Maybe it's just my impression but the public sympathy the situation in New Orleans is receiving pales in comparison to 9/11. After 9/11, baseball canceled a week of games. Every news outlet had nonstop coverage. It was all people were talking about. Now I'm not saying no one cares what's happening down there, but it's not quite getting the same reaction. With reports of thousands dead, it can't be a numbers thing.
So why don't people care as much? A few reasons come to mind:
1) It's not NY. No offense, but NY is a more important city. New Orleans is in the middle of south, down in "Hicksville." If most of NY was under water, something tells me the evacuation operation would be moving just a little quicker.
2) There's no one to blame. 9/11 has a clear culprit. We were attacked. We were angry. There's no person or group to blame here, although some bloggers (here, here) have decided to pin the blame on the administration for supporting Disengagement. That's presumptuous and offensive beyond belief.
3) Who cares about the red states? I wonder how disenchantment with the conservative south has affected media coverage and public outcry.
I tend to think NY is better equipped to handle such an emergency. 9/11 did give the city a sense of steadfastness under pressure, and we saw that during the blackout. I realize the situations are totally different, but I tend to have faith in New Yorkers as a bunch of people who care when it counts (but only when it counts).
Update: Hastert's comments (can't find a link because of dial-up) were in sensitive at best and despicable at worst. He has to talk about this now?
New Update: Apparently he issued a weak retraction.