Danny Glover, Belafonte, Cosby Bash Government at PBS-Aired Katrina Benefit

<p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/18/AR200509... hspace="0" src="media/2005-09-17-PBSGlover.jpg" align="right" border="0" />The Washington Post</a> reports that the Lincoln Center hurricane fundraiser (broadcast in condensed form Saturday night on PBS) carried some liberal speechifying in it from celebrities. </p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"><p>Unlike other benefit concerts, &quot;Higher Ground&quot; was not marked by an apolitical tone: &quot;When the hurricane struck, it did not turn the region into a Third World country . . . it revealed one,&quot; actor Danny Glover told the audience in a speech with Harry Belafonte. &quot;Katrina was not unforeseeable,&quot; Belafonte said. &quot;It was the result of a political structure that subcontracts its responsibility to private contractors and abdicates its responsibility altogether.&quot;</p><p>Bill Cosby called on the American people to hold government accountable: &quot;This happened to the people. The Constitution says 'of the people, by the people, for the people' . . . but the people who got the office, got into office and forgot about the people.&quot;</p></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Are these people serious? A hurricane is the result of a political structure? And is it fair to say that before Katrina, the poor in New Orleans lived a &quot;Third World&quot; existence? Did they have no potable water? No toilets? Just a tent and some scrawny goats?</p><div><font face="Arial" size="2">UPDATE: Brent Baker tells me that some coverage from PBS stations was &quot;condensed&quot; (that is, major power WETA signed off early), while others went on. Coverage was live. AP's <a href="http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/news/celebrity/sns-ap-katrina-jazz-co... by Nekesa Mumbi Moody adds more political remarks:</font></div><blockquote dir="ltr" style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"><div>Robin Williams poked fun at the administration during his standup routine, in which he imagined an ethnically named Hurricane and its attitude: &quot;I'm going to go to Kennebunkport and see if they respond any quicker!&quot; <br /><br />...Elvis Costello, who performed with jazz giant Allen Toussaint, said he heard conservatives were worried about Katrina's rebuilding cost: &quot;I just hope we keep in our minds that an effort like this can never be too expensive.&quot; <br /><br />Jazz singer Jon Hendricks best summed up the tone of the evening. After singing one tribute, he said: &quot;That's the way I feel about New Orleans; This is the way I feel about the country right now.&quot; Then he launched into the angry song &quot;Tell Me The Truth,&quot; singing lines like &quot;Nowadays, wrong is right, down is up, black is white, bad is good, truth is a lie&quot; before defiantly singing, &quot;Somebody tell me what's right,&quot; to applause. </div></blockquote>

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis