9th Ward: Minimal Media Help, Maximum Tourism Coverage

Hurricane Katrina, was perhaps, the most devastating and deadly natural occurrence known to the United States at least to those who suffered through it and who lived to tell about it. Who can forget the lines of people waiting for relief to come?

The infants without milk; or the elderly without medical attention, those who died waiting, those who slept in a stadium with without proper sanitation for such a large amount of people, and those relieving themselves wherever and whenever possible; a stench so horrid, the stench of rape, the stench of a people seemingly forgotten.

In my neighborhood even though there are leash laws which protect animals from harm, and while there is protection for these animals facing neglect there is even less help when it comes to media attention on some issues troubling man. Hence, the way I see it; the media is a “Watchdog” chained.

When I say chained; I mean, although they are supposed to put an eye out for wrongdoing in the government which is designed to help the citizens they do for some, but for others they turn a blind eye. Although, Katrina was a national, even worldwide disaster; what people still ask, and what people still wonder is what took the government so long to help those people?

Perhaps, there is something shady going on within the news industry, because one executive said of his station that news is what he says it is. I say, if this thinking is embedded in the industry as a whole it is no wonder; then that, issues go unnoticed, unheard, and ignored by the media.

The media as the Fourth Estate was originally included with the three class statuses: upper, middle and lower. I believe they were originally called the First, Second, and Third Estate; all, which were government intertwined. In other words, the government ran them and decided who got what and where they got it from; if anything during the Medieval Period. Probably, they included the media because they could stir trouble for an ill or poorly run country. With that in mind, the U.S., established the “Fourth Branch” of government and set the media as watchdog to guard them and keep them honest; however, the media is a “watch dog chained.”

New Orleans was hard hit and ravished by what we thought was Hurricane Katrina. However, evidence and eye witnesses have determined that this is not the case. News updates first reported that the levees which held waters to the great Mississippi River collapsed, but someone living nearby called the news stations to report hearing a series of explosions before the flood came, and after the storm had passed.

In the article “Levees Blown Say Eyewitnesses – Media Ignores Them,” Greg Szymanski says this:

“Eye witnesses are starting to come forward, some only a block away from the 17th St Canal levee break, saying they heard a loud, powerful explosion right before water starting gushing in, as they ended up in a matter of minutes floating downstream on their rooftops.”

“Terry Adams, who lives one block away from the 17th St. break, remembers hearing what sounded “like a bomb going off” from where the levee gave-way before rushing water forced him to his rooftop. “Everything was calm, it was late at night, and the storm had passed. I thought we had dodged a bullet and there was no water in my house and I was only a block away from the 17 th St. break,” said Adams, a lower 9th Ward resident, in an extended conversation this week from New Orleans.

“Then I heard what sounded like a bomb go off from the direction of where the levee gave-way and within a matter of minutes I was forced up on my roof where I floated for about a mile into town before somehow getting to safety.”

“Asked if he was sure he heard an explosion, he added: “Water breaking a levee isn’t going to make the noise I heard and besides, the levee should have broke before or during the storm, not afterward. “I heard an explosion and so did a lot of other people. It came right from where the levee broke. What else could it have been but somebody blowing up the levee?”

None of this was ever reported on the news; despite repeated calls to news stations, and it should be noted that today, although some residents still have not been given the call to go home; city officials allow tours through the ruins of what once was someone’s home.

According to the article, “Katrina victims take on hurricane tour operators”, a Fox8 News reporter says this: “About 9 million people visit New Orleans each year, mostly to see its stately homes along oak-lined avenues, dine at its renowned restaurants and take in the jazz and ribaldry of Bourbon Street. But Katrina’s devastation in August 2005 unleashed an unexpected cottage tourism industry, drawing a daily parade of rubbernecking tourists for a close-up look at the city’s hard-hit Lower 9th Ward.”

The article states further that officials “Worried that a flood of tour buses and vans would interfere with clean-up efforts, the City Council approved an ordinance in 2006 banning them from crossing the prominent Industrial Canal entering the neighborhood that received Katrina’s fury.” “Now, tour operators are crying foul, claiming the ordinance had been thinly enforced until recently.” They say a business that is bringing them and the city tourist dollars is being hurt.”

To see more on the tours: Click Here

To read more of the Levee Explosions: Click Here 

  • Watch:Hurricane Katrina: The Drive: New Orleans Lower 9th Ward

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