During the "All-Star Panel" segment on Special Report, the Washington Examiner's Bill Sammon and Roll Call's Mort Kondracke blamed the Louisiana state and local governments for their handling of Hurricane Katrina while excusing or ignoring the failures of the federal government. Sammon concluded that "to the extent that anybody failed [during Katrina], I think it was state and local, and in this case [the California wildfires], the state and locals have stepped up." However, two congressional reports -- while not excusing the state and local governments -- extensively detailed the federal government's failures in its preparation for and response to Katrina.
On his radio program, Lee Rodgers said of Hurricane Katrina refugees, "[T]he people who have been freeloading for two years are whining because the gravy train is slowing down," adding, "At what point after a disaster and personal hardship are people expected to start taking care of themselves again? Is one hurricane supposed to be a permanent lifelong ticket on a bleeping gravy train? Come on!"
Despite widespread reporting on the reconstruction in the Gulf Coast, the media have largely ignored reports that Mississippi Republican Gov. Haley Barbour has used waivers to redirect funds designated for low- to moderate-income Katrina victims.
On Tucker, independent Texas gubernatorial candidate Richard "Kinky" Friedman falsely claimed that "the [Hurricane Katrina] evacuees have been responsible for 20 percent of the homicides in Houston last year." Tucker Carlson did not challenge Friedman, instead saying, "That is shocking. That's upsetting -- and good for you for having the brass to talk about it in public. You're winning me over, by the way."
On Tucker, while discussing Fox News' choice of Richard Simmons and Don King as Katrina "expert[s]," Tucker Carlson asked: "Our civilization -- is it collapsing? Has it already collapsed?"
MSNBC host Tucker Carlson declared that "as far as I know, the [Bush] administration hasn't been blaming mayors and governors" for the government's poor response to Hurricane Katrina. In fact, the White House's strategy of shifting blame to Louisiana officials for the poor response to Katrina has been well documented.
On Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, boxing promoter Don King claimed that the vast majority of African-Americans who supported Sen. John Kerry for president in 2004 did so "[b]ecause they didn't know any better." He also defended President Bush's handling of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, asserting that Bush is "is one of the best presidents we have ever had in the history of this country."
Interviewing Laura Bush on ABC's Good Morning America, Robin Roberts allowed Laura Bush to dismiss a New York Times article documenting the widespread view that President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina has adversely affected his image.
Rush Limbaugh accused Democrats and the "drive-by media" of "celebrat[ing] a one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina." He complained that the media have recently avoided coverage of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks because it "would help the Bush administration," and that this purported lack of coverage is responsible for a "split in public opinion on the war in Iraq and the war on terror."
On his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck baselessly claimed that as Hurricane Katrina approached the Gulf Coast, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin did not order an evacuation until "the day after President Bush called him and told him" to. However, news reports indicate that it was Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, not Nagin, who was called by Bush and that Nagin ordered the evacuation the same day that phone call reportedly occurred.
USA Today and the Associated Press reported that Bush had "highlight[ed] rebuilding efforts" following Hurricane Katrina and "praised the region's rebirth," but neither outlet noted any criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the reconstruction process, despite two reports by congressional Democrats in the past week detailing the "failed Republican response."
In an August 26 Washington Post article exploring the political effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Bush administration, Jonathan Weisman and Michael Abramowitz uncritically reported the GOP claim that public opinion of Bush's handling of the crisis has rebounded over the past year, ignoring recent polling showing otherwise. Further, they repeated the White House assertion that Bush now has a "strong story to tell" about his recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast but failed to quote a single Democrat in response.
In reports on Hurricane Katrina survivor Rockey Vaccarella's August 23 appearance with President Bush, Fox News' Brit Hume and CNN's Carol Costello mentioned Vaccarella's praise for Bush's handling of the storm, but neither noted that Vaccarella once ran for local office as a Republican.
CNN's Kyra Phillips allowed Katrina survivor Rockey Vaccarella to repeatedly praise or deflect blame from President Bush over his handling of Hurricane Katrina, yet failed to note that Vaccarella once ran for local office as a Republican. Phillips also failed to challenge Vaccarella's various attempts to excuse the federal government's slow response.