August 25th, 2010
09:37 PM ET

Evening Buzz: New Orleans, Five Years After Katrina

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, and for the next couple of nights, Anderson is reporting live from New Orleans for an up close look at how the city is doing five years after Hurricane Katrina. We're live from what's being called the Ninth Ward's Field of Dreams, a planned community track and football field. Nearly $1.5 million has been raised to build it. You'll hear from the high school teacher who's working to make this dream come true.

Also tonight, we have an update on our 'Keeping them Honest' investigation regarding Craigslist sex ads. The web site executives say they monitor them closely. We found that wasn't the case. Now 17 states are demanding action by Craigslist and they're crediting our reporting for bringing awareness to the problem.

We also have the latest on last night's primaries. Sarah Palin came out the big winner. She was potentially five-for-five in endorsements last night. The only one left in limbo is the U.S. Senate race in Alaska where Joe Miller, who has the support of Palin and the Tea Party, is leading incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski by nearly 1500 votes, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent. But those results are not final, because mail-in and absentee ballots still need to be counted.

"It ain't over yet," vowed Murkowski today.

Gary Tuchman has the raw politics of Palin's growing power. And we'll dig deeper with CNN political contributors on the left and right, James Carville and Ed Rollins.

See you at 10 p.m. eastern for these stories and much more

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Michael Coody

    Hello Mr Cooper: Not to play down Katrina,We were living on the north shore we she paid us a visit and left with 40% of our "stuff". We have moved to central Mississippi to start over,Iam now 62 years old and do not have the "get-up-and-go that I had a few years ago but I can still lose my temper with the best of them,without having a heart attack.There is another 5 year "milestone birthday" out of the New Orleans are and that is our class action suit against the Oleans Levee Board in the amount of $ that has been awarded to the class members but not paid.I do hope that when have the 20th year visit to New Orleans after Katrina that we in the class suit are not still waiting.Thank you for a great news program.Michael Coody

    August 26, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  2. David, Indiana

    Too much negative news. At least some hope in New Orleans.

    August 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  3. Theresa DeDeaux-Murray

    I understand about the field of dreams but what about the home that are not going to be rebuilt and the projets that are being replaced with million dollar homes that the poor can not afford.

    August 26, 2010 at 6:46 am |
  4. Tahni

    Seeing some of that old footage again was absolutely heartbreaking – I wanted to thank AC and the whole team for working to keep us in touch with that tragedy and keep us updated on the process of rebuilding. It was good to hear that in some ways New Orleans is coming back stronger than it was pre-Katrina. I hope that things continue to recover well across the board in New Orleans, and I hope than in the near future I'll be able to make a visit and maybe put in some time helping out in some way.

    I was also wondering how might one go about donating for the Ninth Ward's Field of Dreams?

    Best wishes to all

    August 26, 2010 at 6:20 am |
  5. Janice - New Orleans

    Thanks CNN for the great NOLA coverage during and after Katrina.
    Special thanks to Anderson Cooper for honest and truthful reporting!
    Great journalism, thank you for keeping America's eye on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Great job, y'all ! ( Southern slang for you all, like all you guys at CNN !

    August 26, 2010 at 5:19 am |
  6. janice

    As a New Orleans Native resident, thank you so much for the top – notch Katrina coverage and all you have done. Also thanks for your true comments! You stood there tonight on your show and announced the politicians were busy patting each other on the back instead of seeing a dead person laying in the street for 48 hours and being eaten by rats! I applaud you for standing up for the truth and I was so pleased that you noticed it. I am also a big, big fan and watch your show religiously...seriously, you could run for president, and win! I know many many folks in New Orleans who would vote for you. You are not afraid to speak the truth! Keep up the good work !

