Monday, August 15, 2011

Seven at New Orleans Times-Picayune Win Duranty-Blair Award

[Postscript, 9/2/12: Tonight, Peter Brimelow just published my VDARE Katrina update, “Revising Katrina for the Age of Obama.”]

By Nicholas Stix

Originally published on Wednesday, August 30, 2006.
Revised, expanded version published at 2 a.m., Wednesday, September 6, 2006.
Last updated at 3 a.m., Sunday, September 10, 2006.
Correction at 1:06 a.m., on August 8, 2010: All references to a single Times-Picayune Pulitzer Prize were changed to "two" Pulitzer Prizes.
With running postscripts added on August 14-15, 2011.

Did the New Orleans Times-Picayune win two Pulitzer Prizes for a journalistic fraud? It sure looks that way.

New Orleans Times-Picayune reporters Brian Thevenot, Gordon Russell, Jeff Duncan and Gwen Filosa; managing editors, news, Peter Kovacs and Dan Shea; and editor Jim Amoss, are the newest winners of the Duranty-Blair Award for Journalistic Infamy, for their September 26, 2005 attempt to “untell” the story of the savage violence that befell New Orleans just before and after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29 of last year.

The previous Duranty-Blair winner was former CBS News producer Mary Mapes, who engineered what became known as the “Memogate” (aka Rathergate) hoax, shortly before the 2004 election, in an effort to swing the election toward Democrat challenger, Sen. John Kerry (MA).

The Duranty-Blair Award is named for two of the most notorious scoundrels in the history of American journalism, Walter Duranty and Jayson Blair, both of whom were New York Times reporters. (See Jayson Blair I, II, and III.)

On April 17, the Times-Picayune won two Pulitzer Prizes for a September 26, 2005 story that had immediately been discredited by the bloggers “ziel” of Your Lying Eyes and Eric Scheie at Classical Values. Two weeks later, building on their work, it was also discredited by this writer.

Thanks primarily to the new Duranty-Blair winners, one year and one week after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the general public knows much less about what happened in New Orleans, than it did a year ago.

The two most influential stories on post-Katrina New Orleans were both published by the Times-Picayune, the city’s only major newspaper, on September 6 and 26, respectively.

In the September 6 article, “Mayor says Katrina may have claimed more than 10,000 lives; Bodies found piled in freezer at Convention Center,” Times-Picayune reporter Brian Thevenot wrote of visiting a room at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center containing four corpses covered in sheets, and of the National Guardsmen who accompanied him.

[Mikel] Brooks and several other Guardsmen said they had seen between 30 and 40 more bodies in the Convention Center's freezer. “It's not on, but at least you can shut the door,” said fellow Guardsman Phillip Thompson.
Thevenot also quoted Brooks as saying that there was “a 7-year-old with her throat cut” in the freezer.

He moved on, walking quickly through the darkness, pulling his camouflage shirt to his face to screen out the overwhelming odor. “There's an old woman,” he said, pointing to a wheelchair covered by a sheet. “I escorted her in myself. And that old man got bludgeoned to death,” he said of the body lying on the floor next to the wheelchair….

Brooks and his unit came to New Orleans not long after serving a year of combat duty in Iraq, taking on gunfire and bombs, while losing comrades with regularity. Still, the scene at the Convention Center, where they conducted an evacuation this week, left him shell-shocked.

“I ain’t got the stomach for it, even after what I saw in Iraq,” said Brooks, referring to the freezer where the bulk of the bodies sat decomposing. “In Iraq, it's one-on-one. It's war. It's fair. Here, it's just crazy. It's anarchy. When you get down to killing and raping people in the streets for food and water … And this is America. This is just 300 miles south of where I live.”
As blogger Bonnie Wren noted in a letter she sent to Times-Picayune editors and Duranty-Blair laureates Peter Kovacs, Dan Shea, and Jim Amoss (which they chose not to publish), “This [9/6] story received widespread circulation all over the world.”

(In a featured article by Brian Thevenot in the October/November 2005 American Journalism Review, “Apocalypse in New Orleans,” he repeated his most dramatic stories.)

Hereafter, for brevity’s sake, I will refer simply to “9/6” and to “9/26,” respectively.

On 9/6, the only story Thevenot related from a National Guardsmen who did not claim to have first-hand knowledge of its truth, was the following:

One of the bodies, they said, was a girl they estimated to be 5 years old. Though they could not confirm it, they had heard she was gang-raped.
Note that the Guardsmen were quite sure that they had seen the five-year-old’s corpse.

Realizing after 9/6 that they had violated the taboo against presenting black folks behaving badly, especially after blacks across the country voiced outrage at the media for referring to black looters as, um, “looters,” and/or because Times-Picayune editors and staffers remembered, ‘Hey, we’ve got to live here,’ the newspaper reversed course, and “untold” the huge story it had broken.

Unlike Superman, however, the folks at the Times-Picayune could not reverse time by flying against the Earth’s axis more rapidly than the speed of light, so they had to be more creative.

In case the reader has come to believe that 9/6 was indeed a phony story, and thus would tend to believe a story debunking it, I ask him to keep in mind the following points: Thevenot did not retract his 9/6 story; and as I will demonstrate, through my own research and the help of several other journalists, 9/26 was a false story.

Discredited from the Get-Go

In a September 26 story, “Rumors of deaths greatly exaggerated; Widely reported attacks false or unsubstantiated; 6 bodies found at Dome; 4 at Convention Center,” four Times–Picayune reporters claimed to have followed up on, and disproved the most dramatic stories, including Thevenot’s 9/6 story.

The initial criticisms of Thevenot & Co. were:

1. That 9/6 had been altered (Scheie; unfortunately, the Times-Pic is not archived in the “Wayback Machine”);

2. That 9/26 claims that “rumors” had asserted that there were over 200 corpses at the Superdome, were a straw-man argument intended, by counterposing that to extremely low “true” body counts, to discredit all stories of mayhem (ziel at Your Lying Eyes);

3. That following 9/6, but prior to 9/26, the story’s most dramatic charges “of dead children in the Convention Center” had been denounced by police Superintendent Compass as “vicious rumors,” but the Times-Picayune had never printed a correction; and in a related but richer vein,

4. The 9/26 charges that the most dramatic stories about the Convention Center were “exaggerations” and rumor-mongering would mean that Thevenot and the Times-Picayune had been guilty of “exaggerations” and rumor-mongering.

Regarding the first criticism, Eric Scheie cited gruesome material that he claimed was in the original 9/6, but no longer is in its Web version.

