I linked to at least two stories out of New Orleans that now seem to have been exaggerated. One was the emotional Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard’s emotional story about a friend’s mother who died in a nursing home. MSNBC now reports that Broussard did not get the details and timing of this right and that the death was, tragically, among those that allegedly came when residents of a nursing home were not evacuated and the owners of that home have since been indicted. The other story was of the murder of at least one child in the Convention Center as reported in the Times-Picayune; David Carr in The Times said there is no verification of that story.

Carr also points out that such exaggerations often occur in such tragedies. He recounts hearing similarly amplified horrors after September 11th. In both cases, it is not as if there is the slightest reason to add to the horrifying truth.

  • jeff

    It’s okay. I once recommended your site to a friend. Then later I realized your site was exaggerated and unverifiable. The sad part is the unintended consequences. My friend no longer emails me.

  • You forgot the part about apologizing for blaming the president for the above listed mistakes. You know, since the local governments had no responsibility at all in the disaster.

  • David

    Don’t worry Jarvis the republican sheep are used to having people lie to them…

    “There are WMD’s In Iraq!”

    “Mushroom Clouds” in major U.S. cities…

    “It would only take Saddam 45 minutes to fire his chemical or biological weapons.”

    “I don’t know Kenny Boy…oops I mean Kenneth Lay.”

    “No one thought they’d use airplanes as missiles”

  • kat

    Not to mention that the friend’s mother died 4 days earlier than Broussard said–his friend was obviously getting calls from a corpse.

  • There is still plenty of tragedy in the story of New Orleans and plenty of blame to go around at all levels and I have consistently blamed all levels. There were still old people in hospitals and homes who should have been rescued and weren’t and there were still people who died in the Convention Center from neglect. How dare you dismiss those losses because of these exaggerations. Are they now worthless as you play your games of political gotcha. Good God, this is a national tragedy no matter how you count it. The responsible thing to do is to recognize that and to try to prevent it from happening again, not running for political and PR cover.

  • Here are two other Katrina stories the MSM would do well to follow up on:

    – “FEMA: Florida Election Management Agency”

    – “Trojan Horse: The Bush Plan for Katrina”

  • Oh, screw it all. You make a correction and all you get is guff. You’re doing the right thing, Jeff, and at least some of us appreciate it.

  • People are going to have to have their “I told you so’s”.

    At least Jeff Jarvis is making corrections. I do appreciate that. The fringe, however, are coming up with more conspiracies and tin foil hat theories since reality is tearing away at their original fictions.

    Look here: with dangerous situations, no electricity, etc, Mayor Nagin astoundingly calls on the people of NO to return (after buying his family a house in Dallas, natch); Bush and others say, essentially, “uh… not a good idea, especially with a new storm blowing in already”; fringe Democrats concoct a theory that Bush is simply trying to trip up Nagin and make sure that his big bidness cronies can grab all the NO land for themselves. Since the once-and-future president Nagin is so much smarter, if he says it’s time to go back, it’s time to go back. They say of Bush that it’s “not his call”… huh??? It was all Bush’s responsibility when Nagin didn’t get his people out, and now it’s none of his business???

    As always, they need to get their fictions straight.

    Tonight’s news is that Nagin, of course, is having to reverse himself after misguiding people back into the disaster area who are just going to have to evacuate again. If it wasn’t clear before that the man is a dangerous incompetent, it surely is now.

  • “New Orleans Native”: it is caring about people to care about the reality of the situation. The situation I cite with Nagin is a perfect example: Nagin’s better than anybody at cussing on TV in order to make it appear that he *cares* more. That doesn’t make it so when blythely sends citizens prematurely back into a disaster area.

    It is lying and distorting situations for political gain, as the left has been doing, which is inhuman. Don’t try to pretend that lame attempts at gaining political capital by using victims as pawns is noble.

  • I guess this would be a bad time to add…

    It is, in fact, completely irrelevant, not to mention substantively false.

  • No, let’s make that not so irrelevant. Let’s do some basic compare and contrast. What happens when ya get caught lyin’?

    You declare victory way before the war’s over. Nobody did that, but if that was indeed the intent of the “mission accomplished” sign (the ship’s mission had, indeed, been accomplished)… do you really think that even the “Chimperor” is so stupid that he thinks that people won’t notice that we’re still in Iraq the very next week? Same goes for WMD… WMD has embarrassed the administration, but it’s not because they were lying. If they were, they would have of course planted fake evidence. Otherwise, they would have known that it would come out as it did, and they would face the consequences.

    This is basic smell-test stuff. The left’s not so good at it these days, because they are *so* desperate to pin stuff on people.

