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Some Reports of N.O. Violence Exaggerated
Associated Press ^ | Sep 27 | MICHELLE ROBERTS

Posted on 09/27/2005 11:36:58 AM PDT by andyk

NEW ORLEANS

On Sept. 1, with desperate Hurricane Katrina evacuees crammed into the convention center, Police Chief Eddie Compass reported: "We have individuals who are getting raped; we have individuals who are getting beaten."

Five days later, he told Oprah Winfrey that babies were being raped. On the same show, Mayor Ray Nagin warned: "They have people standing out there, have been in that frickin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people."

The ugliest reports _ children with slit throats, women dragged off and raped, corpses piling up in the basement _ soon became a searing image of post-Katrina New Orleans.

The stories were told by residents trapped inside the Superdome and convention center and were repeated by public officials. Many news organizations, including The Associated Press, carried the witness accounts and official pronouncements, and in some cases later repeated the claims as fact, without attribution.

But now, a month after the chaos subsided, police are re-examining the reports and finding that many of them have little or no basis in fact.

They have no official reports of rape and no eyewitnesses to sexual assault. The state Department of Health and Hospitals counted 10 dead at the Superdome and four at the convention center. Only two of those are believed to have been murdered.

One of those victims _ found at the Superdome _ appears to have been killed elsewhere before being brought to the stadium, said Bob Johannessen, the agency spokesman.

"It was a chaotic time for the city. Now that we've had a chance to reflect back on that situation, we're able to say right now that things were not the way they appeared," said police Capt. Marlon Defillo.

Sally Forman, a spokeswoman for Nagin, said the mayor was relying on others for his information about conditions at the evacuation sites. "He was listening to officials, trusting that information they were providing was accurate," she said.

To be sure, conditions at both sites were chaotic. Water was rising around the Superdome, home to 20,000 evacuees. Toilets were backing up, garbage was rotting, fights were breaking out. Food was in short supply at the convention center, where about 19,000 people took shelter from the rising waters. The temperature was climbing. The elderly and very young were desperate for food, water and medicine.

Police said they saw muzzle flashes at the convention center, and a National Guard member was shot in the leg when an evacuee tried to take his gun.

A week after the floodwaters poured into the city, an Arkansas National Guardsman told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans that soldiers had discovered 30 to 40 bodies inside a freezer in the convention center's food area. Guardsman Mikel Brooks told the newspaper that some of the dead appeared to have met violent ends, including "a 7-year-old with her throat cut."

When the convention center was swept, however, no such pile of bodies was found.

Lt. Col. Jacques Thibodeaux of the Louisiana National Guard said reports of violence at the Superdome and the convention center were overblown. He was head of security at the Superdome and led the 1,000 military police and infantrymen who went in to secure the center on Sept. 2.

"The incidents were highly exaggerated" _ the result of fear and hopelessness, he said. "For the amount of the people in the situation, it was a very stable environment."

Thibodeaux said his guard unit received no reports of rape.

Bill Waldron, a homicide detective from Florida in New Orleans for a murder trial, was stuck in the convention center until Sept. 1. He said he saw a couple of fights between young men, but "no murders, no rapes." He said that he did see people dying, but that those deaths were most likely a result of the heat and lack of water.

"People were wanting just some type of authority to come in and say, `Hey, this is what's going to happen,'" Waldron said. "People were scared."

New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan said officials at the morgue in St. Gabriel have identified four apparent homicide victims from the city. All were shot and all were adults. Police arrested one person on suspicion of attempted sexual assault but received no official reports of rape.

Judy Benitez, executive director of the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, cautioned that it might be too soon to say whether there really were rapes at the evacuation sites. Because the evacuees and any perpetrators have been scattered across the country by Katrina, and now Hurricane Rita, victims may come forward later, she said.

"It is extremely difficult to get good statistics about rape under normal circumstances, and these are certainly not normal circumstances," she said.

Bill Ellis, a folklorist at Pennsylvania State University, said rumors in an environment like that at the evacuation centers are to be expected, given the frightening circumstances and paucity of authoritative information.

"Rumors become improvised news. You become your own anchorman," he said.

