How Things Have Changed - Media Bias - Part II

As I previously posted here, there seems to be a disparity in Media Coverage especially depending on WHO is in office.

From a Slate article of September 2nd: "Sept. 11 was an epochal event in American culture, so it's no surprise that it's everyone's favorite comparison to the destruction of New Orleans. But the more instructive analogy is another great urban catastrophe in recent American history: The 1995 Chicago heat wave, when a blend of extreme weather, political mismanagement, and abandonment of vulnerable city residents resulted in the loss of water, widespread power outages, thousands of hospitalizations, and 739 deaths in a devastating week."

Where was the media during this event. You can still search for news articles - the internet as we know it was basically in it's "infancy", yet you'll be hard pressed to find the kind of negative, catastrophic, coverage you find about Katrina. True, they are two different events, and also true Katrina is far more catestrophic.

But 739 people died in one week in Chicago - mostly poor and black:

"Affluent and middle-class Chicagoans had little trouble getting out of harm's way. They either turned on their air conditioners or fled for cooler destinations. Thousands of poor, old, isolated, and sick people, especially those concentrated in the city's segregated African-American ghettos, on the other hand, were effectively trapped in lethal conditions. Neither federal nor local agencies did much to assist them. Instead, city patrols cracked down on young people who opened fire hydrants."

Where was the outrage? Where was Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson? Where was CNN suing to see the corpses?

They were no where to be found.

Even though there are striking similarities between the two very different catastrophes:

"Images of the "water war" between the teens and the city workers featured prominently in the local media, as did long sound bites from political officials who insisted that no one had foreseen the danger of heat waves and that they had done everything they could to respond. The commissioner of human services said that people died because they neglected to take care of themselves. The mayor blamed families for refusing to protect their kin. Outraged representatives of Chicago's African-American neighborhoods argued the obvious: Everyone knew which people and places were going to be most affected by the heat. The victims' vulnerability was predictable, and so was the city's neglect. Yet their complaints got little attention, and the story of what happened to their communities remains largely unknown"

What was said about the refugees? That they "failed to evacuate"? Oh! But how could they! Where would they go? Where did they go in 1995 but to the morgue. While Chicago burned, Bill Clinton played golf.

If Katrina told us anything its if there was ever a question of Media Bias - it's gone now. If there was ever a question of "hyping news" to influence polls, it's answered. IF the media can ever be trusted to "just tell us the story" it can't.

Blogs for Bush with more on MSM Bias.

Filed under