LA Times Gone Wild: 'Wrong to Blame Katrina Victims for Spending Irresponsibly'

What do you call someone who rips off the American taxpayer by spending Katrina relief funds on champagne, "Girls Gone Wild" videos or gambling sprees? Why, a "victim," of course. At least, you do if you're an editorial writer at the Los Angeles Times.

The sub-headline in the editorial in today's LA Times reads like a parody of liberal paternalism gone wild: "It's Wrong to Blame Victims for Spending Irresponsibly." No, that's not a misprint.

While acknowledging that the 16% of improper expenditures 'is indeed high', the Times doesn't want us to get all worked up about it: "some misuse of the FEMA-issued debit cards is hardly shocking."

Concludes the Times:

"It's easy, and necessary, to criticize FEMA's across-the-board incompetence in responding to the largest displacement of Americans since the Civil War. But obsessing about the spending habits of refugees comes perilously close to blaming the victim."

"Spending habits"? I guess Willie Sutton had "banking habits."

The LA Times blames the government agency giving away the money - not the cheats who rip off the system and the taxpayer. This is big-government liberal paternalism laid bare.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.