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SOUND OFF: CBS 2 Viewers React To Ray Nagin

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New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin talks to a 60 Minutes reporter about the cleanup effort after Hurricane Katrina. (credit: CBS 2)

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin talks to a 60 Minutes reporter about the cleanup effort after Hurricane Katrina. (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — When questioned by 60 Minutes on the pace of post-Katrina New Orleans reconstruction, Mayor Ray Nagin criticized the pace of Ground Zero reconstruction.

“You guys in New York can’t get a hole in the ground fixed, and it’s five years later. So let’s be fair,” the mayor said.

Now people across the country are sounding off. Was his comment appropriate? Is Mayor Nagin right? Here is what people have to say:

First: Ray Nagin needs to be reminded that Ground Zero is NOT a big hole in the ground, it is hallowed ground. Second, he needs to remember who it was that couldn’t move a parking lot full of school buses to get people out of New Orleans before Katrina hit, and whose police force was a “no-show” during and after Katrina. Third: God help the people of New Orleans if another disaster comes their way – they went and elected that clown for another term! We here in the Big Apple were lucky enough to have Rudy Giuliani as our mayor on 9/11 – maybe someone should send Ray Nagin some of the news footage shot that day so he could see how a real Mayor behaves during a crisis.
- Ann

From a New Orleanian to you New Yorkers – Nagin does not speak for us. I saw your police, firemen, EMT’s come down here by the hundreds to help us out after Katrina. They left their families, jobs, home life to help people they’d never met. I’ll never forget what you did for us. Nagin’s insensitivity speaks to his arrogance, nothing more. Accept my apology for his comments.
- Anonymous

That statement on his part shows his total incompetence as a local official. The City of New Orleans was a total mess prior to the Hurricane. He was not a leader during this crisis but a follower. And what is even a bigger shame is that the City re-elects this guy for another term. A more appropriate name would be Mayor Joker.
- Eric

He is not focused and I would like him removed from any kind of leadership role, he does not have the correct style, personality, demeanor, whatever you want to call it to lead, and if I ever wanted to put together a team of people to correct a problem he wouldn’t make it on board, in fact, if he were on the other end I would trample him like a bug, it’s that simple, period.
- Keith

Mayor Nagin’s comment was an obvious attempt to draw attention away from his incompetence. In the past five years a great amount of work has been completed in lower Manhattan. The infrastructure that was destroyed has been cleared, repaired, and readied. WTC building #7 and the surrounding buildings have already been repaired and rebuilt. All that remains is the Freedom Tower and Memorial. If you consider the magnitude of Sept 11th, I don’t think that waiting five years to begin construction on the most prevalent building is such a long time. Keep in mind that the original WTC site took nine years to complete. It seems to me that there is a comparable amount of work to be done now as there was back then; since the Freedom Tower and Memorial are due for completion in 2009 that would put the project on the same schedule as the original WTC.
- Patrick

Mayor Nagin’s actions before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina showed his dereliction and incompetence. His comments about New York’s Ground Zero show his ignorance and stupidity. The lower downtown area is cleared and cleaned up. People and businesses surrounding Ground Zero are thriving. Ground Zero (the building sites) are cordoned off, and even if it remains as is, it is a moving reminder of what happened. The same thing
cannot be said of New Orleans. But we should all keep in mind that 9/11 happened five years ago and Katrina happened only one year ago. It is like comparing apples to oranges.
- Marlene

The mayor is right. In New York the fight is over B.S. and money, and in New Orleans it is the goverment
and race is the blame.
- Terrence

Ray is right! Too many people are focusing on how much money they can make off the property (WTC) that’s why it is still a work in progress. However Port Authority sure got the trains up and running quickly. It’s all about money. Hey do I get paid for this comment?
- Sharon

