It’s called lagniappe, cher

CNN wasted no time in reporting that the Shaw Group, which has been awarded a couple of $100 million contracts to rebuild the Katrina disaster area, has ties to the Bush White House. In its haste to create another Halliburton-type conspiracy (Halliburton has also won Katrina-related contracts, btw), CNN’s unnamed correspondent either overlooked or under-reported a crucial detail, as Michelle Malkin notes:

The Shaw Group, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, is headed by Jim Bernhard, the current chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. Bernhard worked tirelessly for Democrat Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s runoff campaign and served as co-chair of her transition team. Another Shaw executive was Blanco’s campaign manager. Bernhard is back-scratching chums with Blanco, whom he has lent/offered the Shaw Group’s corporate jets to on numerous occasions.

Politics by its nature has always indulged its precocious step-children, Preference and Privilege, and this certainly didn’t start in Louisiana. Louisiana does have, however, a celebrated reputation for not just winking at such antics but even romanticizing them. New Orleans especially has cultivated the term “lagniappe,” a French-American word generally meaning, “something extra”. It imparts a wry and cultured cynicism to the transaction, as if to say, “Why, cher, cronyism is such a harsh word, and one must be mindful of one’s manners. After all, it’s really just a matter of perspective.”

I suppose a lot really does depend on how you want to look at something. Right, CNN?

HT: Bogus Gold.

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