For some locked-out CBC journalists, this ranks right up there with the destruction of New Orleans as one of the greatest tragedies caused by Katrina.
Quoth August West:
It bears repeating: The CBC will never own pictures of one of the most compelling stories of our time.
Any time we report on the incident in the future -and as you might imagine, this will be a hot topic of conversation for a very long time- we will have to purchase pictures from broadcasters who actually allowed their reporters to cover the story. We -you, me, all viewers of the CBC- own nothing.
We own no shots of the Gaza withdrawal, the floods in Toronto or virtually any other story that took place in the last two weeks. We own no shots of anything that happened today, or will happen tomorrow or any other day until we are allowed to return to work.
That, too, is heartbreaking. Perhaps not life-and-death, but heartbreaking just the same.
CBC fan The Naked Gord weighs in thus:
The world should be using the CBC lens as the only honest network in North America. The only honest voice.
No doubt Canadians would have been treated to hours on end of pontificating about the lessons to be learned from Katrina in the self-righteous, superior tone that CBC best exemplifies.
CBC News would have treated the wildest accusations and conspiracy theories as gospel truth. George Bush deliberately delayed sending in federal assistance because he doesn't like blacks; the levees were deliberately opened to drown the poor people of New Orleans, give Halliburton no-bid contracts to rebuild the city and make Dick Cheney a billionaire; Katrina wouldn't have happened if the Senate had ratified Kyoto; the Americans brought Katrina on themselves for their country's sins, etc., etc.
We would have been solemnly assured that the Liberal government would have assured quick and effective aid if such a disaster struck Canada because of its compassionate and caring ethic. The chaos in New Orleans would have been presented as the likely result if the Tories had been in charge.
Neil MacDonald would have drawn parallels between the plight of the Palestinians and that of New Orleans. (No doubt the Israeli influence on the neo-cons in the Bush administration was responsible too!)
Awkward questions about how the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana handled the crisis would have been downplayed; the looters would have been treated as poor folk taking the plasma TVs and malt liquor they desperately needed to survive; Gwynne Dyer would have explained how the crisis in New Orleans directly related to troubles in Iraq, and how the U.S. should pull out of both regions.
The whole cast would have been brought out before the cameras: Naomi Klein, Maude Barlow, David Suzuki, Linda McQuaig, Avi Lewis, and a whole host of supporting players.
Canadians should be doubly grateful that they were spared not only the wrath of Katrina, but also the CBC trailing in its wake.