Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Looking for Leadership in a Storm – Katrina - September 3, 2005 - by Linda Wertheimer – National Public Radio (NPR)

Katrina Hurricane USA 
 August 29, 2005

This has been a painful week for all Americans, this week of storms and floods and destruction. I'm sure that in every household in this country someone has gone to bed this week only to become totally awake with the words of displaced people echoing in their heads. I know there are people sitting down to dinner with family and friends who suddenly feel the beginnings of a bellyache, feeling irrationally guilty about a good dinner, not to mention taking out the trash, turning on the tap, flushing the toilet. Photo ---- Photo 

Sending money to the Red Cross is important, and everyone ought to do it, but somehow this terrible situation has made us feel that we have to get off the sidelines and onto the field because somebody has to do it. I say that as a professional sidelines stander. For all the years that I've covered politics and a few floods and earthquakes, I've been very clear that my job was to show up and then tell our listeners what I'd seen and heard. It's an article of faith with me that I serve a useful purpose on the sidelines, and I've never been tempted to wade into a demonstration, grab a banner and start marching. I have never wanted to grab a politician by the back of his neck and try to shake some sense into him or her. Well, almost never. But four long days watching suffering people waiting has tested my resolvePhoto

In some ways, that missing leadership is rising everywhere out of a 
national compassionate impulse to treat the victims of Hurricane Katrina as Americans want them to be treated... 
Read more and Listen - Linda Wertheimer – National Public Radio (NPR) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4831405

Week in Review: Hurricane Katrina

WERTHEIMER: Yes. Usually we try to give a review of all the week's news in this segment, but the devastation from Hurricane Katrina has been so huge we thought we'd stick to that single subject today, and we need to look at both the human and the governmental aspects, because it's become truly a crisis at both levels. Let's start with the human side. Lives were disrupted; many died in Mississippi and Alabama, as well as in New Orleans. But it was in New Orleans where the most people have been affected. What struck you as you heard and read about it?

SCHORR: Well, of course, you are struck by the immensity of it and the tragedy of it, but there was one additional thing that struck me and that is a disaster is not an equal-opportunity thing. When they called for evacuation from New Orleans, those with cars drove out. Those without cars got stuck there. And those without cars were predominantly black and poor people. That struck me.


Linda Wertheimer
Senior National Correspondent

As NPR's senior national correspondent, Linda Wertheimer travels the country and the globe for NPR News, bringing her unique insights and wealth of experience to bear on the day's top news stories. A respected leader in U.S. media and a beloved figure to listeners who have followed her three-decade-long NPR career, Wertheimer provides clear-eyed analysis and thoughtful reporting on all NPR News programs. Before taking the senior national correspondent post, Wertheimer spent 13 years as a host of NPR's flagship news magazine, All Things Considered. As host, Wertheimer helped build the afternoon news program's audience to record levels: The show grew from six million listeners in 1989 to nearly 10 million listeners by spring of 2001, making it one of the top five shows in U.S. radio. Wertheimer's influence on All Things Considered -- and, by extension, all of public radio -- has been profound. She joined NPR at the network's inception, and served as All Things Considered's first director starting with its debut on May 3, 1971. In the more than 30 year since, she has served NPR in a variety of roles including reporter and host. Read more - National Public Radio (NPR) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1931801

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