08/03/2007 04:24 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

New Orleans: The Anniversary Stories Begin

And they're starting on a remarkable note: has lured Michael Grunwald from the Washington Post, and Grunwald -- who reported a seminal five-part series for the Post in 2000 on the Army Corps of Engineers -- writes the lead essay in Time's look at New Orleans 23 months after the federal floods. And what an essay it is. Grunwald says it all in the first two sentences:

The most important thing to remember about the drowning of New Orleans is that it wasn't a natural disaster. It was a man-made disaster, created by lousy engineering, misplaced priorities and pork-barrel politics.

At last, a non-New Orleanian who grasps, and communicates, what happened to the Big Easy. (Full disclosure: Time also publishes mini-essays by eight other contributors, one of them myself)

Will Grunwald's powerful and early-in-the-anniversary-storystakes start a rethink at other MSM outlets? We'll find out in a couple weeks.