Katrina is top story for year, but not banner story for MSM

The other day Hurricane Katrina was voted in by members of the AP as the top story of 2005.

"NEW YORK -- The onslaught of Gulf Coast hurricanes, notably Katrina and the deadly flooding which devastated New Orleans, was overwhelmingly picked by U.S. editors and news directors as the top story of 2005 in The Associated Press' annual vote. The hurricanes received 242 first-place votes out of 288 ballots cast. No other story received more than 18 first-place votes.

1. HURRICANE KATRINA: Days in advance, America knew it was coming. But even though Hurricane Katrina weakened slightly from its frightening Category 5 strength, its impact was stunning. It killed more than 1,300 people in five states, ravaged the Mississippi Gulf Coast and set off flooding that submerged 80 percent of New Orleans, forcing the largest urban dislocation in U.S. history. Hurricanes Wilma and Rita also inflicted severe damage."

It's amazing that while the members of the vaunted MSM would vote this story as their number one story, yet it's also the number one story that the Media screwed up so bad."

"The Hurricane Katrina story is getting one last top-stories-of-2005 run before falling completely and finally off the news pages. But before that, readers and viewers should learn how badly they were manipulated and misled by the media during and immediately after this hurricane. While Katrina and the storm of anti-media criticism will slowly tip off the awareness horizon, it appears the hurricane caused more damage than first realised _ not to devastated New Orleans, but to the reputation of the media.

While the print media _ principally big news agencies, but also the newspapers and magazines they service _ have a lot of misreporting to answer for, the most extensive damage without doubt has been to the broadcast media.

CNN, the BBC and Fox News, all popular in Thailand and a major source of video and information for Thai TV newscasts, did not simply misreport the hurricane. They unabashedly (and unwisely) elevated reporters at the scene into courageous and brilliantly unflawed pundits. Not only did such fearless reporters actually venture out into the hurricane, they were contrasted with the bumbling relief efforts of government, and especially the administration of President George W. Bush.

The New York Times at the time Katrina was front page news hailed CNN's Anderson Cooper as ``an anchor who reports disaster news with a heart on his sleeve''. Strange praise for a reporter pledged to provide facts.

Last week, though, the Times busted many of the Cooper fables, from the chain of botched aid _ it was far more complicated than ``Bush did it'' because of America's three-government federal system _ to the allegedly ``violence-ridden'' Superdome.

And Maj Ed Bush of the Louisiana National Guard, who was there, told the Los Angeles Times in retrospect: ``What I saw in the Superdome was just tremendous amounts of people helping people.'' In other words, no violence at all, in what was certainly a hellhole.

Remember the stacks of corpses at the Superdome, where failed officials didn't take food? There were six deaths, of natural causes, none the result of violence.

Remember all the rapes? Well, who wouldn't? All the major news networks reported multiple and serial rapes. A seven-year-old was gang-raped at the Superdome, and then had her throat slashed. Well, actually, no she wasn't. In fact, not a single rape was reported during the hurricane or in the Superdome or anywhere else storm refugees gathered.

Remember the murders? Reporters reported a lot of murders. But no, there were no actual surge in the murder rate during the storm. The New Orleans murder rate was normal.

Thank goodness panicky Mayor Ray Nagin was wrong in predicting 10,000 deaths. The actual death toll was just over a terrible and gruesome 1,000, and even that is a little inflated since it includes any New Orleans evacuee who suffered a heart attack or stroke in the month following the flood. It includes, as the Associated Press reported, ``13-month-old Destiny McNeese, who rolled onto her stomach and suffocated on an air mattress after her family fled from Kentwood [Louisiana] to Kentucky'' _ on the basis that Destiny might not have died if she were still at home instead of being forced to evacuate from Katrina."

Well don't expect the MSM to come clean, or moreover to clean up it's act.

In fact, the evidence that they have learned nothing from their folly is evident as they continue to misreport and misrepresent the news. For example, consider the non-story of "Government Spying", leaked to the NY Times, which when one knows the fact is not a story at all as it's been the practice of the Government for quite some time now.

Little wonder why the the NY Times has just about become as revelant as a typical supermarket rag, as it pimps out it's boy wonder James Risen's book as "news" without even the benefit of an honest disclaimer.

Little wonder why their balance sheets are plummeting, as they lay off hundreds of workers. Little wonder why other MSM outlets are suffering the same fate.

Michelle Malkin with "unhinged outtakes"; and she also links to the Media Research Center Best of Notable Quotes of 2005.

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