As of Sunday, August 28, the blog side of HP hadn't mentioned the hurricane: there's nothing in Arianna's wrapup nor in that from Richard Valeriani.
On Monday, August 29, the very first mention of the hurricane seems to be in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s "For They That Sow the Wind Shall Reap the Whirlwind". From the current version; note the update at the end:
As Hurricane Katrina dismantles Mississippi's Gulf Coast, it's worth recalling the central role that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour played in derailing the Kyoto Protocol and kiboshing President Bush's iron-clad campaign promise to regulate CO2...
...Now we are all learning what it's like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and--now--Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.
In 1998, Republican icon Pat Robertson warned that hurricanes were likely to hit communities that offended God. Perhaps it was Barbour's memo that caused Katrina, at the last moment, to spare New Orleans and save its worst flailings for the Mississippi coast. [UPDATE: Alas, the reprieve for New Orleans was only temporary. But Haley Barbour still has much to answer for.]
Hopefully someone else can provide a summary of the response to RFK Jr.'s post.
This lack of initial coverage at the HP is despite one of their contributors, Harry Shearer, being a resident of New Orleans. Later that day, he weighed in with "Katrina and the Waves of Fear":
As an adopted New Orleanian, I sat glued to the news channels as the only way of knowing what was happening to my residence, my friends, and my favorite city. Thankfully, nature was kinder to New Orleans than the news channels, particularly Fox. At approximately 7:50 am PDT Monday, an offscreen Fox anchor declared that one of New Orleans' levees had been breached.
Had New Orleans' levee system failed, that presaged very serious flooding for the city.
However, just ten minutes earlier on CNN, a FEMA official stated plainly that the levee system appeared to be holding, and several hours later this Reuters report pinpointed the only levee break as occurring in St. Bernard Parish, which is not New Orleans... [...reporters get locations wrong...]
...But, scaring out of towners about damage to a part of New Orleans they've heard of (no breasts are bared in the CBD, after all) was a higher priority for much of the past two days for the news channels, though MSNBC played it straighter most of the time...
A commenter calls him on his blase coverage, and at 8/30 11:32AM he responds in the comments:
...I had the opportunity to take a "virtual car trip" around much of NO on MOnday, seeing raw tape footage of the city, so I know, as of Monday afternoon, that much of the high ground--the Quarter, certain other areas, had window, sign, sheet metal damage, but no serious flooding. What's breached now, according to a Corps of Engineer spokesman on npr, is a water wall along the 17th St. canal, not a levee. Reporting potential disasters before they happen is not news, it's fear mongering...
A couple hours later, a commenter adds:
Mr. Shearer, CNN and FNC are reporting 80% of the city is under water and the level is rising. (Of course this may just be a ratings stunt.) If you take any actual (rather than virtual) tours for the next few days (or maybe weeks) I would suggest it be a boat tour not a auto tour...
Another commenter mentions HAARP after that comment; note that the first Bush-bashing in those comments appears to have started on 8/30 in the morning.
On August 31, a commenter adds:
I must defend Harry on this one. Everyone got this one wrong. Even today, TUESDAY! I cannot believe the lack of coverage and consistency. Sure, they had the pictures of rescues and damage. That's fine. But I cannot believe they will not really discuss the end of New Orleans. At least the end of New Orleans for a really long time.