The chaos also seemed to affect some reporters and editors, said Kelly McBride, who teaches ethics to journalists at the Poynter Institute, a journalism research and education center in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"You get so hung up as a reporter on what the big picture is that you use generalizations that become untrue," McBride said.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: katrina; mediabias; mediaistheenemy; medialies; neworleans
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Kelly McBride, who teaches ethics to journalists at the Poynter Institute, a journalism research and education center in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"You get so hung up as a reporter on what the big picture is that you use generalizations that become untrue," McBride said.

Of course, that big picture is making the Bush administration look bad.

1 posted on 09/27/2005 11:36:59 AM PDT by andyk
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To: andyk

And, in the interest of furthering anything that might make Bush look bad, liberal reporters were quick to accuse Black refugees at the Thunderdome of all manner of violent and sick behavior. So, who's a racist again?


2 posted on 09/27/2005 11:41:25 AM PDT by Argus
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To: andyk

"Of course, that big picture is making the Bush administration look bad."

Yup. In their zeal to make the President look bad, they echoed any and all rumors as fact. Repeat the lies long enough...


3 posted on 09/27/2005 11:42:32 AM PDT by cweese (Hook 'em Horns!!!)
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To: andyk

What's that saying--"A lie will make it around the world before the truth even makes it off the starting line". Doesn't matter now what the truth is--the tin-foil crowds will run with the earlier reports and claim government cover-ups, black helicopters ferrying corpses away, etc.


4 posted on 09/27/2005 11:42:51 AM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: andyk; mhking
It was exaggerated. Imagine that.


If you want a Google GMail account, FReepmail me.
They're going fast!

5 posted on 09/27/2005 11:44:34 AM PDT by rdb3 (NON-conservative, American exceptionalist here.)
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To: andyk

Substitute "some" with "most if not all"


6 posted on 09/27/2005 11:44:58 AM PDT by traderrob6
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To: andyk

I just knew that all those images of looting and pillaging were created on a soundstage by Karl Rove to further his secret agenda.


7 posted on 09/27/2005 11:45:13 AM PDT by AbeKrieger (Islam is the virus that causes al-Qaeda.)
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To: andyk
On the same show, Mayor Ray Nagin warned: "They have people standing out there, have been in that frickin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people."

Where does ray get his information from? Was he even in the same city? He was really doing a number on the media with all his lies and hysterics. Anyone ever ask him why he was lying ?
8 posted on 09/27/2005 11:47:10 AM PDT by WasDougsLamb (Just my opinion.Go easy on me........)
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To: andyk
S O M E ? ? ?........
9 posted on 09/27/2005 11:47:13 AM PDT by Red Badger (In life, you don't get what you deserve. You get what you settle for...........)
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To: andyk

Interesting that in this day and age of instant news, that we should be prepared for much much more of this. Without time to have cooler heads prevail, we will be subject to lots and lots of rumors, the nastier the bigger the broadcast.


10 posted on 09/27/2005 11:47:13 AM PDT by SF Republican
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To: andyk
What about the reports of cannibalism in the aftermath of Katrina?

It is reported that black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive. Four days after the storm, thousands of blacks in New Orleans are dying like dogs. No-one has come to help them. I am a sixty-four year old African-American. New Orleans marks the end of the America I strove for. I am hopeless. I am sad. I am angry against my country for doing nothing when it mattered.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randall-robinson/new-orleans_b_6643.html

No exaggeration here!

11 posted on 09/27/2005 11:48:53 AM PDT by frogjerk (LIBERALISM - Being miserable for no good reason)
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To: WasDougsLamb
Was he even in the same city?

I think he was in Baton Rouge...Who knows?

12 posted on 09/27/2005 11:50:08 AM PDT by frogjerk (LIBERALISM - Being miserable for no good reason)
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To: traderrob6

You know, with all this instant information these days it actually takes about 3-5 days to actually get the truth from any story.


13 posted on 09/27/2005 11:50:34 AM PDT by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: andyk
The Associated Press, carried the witness accounts and official pronouncements, and in some cases later repeated the claims as fact, without attribution.

Gee you don't say? No.. AP wouldn't dare.. What disgusts me more are the the Freepers that were quick to pick up and spread such sensational unsourced unsubstantiated nonesense because it furthered thier agenda (whatever that may be.)You expect this sort of behavior from the msm, but this used to be a place that was skeptical of news accounts and could ferret out obvious overblown sensational crap.

14 posted on 09/27/2005 11:51:06 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: traderrob6

And "exaggerated" with "fabricated".


