In my Townhall column today I take a look at how the media and some politicians have fared in the year since Katrina hit.
In a little over a week, August 29 to be exact, the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will be observed. Expect some pretty extensive coverage on the cable channels, especially on a certain gray-haired CNN reporters’ program, about all the lessons learned over the past year. There should be plenty of discussion about what Katrina revealed about race and poverty in America and how it exposed weaknesses in the government. What I would like, but don’t expect to see, however, are exposes of the failures in reporting the story and some explanations of how such failures could occur. It would also be nice to hear some corrections to the flawed record so many Americans have come to believe as fact.
While I don’t expect journalists to point out all the mistakes they made, it will be interesting to see whether or not the politicians commenting on the anniversary will make any effort to correct the record where gross misperceptions remain. More interesting will be to observe whether any of those politicians still cite incorrect information from those original wrong reports one year later.
The tone and choice of topics during coverage of the anniversary could have some significant political ramifications as the story will play a part in setting a stage for upcoming congressional elections. The story could possibly have even bigger effects felt in 2008. In anticipation of the upcoming anniversary, many politicians have made pilgrimages to the site of the most devastating storm in modern history. Not surprisingly, some of those politicians are often cited presidential hopefuls.