Originally posted Jan. 17, 2006
Just when I thought there was no way I could ever bestow my sympathy on Ray Nagin again, CNN turns around and shows that, in the parlance of our times, it is truly the media that always proves to be the most tactless party in any given scenario. I’m writing about what happened on CNN tonight.
Normally, I try to avoid the 24-hour news networks. I only tuned in to CNN tonight because they were hyping an appearance by our honorable potty-mouthed Mayor, he of foot-in-mouth disease. Come to find out Nagin cancelled at the last minute due to an “emergency.” Anchor Anderson Cooper didn’t to a good job hiding his disappointment. He quickly mentioned the several times Nagin had cancelled at the last minute in the past then posted a correspondent in front of Bourbon House where Nagin was having dinner with members of Bring Back New Orleans. In a smarmy manner, he asked his correspondent, “Does it look like there are any emergencies going on in there?”
Actually, as a citizen of New Orleans, I consider Mayor Nagin’s appearance at a dinner with a group dedicated to rebuilding the city about a thousand times more important than him appearing on a cable news show. The entire city is in a state of emergency these days.
Nagin’s comment on MLK Day were troubling and insensitive. But watching CNN tonight just made me realize how out of touch mainstream media is about what is going on down here.
Why are the words “chocolate city” more of a talking point than words like “category-5 levees” or “coastal restoration?” I hate what Nagin said. I think it set us back. But to hear CNN try attempt to grind their axe about Nagin canceling on them and postulating that somehow Nagin breaking away from Bring Back New Orleans to talk about a political gaffe he made the day before is even more insulting.
The show seemed to be a hatchet job. Very little positive was said about Nagin and there really wasn’t much as far as well-rounded reporting. I’m not sticking up for Nagin, I just would rather him be meeting with Bring Back New Orleans than getting lambasted by Anderson Cooper.