One little word…One HUGE feeling

From Scout:

NPR reporter David Kestenbaum was called on the carpet for using the the word “pissed” in asking a question of Col. Murray Starkel of the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the failure of NOLA levees. Here was the question…

KESTENBAUM: You hear people who are really pissed at the Corps. What do you say to those people?

Kestenbaum’s editor supported him, though said the use of “pissed” was “less than polite.” But the NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin questioned whether Kestenbaum may have crossed the line of dispassionate observer and put himself into the story. He also stated, “the situation is terrible enough without a reporter seeming to torque the story.”

Given the level of anger towards the Army Corps of Engineers the usage of “pissed” may be one of the more polite words to chose and I really don’t think one could “torque” this story with its use. I’m not sure the rest of America realizes that mistakes made by the Corps sealed NOLA’s fate. As they say in New Orleans it was a man made disaster. Given that “pissed” probably doesn’t do justice to what New Orleanians feel, Kestenbaum may have been holding back rather than crossing a line.