Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

9/27/2005

Katrina Coverage

Filed under: Media — Dangerous Dan @ 11:03 pm

The LA Times has a nice little piece on the reporting in New Orleans after Katrina hit. It deals with the media feeding frenzy and how many unverified and unsubstantiated rumors of ghastly crimes taking place in the Superdome and convention center got reported as fact. All those stories of numerous people getting shot, raped, beaten, or a combination of the above have been discredited. Part of the reason these stories got so much attention is that the press loves accounts of chaos, murder, and mayhem. Here's another interesting angle, though:

Times-Picayune Editor Jim Amoss cited telephone breakdowns as a primary cause of reporting errors, but said the fact that most evacuees were poor African Americans also played a part.

"If the dome and Convention Center had harbored large numbers of middle class white people," Amoss said, "it would not have been a fertile ground for this kind of rumor-mongering."

So the enlightened liberal minds of journalism were more likely to believe these rumors because they involved blacks? The folks who are reluctant to publish the race of minority criminals for fear of perpetuating stereotypes were nevertheless prepared to accept that blacks could not avoid plunging into violent anarchy once controls were removed? This speaks volumes.

This, of course, plays to a theme. Liberals always think minorities need government aid, special treatment, and affirmative action in order for them to succeed in the world. Conservatives think minorities should be able to succeed on their own merits and efforts, and yet it's the conservatives who are accused of having low opinions of minorities. At least the conservatives think highly enough of them that that they should be successful without a condescending paternal entity to guide them. Of course, liberals tend to think that of all the common folk, but minorities tend to get it more than others.

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