Last year on Mardi Gras, six months after Hurricane Katrina, all three network newscasts anchored from New Orleans. CBS' Bob Schieffer signed off with beads around his neck. A year later, everyone stayed in New York (CBS was anchored by substitute Russ Mitchell). No network even sent a reporter--although CBS had Tracy Smith file from New Orleans yesterday--so they offered no more than videotape clips of the parades.
NBC, as usual, made the greatest post-Katrina effort. Anchor Brian Williams had made his progress report on the city's slow reconstruction two weeks ago, before the festivities started. So for Mardi Gras itself he invited New Orleans' favorite son Wynton Marsalis to play a track from his CD From the Plantation to the Penitentiary live from Jazz at Lincoln Center to close NBC's newscast.
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