanes on the rise, Mitchell admonished: "The experts will tell us back in the '50s and '60s we saw some monster hurricanes, but we just have very short memories."
(Viewers of ABC's PrimeTime Thursday, however, heard more hyperbolic lunacy on global warming as Barbra Streisand exclaimed to Diane Sawyer: "We are in a global warming emergency state and these storms are going to become more frequent, more intense, there could be more droughts, dust bowls, you know it's amazing to hear these facts, I mean, the Andes have no ice caps on the mountains in winter. The glaciers are melting. I mean, for the United States not to be part of the Kyoto treaty is unforgivable.")
Full transcripts and CBS's 1950-'60s hurricane graphic follow.
Pre-Hurricane Katrina, in early August, I noted how CBS's The Early Show ignored the FBI raid on the home of Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson. Over a month and a week later, Jefferson is at the center of another controversy, this time involving the National Guard. The Early Show so far has ignored this story as well.
WASHINGTON -- A Louisiana congressman being escorted by National Guard troops removed personal items from his home in flooded New Orleans while military helicopters and emergency workers raced to save thousands of victims.
The media continue to use the 60th anniversary of the United Nations as a platform to criticize U.S. foreign aid as “second lowest of any wealthy country.” This is part of an ongoing, celebrity-filled push to get the United States to give billions of dollars in aid – totally ignoring the massive contributions already made by American charities.
The General Assembly has been debating what are called U.N. Millennium Development Goals, which attempt to mandate that each industrialized nation give 0.7 percent of its Gross National Product to foreign aid. The media have used the event to misrepresent U.S. foreign aid and to highlight celebrities like actress Angelia Jolie, an outspoken supporter of increased taxpayer-funded aid.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” interviewed Jolie September 13, along with with Dr. Jeffrey Sachs of the U.N. Millennium Project. Sachs is author of “The End of Poverty,” in which he indicted the United States for supposedly lagging behind other countries in aid for the poor. The two have produced a documentary about a trip to Kenya that is being shown on MTV on September 14.
CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen vented yesterday on CBSNews.com about how mum John Roberts has been during questioning, refusing to take the bait on hot-button questions posed by liberal senators. But in doing so, Cohen gives away his bias: he'd prefer a Supreme Court justice who believes in judicial activism, rather than judicial restraint:
Roberts took the so-called "Ginsburg Test" for refusing to answer Committee questions — dubiously named in honor of the 1993 Court nominee, Ruth Bader Ginsburg — to a new extreme.
He invoked it so many times, and in such an eager fashion, that they ought to do a Saturday Night Live Skit about it — a guy gets asked if he wants fries or a salad and he answers that he isn’t comfortable answering the question because it eventually may come before the Court.
To Republicans on the panel, Roberts was happy to expound upon all the many things a judge must not do, or say, or think, or resolve, when it comes to the law. He was happy to talk about how and why the judiciary must often and typically be a passive partner in the dance between governmental branches.
He thus gave succor to those on the right who hope that the newly-constituted Supreme Court will be less reluctant than its predecessor in striking down Congressional legislation or in challenging the authority of the executive branch.
Gloria Borger's Early Show recap of yesterday's confirmation hearings for Judge John Roberts was dominated by exchanges with liberal senators pressing the Chief Justice nominee from the Left on abortion, but Borger closed off her report noting that conservatives are concerned about Roberts's views on overturning Roe v. Wade: "Conservatives are listening very closely to what Judge Roberts has to say about Roe versus Wade."
Although it is obvious from her own reporting that there is an equal if not stronger liberal obsession with preserving Roe at all costs from future reversal or weakening, Borger doesn't impute any political motivations to Roberts's critics, presenting the issue, rather, as one of whether the "precedent of Roe versus Wade so strong that Roberts would not vote to overturn it," as if long-held "strong" precedents in Court history somehow innoculate themselves from reversal on constitutional grounds when a future Court decides the reasoning of the precedent was grievously flawed (as the Court did in Brown v. Board of Education in reversing Plessy v. Ferguson).