In the matter of the second criticism, the 9/26 team (and in a separate article, Thevenot alone, who claimed to be debunking claims of 300 corpses warehoused at one school) claimed to be responding to rumors spread by the national and foreign media that had determined most people’s impressions about post-Katrina anarchy, but I was not then and am still not aware of any such national or foreign media reports, nor were any of the bloggers or journalists whom I’ve favorably cited above.

Thevenot & Co. conjured up incredibly exaggerated reports of murder victims that were supposedly in circulation earlier, even though no one else can recall hearing them at the time.

As for the third and fourth criticisms, respectively, on September 26, in “WHO'S COMPLAINING ABOUT WHOSE EXAGGERATIONS?,” Scheie wrote,

Usually when someone tries to avoid responsibility for assigning blame to others, I’m not terribly impressed, unless it appears that the person trying to shift blame helped create the problem. And I'm wondering what’s going on with the Times Picayune’s Brian Thevenot, who’s taking a hard line in condemning earlier gruesome reports of crime which he now says were untrue….

[Scheie then quotes a long passage from 9/26]


[Thevenot:] “Four weeks after the storm, few of the widely reported atrocities have been backed with evidence…. The piles of bodies never materialized, and soldiers, police officers and rescue personnel on the front lines say that although anarchy reigned at times and people suffered unimaginable indignities, most of the worst crimes reported at the time never happened.”

[Scheie:] The above is certainly good news by any standard. But what's troubling to me is that some of the bad news was reported by Thevenot himself. By implication, he's now saying that his own story, which I was unfortunate enough to link before in the assumption that it was accurate, was either lying or exaggerated. The link I posted to Thevenot’s earlier Times-Picayune story now goes nowhere except to the story Glenn [Reynolds, of] links today. But via the Kansas City Star, here's the earlier Times-Picayune story (edited version, unfortunately) which still bears Thevenot’s name:

[Scheie then compares and contrasts at length Thevenot 9/6 edited with Thevenot 9/26.]


[Schneie:] I'm a bit baffled by this. It’s one thing to correct your own story, but the earlier one appears to have been pulled, without a retraction or correction ever being issued. Instead, the reporter who wrote it seems to be attacking bad reporting -- and completely failing to point out that his own story played a key role.

The Pulitzer Prize for Deception?

In the best-case scenario, Brian Thevenot won two Pulitzer Prizes for a story he co-wrote, which discredited and at the same covered up a story he had previously botched. In the worst-case scenario, Thevenot and Gordon Russell shared two Pulitzer Prizes for a story that was fraudulent in and of itself, and that charged Thevenot’s previous story with being either a botch, in which he was made a fool of by liars, or a pack of his own lies.

In either case—cover-up or outright fraud—Thevenot shared two Pulitzers for dishonest reporting.

For a political analogy to Thevenot’s treatment, imagine Richard Nixon’s Watergate cover-up being exposed, but instead of Nixon being forced from office, Congress and the New York City Board of Estimate (which ran things in New York in those days) voting to give Nixon a tickertape parade down Manhattan’s Canyon of Heroes.

But things are even more crooked than they so far seem. For in place of the National Guardsmen’s 9/6 report of having seen with their own eyes 30-40 corpses warehoused in the Convention Center freezer, or denouncing the Guardsmen as liars, Thevenot and his 9/26 colleagues cooked up a new story entirely:

One widely circulated tale, told to The Times-Picayune by a slew of evacuees and two Arkansas National Guardsmen, held that “30 or 40 bodies” were stored in a Convention Center freezer. But a formal Arkansas Guard review of the matter later found that no soldier had actually seen the corpses, and that the information came from rumors in the food line for military, police and rescue workers in front of Harrah's New Orleans Casino, said [Lt. Col. John] Edwards, who conducted the review.
Note that the two anonymous National Guardsmen, who on 9/26 are given a new story, were identified on 9/6 as Mikel Brooks and Phillip Thompson. But on September 6, Thevenot had also mentioned “several other Guardsmen,” none of whom he named.

Rumors of Violence

Note that 9/26 used “rumor” in the sense of a lie spread by someone who claims that an unnamed person he knows, or an unnamed person who knows someone he knows, witnessed or experienced something dramatic. But as we shall see, the New Orleans “rumors” of horrific violence were based on the testimony of people who claimed to have directly witnessed or endured violent crimes, most of whom gave their names. Said witnesses are either telling the truth or lying, but they are most certainly not spreading “rumors.”

The 9/26 story was so dishonest in its attempts to discount the violence that not only had been reported by journalists from other news outlets, but which had been reported in many different stories by different reporters appearing on different days in the pages of the Times-Picayune, that I believe that 9/6 was the true story. (In any event, 9/26 is surely a fraud.) The Times-Picayune reporters who reported on the savagery included Susan Langenhennig, Susan Finch, James Varney, and of course, Brian Thevenot.

For Brian Thevenot, Gordon Russell, Jeff Duncan and Gwen Filosa to have a chance at winning over a reader who has read both 9/6 and 9/26, they would have to have condemned National Guardsmen Mikel Brooks and Phillip Thompson as liars for their 9/6 claims. Not only did the reporters not do that, but in different parts of the same story (9/26), they impeach Brooks’ credibility without naming him, and quote him by name as a [credible] witness (see next section)!

“Disappearing Crime,” Times-Picayune Style

Through a series of quotes from officials, 9/26 sets up the reader to believe that only four people – as opposed to the 34-44 reported on 9/6 – died, whether of natural or unnatural causes, at the Convention Center. The 9/26 team then seeks to shave that number down to only one “suspected” victim of violence.

Just one of the dead appeared to be the victim of foul play, said [NOPD Capt. Jeff] Winn, one of few law enforcement officers who spent any time patrolling the Convention Center before it was secured. Winn, who did the final sweep of the building, said one body appeared to have stab wounds, but he could not be sure. Baldwin also said only one of the dead appeared to have been slain, apparently referring to the same body as Winn described. Bob Johannessen, spokesman for the Department of Health and Hospitals, also confirmed just one suspected homicide at the Convention Center, though he said the victim had been shot, not stabbed.

A Washington Post report quoted another soldier who concluded that three of the four people appeared to have been beaten to death, including an older woman in a wheelchair.

But Spc. Mikel Brooks [!], an Arkansas Guardsman who said he wheeled the woman's dead body into the food service entrance, said she appeared to have died of natural causes. Brooks went on to say that the woman had expired sitting next to her husband, who shocked him by asking him to bring the wheelchair back.

The “Non-Crime” and “Exaggeration” Strategies

The September 26 team also “disappeared” crime via two other major tactics: Re-defining violent crimes as non-crimes, and through quotes from officials, claiming that the level of violence was greatly “exaggerated.”

