Skip to comments.Katrina Takes a Toll on Truth, News Accuracy (LATimes staggers into sanity)
Posted on 09/27/2005 6:24:16 AM PDT by smonk
Katrina Takes a Toll on Truth, News Accuracy
Rumors supplanted accurate information and media magnified the problem. Rapes, violence and estimates of the dead were wrong.
BATON ROUGE, La. Maj. Ed Bush recalled how he stood in the bed of a pickup truck in the days after Hurricane Katrina, struggling to help the crowd outside the Louisiana Superdome separate fact from fiction. Armed only with a megaphone and scant information, he might have been shouting into, well, a hurricane.
The National Guard spokesman's accounts about rescue efforts, water supplies and first aid all but disappeared amid the roar of a 24-hour rumor mill at New Orleans' main evacuation shelter. Then a frenzied media recycled and amplified many of the unverified reports.
"It just morphed into this mythical place where the most unthinkable deeds were being done," Bush said Monday of the Superdome.
His assessment is one of several in recent days to conclude that newspapers and television exaggerated criminal behavior in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, particularly at the overcrowded Superdome and Convention Center.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
FAKE NEWS + FAKE POLLS = MSM TEMPLATE
Times-Picayune Editor Jim Amoss cited telephone breakdowns as a primary cause of reporting errors, but said the fact that most evacuees were poor African Americans also played a part.
"If the dome and Convention Center had harbored large numbers of middle class white people," Amoss said, "it would not have been a fertile ground for this kind of rumor-mongering."
Did this just appear in the LA Times?
I assumed that the mayor and the police chief would have good info of what had actually happened on the ground.
I expect journalists to lie and exaggerate, but I didn't expect mayor Nagin to to circulate stories that made his own citizens look horrible without proof.
good call - here is a telling quote from a guardsman on the scene - amazing, the LA Times comes clean
Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron, who headed security at the Superdome, said that for every complaint, "49 other people said, 'Thank you, God bless you.' "
In days gone by a real journalist would never put his name to a story until he was positive that the story was true. Not so today, for the sake of ratings or whatever, they will run with anything, true or not. Frankly I don't think that they would know the truth if it hit them in the face. That garbage that was coming out of NO in the first few days was just garbage.
I noticed that in a mapes thread earlier, also. I think I'll adopt that one.
precisely. anything that causes political damage to the President must be true.
I'd like to see Chrissy Matthews debate someone at the LAT about the lies fabricated by the leftwing media.
Then again, with hearings ramping up and the MSM realization that eventually the blame will shift off Bush and onto Blank-o and Nagin, wouldn't their template be to downplay the scope of the problem in order to protect their own? I'm not comfortable with this wholesale denial that anything happened. I think we are seeing the pendulum swing snapshotted at its perigee, swinging back from the death and destruction apogee; the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I mean, after all, it is the LAT and a tiger is a tiger.
Fox News, a day before the major evacuation of the Superdome began, issued an "alert" as talk show host Alan Colmes reiterated reports of "robberies, rapes, carjackings, riots and murder. Violent gangs are roaming the streets at night, hidden by the cover of darkness."
The Los Angeles Times adopted a breathless tone the next day in its lead news story, reporting that National Guard troops "took positions on rooftops, scanning for snipers and armed mobs as seething crowds of refugees milled below, desperate to flee. Gunfire crackled in the distance."
The New York Times repeated some of the reports of violence and unrest, but the newspaper usually was more careful to note that the information could not be verified.
The tabloid Ottawa Sun reported unverified accounts of "a man seeking help gunned down by a National Guard soldier" and "a young man run down and then shot by a New Orleans police officer."
London's Evening Standard invoked the future-world fantasy film "Mad Max" to describe the scene and threw in a "Lord of the Flies" allusion for good measure.
It's almost a Who's-Who of liberal journalism. I guess they were setting things up for their future "blame it on Bush" campaign...
Nagin was calling all those people drug addicts to boot.
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