What I am suspect of is the move to play this up as a big, contentious story! Two cities that have been through hell; if anything, there should be compassion and understanding. Look what is behind the Mayor in the video. Utter destruction goes on for miles and miles. Dead people are still being located. Crime is returning; the problems are massive. The purpose of developing this New Orleans/New York dispute is to promote “divide and conquer”. Class war, regional war, race dispute, call it what you will, I call it promoting unnecessary division by media and government. We don’t get to hear what lead up to the Mayor’s comments in the video (it’s not there, and yet you are supposed to think you’re informed!). Maybe he was being criticized about nothing fixing a whole city, let alone a “hole”. Sheesh.
- Rosemary

I have no problem with what Mayor Ray Nagin said, or how he said it. I am on his side. The full clip shows the reporter asking him the question about his city in a sarcastic and antagonistic manner. I personally feel that when you ask a “flip” question, you DESERVE a “flip” answer. New Yorkers do not have the right to become all sensitive now when they are well known for being rude, crass and saying whatever is on their minds. No one ever seemed to have a problem with anything that Mayor Koch said when he was mayor of New York, and he had (and still does) a very vinegar-tinged tougue! Lastly, and most importantly, Mayor Nagin told the TRUTH. There is no good reason why groundbreaking is just starting to re-construct ground zero after five years. After the design options, victim’s family input, lawsuits between the city and developers to build the chosen design, it is just a ridiculous waste of time! New Orleans has lost more, and he is right, reporters, government, and civilians need to put things in the proper perspective and be fair to him and his city.
- Dawn

Hi webteam, :) I agree with many other comments on this issue. I think Mayor Nagin was totally out of line for saying such a ridiculous thing. It’s true that he was asked a question by Byron Pitts about the state of his city, and pointed his finger at us. Answer the question asked of you, Mr. Nagin. I agree what Greg wrote about “a closed mouth…” Nagin opened his mouth and inserted both feet on this one. What he said about Ground Zero unacceptable, and I think he does owe New York a huge apology. An act of nature and an act of terrorism cannot be compared. And, by the way, I would just like Eddie from New Orleans to know — just because Nagin says something stupid and insensitive, certainly we won’t judge him (Eddie) or others from New Orleans by that. Nagin speaks for himself on this one, not for the good people of New Orleans.
- Eileen

Nagin, what an idiot. If he had evacuated the city when he had the chance most of those poor people who died in New Orleans would not have. Furthermore, take a look at Ground Zero moron, there’s plenty of construction going on around there. How long do you think it takes to build a 100 story building–a year–not even close? Nagin is simply trying to deflect questions about his “leadership” by comparing NYC to New Orleans. Sure, more could have been done at Ground Zero, but to hear Nagin voice his opinion about NYC when New Orleans still looks like a nuclear bomb went off there is actually funny. He is such an inept person I can’t believe that the people of that city have not beat him into a coma.
- Karen

Mayor Nagin was asked a question concerning the removal of cars that had been destroyed by Katrina and being a typical politician he didn’t answer the question. Now why would that surprise anyone? What did surprise me was his offensive response. How dare he compare the WTC rebuilding to a hole in the ground. Try saying that to my friend who lost her husband and his two best friends on 911 or my student who lost his father. Remember, look back to that day and the absolute mess of destruction and debris. People risked life and limb to clean it up in record time. Aside for that so called “hole in the ground”, the rest of lower Manhattan has been up and running since 2001. We cleaned up so that we could move forward. New Orleans unfortunately is still a mess certainly not through the fault of its citizens. Mayor Nagin, the scars of catastrophe run deep here. No one know what it was like for us because you are not us. We live with the memories of 911 everyday. Walk a mile in our shoes before you refer to a sacred resting place as just a hole in the ground!
- Carol

Is this the state that the congressman was caught with cold cash in his refrigerator? Is this the state that had plenty of warnings that trouble was coming there way ? Is this the state that wants to blame the feds for its troubles ? Wait. Is this the community that was devastated by a force of nature and not a terrorist act? And is this the community that broke out into criminal activity in the aftermath ? Is this the community of people that could have stayed and worked through the problems like the New Yorkers did, with literally thousands at the site themselves volunteering and from all over the country until it was done? They did stay and get it done. Hey Nagin – no more press shots, shut up and get your people together and get it done! Respectfully yours.
- Robert