On September 1, the AP’s Adam Nossiter (“Anger and Unrest Mount in Desperate New Orleans,” exists on the Web only in cached form, which may expire at any time, at message boards), reported,

A National Guard military policeman was shot in the leg as the two scuffled for the MP's rifle, police Capt. Ernie Demmo said. The man was arrested.

“These are good people. These are just scared people,” Demmo said.
Capt. Demmo’s bizarre rationalization notwithstanding, other initial reports said that the military policeman was accompanied by a female comrade, and that when a man appeared in the dark, and hit each of them over the head with a metal rod, the female comrade, rather than defend her partner, ran away.

Later, the media, which had since “forgotten” the assaulted and cowardly female “soldier,” identified the assaulted military policeman as Louisiana National Guardsman Chris Watt, of the 527th Engineer Battalion. (Just as racial taboos forbid honest descriptions of black people behaving badly, sexual taboos forbid honest reporting on women who, while working in sexually inappropriate jobs—as police officers, military combat positions, “fire fighters,” etc.—prove themselves physically incompetent or show cowardice under fire.)

In 9/26, citing Watt’s commander, Thevenot, Russell, Duncan and Filosa told readers that the Guardsman’s wound was “self-inflicted,” because it came from his own rifle.

But that’s legally (not to mention, morally) irrelevant. If someone assaults a police officer, the officer draws his weapon to defend himself, and during the struggle, his weapon discharges and wounds him, the wound does not count as “self-inflicted,” because it was not accidental or the result of his intention, but rather the direct result of the assault.

Legally, the same would apply to the case of a National Guardsman keeping order. Thus, assuming the officer (soldier) survives, his attacker will be charged with first degree assault, assault with a deadly weapon, or attempted murder on a police officer (in Watt’s case, simply attempted murder). Thus, to attempt to turn the near murder of a National Guardsman into a “self-inflicted” wound is a case of sophistry in the service of evil. It also tells you what the Duranty-Blair winners think of the Guardsmen who risked their lives to save others during the savagery.

Soldier shot - by himself

Inside the Dome, where National Guardsmen performed rigorous security checks before allowing anyone inside, only one shooting has been verified. Even that incident, in which Louisiana Guardsman Chris Watt of the 527th Engineer Battalion was injured, has been widely misreported, said Maj. David Baldwin, who led the team of soldiers who arrested a suspect.

Watt was attacked inside one of the Dome's locker rooms, which he entered with another soldier. In the darkness, as he walked through about six inches of water, Watt was attacked with a metal rod, a piece of a cot. But the bullet that penetrated Watt's leg came from his own gun - he accidentally shot himself in the commotion. The attacker never took his gun from him, Baldwin said. New Orleans police investigated the matter fully and sent the suspect to jail in Breaux Bridge, Baldwin said.

As for other shootings, Baldwin said, “We actively patrolled 24 hours a day, and nobody heard another shot.”
Shame on Maj. Baldwin.

By the way, outside of science fiction and horror movies, “metal rods” do not attack people; only people and animals attack people. Talk about newspeak!

One year after Katrina, the Times-Picayune has been publishing its own propagandistic retrospectives, which apparently seek to bury the reader in so much revisionist disinformation that he never finds his way back to the truth.

In an August 30, 2006 revision by 9/26 team member, Jeff Duncan, the assault with the metal rod and the cowardly female comrade have both been sent down the memory hole, and all that is left is a “scuffle” Guardsman Watt had with an assailant, who though arrested, has never been named. One wonders what the civilian could have been charged with: Third-degree scuffling? Being a material witness to a self-inflicted wound?

If one would do violence to the English language, one must be consistent. Thus, if one would define out of existence a violent crime, one must also define out of existence the ensuing arrest for said crime.

At least we no longer have to worry about violent, lone metal rods on the prowl.

Maj. Baldwin notwithstanding, we also know of numerous cases in which people in the Superdome fired on rescue helicopters.

At the time of the attack on Guardsman Watt and his female comrade,
some of their comrades in the 527th complained to Army Times reporter Joseph R. Chenelly.

An incensed Spc. Philip Baccus said,

“I never thought that at [sic] a National Guardsman I would be shot at by other Americans. And I never thought I’d have to carry a rifle when on a hurricane relief mission. This is a disgrace.”

Spc. Cliff Ferguson … pointed out that he knows there are plenty of decent people in New Orleans, but he said it is hard to stay motivated considering the circumstances.

“This is making a lot of us think about not reenlisting. You have to think about whether it is worth risking your neck for someone who will turn around and shoot at you. We didn’t come here to fight a war. We came here to help.”
And that was before they found out that the crimes against their comrades had been re-defined out of existence.


Another key to disappearing the crime committed during the chaos has been to claim that initial reports were wildly “exaggerated.”

The 9/26 team quoted then-Deputy Police Superintendent Warren Riley as saying, “Everything was embellished, everything was exaggerated. If one guy said he saw six bodies, then another guy the same six, and another guy saw them – then that became 18.”

(Following Superintendent Eddie Compass’ forced resignation, Riley was named interim superintendent, and appointed superintendent outright on November 24.)

The initial targets of the “exaggeration” criticism – spread by Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Eddie Compass, among others – were the claims of small children having been raped and murdered in the Convention Center, and of there being as many as 10,000 dead. The conventional wisdom has gone from assuming the truth to assuming the falsity of said claims. In the interest of protecting my ankles, I’ll skip jumping on this particular bandwagon, thank you very much.

However, 9/26 went way beyond casting doubt on the aforementioned “exaggerations,” and insinuated that there had not been remarkable violence in Katrina’s wake. Well, there was no violence worth remarking on in majority white towns like Gulfport, MS, but the reports of savagery in New Orleans were largely true.

The reason I say that, is that all a news team would have had to do to show the nation mind-numbing savagery, would have been to honestly report to the nation from the Big Easy in any given week prior to Katrina.

Before the Deluge

On August 21, 2005 – eight days before Katrina made landfall in New Orleans – the Associated Press’ Alan Sayre reported on a study of crime in New Orleans. In “Murder on the rise in ill-equipped Big Easy: Homicide rate in New Orleans is 10 times national average,” Sayre reported on Crescent City residents already so inured to gunfire, that “university researchers conducted an experiment in which police fired 700 blank rounds in a New Orleans neighborhood in a single afternoon. No one called to report the gunfire.” [P.S., August 14, 2011: A later news report stated that one person had called 911 at the time.]

The same story ran the following day in the Detroit Free Press under the title, “CITIES AND CRIME: New Orleans homicides up as people fear killers, cops.”

