Editor, San Francisco Chronicle
The Chronicle headline story today, "Bush Was Warned of Katrina," contained little new information and many factual errors. The most significant of many reporting errors was that the president was warned "that New Orleans' levees could topple in hurricane." However, with the Internet, we can easily dismiss such falsehoods by going directly to the source, in this case the Associated Press video of the president's briefings that shows the warnings were of overtopping of the levees, and not of breaching.
We are also fortunate there are other sources for thorough and balanced coverage of events. In the case of Katrina, the coverage and analysis by Popular Mechanics, Now What? The Lessons of Katrina, published in the March, 2006 issue, are a marked contrast to the Associated Press and The Chronicle. After over six months, you're still the Gang That Can't Report Straight. In the intellectual vacuum of Bay Area , your leftist propaganda passes as legitimate reporting.
UPDATE! As noted in Captains Quarters and other blogs, the Associated Press, after reporting that President Bush was told the levees might be breached, changed their story a day later when bloggers brought their attention to the fact that "overtopping" and "breaching" are not synonymous, and that the word "breach" had not been used once in the very video tape the AP referenced as its source. Once again a major news media organization breathlessly pushed a story critical of President Bush that anyone could recognize as false by simply comparing it with its so-called source, as Power Line has. More echoes of CBS and the Texas Air National Guard letters. Will AP soon be saying that the essence of Bush being briefed on breaching was accurate, even though their source didn't support it?
Editor, San Francisco Chronicle - again
The Associated Press yesterday afternoon issued a correction to their tale that President Bush had been warned that New Orleans' levees could topple in hurricane," then cited as proof of this claim a video that showed no such warning had been given. Prior to the AP issuing the correction, I emailed you that the AP report was false, and cited my source for this claim.
Predictably, the Chronicle ran with the error, even to the extent of making the erroneous report the basis for an editorial, and only printed letters from readers criticizing Bush based on the AP misstatements. I am sure the Chronicle will see no need to correct an AP error, or note the need for a modification in their editorial position. To the Chronicle, the AP report may have been false, but its essence was accurate.
This is becoming the UNENDING OUTRAGED UPDATE!
The San Franciso Chronicle belatedly ran the AP "correction," which disclosed that President Bush had never been informed the levees might be breached, and as usual buried it in a tiny box. The Chronicle had run the original erroneous report on the front page, and based a lead editorial on the error. They also compounded the error by stressing that Bush was "oblivious" to what was going on. The perception that Bush was not involved in Katrina is belatedly being corrected (as once again updated at Captain's Quarters), but The Chronicle still uses their editorial power to run letters that ignore the corrections, thereby perpetuating the errors! Interestingly, The Chronicle letters editor commented about a minor correction concerning the book President Bush was reading to students when informed of the 911 attacks, but never corrected the writers whose letters continued condeming President Bush for "lying" when he said he had never been informed the levees might be breached. So much for their "corrections" -- and their editorial integrity!
The main stream media continues to weave fantasies of "truth" from half truths, errors, and lies, and then wonders why their product has fallen into such low regard. The only reason I still buy a daily newspaper is because of habit, but it won't be a habit for following generations. Why read yesterday's "news" in tomorrow's Chronicle, after it has been spun to fit the Chronicle world view, when you can see the original sources on the Internet almost as events occur?
Why pay to be lied to?
(An afterthought: Over many years, I have written many letters to the Chronicle, and many of them have not been published. One reason I blog is to have an outlet for the frustration I feel caused by the Left's monopoly on "news" reporting.)