Early Show co-host Julie Chen interviewed CBS's resident homeland security expert, Randy Larsen, about FEMA director Mike Brown's resignation. Larsen offered perhaps the most balanced analysis of all the Hurricane Katrina coverage on CBS, noting that FEMA's scope and mission are not all-encompassing, and that local and state officials are supposed to remain in charge of disaster recovery, rescue, and cleanup efforts, with FEMA in a secondary role. This of course, cuts against the bias CBS News has had on hurricane relief. CBS has failed to ask New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin nor Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco on where they failed before and after the hurricane struck and what they are doing, if anything, to take responsibility.
Yesterday marked the complete withdrawal of Israeli military forces from the Gaza Strip, which has been returned to full Palestinian control in the hopes of moving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process along. As part of the handover of control, Israeli soldiers shuttered or destroyed the empty buildings once occupied by Jewish settlers. Among these, the synagogues were left standing, emptied of all their sacred artifacts and Torahs and the like, but tagged as holy places which should not be desecrated. Of course, this courtesy was not afforded of the Jewish houses of worship as masses of Palestinian militants have desecrated the synagogues in the hours since, burning them to the ground, an act exhibiting violence and hatred towards the Jewish faith of their Israeli neighbors.
Of the three broadcast network morning shows, only CBS's The Early Show completely ignored the story, although CBS, like its competitors widely reported the since-disproven allegations of Koran desecration which made the pages of Newsweek months ago.
A day after CNN reported poll numbers which show a small minority of Americans blame President Bush for a slow response to the disaster in New Orleans, CBS News today reported their new polling data, which were considerably more negative for the Bush administration. The poll, unlike CNN’s, doesn’t deal with “blame” for the New Orleans disaster but rather focused on the adequacy of the governmental response. Nevertheless, correspondent Thalia Assuras on today’s Early Show chose the most negative poll numbers, failing to give a broader context to her story than the "bitter political sniping" which she portrayed as almost a natural reaction to the Bush administration's response, rather than a calculated liberal Democratic strategy: "Well the government's response to the catastrophe has unleashed bitter political sniping here in Washington, with much of the criticism directed against the Bush administration. Americans are struck by the images they have seen, and now we know just how strong their feelings are."
Assuras relayed most of the polling data but failed to report two numbers I found striking. For example, the initial public reaction from the earliest days of Katrina’s aftermath was positive, with 54 percent favoring the government’s reaction and only 12 percent opposed, and presently 60 percent of poll respondents think the federal government is doing all it can do now to address the crisis. These polling numbers, I believe, show the evolving public reaction to the stark images from New Orleans as the liberally biased national media pushed the blame towards FEMA's Mike Brown and President Bush while downplaying or ignoring the misjudgments on the ground by Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco.
Below is a transcript of Assuras’s piece, including the set-up by host Harry Smith and the opening credits tease by Hannah Storm:
The Early Show's Harry Smith continued to pile on the Bush administration's relief efforts in Louisiana, shifting from New Orleans to a less-populated but equally if not more so devastated jurisdiction, Saint Bernard Parish, parts of which are awash with oil slicks caused by spills from a local refinery. Smith complained that FEMA had not been able to meet with parish officials until yesterday, and relayed the complaints of the parish's president and disaster management chief before asking Brown if he had "screwed up."
Harry Smith: "The toxic cocktail that drenched Chalmette likely means these neighborhoods will have to be flattened. Larry Ingargiola heads emergency management, Henry Rodriguez, Jr., is the parish president.
Smith with Rodriguez and Ingargiola: "What's the situation with most of the housing right around here."
Larry Ingargiola: "There is no housing."
Henry Rodriguez, Jr.: "There is no housing."
Smith: "There is no housing?"
Rodriguez: "There's nobody that can come back and live in a house. Nowhere in this parish."
Smith: "These men have a problem, and it didn't help matters much that FEMA took a week to show up. FEMA chief Mike Brown will arrive any minute. Their message:"
Ingargiola: "We were left alone. We need your help now. We're not going to bitch with you or do anything like that. We need your help. You don't bite the hand that's feeding you right now."
Rodriguez: "Our federal government can't be incompetent and stupid all at one time. You know, you've got to know that we've got problems down here."
Smith: "Mike Brown did show up, and while there were plenty of smiles and handshakes, the parish president was not afraid to throw up a few expletives to make his point."
