ONE PROBLEM: the French Quarter remained dry, (as did MOST of ther city which was near the river).
The cover - (sort of a "poster" for the editorial content of the magazine) - reveals more about the New Yorker magazine's penchant for knee-jerk "thinking" and stereotypes, and their own narrow, facile prejudices than it reveals about New Orleans and its flood.
But this truth wouldn't look so nice on coffee-tables. They'd rather have a deceitful yet pretty picture under their masthead than the awful truth. I think that says everything you need to know about The New Yorker magazine.
[Inside the ON-LINE magazine, Nich Lemann - a former contributing editor to The New Yorker, and Nawlins native - can't help but speak SOME truth:
"But it’s also true that, after the levees broke, we watched every single system associated with the life of a city fail: the electric grid, the water system, the sewer system, the transportation system, the telephone system, the police force, the fire department, the hospitals, even the system for disposing of corpses. Perhaps it is all the fault of the force of the storm; I suspect that, as we move into the yearned-for realm of reliable information, we will find out that society and nature were co-conspirators in the tragedy. And the societal fault won’t all have been the federal government’s."
As someone who lived in Nawlins for a few years - and LOVES the city - I believe the truth of this observation will eventually be driven home. That the worst problems were caused by the local "government" - mostly by Nagin...
ASIDE: the LEVEES did NOT fail; a few canals did - chiefly the 17th Street CANAL. The chief of the canal system has said that it would take 20 years to reinforce the canals and make them able to hold back a category 4+ hurricane. Therefore, it is disingenuous to blame Bush - or Clinton, for that matter. This VULNERABILITY would have to have been addressed beginning in the 1980's if is was to have been corrected in time for Katrina.]
A better cover might have depicted the Superdome as an ark - as poor vulnerable people streamed in - AT THE BEHEST OF MAYOR NAGIN - BEFORE the storm - not knowing what was going to be in store for them... not knowing that this ark and its Noah would fail... It would have been a much more sadly ironic and more truthful cover.