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WORST. KATRINA. STORY. EVER.

If you've followed my Katrina coverage, you know that I give very little slack to the media when they get things wrong simply because they are not willing to get it right. I always say that I don't mind if reporters don't fully understand the area or if they can't comprehend what the hurricane did, that's actually to be expected.

In fact, I chuckled when FOXNews showed the broken levees on a map but had them on the wrong side of a 26 mile wide lake. (oops) I even found it humorous when CNN said the 17th Street Canal levee broke at "The corner of 17th Street and Canal St." -- Of course when they kept saying it for 5 hours it was no longer amusing.

I don't mind ignorance of the local area... They ain't from here... But it just chaps me when people say patently stupid things because they refuse to even learn anything about which they are talking. The AFP brings us the most bungled news story I've seen yet.

No one knows just how deadly the season was, as many of Hurricane Katrina's victims in New Orleans are feared to have been carried away by flood waters, buried under rubble or even eaten by crocodiles.

Eaten By Crocodiles? ... Crocodiles? ... In Louisiana?

Does this person even know where crocodiles live? Unless the storm hit somewhere in AFRICA*, the odds of crocs eating the locals are quite slim. - AND it doesn't take a local to know that.

But before you blast the media in the comments... The blogosphere is not immune to such stupidity.

I had one guy tell me the levees had not been breached because if they had been breached "Water would be cascading into the city." -- I'm not sure what channel he was watching.

I had another guy -who lived 1000 miles away- tell me I was wrong; that the 9th Ward was NOT part of New Orleans.... I asked what it was the 9th ward of? Chicago?

What kills me though is how many New Orleans flood control experts there are in the blogosphere...

I had a guy tell me that the Friday before the storm the only topic of conversation in his office was that the floodwalls around New Orleans might fail. It's pretty impressive that these people were not only familiar with New Orleans flood control but knew the walls were going to fail before anyone else. What made it even more impressive though is that on Friday afternoon the National Hurricane Center was still predicting Katrina would hit Florida. Apparently the folks in his office not only knew it was going to hit New Orleans, they knew the floodwalls were going fail too. And can you believe they kept it to themselves? The bastards!

I try to keep a sense of humor about such things... Admittedly sometimes I'm more successful than others. (And sometimes not at all. ;-)

At least in recent days the media has managed to report on something other than the 10 square blocks that make up the French Quarter. Still, you have to wonder if people are fully awake when they say some of the things they say.

* Yeah I know, crocs live other place than Africa but I assure you SE Louisiana ain't one of them.


Comments (22)

"Eaten By Crocodiles? ... C... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

"Eaten By Crocodiles? ... Crocodiles? ... In North America?"

Actually, there is a North American species of crocodile.

Last I heard, though, it didn't live in Louisiana, but in southern Florida, the Caribbean, and down into Central America. What y'all got down there in the Big Easy is American Alligators. Which is not a crocodile, but is a crocodilian. I'd say the media twits did no worse on this story than they do on most.

Not that that's saying much, mind you...

hah- you got me in the 10 s... (Below threshold)
Paul:

hah- you got me in the 10 seconds it took me to fix it. I went to hit preview and hit save.

you're quick.

heh- In case you were wonde... (Below threshold)
Paul:

heh- In case you were wondering, I got those 2 typos too. ;-)

I had a guy tell m... (Below threshold)
kbiel:
I had a guy tell me that the Friday before the storm the only topic of conversation in his office was that the floodwalls around New Orleans might fail.

Well obviously he was a member of the special black-ops team that Bush sent in to dynamite the levees and kill all the black people.

:p

The reporter must have mean... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

The reporter must have meant the crocodiles that escaped when the zoo flooded. Right???

Maybe they were talking abo... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Maybe they were talking about crocodiles in the zoo or something.

In episode 2F09, when Itchy... (Below threshold)
Malibu Stacy:

In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy's skeleton like a xylophone, he strikes the same rib twice in succession, yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we to believe, that this is some sort of a... hehe... magic xylophone or something? Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.

I think they were talking a... (Below threshold)

I think they were talking about Nancy Pelosi!

kbiel don't get me started.... (Below threshold)
Paul:

kbiel don't get me started.

that pelosi skank is a snob... (Below threshold)
moseby:

that pelosi skank is a snob...she doesn't eat black people.

Hmmm.Actually Paul... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Actually Paul what you're writing about is the mechanism that could make PajamasMedia both useful and profitable.

I.e. a diverse set of local sources for timely news that bypasses the networked idiot generators.

*shrug* I know it's off-topic, but it does relate to a previous posting on WizBang.

Pelosi would do anything to... (Below threshold)

Pelosi would do anything to bash Bush...

No pun intended!

I heard that some people we... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

I heard that some people were attacked by orcas, but I know damn well that the huge fish aren't even found in the area.

ed- Sadly (trying not to wh... (Below threshold)
Paul:

ed- Sadly (trying not to whine) I live my life tired and busy now.

You made an great point... one I wish I had the time and energy to blog about...

In 5 seconds or less imagine a site with a blog of temps... Something happens in NOLA and Paul gets the call... New Hampshire and Jay Tea is on deck... Nashville and Glenn Reynolds drives... You can assimilate.

Sadly, I'm too tired and busy to play with the idea but I do know what you mean.

Command Post could/would/sh... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Command Post could/would/should do that too.

Wait, didn't some guy go on... (Below threshold)

Wait, didn't some guy go on TV and say the black people had to eat the corpses to survive? Why wasn't that mentioned?

Hmmm.Actually I wa... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Actually I wasn't thinking of a centralized authority appointing local bloggers to do stories. I was actually thinking of local bloggers doing stories that are about their area and what they know. There's a pretty massive number of bloggers that will pontificate on national subjects, but it's sometimes difficult to find local and involved bloggers that are blogging about local concerns. Even though they have the necessary physical proximity and knowledge to do that sort of blogging very well.

As an example I know nothing about New Orleans. I think I visited a couple times but I really don't remember those very well. At the time I was working in Chicago and some very drunk friends of mine and I would fly to different places and, well, drink some more. *shrug* I was young and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Anyways.

There's no chance I would gain any depth of knowledge about conditions in New Orleans by relying on CNN, NBC or the other networks. Unless it's something that'll attract their attention and even then there's a 50-50 chance they'll muck it up.

In a way a similar system is the citizen journalist system going on in South Korea where locals of all stripes can post stories. Frankly it's something to think about, even for PM.

Maybe they were talking ... (Below threshold)
J:

Maybe they were talking about crocodiles in the zoo or something.

Quit trying to make the story sound plausible!! Don't you know he's on a "how they get it wrong" tirade. Since he lives in the local area, he must have the local zoo's inventory memorized.....

An armchair zoologist making fun of arm chair engineers........

Actually there are a few sa... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

Actually there are a few saltwater crocodiles in far southern Florida. Probably Jeb Bush flew them up to NO to eat all the black people his brother blew up the levies to kill. There's nothing those Bush boys won't try when it comes to killing Democrats.

Actually the crocodiles wer... (Below threshold)
ICallMasICM:

Actually the crocodiles were zombie crocodiles and they were raised out of the mud and had to fight the cannibals for the dead bodies but they only ate black corpses because they thought the white ones were undercooked.

Ok, in South Florida, yeah,... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Ok, in South Florida, yeah, New Orleans, extremly unlikely.

http://www.npca.org/marine_and_coastal/marine_wildlife/crocodile.asp

Coulda been Australia, ya k... (Below threshold)

Coulda been Australia, ya know?




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