    Let’s compare that to Broussard, who apparently refabricated the entire tale of a woman’s death in order to shift all blame from local authorities to the feds. What happens when you get caught lyin’ about *that*? Well, you don’t expect to get caught on a story like that, you see. Like Al Gore’s “Union Label lullaby” story, you think you’re going to get away with it. Broussard’s victim is dead; nobody’s going to contradict Gore’s version of his own life as a baby.

    Broussard’s account — I’m sorry — is too wildly off course from the story that the woman’s son tells. It wasn’t just a confused account in a time of tragedy. It was a lie — under duress, but a lie, nonetheless. But it was the devilish details of Broussard’s lie that tripped him up.

    It didn’t pass the *smell test*. It sounded trumped up to begin with. And it was not a goof or misunderstanding or mistake, but a deliberate attempt to deceive.

  • Superwoody

    Sounds like Nagin got on line tonight with all the language flying around here!

  • Linda Edwards

    With Hurricane Rita bearing down on the Keys, do you think the local governments are going to back up every resident into buses and move them out of the area? Or will they only go to local shelters?

  • New Orleans Native

    As a native, there is no way to get everyone to hgih ground. Nto a city of this size in only two ro three days. The best you can hope for is for those with means to get out, and those without means to get to local shelters. It’s ALWAYS been that way. My entire life my upper middle class family would evacuate to some nice hotel in Texas or even got to my aunt’s condo in FL if it weren’t threatened. We’d hole up and watch excitedly. Nothing much ever happened.

    In 1995 when my Grandpa’s house flooded, we helped him out and then took care of him as he suffered from infection from nothing more than knee deep flood waters.

    But there was no evacuation.

    I agree it’s not enought. The state and the fed must meld in this kind of disaster.

    That’s what I’ fired upi about, getting after evil political assholes about. Trying to get them to remember their humanity and forget their stupid politcal principles. Especially since NONE of them are actually following the missions of thier respective parties…..

  • Thanks for posting this, and thanks for all the posting you’ve done throughout the Katrina disaster.

  • cardeblu

    Jeff, there is one more “slight” correction you should make:
    “There were still old people in hospitals and homes who should have been rescued…”

    Should be:
    There were still old people in hospitals and homes who should have been EVACUATED…

  • Shalom Jeff,

    Ignore the talking-points-robots. You’re point that people have died and suffered in tragic numbers is the core issue.

    This kind of gotcha triumphalism comes from sycophants to a man who refuses to believe he’s ever made a mistake.

    Keep it up, Jeff. Thank you.


    Jeff Hess

  • Good thinking, Jeff. some of us who heard a serious news report on 9/11 that the State Dept had been hit by a car bomb were very afraid for nearby family members.

    There isn’t anything anyone says that doesn’t attract the talking points bunch, but at least their credibility is ever after that washed away for those readers who check in to make serious, and read serious, real reactions and views.

  • This kind of gotcha triumphalism comes from sycophants to a man who refuses to believe he’s ever made a mistake.

    Reminds me of the Rathergate brouhaha — as if the fact that the CBS memo was a fake somehow invalidated the whole line of inquiry into Bush’s National Guard record.

    This time, however, is a different matter. Coming out of the woodwork and debunking the more horrific Katrina tales as a way of saying “See? It wasn’t so bad after all!” may score points with the true believers, but it isn’t going to do a damned thing to change the public perception that Bush and Friends f***ed up big time on this one.

  • kat

    {but it isn’t going to do a damned thing to change the public perception that Bush and Friends f***ed up big time on this one. } Yeah, had Bush evacuated those hospitals using, retirement homes, and provided buses for the Superdome crowd, he could have avoided a tragedy.

  • kat

    ~~~should be using ambulances

  • As for the Broussard story, the media has published and broadcast officials telling likes forever (“I am not a crook.” and “I did not have sex with that woman.”)

    As for the other exaggeration, this is why I have trouble believing what gets reported. Sometimes it’s not true.

  • Kat & Native: I’ve killed some of your more venemous posts. Cool it.

  • John

    Before Aaron Broussard’s on-air breakdown in front of Tim Russert, he was very lucid and unequivocal during the interview in saying Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s office had done nothing wrong during the evacuation effort, and all the blame should be pointed towards the federal government. That makes the question of whether or not he was misinformed or lying during his claim about the death of his co-worker’s mother more than problimatical.

    To be fair, Broussard did endorse Republican Bobby Jindal — who had lost to Blanco in the 2003 governor’s race — for his congressional bid in 2004, and Jindal in the early going also displayed a very strong reluctance to put any of the blame for the evacuation failures on any local officials. So this may be more of a case of area politicians trying to cover for their own within the Southern Louisiana area by blaming the problems on some faceless FEMA bureaucrats, than any directly partisan ploy to pin the entire disaster on Bush.

