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The AP Katrina Briefing Story - Rathergate Connection

Yesterday, in looking at the AP piece on the Bush Katrina briefings (Rewriting Katrina History - AP Style), I had this to stay about the AP's work:

...[I]t has all the hallmarks of the Bush Air National Guard story on 60 Minutes II by Dan Rather and Mary Mapes. The AP has dressed up mundane video to try and prove that President Bush (and everyone else) knew that the levees in New Orleans were going to breech. The problem is the evidence they present in their story to make that point does nothing of the sort.
It turns out that there's much more to that analogy than even I knew at the time. Have a look at the byline to the AP story:
By MARGARET EBRAHIM and JOHN SOLOMON

WASHINGTON (AP) - In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.
Here's an interesting detail on someone who certainly looks like one of the story authors from the French-American Foundation's membership roles:
Margaret Ebrahim (2003)
Producer
CBS News, 60 Minutes II
This CBS News page confirms that a Margaret Ebrahim was a 60 Minutes II producer in 2005. Ironically it was Mary Mapes who gave her away...

What are the odds that there are two people with that name, one an AP writer and one a CBS News producer? I'm guessing they're minuscule. The odds are that it's the same person in a new job.

Given the tatters the story has been shredded into by the blogosphere, it's hardly surprising that it comes from an alum of 60 Minutes II...


Update: Wondering who plays the part of Dan Rather in this comedy of errors? It looks like we found him...


Wizbang Coverage

Rewriting Katrina History - AP Style
What's in a Word?
The AP Katrina Briefing Story - Rathergate Connection
New Katrina Video, Same Old AP Bull
Associated Press Admits Error In Katrina Video Story


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» Pundit Review linked with The Boston Globe ignores AP correction

Comments (51)

Maybe my modern short atten... (Below threshold)

Maybe my modern short attention span brain has fried out what it heard a mere 6 months ago...but is it some sort of revelation or surprise that people knew a big hurricane could swamp New Orleans? The press (and MorOn.org) is certainly acting like this is some new earthshattering fact.

What am I missing about this?

Good scoop, Kevin.... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

Good scoop, Kevin.

Falze - I don't think you a... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Falze - I don't think you are missing anything. We already knew where the mistakes were made. This is just icing on the cake for liberals, but anyone paying attention from the get go already knew this.

A lot like Downing street.

I guess the tapes show that... (Below threshold)
Palmateer:

I guess the tapes show that "Brownie was doing a heck of a job," right?

and liberals (jp2) keep hit... (Below threshold)
moseby:

and liberals (jp2) keep hitchin their wagon to a dead horse (MSM)

The MSM never let facts get... (Below threshold)
RA:

The MSM never let facts get in the way of a good propaganda piece.

The tape I heard says the e... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The tape I heard says the experts feared the storm surge would top the levee's. That did not happen. The levee's broke. Breaking of the levee's was not discussed.

The tape I heard says the e... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The tape I heard says the experts feared the storm surge would top the levee's. That did not happen. The levee's broke. Breaking of the levee's was not discussed.

I guess the tapes show t... (Below threshold)

I guess the tapes show that "Brownie was doing a heck of a job," right?

Actually, they do. He was asking the right questions, obviously had a handle on how things were going and what could go wrong, and seemed to know that the weak link in the chain was the lack of state and local response and preparedness.

Unfortunately, due to those pesky Federal laws, there wasn't much FEMA could do to counteract the locals until it was too late.

Whoah! Very nice catch, Kev... (Below threshold)
MjM:

Whoah! Very nice catch, Kevin.

But it's not as if the AP hasn't tried to pull this kind of stunt before.

Yep.. really isn't it reall... (Below threshold)
Drew:

Yep.. really isn't it really getting harder to defend the President? He ASKED NO QUESTIONS! If just another "My Pet Goat" moment doesn't concern you than you live in world that is different. As for bringing up Rather..the fact remains the same..Bush did not take his training and volunteer to defend his country in a time of WAR..no seriously...defend Bush not asking a single question over what was said..maybe..Will the city be flooded? What exactly is in place for post-storm assestence? ...Remember..BUSH STAYED ON VACATION..Katrina was/is bigger than 9/11..Do you trust Bush to respond to a major event where you live? Do you really believe Bush sides with you over Big Business? I enjoy, in a perverse way the continuing excueses here for our worst President ever. Blame the media..Blame Ted Kennedy..Blame Clinton..Blame the Majority of U.S. ctizens who are now against our occupation Of Iraq and the invasion.. Blame everyone but Bush..

