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"They Are Americans"

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Oprah Winfrey closed her broadcast today with a plea for everybody to stop calling Katrina survivors "refugees." She reminded us, "They are Americans."

While this may be a bit of a technicality to many people, we get her drift. She's trying to humanize and personalize this disaster, so more people can relate. Looking at the photos, it seems like this is in a third world country. Sadly it's here. That's the point.

LAist shed a tear (or ten) during Oprah's show. For the first time in a week, we got an hour-long news package free of sound-bytes and photo ops. She showed the bad, the ugly and the unthinkable.

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While we applaud Oprah's approach, we think it's a sad day, indeed, when a talk show hostess handles herself with more aplomb than the nightly news.

Here's hoping that the post-Labor Day news coverage improves, especially in LA. Perhaps everyone will forget about celebrity comings and goings for a week, and focus on a big domestic issue. We need to see all sides of the story, including the ugly bits. The only way to prevent this from happening again is to be [fully] accountable for our action (or lack thereof) and learn from our mistakes.