The Legend of Katrina

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The Washington Post looks at how exaggerated stories about New Orleans chaos may have slowed relief. Our own Matt Welch has been all up in this piece from the get go.

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  1. Interesting point buried in there – CNN has become a primary information source. Blanco is said to have first learned of the levee breaches from CNN. And, of course, we all remember the White House and military monitoring CNN during the First Gulf War.

    Which made people much more credulous of their more hysterical reporting about rapes and murders and mayhem.

  2. And, Joe, don’t forget the constant drumbeat against CNN as “liberal media”.

  3. I’m not talking to you, drf.

    The White Sox totally cheated yesterday.

  4. Joe:

    kinda like A-Rod smacking Bronson last year? (then he snarked about texas violating some sort of “honor” on sunday. go figure).

    and it’s october. the tribe and cubbies are at home watching reruns of “match game” on the game show network. 🙂

  5. Joe,

    You know the phrase “just Manny being Manny”. That was “just Clement being Clement”. Ask gaius.

  6. David: that’s right – gaius is a cubbies fan.

    last year we saw two games where Clement was pitching. he got the win in one and a no decision in the other, but the cubbies won both.

    Joe: we send you our little cubbies gifts. former batting title winner Bill Buckner. and now Matt Clement. At least my other team, the tribe, sends you Money Ramirez.

    Have you heard the Ortiz MVP song on “Mike and Mike”?

  7. drf,

    I’ve got no problem with A-Rod’s little girly slap to avoid being tagged out. When there is a 100% chance of your being called out, you try a stunt, even if it only lowers the chance to 99.9%. That’s where all those entertaining slides and jigs on the basepaths come from.

    What I object to is the little pouting fit afterwards, as if he had been wronged.

  8. You can toot Matt’s horn all day on this one.

    If I don’t see his face on nooz shows for the next month, it will be a travashamockery.

  9. Although O’Reilly will no doubt put the graphic “wants our children to take steroids” under his name.

  10. Of course the real story here is that a large population of the poorest, least educated and most marginalized Americans who were largely abandoned by the authorities in a disaster area nevertheless managed to care for themselves and others in a civilized manner.

    I can’t help but wonder if the generally Leftist world view of the media and local authorities didn’t predispose them to believe stories of people behaving like animals. Leftist view most people, and especially the poor, as being incapable victims of fate who cannot affect any control over their lives. A person with such of model would readily believe that people would behave badly if stressed and deprived of the guiding hand of their betters.

  11. “Of course the real story here is that a large population of the poorest, least educated and most marginalized Americans who were largely abandoned by the authorities in a disaster area nevertheless managed to care for themselves and others in a civilized manner.”

    Are you refering to Katrina victims or Cleveland Indians fans?

  12. Hey Wise Ass:

    you obviously never been to cleveland (sic). derez tonz uvv autoritiez dere.

    “civilized”. nobody’s ever accused cleveland of being that before…

    jest as long as dem poor folk are church goin’, flag wavin’, homo beatin’ patriots.

  13. Shannon – I can totally agree with that. It’s a sort of elitism and odd racism/classism. It’s especially pronounced amongst academics. The educated few have to keep the uneducated masses in check, because, you know, they can’t think for themselves. Or something.

  14. Lowdog and Shannon–

    Be honest, guys–it was right and left-wingers who bought into the mayhem stories. The only difference was, the right-wing used it as examples of why the welfare state is a bad thing, while the left used it as examples of why government needs to do more than it does.

  15. Note to FEMA:

    • A primary function of public relations people is to issue press releases.
    • Equip your PR types with video cameras, or at least cellphones incorporating that technology.
    • Authorize and equip them to issue press releases concerning the conditions in an emergency.*
    • Impress on them, and their bosses, that the press releases have to be the unvarnished truth in order to be believed.

    First rule of PR: If you don’t tell the truth, the rumors are going to be worse than the truth, and will spread faster.

    *Yes, I know that this contradicts the government’s “If we screw up we might look bad so centrally manage everything from one office 800 miles from the scene” reflex. Get over it. In a disaster the relevant decisions are made by the people knee-deep in the shit.

  16. It’s a sort of elitism and odd racism/classism. It’s especially pronounced amongst academics. The educated few have to keep the uneducated masses in check, because, you know, they can’t think for themselves.

    Not just the “uneducated masses.” The elitists don’t trust folks who run multi-million dollar businesses and offer aid. Or churches. Or volunteer groups. In fact, those who run the government don’t trust their own low and mid-level personnel to perform without micromanagement.

    And I agree with Jennifer <shock> that the right is just as bad as the left. In fact; mea culpa. I was ready to believe the rumors from the emergency shelters. What’s filtering out now, however, sounds like most government grunts pulled their load even with minimal or nonexistent support from up the chain of command. I apologize to them.

    Especially since I’m particularly proud of one of them. My daughter is the senior member of the backstage crew at Reed Arena, at Texas A&M University, which housed several hundred from Katrina and over 1,100 from Rita.

  17. Jennifer – I wasn’t commenting on the specific case of Katrina, but rather a general attitude I’ve seen from “lefties” (I hate these terms, in general, but we have to communicate, right?) and academics. Anecdotally, of course, but I do live in a college town and know a lot of post-grad folks who seem to have this attitude.

    So yes, you’re right, but so am I. 🙂

  18. Lowdog–

    Lefties and righties both suck nowadays. They both worry about keeping “the masses” in check–it’s just that the left wants to use therapy and the right wants to use the police state.

    Actually, I think the left is marginally better than the right these days, in that they’re slightly less hypocritical–saying “We’re expanding government power because we like big government” is a bit more palatable than “We’re expanding government power because we believe in smaller, more limited government.”

    However, when I say “the left is better than the right” I mean it the same way I mean “Being raped to death by ten biker scumbags is better than being raped to death by twelve biker scumbags.” Both options still suck.

  19. This whole thing shows how out of touch and racist the mainstream media is. Had the evacuees in the Superdome been from the upper West Side of Manhatten or Brentwood, the media would have never believed the rumours. The media was so quick to believe the rumours because the people in the Superdome were poor and black and the media naturally assumed that because the people were poor and black, they must all be violent and in there killing each other. Remember, this is the “progressive” “right thinking” media that is always preaching about how racist the rest of us are.

    The other hysterical myth associated with Katrina is that the storm was some kind of super hurricane created by global warming. Ground measurements now indicate that Katrina weakened rapidly as it approached land and was only a strong catagory 1 when it actually made landfall. Anyone remember all of the hot air about on this blog and in the elite media about how global warming created warm sea waters and larger more destructive hurricanes and the U.S. pretty much got what it deserved for causing global warming? Well, that all may be true, but Katrina says nothing about it. There nothing special about the storm. It was a large catagory 1 storm that hit in just the right spot. Perhaps the angry Gods will punish us next time.

  20. Uh huh. “Media” equals “leftists.” Wolf Blitzer, Sean Hannity, Brit Hume. All those lefties.

    As a matter of fact, the stories about violent, rampaging hordes were much more promient from conservative sources, and many liberal sources were questioning them, and calling the media on their racist descriptions from Day One. (wonkette, anyone?)

    But hey, if you’ve got your own side’s ass to cover, a little “you, too!” can help muddy the waters.

    The leftish sources – such as NPR, for example – were more concerned with those abandoned to hunger, thirst, and lack of shelter and medical care. It’s interesting how reporting on these (factually proven) developments is getting conflated with the hysterical reporting of rampaging negroes that has been so thoroughly debunked.

  21. Yes Jennifer, I agree. And I’m sure that you’ve read similar comments from me many times. You can defend yourself when M1EK comes in to the thread and tries to take you to task for thinking that the Dems are even close to as bad as Repubs. But he’s not really a lefty, cuz he, like, voted for Ross Perot and stuff.

    Again, I hate to so broadly catagorise a position or a person, but for the sake of communication, it’s sometimes necessary.

  22. Here, for example, is the web address for Atrios’s blog, Eschaton, for the week the hurricaine hit. So fare, the only reference I’ve found to the “rampaging negroes” story that conservatives spent the last month pushing is that statment, “New Orleans is being destroyed. Looting, especially by those who are obtaining food, water, and other necessities, is about number 589 on the list of things which matter right now.”

    But I’ll keep looking, because remember, the Left was just as bad as the Right.

  23. Ooh, wait, here’s another post from that week that mentions looting:

    “‘Reporter: Regarding the president’s zero tolerance for insurance fraud, looting, price gouging. Does he make any allowance for people who have yet to receive aid who are taking things like water or food or shoes to walk among the debris?

    Sick Fuckstick McClellan: I think you heard from the president earlier today about his zero tolerance. We understand the need for food and water and supplies of that nature. That’s why we have a massive effort underway to continue getting food and water and ice to those who are in need. There are ways for them to get that help. Looting is not the way for them to do it.’

    Babies, children, the elderly are dieing because they don’t have water or medical car. Bush doesn’t give a shit. Property more important than people. Property which is perishable or destined to be destroyed by water damage anyway.”

    Remember, folks, it was us elitist leftists pushing racist stories about New Orleanians, just as much as the Right.

  24. Just went through the entire week. Not a single post promoting scary stories about looters, and about half a dozen posts debunking and insulting blogs and talking heads who were promoting scary stories about looters.

    Oh, and every single one of the sources of those “rampaging negroe welfare cheats” stories was an out and proud righty. Every. Single. One.

  25. And now, let’s see what National Review had to say, from The Corner, that same week:

    “ATTN: SUPERDOME RESIDENTS [Jonah Goldberg]
    I think it’s time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours.”

    “IF ONLY HALEY HAD BEEN IN CHARGE OF POST-WAR BAGHDAD [Rich Lowry ]
    We had a big problem with looting in Baghdad after the war, and didn’t deal with it strenuously enough. Watching Hannity & Colmes last night, I got the impression that things would have been very different if Haley Barbour had been in charge. Talking about any possible looters in Mississippi, the governor said (I’m quoting from memory) that they would be dealt with ?ruthlessly,? that they are ?sub-human,? and that they would get ?a lesson they wouldn’t soon forget.?”

    “WHERE’S HALEY WHEN YOU NEED HIM? [Rich Lowry ]
    AP story from New Orleans from Breitbart.com:

    One man, who had about 10 pairs of jeans draped over his left arm, was asked if he was salvaging things from his store.

    “No,” the man shouted, “that’s EVERYBODY’S store.”

    Looters filled industrial-sized garbage cans with clothing and jewelry and floated them down the street on bits of plywood and insulation as National Guard lumbered by.

    Mike Franklin stood on the trolley tracks and watched the spectacle unfold.

    “To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it’s an opportunity to get back at society,” he said.”

  26. Joe,

    I don’t consider hateatrios to be anything more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party and hardly media. The fact is that CNN, Fox and the networks assumed that because poor black people were in the Superdome, they must have been in there killing each other. That is racist regardless of who was saying it. They only believed those things because the image of the violent oppressed black people fits into their world view so well. Somebody reported these stories and I recall it being the mainstream media. I don’t read cranks like Atrios, so I have no idea what was on there, not do I care.

    Interestingly of course, the stories of starvation and depravation were also greatly exagerated as your posts inadvertantly show.

    The fact is that you and every other lefty I have seen gloated over the prospect of there being 100s of dead bodies in the Superdome and were nothing short of estatic over the thought of Katrina being a huge disaster and blaming Bush over it. In the same way that you jump for joy at every casualty report from Iraq, you could jump for joy at the thought of laying more dead bodies on George Bush’s doorstep. As for the poor people who were killed, hey at least they died for a good cause, i.e. ending the reighn of the evil Bush. Now that it has turned out that a lot of the worse things that were reported were not true, you all seek to cover backsides by claiming it was the other side that really exagerated things. Just admit it, if it didn’t involve scoring political points on the dead bodies of victim’s, Katrina is just not that interesting anymore.

  27. “NEW ORLEANS’ BRAVEST AND FINEST [Rod Dreher]
    …Thank God Orleans Parish is now under martial law.”

    “RE: LOOTING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
    A number of readers sent me some quotes last night from a segment with Mary Landrieu on one of the cable talking-heads shows on which she called some of the looters “obnoxious”–presumably ones looking for non-destroyed ipods–while excusing people looting for survival. It seems to me a public official should be saying “looting is criminal.” Period. Humane exceptions can be dealt with off cable TV.”

    “BROKEN RECORD: CAN’T AN ELECTED OFFICIAL SAY “IT’S WRONG”? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

    5:55 A.M. GOVERNOR BLANCO: Stopping the looting is important, but saving lives a higher priority right now. Not sure where looters think they are taking the stuff since city may soon be under water.”

    “CLASS CARDS & DISASTER [Jonah Goldberg]

    Several readers complain that it’s in fact true that the hurricane will disproportionately affect poor people. I don’t really dispute that in the sense most mean it. Yes, the poor will have special hardships. Obviously so. But what I objected to, and still object to, is the reflexive playing of the class card. Is it really true that some middle class retirees who heeded the advice of the government to leave town, only to watch their homes be looted after a lifetime of hardwork for a better life are suffering less than a poor person who lost his rented apartment?”

    “AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW ORLEANS [Iain Murray]
    A college contemporary of mine whose home is in New Orleans has a few observations, and in this case the language is, I feel, warranted:
    The city is f***ed. Some of the looters are people stealing necessaries (which is fair enough and which I understand) but there are a lot nicking jewellery and electronics, including police officers. The latter should all be f***ing shot, in my view…

    As you may have noticed from the coverage, the only people left in the city are emergency workers and very poor black people. Of particular concern, is that the latter group generally do not know how to swim.”

    HISTORY LOST [Jim Robbins]
    Katrina destroyed Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ final home Beavoir. It was also the site of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library. This is a significant loss to history.

    I’M NO EXPERT LOOTER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
    But how much sense does it make to steal used cars when 80 percent of the place is underwater?

    FRENCH QUARTER ON FIRE [Rod Dreher]
    Live on CNN right now, report that a Foot Locker is on fire at the corner of Bourbon and Canal, in the Quarter. How can fire trucks get there? The French Quarter could burn down for lack of fire trucks. Did looters, who’ve been going through the store, start this fire? Good grief, Mr. President, send in the federal troops to restore order. For pity’s sake, this is America!

  28. So, basically, damn those racists leftists at National Review, with their obsession with looters (and heartfelt concern about Jefferson Davis’s house)! Too bad they weren’t as level-headed and insightful as that noted conservative Atrios.

  29. The fact is that you and every other lefty I have seen gloated over the prospect of there being 100s of dead bodies in the Superdome

    I would be interested in seeing even one quote where Joe “gloated” about the dead, either in New Orleans or Iraq. Just one quote along the lines of, “Awesome! These dead folks will really hurt the Bush administration.”

    But remember: saying “people are dead” is not the same thing as gloating over it.

  30. “The fact is that CNN, Fox and the networks assumed that because poor black people were in the Superdome, they must have been in there killing each other. That is racist regardless of who was saying it. They only believed those things because the image of the violent oppressed black people fits into their world view so well. Somebody reported these stories and I recall it being the mainstream media.”

    Yes, I agree. And where, pray tell, were these stories coming from? Certainly not from the left.

    “Interestingly of course, the stories of starvation and depravation were also greatly exagerated as your posts inadvertantly show.” Um, no, they don’t show that at all. People actually were left without food and water for days on end in the Convention Center. They really didn’t have running water or operative sewerage in the Superdome.

    Ah, yes, when I point out the horrors caused by your hero, you respond by telling me how happy I am that they happened. Pathetic.

    You got nothing, except some claims that “the stories about hunger and deprivation were exaggerated, too,” which you then fail to prove, because you can’t.

  31. Sorry, but here’s some more:

    “ON O’REILLY [Rich Lowry]
    A fox radio reporter described driving out of NO. It sounded like something out of ?War of the Worlds.? People were banging on the car and she feared people were going to try to commander it.
    Posted at 08:25 PM

    JINX! [JPod]
    Rich has to buy me a coke!
    Posted at 08:05 PM

    ON FOX JUST NOW [Rich Lowry]
    Jeff Goldblatt said he heard a story about a band having commandered a postal delivery truck and riding around with assault rifles, robbing people.
    Posted at 08:01 PM

    PEOPLE ON THE STREETS OF NEW ORLEANS… [JPod]
    …are telling Jeff Goldblatt of Fox News that they don’t want to go to the Astrodome because the experience in the Superdome was so horrendous. He’s also reporting about the Wild West craziness, people driving around with AK-47s shooting at police officers, looting…”

  32. “BAD STUFF [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

    7:37 A.M. – (AP) The evacuation of the Superdome was suspended Thursday after shots were fired at a military helicopter, an ambulance official overseeing the operation said. No immediate injuries were reported…”

    So, anyone care to take another crack at the “pox on both your houses” line of argument?

  33. Joe, could you possibly site some real news stories? I mean, a Lexus/Nexus search of headlines would make for a convincing article on just whom was doing the disaster reporting. Editorial opinion from idealogues on either side is useless when you are searching for the proof in the original story.

    My impression is that you are caught up in your “relgion”, and that is hating right over left. (I gave that up and grew up.

    I straddle the middle now, because I think I’ve grown up. My mind, rather than my jerking knees, tells me which issues make more sense on the left or right. This is the world I view. I have to say that the left went into a hysterical tizzy over Katrina. The right responded, and it was oft a tizzy as well.

    I should add that I formed this opinion by READING the news as resported, not watching it. I’m not a TV person. And when you stop getting spoonfed your opinions by whatever channel you’re watching, you’d be amazed at how your discernment IQ increases. You can see the biases quite clearly in the headlines, and reading the actual words as printed. You have time to process and corroborate what you read. Or, I should say, I do.

    What else can I say, except I ditto and “harumph” what Shannon says?

  34. Thank you, joe, for your exhaustive survey of the Corner and Atrios. I think you’ve thoroughly proven your point about the media, even the tiny portions of it that aren’t the Corner or Atrios. As for where fringe groups like television and newspaper outlets got their info:

    Yes, I agree. And where, pray tell, were these stories coming from? Certainly not from the left.

    Considering the well-established point that many of these stories were taken from the mouths of state and local officials in LA and NO, I think that raises some interesting questions, like: What are the pseudonyms each of these officials use to post on the Corner? Why on earth did so many of them run for office as Democrats, being in actuality stalwart Republican blowhards?

    And just why do Democrats, faced with a multi-tiered local, state, and federal clusterfuck, strive so hard to say next to damn near nothing about (and if possible, change the subject from) the hideous local and state bad planning and failures that might reflect poorly on Democratic officials, while heaping as much of that extra blame upon the (already huge) mound of federal dysfunction and failures made under a Republican administration?

    …Sorry, that last one rather answers itself.

  35. the hideous local and state bad planning

    Elide a single redundant negative term of one’s choice.

  36. The runaway rumors effect seem to have originated in a feedback loop between (1) the local and state authorities (2) the media and (3) the effected population. Somebody in the population would tell a reporter something, the reporter would make a small report, an authority would repeat it, the media in general would report that and people out in the population would hear about it in the media. Then the cycle would start up all over again. Classic amplifier loop.

    I think it important to note that (broadly speaking) people on the Right weren’t part of this feedback loop. Only a few members of the media could be considered Right of center and they were easily outnumbered by the other actors. Rightwing commentators were mostly passive consumers of the reports that the Leftist sources were delivering. They hurrumphed over the widespread reports of civil disorder but they weren’t actually generating the reports in the first place.

  37. Y’know, joe is quick to jump on me for being a “Bushbot” as tho I’m defending Bush. Frankly, I think that there’s plenty of blame to go around – choice of FEMA director, for example! – but I do think that most of the deaths from Katrina are the result of local & state failure.

    Why is gov’t only bad when it’s not Democrats, joe? It seems to me that the stance of most folks on this board is that gov’t is almost ALWAYS bad – that’s certainly my position – but oddly enough, it’s only the feds who come under fire in joe’s world.

  38. I’d change the subject too, rob, if I were in your shoes.

    Shannon, “The runaway rumors effect seem to have originated in a feedback loop between (1) the local and state authorities (2) the media and (3) the effected population. Somebody in the population would tell a reporter something, the reporter would make a small report, an authority would repeat it, the media in general would report that and people out in the population would hear about it in the media. Then the cycle would start up all over again. Classic amplifier loop.” I think this captures what happened pretty well. But I think you’re missing something – this feedback and amplification did not happen to all stories. It happened selectively, with those stories that reinforced conservative narratives being dramatically exaggerated, while those that did not stayed relatively close to reality. Hence, the stories of suffering and deprivation and death in the Convention Center – among the most dramatic to be reported – holding up pretty well, while the stories of black New Orleanians rampaging through the city and committed horrific violent and sexual crimes collapsing under scrutiny.

    This, btw, is exactly the opposite of what we would expect to occur if we had a liberal media.