  • Catherine

    My sister is a news reporter in New Orleans, and according to her, Broussard is far from a left wing hack looking to make the president look bad. The sheriff of Jefferson Parish, something Lee, once suggested that blacks driving in his parish would be pulled over for no reason in an attempt to stop crime. You’re forgetting this is the same parish that was home to David Duke. I don’t buy the idea that these officials were partisan and therefore looking to place the blame with the president. Maybe he was just pissed off? By the way, my sister has been back in New Orleans a few times (she lives in the French Quarter, and was recently planning to move to Algiers) and while it’s not what it was before she left, it’s not as bad as you all seem to think, at least in those areas. Algiers has electricity, water, and trash pickup. Why shouldn’t people be able to go back there if they wanted? And to be fair to Nagin, he announced that he was going to be letting people back into these areas well before Rita showed up on the map. I think it’s rather comical that people like Carson Fire (from whom I’ve come to expect so little) REFUSE to acknowledge any blame at the federal level and insist on bashing the local officials even though, unless he lives in Louisiana, the governor and the mayor’s actions will have no effect on his safety where he lives. It sounds like he thinks his local officials would have no need for the federal government if something as devastating as Katrina happened in his neighborhood.

  • Catherine,

    You have noticed that Rita is heading now into the Gulf, where a heat wave has heated up the waters and she is bound to gain speed – on a path that may well take her into the coast not far from the Texas/Louisiana border.

    It just would be too awful if the Houston Astrodome was in that path but that’s one possibility. The next day she would be approaching Carsonfire. It looks like time to check the hurricane supplies. Five days’ provisions which include water are highly recommended.

  • penny

    Why shouldn’t people be able to go back there if they wanted?

    Maybe because at the time Nagin invited folks back there were no operational 911 numbers. So if you were injured or had a heart attack there was no one to help as if the hospitals would be fully operational anyways.

    Public safety is kind of a mayor’s responsibilty isn’t it?

  • So this may be more of a case of area politicians trying to cover for their own within the Southern Louisiana area by blaming the problems on some faceless FEMA bureaucrats, than any directly partisan ploy to pin the entire disaster on Bush.

    OK, I think I can go along with that.

    I do think that people are being a little too easy on Broussard by characterizing his vastly different account as the result of confusion — the entire tenor of the story was changed — but the motive is of course debatable.

    Understand that it is simplistic to assume that people are simply blindly defending Bush as some kind of knee-jerk reaction. Like many, I haven’t been entirely happy with all of Bush’s policies. However, we become weary at the overextended attacks from the left, most of which is tedious and irrelevant. Here we have somebody once again cluelessly dredging up the AWOL story, which continues to be supremely irrelevant regardless of how much evidence (real or forged) can be found or word processed. Like Clinton’s “don’t inhale”, it might be worthy of some jokes here and there, but it hardly rises to the impeachable, indictable offense that the left hallucinates.

    The left also is having a more difficult time distinguishing between their feeling that something happened and proof that something happened. Absence of proof now becomes irrelevant because of the sheer number of leftists who believe it. Here, debunking Broussard’s story conversely becomes an attempt by “wingnuts” to minimize and dismiss real tragedy, which is dishonest hyperbole.

    In any case, we’re too used to most of this being directed at Bush in particular, so it’s an easy mistake for us to make in assuming that one more wild attack is tailored for him. Even if it wasn’t Broussard’s intent, the story *was* picked up by the left as another weapon against Bush, and I contend that the left betrays its own heartless cynicism by becoming more visibly furious at the idea of reality taking away their “weapons” than showing real empathy for the victims themselves. That woman should have been evacuated in any case, and people with hearts grieve that she was not; the left sees the blame shifting away from the object of their hatred and disingenuously lash out at people for being heartless, even though their anger and hatred is rooted not in empathy, but in bloodless political rancor.

  • And to be fair to Nagin, he announced that he was going to be letting people back into these areas well before Rita showed up on the map.

    What? My local weatherman here in Dallas was talking about Rita and it’s potential threat to the already-devastated area *last week*!!! Nagin was still talking about bringing people back in the day before yesterday.

    It’s false to say that I don’t recognize federal culpability. I believe I’ve said several times in these comments that there is plenty of blame to go around. What I don’t recognize are fishy stories and political attacks.

    What should be avoided is the self-righteous identification that many seem to go through — a huge tragedy occurred, people have died, you heartless people better shut up and adopt the policies of my political party and believe the biased stories of my fringe wing!!! This is a use of victims as pawns.

    And, yes, I’m prepared for a storm, as much as possible. I’ve been through a flood that wiped out a lot of my possessions once before, and in Texas you have to be prepared for potentially ruinous weather. Not much chance of this one being a factor in Dallas (which is a long way from Houston), but you should always be prepared to take care of yourself and your family.

  • EverKarl

    First, let me second Greg Burton’s comment. JJ should be encouraged to make corrections (when warranted), not attacked for it.