Good Afternoon, Mayor Nagin is correct to say what he said. New Yorkers love to hear themselves talk when other cities are doing. Look at our ballparks. Shea was built in 1964 and is a dump, Yankee Stadium should have been completely torn down and replaced years ago. Chicago completely demolished Comiskey Park, why didn’t New York follow their lead? Look at Wi-Fi Internet access and Hotspots. Being from California and working here for the last Decade I must say that New York is not the Business, Cultural or Technology leader that it claims to be. Thank you.
- Michael

Mayor Nagin’s comments aside for the moment, I think it is highly irresponsible of Channel 2 and CBS News to attempt to pit one city’s tragedy against another in an obvious ploy to gain ratings for the upcoming 60 Minutes broadcast. It’s not only pointless to compare the suffering of one city to another’s; it’s counterproductive and divisive. One may as well try to compare the Sudanese and Rwandan genocides to the Jewish Holocaust. Who is the arbiter of who has endured the most pain? By what criteria does one judge? How does one quantify agony? You do yourselves and your viewers a huge disservice by trying to reduce the recent tragic events that have plagued our nation to a pissing contest to see who has born up better under the strain. Your real questions should continue to be directed at the man who sits in the White House. Where was he when the towers fell and the levees broke? What did he do to make things better? What has he done to prevent it from happening again? You might also ask yourselves one or two hard questions as well, like “What would Edward R. Murrow ask?” or “How would Woodward and Bernstein pursue the story?”
- Joy

RAY IS RIGHT !!!!
-Beryl S.

I just moved recently to New Jersey, and have been to Ground Zero. But where I’m from in the mountains of Kentucky, we have a saying, “A closed mouth gathers no foot.” It may be in Mayor Nagin’s best interest to remember that saying. The man has already made enough enemies, the last thing, he needs is 7-million angry New Yorkers on that list!
-Greg

He does have a point, it has been almost 5 years to the day and still no memorial, no buildings being built in Ground Zero. They need to make up their minds and get something up and standing already. They have heard from We The People of what we would like to see done at Ground Zero, the powers that be have heard from the families who have lost loved ones that day, it is time for the state, city, Port Authority to hit the round table and make a decision as to what needs to get done there. Lets face the facts not everyone is going to be happy with what is going to be built at Ground Zero, BUT making everyone happy isn’t going to happen. So personally, I really think it is time to get something done, and stop trying to make everyone happy in this case. Because we all know it is not going to happen. As for Mr. Nagin and his comments. Yeah he does have a point, but a man in his position should have not made a comment in that way. What happened in NYC and what happened there are two different tragic events. The poor people who died on 9/11 never knew they were going to go to work that day and die, at least the people of New Orleans had a chance to get out, they made a decision whether to stay or go.(And yeah for the slight few I’m sure there were ones who had no choice). It is very sad in either case for people to have to die that way. It is also very wrong of him to comment on Ground Zero the way he did. There are ways to go about things Mr. Nagin, and that personally was not the way.
-Jenni R.

For the Incredibly Insensitive, and Ignorant Mayor Nagin: For someone who considers himself so educated and eloquent, he really should test his IQ, which is less then Zero, in political correctness. Both events were tragic; but, 911 was not announced for a week before it occurred. It’s his fault that more action was not taken before and definitely after Katrina. Political chain of Command you ask for help not sit around and cry that the nation didn’t help you. Most elementary kids know that you have to ask for help. Plus all of the nation, it seems helped and is still helping. Blame the planning committees, blame yourself and your own Governor. If you live in an area that looks like a bowl sunk into the terrain, then you should be blamed for not trying to fix the levees and try to correct the city structure when the weather, money and people were available; No instead you are told that a huge storm is coming and you still stay, Mayor Nagin its too bad you didn’t try to stick your finger in the dyke to keep out the water, maybe it would have washed you away with the debris. Mayor Nagin, you owe the Nation a public apology for your words especially so near the five year date.
-Teresa in Texas