“We're going in the reverse of 46 of the top 50 cities in the United States. Almost everyone is going down, but we're going up,” said criminologist Peter Scharf. “There is something going on in New Orleans that is not going on elsewhere.”
And yet, at its peak in 1994 (421 murders), the city’s murder rate had been 58.9 higher than its pre-Katrina (265) number in 2004.

As Nicole Gelinas reported last fall [2005], New Orleans’ murder rate doubled in the wake of Katrina. That would make it, say, 19 times the national rate, although that would “merely” have made it perhaps 25 percent higher than the city’s 1994 number. In other words, even if we ignore the most controversial claims of raped, murdered little children and 10,000 dead, given New Orleans’ history, the savagery initially reported in Katrina’s wake, appears to be a case of a city returning to a level of violence that it had previously known.

But the pre-storm murder rate Sayre and Gelinas cited was based on New Orleans’ pre-Katrina population of 480,000. And yet, the highest estimate for its population in the days after the storm hit was only 150,000, or 68.8 percent below its normal population. That means that the post-Katrina murder rate, even given the lowball figures that were released, was almost 60 times the national rate.

But it gets still worse. Reports at the time claimed that the people who remained in the city to face the brunt of Katrina were overwhelmingly women and children and the old and the ill.

And so, even the low-balled figures were high for New Orleans.

New Orleans is a city that has long been so corrupt that, during the mid-1990s, a number of black murderers were at home in the NOPD. Two of those murderers, Antoinette Frank and Len Davis, are currently sitting on Death Row for crimes they committed white they were New Orleans police officers.

Frank, already a notorious sociopath whose deranged behavior had not succeeded at keeping her off the NOPD, murdered and robbed a white, off-duty NOPD officer (Ronald Williams, who ran security for the restaurant and who sometimes, grudgingly, used Frank as fill-in), and murdered the Vietnamese owner’s son and daughter (Cuong Vu and Ha Vu) at the restaurant where Frank occasionally worked off-duty as a security guard. Frank had decided to rob the place, and rob and murder all of the employees, but two employees hid in a walk-in refrigerator; Frank was caught when she returned to the scene of the crime to finish off the two witnesses.

Len Davis was a crime kingpin while on duty. Although NOPD officials knew that Davis was a violent criminal when he applied to the force, as part of their affirmative action program, they not only hired him, but deleted his criminal record from the NOPD mainframe.

Davis had ordered a drug dealer associate, Paul “Cool” Hardy, to murder Kim Groves, after she had complained about the brutal, unprovoked beating that Davis’ partner, Sammie Williams, had administered to her nephew.

The reason that the NOPD was hiring sociopaths, was that they were black sociopaths. There was tremendous pressure from black New Orleanians to hire as few whites and as many blacks as possible – by any means necessary. Thus were intellectual and moral standards eliminated, and a residency requirement introduced that was only temporarily suspended—in spite of much black opposition—in the wake of Katrina.

Thus, although in the wake of the Antoinette Frank and Len Davis cases, the NOPD introduced some mild reforms, it should surprise no one that in Katrina’s wake, so many NOPD officers were guilty of desertion and looting.

In Alan Sayre’s aforementioned AP report, Sayre recounted figures that had as a consequence that in less than 14 percent of the city’s murder cases, was anyone being convicted. That means that following Katrina, murderers were roaming the streets at will.

It's a Crime

As for the reality of black crime, during the 1960s, black activists, black and white journalists, and black and white academics, charged that the police were an “occupying army” in black neighborhoods that routinely engaged in “police brutality.” In other words, the good guys were now the “criminals,” and the criminals were now the “good guys.”

The aforementioned groups did everything possible to support violent black predators, including helping cop-killers like Black Panther leader Huey Newton to get acquitted of the murder of white Oakland PD Officer John Frey, to defaming as racists heroic white cops who risked their lives protecting black citizens.

The same campaign promoted the normalization of black illegitimacy, which is the surest guarantee of black crime. In 1965, when Johnson administration adviser, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of America’s leading social scientists, wrote the report, The Negro Family: The Case For National Action, warning of its subject’s impending collapse, black activists and academics screamed bloody murder, effectively sending Moynihan, the domestic observer, into early retirement.

[Note that the Department of Labor has disabled all links to the report’s introduction and table of contents, and to each chapter; and the cache of the introduction, which is how I originally accessed each chapter earlier this summer, has also expired. Why is the government censoring a famous, 41-year-old report? However, I downloaded the report last summer, and since it was a government report funded by the taxpayer, it is therefore the people’s property, and cannot be copyrighted. Hence I cannot be sued for republishing it, which I shall do at the earliest possible opportunity. (P.S., August 14, 2011: The DOL later restored the links to the Moynihan Report.)]

Thereafter, Moynihan stopped doing bold research on domestic, and especially welfare policy. In particular, then-Sen. Moynihan opposed the 1996 welfare reform bill that was grudgingly signed into law by Pres. Clinton as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, more commonly known as the Personal Responsibility Act. I submit that Moynihan may have suffered from a racial form of Stockholm Syndrome.

At the time of the Moynihan Report, as it came to be known, the black illegitimacy rate was 21.7 percent. By 1970 (see Table 10), the black rate had risen to 37.5 percent, versus 5.5 percent for whites; in 1975, the relation was 49.5 percent versus 7.1 percent; and in 1980, it was 56.1 percent vs. 11.2 percent. The black illegitimacy rate peaked in 1998 at 69.1 percent vs. 26.3 for whites. By 2003, the black rate had flattened out at 68.2 percent, while the white rate continued to rise, hitting 29.4 percent. [P.S., August 14, 2011: During 2009, the last year for which such information is available, the non-Hispanic black illegitimacy rate rose to 72.8 percent. The non-Hispanic white rate rose to 29.0 percent, the Asian or Pacific Islander rate to 17.2 percent, the Hispanic rate to 53.2 percent, and the overall rate rose to 41.0 percent.]

Black crime exploded in complementary fashion.

The other race hoax blacks and their white allies pursued was, contradictorily, to variously rationalize the explosion in black crime that began circa 1964, and to simultaneously deny that it had occurred, by insisting that white police officers were rounding up and arresting, brutalizing, and murdering innocent black males. Circa 1999, the slogan “racial profiling” was coined, in support of what Arch Puddington that same year called, “The War on the War on Crime.”

As affirmative action gave way to “diversity,” which required not only hiring unqualified people and discriminating against qualified people, based on their respective race or ethnicity, but misrepresenting reality, to make blacks and Hispanics (and now, Arab Moslems) look good (or victimized) and whites to look bad, in addition to routinely engaging in racial and ethnic discrimination, journalism schools began demanding an implicit political loyalty oath from applicants and students that they would engage in dishonest reporting. And once “J-school” graduates were hired by media outlets, they encountered racist black and Hispanic newsroom enforcers, to ensure that they didn’t accidentally tell the truth.

