Rush Limbaugh blamed "unchecked liberalism" for the failure to "save" New Orleans residents who perished -- or otherwise suffered -- during Hurricane Katrina. Limbaugh stated that New Orleans is "a microcosm -- a model of exactly what unchecked liberalism does. It creates destitution. It creates hopelessness. It creates a mess!"
In two separate reports, Fox News' Major Garrett omitted key conclusions pertaining to the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense in a recently released Senate report on the government response to Hurricane Katrina, while highlighting findings implicating the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state and local officials.
Mark Hyman's five-part series on Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans used an incomplete and distorted narrative of events prior to Hurricane Katrina's August 29, 2005, landfall in order to shift responsibility for the Katrina fiasco away from the Bush administration and onto New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D) and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D).
Fox News host Brit Hume continued to tout the Associated Press' misleading March 3 "clarification" of a previous article about a pre-Katrina presidential briefing as justification for President Bush's claim -- debunked even at the time -- that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
Fox News correspondent Wendell Goler falsely claimed that "[s]tories in The Washington Post ... accused the Army Corps of Engineers of using substandard soil to rebuild the levees" in New Orleans and suggested that the Post omitted the Corps' side of the story. In fact, the Post, in three news articles, merely reported the concerns of engineering experts who have monitored the levee rebuilding effort; and contrary to Goler's suggestion, the Post's reports all included statements from the Corps of Engineers denying the scientists' accusations that the Corps had used substandard materials.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough falsely claimed that, in a recently released videotape made shortly after Hurricane Katrina's landfall, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco "guaranteed" that New Orleans' levees "had not been breached," when in fact the levees had already broken. However, contrary to Scarborough's assertion, the tape reportedly shows Blanco offering the tentative and qualified assessment that -- based on information available to her at the time -- the levees had not yet been breached, but "[t]hat could change."
On CNN's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz presented as fact the claim, advanced by the conservative media, that President Bush was not specifically warned that levees in New Orleans could be breached as a result of Hurricane Katrina. In fact, other evidence shows that Bush and other administration officials were warned and were aware that Katrina could cause the levees to breach, with catastrophic results.
On Fox News Sunday, Boston Globe Washington bureau chief Nina Easton attributed President Bush's failure to adequately respond to Hurricane Katrina to what she suggested was his desire not "to be an ambulance chaser, as he saw [President] Bill Clinton being."
On the second day after the release of videos showing President Bush was warned of possible catastrophic flooding in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal published no news articles following up on the controversy.
For the second night in a row, in reporting on newly released video showing President Bush receiving warnings that Hurricane Katrina could cause New Orleans levees to fail, ABC's World News Tonight did not mention Bush's comment, made days after the storm, that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
NBC's Nightly News and Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume uncritically reported the new White House explanation for President Bush's claim that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." The administration now claims that Bush was warned only of the levees "overtopping," not breaching. However, some key facts undermine this White House explanation.
ABC World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth Vargas failed to note the apparent conflict between a newly released videotape that shows President Bush receiving a warning that New Orleans levees could be topped and Bush's later comment that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." MSNBC chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell similarly failed to note this contradiction during an interview with deputy White House press secretary Trent Duffy.
CBS News correspondent Bob Orr uncritically reported the White House's "explanation" for why President Bush falsely claimed that nobody anticipated that Hurricane Katrina would cause breaches in New Orleans levees and flood the city. Orr reported that the White House stated that Katrina "was a Category 3" storm when it made landfall but did not mention that, at the time, it was assessed as a more powerful Category 4 hurricane.
On March 2, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today reported on newly released video footage and transcripts documenting how, on the day before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, President Bush was warned -- and expressed concern -- about the possibility that the levees in New Orleans would be breached by the storm. But none of these reports mentioned that these new tapes further contradict the claim Bush made on ABC's Good Morning America several days after the storm hit that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
Discussing the contradiction between the newly released videotape of President Bush at a FEMA briefing on Hurricane Katrina and Bush's statement during a September 1, 2005, appearance on Good Morning America that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," Chris Matthews invoked alleged flip-flops by Sen. John Kerry. Matthews asked campaign consultant Bob Shrum, "Do you think [Bush] was aware of the Katrina situation before he was unaware of it," then stated, "I'm reminding everybody of your candidate and how his positions changed."
Loading the player leg...