I think that Mayor Nagin was being brutally honest, but still honest. 9/11 was a horrible day but the people that are responsible for fixing up the world trade center had 5 whole years to complete it. So again why are people so quick to judge what’s going on down there in New Orleans? They had no right to attack Mayor Nagin when the city of New York couldn’t get one thing fixed in 5 years, while the whole city of New Orleans has to be rebuilt. So think about that. Why did the government wait 5 days to send help, yet when tsunami hit Indonesia our country pulled together ASAP to send help and it didn’t take 5 days either. So people need to check themselves before they start to point fingers and except the truth about their own city (hallowed grounds) New Yorkers need to toughen peel of that sensitive skin and face the facts that their politicians were dancing around getting the world trade center fixed seeking personal recognition for future political endeavors. Thank You.
-Aja and JP

I believe Mayor Nagin’s words were taken out of context. In his roughly simplified comment, he was contrasting. In that, if the WTC (in the wealthy and illustrious NYC) couldn’t be repaired in 5 years, ‘lets be fair’ in estimating Katrina reconstruction. Like the correspondent on your news show said tonight, “if you go to New Orleans now, it looks like it did 3 weeks after Katrina”. Please stop calling this man a moron and or idiot; you’re proving that the truth hurts BADLY.
-Sativa B.

Sometimes the truth hurts. He has stuck by his city. In this day of political correctness, and it’s nice to know some people still speak their mind. Why is everyone reacting so harshly… it’s the truth. Take the criticism and do something about it!
-Dawn W.

Dear CBS, What Mayor Ray Nagin said about calling Ground Zero a “whole in the ground” is not offensive at all. As a native born New Yorker who experienced the Sept 11th Terrorist Attacks full center and lost two friends, the city needs to be told to finally do something about it and that’s what Mr. Nagin did. I really don’t know why New Yorkers are getting offended? Everyone seems to still be wrapped up in the emotions that they lost love ones but the reality is that the city hasn’t done nothing in the past 5 years to keep the memory alive.
-Anonymous

All I see when I go down there is a big empty space. There are so much politics involved no one knows when a park or memorial will finally get erected. New York City needs to stop laying in the ashes and get up and finally fight for what we deserve. You know what’s really a shame? It took someone who’s not from New York City to finally speak up.
-Luis D.

I was offended as well. I think if he had used any other choice of words like “Ground Zero” or “Site of the Twin Towers” instead of “hole in the ground”, there would not have been much, if any, furor. Turning it around, suppose the Mayor of New York called the famed Ninth Ward a “slum” or a “ghetto” referring to his city, the uproar would have been the same. It was a poor choice of words for such a sacred site.
-John P.

Mayor Nagin’s comment not only reflects insensitivity and ignorance of what we in New York City experienced on 9/11 but a disconnect of what is going on around him. It was just such a lack of intuitive thinking and failure to communicate that he demonstrated by his inability to work effectively with Governor Blanco during the Katrina crisis when his very own city was in such peril. First of all, it appears that Nagin’s response was clearly an attempt to deflect from the impact of Mr. Pitts’ question. Although the interview has yet to air, I would hope Mr. Pitts did not let the thoughtless rhetorical question stand as it should have been challenged. NYC has rebuilt and rebounded remarkably well post-9/11 … It is unfortunate that those who did not suffer through those days with us cannot understand the emotions and politics behind fully renovating the WTC site itself. If one is so ignorant as to make such a thoughtless statement, then he/she should bear the fallout from speaking without thinking.
-Melissa P.

This guy has some nerve comparing a Terrorist act at the Twin Towers that murdered thousands of innocent people to the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina! There were plenty of warnings of Katrina, not so with the Towers. He should be ashamed of himself. I hope the people of the North East remember that comment when help is needed again in Louisiana.
-Donna J.