Another practice in reporting on crime that took hold following “Jesse Jackson’s” 1989 syndicated column (the scare quotes are because, like other politicians of all races, Jackson doesn’t write his own material) on “black-on-black crime” was echoing the lie, according to which blacks comprised the majority of the victims of black criminals. Already prior to “Jackson’s” column, students of crime knew that although there were five-and-one half times as many whites as blacks, black criminals victimized whites more often than they did blacks. This was the real racial profiling story that no one in the MSM would report on.

However, the practice arose, whereby reporters and columnists were permitted to compassionately focus on black (but not on white, heterosexual male) crime victims, as long as they did not focus on black criminals, unless it was to somehow depict the criminals themselves as victims.

I believe that MSM reporters were attempting to follow the “black crime victims” rule early during the deluge. However, they ran into the current version of the 40-year-old, once radical but since mainstreamed black practice of “not taking yes for an answer.” That means that the more whites suck up to blacks, the angrier blacks get. (Of course, the more one refuses to suck up to blacks, the angrier they get!)

One problem the MSM reporters encountered in New Orleans was in depicting black crime victims. Apparently, it is now unacceptable to blacks to even show black crime victims, if that involves reporting on black criminals. Apparently, the only currently (i.e., as of 2:28 a.m., September 10, 2006) unobjectionable way to portray black crime victims is, as Spike Lee does, in his fictional “documentary,” When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, as the victims of white criminals.

MSM reporters were also taken to task by outraged blacks, for compassionately referring to the New Orleans refugees as, “refugees.”

Although by the early 1990s, the media practice of disappearing black crime, e.g., by editors refusing to identify black attackers, even when they were still at large and not identifying them endangered the public, and by producers depicting virtually all criminals in commercials and dramatic shows alike as white (here and here) was taking hold, activists, journalists, academics and ordinary black citizens alike made ever louder, counterfactual complaints that blacks were being demonized by the news and entertainment media, by being “stereotyped” as criminals.

I don’t know whether blacks’ complaints were conscious rhetorical strategies or the sincere expression of race mania.

In his 1993 book, The Rage of a Privileged Class: Why are Middle-Class Blacks Angry? Why Should America Care?, black journalist Ellis Cose went so far as to claim that blacks only commit violent crimes because the media depict them as criminals, causing them to become criminals. Cose’s theory is logically circular, causally backwards (since it was pervasive black crime that came before the pre-diversity reporting on it), and presupposes that blacks lack freedom of will. Note too that, contra Cose, blacks had much higher crime rates than whites in the pre-TV era.

Diversity politics protected Cose from facing any of the above criticisms from his MSM colleagues, and any non-MSM writer, such as yours truly who makes them, is either ignored or damned by the pc as a “racist.”

In 2004, Fred Reed observed that one cannot have a “diverse” newsroom and honest journalism, because any instance of honest journalism is bound to offend a member of a protected group (blacks, females, gays), who will then exercise a veto right to have the offending truth censored.

Today, it is no longer simply activists or affirmative action newsroom enforcers who impose the diversity line, but blacks from all walks of life. I can’t recall the last time I encountered a black who was honest about black crime, and who would not race-bait a white who was. On August 26 [2006], published a typical, outrage-filled letter from an older, Christian, black Harvard graduate, complaining of the demonization of blacks.

Just as affirmative action leads inexorably to apartheid and to Zimbabwe-style violence, it also leads inexorably to the promotion of fictional, parallel universes in journalism, academia, and among protected minority groups in general.

A National Sensation – in Reverse

The September 26 story caused a new, reverse national sensation.

Nowhere in the 3,383-word story, did the reporters admit that the “widely circulated tale” came from their own colleague, Brian Thevenot (or that 9/6 had been a Times-Picayune story at all), or that Thevenot had written that the National Guard troops he had interviewed in the Convention Center had said they had seen the dozens of corpses of whom they had spoken. Indeed, had anyone spoken of merely having “heard of” mountains of corpses, the story would not have had the power to shock. Either Thevenot was lying, or the Guardsmen were.

Since the Times-Picayune reporters refused to admit that their newspaper had circulated the original story, they were guilty of dishonesty in any event.

Last October 3, blogger Eric Scheie reported that Thevenot had responded to his e-mail asking him to explain the conflicts between his 9/6 and 9/26 stories, by insisting that he had publicly retracted his September 6 story. However, at the time, neither Scheie nor I could find any such public retraction. As far as either of us could determine, Brian Thevenot had lied about having made the retraction.

Brian Thevenot did not respond to an October 11, 2005 e-mail from this writer asking him the same question as Scheie.

Almost three months after 9/6, Thevenot finally admitted to his 9/6 errors. And yet, even then he was dishonest. In the December-January American Journalism Review, he wrote,

I corrected the freezer report – along with a slew of other rumors and myths transmitted by the media – in a September 26 Times-Picayune story coauthored by my colleague Gordon Russell. In that piece, we sought to separate fact from fiction on the narrow issue of reported violence at the Louisiana Superdome and the Convention Center.
Wrong! He never corrected the freezer report. A correction involves a newspaper explicitly saying that a report it had previously published was mistaken, and correcting the mistake. Thevenot et al., and their editors never admitted to having botched 9/6; rather they transferred the blame to faceless, nameless “rumors.” What percentage of civilian (i.e., non-journalist and non-academic) readers are likely to have read 9/6, 9/26, and the December/January AJR story? One? Two?

And on 9/26, Thevenot, et al. (he forgot to give credit to Jeff Duncan and Gwen Filosa) did not restrict themselves to the “narrow issue of reported violence at the Louisiana Superdome and the Convention Center.” Rather, they sought to discredit in the broadest sense imaginable, reports of violence in all of New Orleans, in Katrina’s wake. But then, even their 9/26 statements about the Superdome and Convention Center failed to hold water.

* * *

The mainstream national media immediately began slavishly promoting 9/26, just as they had slavishly promoted 9/6. Socialists, libertarians, and neo-conservatives, albeit for different reasons (e.g., ideology, expediency), also found the story useful. (See also here.

Thevenot, who is white, was rewarded for 9/26 not only with two Pulitzers, but with the 2006 “Award for Valor Courageous Humanitarian Deeds” from NAMME, the National Association of Minority Media Executives, a group of affirmative action functionaries, at NAMME’s April 27 “Celebration of Diversity” Awards banquet.

It was with great relief that the media latched on to 9/26. In spite of the article’s transparently dishonest character to anyone who had followed the New Orleans story, to my knowledge, not a single Big Media outlet published work contradicting 9/26. (Far from merely spreading “rumors,” in the days immediately following Katrina’s landfall, dozens of media outlets published or broadcast eyewitness accounts of horrendous violence, in which sometimes the reporter himself was the eyewitness. In many other cases, the eyewitnesses gave their names.)

