(Photo: Reuters, New Orleans August 2007)
That is the title of a must read at Salon of excerpts from the book "Machiavelli's Shadow: The Rise and Fall of Karl Rove," by Paul Alexander. It focuses on the role Karl Rove played in the Katrina disaster. There is much there on the execution of Karl's plan to blame Blanco including Nagin's role in executing it. And then there is this at the end of the article...
Of all of the stories and subplots, there would be one that, in many ways, symbolized the whole of Katrina, what it revealed about the Bush administration, and how it would affect the lives of so many people. On Friday, Mary Landrieu had been with Bush and Blanco as they toured the 17th Street Canal, where, at last, major work had commenced to repair the damage that had been caused when the levee broke. "Then, on Saturday," Landrieu says, "George Stephanopoulos called and asked to do an interview with me, and I said, 'George, I'm tired of doing interviews. I have to work. And nothing you are airing is accurately showing what's going on down here.' He wanted to go to the Superdome, and I said, 'We still have people stranded on their roofs. If you want to tell the right story, I will help you tell the right story. You get a helicopter and I'll go up and I will show you what is actually happening. It's awful what's happening at the Superdome, but the reason the people can't understand the story is because the entire region is under 20 feet of water. People can't get into the Superdome to help. They can't get out. People are drowning in their homes.'
"So George and I went up in the helicopter and for three hours his jaw was dropping. Then I said, 'George, before we finish I have to show you one positive thing because I can't send you back to Washington to produce a story that shows nothing but devastation and disaster.' So I told the pilot to tack right so I can show George the 17th Street Canal and the work that was going on there. I swear as my name is Mary Landrieu I thought that what I saw with the president was still there -- people working, trucks, sandbags, everything. Then I looked down and saw one little crane. It was like someone took a knife and stabbed me through my heart. I lost it." There, in the cabin of the helicopter, as they flew above the breached canal below them, Landrieu sat devastated.
"I could not believe that the president of the United States, staged by Karl Rove himself, had come down to the city of New Orleans and basically put up a stage prop. It was like you had gone to a studio in California and filmed a movie. They put the props up and the minute we were gone they took them down. All the dump trucks were gone. All the Coast Guard people were gone. It was an empty spot with one little crane. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen in my life. At that moment I knew what was going on and I've been a changed woman ever since. It truly changed my life."
UPDATE: In comments, it is raised why wasn't this reported. It was, but not in the detail like above. Below is the video of Landrieu's Helicopter Tour with Stephanopoulos. The one little crane moment begins at about the 2:10 mark. Landrieu refers to Bush's photo op upon seeing the one crane and she does indeed lose it saying "It's so sad George" and sat back crying, saying "one little crane." But if you recall the big story that came out of that tour was Landrieu's statement she "might likely have to punch" George Bush. (that at around the 1:50 mark). The press jumped on that....that's our press folks. Rove must have loved them for it.....who knows, given what's in the the above article, maybe he even worked them towards that.....