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Call me crazy, but if news outlets were going to, oh, get hurricane reaction from the lead singer of Katrina and the Waves, or utilize the storm’s name to make political potshots, maybe they should’ve done it well in advance of the death count that’s begun to mount in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.

Instead, though, today’s New York Times tracks down Katrina Leskanich, former lead singer of Katrina and the Waves, to see how she felt seeing her name linked with the category 5 hurricane that’s left hundreds of thousands homeless, and perhaps up to several thousand dead. (Um, guys, how did you think she’d feel?) To her credit, Leskanich tries to make the most of an icky interview by noting she hopes ”the true spirit of [the group’s hit single] ‘Walking on Sunshine’ will prevail” in the wake of the destruction.

Unfortunately, that spirit seems to have been forgotten by Rush Limbaugh; as recently as Aug. 31, the conservative radio host referred to the storm as Katrina vanden Heuvel (after the editor of The Nation), and worried aloud that ”the left is going to use this tragedy against the right.” (Read the transcript of Limbaugh’s broadcast here.) Am I the only one who finds Limbaugh’s blathering tasteless, especially when the depressing news just keeps pouring in?

At least the people at ABC are showing restraint, pulling promos for its hurricane-themed series Invasion out of respect for Katrina’s victims. Meanwhile, celebrities with New Orleans ties such as Ellen DeGeneres, Harry Connick Jr., and Patricia Clarkson, are all talking about the horror they felt over the storm’s destructive effects, and discussing their plans to help in the fundraising and rebuilding process.

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