On September 13, nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin has "totally left town" and "has moved to Texas ... where his kids are enrolled in school." While the New Orleans Times-Picayune did report on September 10 that "Nagin has purchased a home for his family in Dallas and enrolled his young daughter in school there," the paper added that Nagin "said he will remain in the Crescent City [New Orleans] while his family lives for the next six months in Dallas, making occasional visits to his family when possible."
On September 12, The Dallas Morning News cited the Times-Picayune article and correctly noted that Nagin said he would remain in New Orleans while his family lives temporarily in Dallas.
Limbaugh's misinformation echoed a misleading "Political Grapevine" segment on the September 12 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume. Citing The Dallas Morning News, host Brit Hume claimed that "Nagin pulled up stakes and moved his family to Dallas," where he "has already bought a house ... and enrolled his daughter in school." But Hume did not disclose that The Dallas Morning News article -- as well as the Times-Picayune article on which it was based -- stated that Nagin said he would remain in New Orleans. Hume made a similarly misleading statement on the September 13 edition of Special Report, noting without additional explanation that Nagin "has now moved his family to his new home in Dallas."
From the September 13 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Ray Nagin, the mayor, who has moved to Texas. He's totally left town. Mayor Nagin has left town, set up stakes in, I think, Dallas, where his kids are enrolled in school. Says the city is bankrupt, and, uh, they need help.
From the September 12 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
HUME: New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin greeted President Bush when Mr. Bush arrived in Louisiana last night and was at his side as he fielded questions on the Katrina relief efforts this morning. That quality time with the president, however, marks the mayor's first visit to the disaster area since Wednesday, when Nagin pulled up stakes and moved his family to Dallas. The Dallas Morning News reports that Nagin has already bought a house in the city and enrolled his daughter in school there. When the mayor appeared on [NBC's] Meet the Press on Sunday from Dallas, he was never asked about his presence there, or his decision to move his family.
From the September 13 edition of Special Report with Brit Hume:
HUME: But despite the lack of funds, Mayor Nagin, who has now moved his family to his new home in Dallas, says he won't stand for state or federal officials assigning reconstruction projects without the approval of city officials, saying, quote, "I don't want anybody outside of New Orleans planning nothing as it relates to how we're going to rebuild this city without us signing off on it."