“How Karl Rove played politics while people drowned”


(Photo: Reuters, New Orleans August 2007)

That is the title of amust read at Salon of excerpts from the book “Machiavelli’s Shadow: The Rise and Fall of Karl Rove,” by Paul Alexander. It focuses on the role Karl Rove played in the Katrina disaster. There is much there on the execution of Karl’s plan to blame Blanco including Nagin’s role in executing it. And then there is this at the end of the article…

Of all of the stories and subplots, there would be one that, in many
ways, symbolized the whole of Katrina, what it revealed about the Bush
administration, and how it would affect the lives of so many people. On
Friday, Mary Landrieu had been with Bush and Blanco as they toured the
17th Street Canal, where, at last, major work had commenced to repair
the damage that had been caused when the levee broke. “Then, on
Saturday,” Landrieu says, “George Stephanopoulos called and asked to do
an interview with me, and I said, ‘George, I’m tired of doing
interviews. I have to work. And nothing you are airing is accurately
showing what’s going on down here.’ He wanted to go to the Superdome,
and I said, ‘We still have people stranded on their roofs. If you want
to tell the right story, I will help you tell the right story. You get
a helicopter and I’ll go up and I will show you what is actually
happening. It’s awful what’s happening at the Superdome, but the reason
the people can’t understand the story is because the entire region is
under 20 feet of water. People can’t get into the Superdome to help.
They can’t get out. People are drowning in their homes.’

“So George and I went up in the helicopter and for three hours
his jaw was dropping. Then I said, ‘George, before we finish I have to
show you one positive thing because I can’t send you back to Washington
to produce a story that shows nothing but devastation and disaster.’ So
I told the pilot to tack right so I can show George the 17th Street
Canal and the work that was going on there. I swear as my name is Mary
Landrieu I thought that what I saw with the president was still there
— people working, trucks, sandbags, everything. Then I looked down and
saw one little crane. It was like someone took a knife and stabbed me
through my heart. I lost it.” There, in the cabin of the helicopter, as
they flew above the breached canal below them, Landrieu sat devastated.

“I could not believe that the president of the United States,
staged by Karl Rove himself, had come down to the city of New Orleans
and basically put up a stage prop. It was like you had gone to a studio
in California and filmed a movie. They put the props up and the minute
we were gone they took them down. All the dump trucks were gone. All
the Coast Guard people were gone. It was an empty spot with one little
crane. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen in my life. At that
moment I knew what was going on and I’ve been a changed woman ever
since. It truly changed my life.”


Link for purchasing the book


UPDATE: In comments, it is raised why wasn’t this reported. It was, but not in the detail like above. Below is the video of Landrieu’s Helicopter Tour with Stephanopoulos. The one little crane moment begins at about the 2:10 mark. Landrieu refers to Bush’s photo op upon seeing the one crane and she does indeed lose it saying “It’s so sad George” and sat back crying, saying “one little crane.” But if you recall the big story that came out of that tour was Landrieu’s statement she “might likely have to punch” George Bush. (that at around the 1:50 mark). The press jumped on that…that’s our press folks. Rove must have loved them for it…who knows, given what’s in the the above article, maybe he even worked them towards that…

11 thoughts on ““How Karl Rove played politics while people drowned”

  1. This is horrendous, scout – but what I still don’t understand is why neither Landrieu or Steph said anything like this AT THE TIME!? Why wouldn’t they come back to Washington screaming? I know GS is not a real journalist for god sakes, but isn’t he still like a human being? Why didn’t he report this?

  2. Thanks for this Scout, you are indeed PRIME stuff!!!
    Well, I am wearing the right shirt today (my Ashley Morris memorial shirt), so to KKKarl, Boosh, Blammers and SeenRay I go exceptionally unladylike and bellow “FYYFF!!!” (if I was being ladylike I would merely say in a greatly annoyed tone “FYYFF!!!”)
    Will this get any big play on the major netwurx? 150% no chance, afterall, Hell will not freeze over, ’cause FEMA doesn’t ‘do’ ice anymore. Hell, they let it melt last time…afterall, noone anticipated that ice would melt.
    We can haz impeetchmint nao? Because I am tired of the Speech-Impediment in Chief’s illegal, immoral and unAmerican ‘shenanigans’!!!
    Damn Pelosi – do they have your grandkids on a prison ship???? Tell Georgie and Dickie to go fuck themselves in the brig – they are doing NOONE any favors – noone but the big oil. And I am way past tired of being financially molested at the pumps and in the grocery stores. I don’t ‘do’ dollar menus – I like food that is healthy for me…so I don’t have to worry about going to the doctor and have to be hosed there, too by my insurance not covering me.
    It’s Friday, this is (was) America dammit – I should be able to be laughing at cute kitten pics and enjoying my morning coffee, not ranting like a fiend.
    (to quote the fab Athenae) Jesus tits!!!!

  3. What HASN’T this Admuddlestration done that wasn’t just a slick marketing campaign? Does anyone really think that Monkey Boy and his cabal of criminals would have been able to sell this country on the Messopotamia clusterf*ck without wrapping it in pretty bows and flowers? HELL no! Just as marketing directors do, they wrap their bullshit in pretty packaging, knowing full well the product inside SUCKS.

  4. George Stephanopolos should be horse whipped for not reporting this. Goddamn.

  5. Senator Landrieu was so saddened and disgusted by this display of pure evil that she continued to vote with the GOP on almost every issue that she had a chance to vote on. She doesn’t come through this looking like a hero either.

  6. this has been the photo op preznit. shit. remember georgee’s speech in front of that church with his fucked up buttons? new orleans had power for the duration of the speech. that’s it.
    fuck him.

  7. After reading this excerpt in Salon, I went to barackobama.com and suggested that he “strongly consider Kathleen Blanco” in his search for a running mate.
    Too bad she would probably decline, after what she’s been through.

  8. Scout, email this to Olberman, if anyone will tough this, he will.

  9. how about kathleen blanco in charge of FEMA?
    well, that is, to recreate FEMA now that it has been destroyed by the bush administration …

  10. What does it profit a . . . corporate friend of Bush? While the Supreme Court considers a corporation a person, it can’t say that it has a soul.
    While other countries were offering help, Bush made a photo-op and told those who wanted to help that we didn’t need any help and let the area stew in its juices. Money was given late to administration-friendly corporations who made profits with little results, just like in Iraq and Afganistan. Make that aboministration.
    Just like at Walter Reed, where the running of the facility was given to a corporation that broke off from Halliburton, who hired one third of the staff than was there when it was run by the military. The contract was accepted even though it was for more than another group offering full staffing had offered. And all the blame drops on an admiral who was supposed to oversee the hospital. Nothing wrong with the privatisation of public works.
    As it is with a health delivery system that requires that corporations make huge profits before portioning out health care. Yes, even though you may pay for insurance, you might only get that which profits a corporation to allow you some care.

  11. Dan Abrams would probably do it before Olberman does. Olbie is still finding new ways to kick Hillary.

Comments are closed.