Hysteria in the Media
My dear friend in New Orleans send me this today. I think I have read and re-read it a dozen times since then. Two passages hit me the hardest. First was this one:
"The picture that emerged was one of the impoverished, masses of flood victims resorting to utter depravity, randomly attacking each other, as well as the police trying to protect them and the rescue workers trying to save them. Nagin told Winfrey the crowd has descended to an "almost animalistic state.""
I was stunned by that statement. I can not help but wonder what the collective press corps' reaction to that statement would have been had the mayor been someone like Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago or Mayor Randy Kelly of St Paul - white men.
The second striking paragraph was this one:
"One widely circulated tale, told to The Times-Picayune by a slew of evacuees and two Arkansas National Guardsmen, held that "30 or 40 bodies" were stored in a Convention Center freezer. But a formal Arkansas Guard review of the matter later found that no soldier had actually seen the corpses, and that the information came from rumors in the food line for military, police and rescue workers in front of Harrah's New Orleans Casino, said Edwards, who conducted the review."
Remember the game "telephone". I whisper a sentence into one person's ear and that sentence is whispered, one person at a time, until the last person in the room to hear the sentence gets it and then he/she is supposed to say it out loud and never resembles the initial sentence. This one was that this widely ciruclated story was reported as gospel by the various media outlets around the country and it turned out to be nothing more than the results of a game telephone! These same people who denigrate certain news bloggers as being rumor mongers and unreliable because they don't have editorial boards looking over their shoulders. Well folks you all have the editorial board oversight - why didn't you catch this?
I guess that just goes to show that even with editorial board oversight, just knowing stuff isn't enough. You have to be willing and able to chase a story down - to get to the truth! The legacy media, in their hysterical rush for disaster of the week ratings, ran with stories that now, in the cold, hard light of reality were not what they claimed to be.