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Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Posted: November 20, 2007 10:16 AM

The NBA Gets It, The Pols Don't


Wasn't it a few years ago when, after New York had experienced 9/11, one of our major political parties decided to hold its 2004 convention in the Big Apple as a sign of national solidarity with the wounded city? Flash forward to today, when the Presidential Debate Commission informs New Orleans it isn't "ready" to hold a Presidential Debate next year. Yes, the two parties have already decided the city doesn't deserve a convention, but that may just be down to how much money the winning cities ponied up for the privilege. But not ready? The city has just hosted two back-to-back major conventions, it will host two major college football games within a week, including the BCS championship and, oh, by the way, apropos of controlled chaos, the city has easily and safely hosted two Mardi Gras events since Katrina. David Stern, president of the NBA, long since knew the importance of supporting the city's recovery, engineering the league's decision to hold next February's NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. What is it the Presidential Debate Commission, and its associated pols, don't get about expressing solidarity with a city critically wounded by the malfeasance of the federal government? If the Army Corps of Engineers were headed by Bin Laden, would that make New Orleans "ready"?
UPDATE (11-21): Check out Lolis Elie's column on the debate snub in today's Times-Picayune.