On Tuesday, I linked to several new media critiques of its predecessor’s failures in covering the real news of Katrina. Matt Welch has a must-read interview with a public affairs officer for the Louisiana National Guard, who was at the Superdome for eight days, during the height of the period that the media portrayed in such lurid terms. He says. “There’s a whole bunch of [laughs] stuff out there that never happened at the Dome, as I think America’s beginning to find out slowly”.
Welch begins his piece by writing:
We are now into Week Two of elite news organizations’ re-evaluation of the New Orleans horror stories they helped transmit to the world in the first seven days after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. It was known already by September 6 that tales of evacuee ultra-violence in refugee centers like Baton Rouge and Houston were both false and strikingly similar to one another, but it took much longer to begin clearing the muck from the Big Easy.
I wonder which version history will ultimately remember–the media’s Weekly World News-style first draft, or what actually happened. Sadly, something tells me it will be the former.
(Via Betsy Newmark.)