The Katrina kerfuffle, part deux

Note: *scroll down for updates*


The blogosphere is abuzz this morning regarding the story about a ‘secure’ (hah!) goverment tape as well as seven days of transcripts obtained by the AP show disaster officials warning the President and Homeland Security head honcho Michael Chertoff about the very serious threat Hurricane Katrina posed to New Orleans.

The best two blogosphere posts up that I’ve seen in response to this ‘breaking news’ come from John at Powerline, who points out the many factual errors contained within this story, and Kevin Aylward at Wizbang, who has an extensive write-up and at the end concludes that the leaker of the tapes and transcripts is none other than disgraced former FEMA director Michael Brown. Also check out Patterico’s post on this, where he points out the glaring factual errors in the LATimes reporting of this story.

The bottom line on all this seems to be 1) that this isn’t new news – except for those who want it to be and 2) the media continues to get the facts wrong as it relates to the timeline on who said what – and when they said it.

Read more via Big Lizards and Captain Ed

9:56 PM Update: Brent Baker at Newsbusters notes conflicting accounts between MSNBC and NBC of what was said on the video:

MSNBC versus NBC News. MSNBC’s David Shuster, at the top of Thursday’s Hardball, and NBC’s Lisa Myers at the start of the NBC Nightly News, played the identical soundbites from Max Mayfield of the National Hurricane Center warning, on Sunday August 28, about his “grave concern” the levees in New Orleans could be “topped” and a clip of President Bush four days later maintaining that “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” But they used the soundbites to prove opposite assessments. Shuster contended that Mayfield’s video “seems to contradict what President Bush said about Katrina” since Mayfield’s warning “clearly” means that “the President’s team did anticipate the breach.”

Lisa Myers, however, recognized the meaning of words and how water flowing over a levee, topping it, is not the same thing as a breaching, the collapse of a levee, which is what occurred. Myers explained: “Today Mayfield told NBC News that he warned only that the levees might be topped, not breached, and that on the many conference calls he monitored, ‘nobody talked about the possibility of a levee breach or failure until after it happened.'”


Read the whole thing.

10:22 PM Update: The AP reports on what La. Gov. Blanco said in briefing video about the levees:

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the hectic, confused hours after Hurricane Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast, Louisiana’s governor hesitantly but mistakenly assured the Bush administration that New Orleans’ protective levees were intact, according to new video obtained by The Associated Press showing briefings that day with federal officials.

“We keep getting reports in some places that maybe water is coming over the levees,” Gov. Kathleen Blanco said shortly after noon on Aug. 29, according to the video. “We heard a report unconfirmed, I think, we have not breached the levee. I think we have not breached the levee at this time.”

Don’t look for the media to hype that interesting tidbit too much. (Hat tip: sanity in the comments section)

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