    August 26, 2010 at 3:50 am |
  7. princess barrow

    I find it a shame that people can only talk about the entertainment, restaurants,food and history when there are still people suffering after 5 years. It's ok I guess to say the city has improved if you are in a nice home or apartment but what about those still in trailers. Someone needs to go to the 9th ward and Gentilly, areas of New Orleans East and see that it still has a long way to go. I think u should go speak to some of the residents of these areas and see how they may view if the city as a whole has inproved. There still is not enough thought given to the everyday people that live there and make the city what is. There still is a sense of not knowing what will happen next.I'm from New Orleans and my heart aches to see that after 5 years that progress has not gotten further than it has. If you going to keep it honest check out the not so elite and see what views you get.

    August 26, 2010 at 2:42 am |
  8. J C Hale

    AC ~ Thank you for continuing the coverage on the Katrina disaster area – both MS and LA. It seems like so long ago timewise, yet the painful memories are still surprisingly poignant and fresh. So many of us have stayed in perpetual motion since "The Storm", to rebuild our lives, yet still not being able to refer to the "K" word. Don't think we have processed all the trauma we all went through and on the five year anniversary of the storm, what are we supposed to do? There is so much to say to those we no longer live with, as a community, but want to reconnect with. Every time I reflect back to that experience, I feel a hollow sadness fill my eyes and remember the same look in so many others.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:31 am |
  9. Norah

    I should have known better than to watch without taking off my makeup first. Alas, I didn't, and now my mascara is stinging my eyes, courtesy of Jeanne Meserve's choking up (which made me do the same) and all of you at CNN who did and are doing such an amazing job.

    What more can we do?

    What are the parallels between this and the current disaster in Pakistan, where help is also slow in coming and causing more death post-natural disaster than necessary?

    Katrina and how we abandoned people for so long continues to break my heart.

    Also, are you doing any coverage on how more prepared we are (or are we?) as a nation for such a disaster? Comparisons to mistakes in BP spill and getting mobilized? What we as individuals can do to be prepared ourselves (this is an area where I did a lot of volunteering because I was inspired to do so by the Katrina devastation and the fact that so much of the damage was preventable)?

    I remember the Katrina kids article in the NY Times awhile back and saw a crawler (I think on CNN) just a few days ago about how kids are still so horribly affected by the disaster. What programs are being more successful than others here and what can families and educators do to support kids affected by this and other disasters?

    August 26, 2010 at 1:23 am |
  10. Emily

    The continued coverage after five years is very much appreciated, but there's still SO much work to be done. My church in California, Felton Presbyterian, has sent NINE teams to Pearlington, MS, to help with the rebuilding efforts. We had zero connection with the Gulf Coast before Katrina, but we felt a calling to go and do what we could to help. We're not done yet, either. Do you know that over 90% of the cleanup and rebuilding efforts after Katrina have been done by faith-based groups? If folks reading this could take just one week out of your lives to go down there and help, you'd not only change the life of one or more residents there, but your life will be changed forever, too.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:23 am |
  11. Rebecca

    Hey. I usually leave the country whenever I have time to take a holiday. But this year I am taking my family to New Orleans. Not only have I never been, but want my money to really help... help a group of my people, my country, people close to home that need it. Besides going to N'oleans is probably like leaving the country when you live in Arizona.

    August 26, 2010 at 1:19 am |
  12. Dana T

    Its easy to think everything is fine if you are on the outside looking in. NOLA has a long way to go and if u don't live there you really don't know how people in NOLA are living.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  13. Joseph

    I love New Orleans, my family is there and I went back in Dec.07 until
    July 09. and I had to leave there because there was no work and the cost of living was to HIGH.
    The rent has double from FEMA and it has not went down so why are these people keep lying to themselfs and even telling people things are better. YES, its better if you say so but thats not true.
    I am so SICK of these people talking about New Orleans is coming back , the place looks like a ghost town it is very DEPRESSING.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  14. kikiismad