I took no offense with Ray Nagin’s comment. Let’s be real, is it not a hole in the ground? I have not yet recovered from the devastation that took place on 9/11…and I don’t believe any of us will, including Ray Nagin. I don’t believe he meant it the way it seems many are taking it. I really wish that more of us were as upfront and plain as he is. Let’s move on.
-Mara

The WTC re-planning has taken 5 years due to all the politics and usual riff-raff involved in any such controversial development. But this Nagin guy has had plenty of time and the funds from all over to at least CLEAN UP New Orleans. Does he not remember the hundreds, if not thousands of New Yokers who came together after the towers fell, to not only help in the rescue and recovery, but also spending day after day searching and cleaning up the wreckage since day one. He doesn’t have half the heart or courage to do what so many brave people did in Manhattan following 9/11, and for that reason has no business running such a great city that New Orleans is.
-Patrick

I think the remarks made by Ray Nagin are outrageous. To refer to the area around ground zero as a “hole in the ground” is completely offensive.
-Anonymous

He was perfectly right in saying what he did. Just remember, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. He was just holding up a mirror manifesting how we haven’t built anything in five years at Ground Zero. I think it’s much ado about nothing.
-Sheila D.

Once again Nagin has a good point to make but articulates it poorly. Although, his crass manner of speech certainly attracts more attention than he would have otherwise received and whether that is intentional or not, I can’t tell.
-Devon T.

RIGHT ON, Mayor Nagin !! You said a mouthful and it is so true! One difference, however, in all fairness, NYC did have excellent leadership during the initial crisis…Our Mayor was immediately on the sight, making directives to the safety of the people and he stayed with us in the city.
-Sharon

We feel that the mayor did not speak out of line, but instead spoke the truth. We agree with him. The Louisiana tragedy was so destructive and devastating to thousands more people. One mayor alone could not be held responsible to organize an evacuation single-handedly. Shamefully our government has not adequately addressed the homeless and stranded families nor has it stepped up to the plate to restore Louisiana.
- Dolores and Tom

I now live in New York City from Hurricane Katrina. I usually do not agree with Mayor Nagin, but in this case I have to agree with him. Yes 9/11 was devastating, my heart and prayers go out to the families, but my hometown has been torn apart and it will take years for it to recover. So it is not fair to send harsh criticisms towards Mayor Nagin after only one year.
- Rayshuan

What about Ray Nagin, the New Orleans mayor, and his comments about New York’s Ground Zero and saying that after 5 years it’s still a hole in the ground and a mess and to be fair, regarding the mess that’s still in New Orleans? Now listen up, people. Nagin is wrong in what he said. And many people, even in New York do not understand why it was wrong. Some people think it was wrong because it was cold and insulting. Not so. I don’t care if something is “cold, cheap, and insulting” if it happens to be the truth. The problem with what Mayor Nagin said is not that it was rude or cold or insulting, but because it was mostly inaccurate. People don’t remember things well. Nagin is confusing erecting a new building with there being a mess or “hole.” There’s no big smelly mess or big “hole” per se in Ground Zero. That was cleared away ahead of schedule. Get your facts straight, why don’t you. Again, Mayor Nagin is confusing not erecting a new building with there being a mess or “hole.” Comparing it to the horrible deplorable rubble and mess that after a year is still in New Orleans. People, even in the New York news media itself, do not seem to understand that there really isn’t a messy “hole in the ground” per se, in New York’s Ground Zero. The whole rubble and mess that was there was cleaned up even ahead of schedule, Ahead of the projected dates, back 5 years ago. If you go to Ground Zero now, Nagin, you’ll see that it’s not a “hole” or “mess.” It’s just a clean level sidewalk looking area. Even if some parts are “hole”-ish still, it’s not a big rubble and smelly mess, like many locations of New Orleans after over a year now. What say you to that, Nagin? The problem with you, Nagin, is that if you open your big mouth too much, you will tend to put your foot in it. Again, if what you said was totally 100% true and accurate, I would be actually on your side on this issue. The reason I’m not, is because, even if many New Yorkers don’t fully even realize it, what you said, Nagin, is not totally accurate or technically true. There’s no big mess on the ground zero area after 5 years. Get your facts straight, why don’t you. Again, people who know me know that I would not disagree with remarks if those remarks were genuinely proven true and totally completely accurate. In this case, Nagin is just being an ignorant can’t-get-all-his-facts-straight idiot. Because the clean up and crew actually finished ahead of schedule. How about that, Mr. Mayor? Forgot that little point, did we? The bureaucratic nonsense regarding constructing and erecting a new building is really a different matter. That’s what you’re inaccurately equating. You’re committing the logical fallacy called “false equivocation,” because again, there’s no big smelly messy rubble anymore at Ground Zero. The same cannot be said for the messy areas and destroyed buildings that still exist in New Orleans, which makes it seems that Katrina hit just yesterday. That ain’t the case with New York’s Ground Zero. Did Nagin see or does he remember how it looked on 9/11 or 9/12 or 9/14/2001?It looks nothing that way now; it’s all cleaned up now, you silly nut, even well before a year after 9/11/2001. But the point, again, is that many parts of New Orleans, even after a year, still look the same after Katrina struck in August 2005. So to compare the two, as I said, and will say again, is just not accurate. So to the other posters on the website, ah, no, it’s not the “truth” what Major Nagin said. You need to get your total facts straight too.
- Gabriel

