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Bouquets & Brickbats


Mat Murphy,

executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, organized "Chefs for Fishermen and Families," an event where 20 New Orleans chefs caravaned to Grand Isle to feed the community. The June 19 event was co-sponsored by the Louisiana Restaurant Association and Signature Events, which also organized live music, a sno-ball stand and soccer lessons from the New Orleans Jesters — and sent families home with coolers full of food and hearts full of love from the Crescent City.


Larry King Live

dedicated its June 21 broadcast to Gulf Coast relief, with celebrities working the phones and correspondents in Grand Isle letting Louisiana fishing families tell their stories. While the international music community has been slow to respond to the tragedy, now in its third month, it was good to see media efforts ramping up. The event raised more than $1.8 million in two hours for the United Way, National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy.


Spirit Airlines

unveiled a new ad campaign last week featuring glistening bikini babes with the slogan "Check out the oil on our beaches." When people complained, Spirit issued a non-apology, saying, "It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with today's beach promotion," and claiming the ads were designed to highlight the fact that many beaches did not have oil on them at all. The airline is known for ads featuring juvenile sex humor, but capitalizing on tragedy and grief is too much.


Michael Savage,

whose syndicated Savage Nation radio show is heard locally on WGSO-AM, took aim this week at coastal fishermen whose livelihoods have been ruined by the oil disaster. "Do you think the deadbeats on welfare want to get their hands dirty when they can stay at home?" he said to his radio audience. "They haven't worked most of their lives down there. They think they're entitled to a government check after Katrina." Savage wouldn't last an hour actually working on an oyster boat.

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