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Cindy Sheehan's Press Conference, August 29, 2005

Monday 29 August 2005
12:52 PM

Cindy opened today's press conference by expressing her concern for the people affected by Hurricane Katrina. Cindy said that the people of Louisiana are in her prayers. Iraqi Veterans Against the War then called for veterans around the country to help with the disaster relief in the affected areas. It was announced that supplies donated to Camp Casey will be delivered to New Orleans when the camp is broken down on Wednesday.

Kelly Doherty, a veteran of the Iraq war, raised the issue of the National Guard being stretched thin at home. She said that with troops and equipment deployed in Iraq, the Guard will not be able to provide the resources they usually bring to disaster relief efforts.


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This comes from the editor of The Arizona Daily Star Newspaper in Tuscon, AZ So nice someone is finally thinking the way I have been thinking for a year!

"Finally, we've decided that syndicated columnist Ann Coulter has worn out her welcome. Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives."

I would say that about anybody--liberal or conservative who behaved as she does.

Before getting into the usual circus of shame, kudos to the local reporters in New Orleans, Mobile, and surrounding areas who are risking a lot to keep their local communities informed about the situation on the ground. They are doing an excellent job.

If only the cable news outlets (and a few carpetbagging reporters from out of the markets) were as respectful.

1) The largest storm of all is the barrage of pretty young blonde things that turned up to sit in the anchor chairs to report/hype the news. The Fox Blonde effect has definitely entrenched itself at MSNBC as well. The -only- exception was one anchor who actually lived in the affected area and could actually provide some context. Most of the rest managed little more than getting all bug-eyed and read what was put in front of them. CNN is the only one bucking the trend... barely.

2) A few small holes in the roof of the Superdome, as reported by their OWN reporters on the ground, does not translate into "massive hole torn in roof of Superdome" as CNN and MSNBC were putting on their crawls earlier today. Some networks even wasted time building on this hyped report by asking their reporters if they saw panic and mass evacuations of the Superdome at the height of the storm. Most of the reporters seems surprised by the question, which was answered confidently with a universal "no."

3) Brian Andrews needs to take his dog and pony Fear Factor show back to Miami. At one point, Andrews' staged reporting was belied when one news channel ran his tape a bit early, which allowed viewers to watch this guy set up his supposedly "spontaneous" shot with him heading out from the hotel into the weather outside. 5, 4, 3, 2 went the countdown followed by him being "shocked" by the sheer force of the wind, as the dope dashed back and forth in the street, hid behind a mailbox, and got blown onto his face.

Anderson Cooper moronically stood out over the Mississippi River by a barge that was almost banging into his dock or boardwalk. Not once, twice, but four times Cooper commented on a crane hook that was freely blowing all over the place and could have easily smashed into him or the platform he was standing on. He then sees some folks outside standing into the wind (perhaps playing Brian Andrews), and viewers get to watch the CNN anchor in Atlanta criticize these people for being reckless and thickheaded for standing out in the dangerous storm... now back to you Anderson, standing out in the dangerous storm... Anderson, aren't those OTHER people stupid?

Some of the other tapes sent to CNN featured anorexic sweet young things in lil ponchos and baseball caps (what is with the baseball caps) being blown all over parking lots yelling at viewers that the weather is terrible and they should stay inside. Dangerous weather, but not dangerous enough for them.

Just once I'd like to see some reporter nearly swept out to sea, conked on the head, or blown into another zip code. Only then (after the networks cover it as the major story of the day) might they think twice about pulling moronic stunts which, themselves, only lead viewers to try exactly the same thing. A responsible reporter would tell viewers "it's dangerous as hell, I'm not going out there, and you shouldn't either."

4) News channels should not determine the extent of damage based solely on the footage they receive from their own reporters. After making suggestions the entire city of New Orleans would be under 20 feet of water yesterday, today's early reports suggested New Orleans got to breathe a sigh of relief because the storm veered to the east, wrecking Mississippi and Alabama instead. This was based on a lot of reports from those in downtown New Orleans who were somewhat safer than those out in the suburbs. I somehow think things are going to be far, far worse than what their own camera crews have brought them.

Those looking for the best reports should try and find them from streaming local stations, because that is where the real story is.

You might need somebody that has a boat. If the reports are true that some main bridges are out in that area, you might not be able to get help there for a while...without a boat. I hope it's not that bad.

Just in case, you might check with the state's emergency agencies to see if they have made arrangements to get around any problems like that.

Mostly what people in New Orleans will need are basic hurricane survival supplies...lots and lots and lots of bottled water and ice, candles or other lighting sources. They might need canned food and anything that doesn't require being cooked. I don't know how quickly MRE's can be delivered or if preparations were made (perhaps by the American Red Cross) to stock up on food at the Superdome. There might be some shipping arrangements by air and water vessels already in the works (I hope).

One major lesson I learned during and after Hurricane Ivan was to make certain I have a low powered radio and a healthy supply of batteries for it. I missed out on a lot of information (like where and when MRE's, ice and water were being distributed).

If you wouldn't mind putting out an alert to encourage people that are able to help with supplies, that might also increase recovery efforts. People will need baby supplies and sandwich bread. (even after stores open, we can never find one that has any bread on its nearly bare shelves.)

Just thought I'd mention these things.


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