Mission Accomplished

Associated Press headline, May 9 : “Obama oil response: aggressive as crisis unfolded

Associated Press headline, May 13: “Poll: Spill not Obama’s Katrina, drilling still OK

Um … yeah.

The May 9 story deserves your attention:

The Gulf region, ravaged five years earlier by Hurricane Katrina, was on the verge of a second ecological disaster. Would there be a repeat of the bureaucratic bungling that marked President George W. Bush’s response to the hurricane?

While the Obama administration has faced second-guessing about the speed and effectiveness of some of its actions, a narrative pieced together by The Associated Press, based on documents, interviews and public statements, shows little resemblance to Katrina in either the characterization of the threat or the federal government’s response.

Actually the time line is pretty good, but pay attention to the fact that no similar time line for the actual events surrounding the Katrina disaster is ever presented. Even though the AP claims “little resemblance,” they offer no evidence to support their claim. Instead, it is up to the reader to remember what happened in September 2005, presumably based on the popular mythology about Katrina that organizations like the AP worked so hard to create. I think the word I’m looking for here is “propaganda.”

Rush Limbaugh has said for years that opinion polls by news organizations are nothing more than efforts to measure how effectively their reporting has impacted the public’s perception of current events. Looks like he was right once again.

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UPDATE: The AP has just changed the headline for today’s story: “Poll: Good marks for Obama on spill, more drilling”

Dang … wish I had a screen cap of the first headine.

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