    I don't know how news programs pick their people they want to interview for their show but they always seem to pick the wrong people. I just hope for once they get someone to tell what it's really like living in this nasty, dirty city. It a disgrace to live here. the French Quarter don't speak for the way the other part is comimg along. I was born and raised here and it's embarassing the way the city is kept. The man that Anderson was speaking to said NO is back to NO, not coming back with strip malls and so forth. Hell I wish it did come back with some new things and tear down all the old falling down raggedly, dilapidated homes and businesses. The worst streets, they don't cut the grass in "certain" neighborhoods, trees and weeds growing on bridges and overpasses that are highly used everyday. The money that came to this city to help with the rebuilding was not used properly at all. The lower ninth ward is a joke with those terrible homes that's constructed with Brad Pitts name all over them. They in no way fit the historical theme of the city and they are down right awful. If he wanted to do something like that it should have been in a small sub-division for that type of home only, not mixed in with regular style homes. It look so tacky mix inbetween those other homes. Only in NO will someone get away with something like that. Just give'em anything and they'll take it. The worst looking homes ever built and many others feel the same way. This is why I say they don't talk to the right people that will tell what it's really like in the neighborhoods of NO.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
  15. A.J.

    Anderson. As a New Orleanian and a CNN junkie in the after math of Katrina after five years. I continue to be frustrated by the lack of true and fair reporting on the ecomonic and political ramifications. The neighboring parishes and espicially, Jefferson have continued to pimp the city of New Orleans. They routinely use the Name of New Orleans to generate federal dollars ear marked for New Orleans with the end result of these funds going to them and not New Orleans. Its ironic the parish of David Vitter would be pimping New Orleans (D.C. and Orleans Madam David). Lets not foreget that during Katrina, David Vitter and Bobby Jindal were the two poster boy of the Republican Party (Just on the other side of the 17th Street Canal).
    In addition, what ever happen to Aaron Broussard. One of the key on the ground figure during and after Katrina (He did a Sarah Palin). He's the same guy that evacuated the pump operator before Katrina and should be indited for wrong doing. Things in the New Orleans are not good as you guy spind the reports. I've live in this city all of my life and as a 49 year old native I think you should get the truth from on the ground everyday people like my self.
    Just waiting for the truth.....

    August 25, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
  16. al michaels

    to see new orleans makeing a come back is a wonderful thing ,but the people of new orleans must take some responsibility to repair what was lost to katrina to quit blameing goverment for there dissapointments and take action and step in and help instead living off of hand outs and living in fema trailors for free,new orleans needs to make a choice to move forward in a possitive way or stay a welfare state.god bless make a choice people.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  17. C. Crockett

    I'd also like to bring up that New Orleans is part of the whole oil spill tragedy. I live in NOLA and increasingly I'm hearing people from here saying they won't eat the seafood, that at first they were all behind Louisiana seafood but now they're convinced people will say anything to avoid more economic fallout and people aren't convinced it's safe.

    The story is we WERE doing so much better, things were looking up, there was still alot to be done and so many neighborhoods and lives still not changed that much if at all since 5 years ago, but let's not forget we're not very far from the worst oil spill in the history of this country.

    I am happily surprised at all the K5 coverage and how the media and country haven't forgotten, but it's downright odd how they've put aside the immediate threat of the oil spill to remember it.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  18. Bonnie Giles

    Thanks for the continuing coverage of NOLA. It is the most unique city in America, and the beauty of it all is that it comes naturally. As Brad Pitt found out, the people are real, genuine, so unlike New York and the West Coast. Like a diamond, many facets and as tough as anything on the planet.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  19. Chris Roberts

    I just opened an Art Gallery on Royal Street in New Orleans. I'm an artist and I believe in this city. There really is no place like it. The people are truly wonderful. The food is incredible. The ART is world class. If you want to feel good again, come to New Orleans!

