Now a major American news network (NBC) has just had to issue an apology and correction for a false report, complete with video of weeping local leader , that said during Hurricane Katrina a 92 year old hospitalized mother called for help until her neglected death many days after the hurricane. The problem? The whole story was false - the victim died immediatly in the storm. The husband and wife owners of St. Rita’s nursing home in the New Orleans suburb of Chalmette have been charged with homicide in the case. Amazing, not President Bush this time?
NBC, a once respected news organization, calls this "an emotional moment and a misunderstanding" and their false report merely "skewed". Who broke the lies behind this story? Well of course, bloggers like you and me. The mainstream media has little place to hide these days.
So far, the total number of victims in Louisiana,Missippi,Florida,Georgia and Arkansas combined, in the most vicious storm to hit the USA in 100 years, are merely 800 . The media spun and fabricated projections of 10,000 dead in Louisiana alone during Katrina. What is typical in all this is how every scrap of "evidence" ( rather hearsay) that the world media could use to demonstrate hatred of America, was used....... and damm the consequences.
In Aug 2003, 1000 elderly French people died in a single heatwave in Paris and over 3,000 nationwide. Worse, many lay in morgues rotting since their relatives did not want to interrupt their annual holiday and bury them. Recently in Europe, the river Danube and others burst banks after swelling for weeks and many people drowned as in hurricane Katrina, despite weeks of warning.
The question is, did we see world media headlines about the 'heartless French'? Did magazines do covers called "The Shaming of France"? Was the matter treated as evidence of the rotten, uncaring nature of French society? Was Chirac ridiculed and called to blame?
Here is a sample of Katrina coverage in England: ".....behind the veneer of civilization most Americans barely have the brains to walk on their back legs.” (The Sun, Sat 10th Sept). Yes, that's why they land on the moon, invent the PC and win most Nobel Prizes.
In Belgium, a pop song soars up the radio charts called "I Hate Americans" - and this from the people whose colonial policies helped bring about Rwanda's Radio Mille Collines, and for whom thousands of American died defending Belgium from Hitler. Asante ya racist ni teke, I guess. Just how far from jail would the author of a German song called "I Hate Turks" remain, one wonders?
Substitute the word African or Arab for 'American' in the above and there would be lawsuits, resignations, perhaps arrests and huge outrage. The racism would be so raw and palpable as to be utterly indefensible.
Was the clear evidence that authorities had weeks to prepare for the recent European floods used for a media witch-hunt in which Europes' values and pretensions were ridiculed, it's people called all sorts of epithets?
For that matter it appears around 100 black immigrants have died in Europe from arson in past months, yet it's hard to find the media drooling over 'European racism'.
None of this bias excuses any neglect of certain New Orleans communities, if there was. Neither can it gloss over failures of local especially or federal government, as there were. Yet it's a hallmark of racism and bias that such lose all balance and shift from grey to black and white, in this case literally.
It's an aspect of racist thought that people don't think they are being racist. They believe they are expressing a common opinion and thus a 'truthful' one. They are always in total denial about accepting alternative evidence to their racist attitudes and beliefs. Being an American today, especially the more than 50% who are moderate centre-right, is fast becoming the new African, Jew, Christian in a Muslim society and other traditionally discriminated categories. A lot of folks, especially educated ones, should be deeply ashamed of that.