In “Who’s Killing New Orleans?,” in the Autumn 2005 issue of City Journal, Nicole Gelinas provided, to my knowledge, the most comprehensive refutation of 9/26. (While Gelinas is a columnist for the Big Media, neocon New York Post, to my knowledge the Post went along with 9/26. Kudos to City Journal editor Myron Magnet for having the cojones to publish Gelinas’ exposé.)

The New York Times’s own Dan Barry, a longtime metro columnist with no history of lying, hallucinating, or repeating tall tales, witnessed the corpse of a murder victim that had been lying out for days smack in the middle of New Orleans’s central business district. “A Louisiana state trooper around the corner knew all about it: murder victim, bludgeoned, one of several in that area,” Barry wrote on September 8.
Gelinas also cited and quoted from stories from the Associated Press, New York Times, Weekly Standard and, again and again, the Times-Picayune itself (August 30 and 31, and September 1, 7, and 8).

The stories detailed corpses seen by reporters in the streets of New Orleans from shootings and bludgeonings; people shot dead by police officers (as retold by the Weekly Standard’s Matt Labash); one policeman who survived being shot in the head by a looter; a gang rape witnessed by Jake Staples, an official of the National D-Day Museum; of gunmen who randomly shot at displaced families (including Brenda Austin and her family) trudging across town; the experiences of Vinnie Pervel, as reported by Susan Langenhennig in the September 7 Times-Picayune, who was assaulted with a sledgehammer and carjacked one day, and who watched as two neighbors shot two looters the next afternoon; and of civilians (e.g., Antoinette K-Doe) and police alike facing or hearing constant gunfire.

With the exception of 9/26, constant gunfire echoes through the New Orleans stories.

Firing on Rescuers

Thevenot, Russell, Duncan and Filosa have claimed that the widely reported stories of shots being fired at rescue workers, which held up rescue efforts, were also based on mere rumors. However, their own colleague, Susan Finch, reported on September 7 that 21-year-old Wendell L. Bailey was arrested and charged with “shooting at a relief helicopter from an apartment window.”

In “New Orleans Slides into Chaos; US Scrambles to Send Troops,” in the September 2 Los Angeles Times, reporters Ellen Barry, Scott Gold and Stephen Braun quoted first-responders Dr. Charles Burnell and paramedic Toby Bergeron, as having said “several gunshots were fired at helicopters – military and commercial – during the 24 hours they spent treating refugees at the Superdome.”

Dr. Burnell reported on his observations in a September 4 interview with Fox News host, Greta Van Susteren, as well.

The Los Angeles Times also reported,

Stray gunshots and threats from evacuees led some rescuers to suspend boat searches along New Orleans’ swollen waterways. “In areas where our employees have been determined to potentially be in danger, we have pulled back,” confirmed Russ Knocke, Department of Homeland Security spokesman.
In another widely reported incident, on Sunday, September 4, eight snipers attempted to murder 14 contractors, who were seeking to help repair the levee, as the latter “were crossing the Danziger Bridge, which spans a canal connecting Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River,” in seeking to repair a breach in the 17th Street Canal. According to then-Deputy Police Superintendent Warren Riley, NOPD officers returned fire, killing five or six of the snipers. The snipers were unimpressed with the contractors’ police escort, until the police shot them dead.

[Postscript, August 14, 2011: It turns out the cops were the killers on the Danziger Bridge, and that they then orchestrated a cover-up. After New Orleans prosecutors violated grand jury proceedings—without legal repercussions—and the cop defendants were acquitted in a state proceeding, the U.S. DOJ’s Civil Rights Division committed unconstitutional double jeopardy, in order to prosecute and convict 10 defendants of charges including civil rights violations and murder. Five former officers were convicted by a federal jury only nine days ago, and have not yet been sentenced. They will be appealing their convictions.

One since-retired sergeant is to be tried in federal court next month.]

And on September 1 [2005], the Associated Press’ Adam Nossiter reported,

“Hospitals are trying to evacuate,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesan, spokesman at the city emergency operations center. “At every one of them, there are reports that as the helicopters come in people are shooting at them. There are people just taking potshots at police and at helicopters, telling them, ‘You better come get my family.’”
In the above case, “reports” referred to information the rescue workers gave their superiors. (Holbrook Mohr, Mary Foster, Robert Tanner, Allen G. Breed, Cain Burdeau, Jay Reeves and Brett Martel also contributed to Nossiter’s report.)

In contrast, the 9/26 team would have us believe that none of the aforementioned incidents happened. As Warren Riley himself, since promoted to police chief, following the forced resignation of NOPD Superintendent Eddie Compass, would claim to the 9/26 team,

Everything was embellished, everything was exaggerated. If one guy said he saw six bodies, then another guy the same six, and another guy saw them – then that became 18.
The 9/26 team also asserted that reports of attacks on rescue workers were the unfounded products of “rumors.”

The [initial] picture that emerged was one of the impoverished, masses of flood victims resorting to utter depravity, randomly attacking each other, as well as the police trying to protect them and the rescue workers trying to save them.
Note that in the first days after Katrina hit, the Times-Picayune savaged President Bush, whom it blamed for the violence that the staunch Democrat newspaper on 9/26 would say had never happened. Police Superintendent Eddie Compass likewise was forced to resign based on the same, imaginary anarchy. If 9/26 is true, why has the Times-Picayune not apologized to President Bush, and demanded that Superintendent Compass be reinstated?

(N.B. Readers familiar with any of my many criticisms of President Bush know that I am no “Bushbot.” However, I also do not stupidly blame the man for things that are not his fault.)

The 9/26 story was also supported by the NOPD’s chief flack, Capt. Marlon Defillo, who said, apparently without breaking down in hysterical fits of laughter, “The vast majority of people [looting] were taking food and water to live. There were no killings, not one murder.” As for sniper fire: No bullet holes were found in the fuselage of any rescue helicopter.” [So, what?! That doesn’t mean they weren’t fired on.]

Republican media critic Noel Sheppard cited Capt. Defillo approvingly, in a March 6 essay decrying “Katrina Myths,” in which Sheppard asserted,

In reality, although looting and other property crimes were widespread after the flooding on Monday, Aug. 29, almost none of the stories about violent crime turned out to be true.
Sheppard was writing based on a Popular Mechanics article that had uncritically echoed the Times-Picayune cover-up. (I have for years studied the history of violence in America, and I am not aware of widespread looting ever occurring without being accompanied by widespread violence.)