    August 25, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  20. KingJP305

    Katrina? We shouldn't be talking about Katrina until we clean up the whole damn town...For until then everything time we bring Katrina up, it will be a reminder of how the damn Government let us down...Thus, don't bring it up until everything is up and running…

    August 25, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  21. dina osullivan

    Dear Mr. Anderson, Where yat?
    I love, love, love your show and hyour support for New Orleans. I grew up on the line between the eighth and ninth wards of New Orleans, went to high school and college there and love this city. My husband was one of the New Orleans cops who loved this city and did his job as straight as possible.He was called Sully and cops knew him. My so is writing his story.
    I am so thrilled you keep New Orleans in the news and let people know what a great city it is even though there are still problems to overcome. It is like no other city. There is no better food, music, people, neighborhoods and culture. Long live the :Who Dats!: Pray there are no more devastating storms and if there are, the government is better prepared to help the people Thanks again for being such a supporter of New Orleans.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  22. Eric Krueger

    If the Pulitzer board gives an award for cable-cast journalism, please give it to Anderson Cooper. He's more than earned it–and tonight's Katrina story only affirms that.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  23. susan

    There is so much publicity and media coverage about New Orleans. Did you know that towns along coastal Mississippi were totally wiped off the map? Why doesn't that get any coverage? I so admire the people in Mississippi. You heard none of them blame anyone or feel sorry for themselves. They just got to work and are rebuilding and putting their lives back together. New Orleans could take a lesson!

    August 25, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  24. Kurt

    9thwardfieldofdreams website has crashed due to volume......
    Should be up later tonight....
    That is a great thing!

    August 25, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
  25. Elizabeth Harvey

    You did it again, Anderson - you talked to a Mr. Brian Boderick relative to the Field of Dreams and indicated his name and title at the bottom of the screen. The African American man that joind in the interview later was never identified and his role was never clarified. I guess this comment will go to moderation and never be published - like my others.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
  26. Jeremy Champagne

    I think that the aftermath of Katrina was a very rare window into how government, social, economic, and infrastructural systems behave in a crippling disaster. It's a lesson we cannot forget, to do so would be civilization suicide.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
  27. Elizabeth Harvey

    Why are my comments always in moderation - and are never displayed. If you are going to be selective about which comments are going to be publicized, then you don't need to request comments.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  28. Bob S

    AC, please keep 'em honest, by asking NOLA leadership how high the new / rebuilt levies are, NOW? Versus, how high did the Katrina Flood waters rise? Thanks.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  29. Elizabeth Harvey

    @Theresa DeDeaux-Murray – Hi Theresa – You are absolutely correct. I live in Texas now and come home – Gulfport and New Orleans – all the time. New Orleans has a long way to go - especially the Ninth Ward.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  30. Bill

    I think it would be helpful for people to understand the progress of the recovery in New Orleans if we could see some before and after pictures of streets, buildings, neighborhoods, etc.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  31. Sandy

    Dear Mr. Cooper
    Is it just me? Or did I get way more solicitation for Haiti victims than for Katrina victims? Where was the support from other countries for the U.S. Where were all the "Hollywood Stars" with the exception of a few. If it was there??... I would love to here you and other media sources report about it.
    Other countries rely on the philanthropy of the U.S, Do we solicit citizens of other countries as hard as I was solicited for Haiti. I'm not unsympathetic to Haiti.. however....I would just like to know that the U.S government was not the only financial source of relief for the people of New Orleans...

    August 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
  32. JJ

    First of all, AC, thanks for sticking with us these past five years. People tend to forget when distracted by the next mega-disaster.

    Carville's assertion that things are just fine with the N.O. music scene is off the mark. While many New Orleans musicians have returned, many still make their homes elsewhere. Trying to make a living playing music in New Orleans is perhaps more difficult than ever before. It's not uncommon for musicians to be in five or six different bands or combos, trying to get enough work to pay the rent and put food on the table. (Some day you ought to do a seg on how prevalent rent-gouging became after Katrina.)

    It was precisely because of these hardships that the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation was formed shortly after Katrina. A non-profit spin-off of the equally non-profit N.O. Musicians Clinic, NOMAF raised funds to pay musicians to go out and play gigs. Without NOMAF's continuing efforts it's very likely more musicians would have either left or stayed away permanently.

    You might not notice this if you're trying to get into a crowded Tipitina's or Maple Leaf during Jazz Fest, but it's the daily reality for most New Orleans musicians. For Carville to gloss over that and pretend we're all doing just fine out here now is both inaccurate and irresponsible.

