New Orleans







Matt Pascarella and I encountered Patricia Thomas while she was breaking into a home at the Lafitte Housing Project in New Orleans. It was her own home. Nevertheless, if caught, she’d end up in the slammer. So would we. Matt was my producer for the film, Big Easy to Big Empty, and he encouraged my worst habits. I’d worked for the New Orleans Housing Authority years back and knew they wanted the poor black folk out of these pretty townhouses near the French Quarter. Katrina was an excuse for ethnic cleansing, American style. Matt and I skipped cuffs on this shoot, but were charged later by Homeland Security (see below). While I recorded the story of hidden evils on film, Matt gathered a story which no camera can capture. Here it is. — Greg Palast



The Big UneasyHere’s Harry Shearer (of Spinal Tap and Simpsons fame) being interviewed by Michael Smerconish about his new documentary The Big Uneasy on Hardball with Chris Matthews below. Here’s a bit about the documentary:

Almost five years ago, a disaster struck New Orleans. The media said it was a natural disaster primarily affecting poor black people. On both counts, the media was wrong.

In The Big Uneasy, humorist and New Orleans resident Harry Shearer gets the inside story of a disaster that could have been prevented from the people who were there. As we approach the fifth anniversary of the flooding of New Orleans, Shearer speaks to the investigators who poked through the muck as the water receded and a whistleblower from the Army Corps of Engineers, revealing that some of the same flawed methods responsible for the levee failure during Katrina are being used to rebuild the system expected to protect the new New Orleans from future peril.