I think that he needs to watch what he says about a state that sent volunteers & emergency personel down to New Orleans to help with Hurricane Katrina’s relief efforts. I think that just because things are not going his way, he is taking it out on other people.
- Jeff

I’m a “hard core” New Yorker that finds nothing wrong with what Mayor Ray Nagin said. He’s right! I’d be happy if they’d put the towers back up just as they were before 9/11 and stop all the fighting and arguing about what to put there. Enough already.
- Marcel

I actually agree with Mayor Nagin. New Yorkers just hate to hear the truth. As far as him handling the New Orleans reconstruction, I think he has done a great job looking at the support he has had from the goverment. I don’t know whats all the fuss about after all he has a very NYC kind of an atitude. I think he is a sharp man and admire the way he handles himself.
- Nydia

Well, the truth hurts. Mayor Nagin is 100% correct. I personally felt the families of the victimes are the cause for no action being taken. Every time I see the news and there seems like there’s going to be progress in completing the memorial someone from the survivors’ groups objects for some personal reason. Most peoplr in the country and the world as a whole have lost loved ones and we all come to realize that life has to go on. The way the survivors are carrying on it seems as though they’d like us all to stop our lives and make daily pilgrimages to the site. The authorities need to come to a consensus with a majority of the survivors’ group and make a decision soon. I am personally fed up with the survivors and the wants and needs. Everyone can’t be satisfied in the process. The sooner they realize this the faster we can move forward and have a memorial built.
- Anonymous

He’s complaing about Ground Zero meanwhile, his city still is in shables.
- Fred

Mayor Ray Nagin needs to focus on the problems in his own city and not point fingers at others. He’s trying to shift the blame onto others instead of himself. I’m not from New York but that city has endured alot and to see how far they have come makes me so proud. New York is thriving now! It really says something about the American grit and spirit. New Orleans, on the other hand, is worse off then before. Crime is way up and people are still in FEMA trailers. Is this the fault of President Bush? NO! My brother was just down there and he said he saw a McDonalds sign offering startring wages of $10.25/hr plus a sign-on bonus! People are just waiting for a hand-out from the government instead of getting up and helping to rebuild thier city. Some people are getting money from the government and a few of them are misusing the funds. Anyway the majority of the problems in New Orleans can and need to be fixed by Ray Nagin. But instead of doing that, he is going to Washington to complain that Congress isn’t doing enough to help. Congress and President Bush have sent multiple billion-dollar aid packages to the region. So Mr. Nagin has all he needs but will he use the money wisely? So far, he hasn’t. If Mr. Nagin wants to talk about a “hole” he should look at his own city. After all, it’s been a year. SO LETS BE FAIR!!! Mr. Nagin fix your own hole before worrying about other holes.
- Kurt

