STATE HAILS SUCCESS IN MAKING SUPERDOME REPULSIVE
Louisiana state Homeland Security officials celebrated a rare success this morning, as they certified the Louisiana Superdome as "officially repulsive to the entire human race."
"From day one of the crisis, our number one objective was to avoid turning the Superdome into a confusing hope magnet," said LOHSEP spokesman Burt Evans. "We narrowly dodged a bullet when the Red Cross tried to sneak in there with food and water and hygiene items. You can imagine what kind of attractive nuisance that would have created."
Evans said that the department would "work to build off this important success," and "remain vigilant in case the Superdome becomes another Studio 54."
"We're planning to install a rope line and hire bouncers," he said. "Or possibly put up a few head-pikes."
KATIE DECLARES MARTIAL LAW
Citing shortages of hairstylists and B-roll camera crews in flood-ravaged New Orleans, NBC Today Show co host Katie Couric declared a state of media martial law this morning. The edict extends over Orleans and parts of Tammany Parish, and names Couric as Supreme Anchor.
"I instituted these measures as a last resort to reduce staff unsubordination and protect the safety of my feature segments," said Couric. "Hopefully, these measures will remain temporary, and I will review them after order is restored."
While not yet granted admission to the United Nations, the new Couric government was given diplomatic recognition by Venzuela, Cuba and Lichtenstein. As of late afternoon, Couric's office had not indicated whether they would accept Sweden's offer of asylum for Matt Lauer and Al Roker, who are scheduled for execution at noon Saturday.
KENNEDY: WHERE WERE OLDSMOBILES?
Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) today said President Bush was "reaping the whirlwind" for his 2003 refusal to save General Motors' defunct Oldsmobile Division.
"Shame on you, Mr. Bush," said Kennedy. "Not only did your callous neglect of Oldsmobile cost America thousands of high-paying jobs, it is now costing thousands of lives -- by depriving flood victims of the best amphibious car ever made."
OPRAH: VICTIMS DESERVE APOLOGY, OPRAH EDITION IPOD
Visiting a Metrairie, LA refugee shelter, Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday said that Hurricane Katrina victims deserve an apology from the government, and "a special Oprah Edition iPod - preloaded with my most memorable interviews, along with hit songs from Luther Vandross, Diane Krall and U2!"
The surprise announcement prompted cheers from shelter residents, who also received free one year Oprah Book Club memberships and DKNY designer face masks from Marshall Fields.
Many analysts believe that the refugee gift gesture will help Winfrey consolidate political and military rule in Jefferson Parish, over which she declared Supreme Divaship late Monday.
GERALDO LAUDS 43-TAKE DISABLED WOMAN AS 'HERO'
Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera today lavished praise on Alma Boucher, the 76 year old disabled New Orleans woman featured in Rivera's latest story segment, as "one of the true unknown heros of this tragedy."
"We needed a money shot that really drove home the pathos of the Katrina disaster, and Mrs. Boucher was a real trooper through all 43 takes," said Rivera. "I don't think America will ever forget those images of me rescuing her, and her plucky little dog Sparky, after she carries him up that long flight of hospital steps."
Rivera admitted that Boucher's delirium from six days without food or water may have made her more susceptible to stage direction, but defended her on-screen abilities.
"Method acting or not, this is one gutsy lady," said Rivera.
BLANCO: FEDERAL PROSECUTORS TO BLAME FOR LACK OF STATE OFFICIALS
Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco today said that state response to the Katrina disaster was hamstrung by "a federal penal system that incarcerates many of Louisiana's best public servants."
"There are literally dozens of top state officials who wanted to roll up their sleeves and pitch in with help, but the US Justice Department would not grant them parole or even weekend furloughs," complained Blanco.
"We need these veteran public servants back in action now," said Blanco. "With federal aid money arriving soon, somebody's going to have to know where to best direct it."
DISASTER VICTIMS LAUD FEMA HARRASSMENT TRAINING PROGRAM
Hurricane survivors in New Orleans praised the Federal Emergency Management Administration for insuring that federal fire rescue workers are given mandatory sexual harrassment training before deployment to the region.
"When I heard that the replacement firemen were held up in Atlanta for gender sensitivity seminars, I thought, 'thank God,'" said survivor Linda Bagwell. "If someone is going to pull me or my corpse from a burning building, I want to know that he won't be using any inappropriate remarks or touching."
OFFICIALS WARN OF IMPENDING CELEBRITY OUTBREAK
Still reeling from floods and hurricane damage, remaining New Orleans residents face potential devastation from a wave of marauding celebrities, say on-site emergency response officials.
"Early on we spotted a few relatively benign native species, like Harry Connick Jr. and Ellen DeGeneris," said Jim Uhl, a field coordinator for FEMA. "These were quickly followed by an infestation of B-list singers and actors. We are now hearing reports of C-listers and reality TV programs headed from the West."
"Anytime you have this many cameras in one environment, it creates a breeding ground," explained LSU Extension Service biologist Ray Robertson. "Recording devices are a particular draw for parasitic celebrity species like Al Sharpton and Cindy Sheehan, who end up intermingling with other varieties of celebrities -- say, like Richard Simmons or Brigitte Nielsen -- potentially creating a breed of disasterous mutant supercelebrities impervious to DDT or public revulsion."
However, Robertson says the real danger lies with a possible influx of sarcastic Z-list nanocelebrity comedians from VH-1 and E! celebrity-watching programs.
"This is the doomsday scenario," he warned. "If mankind had any means to eliminate them, we wouldn't have to face horrors like 'The Best Week Ever.' "
DIVA POWER STRUGGLE AS OPRAH, KATIE BATTLE IN BAYOU
Eyewitnesses say that forces loyal to Orleans Parish Supreme Anchor Katie Couric were able to repel a daring twilight amphibious assault by Jefferson Parish Diva Oprah Winfrey's elite Oxygen Rangerettes Thursday, but these accounts could not be independently verified.
If accurate, Tulane University History professor Alan Marks said the reports may signal "the beginning battle of the final war for global feminine ego supremacy."
"Or not," he added, noting tomorrow's scheduled arrival of Senator Hillary Clinton.