Position:Katrina media coverage was racist class warfare

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Position: Katrina media coverage was inaccurate, sensationalist, racist class warfare; at very least subconciously and implicitly, at most conciously and explicitly.

Despite a total lack of evidence, blacks and poor people were portrayed as bloodthirsty, irrational, rapacious animals so bent on violence that they would literally shoot people who came to save them.

As the confusion settles and the true story of what happened finally emerges, the major media outlets have not given the truth comparable coverage, they have not made public corrections of their miscoverage, they have not apologised, nor made any retractions.

The damage this has done to inner-cities, blacks, and the poor will be felt for a long time to come.



Media Reports of Violence were Rumors and Misinformation

  • Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown: "We're controlling every single aircraft in that airspace and none of them reported being fired on."
  • Reports of anarchy at Superdome overstated -Seattle Times

"The vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees — mass murders, rapes and beatings — have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law-enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know."

"I think 99 percent of it is [expletive]," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Lachney, who played a key role in security and humanitarian work inside the Dome..."

The scholars' suspicions are fueled by what they say is a well-documented history of misinformation during disasters...

"As a researcher, I base what I say on evidence and there was no evidence for a lot of what was being reported," says Kathleen Tierney, a sociologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder and director of the Natural Hazards Center there. "I don't think I've ever seen such an egregious example of victim blaming as I have in this disaster."

"We don't have any substantiated rapes," the New Orleans Police superintendent Edwin Compass ...The Federal Aviation Administration and military officials have cast doubt on the story of the rescue helicopter that came under fire...

  • Spreading the poison of bigotry by Howard Witt, Chicago Tribune senior correspondent:

"By Thursday, local TV and radio stations in Baton Rouge...were breezily passing along reports of cars being hijacked at gunpoint by New Orleans refugees, riots breaking out in the shelters set up in Baton Rouge to house the displaced, and guns and knives being seized..."

"The police, for example, confiscated a single knife from a refugee in one Baton Rouge shelter...There were no riots in Baton Rouge. There were no armed hordes."

  • Two photos with the same subject matter and near-indentical captions, only with one difference: Blacks "loot" groceries, Whites "find" them

First Hand Testimony Contradicts the Rumors

Profiting from misinformation

  • During 9/11 coverage, the media stopped playing advertisements, so that they would not be seen profiting from the dead. Yet during Katrina the media would report 10,000 dead and then go straight to commercials. The dead on 9/11 were mostly white, in New Orleans, black.

The media profited from its coverage, so it stands to reason that it should pay back that money to the communities it has hurt.

See Also

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