My point was no one tried to turn it into a us vs. the poor, the blacks, the arabs, the (insert favorite minority here)
It’s become apparent that most of the "evidence" on the basis of which the Democrats launched their hysterical post-Katrina attack was wrong.
The dominant question that emerges is: how could the mainstream media have done such a poor job in reporting on Hurricane Katrina?
Here's the latest:
The lurid reports of widespread criminality in New Orleans, and especially of crime and chaos at the SuperDome and Convention Center, were almost entirely untrue: ”Following days of internationally reported murders, rapes and gang violence inside the stadium, the doctor from FEMA...came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.
"I've got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome," [Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas] Beron recalled the doctor saying.
The real total?
Six, Beron said.
Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the handoff of bodies from a Dome freezer....
At the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, just four bodies have been recovered, despite reports of heaps of dead piled inside the building. Only one of the dead appeared to have been murdered, said health and law-enforcement officials.
That the nation's frontline emergency-management officials believed the body count would resemble that of a bloody battle in a war is but one of scores of examples of myths about the Dome and the Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the news media and even some of the city's top officials, including the mayor and police superintendent.
The vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees — mass murders, rapes and beatings — have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law-enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know.
"I think 99 percent of it is [expletive]," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Lachney, who played a key role in security and humanitarian work inside the Dome.
Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan said authorities have only confirmed four murders in the entire city in the aftermath of Katrina — making it a typical week in a city that anticipated more than 200 homicides this year.
"I had the impression that at least 40 or 50 murders had occurred at the two sites," he said.
"It's unfortunate we saw these kinds of stories saying crime had taken place on a massive scale when that wasn't the case. And they [national media outlets] have done nothing to follow up on any of these cases; they just accepted what people [on the street] told them. ...
It's not consistent with the highest standards of journalism."
The media's enthusiastic misreporting of falsehood as fact seriously damaged the rescue effort: ”Compass conceded that rumor had overtaken, and often crippled, authorities' response to reported lawlessness, sending badly needed resources to situations that turned out not to exist.”
It's time for some accountability here.
The conventional wisdom is that no one performed particularly well in the aftermath of Katrina--not local, state or federal authorities, and not considerable numbers of private citizens.
But it now appears clear that the worst performance of all was turned in by the mainstream media. Congress should promptly investigate, and try to get to the bottom of the following questions:
How did so many false rumors come to be reported as fact?
Do news outlets have any procedures in place to avoid this kind of mis-reporting? If so, why did their procedures fail so miserably?
To what extent were the false rumors honest mistakes, and to what extent were they deliberate fabrications?
To the extent that the false reports were deliberate, did the press pass them on through sheer negligence, or did some reporters participate in deliberate fabrication?
In deciding what stories to report, did the news media consider the likelihood that passing on false rumors would damage the rescue effort?
It is vitally important to get to the bottom of these questions, so that future natural disasters are not similarly misreported.