The House is set to release a blistering report about the response to Hurricane Katrina, and I just wanted to share with you an example of the kind of thing that makes many Republicans think the media is aligned against them. Check out this from the NY Times:
Republicans’ Report on Katrina Assails Administration Response By ERIC LIPTON
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 — House Republicans plan to issue a blistering report on Wednesday that says the Bush administration delayed the evacuation of thousands of New Orleans residents by failing to act quickly on early reports that the levees had broken during Hurricane Katrina.
That delay was significant, the report says, rejecting the defense given by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security that the time it took to recognize the breach did not significantly affect the response.
“If the levees breached and flooded a large portion of the city, then the flooded city would have to be completely evacuated,” the draft report says. “Any delay in confirming the breaches would result in a delay in the post-landfall evacuation of the city.” It adds that the White House itself discounted damage reports that later proved true.
The report, by the select House committee examining the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, is the first of three major investigations into the subject; the others, for which reports are expected within one or two months, are being conducted by a Senate committee and by the White House.
The House report blames all levels of government, from the White House to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana to Mayor C. Ray Nagin of New Orleans, for the delayed response to the storm.
We don’t have the whole report, but the author of this story and the editors who wrote the headline chose to focus solely on the administration, rather than acknowledging that the report blamed all levels of government. The title could just as easily have been “Republicans’ Report on Katrina Assails Mayor Nagin’s Response.” But it wasn’t, was it?
And before the flaming starts from the usual suspects, I really don’t care- I think this is par for the course for the media- sensational headlines. It is sexy to have a headline that says even the Republicans are blaming the Bush administration, and that was the hook. Much sexier than “All Levels of Government Responded Poorly to Katrina,” which is something we all already know. So I understand why it is happening, but I am trying to explain to you why certain people look at the media and think they are out to get them.