Gustav Aftermath: Surveying the Cabler Scene

By SteveK 

As Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is saying in a presser taken by all three cablers this morning, there are no reports of widespread flooding in the Gulf Coast. Luckily, the damage seems to be minimal, which means focus appears to be shifting back to the RNC. Let’s take a look at the aftermath of cabler coverage:

• The Hollywood Reporter’s Paul J. Gough focuses on two of the “network stars,” at the forefront of the coverage, NBC’s Brian Williams and FNC’s Shepard Smith. Both described “polar opposite” response between Katrina and Gustav. “Smith, who drew praise for his coverage of Katrina in 2005, agreed that it was a different New Orleans and Gulf Coast that dealt with Hurricane Gustav,” wrote Gough.

• The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi explains the weather coverage creed: “participation is mandatory.” He describes some of the stand-out live shots from yesterday, including CNN’s Rob Marciano getting, “nearly blown off a New Orleans rooftop,” and “champion weather-interacter,” Geraldo Rivera.

• Alessandra Stanley writes in the New York Times about the more subdued coverage as compared to Katrina. “Conceding on the evening news that the storm was not as bad as expected, Mr. Williams, his shirt dry, his hair only gently ruffled by wind, downscaled Gustav to ‘a sizable weather event,'” she wrote.