Monday, September 26, 2005

A Mea Culpa

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I published this (Note: link fixed) well linked to post concerning the supposed failure of the Blogosphere with regard to the reporting of events in New Orleans. I wrote the following:

Blogs can't compete with this onslaught. While the blogosphere is a major part of the information wagon train, they are much better with slower moving issues such as the Dan Rather affair or the Trent Lott kerfuffle.

I'm not saying that blogs have not provided a service during this disaster because they have proved to be a tremendous resource with raising donations and such. What I am saying is that during any type of disaster--especially in August when the Cindy Sheehan peace train lost its interest--the news networks have no peer when it comes to setting the agenda.

I was wrong. I bought into the media hype about rapes and murders when I should have known better. The media was dead wrong with regard to all of these stories. Just how wrong was revealed today:

After five days managing near-riots, medical horrors and unspeakable living conditions inside the Superdome, Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron prepared to hand over the dead to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Following days of internationally reported killings, rapes and gang violence inside the Dome, the doctor from FEMA - Beron doesn't remember his name - came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.

"I've got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome," Beron recalls the doctor saying.

The real total was six, Beron said.Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the turning over of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice. State health department officials in charge of body recovery put the official death count at the Dome at 10, but Beron said the other four bodies were found in the street near the Dome, not inside it. Both sources said no one had been killed inside.

Eating crow in general sucks. Eating crow when that crow has stewed in the juices of an Instalanche sucks about 1000 times worse, especially when I get taken down by someone I respect.


Anonymous said...

Crow always tastes a little better when you realize it is spiced with hard earned wisdom.

BenJCarter said...

Don't be to hard on yourself, I was thinking the same thing about the time you were posting it.

Now that it turns out the MSM was as full of poo as usual, we can thank god that the Blogosphere is here or we'd never know how wrong they were.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what was "wrong" what you said. The blogosphere still can't compete with the MSM at setting the agenda. Just because that agenda is biased lies, it still has real impact. Have you seen Bush's poll numbers? That has everything to do with the relentless attacks of the media (and Bush's treatment of the FEMA chair as a patronage slot).

Scott said...

I've commented on that also, Russ:

Anonymous said...

The fact that you posted THIS in addition to THAT adds you to my reading list as 'one of the good ones'

EddieP said...

So far the only certainty about Katrina is the following:

A hurricane struck just east of New Orleans.

The evacuation was a clusterf*ck completely mismanaged by local government.

Some levees broke flooding parts of New Orleans.]

Everything else reportd by the MSM in its hysteria to embarass Bush was misleading, lies, finger pointing, spin, deceitful, inaccurate, and useless. That goes for Fox News as well.

Anonymous said...

So where is the environmental stuff? Do we really need another "drink the kool-aid moonbat" blog?
Cindy Sheehan is a stupid bitch, God loves the troops, what else you got?

Jeff Faria said...

I respect someone willing to own his mistakes. It's rare here or amywhere, and I'd much rather get the truth late than a coverup that lasts forever. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

Your first link is to a story on Lynndie England's conviction.


Anonymous said...

This hysteria is proof of liberal racism. Blacks were expected to revert to violence, lawlessness, and 'primitivism' as soon as the yoke of law was lifted from their heads. MSM, Mayor Nagin, and the Police Commissioner should apologize to Katrina's victims for being racist. Among all people, the mayor and the commissioner were the worst, they stereotyped their own just to cover their rear and gain TV time.

I should add I've never believed what was reported: young girls being raped in the Superdome when it was filled with people? Granted these were 'evacuees', were 'black', but they were humans. Would any humans just watch when a little girl was being raped? Even the most tired and distressed people, especially when there were so many of them, would swarm the attacker. In other words, the report was too bad to be true, thus it was not true.

Ron Wright said...

Actually the Blogos played an important role in the Katrina disaster response.

See these comments I posted at several sites.

The most fascinating one is on, "Spontaneous order."



Update to my post re The Time Picayune Forums Site, NOLA View, used by victims to summon aid.

The LA Times', "Column One" piece today (link below) is about The Times Picayune forum site. The article indicates that "officialdom" is beginning to watch/respond to these pleas for help.


This is exactly my thoughts re decentralized, organic/dendritic networks, that build from the bottom. They don't have to wait for the bureacrats to first become aware of danger/ disaster, assess priority, developed ops plans, and then give orders to carry out plans. Anyone in area that can offer assistance can immediately act e.g. like radio "mesh" tech now emerging.


See Roger L. Simon's blog for rest and links to LA Times Article.



Spontaneous order

Perspective from a set of on-the-ground "eyeballs" from Mississippi. This is a fresh perspective that is lacking in most MSM coverage that has centered on New Orleans.

Read more on "spontaneous order"at:

RLS Link

Also a source advised a lower FEMA official was interviewed on NPR this morning. Seems as though ops center recognized the potential for disaster several days in advance of Katrina's landfall. Emails were sent up but orders never came.

While a good percentage of the blame should rest on local and state response in Louisana, FEMA could have reacted faster. This is an organizational informational flow defect that needs a feedback loop to carry this info to the top policy/decision makers without getting "stove piped" or blocked below.

Just found the NPR link:

NPR Link


Welcome to Mississippi

Mark Flemmings works for Modern
Communications in Cleveland, Ms and is working down on the coast in the recovery.

This is the story from his eyes. (a little long but well worth the

Makes you appreciate what you have!


O.K. I'll make an attempt to tell what's going on down here right now.
It's hard to do for several reasons. First, because there is so much, it's hard to talk about. Let's try to focus on the positive.


RLS Link

bardseyeview said...

Want a newspaper acknowledgement of the misreporting of Katrina? You'll have to go to an Australian newspaper:,5744,16741354%255E7583,00.html

Whoops - you'd have to cut and paste. But my point stands.