TV Shifts to “Appalling Images”

TV Shifts to "Appalling Images"

A week ago it was the images we’re “used to seeing.”

Hurricanes come and go with an overwhelming buildup of an anchorman rigged in waders, duct taped to a tree with mobile homes flying past. The rain pours, winds swirl, and a week later it all ends.

Yet, as Alessandra Stanley points out in the NY Times, “After three days, Hurricane Katrina still looked nothing like what Americans are used to seeing.”

Cable news and the nets are now shifting from exposing the natural disaster to the human tragedy; stranded victims, mounting disorder, and enraged chaos. Likewise, reporters on the ground seem to be fed-up with the government’s slow response (see Anderson Cooper, Paula Zahn, Joe Scarborough….)

As NBC’s Hoda Kotb put it, “it’s a scene out of another country.” After the network deemed New Orleans unsafe, Brian Williams was forced to anchor a special one-hour “Nightly News” outside the city, in Metairie, La.

Marty Savidge re-iterated, “This is not Iraq, this is not Somalia. This is home.”

Even the “unflappable” Wolf Blitzer was not mollified: “So much is not being done for these people.”