Monday, December 19, 2005

The Curse of the 24 Hour News Cycle

Looks like most of the journalists got it wrong in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. The poor/African-American community did not bear a disproportionate amount in the Katrina floods. The L.A. Times took an extensive look at what happened and reports this:

Katrina Killed Across Class Lines
The well-to-do died along with the poor, an analysis of data shows. The findings counter common beliefs that disadvantaged blacks bore the brunt.

By Nicholas Riccardi, Doug Smith and David Zucchino, Times Staff Writers
The bodies of New Orleans residents killed by Hurricane Katrina were almost as likely to be recovered from middle-class neighborhoods as from the city's poorer districts, such as the Lower 9th Ward, according to a Times analysis of data released by the state of Louisiana.The analysis contradicts what swiftly became conventional wisdom in the days after the storm hit — that it was the city's poorest African American residents who bore the brunt of the hurricane. Slightly more than half of the bodies were found in the city's poorer neighborhoods, with the remainder scattered throughout middle-class and even some richer districts.

Read the rest here.

Looks like the scramble to get the story/scoop caused misinformation to get out. You gotta take the long view on these things. Let the dust settle. Then figure out what happened. Too bad all the racist rhetoric had to be spewed forth before the facts were in.

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