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."
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 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.
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.
While interviewing White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy on the March 2 edition of CNN's Live From... about newly released video of President Bush receiving warnings that the New Orleans levees might fail, news anchor Fredricka Whitfield joined a growing list of journalists who seem to have entirely forgotten that Bush claimed, two days after the storm, that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
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.
In a conversation with a caller about the disproportionately few jobs and contracts that have gone to locals in the rebuilding of New Orleans, Bill O'Reilly said: "[T]he homies, you know -- I mean, they're just not going to get the job."
An Associated Press article covering President Bush's January 12 visit to storm-devastated New Orleans highlighted his insistence that "stronger promised levee protection will make the city both safer and more attractive for investment." But the article made no mention of the White House's refusal to commit to a levee system designed to withstand the most severe storms, on which numerous other news outlets have reported.
On Special Report, host Brit Hume claimed that President Bush "refused to criticize" Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco for her response to Hurricane Katrina. In fact, numerous media outlets have documented the White House's "behind the scenes" public relations strategy to deflect blame onto Louisiana officials.