The federal government banned news media from reporting on dead bodies during the week beginning 3 September. On 10 September the feds backed down.
The newly formed Joint Task Force Katrina representative said, the federal government now "has no plans to bar, impede or prevent news media from their news gathering and reporting activities in connection with the deceased Hurricane Katrina victim recovery efforts," according to Colonel Christian deGraff of the task force.
U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison issued a temporary restraining order 9 September against a "zero access" policy deployed by the nation's department of Homeland Security.
CNN's news group president Jim Walton said, "We are pleased by the decision. The free flow of information is vital for a free society."
Walton said the network filed the lawsuit to "prohibit any agency from restricting its ability to fully and fairly cover" the hurricane victim recovery process.
"As seen most recently from war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, from tsunami-ravaged South Asia and from Hurricane Katrina's landfall along the Gulf," Walton wrote, "CNN has shown that it is capable of balancing vigorous reporting with respect for private concerns."
CNN charged the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a subsidiary of Homeland Security, with banning coverage of its governmental function, and "instead, the agency has made a subjective, content-based determination that publicizing the operation would be 'without dignity.'"
"It is not the place of government to replace its own internal judgment for that of a free and independent media," CNN said.
In the days following the disaster along the central Gulf Coast, the White House has turned blame on local officials, the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans, for the lack of aid following the disaster. A chorus of democrats and republicans, especially from the region, have in turned blamed the White House for its slow response to help New Orleans recover.
Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) criticized President George W Bush for spinning the crisis away from his own responsibility.
In a paid opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal Bob Williams, president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, blamed Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, governor of Louisiana, for failing to adequately seek federal support following the disaster.
Williams runs Evergreen, which lists "accountable government" as one of its mission statement directives. Evergreen also secures federal funding through grant applications.
Evergreen has also paid for pro-Wal Mart Store Inc., opinion pieces, and anti-union stories in national newspapers. They support President Bush's Social Security reform measures.
---This content is copyrighted by Think & Ask, reproduction of any kind is not permitted without written consent.---