False Media Essay

Submitted By b2013williams
Words: 1194
Pages: 5

False Media Do you remember the dramatic TV footage of National Guard helicopters landing at the Superdome as soon as Katrina passed, dropping off tens of thousands saved from certain death? The corpsmen running with stretchers carrying the survivors to ambulances and the medical center? Me neither. It seems like every reporter out there only wanted to look at the horrible situations going on and not give those who deserve it credit for their hard work. I believe the reporters that were covering the story of Katrina were obviously just looking for a big, dramatic story and to make it the report of a life time. Don’t get me wrong, there were crime, racism, and tragedy throughout New Orleans but by focusing on the part of the glass that was half-empty, the national media imposed a near total blackout on the nerve center of what may have been the largest, most successful aerial search and rescue operation in history. We have to remember that reporters are getting paid to say what is written down on their wonderful little prompter and who is to say that what they were saying was completely true? If the city was so horribly running ramped of murder and rape then I don’t think these million dollar camera crews would be able to safely be there. Fifty thousand New Orleans residents were in danger of death from drowning, heatstroke, dehydration and disease. The numbers have since been confirmed by Congress, the White House, Louisiana state officials and the relevant agencies themselves. This shows that it was problems that can’t be fixed by calling 1-800-SEND-FOOD. To be fair to the national media, there were good reasons the rescue angle was grossly underreported. For the first few days, no one was keeping close track of numbers. Nor was there a "center" for the media to cover since most of the reporters were stuck elsewhere, away from the action. The rescuers themselves knew they saved a lot of lives, but feared how many thousands, or even tens of thousands, may have been left behind to fill the 25,000 body bags on hand. This doesn’t give them the right, though to make up stories with little knowledge about the subject. The safety of the people there was also better than the media had showed. The National Guard had its headquarters for Katrina, not just a few peacekeeping troops, in what the media portrayed as the pit of Hell. Hell was one of the safest places to be in New Orleans, smelly as it was. The situation was always under control, not surprisingly because the people in control were always there. I feel even in the Zeitoun book it hardly focused on how much the government or National Guard was helping. That doesn’t make for a good story, of course it won’t make it in the book but it at least needs to be recognized in some way by America. The men and women who were on demand in New Orleans during that time don’t get their own special “Thank You” from America. I hardly saw any hero stories of how the National Guard helped New Orleans through the tragedy. The way that Dave Eggers has put in the book makes it seem like the National Guard was ignoring every single person they went by and did nothing but beat the ones that were taken in. If all that is true then why would they have sent out so many rescue boats? Why waste time and money to look around a flooded city filled with depression and tragedy and do nothing about it? It just seems that a lot is being withheld from the public. I have personally been to New Orleans twice to help with the relief. Either time I have not heard a single story about the horrid things reported about. Stories from the survivors were mainly about the tragic of losing their homes, lives, and way of living. Few talked about their time at the Dome and all told stories of how the National Guard had saved them with food and water. While I was there we also went and helped clean up houses, rebuild schools and homes, and cleaned up the parks. The reports about how emotionally shocking the images