The mayor was called on the carpet by the media for the slow cleanup of New Orleans. He defends his inactions by trying to deflect these criticisms, using New York City as a escape goat for his poor performance. I am a civil servant and resident of New York City who was present soon after the collapse of the towers, and spent many hours at Ground Zero. Mayor Nagin may have a point about the unnecessarily long delay for the rebuilding of the WTC. Most New Yorkers feel the same way. But to depersonalize the most horrific event in New York City, by referring to Ground Zero as a hole in the ground, shows what kind of person he is. Maybe this is why the cleanup in New Orleans is running at an unacceptable pace. There are rumors that the mayor and the Louisiana governor cannot get along. Mayor Nagin is supposed to be a representative of the city of New Orleans, He should show that he can be a leader that can rebuild the city, instead of an immature, inconsiderate and selfish person who needs to grow up. Step up, rebuild the broken city, and leave New York out of your dilemma.
-Brian

As I understood things, watching the clips of the interview, Byron Pitts was commenting on the lack of clean up of the damaged area…i.e. The wrecked cars. I don’t believe he was referring to the rebuilding process! Mayor Nagin’s response went off-track. Clean up of Ground Zero was done in record time. Making remarks about the rebuilding process was a defensive move on his part…to divert attention away from his own lack of progress and commitment to the needs of the people of New Orleans! It was ill timed, insensitive, and unnecessary to do so….his failures lie there for everyone to see!
-Anonymous

Ray Nagin is to blame for 90% of what happened to New Orleans during Katrina and he is totally unable to handle the aftermath; the fact that the people re-elected him is a testament to their stupidity as well. To make any derogatory comment about New York City and Ground Zero is his way of trying to direct everyone’s attention away from him and his inability to resurrect a “chocolate” New Orleans! Shame on him.
-Susan

You Guys showed his response to the question but not the question again, I don’t get that, and he’s right its been like five years now, and stupid politicians can’t seem to come to an agreement on what to do, so what is there to get mad about if he’s only speaking the truth. You People need to grow up and learn when to leave certain things alone, now they want to criticize him when the government never gave New Orleans money to fix there problem then and now. Wake Up America!!!!! New York got so much more help financially “New York City can’t get a hole in the ground fixed.” The Question, why are flood damaged cars still on the streets, was a stupid question. The major problem in New Orleans before the Hurricanes was lack of money. If no one can come back to the area and the government is suppose to be cleaning up and fixing things, why ask him. When you ask a stupid question you get an honest answer. The same reason that the cars are there, is the same reason it took so long to save the people that lived there, now make sense out of nonsense.
-Russell B.

No one in New York City is homeless due to the delay on rebuilding on the Trade Center site. The fact that we’ve had an empty lot for five years hasn’t impacted my ability to work, shop or attend school. How many people in New Orleans are as bad off now as they were when Katrina first laid waste to their city? A destroyed home is behind Ray Nagin in his video. He owes us a big apology. How does he sleep at night?
-Lainey

I am from N.O. Nagin is a wimp. The only reason he got reelected is because he paid for it by buying back his supporters by promising them the world and New Orleans back. Do not judge N.O. by him because he does not speak for the people who were there.
-Eddie V.

I do think that the mayor is right for saying what he said about the hole in the ground. New Yorkers are always thinking of fixing other peoples problems and not there own. I don’t think there is anything wrong with what he said, but off course he is black and American’s will take offense on what was said.
-Dale B.

It was my understanding that Mr. Nagin spoke in response to a negative comment made about the rate of progress in restoring New Orleans. It seems that New York is being a little touchy since it has taken 5 years to resolve the 9/11 site and settling issues as to how it should take place. It has only been a year since the devastation in New Orleans, which was far more severe than in New York. The reasons for the delay in New Orleans cannot all be attributed to Mr. Nagin. Is the reaction to his comments due to his being an African-American? Wouldn’t that be Un-American.
-M. TERRT

Even though some people may not agree with what Ray Nagin said, he is correct when you look at the facts. New Yorkers have a right to be upset with his comment. However, what it all boils down to is that both cities share similar things in common: both went through a catastrophic event where many people lost their lives, and as a result, we now have to rebuild.
-Crystal

I give Ray Nagin a lot of credit for being an honest man and not afraid to tell it like it is and gives it right back to those who criticize him. At least he is not giving a bunch of lies and lip service like a certain Jewish Mayor in NYC
-Barbara

I don’t think there was anything wrong with his comment. He only spoke the truth. The hole at Ground Zero remains. Maybe the city should use some of the millions of dollars in illegal tickets to get the ball on the road.
- Anonymous

Maybe if we didn’t spend so much time, effort and money on saving New Orleans we could have concentrated on getting our work done. I hope we remember this, should they ever need our help, again.
-Jeff B.

