Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Katrina blows away truth, erodes media's credibility

Well, it looks like civilization didn't break down quite as much as we thought in the aftermath of Katrina. Many of the rumors of the worst behavior are proving unfounded. At least, that's what the newspapers tell me.

Here's the problem: it's not all the media's fault. When push comes to shove, journalists will print anything as long as it can be attributed to 'officials.' When you have Mayor Ray Nagin talking about dead bodies and rapes in the Superdome on Oprah, most reporters are inclined (no matter what they say) to take his word for it. In an industry where the scoop still reigns supreme, relying on official reports is a time-honored survival technique for reporters who don't want to get bawled out by their editors for getting 'beaten' by a rival newspaper.