One thing that separates Spike Lee from his peers is when he uncovers dirt he comes up dirty. Meaning not only is he willing to get down in the dirt to discover that there is dirt, he keeps the dirt on him to prove that he took the plunge to begin with. Further, you don’t wash the dirt off to report what you discovered, you keep the dirt on you as a way of identifying with those affected by it the most. Others, particularly those in major news organizations may have visited the dirt, but they continue to white wash their reporting. The truth is never political nor is politics the truth.
“If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise” which aired on HBO Monday and Tuesday nights is about uncovering and exposing the truth. The fallout from Katrina five years later remains a devastation to millions of people. The lack of response by the Bush Administration, the clumsy steps that FEMA took before and shortly after the disaster, the poorly run Department of Homeland Security, the slaughter of New Orleans citizens by the local police, the corruption within the police department, the crucifixion of the former mayor, the heartlessness of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, the obvious plan to prevent blacks from returning to their neighborhoods, the schools that weren’t reopened, and finally the weak fist of President Obama in his handling of British Petroleum (BP) while the oil was still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, were all viewed up close without make-up.
Former super model turned television star Cybil Sheperd insisted that she only be filmed with a soft lens during the filming of the hit television series “Moonlighting.” The soft lens simultaneously covered her flaws and provided an ‘angelic’ type glow to her character. No other news organization has covered post Katrina and the affects of the oil spill on New Orleans like director Spike Lee, and his use of raw footage and interviews of citizens was a bold move. The other networks still use a soft lens and made over reporting. Post Katrina devastation far exceeds 911 in terms of damage, corruption, cover up and displacement of United States citizens.
All eyes were on HBO Monday and Tuesday nights. Some tuned into the documentary with expectations of the truth, while others watched to pick it apart and complain that it was overdone and unimportant old news. Once again more proof that the major networks rarely tell “the whole truth.” Perhaps the Spike Lee’s and the Michael Moore’s of the world should give the news hubs a run for the money by creating their own news organizations.