The press woke up...

The gloves are off.

And the TV anchors aren't holding anything back:

"By dint of the fact that our country was hit [on 9/11] we’ve offered a preponderance of the benefit of the doubt over the past couple of years," [NBC anchor Brian Williams] said. "Perhaps we’ve taken something off our fastball and perhaps this is the story that brings a healthy amount of cynicism back to a news media known for it."

A healthy amount of cynicism has always been there. But how about a healthy amount of reporting?

Two stories worthy of major attention for this new Gloves Off media on Katrina would certainly include:

--The presence of government-funded mercenaries in New Orleans with authority to use "lethal force," as AlterNet has reported.

--The whistleblowing of an acting EPA toxic waste expert named Hugh Kaufman on the poisons in the water of New Orleans that was reported in the Independent.

Both of these are massive, ongoing scandals. I'll leave you to read the AlterNet piece, but here's a bit more on the EPA report. "The pollution was far worse than had been admitted, [Kaufman] said, because his agency was failing to take enough samples and was refusing to make public the results of those it had analyzed." He said it would take 10 years to deal with this. Whatever notions of rebuilding New Orleans coming out of the mouth of anyone need to go head to head with this assertion by an expert with 35 years of experience in the business of toxic sludge. The implication of what Kaufman is saying is that we're only in phase one of a major environmental disaster, and we don't know how bad it is because we're not taking water samples.

That story came out on Sunday, and I haven't heard a peep from the Gloves Off media (well, I take it back -- everyone except Culver City News and Paul Krugman).

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