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Re: New Orleans Unmasks 'Apartheid, American Style

KATRINA: The lying media

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Nothing is more disheartening about the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina than the discovery that the stories about rape, murder and violence were in most cases a bunch of lies -- lies made up by a prejudiced reporter and carried over and over again by a press that should have known better.
Even a high school journalist knows the basic tenets of reporting, which require that facts be verified by a reliable source before they can be printed. But after all, the Katrina victims were Black, and that's what Blacks do. Right? WRONG!
Stories about a 7-year-old being raped in the Superdome and babies' throats being slashed in the Convention Center brought denial from Matt Welch, columnist for Canada's National Post. In a Sept. 6 article, "The Deadly Bigotry of Low Expectations? Did the rumor mill help kill Katrina victims?" he wrote:
"Not only was the Astrodome rape invented out of whole cloth, so perhaps was the case reported 'round the globe of at least one pre-pubescent being raped and murdered in New Orleans' iconic sports arena."
And The Guardian, a British newspaper, further pointed out: "While many claim they happened, no witnesses, survivors or survivors' relatives have come forward. Nor has the source for the story of the murdered babies, or indeed their bodies, been found. And while the floor of the convention centre toilets were indeed covered in excrement, The Guardian found no corpses."
News media also reported that planes trying to deliver supplies had been shot at, but there was not a "single first-hand confirmation from a pilot or eyewitness" wrote Welch. He added that "the suspension-triggering attack on a military Chinook attempting to evacuate refugees from the Superdome was contested by the Federal Aviation Commission."
The Association of Black Psychologists called it the "demonizing" of the Black race.
Robert Atwell, ABP's national president, said, "Some of the press coverage was especially distasteful and shameful, even if not surprising."
Dr. Atwell pointed out how the various racists acts were handled by the press, from the evacuation of patients from the mostly White Tulane Hospital, while patients at the mostly Black Charity Hospital were ignored, to the heroic act by a Black man who commandeered a New Orleans Parish school bus to bring out 40 to 50 people. He was called a "thief," and the bus was called a "renegade bus." If he had been White, Dr. Atwell said, he would have been called a "hero."
Said Dr. Atwell: "The perpetrators of such 'racist' acts do so out of their own spiritual bankruptcy and culturally hard wiring to be 'anti-other.' Their language consequently reflects their internal set. Looters? Renegades? Refugees? Rapists? All of these are terms that are designed to dehumanize a people and thus justify their ill treatment."
The Herald & Times (England) Web issue of Sept. 7 said: "The Guardian's Gary Younge has pointed out in his coverage of the events, while a few horrific incidents have taken place, as yet none of the more extreme claims about murder or mass rape, the effect of which is to demonize the local Black population, has been substantiated. As regards looting, as Scottish tourists returning from the scene have made clear, for those left with nothing, looting was often the only
way to survive."
Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who took over the U.S. military effort, shed light on the situation when he told Time Magazine why the government was slow to respond. He said, "They were afraid of big crowds of poor people." This also could be why many of the rumors were repeated over and over again. The reporters did not really go into the areas they were reporting on and relied on others to give them "hearsay."
Sad to say, these rumors about rape and criminal behavior followed the victims fleeing from New Orleans, forcing St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis to issue a statement saying, "Rumors are flying and being repeated occasionally in the media that describe supposed criminal actions in St. Tammany Parish. These rumors are NOT true."
On the other hand, the rumors were believed by some local authorities in other areas, like Houston, Texas. That city quickly set up curfews.
The blog zone has had a field day with these nasty rumors. Some have added insult to injury by not only repeating the rumor as if they were true, but also embellishing them to make them more hideous.
Mark Cross of the Supremacy in Blogcasting Network wrote: "I predict that in a couple of months, a steady stream of these myths will begin to show up in your e-mail inboxes telling the tales of woe that someone heard from a friend of a friend or a second cousin twice removed or, better still, names of 'witnesses' will be included. 'It's got to be true; there were witnesses. The e-mail said so!' I'm just letting you know now so you won't be surprised when it happens, and it will happen -- I assure you. When it does, visit snopes.com. A good 90 percent of the bunk that populates your inbox can be de-bunked by a quick visit to this site."
He concluded: "The hallmark of any reporter worth their salt is that they verify the facts BEFORE they file a report. I encourage bloggers and those with an e-mail account to do the same BEFORE they pass on the gossip that passes for truth that will show up in your inbox some morning in early November."
To this we can only add, AMEN.
Now it is up to the responsible media to set the record straight. Wouldn't it be great if the media that printed those lies would now take the time to reread all of those news stories and find out where they erred? Hopefully, then, they would admit their mistakes and tell the world the truth.

Messages In This Thread

Hurricane Katrina Exposes Racism And Inequality
Amid stench of death, poor bear the brunt
The Great Mississippi Flood in 1927
Re: Hurricane Katrina Exposes Racism And Inequalit
Blind to History
The Storm After the Storm
Mayor Ray Nagin Radio Interview. *LINK*
Bush Strafes New Orleans, Where's Huey Long? *LINK*
They're Trying to Wash Us Away.... *LINK*
The dispossessed of New Orleans tell... *LINK*
Oops! We forgot the niggers (again)! *LINK*
Re: Oops! We forgot the niggers (again)! *LINK*
An exposť of American society *LINK*
Mother's remark puts silver foot in Bush's mouth *LINK*
White House: Mrs. Bush Comment 'Personal' *LINK*
Warnings were loud and clear
The Great New Orleans Land Grab
Eight Big Lies About Katrina *LINK*
Exiles from a city and from a nation *LINK*
'Racist' police blocked bridge and forced evacuees back
New Orleans Unmasks 'Apartheid, American Style'
Re: New Orleans Unmasks 'Apartheid, American Style
Re: New Orleans Unmasks 'Apartheid, American Style
Re: New Orleans Unmasks 'Apartheid, American Style *NM*
Re: New Orleans Unmasks 'Apartheid, American Style
Re: New Orleans Unmasks 'Apartheid, American Style
We had to kill our patients
Bush's Status With Blacks Takes Hit
T&T gives US$2m in aid for Katrina victims
The petulant president *LINK*
The Shame of Blaming the Victims
Bush becomes Katrina mourner-in-chief *LINK*
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