THE BLOG

Left, Right, and Nowhere

05/25/2011 11:55 am ET

Regular readers of this blog are more than fully aware that I've been yelling across the miles for months about the national media's blind spot about the New Orleans disaster: i.e., why the levees and floodwalls failed. Now, I'm metaphorically yelling across the hall.

This weekend, on public radio's Left, Right and Center, the panelists are, as usual, discussing what they believe are the top news stories of the week. The pundits -- Bob Scheer, Tony Blankley, Matt Miller, and the boss of this uber-site, Arianna Huffington -- choose those stories, and the top story they chose this week was...the naming of a new Treasury Secretary. Iran and Iraq at least took second place. What they didn't choose was the Corps of Engineers report taking responsibility for the drowning of a great American city.

This kind of thing is unfortunately understandable in broadcasts and publications originating in the self-absorbed NY-DC corridor. That's where dinner parties might actually be absorbed in discussions of the new SecTreas right now, and where pundits feel duty-bound to lead with it on their broadcasts lest they be regarded as insufficiently insular. But LR&C originates in Santa Monica, the home of the homeless, and only Blankley regularly participates from Washington. This blinkered view is particularly amazing if I believe, as I have, that Ms. Huffington reads this section of the HuffPo. People in New Orleans know that, though I have been less than gentle in my adjurations to Brian Williams over this same issue, that Mr. Williams and I know and respect each other. I know and respect Ms. Huffington too, but it was astonishing to listen to these four natter on about the Treasury Secretary, while culpability for the worst man-made engineering disaster in the nation's history was ignored. Trust me, even if Henry Paulson becomes America's worst-ever treasury secretary, he won't cost you and me nearly as much, he won't be responsible for nearly as much suffering, as the Corps' malfeasance in the Crescent City. If it's not a top story this week, when it led NBC Nightly News and got front-page treatment (finally!) in the NYT, when might it be?

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