The Old Man and the Storm
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What do you take away from this story on Herbert Gettridge and his family? Do you have a Katrina story to share?

Dear FRONTLINE,

I tried watching this piece on Herbert Gettridge (key word: "tried"). Normally, I greatly admire Frontline for its journalistic integrity, something sorely lacking in today's ratings and sensationalistic-driven news media, but as soon as the "producer/narrater" tried to make us feel sorry for someone who got $97,000 for a $120,000 house along with all the charitable help he received, then I HAD to turn the channel. Now, it seems, I have to give up on Frontline, too, for unbiased information. When will news people and documentary people finally realize that all we want are the facts? Just the FACT, please. I'm so sick and tired of people trying to blame, for example, Insurance Companies for doing their job, and not taking the time to understand what their insurance is, what it covers and REFUSING to pay for the proper insurance when they have a chance....BEFORE a disaster. The guy received $97,000 and the program itselfs lists a litany of groups that came to help him out, yet your whiney narrator wants to make it seem as if he's still struggling and still needs our help. WHY? why isn't his house fixed up by now? Maybe you should do a show on BUDGETING the money you DO receive from the insurance company.I know firsthand what it takes to help clear out and rebuild one of these homes and your presentation of this example is nothing like it. It took you three years and this is all you could come up with? What happened. The story actually have a happy ending and you had to drag it out to make it fit your preconceived idea of what a FAILURE all that money and charitable help was? SHAME ON YOU and your whiney, mono-toned, sham of a producer/narrator. This is an abomination and a disgrace to all those good folks who have gone to New Orleans and helped those out truly in need and with NO money, let alone $97,000 from the insurance company. Shame, shame, shame on you. No more Frontline and no more spending my money on PBS to support your program. Just shameful and disgraceful. Purely Shameful!

laney white
Pittsburgh, PA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Another 9th ward resident who rebuilt his own home (Clay Landry) introduced me to Mr. Gettridge in Feb 2007 on the second of six relief trips my church has made to the NOLA area. Mr. Gettridge is a bit of a celebrity in the 9th ward. He showed me the bathtub in his house and said it was the only original thing left inside. He decided not to replace the bathtub because it survived Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and had sentimental value. :-) Here's a photo of me & Mr. Gettridge on his front porch:

http://picasaweb.google.com/elenburg/KatrinaTrip#5114482083713749202

The answers to the problems in New Orleans has not come through government programs but from the hundreds of thousands of volunteers from Churches, colleges, and other NGOs and nonprofit organizations. Government is not the solution.

Dennis Elenburg
Sachse, TX

posted january 6, 2009

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