    Second, although NBC’s piece focuses on the “discrepancies” in Broussard’s timeline, there’s a more basic problem. If you watched the show or read the transcript, it’s clear that the entire thrust of his interview was to blame and castiagte FEMA (for this discussion, I really don’t care what his motive was). Yet we now know that the nursing home at issue was actually asked to evacuate their patients and the home refused. FEMA’s response had nothing to do with it.

    Third, you would think that these problems would have prompted NBC to look at Broussard’s other claims to see how they hold up. For example, his claims that FEMA turned away water trucks, etc. may turn out to be a case of FEMA directing aid to areas that were deemed to have more urgent needs than Jefferson Parish. Sadly, there’s no indication that NBC is interested in doing anything that they are not embarrasssed into doing by the blogosphere.

  • paladin

    The national press will look back on their early reporting of Katrina with shame. Let me take you back to those glorious days. Wanting to know the cause of hurricanes, did the press go to a scientist or meteorologist? Nooooooo. The press went to the well-known Democrat environmentalist wacko and activist RFK jr. Curious about why so many blacks were left behind? Ask well-known Democrat race-baiter Jesse Jackson. Want to know about the lack of national guard presence? God forbid the press should actually ASK the National Guard, noooooo, better to ask anti-war Democrats. Looking for someone to blame? Don’t go to the protected class black Democrat Mayor or female Democrat Governor—go to the white Republican President. And so it goes. (I actually read a transcript {Reliable Sources?}where a journo said they felt sorry for Nagin and Blanco and therefore didn’t question them too hard—-pathetic, but not surprising)

  • Ravo

    “This city means more to you than you can calculate!”

    No Native New Orleans, it does not.

    The gracious culture of old New Orleans so many Americans held dear clearly was long gone, way before Katrina took it. The non-culture that took it’s place is not indicative of ANYthing that made America great.

    That said, there are many people to help, and the rest of us have voluntarily opened hearts and wallets to them…as we should.

    However, the very tone of your letter,…demanding, petulant, profane, whining, childish, potty mouthed all the while exclaiming …I want it all back, give it to me, the rest of you make it right, the rest of you raise your taxes to put it all back is indicative of recent prevalent generations of a dependent culture of entitlement, that does not in any way resemble the American spirit.

    Native New Orleans…your base demanding whining shows you are not of that American spirit and you won’t recognize what I’m saying, – your letter clearly indicates you can’t.

    This is just a little of what Katrina exposed to the rest of the world about New Orleans:

    a culture of viciousness where human jungle animals turned on the weak, and looted and shooted at the strong.

    a week long celebration – wiped out by Katrina – that in the past consisted of open copulation of every kind in the public streets, named “Decadence Week”. Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing on this city.

    Democratic Vote Plantations: where actual human lives were groomed to be kept from birth to death to be dependent on a goverment teat. “On Election Day there is a well-oiled machine that knows how to turn those votes out from specific neighborhoods and in specific ways,”

    an elected local and state government, at best, weak and incompetent.

    (Just weeks before Katrina, federal officials indicted associates of the former mayor, Marc Morial, for alleged kickbacks and contract fraud)

    New Orleans teems with crime, and the NOPD can’t keep order on a good day. Forget after dark.

    The whole world saw it loot it’s own self on it’s worst day.

    Rebuild this “culture” of selfish narcissism and violence, from the sweat of the brows of other hard working Americans?

    God forbid!

  • owl 1

    JJ did the right thing. Of course I consider it too soft on Broussard.

    Jersey, Broussard is Rathergate. What part did you not understand. Both were total fabrications. Sure you can take the fact that Bush was in the Guard and Broussard knew a man that his mom died as facts. But from there, it is all lies that someone made up. I remember you calling us mean because some of us knew the man was lying. I can lead you through the reasoning, as to how I knew if you insist, but only if you insist.

    The entire NO fiasco happened because of what was happening 70 miles up the road at the seat of power. Someone deliberately kept those people from getting food and water. How do I know? Horse sense. If nothing else, there had to be one kind soul that was in charge of a Baton Rouge School that said “hey, why don’t we just use these school buses here in BR and go get them out”? Is someone trying to make me believe that not one person in power, 70 miles up the road couldn’t do something? Come on over to Texas. You stranded in a town near us, I promise Texans are coming. You can not stop us from sending in food and water 70 miles up the road. We will even take in a herd of horses if nothing else. Someone kept it from happening in Baton Rouge. The media was really interested in this story until the light bulb went off.

  • Superwoody

    Ravo, AMEN!! Very well put! From what I read, I tend to not believe this person is who they say they are anyway. He/She went WAY out of the way to (try) make sure we new all the status’ of their income, voting record, and age so we had a picture of some uptight white guy to hate. Sound familiar? We all know middle aged white guy republicans are the devil, don’t we!?