A lot like Downing stree... (Below threshold)

A lot like Downing street.

Yeah, it is a lot like Downing Street, another phony bullshit "scandal" furiously peddled by BDS-crazed loonies, which lasted about a week before unraveling into nothing and forcing them on to the next one, like addicts seeking their next fix.

LOL, nice work, Kevin!... (Below threshold)

LOL, nice work, Kevin!

Was the tape sent to the AP from the Abilene Kinko's?

What part of the British ac... (Below threshold)
Drew:

What part of the British acknowledged Downing Street Memos have been proven to be "bullshit"..as for "nothing"? ...2/3 of a major U.S. city is no longer there..that is not going away..hey why don't you explain why someone who got fighter pilot training did not use that training in Viet Nam? The "nothing" will not go away because a major city has been destroyed is not going away..and the Bush invasion of Iraq and the climbing body count both dead and alive but changed forever is not going away..the ...and of course the feeble excuses for Bush will not go away..

Drew,Earlier in th... (Below threshold)
robert:

Drew,

Earlier in the same meeting Brown noted that Bush had called him twice that day (it was then about noon) for an update, and asked "lots of questions".

No wonder then, that he asked none during the meeting. Another MSM gotcha.

"the tatters the story has ... (Below threshold)
Charles V:

"the tatters the story has been shredded into by the blogosphere"

Well gee, thats gonna get alot of play. The MSM is front paging the original story and it leads a number of TV news casts. 70% of the American people will believe it is basically correct.

Who really cares except the internet political junkies?

Chalk this up as another successful smear hit against the Prez.

PS- this was on Power Line moments ago:

CNN and the Democrats--sorry for the redundancy--have jumped on the Hurricane Katrina bandwagon. CNN's report repeats the factual error that the Associated Press made yesterday, confusing breaches of the levees with overtopping of the levees. President Bush said it wasn't anticipated that the levees would be breached; the famous video that everyone is watching doesn't contradict that statement. It talks only about the possibility of levee overtopping.

Is it possible that all of these reporters have somehow missed all of the post-Katrina discussions about the important differences between levee overtopping (widely predicted before Katrina hit, including by CNN), and breaching of the levees, which apparently resulted from design or construction defects? It seems almost inconceivable that all of those involved in misreporting the video can claim ignorance.

The Democrats sent out an email this afternoon that contains a flat misrepresentation:

The tapes directly contradict Bush's now infamous claim after Katrina, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
That statement is false, and the Democrats must know it. The level of dishonesty on exhibit here is disgusting.


Drew : These guys get some ... (Below threshold)
JD:

Drew : These guys get some good trolls around here, some even worthy of engaging in debate. You, on the other hand, are an ass.

A cursory review of your posts shows that you missed at least two of the pertinent talking points, for which you should be scolded by your DU/Kos/Atrios/oliverwillis/etc ... masters.

You forgot to mention Halliburton. You neglected to state that Bush lied, and people died.

Go back, do a little research, and find out about the history of the plane that President Bush was trained on, when it was taken out of service in the war, etc ... come back, and report accordingly.

on fosnews special report, ... (Below threshold)

on fosnews special report, brti hume pointed out that this video WAS NOT CONFIDENTIAL (the video was reasled the day after it was amde, and the transcript has been around too!).

bill sammon then that this article is JOURNALISTIC FRAUD.

malpractice.

deliberate.

your revelation is equallt ENRAGING!

will thgese people never stop!? have they NO SHAME!?

Mister Drysdale's son. That... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Mister Drysdale's son. That's W.

...he just can't find his y... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

...he just can't find his yachting hat.

Jethro Bodine, that's bryan... (Below threshold)

Jethro Bodine, that's bryanD.

What most don't realize is ... (Below threshold)
Crusty:

What most don't realize is that we've been worried about losing New Orleans for at least the last two decades!

You don't have to be much brighter than a catfish to understand that when you build a coastal city fifteen feet below sea level, you will run a definite risk of flooding during storms.

