Thursday, April 27, 2006

More Biased AP Reporting

In yet another example of the contortions into which the writers for the Associated Press twist themselves in their continuing efforts to paint every occurrance as a George W. Bush signature fiasco, the AP's Lara Jakes Jordan writes today on the Senate report following up on Hurricane Katrina.

WASHINGTON - A Senate inquiry into the government's Hurricane Katrina failures ripped the Bush administration anew Thursday and urged the scrapping of the nation's disaster response agency. But with a new hurricane season just weeks away, senators conceded that few if any of their proposals could become reality in time.

The bipartisan investigation into one of the worst natural disasters in the nation's history singled out President Bush and the White House as appearing indifferent to the devastation until two days after the storm hit.

"Singled out" would seem to indicate that no other organizations or individuals were criticized, a prospect that, given all that went into creating the Katrina aftermath, would seem improbable at best. Sure enough, it was so improbable as to have been contradicted in the next two paragraphs.

It said the Homeland Security Department either misunderstood federal disaster plans or refused to follow them. And it said New Orleans for years had neglected to prepare for large-scale emergencies.

"The suffering that continued in the days and weeks after the storm passed did not happen in a vacuum; instead, it continued longer that it should have because of — and was in some cases exacerbated by — the failure of government at all levels to plan, prepare for and respond aggressively to the storm," concluded the report.

So the report "concluded" that failures of government occurred "at all levels," and yet it also "singled out" President Bush and the White House for criticism. How does Ms. Jordan explain that contradiction? The answer is that she doesn't.

If you can stomach reading this tripe a little longer some clarifying information is distributed in paragraph 18.

Though the new report singles out officials from New Orleans to Washington for blame — and lambastes Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in particularit gives Bush a mixed review for his performance. It credits the president for declaring an emergency before the hurricane's landfall, but faults him for waiting until two days after it hit to return to Washington and convene top officials to coordinate the federal response.

The report "lambastes Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in particular?" Then why is the headline "Katrina Report Lambastes White House?"

Is it too much to ask a news organization to refrain from "interpreting" the news ahead of time for its readers?

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