  • Eileen

    The horror of *every life lost* in NOLA didn’t occur due to a matter of ‘neglect’ by all levels of government (read that: ONLY Bush/FEMA). What we saw was a whole lot worse. It was the result of *intentional deprivation* by the state (e.g., Red Cross), and intentional efforts by the locals at all levels to prevent people from leaving NO to enter neighboring parishes or even *authorize* Federal assistance:

    “The discord began Aug. 27, when Mr. Bush asked Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to order an evacuation of New Orleans. Mrs. Blanco did not issue the order until Aug. 28, a day before Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
    Mrs. Blanco also neglected to ask the president for federal troops when she wrote him a letter on Aug. 27 and when she spoke with him on Aug. 29. She had not made the request even on Aug. 31, when she gave a series of television interviews in Baton Rouge.
    “I really need to call for the military,” she told her press secretary between interviews. “And I should have started that in the first call.”
    Later that day, she asked the White House for troops, which were dispatched to assist Louisiana National Guard forces.
    Mrs. Blanco hesitated again when she met Sept. 2 with Mr. Bush, who offered to have the federal government take over the chaotic evacuation. Mrs. Blanco said she needed 24 hours to make a decision and ultimately rejected the federal offer.
    Mr. Nagin later told CNN that Mrs. Blanco and Mr. Bush needed to “get in sync.” But within days, Mr. Nagin and Mrs. Blanco were feuding with each other over whether New Orleans residents should be ordered to leave their homes.
    “My mandatory evacuation is still in effect,” Mr. Nagin said Sept. 6.
    But Mrs. Blanco refused to enforce the order, saying she needed more time for scientists to test the toxicity of floodwaters, even though health officials were warning that the waters were very dangerous.
    “The mayor certainly has ordered that, but the governor — and that would be me — will have to enforce it or implement it,” Mrs. Blanco said Sept. 7.”

    The dirty lies related to Katrina will continue to be exposed.
    Kudos for corrections of those lies whenever, wherever and however they occur.

  • Ravo

    Mark my word, The slimes that attempted to frame our President for their own incompetence are going to eat it big time. It’s already starting and it will continue on, wiping out further any chance of trust in the left.

    Many people who believe in liberal concepts have too much decency to stomach the ride they were taken on.

    Can any audience be more liberal than the AOL group? Yet here is the latest tally on their poll:

    How would you rate Nagin’s handling of the Katrina disaster?
    Poor 69%
    Good 11%
    Fair 11%
    Excellent 9%

    Who’s done a better job during the crisis?
    President Bush 71%
    Mayor Nagin 29%

    ABC’s surprise – unable to fulfill a seemingly dirty little agenda when decent people were interviewed:

  • Ravo:

    ‘a culture of viciousness where human jungle animals turned on the weak, and looted and shooted at the strong.’

    Excuse me, there were looters, yes, But to lead off with this as a major element, seems too inclined to ignore the huge human needs that were exposed, and typify the whole body of NO residents as those ‘human jungle animals’. Not fair, and not worthy of esteem as an honest ‘lesson’ of the Katrina experience.

    Carsonfire: yep, Dallas is way up the river from Houston. But you’re probably going to get a new influx of evacuees, hope you’re ready to share those supplies? … (marym’s family)

  • I am not a New Orleans native, I couldn’t afford to live in New Orleans when I wanted to, though I may now be able to. I too love the city. From here in Slidell, I don’t know if I can even get to New Orleans.

    I do not respect a bit of the television press. I’ll not repeat comments I made elsewhere. There’s time to sort out he said, she said. What I would dearly love to hear from the press is information on what is actually in New Orleans now. Is the area of my daughter’s apartment electrified? Are the pumping stations manned and working? What is the probable result of a six inch rain in say six hours in the city now? What’s wrong with the idea of giving people information and allowing them to make their own decisions about when to evacuate, when to return to the city? We should be responsible for the consequenses of our own decisions, and we should be offered the best information available on which to base those decisions. Treating people as if they will only evacuate or return on the words of Nagin is silliness. Let the good mayor recommend. His family is in Dallas? That’s a pretty good indicator of what he thinks is the best course at the moment.

    Name calling and invective may help some of us get off, but it’s not particularly useful otherwise.

  • New Orleans Native

    Ravo, it’s pretty obvious from your description of my city and what you think it offered this country that you don’t know the city. You’ve described only what people read in novels, or what tourists might say about Mardi Gras, etc. You haven’t grown up on those streets. You don’t know the culture. You take a microcosm of people living in ruins and project it to the entire city. I daresay that any city, totally devastated, would show that very same underbelly.

    DLoye might tell you, as other natives and nearby natives will tell you, that it’s plain as the political bias on your face that you really and truly know not one thing about the city, the culture, or the people.

    I’m sure you don’t even know the difference between the two distinct cultures of the state.

