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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Happy to Leave Louisiana...

I have found the full content of what Barbara Bush said at Houston and what she was quoted as saying while visiting the refugees in Texas. I am most certainly disgusted by reading the comments of several Americans. Americans, who have most certainly taken Barbara Bush’s statements to the extreme, are using those comments to slander the Bush family with name calling and blatant unethical commentary.

CNN has published this quote of the former first lady:

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality," she said during a radio interview with the American Public Media program "Marketplace." "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

So what was Barbara Bush really trying to say? Why didn’t CNN try to find out?

Here’s my take on it:

Barbara Bush was in Houston trying to help former presidents Bush and Clinton to raise money for the disaster victims.

Barbara Bush is proud of the state of Texas and their response to the needs of Hurricane Katrina’s victims.

The refugees have been overwhelmed by the care and concern that they have been given in Texas and have expressed extreme gratitude to Barbara Bush and President Bush.

The refugees are in a ‘better’ place than where they were previously.

Refugees feel safe and secure and are experiencing a brand of “hospitality” that they appear to be unaccustomed to.

That Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama’s poor have found a state, and a people, that have welcomed them and that are willing to help.

That the “underprivileged” now have an opportunity afforded them that they never would have had before they were forced out of their hurricane ravaged homes. They now have hope.

That the state of Texas has a daunting and “scary” task of assisting the refugees in finding permanent housing and jobs for the displaced families. Of equal gravity is the burden on the school systems which will occur by taking in the thousands of school aged children.

Where will Texas find jobs for all of these people?

A monumental burden will be placed on Texas’ social services and associated agencies while they help the refugees rebuild their lives.

The state of Texas, and other participating states, are facing a huge financial and personnel outlay by helping Hurricane Katrina’s victims.

CNN’s editor should never have let that story be published with Barbara Bush’s quote hanging out there like that. It was unethical and the editor and reporter should have presented the story more professionally. Once again, the media forces us to research their stories to validate and prove whether or not what they are reporting is 100% true. It’s as if the news media is always looking for something to start a “fire” with. Especially if they do not like or support the individual who they are interviewing. What has happened to journalistic ethics? Yes, Barbara Bush did say those words. Were those words supported by the intent of her comments? No they were not. Did the reporter from “Marketplace” give her opportunity or ask her to clarify her comments? No she did not. Did CNN try to contact Ms. Bush before they published the story? Who knows?

If the reporter had been interviewing a volunteer and the volunteer had made those exact same comments, how do you think the story would have been written?


Approximately 250,000 hurricane refugees descended upon Texas.

Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are three of the ten poorest states in the nation.

“States of less fiscal capacity spent less per capita on social welfare than states with higher per capita incomes. These differences between rich and poor states resulted largely from differences in states’ spending from their own sources of revenue. The distribution of federal funds neither greatly diminished nor greatly increased state differences in spending."

"Poor states spent less per capita than rich states did on social welfare programs.” 2004 Social Welfare Spending Report

Democrats in Louisiana have refused to support welfare reform which would help provide education to raise literacy levels, training, job placement and job support.

In 2002, Louisiana was ranked #4 in the nation for deaths due to firearms and #7 in the nation for violent crimes in general.

Yeah… I think I would be glad to leave Louisiana on the first bus out of there.



Blogger matchingtracksuits said...

And the chuckle, and "I think it's worked out pretty well for them?" How to explain that.

As to whether CNN should have contacted Babs, be realistic! Do journalists have to contact everyone they want to quote just to make sure they haven't taken something out of context? And doesn't that leave a lot of wiggle room, a lot of space for back-pedalling?

A journalist's job is to report what he witnesses and what those he interviews witness. It is not to snuggle up to ex-First Ladies.

September 06, 2005 7:41 PM  

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