Call the media what you wan... (Below threshold)
indolene:

Call the media what you want, but stupid they are not: they know a great propagandist when they see one.

Hmmm.I will now re... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

I will now respond to all of the various allegations and assertions being made, and thus causing a re-re-re-re-re-re-re-rehashing of the same basic facts yet again. I will cover, in detail, all of the facts known and when they were known and by whom. I will detail what options were available and why some were not allowed due to the law. I will cover why the President's powers are curtailed within the United States and why Katrina went so badly compared to Florida in 2004 and th Tsunami disaster.

In short I will expend great effort so that nobody is put to the effort of actually searching the archives and reviewing the enormous mass of writing that has already gone on before.

But I will do so in my own unique minimalist style.

1.
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7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
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13.
14.
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Thank you.

Only a truly stupid person ... (Below threshold)
fugazi:

Only a truly stupid person can blame a man, George W. Bush, for a 300 mile wide cat. 4 hurricane.

Exactly how would have Katrina gone down differently if it happened in 1998? I mean besides Clinton biting his lip and the media praising him for his strong leadership.

New Orleans has known a direct hit would break the levees since the late 1700's. In fact, it has happened several times before.

Blaming Bush for Katrina is the sign of the truly child - like mind.

What did the dems expect th... (Below threshold)
hassanchop:

What did the dems expect the President to do?? Rush to Nawlins and start slinging sandbags? The whole premise is ridiculous and it's just sad that so many Americans will lap up the sh*t the MSM feeds them.

Of course we now have the tape of Blanco exposing her ignorance on the conditions of the levees...warnings were posted at 9 am, but by noon she still didn't have a clue...drew, where did you go?

The Norwegian media loved t... (Below threshold)

The Norwegian media loved this story. Every single large media source in Norway played this story. Many of them stated outright that Bush had been caught lying.

So, anyone still wonder why Bush is hated abroad?

I emailed every single one of the big sources and told them that they needed to check their Bush-hatred at the door before going to work, because this was getting ridiculous.

Oh, and they can't play the ignorance card either. They even translated the video correctly, where Mayfield says "topped", which they translated to what comes out being "overswam".

They know Bush didn't lie, but they don't care. The Norwegian public won't see the difference between "topped" and "breached". Mostly because most of the sources didn't even quote Bush and Mayfield correctly. Either that or they didn't quote them at all.

You think the American MSM is bad? The Norwegian media acts like CBS - they run with every single hit-piece that comes out of the USA, and they don't fact-check any of it. All anti-Bush, all the time.

The 2nd largest TV station in Norway, and I'm not even joking, ran a piece on the evening news stating "the USA has used chemical weapons in Iraq".

The mainstream media in these countries have become the poison that will unravel everything. Checks and balances. Not just for the government, but for the zealous political hacks running the biggest media sources in the world.

I blame Bush for not rushin... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

I blame Bush for not rushing to NOLA and throwing his body on top of the levee as soon as he kind of maybe sort of knew that maybe the levee might break. Even though the Governor said no levee had broken. He should have said "Shut up bitch, I know what kind of sort of might possibly happen, and I'm coming down there!"

But maybe he should have thrown Michael Moore's body on top of the levee. Bush is kind of scrawny and it was a really big hole.

Its interesting to watch pe... (Below threshold)
John:

Its interesting to watch people in the media suggest that of everyone involved, George W. Bush ignored Katrina.

Not the tens of thousands of idiots who stayed behind in a cat 5/4 hurricane.

Not the moron of a mayor who forgot/ignored the school buses that were to be used to evacuate his people.

Not the corrupt cops of New(ly flooded) Orleans who spent their spare time looting.

Not the airhead governor Blanco who was caught saying on her live microphone that she should have asked for military help from GWB sooner.

Of all of those people, it was GWB who should have known how much trouble New Orleans was in. Suddenly, its GWB (and not Nagin or Blanco) who knows about New Orleans propensity for flooding. It was GWB who should have gotten FEMA there sooner then in any previous disaster. (GWB: "Hey Fema? This time, its a -real- disaster. Move it. Okay?")

Sure. That makes sense.