15 posted on 09/27/2005 11:51:07 AM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: andyk

The square one of this media folly "big picture" is now quite obvious and quite upsetting. In light of the proven left bias reporting and pure misrepresentation of the facts from/about our war on terrorism and Hurricane Katrina, are we to believe anything the media prints/says anymore? I don't!


16 posted on 09/27/2005 11:52:31 AM PDT by caisson71
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To: frogjerk
I am angry against my country for doing nothing when it mattered.

Any bets on whether this person:
A) Votes?
B) Pays taxes?
C) Served on a jury?
D) Served in the military?

17 posted on 09/27/2005 11:53:54 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: randog

Yeah well we had quite a discussion about the spread of what I considered to be obvious unsourced unsubstantiated rumor in the immidiate aftermath of Katrina. Unfortunately, I would have to say the skeptical posters were outnumbered by those believing in cannibalism and child gang rape by a substantial margin.


18 posted on 09/27/2005 11:54:05 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: frogjerk
LOL!

Have you seen the update to that site?

RETRACTION: The claim in the first sentence in my post was incorrect. I had been told this was happening, but these claims have turned out to be unsubstantiated. I therefore retract them -- but stand behind everything else I wrote without reservation.
19 posted on 09/27/2005 11:54:10 AM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: AbeKrieger
I just knew that all those images of looting and pillaging were created on a soundstage by Karl Rove to further his secret agenda.

So you don't think this was exaggerated?


If you want a Google GMail account, FReepmail me.
They're going fast!

20 posted on 09/27/2005 11:54:28 AM PDT by rdb3 (NON-conservative, American exceptionalist here.)
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To: andyk
Five days later, he told Oprah Winfrey that babies were being raped. On the same show, Mayor Ray Nagin warned: "They have people standing out there, have been in that frickin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people."

NAGIN: "FAKE but ACCURATE! April Fools!"

21 posted on 09/27/2005 11:55:38 AM PDT by frogjerk (LIBERALISM - Being miserable for no good reason)
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To: caisson71
The square one of this media folly "big picture" is now quite obvious and quite upsetting,

I think we'll see a few more of these MSM mea culpas that acknowledge wrong-doing, without taking any responsibility. Maybe, in some way, these mea culpas are actually unintentional opuses. I wish!
22 posted on 09/27/2005 11:58:30 AM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: rdb3

And many many people bought it.


23 posted on 09/27/2005 12:00:53 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog (Join the Hobbit Hole Troop Support - http://freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net/)
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To: andyk
I think we'll see a few more of these MSM mea culpas that acknowledge wrong-doing, without taking any responsibility. Maybe, in some way, these mea culpas are actually unintentional opuses. I wish!

But, but, but Chrissy Matthews said that the media has done a fabulous job of reporting with Katrina...-sarc

From: http://www.radioblogger.com/#001017 - Hardball transcript

Matthews (Speaking to Congressman King): No, no, no. Let me ask you. Weren't you dismayed as a Republican Congressman, that the President of the United States didn't watch television for all those 48 hours? That he had to be shown a picture of what we'd all been watching? One of the reasons these people are volunteering is because of what they saw on television. I'm very proud of the media this last couple of weeks. We're not always perfect, but I've got to tell you something. The latest polling shows almost 80% of the American people say the media has done a fabulous job in handling this hurricane, because it's the pictures that people have seen on television, in their homes, that have alerted them to this tragedy. And maybe to a large extent, push the politicians to move a little faster.

related FR thread - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1492089/posts

24 posted on 09/27/2005 12:05:24 PM PDT by frogjerk (LIBERALISM - Being miserable for no good reason)
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To: andyk

"You get so hung up as a reporter on what the big picture is that you use generalizations that become untrue," McBride said.

Pure crap. The MSM doesn't give a rat's a$$ about big pictures or they'd be showing us the Big Picture in Iraq.
Or Afghanistan. Or NOLA (because the Big Picture there would show that the dems, the Great Society and LBJ are far more culpable for what happened in Katrina than the GOP, an Ownership Society and GWB.

The MSM delights in finding offbeat, oddball, quisling aspects of a story (true or not) and then presenting them as the Big Picture That Only People Like Us Can See. And when it turns out that picture is a forgery or a fraud, they blame their circumstances...never their bad judgement.