Rodriguez to Mike Brown: "I don't want them hijacking [expletive deleted]."
Mike Brown of FEMA to Rodriguez: "That's why I'm here."
Smith @ 0721 EDT: "FEMA is a four-letter word in south Louisiana. Many folks here feel if it didn't work, it's Brown's fault."
Smith: "Did you screw this up?"
Brown: No. No."
Smith: "If, in the end there's an investigation and they say this just wasn't done right, who's accountable?"
Brown: "Well, that's what the investigation will find out. That's what the investigation will tell us."
As though it were a completely cynical motive, Smith then goes on to show the parish president saying the oil industry is the reason why the feds are paying attention to his parish's disaster relief needs:
In an otherwise good interview in the final half hour with Rick Warren, the Southern Baptist pastor and bestselling author of The Purpose-Driven Life, The Early Show's Harry Smith worried that some Hurricane Katrina victims taken into the homes of church parishioners might be forced to attend church in order to get a decent meal:
"Let me ask you this, though: is this an opportunity for a church to witness? Or if I'm a family, am, do I need to be concerned that I'm going to go live with a church family, are they going to proselytize me, are they going to say, 'you better come to church with me or else, I'm, you know, you're not going to get your breakfast this morning'?"
Misinformation continues to flow about supposed “record high” gas prices. Over the holiday weekend, the national average for gas rose to a little more than $3, still below the inflation-adjusted record of $3.11 set nearly 20 years ago.
That didn’t stop “The Early Show” on CBS from claiming a record-high $3.20 national average for regular unleaded gasoline. On the September 6 broadcast, both Julie Chen and Hannah Storm made the same incorrect claim.
According to Chen, “The huge hit Hurricane Katrina put on the area helped send gas prices shooting up 75 cents to an average of $3.20 a gallon.” Storm went even further claiming that the numbers she was citing came from AAA. “Since the storm hit, almost 70 percent of normal oil production has been shut down. And that, of course, has had a dramatic effect on gas prices. According to AAA, gas has gone up 75 cents. That puts the average cost of regular unleaded at $3.20 a gallon,” explained Storm.
What follows below are the interview questions with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin from today's Early Show. You will notice Nagin was not asked about any area where his leadership may have failed his constituents, particularly his controversial decision last week to put tourists who had been holed up in a Hyatt priority on evacuation over New Orleans residents who had waited out the storm and the flooding in horrendous living conditions in the Superdome.
@ 0711 EDT
Harry Smith from Canal Street, New Orleans: Just moments ago we had the opportunity to talk with the mayor here, Mayor Ray Nagin, and I asked him what does he need most now?
Smith: "You've said that you are concerned that there may be as many as how many dead here in New Orleans?"
Smith: "In the end, as we look back, the people have been evacuated from the Superdome, from the convention center, by and large the evacuation is complete. Who bears the shame for what happened here last week?"
Smith: "Here's uh, the question I'm curious to hear about, your people are now dispersed all over the United States, you have a quarter ofa million in Texas alone. Do they come back, does this city come back? Does this city, I was sitting here this morning saying, you know, I'd really would like to go down and get a cafe au lait and a beignet and I want to hear the sounds, and I want to smell the food, I want to experience what it used to be like here. Will that happen again?"
Smith: "I want to go back to something we were talking about just a second ago, because I heard you on the radio crying last week, I heard you swearing, uh, maybe it's not time for the blame game, but something broke down."
Smith: "Off the top of your head, streets clear of water, when the electricity is on, what's your best estimate?"
Smith: "Alright, Mayor, thank you so much for your time this morning."
CBS’s Early Show today featured a taped tirade by Aaron Broussard, the Democratic president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, who, on Sunday's Meet the Press essentially accused FEMA and the Bush administration of "murdering" New Orleanians. Broussard did try to sound some conciliatory notes, talking about shaking hands with FEMA officials and worrying about blame later, but then launched into an extended baseball analogy lampooning the Bush administration's reaction to the hurricane disaster which made Smith crack up laughing. Smith didn't challenge any of Broussards bombastic claims and his colleague Hannah Storm, co-hosting from New York, praised Broussard as embodying "the spirit of Louisiana":