I'll probably get flamed, but can we tone down the media "reporting" about dead bodies left by Katrina?
When it comes to the media, I'm pretty cynical anymore. When public officials start throwing about large numbers and terms like "catastrophic", I start to wonder... Is that reality? Is it the person trying to get noticed above the rest of the media din? Is this an attempt to focus more government aid? Will the media only listen and quote things that register higher on the hype scale?
Real numbers about deaths related to Katrina seem to be hard to come by. It's almost as if no one wants to try and come up with a full account to date. I know if I were a government official in charge of emergency preparedness, I'm not sure I'd want to see those numbers either. But officials have thrown out statements about "thousands" of bodies yet to be found, and now every news story reports on those thousands as if it's a reality. It may well be the case, and it wouldn't be totally unexpected, but I'm starting to tire of media reporting of "facts" that aren't yet so.
I'd much prefer to see real counts and reports on the progress of recovering the missing. It's been said that we need to "prepare" ourselves for the large number of deaths that will come from Katrina. True, but all the hype that is currently out there in the media is just numbing us to the reality, whatever it might be. It's almost as if we want to report on "potentially 10000 or more deaths" so that we can feel relieved if there are "only" a couple of thousand.
Any way you approach it, Katrina has caused more devastation in a populated area than anything in recent memory. While this part of the ordeal is bad, I still think the worst is yet to come with health concerns about the water toxicity and the mass demolitions of housing that will follow once the city is drained. This is a disaster that will continue to have repercussions for years to come...