Observations on the world today.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Little Dishonesty, A Little Hypocricy 

From Powerline Blog:
Louisiana Death Toll Complete

More or less complete, anyway. Authorities have completed the search for bodies in New Orleans, with the total known dead in all of Louisiana at 964. This compares, of course, to the claim that there were 10,000 killed in New Orleans alone, which was made by the city's mayor and repeated endlessly in the media.

I still don't see any sign of a meaningful self-examination by the media of its failed reporting of Hurricane Katrina.
Two points. First, it is dishonest to say that there was a claim that 10,000 were killed in NO. Nagin said that it would not be unreasonable to find that 10,000 had been killed. There is a difference.

Second, it is hypocritical to be a right-winger and be disgusted by the media for not examining their failures in examining an actual catastrophe during the catastrophie without having ever noted their failures to examine media failures in their coverage of Bush's misleading statements in the build-up to invasion. This is not to say that there should not be self-examination on the part of the media regarding their coverage of Katrina, but one is worse than the other; and Katrina is not the worse given the situation on the ground and the urgency of reporting the news during the storm as opposed to the relative wealth of time they could have taken in examining the "facts" the administration was diseminating in 2002.
If the mayor said it would not be unreasonable to have 10,000 dead, that means he expected that many, probably more. So if anything, he was more wrong than you believe. The man didn't have a clue what was going on in his own city, and that was not his only mistake. And his mistakes were big ones. People died because he screwed up.

And why do you turn the media screwing up into Bush's fault? Sounds like you have a complex.
The media's screwup was that they took Bush at his word. They reported without verification. That's not reporting. That's repeating. THAT was their fault. Bush's lying and getting away with it was also their fault. Bush's sins are another issue all together.

And Nagin over-estimated. But the Powerline take on it is to make it sound as if he had made a statement of fact. "There will be 10,000 dead." That's not what he said, and to imply otherwise is dishonest. My comment was not to defend Nagin's error, but to point out the deceptive nature of Powerline's account of his error. In re-reading what I have written, I'd say that was prety clear to anyone reading with an unjaundiced eye.
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