    What astounds me and upsets me from this forum, is the complete lack of empathy for the most important port in this country, one of the oldest cities in this country and therefore a keeper of this country’s history, and the people who reside there. It upsets me to see the focus on personal political agendas. It upsets me to see people forget that this happened to America, just as 9/11 happened to America.

    Yes, of course, I want my city back. There is no one alive who would feel differently about a place they spent almost their entire life. Where generations of family, traced back to Europe, rooted in America. I KNOW from talking to people from New York City, that they felt the same way. I can’t see how you’d feel any different.

  • Ravo

    What’s wrong with the idea of giving people information and allowing them to make their own decisions about when to evacuate, when to return to the city? We should be responsible for the consequenses of our own decisions, and we should be offered the best information available on which to base those decisions.

    That sounds very sensible. I’d agree except that the screaming, yelling, accusations directed at the feds last week, were about the plight of those who made the decision to stay, and then expected the loved ones of others to come out in 100 plus mile an hour winds and rescue them. (Those who couldn’t leave excepted) What makes you think those who decide now “to be responsible for their own decisions”, and then maybe get trapped by Rita will think differently this time? Please, let’s not go thru all this again.

    Native New Orleans….so glad you found your meds.

    I can’t see how you’d feel any different.

    True, I would not feel differently. I’d want it back.
    Life has taught me I can’t always have what I want. You are not the first to lose the tangibles of your past. Most of us, myself included, have been thru it in one form or another.

    The difference is that most of us, upon suffering our loss, aren’t cussing and screaming on a forum demanding the rest of the nation better give me a piece of their paychecks for the next ten years, because I WANT what I’ve lost back.

    We are on a slippery slope. As Jeff pointed out, where do you draw the line. We cannot guarantee “to fix” everything for everyone.

    before 1993, no snowstorm or blizzard had been declared a “major disaster or emergency” by the president. But in the first four years of Clinton, nearly four dozen severe winter storms were so designated, 17 in 1996 alone. 1996 was “a banner year for calamity: FEMA found itself responding to 75 major disasters and eight emergencies so designated by the White House.”

    Somehow, before 1993, most things still got rebuilt.

    As far as not knowing your two cultures, you are correct. I am glad, and will take your word for it, that there is another side. What we saw was a horror. And while sadly I guess there are other cities who might show a similiar “underbelly” , it’s over for America if the behavior we saw is indicative of all our cities.

  • Ravo WHAT?

    Ravo, Stop with the right-wing agenda. And asking if any group can be more liberal than AOL subscribers is ludicrous at best: Those polls always go to the right… WAY to the right, in fact. I can’t believe I just skimmed through so many of these comments. You’re all just arguing right vs. left and disguising it as concern for the hurricane victims. You should ALL be ashamed of yourselves. (Write whatever childish agenda-laden responses you want. I’m not coming back to read any of it.)

  • Eileen

    One *could* conclude that only ‘the left’ is allowed to be abusive to their rightie counterparts around here. This is particularly evident vis a vis Katrina commentary.

    I say this after observing at least three episodes of clamping down on the conservatives who comment here in the last three weeks, either through chastising them to the point that they permanently leave (RightNumberOne) or killing their comments. I see the numbers of posters here dwindling all ’round.

    FREE SPEECH FOR ONLY THE LEFT! Yay? That would be the way of the dinosaur MSM, Jeff. Are you better than them or just part ‘n parcel?

    It is your home, Jeff. With all due respect, the way in which you are monitoring your site suggests to me that you don’t much ‘care’ about the conservatives who breathe such life here. For example, I guess you missed the fact that kat was the commenter who blew up the Broussard lie a few days ago, citing authority for it – right here. I guess you needed MSNBC to tell you instead of some ‘citizen journalist’ like kat, whose comment you instead ‘killed’.

  • It doesn’t seem like at all a bad idea, if some one wants to express a particular viewpoint, that instead of constantly posting it on other people’s blogs, they start up their own and ask people who want to hear from them that they come to their own blog to do so on their own nickle.

  • Ravo

    “The mainstream media sells stories based on the worst-case scenario, and projecting and predicting doom and gloom in order to make a fast buck, regardless of the facts.”

    And now, thanks to the non-governing of the government of one moronic state, fed powers are to be enlarged. Will be disappointed in Bush if he doesn’t limit it to the first few days of a disaster only.

    “Giving the federal government the power to declare martial law over a state by decree, without asking the consent of the state’s governor, would be a betrayal of much of the freedom for which our forefathers fought”.

    “Now we’ve come to a point where we’re actually considering whether to cede state control to a vastly more powerful central government than our founders could have envisioned.”

    Then again, they could not have envisioned anything like the elected officials of NO and LA trying to run things.

  • Ravo

    Link to above article:

    Boy, I miss preview

  • Eileen,

    Thanks again for your comments. I think you’ve hit on one of the major reasons why newspapers who view themselves as “liberal”, such as the NY Times, whose ombudsman came right out and admitted that they are a “liberal newspaper,” are laying off their staff by the hundreds.

