Saturday, March 04, 2006

Belated Correction

You have got to be kidding me. The original story ran on March 1. It took two days of a media frenzy about these videos before the AP finally corrected and clarified the timeframes and situations involved. Whereas the bloggers found the problem immediately, the AP and all of the entities that picked up the AP story ran it without questioning the factual accuracy.

Overtopping is not the same as a breach. So, when the President was briefed about overtopping of the levees prior to the storm's landfall, that does not mean he was briefed about breaches.

Shameful. Absolutely shameful.
Fri Mar 03 2006 19:48:29 ET

Clarification: Katrina-Video story

WASHINGTON (AP) _ In a March 1 story, The Associated Press reported that federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees in New Orleans, citing confidential video footage of an Aug. 28 briefing among U.S. officials.

The Army Corps of Engineers considers a breach a hole developing in a levee rather than an overrun. The story should have made clear that Bush was warned about floodwaters overrunning the levees, rather than the levees breaking.

The day before the storm hit, Bush was told there were grave concerns that the levees could be overrun. It wasn't until the next morning, as the storm was hitting, that Michael Brown, then head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Bush had inquired about reports of breaches. Bush did not participate in that briefing.
Ace of Spades and Generation Why? also notes the correction. Jason at Generation Why takes his liberal commenters to task for buying the AP line without regard for all the facts that were already known about the situation (the transcripts had been available for months now, so the videos were not newsworthy).

The AP tried and nearly succeeded with a political hit job on the Administration. They trumped up the claims with video taken out of context. No doubt that the media outlets that ran the original story are going to rush out and correct the story for their viewers/readers. Not gonna happen.

The amazing thing is that the facts surrounding Katrina are bad enough. The Administration has been criticized for a slow response, and FEMA has been woefully inadequate, even at this late date.

Others blogging the disgraceful AP performance: Powerline, Gina Cobb, Big Lizards, Flopping Aces, Patterico, and Newsbusters.

Posted to Wizbang's Carnival of Trackbacks, Basil's Blog.

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