Where's Shep?

A lot of folks in the areas pounded by Rita are asking where is the national news media such as Fox News’ Shepherd Smith now that the real work has begun?

Obviously the media isn’t going to cover every house with a tree on the roof like my brother’s DeRidder, La., home, in the above photo. But quite a number of folks have had their lives really upended by this storm. While the damage is more pronounced here in the Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas, area just because of proximity to the coast and more people, the rural areas to the north also have real problems. Because so much of those areas are forests, the electric crews have to track down power lines like detectives just to find them. Trees blown down on rural roads also have to be cleared.

Most of the people up in East Texas also have very little media from which to glean real information. The local TV stations here in Beaumont, which evacuated during the storm, are just now getting back into those rural areas. But many in the “pineywoods” don’t have electricity to watch the TV news. The area’s local daily newspaper, The Beaumont Enterprise, has had to scale back on its print issue because of the storm and delivery poses a challenge.

The local Clear Channel radio stations in Beaumont, and there are a ton of them, have provided some information during the Rita aftermath and the ability for listeners to call in about the situation in their areas as well as calling with questions. Those stations have not provided what I call quality news reporting, however, because they seem to be instilled with an ad man’s mind set.

I can understand, in theory, why the national media has moved on from eastern Texas. Yet, here you have hundreds of thousands of lives in still in disarray and massive efforts continue in picking up the pieces by thousands of electrical workers, as well as government and social service emergency personnel. Still, the story has practically vanished from the radar screen in general except for the Texas media.

Something else quite noteworthy is that our esteemed Gov. Goodhair or Pres. GW have not made any recent trips to the area. East and Southeast Texas — Hey, out of sight, out of mind.

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