Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I will be writing about what I think about FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina (and no, it's not pretty), but I've been a bit concerned about some of the bloggers are taking some stories about FEMA messups as gospel, even though there are no coorberating sources. For example, Andrew Sullivan links to a story on Daily Kos on a harrowing account of one person's story in New Orleans. It is horrid, but what is distrubing is that there is nothing that tells me if this story is real or fake. Of course the account is to show how bad the feds have acted in Katrina's wake. I think FEMA did mess up, but I don't want to share infomation that might not be accurate either, and the problem is, a lot of bloggers are linking to Kos and other bloggers even though they have no other source than their own. (Another example is from

this blog which also links to several Kos posts that are also uncoobberated.

Do you remember the photo that came out shortly after September 11th? It was of a tourist supposedly on top of the one of the towers of the World Trade Center on that day. Just to his back, was a plane with an American Airlines logo just seconds before it slams into the building. It was a compelling photo, but it was fake. But a lot of people, including myself, we taken in initially.

Maybe its the journalist in me, but we need to be careful what we place on our blogs. Bloggers love to say that they are so much better than the mainstream media (nevermind we wouldn't exist without them), but we sometimes play fast and loose with facts, letting emotions take over instead of providing good information.

Maybe these stories are true, I don't know. But that's the problem. I don't know and it would be dangerous for me to pass this off as truth when I'm not certain.

I'm all for castigating FEMA which I think did screw up royally. But let's do it based on reliable facts.


At 5:07 AM, Blogger lloydletta said...

Very true. I don't think blogs are better than the MSM. I hold the MSM to a higher standard (that they frequently fall short on) with complete and accurate reporting.

I have chosen to avoid the topic of Katrina on my blog. It's a horrendous story - and I'm appalled that Bush used FEMA as a dumping ground for 3rd rate political hacks. But I don't think I'm saying anything new about the subject.

Norm Coleman was on the radio saying that he or Pawlenty would have done a better job than the Lousianna Governor (who is a democrat). Coleman is doing the typical dirty work - by Karl Rove's playbook.

I've also avoided the topic of the war on my blog. It's not that I have no opinion on that subject, but I don't feel that my opinion is sufficiently informed to share on that topic.

I do happen to think there are plenty of failures by state and local officials (New Orleans city government is appallingly corrupt) - but there were also monumental failures in the Federal Response. It reminded me a bit of Bush's delayed response to the Tsunami.


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