I have attempted to watch some news of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina after reading some blogs from the USA about the appalling response of the administration/government over there and linking this to race and class – perspectives I am finding a significant amount of credence with. As would(should) be expected I found most of the clap-trap put forth as narrow, punch-line driven info-tainment with a clear aim of keeping people entertained rather than actually informed. There is one other aspect that I often forget that tends to be a feature of such news services
On one of the major (commercial) news stations here, they have a three-hour current affairs style news show on Sunday mornings. It starts with news of the week and Hurricane Katrina, unsurprisingly, was the first/deadline story. The title, rather than the content, was surprising, though also not surprising: Sliding into anarchy.
How can it be both surprising and unsurprising? It is unsurprising as as soon as there is what is usually referred to as lawlessness following some major incident/series of incidents, the turmoil that eventuates is often referred to as anarchy on the streets. In this case, I insinuate that they were referring to the looting that was taking place (see my previous post for brief comments on this). The surprising part for me – perhaps not consciously undertaken on the part of the reporters, producers or executives (or any one else involved) was an significant aspect of the story and the questions posed to the on the ground correspondent.
[Written prior to the site being hacked, the full post was not recovered]