Tuesday, September 27, 2005

BLAME THE MEDIA

After Mike Brown's "blame-everyone-but-myself" testimony before a congressional committee on Tuesday, many conservatives are mimicking the former FEMA director and scapegoating the media -- damned media! -- for Hurricane Katrina.

Their argument, lame as it is, goes this way:

The media reported false information from New Orleans, especially in the first few days after the storm. The country saw these reports and turned against President Bush, who did nothing wrong. So any lingering belief that Bush didn't respond well after Katrina is the fault of reporters who lied to make Bush look bad.

(One more thought about those early reports. Anyone who's been a reporter, or been involved in spot news, understands that the first flashes from breaking news are notoriously unreliable. By nightfall on Sept. 11, 2001, some 20,000 people had died in the World Trade Centers. No one suggests that this early, false toll was created to make the Bush Administration look bad. How is this any different than the early reports from New Orleans?)

On Free Republic -- haven for the most radical right-wingers -- posters are taking delight in sliming reporters. Said one Freeper:
[I]n 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?
How quickly memories fade when they don't fit someone's political agenda. We found, on Free Republic, this thread from early September. It detailed horror stories from the Superdome and the convention center -- and Freepers were outraged that the Democratic governor of Louisiana and the Democratic mayor of New Orleans allowed such horrors to happen. Wrote one:
I wonder how many children and women were raped and killed because (Gov. Kathleen) Blanco needed more time to make a decision about getting the feds involved?
Now that the stories turn out largely to be untrue, are the Freepers apologizing to Blanco for calling her an accomplice to rape and murder?

Of course not. That would be logical behavior by rational humans who understand when they're being hypocrites.

1 comment:

mark said...

It would be nice if the media would be less inclined to 'fill' air time and do some investigation prior to reporting rumors much of the chaff in the stories would have blown away. The fact remains that local decisions are the most vital in any emergency close to the event. Timely decisions it appears were not forth coming from LA. Apparently the normal procedures don't work well when local government struggle within their respective areas of responsibility.