Tuesday , September 13, 2005
Now some fresh pickings from the Hurricane Grapevine:
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (search) greeted President Bush when he arrived in Louisiana last night, and was at his side as he fielded questions on the Katrina relief efforts this morning. That quality time with the president, however, marks the mayor's first visit to the disaster area since Wednesday when Nagin pulled up stakes and moved his family to Dallas. The Dallas Morning News reports that Nagin has already bought a house in the city, and enrolled his daughter in school.
When the Mayor appeared on "Meet the Press" on Sunday from Dallas, he was never asked about his presence there, or his decision to move his family.
No Correction from the Times
The New York Times continues to stand by TV columnist Alessandra Stanley's (search) claim that FOX correspondent Geraldo Rivera "nudged an Air Force rescue worker out of the way so his camera crew could tape him as he helped lift an older woman in a wheelchair to safety," even though the video shows no such thing.
Times executive editor Bill Keller tells The Washington Post, "It was a semi-close call, in that the video does not literally show how Mr. Rivera insinuated himself... Whether Mr. Rivera gently edged the airman out of the way with an elbow (literally 'nudged'), or told him to step aside, or threw a body block, or just barged into an opening -- it's hard to tell, since it happened just off-camera." Keller adds, "Frankly, given Mr. Rivera's behavior since Ms. Stanley's review appeared ... Ms. Stanley would have been justified in assuming brute force."
Reuters reports that companies with a web of connections to the Bush administration are winning the first contracts to rebuild New Orleans. The story notes that the Shaw Group (search) of Baton Rouge, which has been awarded $200 million in clean-up contracts, employs former Bush campaign manager and FEMA director Joe Allbaugh (search) to provide "general business consulting."
The Shaw Group's founder and CEO is J.M. Bernhard of Baton Rouge, Louisiana who is the chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party and was co-chairman Governor Kathleen Blanco's transition committee, a fact left out of the Reuters story.
Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Michael Kinsley (search) says that a fellow journalist at the Times was told to "get angry" by a CNN producer before appearing on the network to talk about Hurricane Katrina last week. In his Sunday column, Kinsley writes that TV news networks are breaking form to encourage anchors and contributors to express outrage over the disaster. A spokesman for CNN says they never told anyone to get angry, but says, "When we book opinion writers, we expect that their commentary will reflect the sentiment in their columns."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report