Associated Press Correction: All last night sat on the levee story and moaned Posted by: Jon Henke
on Saturday, March 04, 2006
McQ mentioned this in a previous post, but I don't think he exploited its full mockery potential, so...
Media Matters is excised about the fact that some major news organizations didn't do follow-up stories on the Katrina tapes...
On March 3, the second day after the Associated Press released video footage from August 28 and 29, 2005, shedding new light on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal all failed to run any new news stories on the videos and Hurricane Katrina. By contrast, The Washington Post, USA Today, and the Associated Press all published second-day follow-up stories on the tapes, which appear to contradict President Bush's September 1, 2005, claim that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
Perhaps the NY Times, LA Times and WSJ's failure to do a follow-up story on the apparent contradiction contained in these tapes has something to do with the correction run today by the Associated Press and picked up by USA Today... (full text at Drudge)
WASHINGTON - In a March 1 story, The Associated Press reported that federal disaster officials warned President George W. Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees in New Orleans, citing confidential video footage of an Aug. 28 briefing among U.S. officials.
The Army Corps of Engineers considers a breach a hole developing in a levee rather than an overrun. The story should have made clear that Bush was warned about flood waters overrunning the levees, rather than the levees breaking.
So, if I understand correctly, Media Matters is complaining that some media organizations aren't doing follow-up stories about the tapes that don't reveal Bush being warned about breaches in the levees.
Actually, come to think of it, why aren't they doing those follow-ups? With the hysteria that enveloped the media and the leftysphere upon the release of those tapes, you'd think some of them would be doing substantive follow-ups to apologize and examine why they just completely invented a story about Bush being warned of breaches in the levees, when the tapes at the heart of the story contained absolutely no evidence for that story.
MORE: Kevin Aylward has more at WizBang. Apparently, even the correction was somewhere south of forthright.
Oh, I think that statement was almost certainly incorrect. Generally speaking "nobody thought..." statements are problematic ground, and there’s plenty of evidence that people in the government did, in fact, consider the possibility.
The superficiality of this story is what most amazes me. It’s not really about whether Bush or the Federal Government did enough in response. It’s not even about whether people were worried about worst-case scenarios.
What it is about is whether "10 words" uttered by an inarticulate president accurately reflected his and his administration’s real understanding of the issues at hand. That’s all.
The goal is obviously to make the case that "Bush Lied" - and they’ve failed again. There is no other reason why this should be a story.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I believe Napoleon had it right: "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
And yet... I see the media doing this kind of thing again and again. They put something out there that makes Bush look bad, sometimes really bad. Then they backtrack, or we find out there are mitigating circumstances. Sometimes they’re plain wrong. And still, after the dust settles, the image in the popular mind is that Bush did something bad, whether he did or not.
Via Tim Blair, I notice that the "fake turkey" is back in the news. Howard Kurtz said:
So while it was a great presidential photo-op (without the fake turkey)...
There was never a fake turkey! It was a real turkey - you can’t even buy a fake turkey decoration because it’s cheaper to cook a real one. Yet this myth can’t be quashed. It’s part of the national lore now, and it’s never, ever going away. And the MSM started it with their sloppy, biased reporting, and are still not interested in getting it right.
I don’t want to believe they’re planning it. I don’t. But, d*mn it, at what point does the repetition make malice more likely than stupidity?
Actually, come to think of it, why aren’t they doing those follow-ups? With the hysteria that enveloped the media and the leftysphere upon the release of those tapes, you’d think some of them would be doing substantive follow-ups to apologize and examine why they just completely invented a story about Bush being warned of breaches in the levees, when the tapes at the heart of the story contained absolutely no evidence for that story.
Oh, that’s rich. What exactly is the beef here? That the AP actually corrected its story? Or it didn’t apologize? Or it didn’t apologize and correct to the rightyshpere’s satisfaction? Yeah, that’s rich.
I’ve got some corrections and apologies that weren’t done to my satisfaction. • “Bin Laden determined to attack the United States” • “No one could have imagined flying planes into buildings” • Imminent threat’s and mushroom clouds • Weapons of Mass Destruction • “Mission Accomplished” • “A wiretap requires a court order” And a few others as well.
