One more broadcast from New York this week and we're off to New Orleans, for a few days of coverage of the 5th anniversary of Katrina. And here's what we're up against: The emails quoted below have come in just this week.
"New Orleans took hand outs and blew the money, whined and cried waiting for someone else to clean up their mess...five years later New Orleans still whinning (sic) away."
"I am 61 and don't care about the Gulf!"
"They cried and decried the government to have all their needs met, yet they did nothing to help themselves."
I've done the writers the favor of withholding their names and email addresses, but just so you know that sentiment is out there. We will continue to cover this story. I will be arriving in New Orleans this time with a bit of trepidation (only because memories are still very real, very vivid, brought back by today's story in the Times-Picayune) but mostly hoping and expecting to find an air of celebration. A friend of mine who is already there (and a better-than-average writer) reported to me this morning via email, "I feel like all the Katrina remembrances are serving to remind people of how much they've survived -- and there's evidence everywhere of how they're now thriving -- so there's more of a steely resolve to just see this damn oil thing through, whatever comes of it. In short, New Orleans seems ready for its closeup." That's the spirit.
I also spoke with Adm. Thad Allen by telephone today, who interestingly said he's ready to meet with Spike Lee and stop trading soundbites in the media! I watched Spike's new documentary and found it very impactful -- so much so, it was an emotional setback of sorts for many of us who were there. But tomorrow's another day -- that's the way they live in New Orleans, and its the truth.
We hope you can join us here tonight.