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Sunday, September 11, 2005
 
Katrina Changed Everything

If there is any one indicator of the impact Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath has had upon America's national discourse, it is the front page of the print edition of today's New York Times.



Above the fold, there are three stories and a large picture. Two of them have nothing to do with the terrorist attacks that took place here four years ago today. The third references them once, in relation to the federal government's failure to handle Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. There are no mentions in the three articles below the fold. Out of the page's 10 teasers, only three of them mention the topic, and one of them is primarily concerned with the hurricane.

The events of 9/11/01 shocked the nation and the world. Two of the most important civil buildings in the world were destroyed. A huge explosion tore through the heart of the world's most powerful military. The attacks spawned two wars, and a radical reorganization of America's foreign and domestic policies. Elections turned on which candidates voters believed would protect the nation better from such attacks in the future.

A mere four years later, the event's anniversary merits only footnotes on the front page of the nation's newspaper of record. Katrina changed everything.