Is it news or is what we see on the TeeVee all show biz? The answer folks, is show biz aka self-interest driven propaganda, as Jonathan Tilove at the Times Picayune explains:
About of a third of the way through the National Oil Spill Commission’s 400-page report, there is a 43-page chapter on the oil spill response and containment efforts that suggests that berms and boom were pretty much a bust, collecting more headlines than oil.
Along the way, the report also casts a rather unflattering light on Louisiana officialdom, singling out Gov. Bobby Jindal and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.
And while Nungesser was cashing in with BP along with St Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack Stevens, the media was running to him for the self serving sound bite de jour, making the media in general and Anderson Cooper in particular mighty useful idiots for this corrupt local politician as we continue:
According to the commission’s narrative, the festering animosity in Louisiana’s relationship with Washington was nurtured by a news media that thrives on conflict.
“Local resentment became a media theme and then a self-fulfilling prophecy,” the report concludes. “Even those who thought the federal government was doing the best it could under the circumstance did not say so publicly.”
Instead, according to the report, “journalists encouraged state and local officials and residents to display their anger at the federal response, and offered coverage when they did. (CNN reporter) Anderson Cooper reportedly asked a Parish President to bring an angry, unemployed offshore oil worker on his show. When the President could not promise the worker would be ‘angry,’ both were disinvited.'”
Now before I piss off everyone in the media I would be remiss if I did not mention certain news outlets that “got it” from the jump in the Sun Herald and the Mobile Press Register via reporters Anita Lee and Ben Raines who well knew both bermdoggles and Nungesser. The NOLA traditional media as a general rule (Bob Marshall specifically excepted) flunks here mainly because they were (and remain) too dicked up with the Oil Industry to objectively report the events IMHO. Simply put, credible media reports facts without helping others manufacture self-serving scams or political angles selling out the local populace in the process.
My own opinion as moderator of this blog is that the DC set did not trust much of the reporting either or the MMS, The Executive Offices of the POTUS and numerous other federal agencies would not have camped out with us on Slabbed last summer getting the real story from locals on the ground.
For those so interested Drake Toulouse over at Disenfranchised Citizen continues to do a great job covering the spill and its aftermath.