The AP Katrina Briefing Story – Rathergate Connection

Yesterday, in looking at the AP piece on the Bush Katrina briefings (Rewriting Katrina History – AP Style), I had this to stay about the AP’s work:

…[I]t has all the hallmarks of the Bush Air National Guard story on 60 Minutes II by Dan Rather and Mary Mapes. The AP has dressed up mundane video to try and prove that President Bush (and everyone else) knew that the levees in New Orleans were going to breech. The problem is the evidence they present in their story to make that point does nothing of the sort.

It turns out that there’s much more to that analogy than even I knew at the time. Have a look at the byline to the AP story:


WASHINGTON (AP) – In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans’ Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

Here’s an interesting detail on someone who certainly looks like one of the story authors from the French-American Foundation’s membership roles:

Margaret Ebrahim (2003)
CBS News, 60 Minutes II

This CBS News page confirms that a Margaret Ebrahim was a 60 Minutes II producer in 2005. Ironically it was Mary Mapes who gave her away…

What are the odds that there are two people with that name, one an AP writer and one a CBS News producer? I’m guessing they’re minuscule. The odds are that it’s the same person in a new job.

Given the tatters the story has been shredded into by the blogosphere, it’s hardly surprising that it comes from an alum of 60 Minutes II…

Update: Wondering who plays the part of Dan Rather in this comedy of errors? It looks like we found him

Wizbang Coverage

Rewriting Katrina History – AP Style
What’s in a Word?
The AP Katrina Briefing Story – Rathergate Connection
New Katrina Video, Same Old AP Bull
Associated Press Admits Error In Katrina Video Story
David Gregory Calls into Imus Apparently Drunk
School Daze


  1. Jake March 9, 2006