-John

We need to get to the sourc... (Below threshold)
Terry Moltumyr:

We need to get to the source of the problem. 20 or 30 years ago, when the Corps of Engineers wanted to strengthen the levees, the environmemtalists took them to court and stopped the project. Then, six months ago, people stayed home when they were told to leave town.
There's no one to blame but those environmentalists.

The thing taht truly should... (Below threshold)
DaveP.:

The thing taht truly should sadden you all is that the Liberals REFUSE to blame Blanco, Nagin, and the NOPD for their murderous incompetence; perferring to shift blame to the White House... because it's better in their minds that "there were no buses" remain the official policy, as long as President Bush can be used as a scapegoat.

Politics over competence, that's what has been announced as the S.O.P.

Six months before Katrina, ... (Below threshold)
Geno:

Six months before Katrina, in April of 2005, I read in "Popular Science" about what would happen to New Orleans if a Cat 5 hurricane struck the area. It was dead on. To wit:

"It takes Scott Kiser only a split second to name the one city in the U.S., and probably the world, that would sustain the most catastrophic damage from a category-5 hurricane. "New Orleans," says Kiser, a tropical-cyclone program manager for the National Weather Service."

"Although hurricanes of this magnitude slamming directly into New Orleans are extremely rare--occurring perhaps every 500 to 1,000 years--should one come ashore, the resulting storm surge would swell Lake Pontchartrain (a brackish sea adjoining the Gulf of Mexico), overtop the levees, and submerge the city under up to 40 feet of water. Once this happened, the levees would "serve as a bathtub," explains Harley Winer, chief of coastal engineering for the Army Corps's New Orleans District. The water would get trapped between the Mississippi levees and the hurricane-protection levees. "This is a highly improbable event," Winer points out, "but within the realm of possibility."

Read the article at: http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/22040b4511b84010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html

> hey why don't you explain... (Below threshold)
Andy Freeman:

> hey why don't you explain why someone who got fighter pilot training did not use that training in Viet Nam?

Bush personally destroyed the entire Viet Cong air force even though he was only trained in a plane type that was never sent to Vietnam.

(Hint - the VC and NoV never had aircraft, which is what fighters are designed to deal with.)

The media doesn't know the ... (Below threshold)
Silhouette:

The media doesn't know the meaning of the word breach, so they run off half cocked again and claim a "lie" where there wasn't. Or rather, the only lie was their own.

As for the "big picture" that they are also selling, Bush was told ahead of time that it could go badly for New Orleans?

That is the least "shocking" of the shocking new evidence I've ever seen.

Was there anyone in this country over 10 that didn't know that? It was all that anyone discussed in the days prior to the hit. With the possible exception of many of the people who didn't evacuate. What were they thinking? Knowing a huge hurricane was heading right toward them and knowing their city is below sea level wasn't enough. They needed someone from the government to officially tell them something was wrong before they moved?

Reminds me of person whose engine ceased when it lost oil. Didn't you see the oil light, she was asked. Oh yes, she said, but I thought if it was REALLY important there would be a second, louder alarm.

Oh wow, Bush's screws up ag... (Below threshold)
Jake:

Oh wow, Bush's screws up again and all the arseholes in the Right Wing Noise Machine, RWNM for short, swing into action by attacking the media and blaming everyone but Bush.
ATTENTION: TO ALL THE Brainless, hypocritical Bushbots! (like the moron who runs this blog)
NO ONE BELIEVES OR TRUSTS BUSH ANY LONGER EXCEPT FOR ALL THE MINDLESS FANATICS. YOUR LITTLE "ATTACK THE MSM" GAME IS OVER! GROW UP AND TAKE RESPONSIBLITY UNLIKE ALL THE FAT ARSEHOLES SUCH AS LIMBAUGH!

I don't trust Bushco's hone... (Below threshold)
Jake:

I don't trust Bushco's honesty or judgement anylonger, the Dubai deal was the last straw. It seems that to be a good Republican or conservative, one must not disagree at all with Bushco! (except for the Border)

Reading the comments of our... (Below threshold)
Defense Guy:

Reading the comments of our increasingly deranged leftist friends these days makes me think that the wrong substance was put into our water supply. It clearly should have been Thorazine.