The MSM believes anything worth doing is worth overdoing, and for Katrina they all jumped overboard. Now they're embarrassed to find people saying they're all wet. Duh.

Big Picture? Don't trust the MSM. Ever.


25 posted on 09/27/2005 12:06:15 PM PDT by WestTexasWend
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To: andyk

The entire Superdome thing was severely exaggerated, yet that is what led to the MSM rioting. In the first place, there is no way 25,000 people can overcrowd it, it is friggin' HUGE. It holds 72,000 for football and hundreds more in the luxury suites. There are huge kitchens, locker rooms, storage areas, etc. in the place. But the news reports made it look like people were sitting and lying on top of each other and gigantic piles of filth were everywhere. And there was food and water there, enough for at least a couple of days, as well as 300 National Guardsmen. It wasn't pleasant being in there for 3 days without air conditioning or lights, for sure, but it was far from the death trap the MSM portrayed, and probaly hundreds of people are alive today because they went to the Superdome instead of staying home.


26 posted on 09/27/2005 12:07:46 PM PDT by Dems_R_Losers (2,4,6,8 - a burka makes me look overweight!)
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To: andyk

The MSM lied, and many people died needlessly.


27 posted on 09/27/2005 12:08:18 PM PDT by GailA (Glory be to GOD and his only son Jesus.)
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: frogjerk
"a searing image" of something that didn't happen.

Is this a subtle reference to JFnK?

29 posted on 09/27/2005 12:13:06 PM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: andyk
(Yes this is a real quote) "Only two of those are believed to have been murdered."

Oh, thank goodness there were ONLY two murders. Well then it was an experiment in human kindness and generosity at the super dome.

30 posted on 09/27/2005 12:19:11 PM PDT by Diva Betsy Ross (Code pink stinks)
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To: GailA
"The MSM lied, and many people died needlessly"

And they'll never have to go before a congressional comm. We the people are the only ones who can make them pay.
31 posted on 09/27/2005 12:26:59 PM PDT by wolfcreek
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To: HairOfTheDog
And many many people bought it.

Sure did! At FR and elsewhere, bought it hook, line, and sinker.


If you want a Google GMail account, FReepmail me.
They're going fast!

32 posted on 09/27/2005 12:28:07 PM PDT by rdb3 (NON-conservative, American exceptionalist here.)
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To: BenLurkin
"a searing image" of something that didn't happen.

Is this a subtle reference to JFnK?


33 posted on 09/27/2005 12:31:50 PM PDT by frogjerk (LIBERALISM - Being miserable for no good reason)
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To: Diva Betsy Ross
Well then it was an experiment in human kindness and generosity at the super dome.

No one benefits from distortion. No one.

34 posted on 09/27/2005 12:39:55 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog (Join the Hobbit Hole Troop Support - http://freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net/)
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To: rdb3
At FR and elsewhere, bought it hook, line, and sinker.

Guilty as charged! There were so many outrageous reports coming out, that it was really difficult to dismiss reports that were presented as fact. This would be a huge disaster for the MSM, if they weren't so easily inclined to circle their wagons.
35 posted on 09/27/2005 12:46:13 PM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: cweese

That is why Hillary wanted "her commission" so they could twist the already exgaggerated stories. You could see all the reporter tripping over themselves looking for death and destruction that could be used to blame the Bush Admin.

I recall when Rita hit Texas and no reports of looting, Diane Sawyer kept asking "are you sure". Good thing we have Free Republic to put them in their place get the real news :)


36 posted on 09/27/2005 12:47:20 PM PDT by newfrpr04
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To: andyk; Navy Patriot
Guilty as charged! There were so many outrageous reports coming out, that it was really difficult to dismiss reports that were presented as fact.

I conversed with Navy Patriot about this very thing last night on another thread. And believe it or not, I'm not pointing this out to use as a bludgeon to hit anyone over the head.

My point is that since we all are normally circumspect on what comes out of the MSM, we should be this way consistently. But it appears that if the MSM report confirms one's worldview here, it's automatically legitimate. No questions asked.

Remember a month or so ago when those thugs in Seattle attacked two servicemembers? The automatic assumption was that the thugs were black, and the victims, who were servicemen, were white. The threads were humming at full speed, until... it was found out that the servicemen were black. Then it virtually died.

See how that works?


If you want a Google GMail account, FReepmail me.
They're going fast!

