I have seen some excellent media coverage of the storm disaster and its impact and a great deal of terribly sensationalistic coverage. I thought I’d take a moment to point to two stories that I think are excellent, the kind of journalism I would have been proud to have run under my byline during my ten years as a journalist.
Many news agencies seem to be ignoring the important role that race and class are playing in these events, as if they don’t notice that many of those left behind and suffering are poor black local residents.
So I was pleased to see this story which delves into that important topic.
But it was this story in the Washington Post that I think did the best job of telling the stories of individual victims. (If that link doesn't work for you, try this one. It even had the excellent headline on the jump page of “When Coulda Met Shoulda.”
Two men both stayed behind while their families went on.
The author writes:
You begin to see the answer to the question that vexes all the people who live life in a different way, the question that the authorities bring up, peevishly, when the public and the media press them, hard, on why this humanitarian crisis deepens every day. They could have left, you hear. Why didn't they leave?
"Listen," says Montgomery, "some people have money and ways to get out. A lot of people are poor. They wait until the devastation hits." That was not his problem; he had a Chevy Suburban — "So do I! Or, I did" — interjects Hudson.
No, Montgomery's wife wanted to go to Houston , so she put the kids in her Jeep and went. "We men so stupid," he says, and Hudson nods mournfully.