That's right Defense Guy, n... (Below threshold)
Jake:

That's right Defense Guy, not only attack a critic for being a leftist, which I ain't, but question his sanity. I don't have to prove to a pointy head like you my conservative creds, my patriotism or my sanity. Maybe I'm a RINO?, which means a conservative who doesn't rubber stamp the Bush's follies. Maybe you should ask yourself why 96% of the rest of the world disagrees with Bushco?

Jake, using the term "Bushc... (Below threshold)

Jake, using the term "Bushco" marks you as a member of the goofy left, as does the reference to 96% of the rest of the world. No conservative would cite "world opinion".

Drew and Jake's comments le... (Below threshold)
Tongueboy:

Drew and Jake's comments lead me to believe that some nefarious programming geek has modified the Chomskybot for use by Kos's Morlocks.

Maybe you can go back to th... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Maybe you can go back to the tapes of the 2004 election.
When moron (almost)-elect said HE WAS THE ONE YOU CAN TRUST TO PROTECT AMERICANS.

Katrina: Explain.

Republicans. The party of ... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Republicans. The party of accountability.

This is better than laughing gas.

Silly Robert. We know you'... (Below threshold)
VinceTN:

Silly Robert. We know you're not laughing. No Leftist has laughed for nearly six years now. Of course, no communist was laughing in 1989 either. Please continue spewing with Dave. It's validating to watch such bitterness in the enemy.

Katrina: Explain.H... (Below threshold)
red:

Katrina: Explain.

Here you go moron! Anything else we can help you with?

hur·ri·cane ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hûr-kn, hr-)
n.
A severe tropical cyclone originating in the equatorial regions of the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea or eastern regions of the Pacific Ocean, traveling north, northwest, or northeast from its point of origin, and usually involving heavy rains.

Good Lord. Good "Margaret E... (Below threshold)

Good Lord. Good "Margaret Ebrahim." What a freakin' leftie. Mother Jones, the Nation ... and CBS and AP, of course.

Where I said "good 'Margare... (Below threshold)

Where I said "good 'Margaret Ebrahim'," I meant "google." It's late, the scotch bottle's empty, what can I say?

If I remember correctly, Bu... (Below threshold)
John Brown:

If I remember correctly, Bush flew F-102's and this plane was deployed briefly in Vietnam. Also the N. vietnamese did use Russian fighters such as the Mig 17 & Mig 21 in fact these were often flown by Soviet pilots. Although Bush did not serve in Vietnam, I read somewhere that he did volunteer. Also it is inherently dangerous to fly fighter aircraft especially obsolete crap that that the ANG used to fly. If bush really wanted to avoid the chance of combat, he could have been a finance officer or managed an Officer's club.

The AP Like CBS doesn't wor... (Below threshold)
scrapiron:

The AP Like CBS doesn't worry about the lies they tell. They know for a fact the 45% + of the American public is retarded. (ex. Drew) How else can you explain the 45% + that would vote for a known traitor/dishonorably discharged/pardoned felon. (ex. Drew) Of course that was their second Presidential canidiate that was a pardoned felon and one of them (Slick Willie) made it to the white house. This should show everyone that the left isn't making poor choices for presidential canidiates, they're all criminals or traitors so who they choose makes little difference.(ex. Drew)
The former MSM types get caught in their lies on a daily basis but the lie has already been planted in the leftie's heads (ex. Drew)and there is no way short of letting the "Religion of Peace" remove the head to get the lie out.
Evidently the left thinks that the "Religion of Peace" won't harm them or their families because of all the support they have given the terrorists.(ex. Drew)

If it is all George W.'s fa... (Below threshold)
Lelande:

If it is all George W.'s fault, why is another member of the LA dem machine runing against Nagin? Landrieu is white and the current Lt Governor of LA. Are they reasserting the Plantation again? Where is Blanco in this mess?

I don't have to prove my co... (Below threshold)
Jake:

I don't have to prove my conservaticve creds to the stupid, hypocritical right wing garbage heads on this thread. You are just mindless robots whose conservatism consists of rubberstamping everything the Whitehouse does because you are mentally and morally challenged. I challenge anyone of you pigs to a debate so I can show everyone else what stupid, hypocritical twats you are.

Oh by the way, a wizbang re... (Below threshold)
Jake:

Oh by the way, a wizbang refers to a low trajectory, high velocity cannon firing shot, not to a howitzer bombshell that you have as your logo




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