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POST-KATRINA CRIME: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 26, 2005 07:39 AM

Remember all those rapes and murders that supposedly took place in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? By and large, according to a new report, they didn’t happen. (Original report at NOLA. com)

According to Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan, “authorities have only confirmed four murders in the entire city in the aftermath of Katrina — making it a typical week in a city that anticipated more than 200 homicides this year.”

Officials now say there were only six deaths inside the Superdome. Of those, “four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide.” No murders.

At the Convention Center, four bodies have been recovered. Only one of the four deaths appears to have resulted from murder.

An earlier report said that none of the reported rapes in the Superdome and the Convention Center have been substantiated.

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On the other hand, this report details gun battles between roving thugs and armed citizens left to fend for themselves.

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John Hinderaker at Power Line turns the tables on the press:

It’s time for some accountability here. The conventional wisdom is that no one performed particularly well in the aftermath of Katrina–not local, state or federal authorities, and not considerable numbers of private citizens. But it now appears clear that the worse performance of all was turned in by the mainstream media. Congress should promptly investigate, and try to get to the bottom of the following questions:

* How did so many false rumors come to be reported as fact?
* Do news outlets have any procedures in place to avoid this kind of mis-reporting? If so, why did their procedures fail so miserably?
* To what extent were the false rumors honest mistakes, and to what extent were they deliberate fabrications?
* To the extent that the false reports were deliberate, did the press pass them on through sheer negligence, or did some reporters participate in deliberate fabrication?
* Did the widespread breakdown in accurate reporting stem only from a failure to follow proper journalistic standards, or did it also reflect a deliberate effort to damage the Bush administration by passing on unconfirmed rumors as fact?
* In deciding what stories to report, did the news media consider the likelihood that passing on false rumors would damage the rescue effort?

It is vitally important to get to the bottom of these questions, so that future natural disasters are not similarly mis-reported.

Hillary, any interest?

Laura Lee Donoho at Wide Awake Cafe weighs in on the media’s “game of telephone.”

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Previous: Debunking some Katrina myths

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