Sunday, January 08, 2006

John Leo castigates the media for still playing into the racial coverage of Katrina.
Did New Orleans blacks die at a higher rate than whites in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? On the evidence so far, the answer is no. Of the 1,100 bodies recovered in Louisiana after Katrina, 836 were found in New Orleans, and the state has released data on 568 of those that were judged to be storm-related. As of last week, blacks, who were 67.2 percent of the pre-storm population of New Orleans, account for 50.9 percent of the city victims so far identified by race. It was New Orleans whites who died way out of proportion to their numbers: 28 percent of the population, 45.6 percent of the city's known Katrina deaths by race.

This is far from the impression that the media have managed to leave, both during the crisis and in the months since
having left the overwhelming impression that this was a natural disaster that hurt blacks disproportionately more than whites - it's incumbent on the media to correct that impression, but, of course, they are doing no such thing. Too many people are invested in that storyline.

I happened to notice that the Google Ad on the RCP page with this column was for a place selling T Shirts saying "Kanye Was Right." The people buying those shirts might not be reachable by facts and logic, but I suspect that there are a lot of other people who would like to know the truth rather than the propaganda. Will Anderson Cooper and other media stars from the hurricane ever correct the false impression that they left with the American people? I'm not holding my breath.

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