Thursday, October 13, 2005

Flood Waters In New Orleans Not As Toxic As Feared

I noticed this article in USA Today: Katrina's floodwaters not as toxic as expected. The article starts with the following.
The New Orleans floodwaters described as toxic in news accounts of Hurricane Katrina's impact were actually about as dangerous as the city's normal storm water runoff, according to surprised researchers at Louisiana State University.
Well, at least they are surprised. Let's see what we have. The number of deaths from hurricane Katrina (thankfully) was far less than reported than initial reported by the media. The wide-spread lawlessness reported turned out to be not as wide-spread and not as lawless. And now the deadly, toxic flood waters are found not to be that deadly or toxic. Was there anything else that was reported as horrific that may be found, upon review, to have been less severe than first thought? Perhaps: It is all Bush's fault?

I don't really think this was a case of bias by the media. I think it was simple sensationalism in an attempt to attract viewers. Ever since helicopters chased down O.J. Simpson in the infamous white bronoco, it seems that every major news story must be met with round-the-clock news coverage. Inevitably with such coverage, the camera time starts to outstrip the flow of information and fact-checking is seemingly the first victim.

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