An Archive of Jacob Appelbaum’s Post-Katrina weblog


BBC interview and status update from inside the Astrodome

Posted in houston,radio by jacob on September 7, 2005

The BBC just called me. I am the only media inside the dome. We did a long interview and it’s going to be broadcast on Friday at 13:00 on their live webcast.

The media censorship here runs high. It was not easy to actually enter the dome as media. I am working with the group ‘Austin Airwaves’ and our badge says ‘PRESS’ in huge white letters on a red background. This has caused unending red tape. I have been the subject of removal a few times, bordering on a dozen. My camera draws the most fire.

I just heard we have the go ahead to put up the transmittter. I have no idea if that means we can broadcast or not. I assume it does because we have the FCC permits. The main issue here seems to be a total lack of leadership. No one with FEMA seems to know who their boss is. No one with the RedCross has authority. Everyone working for the owners (Reliant energy) of the dome is getting in our way. No photos. No entry. Attempted removal. Detainment.

The weather in Houston is hot and muggy. There is a great deal of police and military on the grounds.

As I said before, I’m the only person known to be in the dome according to the BBC. Their (Reliant staff) attempts to keep the media under control and out of the way also seem to keep the media from the most interesting spots. I have some really good photos and I will attempt to post them soon.

26 Responses to 'BBC interview and status update from inside the Astrodome'

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  1. Dwight said,

    Bullshit that you are only media. Today show broadcast live from the Dome this morning. Repect these poor people’s dignity. Don’t photograph them!

  2. Matthew said,

    Personally, if I were in the situation they are in, I would want to be photographed as much as possible. I would like everyone in the world to see what conditions I was in, how I was doing, and what could be done to help. Giving these people a face and voice in the media is the most important thing right now, in my opinion.

  3. Dennis said,

    It’s great the BBC it there to keep an eye on things. This whole fiasco has been rife with corruption and federal idiocy. Never mind Mr. Dwight’s “respect their dignity” plea. Keep your eye on these bastards to make sure these people *are* treated with respect and dignity.

  4. Zwack said,

    Respect their Dignity! Don’t photograph people who tell you that they don’t want to be photographed. Don’t photograph people in situations that you wouldn’t want to be photographed (in the john for example)… But you can still document the conditions that they are living in, and any abuses that are occurring.

    I know that if I was being forced to live in degrading conditions I would want people to know.

    Z.

  5. Chris said,

    Another BS on you being the only media in the dome. Local Houston TV stations have done numerous reports from inside the dome. Even the lameass show Insider did a report in there yesterday.

    Don’t be too proud of yourself.

  6. val said,

    i was there a few days ago. sure, there doesnt seem t be much organization, but the conditions arent all that horrific. its nothing like the conditions were in the superdome. and please, respect these peoples dignity. they have been through enough already.

  7. Dwight said,

    The Astrodome conditions are currently very good according to people staying there. Long shots are fine. Just don’t let the media exploit these poor people with extreme closeups just to get ratings!

  8. STEVE said,

    Can you verify that the refugees are recieving $2,000 dollar debit cards from the federal government starting today? They are supposed to be getting them to help buy temporary necessities.

  9. Mark said,

    Welcome to Houston Jacob. I live in Houston and have a background in radio. Is there a site where I can learn more about Austin Airwaves? I’d like to help out in the effort to set up the low power FM or maybe assist with broadcasts.

  10. Eddie said,

    According to this AP story, they are indeed issuing $2000 debit cards at the Astrodome today.


  11. […] Jacob’s inside the Astrodome in New Orleans and reporting. […]

  12. Katie said,

    Wish I could be there with you, man. Everyone is telling me to stay away, I got priorities to the bean in my belly!

  13. Henry said,

    There’s nobody even at the Astrodome anymore (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/topstory/3342643). And the stories about rapes are as yet unfounded. I call sensationalism.

    And, uh, Holy Shmoly? The Astrodome’s not in New Orleans.

  14. Henry said,

    And by that I mean sensationalism on *your* part, Mr. Appelbaum, as well as Boing Boing’s.

  15. marcrotten said,

    henry you’re not too bright, next time click on that link you posted, it says at least 2k people at the astrodome. best..

  16. Effie said,

    Sorry to hear of your troubles, man. Then again, you weren’t honestly expecting a warm welcome, were you?

  17. Henry said,

    Marcrotten: Yes, there are 2K people in the Astrodome, but that number is nothing compared to the original number of evacuees who were there. Oh, and thanks for the compliment, blogger.


  18. […] Webzine featured speaker Jake Appelbaum has headed down to Houston to help make life a little easier for Hurricane Katrina victims stuck indefinitely in the Houston Astrodome. He is there helping with technology infrastructure and documenting the disorganization, mayhem and horrible conditions that victims are stuck with. Jake is a citizen journalist, photographer and blogger who has been able to get under the radar of the mainstream media and gather stories from victims which so far haven’t been given much coverage. We wish Jake well and hope his enduring compassion helps to make a few victims lives just a little bit more bearable. […]

  19. Carl said,

    If this is as you say it goes against the Geneva Convention for prisoners and these are U.S. Citizens.
    FEMA has been caught lying live on TV already so Independant Observers to gather and corroborate witness testimony are essential – forget politics, f*** sensational scoops, these are people and they need a voice.
    Still knowing the way handouts work, better not be seen talking to anyone or…
    If even a fraction of this is true then OMFG, these people need lawyers and witnesses.
    On British TV no mention of the Nuclear Power Station, no mention of press kicked out of NO, no mention of ill treatment – only negative note now is story about how Texans are buying Guns in record numbers.

  20. laura said,

    Hey Portland is ready to take evacuees , now the feds say they’re not shipping anyone??
    http://www.oregonlive.com/newslogs/oregonian/index.ssf?/mtlogs/olive_oregonian_news/archives/2005_09.html#077737

  21. Paul said,

    Let me offtop please… why do I have the big blank screen before I actually read the post???

  22. blog finance said,

    nice blog!

    mike

  23. rachel said,

    i love guys that drive trucks!

  24. amanda said,

    very nice

  25. rachael said,

    i love those houses too!

  26. bob said,

    makes you think doesn’t it


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