I must admit as a New Yorker we have gotten super-thin skinned about this comment, and there is a lot of truth to the fact that we have had a lot of infighting when you consider why the World Trade Centers have been delayed for so long. So what he made a comment, we should be ashamed at how long it has taken to get our project started.
Angela

Unfortunately there is some validity to the Mayor’s comments. New Yorkers need to stop being overly sensitive and defensive on this subject and ask themselves if the entire post-9/11 effort is being managed as well as it could be…some introspection is in order!
- Anonymous

I agree with his comment, but not the way he chose to express it. It showed a lack of compassion to refer to Ground Zero as “a hole in the ground.”
- Michael

Dear CBS, I am offended by the Mayor Nagin’s comment; I was one of the officers who went down there to assist them. We felt a need to payback for the help we received from the State of Louisiana for 9/11, It is very insulting to criticize such Hollowed Ground! I lost friends and coworkers there and I revere my time there as honored. Mayor Nagin Needs to apologize to the People of New York and The People of America who went to serve our Country at that critical time in our history.
- Jim

The truth sometimes hurts, but it’s still the truth.
- Anonymous

Based only on what we know of Mayor Nagins’ comments, I don’t think he is completely wrong. There is too much politics involved with the rebuilding of the WTC site – this project should have been completed a long time ago. There are also too many groups involved and they tend to get bogged down in minutiae. Names should be alphabetical, for example, and that is it. Enough delay! Let’s build something soon! Thank you.
- Josephine

First of all, Nagin abandoned thousands of his city’s residents and hid himself away while his city was flooding. He had advance notice of the coming storm and yet he didn’t use hundreds of available buses to evacuate. Instead these busses were left to be flooded. Guiliani was at WTC while all hell was going on. I dont think anyone expected N.O. would be rebuilt in a year but it should have been cleaned up by now. Bush has said that the country has spent $110 billion dollars for New Orleans. Where did the money go? Also, while Nagin hid himself away and his police department went AWOL, lets remember that our FDNY, NYPD and the PAPD ran into the towers to save our citizens. They didn’t run the other way and abandon them. We have all heard his stupid comments in the past and this one proves the point that the man is an idiot.
- Jim

Well if the NYC government and NYC politicians didn’t let the families of the victims run everything about Ground Zero a building would have been built already. When a WWI, WWII or any memorial is built were the families of the soldiers killed asked what should be done. No.
- William

Who cares how he said it – it’s true. Ground Zero, unfortunately, IS still a hole in the ground and it’s because of politics, not money. Whether you like Ray Nagin’s comments or not, it’s time to get real about what’s going on down there after five years – nothing!
- Linda

He’s absolutely right! Mayor Nagin had several square MILES of hiscity devastated by Hurricane Katrina, includinglarge portions of his infrastructure and servicestructures remaining under water for months.We here in NYC suffered total devastation of4 square BLOCKS, with the rest of our cityessentially untouched. To pick on Mayor Naginfor not having rebuilt after only 1 year while5 years later we here in NYC still have a 16acre, 70 foot deep hole is totally unfair.That was his point: Be fair in comparison and criticism.
- Wendel

Ray Nagin is right Ground Zero is just a hole in the ground. People make such a big deal of it. More people die each month in Iran and Iraq and you don’t see them stop living. Most people that make Ground Zero a big deal have no clue. While many people had profited off this. Including the goverment that new thing on Tv. Recovered Ground Zero silver? That coin is B.S. Thank you for your time.
- Keith

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