Saturday, October 29, 2005


FEMA has formed someting called the Recovery Channel. It's an outlet designed to inform evacuees from the Gulf Coast scattered across the country about the status of the recovery. A company FEMA has hired has sent me to Louisiana to do TV stories for the network.

Based on the first two days, the biggest challenge won't be telling the stories, it will be working under the weight of federal bureaucracy. It's a culture in which deflection is the better part of valor, in which taking action involves taking risk which is to be avoided at all costs. Let's have another meeting instead. There must be someone else who can find another obstacle that will give us an excuse to put things off until we can meet again tomorrow.

That means that the story we shot today might never air because it didn't acquire the double secret permission apparently required before we did it.

Clinton, Louisiana is about 30 miles north of our base in Baton Rouge. They had opened a Disaster Recovery Center inside an antebellum mansion called the Marston House. The place had been pressed into public service before. It was used as a hospital during the civil war and then served as offices for administering New Deal programs during the Great Depression.

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