Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A note to Good Morning America on accuracy in reporting

Yesterday Press Street hosted a party at Preservation Hall to celebrate Tom Piazza's book Why New Orleans Matters. The hall is closed indefinately, not from physical damage, but because there are not enough tourists and, more tragically, the lives of most New Orleans musicians have been destroyed. Many lost their homes, their instruments, and still haven't returned to the city. ReganBooks/HarperCollins made a contribution to the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund in conjunction with the event, and contributions were taken from those attending.

Good Morning America decided to do a story on the event, yet this is what they reported:

"Among Hurricane Katrina's victims was a sacred jazz institution: Preservation Hall.

Preservation Hall was built in 1750 as a private residence. Since then, it has been an inn, a tavern, a photo studio and an art gallery. In 1961, it opened its doors as a jazz hall. Founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe wanted it to be a haven for the music.

It will open this evening, after months of cleaning and rehab work. It's a sign that perhaps the music of the city is coming back to life."

So, let's count the errors: Reopening? No. Damaged by the storm? No. Music coming back? Not really.

They might have taken this opportunity to mention the Musicians Relief Fund (, or to talk about how even as the city slowly recovers, its musicians remain scattered across the country. But they didn't.

Preservation Hall received a calls from around the world from people who were thrilled to know that life in New Orleans has returned to normal. Even the White House called, thrilled, no doubt, at this evidence that New Orleans is doing fine on its own.

The contact info is at this page:

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