37 posted on 09/27/2005 1:05:30 PM PDT by rdb3 (NON-conservative, American exceptionalist here.)
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To: WestTexasWend

WestTexasWend:

Very well said. The great majority of the MSM are defacto representives of the DNC. Many show up for work and with their coffee tear off DNC talking points from their fax machines. That's where they get the "news". ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, PBS, and many, many newspapers are dedicated not to the truth, but to their socialist agenda.


38 posted on 09/27/2005 1:08:39 PM PDT by kjo
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To: Argus

EXELLENT POINT! I have to wonder...why were the media so eager to believe these terrible things about the poor, Black inhabitants of the Superdome?

Who ARE the racists here???? hmmmmmmmmmmmm?


39 posted on 09/27/2005 1:12:25 PM PDT by t2buckeye
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To: Smogger

So these PROFESSIONAL journalists simply reported the gossip and rumors instead of getting the story straight OR at least waiting to report these statements until they could be proven true or false.
They don't call 'em media whores for nothing


40 posted on 09/27/2005 1:15:05 PM PDT by t2buckeye
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To: Diva Betsy Ross
Oh, thank goodness there were ONLY two murders

Two murders is like a slow week down in New Orleans.

41 posted on 09/27/2005 1:18:51 PM PDT by pepperhead (Kennedy's float, Mary Jo's don't!)
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To: andyk

Nancy Grace was particuarly "outraged" by all this...


42 posted on 09/27/2005 1:22:09 PM PDT by donozark (Restraining orders are just another way of saying I love you.)
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To: rdb3
Sure did! At FR and elsewhere, bought it hook, line, and sinker.

It was amazing to see so many freepers get duped.

43 posted on 09/27/2005 1:23:28 PM PDT by pepperhead (Kennedy's float, Mary Jo's don't!)
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To: rdb3
It was exaggerated. Imagine that.

And on top of that, it was the behavior of blacks that was exaggerated. Liberals always find it easy to point to 'primitive' blacks who obviously need their attention and largess to improve themselves. How many accounts of resettled evacuees gone wild were posted right here on FR? I personally read of a white family who had taken in evacuees and was murdered in their beds. I knew at the time it was BS, but the racebaiters and hate mongers of both sides are always at work - this wretched reporting just fed the flames.

If I had a turn of mind that lent itself to conspiracies, I'd almost think it was done by the press on purpose.

44 posted on 09/27/2005 1:26:10 PM PDT by radiohead (Proud member of the 'arrogant supermagt')
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To: rdb3
But it appears that if the MSM report confirms one's worldview here, it's automatically legitimate. No questions asked.

Yeah.. well that scenario was repeated in spades around here during Katrina.

45 posted on 09/27/2005 1:26:21 PM PDT by Smogger
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To: pepperhead
It was amazing to see so many freepers get duped.

While some were duped there is a frigntningly vocal contingent on here that wanted the stories to be true to confirm their racist worldview.

46 posted on 09/27/2005 1:31:02 PM PDT by Smogger
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To: andyk

Who are we going to believe? The MSM or the people who were actually there.
And BTW, why would the behaviour of these savages in NOLA be a reflection on the Bush administration?


47 posted on 09/27/2005 1:34:38 PM PDT by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis)
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To: Diva Betsy Ross
Oh, thank goodness there were ONLY two murders. Well then it was an experiment in human kindness and generosity at the super dome.

Cute. Your smarminess isn't fooling anyone. If it was exaggereated, it was exaggerated.


If you want a Google GMail account, FReepmail me.
They're going fast!

48 posted on 09/27/2005 1:35:57 PM PDT by rdb3 (NON-conservative, American exceptionalist here.)
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To: andyk
He said that he did see people dying, but that those deaths were most likely a result of the heat and lack of water.

So whom is responsible for providing these people with water and safe temperatures? Mayor Nagin...

49 posted on 09/27/2005 1:36:16 PM PDT by ez (What went wrong...Blanco kept the Red Cross out while Nagin kept the refugees in.)
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To: BnBlFlag
The MSM or the people who were actually there.

People in New Orleans said it was exaggerated. Now who do you believe?


If you want a Google GMail account, FReepmail me.
They're going fast!

50 posted on 09/27/2005 1:39:25 PM PDT by rdb3 (NON-conservative, American exceptionalist here.)
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