    Jef Jaisun
    Musician, Photographer, Fund-Raiser for NOMAF/NOMC

    August 25, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  33. JubileeLady

    I live in Mobile, AL, also a city with French influence that goes back for centuries. After Katrina I dreaded going back to NOLA because I was afraid that what I saw would break my heart. How I underestimated those incredible, wonderful people! There's still work to be done, but the city is not only on her feet, but about to break into a run.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  34. Manley

    Mayor Nagan, the former mayor of New Orleans, has to be the worst in leadership I have ever seen. He should be charge as an accomplice to the rampage of crime that has occured in that city, before Katrina, during Katrina and after Katrina. that inept bastard lack of leadership directly contributed to the many lost of lives in New Oreleans.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  35. James Souza

    I traveled to New orleans from Fall River Massachusetts last September for the first time, and in no way could I have enjoyed the city more. The people, the food, the history, fantastic! Congratulations to all the citizens and people who put the city back together after Katrina. New Orleans is a city every American needs to add to their bucket list!

    August 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  36. Jeff

    As a Canadian who was just in NOLA a few weeks ago for the first time I can't tell you how much your coverage with Katrina puts a horrific situation into context. Yes the tourist core is back and as James and others have said, there are more restaurants. But what about the 9th ward and the real areas that need a true focus and lens of understanding? All levels of government should be horrified about what they let, and continue to let happen. A heartfelt apology and true rebuilding with those who need it is how you can heal what has happened there. Leadership is never easy and I will await that person to step forward with the plan I think America and the broader world is waiting for.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  37. Pamula Jackson, Chapel Hill NC

    I had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans during time when the Saints celerbrated the victory of going to the super bowl. New orleans is and always will be a place of strength. The people, culture, music and food is like no other. The only thing that disappointed me is when I took the tour threw the area that Katrina first hit. The government could have done a better job at rebuilding that particular area. To me it seem like with all that the government said they would do for New Orleans was not what you see. The area where Katrina hit, still has FEMA trailers in place. 5 years later is more than enough time for their neighborhood to be replaced.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  38. Theresa DeDeaux-Murray

    I know you think NOLA is back,but what about the 9th Ward residents. God help those people and the people from Missippi my home town of Pass christain.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  39. Brandon Lipman

    We think that katrinas aftermath has been cleaned up but how is it still that we still have homes that are leveled in New Orleans

    August 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  40. Lyden

    The recovery of this city is truly amazing. 1.2 out of 1.3 million people have returned to the metro area. The city has reformed its government in a way previously unimagined. New Orleanians have taken a failing public school system that fueled a culture of poverty in the city and turned it into a model system for reform in the country. New Orleans has embraced its culture as never before and is working to create a more vibrant economy. New Orleans has played a huge role in the development of culture in America and itself is a huge cultural beacon to the world.

    August 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  41. Annie Kate

    Five years – it seems like it hasn't been that long in some ways and in other ways it seems like it was ages ago. The pictures that CNN and its reporters showed day and night seared into your mind and you just watched in horror at everything that went wrong – especially the levees breaking and NOLA flooding. All along the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to NOLA and beyond, there were broken houses, broken people, and a lot of broken dreams. The reporting on the storm and its aftermath was superb, especially on CNN, where the reporters took us beyond the abstract of the destruction and into people's hearts, letting us hear firsthand about the survivors. Anderson brought us the devastation plus the rage against the powers of the government that did not seem to be moving to help; the pathos in his reports was moving and at times very difficult to hear. I am looking forward to seeing how far NOLA has come and how far it has yet to go – I also hope there are reports on Waveland, and Pascougula, Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, etc. Sounds like a good show tonight.

    August 25, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  42. DB

    The country doesn't know how it's going down there. How about a illustrated map showing the current conditions, the population moving back, if so, economic growth,,,,, needs,...? No one has told the big picture story...

    August 25, 2010 at 9:42 pm |

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