McQ: Another in a long line of gaffes, screw ups and incorrect stories brought to you by the collective entity known as the Main Stream Media (MSM) and their "4 levels of editors".
Yes. Another in a long line of gaffes, screw ups and incorrect stories brought to you by a collective entity, indeed.
And “breached” vs. “overtopped”!? I mean Christ on stick, people. This will be the defense? I guess. It all depends on what your definition of the word “is” is … umm… I mean “breached” is. We already knew that “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”, was wrong. Among other citations, we have this from Michael Brown,
There’s no question in my mind he probably had those reports, because we were feeding in the Homeland Security Operations Center, into the White House sit room, all of the information that we were getting. So he had to have had that information. Plus, I think the president knew from our earlier conversations that that was one of my concerns, that the levees could actually breach.
“Breached”!? “Overtopped”!? What a silly defense. Besides, you don’t get to complain about the Left’s accusations of Bush being stupid then turn around and use Bush’s stupidity as a defense. But who knows? I may have been misunderestimating George’s strategery all along. Maybe playing the boy in the bubble can warrant a pass with some folks.
But, d*mn it, at what point does the repetition make malice more likely than stupidity?
That’s a good question. I have another one. At what point does the repetition make incompetence more likely than the media’s malice?
That comment was not about accuracy in the media. There is no apology from me. The comment was about the absurdity of the defense.
Overtopped, overrun, breached… They all lead to NO flooding, don’t they? Anyway, there is ample evidence that concerns about the levee breaching were addressed to the President, therefore, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees” would be a lie, would it not?
But no, it’s the media that is “out to get bush”. Riiiiight.
How about answering my question for a change, At what point does the repetition make incompetence more likely than the media’s malice?
The comment was about the absurdity of the defense.
What defense? Who’s defending the administration here? Certainly not me. I’m talking about accuracy. And the AP was not accurate in the least in this case.
At what point does the repetition make incompetence more likely than the media’s malice?
I never cited malice nor did I infer it ... I hinted very strongly toward incompetence by using the MSM’s arrogant claim that they were better because of 4 levels of editing. Obviously the vaunted 4 levels missed this one badly.
What exactly is the beef here? That the AP actually corrected its story? Or it didn’t apologize? Or it didn’t apologize and correct to the rightyshpere’s satisfaction?
Was I unclear in my post? The "beef" is (1) with Media Matters for demanding follow-up stories on a tape that didn’t substantiate their angle, and (2) with the media organizations that didn’t do follow-up corrections.
The President asked about breaching on Sunday. We know this because the transcript has the President asking about them.
I talked to the President twice today, once in Crawford and then again on Air Force One. He remains very, very interested in this situation. He’s obviously watching the television a lot, and he had some questions about the Dome, he’s asking questions abouts reports of breaches. He’s asking about hospitals. He’s very engaged, and he’s asking a lot of really good questions I would expect him to ask.
So, did he learn of possible breaches from the press, or from FEMA reports?
And then we have this:
JOE HAGIN: Yeah, what’s the current status of the levee system and the roof of the Superdome?
DIRECTOR RHODE: Louisiana, did you receive that question? Louisiana, are you there?
GOVERNOR BLANCO: Kathleen Blanco.
What was your other question? The levees.
We keep getting reports in some places that maybe water is coming over the levees. We heard a report unconfirmed. I think we have not breached the levee. We have not breached the levee at this point in time. That could change, but in some places we have floodwaters coming in New Orleans East and the line St. Bernard Parish where we have waters that are eight to ten feet deep, and we have people swimming in there, that’s got a considerable amount of water itself.
That’s about all I know right now on the specifics that you haven’t heard. And we are still very concerned, and we will have to have an important search and rescue mission operation, so that as quickly as we can when the winds have stopped and we can reasonably and safely get people in there to check on all the calls that we have received.
So, what would your impressions be from all this?
And the difference between a flood caused by over-topping, vs a flood caused by breaching is significant. A wall breaking would cause a sudden rush of water. Over-topping the walls, would cause a slower, more gradual rise in the water. In the second instance, you can plan and evacuate people as the danger increases. In the first (breaking) the danger increases so rapidly that many people will be trapped by the rushing waters.
And again, the best way to avoid either of these scenarios would have been to evacuate before the storm.