Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not Just Yesterday's News

















The funny thing about today's media is that the hot topic today can be forgotten just as quickly as it happened. When natural disasters conclude, relief efforts don't get nearly the amount of coverage as the damages do. There wasn't one second you could turn on the news during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane's Katrina and Rita and not see something related to the devastation they caused. However, nobody shows concern after the water dries. Maybe that's how FEMA is able to quietly mask the fact that two-thirds of the $5.8 billion in recovery money has yet to be spent.

In today's economy, where bailouts are being given away like weekly allowance, how can a federal agency afford to sit on $3.9 billion meant solely to aid in relief efforts for residents along the Gulf Coast? How can the government wait so long to fix things, that buildings, roads and sewage systems that initially survived the hurricane, have since become dilapidated? More importantly, why has hardly anybody outside of those involved talked about it?

It seems as if most people thought that hurricane relief consisted of waiting on the sun to dry up the streets and handing out FEMA trailers. People didn't just experience a little flood damage, their city's were torn apart. There was a delayed reaction to rescuing individuals when it happened, and now there's a delayed reaction to rescuing these cities and returning them to normalcy.

About six months after Hurricane Rita, there was a photo on the cover of a newspaper that captured the entire French Quarter; lit up and jumping as if nothing had ever happened. That one image of that one area of New Orleans, made us believe that all was well. Yet, nearly four years later the Gulf Coast region is still bleeding, still damaged, and still crying out for help. It's like the government said "lets fix this part and maybe they'll forget about the rest." But what we so easily forget, the people in those cities are reminded of daily. Maybe if they hung out on Bourbon Street instead of waiting to have their neighborhoods repaired, they would be visible enough to get another cover story.

-Ant

ant@theantandmikeshow.com

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