I was in Austin, Texas last week to receive an award for being the funniest person in talk radio. Remembering that I am employed in a medium where some people think Micahel Savage is funny, I found it easy to be humble.
On my way to the convention center where the National Association of Broadcasters get together was held,(the NAB co-sponsored my award) I entered the rear entrance,and instead of seeing a lot of techno wizards and programming giants, I saw a lot of people dressed in flip flops and shorts and tee shirts. They looked like they didn't have a lot of money. They didn't look like they were there for the NAB.
They weren't. They were victims of Hurricane Ike,the six hundred mile wide storm that destroyed a large part of Galveston and kicked the whey out of Houston. There were signs above the tables that read "Food Stamps" and "Relocation" and "Social Security". There were children crying as they waved goodbye to their families leaving on buses,knowing it would be weeks before they were reunited.
On one side were people selling devices for tens of thousands of dollars, a floor filled with brilliant millionaire entrepreneurs. On the other side were people who faced poverty at an ever deeper level than they were before Ike.
The storm victims were being helped as best they could be,by officials who genuinely seemed to care.
I remember when George Bush was briefed about Katrina, he asked not one question, he sat impatiently through the briefing, and got up and left as soon as possible. Then I realized the difference: Ike took place in Texas,Bush's state. When a hurricane hit Florida, the state where Bush's brother was the state CEO, the feds were Johnny on the spot. When Democrats ran the city and state, (as in New Orleans, Louisiana) the horse trainer Bush hired to oversee a multi-billion dollar catastrophe sort of screwed up and people sort of died.
If you have a chance, send a bundle of clothes or a check to these folks on the other side of the building. Some of the folks at the NAB did, and you should too.
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