09/03/2005: Speaking of Needing Equipment...
... for this Rescue and Supply Operation...
Thomas over at Newsrack has this piece: Hey CNN, get your own freaking helicopters:
"...The crews for three U.S. Customs Blackhawk helicopters stationed at Crestview Airport in Florida are 'livid' because they have not been directed to provide full-time support for the ongoing hurricane-relief effort in the nation's Gulf Coast region, according to Mark Conrad, a former regional Internal Affairs supervisor for U.S. Customs.
Conrad says instead of helping people left desperate in the wake of Katrina's wrath, the Blackhawk's actually were slated to transport a CNN news crew to take video shots of those people.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection leadership in Miami is behind the press-play strategy, Conrad says.
'They have three Blackhawk helicopters and crew just sitting there doing nothing, just so they can look good for CNN. The crew is livid,' Conrad says. 'They made one trip earlier and flew over Biloxi, (Mississippi) where there are dead bodies everywhere. Those are highly trained crews and Blackhawk helicopters can carry a lot of food and water. They could be doing something.'
A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official familiar with the Blackhawk operation in Florida confirms Conrad's report. The official, who asked not to be named, says the Blackhawks were flown in from as far away as San Diego to supposedly assist with hurricane-relief efforts. They were stationed in Florida primarily to assure adequate refueling services."
Is this CNN's analogy to being "embedded" reporters in a war?!? They get to take over Government Helicopter usage for TeeVee Coverage of this disaster??
Karen on 09.03.05 @ 11:01 AM CST