While we were attempting to take pictures of the National Guard (a unit from Oklahoma) taking up positions outside a Brooks Brothers on the edge of the Quarter, the sergeant ordered us to the other side of the boulevard. The short version is: there won't be any pictures of this particular group of guard soldiers on our newscast tonight. Rules (or I suspect in this case an order on a whim) like those do not HELP the palpable feeling that this area is somehow separate from the United States.
At that same fire scene, a police officer from out of town raised the muzzle of her weapon and aimed it at members of the media... obvious members of the media... armed only with notepads. Her actions (apparently because she thought reporters were encroaching on the scene) were over the top and she was told. There are automatic weapons and shotguns everywhere you look. It's a stance that perhaps would have been appropriate during the open lawlessness that has long since ended on most of these streets. Someone else points out on television as I post this: the fact that the National Guard now bars entry (by journalists) to the very places where people last week were barred from LEAVING (the Convention Center and Superdome) is a kind of perverse and perfectly backward postscript to this awful chapter in American history.
Last week for a moment I sensed a shift; a breakthrough. Even Shepard Smith on Fox was screaming.
This week, Rove seems to be retaking charge of the message.
If somebody in the media with clout --somebody like a network anchor -- can't break this down, it can't be broken. And if that's true, then democracy is as dead as a poor black person in New Orleans.