30 August 2006

The PERFECT STORM ... of Media Lies

I could hardly resist the most over used cliche (since "The mother of all battles") to describe the MSM treatment of the Katrina anniversary. Investor's Business Daily - and just because they are conservative and business oriented does not mean they are always wrong - offered the following wisdom about the MSM's blaming the government for "Katrina" the disaster, not the storm:

That's not surprising. For the media, Katrina always was more about politics and mythmaking than about reporting and telling the truth. Katrina became a part of a long story line spun relentlessly by the press, of White House ineptitude in the face of disaster and lack of concern for the poor.

As part of this, the media got caught up in telling some big fibs or exaggerating some events while ignoring others.

Take the idea that the federal response was "inadequate" or "incompetent." Granted, that might be said of some of FEMA's efforts, which were poor. But a big story that never got told was how heroically the National Guard (and Coast Guard) performed before, during and after the storm, saving tens of thousands of lives. The mainstream media basically ignored this.

Update: This article about bad government, victim-hood and entitlement, and more lies the media tells has a strong ring of truth to it. A Couple of examples:

What shocked us first was the response of the people of New Orleans themselves: the immediate looting, the collapse of the city government as demoralized local police walked off the job in the middle of an emergency, and the thousands of people wallowing in squalor while demanding that someone else come to help them. These are the facts that the mainstream media has downplayed or just plain ignored.

and again:

In the week after the disaster, a New York Times reporter profiled two New Orleans families and their different reactions to Katrina. The main difference was not money; neither family was well-off. But one was from the lower middle class--people who are used to working for a living and providing for themselves--whereas the other family fully represented the welfare state mentality. The first family pooled their efforts with their extended family to drive out of New Orleans before the storm hit and stay at an inexpensive hotel farther inland. The other family didn't leave New Orleans until the flood waters reached their own home--and along the way, they blew their "last $25 dollars to buy fish and shrimp from men grilling them on the street"--with apparently nary a thought for what they would live on after dinnertime.

The main difference between these two families was not money but responsibility. That is also the difference between the people in New Orleans who stockpiled necessities like food, gasoline, and bottled water before the storm hit, and those who waited until after the storm and looted whatever they needed--which apparently included televisions, jewelry, and DVDs--from the local Wal-Mart. Many of these looters, especially those who struck within hours after the storm passed, were not in any kind of desperate need. As one of them explained to a reporter, "People who have been repressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society."

and again:

This sense of victimhood and entitlement brings us to the other mainstream media claim about Katrina: that it unmasked America's institutionalized racism and showed, as one rapper proclaimed, that "George Bush doesn't care about black people." (It could be argued, incidentally, that "rap music" is itself the most insidious form of institutionalized racism today, peddling a debased view of blacks as thugs and whores that exceeds the wildest slanders of Ku Klux Klan propaganda.) [Emphasis added. I love that sentence.]

and finally:

Mayor Ray Nagin failed to devise or administer an evacuation plan--remember that famous photo of dozens of school buses that were left to be swamped by the flood waters instead of being used to evacuate flood victims?

Instead, Nagin spent the entire crisis complaining about what other people weren't doing to save his city. When asked where he was during the crucial moments of the disaster, Nagin snapped back, to the world at large, "Where were you?"--as if a random resident strolling the streets of Buffalo bears more responsibility for the plight of New Orleans than the city's own mayor.

That Ray Nagin is still mayor of New Orleans, one year later, is the worst possible indictment of the city's corrupt culture. In 1979, the people of Chicago voted out their mayor because he failed to ensure the timely plowing of the streets after a heavy snowstorm. Ray Nagin presided over an unprecedented collapse in city government, and the people of New Orleans re-elected him. A large number of New Orleans voters are still stuck in the fantasy of holding everyone responsible for their lives except themselves.

The fact that Nagin is still in office brings to mind the title of my earlier post: We deserve the government we choose.

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