Worse than Bill Bennett

October 5th, 2005 9:28 AM

The Washington Post has an article about where the real blame lies for a slow response to Hurricane Katrina.

News of Pandemonium May Have Slowed Aid: Unsubstantiated Reports of Violence Were Confirmed by Some Officials, Spread by News Media

Claims of widespread looting, gunfire directed at helicopters and rescuers, homicides, and rapes, including those of "babies" at the Louisiana Superdome, frequently turned out to be overblown, if not completely untrue, officials now say.... The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that National Guard troops found 30 to 40 bodies decomposing inside a freezer in the convention center, including a girl whose throat was slashed. The newspaper quoted a member of the Arkansas National Guard, which was deployed in the building. Other news organizations then passed the information on. That, too, was untrue.

In communities near and far, the seeds were planted that the victims of Katrina should be kept away, or at least handled with extreme caution.

That is a very important point. By referring to the people of New Orleans as vicious savages, the media did more to stereotype minorities and destroy race relations in this country than Bill Bennett ever did.

You wouldn't know it by reading a paper, though.