No journalist worth his salt would trust the laughably discredited then-Capt. Marlon Defillo to give him the correct time of day.

Back in March, Defillo, now an assistant chief, made the unwittingly comic claim that although NOPD officers were photographed looting in stores, since no civilians were photographed looting at the same time in the same stores, the officers’ conduct did not count as looting.

Don’t ask me to explain Defillo's logic, or lack thereof.

As I said at the time of Asst. Chief Defillo: Remember that name!

As we shall later see, through the work of Nicole Gelinas, during the chaos, New Orleans suffered at least twice its pre-Katrina murder rate, a murder rate that was already five times the national average and the worst in the nation.

Considering the many eyewitness reports by first-responders, journalists on the scene, and officials of (black) snipers firing on the predominantly white folks who sought to help the people left behind – doctors, nurses, and medics; rescue workers in helicopters and boats; contractors seeking to repair the damage; and even National Guard troops – the Times-Picayune’s attempt to rewrite history is obscene. One recalls the comedy routine by the late Richard Pryor who, when his wife had caught him in bed with another woman, shouted, “Who are you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?!”

Even from the beginning, when the media were still reporting honestly on the mayhem gripping The Big Easy, police officials sought to rationalize the madness of snipers shooting at people who were already risking their lives seeking to rescue people trapped by the flooding. We were told that the snipers were “frightened,” “scared,” and were trying to “get [rescuers’] attention.” Well, they certainly succeeded.

As I wrote last October 10, the snipers weren’t “frightened” or “scared”; they likely felt a mix of racist rage and joy. It was the rescuers who were frightened out of their wits!

Unless one is a law enforcement officer or a fighting man hunting down bad guys or the enemy, only a suicidal person would respond to being fired at, by deliberately heading toward the person shooting at him. Otherwise, the sane response is to get as far away from the gunfire, as fast as possible.

I have a much simpler explanation why snipers were firing at rescue workers: The former were trying to murder the latter.

Picture the scene. Heavily armed, ultraviolent, racist black thugs (who in many cases had broken into gun shops and helped themselves to firearms and ammunition), who considered themselves in a situation of total license, and who had stationed themselves on roofs or in upper-story, high-rise and house windows, saw unarmed, vulnerable, predominantly white rescue workers and contractors in helicopters, boats, or just standing in the wide open on bridges and levees.

One crime victim who later spoke to NPR’s John Burnett, summed up the situation more accurately than the 9/26 team.

Days of Lawlessness

Anastasia is a petite, 25-year-old hairdresser who asked that her last name be omitted. She contacted the New Orleans police in October and filed a report that she was beaten with a bat and raped on Sept. 6th in broad daylight next to a flooded McDonald's at Gentilly Boulevard and Elysian Fields, near her father's house.

Anastasia says thugs were still wandering the streets of her neighborhood more than a week after the flood. “I didn't see any police officers – I could have gotten away with murder,” she says. “It was that terrible. So I can assume what the criminals were thinking, and that's exactly what happened.”


Rather than spread new lies, the more decent and honest thing for the Times-Picayune to do would have been to disprove the lies already spread by black supremacists, starting with Nation of Islam leader, Min. Louis Farrakhan, who had charged whites with “genocide.”

“A Culture of Murder”

As Nicole Gelinas wrote in the Fall 2005 City Journal,

The coroner’s early report implies that the murder rate among those stranded in Katrina’s aftermath was at least five times New Orleans’s normal murder rate [i.e., fifty times the national rate]. This real, not imagined, violence prevented New Orleans from getting the level of volunteer and professional help it needed after Katrina.
As Gelinas emphasized, in speaking of a “culture of murder,” savage levels of violence, unimaginable to most Americans, were already the rule in “NOLA” before Katrina ever made landfall.

But the grisly truth is that awful violence in New Orleans is never an aberration—whether before or after Katrina. Just consider the following snippets from the Times-Picayune, all printed in the month before Katrina hit. They seem just as hysterical as some of Katrina’s wildest tales.

“Violence tests the limits of mortician’s art.” “Some neighborhoods are being terrorized by thugs who have figured out that they have little to fear from the justice system.” “Almost nightly images of violent crime bludgeon New Orleans.” “Violent crime has emerged as . . . an ongoing source of national embarrassment.” “Murders are so common we have become numbed to their sting.” “Killers are killed, Orleans police say.” “The city is becoming scarier.” “Violence shows no signs of letup.” “Three men killed in seven hours; all are shot to death on New Orleans streets.” “After a short reprieve from murder and mayhem in New Orleans on Friday, six men lost their lives.” “This is Iraq right here in New Orleans. By 2020 there might not be any black people left.” “There’s a different type of murder occurring now and a different type of criminal out there.” “New Orleans area continues to log murder after murder.” “Something must be done to curb the violence festering in New Orleans.” “Now we’re in a bloody war nobody’s safe from.”

Day in and day out, Katrina or no Katrina, New Orleans is America’s most dangerous city. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story. White and black residents, rich and poor, of good neighborhoods and bad, are afraid to go out at night beyond the clear boundaries of well-patrolled areas like the heart of the French Quarter—and night means 6:00 pm, not 2:00 am. Everyone in New Orleans knows someone who has been violently mugged—and everyone knows someone who knows someone who has been violently killed.
In the weeks following 9/26, ever more outraged New Orleans crime victims and witnesses came forward from all over the country, to denounce the published crime numbers, as did first-responders who had treated some victims in the Superdome, but who were forced to flee after only 24 hours. By mid-December, even NOPD officials, such as Lt. Dave Benelli, commander of the NOPD sex crimes unit, were forced to back down from the phony crime numbers (e.g., only four rapes!) they had brazenly peddled following the anarchy, as dozens of since displaced women reported from around the country having been raped in New Orleans and environs in the days immediately following Katrina. The Times-Picayune, however, was umoved by these first-person reports.

To see the incredible character of the cover-up, read Nicole Gelinas’ story, hit the links I have provided throughout this article, and stroll through the Times-Picayune blog of stories from the middle of the chaos. One will then surely recall the TV spot reporting of the violence as it unfolded.

Any time I revisit that blog, I come across stories I hadn’t seen before that give the lie to 9/26.

Consider a random example, which was posted on September 2, 2005.

City not safe for anyone
Thursday, 3:45 p.m.

Across the city Thursday, the haunting fear of flooding was replaced
by a raw fear for life and public safety.

Navigating the St. Thomas area of the Lower Garden District in an SUV, Times-Picayune reporter [and 9/26 co-author!] Gordon Russell, accompanied by a photographer from The New York Times, described a landscape of lawlessness where he feared for his life and felt his safety was threatened at nearly every turn.

