On the September 17 edition of Fox News Watch, Fox News political analyst and Newsday columnist Jim Pinkerton accused the victims of Hurricane Katrina of "whining all the time on TV to get more federal money." Pinkerton also accused the media of directing too much blame for the botched response to Hurricane Katrina at the federal government while "absolv[ing] ... the local populace."
From a panel discussion that also included Fox News contributors Cal Thomas, a syndicated columnist, and Neal Gabler, a media writer, on the September 17 edition of Fox News' Fox News Watch:
THOMAS : I don't think there's a problem with the criticism at all. I think that the administration on this issue had a tin ear. He -- politically, they made some very bad decisions. But there's also, as Neal is fond of saying -- and I think he's absolutely right on this -- there is a template in this coverage. And one of the templates -- and there are many on this particular issue -- is that only big government is good. And so if big government has failed, as it clearly did at some level in this, then the media jump right on -- what we really need is more money, and more big government. I find that to be inconsistent.
PINKERTON: Right. The further paradox is it's -- the big government is good, but of course the federal government under Bush is terrible. So we have to -- we have to replace the current proprietor of the federal government, Bush, with somebody better. That's what they're really trying to get at.
And absolved in that are state and local governments to a substantial measure. And, of course, the local populace, which continues to get it -- to find itself whining all the time on TV to get more federal money.