Chapter 5. Meaning-making in Crisis: The detrimental effects of missing narratives and escalating blame games

New Orleans did not look good in the media. Reporting emphasized looting, violence, suffering – in short, anarchy. The key players – President Bush, DHS’s Michael Chertoff, FEMA’s Michael Brown, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin – appeared weak and uninformed. To make things worse, they began to blame each other for the poor response. This chapter analyzes how a good start in the week quickly turned into a collective meaning-making failure.

CBS News (transcript and video), Brian Williams: We were witnesses.

CBS News: (August 30, 2005), Crisis Deepens in New Orleans.

CBS News: S. Alfano, (March 1, 2006), Bush Knew Of Katrina’s Wrath Day Prior.

CBS46 Atlanta, March 26, 2008. Marine Removal of Debris Caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Chicago Tribune: September 10, 2005. U.S. recalls FEMA chief.

CNN (Transcript), September 2, 2005, President Bush Heads to Gulf Coast; State of Emergency.

CNN Blanco interview.

CNN, Maqrch 2, 2006, Transcripts, tape show Bush, Brown warned on Katrina.

CNN, September 28, 2005. FEMA’s Brown puts blame on Louisiana officials.

CNN, September 8, 2005. Legal answers for New Orleans residents(clarifications on martial law).

CNN: (September 1, 2005), Bush tells victims: ‘A lot of help coming’.

CNN: (September 2, 2005) Military due to move in to New Orleans.

CNN: (transcript), September 2, 2005, President Bush Visits Gulf Coast; Early Warnings.

CNN’s Paula Zahn interviews FEMA’s Mike “Brownie” Brown.

CNS News, M. Knoller (August 28, 2015), Reporter’s notebook: George W. Bush and the week Hurricane Katrina hit.

Crime rate map in New Orleans, Louisiana (LA): murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, arson, law enforcement employees, police officers.

Fox News/AP: September 27, 2005. Cops: Superdome Violence Reports Exaggerated.

Fox News: Geraldo at the Convention Center.

Frontline: (2015). Katrina, 10 Years Later: Three Documentaries to Watch.

George W. Bush calls Katrina photo a ‘huge mistake’.

NBC News/AP: August 31, 2005. Officials throw up hands at New Orleans looters.

NBC News: August 29, 2005. Storm disaster teams in place.

NBC News: August 31, 2005. Reports on the damage.NPR: D. Greene, August 30, 2006. Checking Up on Federal Promises on Katrina.

NPR: From The Archives: Days After Katrina, Michael Chertoff Talks To Robert Siegel.

NPR: R. Siegel, U.S. Aid Effort Criticized in New Orleans.NYT, J. Longman, September 25, 2005. In Southern Louisiana, Storm Pushes Gulf Waters Into Communities.

NYT: (August 28, 2006), Year after Katrina, Bush Still Fights for 9/11 Image.

NYT: Abelson & Feuer, September 1, 2005. 10,000 Patients and Staff Members Await Evacuation From Barely Functional Hospitals.

NYT: E. Bumiller, Promises by Bush Amed the Tears.

NYT: J. M. Broder, August 30, 2005. Guard Units Shift From Combat to Flood Duty.

NYT: Key Documents Regarding the Government Response to Katrina.

NYT: Shane et al. After failures, Government Officials Play Blame Game.

NYT: Sheri Fink, (August 1, 2009), The Deadly Choices at Memorial.

Officers patrolling on an armoured vehicle.

Time magazine: January 6, 2006. Outgoing Katrina Recovery Chief Speaks.

Times-Picayune, Hurricane Katrina updates on Aug. 29, 2005.

Times-Picayune, S. Finch, September 4, 2005, Extraordinary, but not ‘martial law’.

Times-Picayune: (August 30, 2005), Looting difficult to control.

Times-Picayune: (January 15, 2015), Former NOPD SWAT commander, fired after Henry Glover trial, loses latest bid to get job back.

Times-Picayune: (May 25, 2011), NOPD Captain Jeff Winn fired; had been reassigned after testifying in Henry Glover killing.

Times-Picayune: (May 28, 2011), Why New Orleans police Capt. Jeff Winn deserved to be fired: An editorial.

Times-Picayune: (September 3, 2005), Despite criticism, Broussard holds to Monday return plan.

Times-Picayune: August 30, 2005. Martial law clarified.

Times-Picayune: August 30, 2005. Statement by Senator Vitter. (Lousisana).

Times-Picayune: September 2, 2005. Robinette interview with Nagin was unforgettable radio.

USA Today: Two governors handle crisis in their own way.

Washington Post: A. Applebaum, September 21, 2005. Back to Trent Lott’s House.

Washington Post: Leibovich (September 9, 2005), Senator Bears Witness And Bares Emotions.

White House: (September 1, 2005), Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies.

White House: (September 1, 2005), President Asks Bush and Clinton to Assist in Hurricane Relief Efforts.

White House: (September 1, 2005), Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

White House: (September 3, 2005), President Addresses Nation, Discusses Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts.

White House: August 29, 2005. Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan and Dr. Mark McClellan.

White House: August 30, 2005. Press Gaggle by Scott McClellan.

WWNO radio: (2015) The Katrina Files: Wildlife And Fisheries & A Bridge To Nowhere.