Gov't disaster response coming 'too late.'

WWL radio and the United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans network of stations broadcast an interview Thursday night (Sept. 1) with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin who said, in no uncertain terms, that federal and state disaster assistance has not been delivered to his city and that this help is coming "too late." The interview aired late last night and was rebroadcast this morning, shortly before 7 a.m.

Nagin told WWL's Garland Robinette during the interview that he had grave concerns whether the city would descend into complete lawlessness before help could arrive from either the state or the federal government. Nagin said last night that he wasn't sure if New Orleans could hold out another night.

Mayor Nagin also said that the truth of what is happening to his city has been masked by political spin on the news generated by press conferences but no action. "They're feeding the public a line of bull," Nagin said in the interview, "and it's spinning and people are dying." At another point, Nagin reiterated the point when he said "It's politics man and they’re spinning. They're spinning for the cameras."

Nagin said that he had talked directly with President Bush and had requested immediate assistance. Nagin said that his request for martial law had been made "a few days ago," but was frustrated at the lack of any real response to that request. "I keep hearing that it's coming. My answer to that is b.s.," Nagin said last night.

Taking a moment to compose himself and clarify his point, Nagin told Robinet: "I don't know if it's the governor's problem [Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco] or if it's the president's problem but they need to get their asses on a plane and sit down the two of them and figure this out right now."

WWL rebroadcast that interview again Friday morning starting at around 7 a.m. The interview was also broadcast on CNN’s cable network a little after 6 a.m.

The WWL feed is also available online as streaming audio at