Bad reporting for a bad reason

It isn’t just conservatives who are upset at the MSM for its horrible reporting in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, particularly with respect to New Orleans. Donna Britt, an African-American columnist with the Washington Post, is unhappy that “media accounts of post-Hurricane Katrina mayhem in New Orleans — the countless killings, piles of bodies and profusion of rapes — were greatly exaggerated.” She notes that “if the dome and Convention Center had harbored large numbers of middle-class white people, it would not have been a fertile ground for this kind of rumormongering.” Perhaps it’s Britt sense of diplomacy, or her loyalty to her profession, that causes her not to pose the more interesting and important question — whether, had the dome and convention center harbored mostly white middle-class people, the MSM would have believed and reported as fact the wild rumors.
It’s my view that even the MSM’s suggestion that the death count would reach 10,000 was based on stereotyping — the view that the poor and predominantly African-American residents who didn’t leave New Orleans couldn’t save themselves and, as a class, needed government intervention to survive.


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