Monday, September 05, 2005

Hurricane, Looting, and Rove

Howell Raines, former New York Times Executive Editor, appeared on ABC News This Week yesterday. He was one of four roundtable panelists, which is interesting. To hear him talk, it is a good thing he no longer has the imprimatur of the journalism profession. He's not much of a commentator, either, but at least we are not pretending that he is unbiased.

Raines claimed that the White House was exaggerating the lawlessness and looting in New Orleans to deflect attention from the administration's own failures before and after Hurricane Katrina. He went on to guess that Karl Rove was behind the alleged "spin." No proof stated, mind you, just a hunch by Howell.

It is doubtful that the media images of looting were directed or even suggested by any politician. The video of looting is compelling, whether in Baghdad or Baton Rouge (actually, New Orleans). Time will tell how accurate the reports were of armed thugs roaming the streets. But the video coverage was not the invention of a political consultant.

Even if Raines were correct that reports of looting were invented or exaggerated by the White House, what difference does it make whose idea it was? Hatred of Karl Rove is a given among most liberals. Therefore, the mere mention of his name automatically adds to the sinister nature of a given endeavor. Currently, the Democrat-Farmer-Labor booth at the Minnesota State Fair has computer terminals set up to e-mail President Bush demanding that Rove be fired.

The bizarre hatred of Karl Rove only proves one thing. He's effective.

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