More Katrina Fact and Folklore

The Washington Post continues to discuss the inaccurate accounts coming from inside New Orleans after the hurricane struck today.

It now looks like the “stories” reported by the media were not only false, as reported here, but these reports may have “helped slow the response to the disaster and tarnished the image of many of its victims”.

Here are a few new revelations to file under “Fact or Folklore”:


Folklore: CNN reported repeatedly on Sept. 1, three days after Katrina ravaged New Orleans, that evacuations at the Superdome were suspended because “someone fired a shot at a helicopter.”

Fact: Louisiana National Guard officials on the ground at the time now say that no helicopters came under attack and that evacuations were never stopped because of gunfire.

Folklore: During a briefing carried live on local radio and local and national television, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said, “We have gotten reports, but unconfirmed, of some of our deputies and sheriffs that have either been injured or killed.”

Fact: Of the thousands of law enforcement officials who converged on New Orleans, only one was shot. The wound to the leg was self-inflicted in a struggle, a spokesman for the Guard said last week.

Folklore: CNN host Paula Zahn speaking of “reports” of “bands of rapists, going block to block.”

Fact: No evidence to support this. Officials made arrests for a double homicide and two rapes in Jefferson Parish and one rape in Orleans Parish.

Folklore: Then-Police Chief Eddie Compass “little babies [are] getting raped.”

Fact: Compass has retracted this.

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