Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Taranto takes on myths of Hurricane Katrina

posted by Rob at 8:41 AM

The man behind Best of the Web has an op/ed today in The Australian. Toward the end he notes:
Journalist and blogger Andrew Sullivan, for example, lashed FEMA director Michael Brown for saying he hadn't learned until Thursday that several thousand people needed help at the New Orleans Convention Centre. "Brown apparently doesn't get CNN," Sullivan sneered.

But CNN didn't report on the convention centre situation until Thursday and no other news organisation seems to have known before then that more than a handful of people were there.

I don't watch CNN much, but this seem right. This report from Thursday last week includes this odd passage:

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued an urgent appeal for immediate help for up to 20,000 refugees stuck in the convention centre in the heart of the stricken city.

"Currently, the convention centre is unsanitary and unsafe and we are running out of supplies," Nagin said in a statement issued via CNN. "This is a desperate SOS."

Glancing through the TVNewser archives, the convention centre went into focus Thursday, but not before. A Teoma search of articles between Tuesday and Wednesday brings up zilch.

This puts a new light on how the convention centre crisis was first reported and is now presented. Shouldn't Nagin had had a line of communication to the governor/FEMA/anybody other than CNN to get the word out on the situation there?


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