At the Superdome and Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Russell said throngs of hungry and desperate people displaced by the flood overwhelmed the few law enforcement or miliatary personnel present.

“There was no crowd control,” Russell said. “People were swarming.
It was a near riot situation. The authorities have got to get some
military down here to get control of the situation.”

Russell witnessed a shootout between police and citizens near the
Convention Center that left one man dead in a pool of blood. Police, perhaps caught off guard by their sudden arrival on the scene, slammed Russell and the photographer against a wall and threw their gear on the ground as they exited their SUV to record the event.

The journalists retreated to Russell's home Uptown where they hid in fear. They planned to flee the city later today.

Almost everywhere Russell went Uptown, one of the few relatively dry areas in Orleans Parish, he said he felt the threat of violence.

“There is a totally different feeling here than there was yesterday
(Wednesday),” said Russell, who has reported on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina since the storm devastated the city on Monday. “I'm scared. I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm getting out of here.”
Yet another blow to the MSM’s (following the Times-Picayune) revised, official Katrina story came on November 14 [2005], when reports on New Orleans’ dead were published by the State of Louisiana. The mainstream media had promoted the notion that those who suffered in the Hurricane’s aftermath were almost exclusively black. After all, over 90 percent of those stuck in the city were reportedly black, with the blacks predominantly stuck in the Ninth Ward and environs, where the levees had been breached. And the whites who remained reportedly lived above sea level on dry land (including Uptown), in the city’s tonier precincts. One was given to expect that the dead would be virtually all black. But in fact,

Of the 562 bodies (out of 883) that had so far been identified by race, 48 percent (267) were “African American,” 41 percent (230) were “Caucasian,” eight percent (48) were “unknown,” 2 percent (13) were “Hispanic,” 1 percent (3) were “Native American,” and zero percent (1) was “other.”
Few of those “privileged” white folks, Uptown and in similar dry areas, were the victims of Katrina. As were many of the black dead, most of the white dead were likely the victims of foul play. But as Steve Sailer had predicted already on September 6, 2005 (Day 9), officials would eventually downplay the savagery, lowballing the victim count, and medical examiners would have little interest in examining bloated, waterlogged corpses for bullet or blunt trauma wounds. And citing a letter from a reader, whose doctor father had been fired on by snipers during Detroit’s massive, 1967 black race riot, Sailer noted the tradition of firing on rescue workers during race riots.

Brian Thevenot, Gordon Russell, Jeff Duncan, Gwen Filosa, Peter Kovacs, Dan Shea and Jim Amoss need to get their lies straight.

As Nicole Gelinas argued last year, if we refuse to tell the truth about New Orleans, and to eliminate its “culture of murder,” every dollar spent on rebuilding the city will have been wasted.

The Times-Picayune’s 9/26 Pulitzer juggernaut could have been stopped dead in its tracks. After all, the hardy bloggers I previously cited, Ziel and Eric Scheie, had immediately discredited the 9/26 story. But journalism, whether on the Internet or among so-called professional journalists, is largely pack journalism, effective as a public watchdog only to the degree that large numbers of scribes hunt down, and over an extended period tear apart a person or a story. But with the exception of certain issues, such as immigration reform, that transcend party lines (or are ignored by both major parties’ leadership), what Max Weber observed some 90 years ago is still true: Most journalistic issues, including among bloggers, are determined by the interests of the major parties. And the major parties do not want honest reporting on racial issues, and only a statistically negligible number of bloggers have the cojones to stand up to them.

To appreciate the horrible consequences of 9/26, not only did the media jump on the disinformation bandwagon, but ever since, racist black propagandists have fed the lies like crabgrass, while cutting out the truth. Thus, over the past week or so, TV viewers have been treated to continuous showings of Spike Lee’s four-hour-long, HBO-subsidized propumentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.

Lee built on both the Times-Picayune’s disinformation campaign, and on the Big Lie perpetrated by the leader of the terrorist Nation of Islam, Min. Louis Farrakhan, according to which the flooding of black neighborhoods was part of a genocidal campaign by whites to murder black New Orleanians. Lee presents as true a surreally fictional story, in which the only violence committed in New Orleans in Katrina’s wake, was perpetrated by whites against blacks.

(Note that Min. Farrakhan leads an organization that not only is based on the creed that blacks will one day annihilate all whites, but which has actually engaged in the targeted mass murder of anywhere from dozens to hundreds of whites, most notably during a genocidal, early-to-mid 1970s campaign in across the state of California. That campaign, carried out by squads of assassins known within the NOI as “death angels,” cost anywhere from 70 to “just under 270” (Clark Howard) whites their lives. The 15 [a reader who is the brother of an NOI victim, has since altered me to two more such NOI murders] black-on-white murders carried out by NOI assassins in San Francisco, came to be known as the “Zebra Murders,” because the SFPD reserved radio frequency “Z,” for “Zebra,” for police broadcasts related to the killings.

Thus is Min. Farrakhan’s talk of genocide an exercise in pure projection.)

Photojournalist-fraud Adnan Hajj notwithstanding, journalists don’t need “photoshop” or any other new technology, in order to foist hoaxes on the world. Words alone will usually do just fine.

If, as the old saw holds, journalism is history’s first draft, history is in trouble.

In the world of comic books, Superman’s father, Jor-El, gave the former a piece of advice regarding the reversing of time that reporters would do well to follow: “It is forbidden for you to interfere in human history.”

But they never learn.

1 comment:

jeigheff said...

My stepdaughter has lived in New Orleans for a couple years, and is about to re-enter college there. She seems to be reasonably level-headed, knows about the bad places to avoid, etc. Yet I still pray for her safety, and will continue to do so, especially after having read this article.

At least fifteen or so years ago, a good friend of mine went to live in New Orleans; I visited him a couple times. My friend said he was glad he lived in a third-story apartment, should flooding occur. He also made a couple jokes about the inevitable looting and violence which would happen during such a crisis. It's interesting that a individual who'd lived in NO for only a couple years would make such perceptive remarks.

I can't say this with any real certainty, but I have the feeling that a lot of people are in denial about what conditions are really like in the Crescent City, and what really happened during Hurricane Katrina.

My wife and I have visited her daughter twice in the last couple years. We had a good time in NO, and were able to relax, but I tried to be extra careful about being aware of our surroundings while we were there. It was very strange to behold the Super Dome, and recall what a chamber of horrors it became during the hurricane. If it were up to me, I'd tear it down. But I imagine that isn't a popular point of view.

This might be a little off-subject, but does anyone have any thoughts about HBO's TV show "Trime"? It appears to be very popular in New Orleans. We watched an episode at a bar with my stepdaughter and her friends one night. I wasn't sure what to make of it.