Something that has bothered me

all week. After 9/11, when 3,000 people died, most (if not all) talk show hosts were respectfully subdued in their commentary. As they should have been. It was a devastating day on so many levels.

Yet, tonight as I watched the Daily Show (one of my favorite shows on television), it struck me that the same level of respectful tone is not present with regard to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Why?

Why is it all right to make jokes about those who have lost so much - including their lives in some instances - now when it wasn't all right to do so 4 years ago? What is the difference?

Is it because of the nature of the disaster? Mother Nature vs. terrorist? Is it because of the violent nature of 9/11? Is it because there was warning with Hurricane Katrina? Or is it a class issue?

Now, don't get me wrong here. I'm not blaming Bush (I'm still trying to figure out what, exactly, his detractors expected him to do...but that's for another day) - well, a little but not directly. I'm not saying that there weren't people who CHOSE to try to ride out the storm as did many when Camille hit in 1969. And I'm not saying that there weren't people who could have managed to get out but - for whatever reason - did not exhaust all possibilities prior to the storm hitting. I firmly believe that those people who CHOSE to stay should be left on their own (or forcibly removed if their presence presents a hinderance to restoring order and function to the city) and that the state and local goverments should have had a contingency plan in place for those who had no other means of evacuation (besides lovely public service announcements).

I'm just curious as to why Jon Stewart feels it is ok to make jokes about this disaster before the bodies are even collected and tallied? We're talking possibly 10,000 dead. That's THREE TIMES the number of people who died on 9/11. And yet it's ok to make jokes about it all.

I don't get that.


- hfs

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