Nagin’s “Hole in the Ground” Comment Draws Claws

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Mayor Ray Nagin probably shouldn’t have called Ground Zero a hole in the ground (you can watch him say it on 60 Minutes this Sunday), but does Google News really need to post this article covering it, out of the 246 related ones it had to choose from:

The next few weeks will see a furious struggle to frame two important anniversaries, with the media spinning in overdrive to play up the importance of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and at the same time to downplay the significance of the five-year anniversary of September 11. The reasons are simple: Katrina helps Democrats, 9/11 help President Bush and the GOP.

This is Google News, not Google Opinion, or Google Soapbox. John McIntyre a conservative pundit who, wait for it, writes for Fox News, goes on:

Let me give a little piece of unsolicited PR advice to Mayor Nagin: comments like that will quickly have the country siding 95% with New York and against New Orleans. I get pissed just thinking about Nagin contemptuously describing the ground where Islamist’s attacked and murdered over 2,500 Americans as simply “A hole in the ground.”
I’d love to see a full scale, accurate and honest documentary covering the entire Katrina crisis period of Mayor Nagin and the New Orleans city government and compare that to Mayor Giuliani and New York City’s response to 9/11.

The rub here is that Giuliani and Nagin, no matter how they handled their respective disasters, and one could argue that the former had a lot more to work with, when it comes to catastrophes of this scope the buck stops with the President. Bush can’t have it both ways, flexing his executive power to the point of theocracy one day then vacationing when crisis strikes. And Mr. McIntyre doesn’t mention two quite relevant things: first, there was ample warning, days in fact, before Katrina struck and Bush did nothing (and then later lied about getting advanced warning). And perhaps more egregious, he failed to learn from his behavior when the twin towers were struck. On both 9/11 and during Katrina our Commander in Chief was paralyzed, inept in the precise moments presidents are meant for.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate