'South Park' Lampoons Overhyped Katrina Coverage

<p><a href="media/2005-10-19-southpark.wmv"><img border="0" align="right" src="media/2005-10-19-southpark.jpg" /></a> </p><p>&quot;<a href="http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/south_park/index.jhtml">South Park</a>,&quot; the popular Comedy Central show about the misadventures of a group of four Colorado boys, criticized the news media Wednesday night for its overhyped coverage of Hurricane Katrina. In the episode, two of the boys, Stan Marsh and Eric Cartman, accidentally crash a boat into a beaver dam, flooding an entire town. In the aftermath, local and national media blame it on global warming, ridiculously exaggerate the extent of the damage, make up stories of rape, murder, &quot;cannibalism,&quot; and tell tales of &quot;hundreds of millions&quot; of deaths in a town of 8,000 people. </p><p>Video excerpt available in <a href="media/2005-10-19-southpark.rm">Real</a> or <a href="media/2005-10-19-southpark.wmv">Windows Media</a>.</p><p>Here’s a transcript of part of the show, a “South Park Evening News” broadcast where the journalists ridiculously hype the situation:<!--break--> </p><p><b>Tom the anchorman:</b> “Peril, crisis and fear tonight as what appears to be a massive flood has overtaken the town of Beaverton, Colorado, home of the world’s largest beaver dam. Earlier today, a break in the beaver dam which protected the town broke open, trapping people in their houses and destroying their lives.” </p><p><b>Mitch, the reporter:</b> “Tom, I’m currently ten miles outside of Beaverton, unable to get inside the town proper. We do not have any reports of fatalities yet, but we believe that the death toll may be in the hundreds of millions. Beaverton has only a population of about 8,000, Tom, so this would be quite devastating.” </p><p><b>Tom:</b> “Any word on how the survivors in the town are doing, Mitch?” </p><p><b>Mitch:</b> “We’re not sure what’s exactly is going on inside the town of Beaverton, Tom, but we’re reporting that there’s looting, raping and, yes, even acts of cannibalism.” </p><p><b>Tom:</b> “My God, you’ve actually seen people looting, raping and eating each other?!” </p><p><b>Mitch:</b> “No, no we’ve haven’t actually seen it, Tom. We’re just reporting it.”</p>

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013