Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mean Stupid Media

Three full weeks ago, I wrote about the MSM going off half-cocked about the stories of horror and violence at the New Orleans Superdome in the wake of Katrina. Why has it taken this long for that same irresponsible bunch to report their own failings?

Some Reports of N.O. Violence Exaggerated

Sep 27 2:01 PM US/Eastern
By MICHELLE ROBERTSAssociated Press Writer
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.

I asked it then and I'll ask it again: Proud of yourself MSM? Proud that what you reported slandered the people of New Orleans of every race, the rescue workers and rescue planners, the President, and even the United States itself? Proud that your reporting of lies, fabrications, and wild-asses speculation has resulted in the national "shame" you seem only too eager to promote? Who needs facts when its "truth," right?

But, then of course, now you get to do a great big story about yourself and the way you gather and report news, don't you? Now the News is the news. That makes you happy, doesn't it. The media becomes the message. The message becomes the media.

My contempt for you knows no depths.

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