Media Dishonesty in New Orleans

Mike Gallagher
|
Posted: Oct 19, 2007 12:01 AM
Media Dishonesty in New Orleans

One of the biggest injustices ever done to the Bush Administration was the claim that the federal government abandoned the people of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

You know the narrative by now: angry liberals who have a contemptuous view of President Bush like to spin a yarn of a White House completely indifferent to the pain and loss of all those people left in Katrina’s wake. The more radical the storyteller, the more evil the behavior at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. becomes. New Orleans is a Democratic town, some say, so Bush was glad to have those folks wiped out. Or an even more asinine claim is that since so many Blacks live in New Orleans, the feds just didn’t care to save them.

It’s enough to make you heave.

But now, in October of 2007, comes a pretty extraordinary request from the Police Superintendent there, a guy named Warren Riley. It seems Mr. Riley appreciates the presence of hundreds of National Guard troops who have been patrolling the streets of the city since Katrina so much that he wants to keep them there – indefinitely.

Evidently, the Guard patrols the less populated areas of New Orleans so that the actual police officers can spend more time in the busier parts of the city. But in mid-January of 2008, the National Guard is finally scheduled to leave. Riley said, “I would like to see them stay, at least long enough for us to get one more group through the (Police) Academy,” he said.

Frankly, I had no idea that the National Guard has been functioning as an auxiliary police department in New Orleans for the past two years, did you?

But the fascinating part of this whole issue is the way the news media tries to connect the skyrocketing murder rates in New Orleans with a kind of post-Katrina syndrome. This week, the Associated Press reported that the city earned the title of murder capital of the nation in 2006 when 162 people were killed. Already this year, that number has been exceeded.

The truth of the matter is that Hurricane Katrina doesn’t have anything to do with the crime rate in New Orleans. Just like libs like to blame even the arrival of a hurricane on a Republican president (as if George Bush conjures up the weather from a mystical weather room near the Oval Office), the media is in love with trying to pin everything bad in New Orleans today on the 2005 hurricane.

It’s time for a reality check.

If you do a Google search for “New Orleans Crime Rate,” the first news story that will appear is an Associated Press story from August 18, 2005, entitled “New Orleans Murder Rate on the Rise Again.” This story, which ran 11 days before Katrina, reported on the eye-popping 265 murders committed in 2004. The article also pointed out that in 1994 the city experienced 421 homicides.

I didn’t do very well in math, but 265 and 421 sound like a higher number of killings than last year’s 162. Or even this year’s 163.

The hard truth is that New Orleans has always been crime-infested. There is no connection between Hurricane Katrina and crime. That’s just part of a touchy-feely narrative that is supposed to make us think that anything wrong with New Orleans has to be as a result of Hurricane Katrina. It’s an extension of the bald-faced lie that the Bush Administration purposefully ignored the plight of the city after the floodwaters hit.

If anything, many of the criminals who called New Orleans home have invaded other parts of the country after evacuating and are now perpetrating felonies on unsuspecting victims in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and all over the United States.

Ann Coulter likes to expose the liberals’ “doctrine of infallibility,” where certain sympathetic figures (9/11 victims, war heroes) can become activists and no one is allowed to challenge or criticize them because of their victimhood. The same thing is happening with New Orleans. We’re expected to keep National Guard troops there to help the police officers do their jobs as if Hurricane Katrina turned a paradise like New Orleans into a crime-ridden cesspool.

I hate to burst the bubble of people who like to romanticize New Orleans. But the decadence, danger and filth in New Orleans were there well before Hurricane Katrina ever came ashore.