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November 07, 2012

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anon

The biggest difference is the spin that the media put on Katrina, and its spin of Sandy (i.e., absence of coverage and absence of blaming).

Ralph D. Clifford

I did worry about whether the media coverage of the two events was a significant factor that I should address. I am fairly comfortable with my level of knowledge about Katrina both because of the passage of time to provide reflection and because I have lots of family and friends who live in the New Orleans area. While the prevalence of lawlessness was clearly overstated media, the complete lack of government support until the U.S. Army showed up was not.

I am less comfortable with the coverage of Sandy because it hasn't been as exhaustive as that triggered by Katrina. We still know less about this event.

The overall differences between the two storms is not spin, however. U.S. Death toll in Katrina: 1,833 (officially, but the estimates of those not counted run up into the multiple thousands); in Sandy: 110+ (likely to be higher as the recovery proceeds, but not likely to be an order of magnitude higher). Approximately 80% of New Orleans was under water for a month; other than tunnels, etc. most of New York & New Jersey is now dry and the estimates are that the remaining tunnels will be pumped out within a few weeks.

Only time will tell if response of the States of New York and New Jersey prove adequate to Sandy. The State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans, on the other hand, failed their citizens with Katrina.

anon

Only time will tell if response of the States of New York and New Jersey prove adequate to Sandy. The State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans, on the other hand, failed their citizens with Katrina.
This is the spin to which I referred. I didn't mean the the hype about how big or bad the hurricane would be, but rather the focus on the plight of the victims.
From the moment Katrina struck, the plight of its victims was vividly portrayed, non-stop, in the media.
In contrast, only with some searching in the media can one can find the same horrific stories and circumstances as a result of Sandy. The older persons freezing in their homes (often high rises) with no electricity, no heat and, most importantly, no assistance. The devasted neighborhoods filled with people with nowhere to go. The water shortages. The food shortages. The outgage and anger.
But only with a great deal of searching can one find reports of this on the major television networks. The absence of this reporting is not because it would be hard to find and report on these circumstances. This is because of a choice.
You say you'll wait for the media to ultimately focus on this.
I fear you'll be waiting a long time, just like the victims of Sandy.

Ralph D. Clifford

The media may be catching on to the fact that Sandy's consequences are still with us. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/opinion/where-hurricane-sandy-still-hurts.html?hp&_r=0.

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