    It’s pretty obvious that what Jeff wants here is an echo chamber. If anyone disagrees with him, or questions one of his posts, they are to be chastised as comment trolls and post-hijackers, or their comments get moderated or deleted. His intention is that they go away.

    He’s no better than the editor at the NY Times who gets to decide which letter gets printed the next day.

    I haven’t gone away. I still read this blog. I’ve just stopped rewarding Jeff with traffic, to punish him.

    If he posts any more lies, which he did when he latched onto Aaron Broussard’s hoax and headlined it by alleging there was some sort of “cover-up,” I’ll expose them … but I’ll do it on my own blog, rather than give Jeff the gift of eyeballs that he can then sell to his advertisers and get speaking engagements on CNN and consulting jobs in the MSM.

    For Jeff, it seems, i’s all about the Benjaman’s, and his own ego.

    The NY Times isn’t the only liberal organ that can have its ass fact-checked. Jeff Jarvis can have his checked too. That’s the beauty of the blogosphere. A simple man, living a simple life, can debunk the powerful, speaking truth to their power, all while sitting at home in his pajamas and not even breaking a sweat.

  • Enough!
    I just went in and killed comments using f words and s words and personal attacks and a few more at random just to make you guess why i killed them
    I dont have time for this.
    You should not either (and you know who I’m talking to on BOTH sides of this juvenile, unproductive, stupid little pissing match).
    Have a substantive discussion. Fine. Get into a mean little fight then take it elsewhere, damnit. I’m fed up with this. And I am not alone.

  • EverKarl

    I’m not going to write about particular posts being killed, as I didn’t get a chance to read them.

    I will note, however, that JJ generally puts forth a great deal of effort to not have a “side,” in the sense of an ideological or partisan checkbox.

    Indeed, the very post we are ostensibly discussing proves the point. From my perspective, JJ’s earlier Katrina-related posts tended to fall into the category of “There’s-plenty-of-blame-to-go-around-but-I’m-only-going-to-focus-on-FEMA” that you tended to see around the ‘sphere (Joe Gandelman, anyone?).

    But I think he has moved much more toward recognizing the failures that occurred at the state and local level. Moreover, his posts also suggest to me that he has come to realize that people looking at the flaws in the media coverage are not doing so to diminish the tragedy, but are at least in part concerned that shoddy media coverage may lead to shoddy public policy and future tragedies.

    The folks peeved with Jeff here — with whom I think it is safe to say I am in general agreement more often than not — should ask themselves whether Meet The Press will have a correction on the TV show itself as prominent as JJ made his in his space. Or whether MTP or the NBC Nightly News will do a segment on the degree to which urban legend got repeated as fact in this episode.

    I would be surprised if the answers to those questions were ‘yes.” Those issues are being discussed here. I think it’s easily provable that JJ is far more willing to consider an opposing view and even change his mind than the MSM. But I have observed that demanding that JJ join a “side” is among the least effective ways of getting him to do so.

  • EverKarl – right on for both your comments on this thread. Despite our disagreements, I do see you as a rational person, unlike some on either side of the Great Mythological Divide.

    Some of the complaints remind me of the old Borscht Belt joke when someone was asked how they liked their meal – “the food is terrible – and the portions are so small.”

  • The link I included is to the Press Ethic blog being run by a graduate class at NYU’s journalism program. I included a link to your post as evidence of bloggers being willing to admit and fix their mistakes. Check it out, and feel free to comment.


  • owl 1

    Ditto to EverKarl’s read of JJ’s Katrina. I agree. Not a snowball will the TV viewers ever see a segment devoted to undoing the harm of Meet the Press. It was nice theatre. The final act of the media’s drama.

    DLoye….don’t hold your breath for news. The media and politicians started this campaign off with race baiting and then the media did their sob story parked in front of the Dome. The story was 70 miles up the road. Each day I waited for at least ONE of them to go up there and find out 1)who was stopping the food and water from traveling into the city and 2)who was stopping Baton Rouge from sending down their own school buses.

    They never reported the news. Not one time but we found a lot of emotional finger pointers. Great theatre.

  • kat

    Seeing as this post is called “CORRECTIONS” , and if you had any balls, you’d need to admit that the only venemous posting was from New Orleans Native. However, New Orleans was dancing to your drum, so you weren’t about to delete his posts and hurt his little feelings–so you delete a bunch to try make yourself look like a tough guy, when you are little more than a shill for CNN and other leftist media. Katrina has shown your true colors…all the flooding washed away the false veneer.

  • Mary Jane Watson

    How full of cliches you are, my girl…..”if you had any balls”……”dancing to your drum”….”little more than a shill”….”leftist media”…….”shown your true colors”….”washed away the false veneer”…..

