Published September 13, 200
Los Angeles Times pundit Michael Kinsley, who used to work for CNN, says the network is coaching guests to "get angry" when they go on the air to discuss Hurricane Katrina.
"The TV news networks, which only a few months ago were piously suppressing emotional fireworks by their pundits, are now piously encouraging their news anchors to break out of the emotional straitjackets and express outrage," Mr. Kinsley said. "A Los Angeles Times colleague of mine, appearing on CNN last week to talk about Katrina, was told by a producer to 'get angry.' "
Mr. Kinsley's words were reported yesterday by the online Drudge Report. CNN's political stance was more or less confirmed by a New York Times article yesterday that suggested CNN host Anderson Cooper was heroic for scolding a Democratic senator who failed to condemn the Bush administration.
The New York Times article, written by Elizabeth Jensen, said: "Mr. Cooper's Sept. 1 interview with Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, marked a turning point in the tone of hurricane coverage as he snapped when she began thanking federal officials for their recovery efforts.
" 'Excuse me, senator, I'm sorry for interrupting,' Mr. Cooper interjected. 'I haven't heard that, because, for the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated.
" 'And when they hear politicians slap -- you know, thanking one another -- it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours."
The article did not say how Mrs. Landrieu responded, but she hasn't had a nice word to say about President Bush or federal relief efforts since then.
"So, while many Americans were busy contributing money, clothing and other necessities for hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast residents, what was Sen. Chuck Schumer up to?" the New York Post asks in an editorial.
"Raising money off the backs of Katrina's victims -- for the Democratic [Senatorial] Campaign Committee," the newspaper said.
"In one of the more cynical tricks we've seen lately, Schumer's DSCC urged visitors to its Web site to sign a petition urging the firing of Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown, the focus of much of the criticism of the federal response to Katrina. ...
"A click on the petition opened a page requesting a donation to the DSCC, the party organization focused on recruiting and supporting Senate Democrats.
"Only after the press blew the whistle did the tasteless scheme end. The committee yanked the link and agreed to donate any funds raised to charity." ...