In the midst of chaotic news events facts and truth, out of necessity, are distorted or unknown. Myths and lies take over, become established as facts, muddying the truth to the extent it is almost impossible for reality to emerge clearly.
Think about the facts from early Hurricane Katrina reporting: it was the strongest hurricane ever; cannibalism and rape were common occurrences at the Superdome; blacks and the poor, especially poor blacks suffered the most; there was deliberate racism on the part of the rescuers as they avoided black victims; the National Guard was off in Iraq so couldn't help the locals; and the federal response hampered the valiant efforts of the valiant city and state forces; and on and on. These are now facts. This is truth. To those who believe the mainstream media.
Nearly four months after Hurricane Katrina a clearer story is being told. But are many people listening? Certainly the professional victims groups are not, as they have too much to lose. Certainly those officials who really couldn't handle the situation are not, as they would have to accept the blame. And certainly the mainstream media, who utilized the hurricane as still yet another opportunity to push their liberal anti Bush agenda are not correcting their earlier mistakes. They're extending and intensifying their errors into facts with ponderous reports on the truths (sic!) of middle America towards the underclass that the hurricane revealed; screaming headlines about exposes of hurricane racism.
In a devastating situation mistakes by rescuers are bound to happen as are errors by the media. Hindsight is naturally, perfect. Kind of.
However maintaining the falsehoods is not helpful and Mona Charen puts the spin in proper perspective as she publicly corrects some of the major distortions.
Keep this all in mind as politicians and others begin to utilize the myths to get zillions in compensation.
Ethel C. Fenig 12 28 05