    Definitely venemous, but not very clever. Especially since a veneer, by definition, is false.

    I can tell you don’t write for a living.

  • Ravo

    I can tell you don’t write for a living.

    Yeah, Kat hasn’t learned how to mislead yet.

  • Mary Jane Watson

    Sorry, I thought that’s the use of literary cliches, to paint a specific picture, albeit a trite and necessarily disingenuous one.

    It’s foolhardy to claim that either yourself or katwoman are very practiced thinkers. Undoubtedly, it appears that you both wed yourselves to a veritable mission appeal and remain stiff impervious to your respective environments.

    Certainly the suggestion that writing ability is permanently equitable to deception is not only perposturous, but indicative of the terrified mind.

    But if you prefer to link hands and skip in rhythm then far be it from me to dissuade you. But I cannot help but wonder if your homoscedastic estimation of events is obtusely contrived or imminently imposed upon you. It’s impossible to tell.

  • Eileen

    I know you want us to just move on from this episode, Jeff. I plan to. But as a deletee, perhaps these comments will be taken for whatever they’re worth.

    EverKarl, it ‘would’ be hard to comment on posts you didn’t get a chance to read. There were (give or take 1) 13 deleted posts by 5 commenters, 4 of whom are conservatives. 11 of the deleted posts were written by conservatives.

    If only one conservative poster here had objected to what he/she deemed to be unjust treatment regarding another conservative poster, Jeff, would you have merely considered that your treatment was fair and ignored it? Have you ever been *deleted* by a blog owner as a commenter, Jeff? I appreciate that comment you left of mine. That originally was followed by a few/several other deleted comments…which left it directly followed by RightNumberOne’s. At that point your Enough! sounds reasonable I suppose……. Editing comments allows bloggers to paint many impressions. I do *not* suggest you did so by design. But was it wrong of 4 of us to speak up? Maybe. Maybe not.

    If commenters here are the recipient of venom, cussing and epithets are they expected to sit mutely in response, or be accepting and kind in return, (only) if they’re of the ‘wrong’ political persuasion?

    Obviously there are no easy answers. Most of us reach a ‘limit’ in response to receiving harsh or insulting invective. Most of us will speak out about injustice when we see it. And how we ‘define’ injustice is, imo, what caused a deleted conversation to (not) occur.

    Prayers for all who will be affected by Rita.

  • Eileen

    Case in point. It didn’t take long. [Obviously I was writing at the same time she was.]

    Should kat and Ravo be expected to sit mutely, or respond with patience and kindness to Mary Jane now? And if they express ‘anger’ in response, will only kat and Ravo’s comments be deleted because they/we aren’t liberals? *THAT* is the scenario which played out last night. And those of us who defended kat *also* got deleted.

    What’s fair? What’s just? Who is to be treated without respect by being *deleted* [on top of it]?

    Are a few of us ‘peeved’ as a result? You bet.

  • Jeff, you certainly would enrich the graciousness of the whole post by eliminating an enclave of comments on your decision making.

  • Ruth: Amen.
    Folks: I gave up on this thread long ago. I’m not reading it anymore. You’re talking to yourrselves. And no one else. Talk issues. If you want to get into pissing matches, go find the nearest schoolyard.

  • kat

    {Certainly the suggestion that writing ability is permanently equitable to deception is not only perposturous, but indicative of the terrified mind.}
    Perhaps if you are going to use big words, you should learn to spell them.
    What is “perposterous”?{ cannot help but wonder if your homoscedastic estimation of events} And what is “homoscedastic” You can’t just make up words–but you are a writer, so I guess you can fabricate.

  • I’ll say it one last time: Take it outside, people.

  • Ravo

    One of the most, no THE most important, the FIRST. the ONLY, the number one rule in writing is to connect with your audience.

    Mary Jane…you get an F.

    Perhaps you’ll connect with a few elitests in their ivory towers of tenure humming how “great we art”, but the folks here, the ones on whose backs America runs, speak a bit differently.

    Kat connects.

  • Mary Jane Watson

    I do apologize for misplacing the r in preposterous, though I imagine you quite understood what I meant. Typos are so annoying…they give people the baseless opportunity to disregard your point. Which usually means they can’t argue it.

    katwoman, please go to Google and type in define: homoscedastic. You can blame those horrible mathematicians for fabricating that word. I cannot take credit.

    I certainly love how assumptions are flying around about me. It’s assumed that I am a writer (Iam not), that I have a job that involves tenure (no), and that I am a liberal (nope).

    Take a good look at my name……I’m a superhero’s girlfriend.

    It’s been fun playing with you. Resume your regularly scheduled pissing matches.

  • kat

    All little kids like to pretend to be something they are not–I know a 3 year old who pretends she’s Dora, the Explorer and another who thinks he is Superman.

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