  39. “‘the hideous local and state bad planning’

    Elide a single redundant negative term of one’s choice.”

    That’d better not be a planning joke. 😉

    “Considering the well-established point that many of these stories were taken from the mouths of state and local officials in LA and NO” As I said before, people on the scene are bound to report and repeat all kinds of insane rumors as fact. You might as well have thrown in National Guardsmen, hospital staff, and trapped residents.

    And yet, somehow, the stories about suffering, about the racial and economic skew of the most unfortunate of the victims, and the racist response of the police in the surrounding parishes – that is, the liberal stories – have been borne out by subsequent reporting. It’s only those that conservatives seized on as evidence that their racist, classist, anti-urban, the-hordes-are-coming-to-kill-us-Gertrude worldview that have been shot full of holes.

    And while we’re on a roll, would you care to mouth off about the lazy, irresponsible people who could have just walked out of the city at anytime but chose to stay? You know, like you were doing that first week?

  40. i will, joe. ask any of those who “couldn’t” leave, if they would have done the same thing again, or would they have “found” a way to leave. or would they stiock around again and wait foe “someone else” to sdave their butts. our welfare state has bred a shocking level of weakness and dependency that has apparently even wiped out the instinct for self-preservation among some people.

    there…you want a nasty uncaring response, someone unwilling to spill tears over stuippid people, you got it.

  41. i will, joe. ask any of those who “couldn’t” leave whether they would have done the same thing again, or would they have “found” a way to leave. or would they stick around again and wait for “someone else” to save their butts. our welfare state has bred a shocking level of weakness and dependency that has apparently even wiped out the instinct for self-preservation among some people.

    there…you want a nasty uncaring response, someone unwilling to spill tears over stupid people, you got it. go scream your leftist vitriol at someone who “cares.”

  42. ask any of those who “couldn’t” leave whether they would have done the same thing again, or would they have “found” a way to leave. or would they stick around again and wait for “someone else” to save their butts.

    A good question for the Bush admin, as well.

  43. Jimmy doesn’t need to read any commie pinko stories about cops routing desperate refugees at gunpoint. He doesn’t need to read about closed bridges, shuttered train stations, and 100,000 people living in homes without an automobile.

    Jimmy knows what really happened.

  44. “I’d change the subject too, rob, if I were in your shoes.” – joe

    Yeah, whatever you do joe, you’d better get the subject changed pretty quickly – because answering ANY of my questions is obviously something you want to avoid like the avian flu.

    Meanwhile, joe also has no counter to the obvious charges that folks who expect the gov’t to keep them from falling off the edge of the cliff tend to get screwed, yet he’s in favor of gov’t that encourages exactly this sort of thing.

  45. And while we’re on a roll, would you care to mouth off about the lazy, irresponsible people who could have just walked out of the city at anytime but chose to stay? You know, like you were doing that first week?

    Joe, care to point out where I said anything your fevered imagination could construe as that?

    Failing that, care to take that back?

  46. “‘the hideous local and state bad planning’ … Elide a single redundant negative term of one’s choice.”

    That’d better not be a planning joke. 😉

    No, it was a reference to the evacuation planning that boiled down to shrug and hope someone swoops down to help the “lazy, irresponsible people who could have just walked out of the city at anytime”, the ones we couldn’t be bothered to plan for. You know, the plan formulated by the New Orleans and Louisiana governments, both dominated by Democrats.

    You know, the people you’re spinning for with such mind-boggling fervor.

  47. “Considering the well-established point that many of these stories were taken from the mouths of state and local officials in LA and NO” As I said before, people on the scene are bound to report and repeat all kinds of insane rumors as fact. You might as well have thrown in National Guardsmen, hospital staff, and trapped residents.

    And yet, somehow, the stories about suffering, about the racial and economic skew of the most unfortunate of the victims, and the racist response of the police in the surrounding parishes – that is, the liberal stories – have been borne out by subsequent reporting. It’s only those that conservatives seized on as evidence that their racist, classist, anti-urban, the-hordes-are-coming-to-kill-us-Gertrude worldview that have been shot full of holes.

    So, let me get this straight. Regardless of the source, all the claims that panned out, as well as facts no one was arguing about (like “the racial and economic skew of the most unfortunate of the victims”), were liberal truths. All the claims that didn’t pan out were conservative tales.

    Wow. Time to get my waders…

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