Patterico's Pontifications

3/4/2006

Beautiful Infanticide

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:57 pm

When I hear the word “infanticide,” the word “beautiful” doesn’t generally come to mind. But then, I’m not a doctor. (Via Allah.)

Sketch of Ginsburg Napping

Filed under: Humor,Judiciary — Patterico @ 8:30 pm

In case you missed that courtroom sketch of Justice Ginsburg napping, it’s here:

(more…)

Paper Prints AP “Clarification” on the Front Page

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 8:26 pm

According to a Power Line reader, the Arizona Daily Star has actually printed that AP “clarification” on the levee story on the front page.

Good for them! It goes without saying that I think this idea of printing a significant correction on the front page is an excellent idea.

Babs No Rite So Gud

Filed under: Buffoons,Morons — Patterico @ 8:13 pm

Heh.

My Letter to the Readers’ Rep Regarding False Factual Assertions in the L.A. Times About the Levee Story

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 5:10 pm

I have sent the following e-mail to L.A. Times Readers’ Representative Jamie Gold:

Dear Jamie,

As you may have heard, the AP has issued a “clarification” of its recent story about the video of President Bush being briefed regarding Hurricane Katrina. The “clarification” states in part:

The Army Corps of Engineers considers a breach a hole developing in a levee rather than an overrun. The story should have made clear that Bush was warned about floodwaters overrunning the levees, rather than the levees breaking.

Yesterday (March 3) your paper ran a letter to the editor, by Barry Greenfield of West Hollywood, which stated:

Now the Associated Press is reporting that the president was warned before Katrina hit New Orleans . . . that the storm could breach levees . . .

This factual statement in the letter to the editor was inaccurate. It should be corrected.

The Associated Press, by its own admission, did not report that Bush was warned before Katrina hit that the storm could breach levees, as claimed in the letter. It reported that Bush had been warned that the storm could overrun levees.

I also note that your letter writer was probably misled by your own paper’s description of the video’s contents. In a March 2 front-page story titled Bush Is Warned on Katrina in Video, your paper stated:

[On the video, National Hurricane Center director Max] Mayfield tells the officials he wants “to make it absolutely clear to everyone that there is potential for large loss of life … in the coastal areas from the storm surge,” and emphasizes that there is a “very, very grave concern” about the ability of the levees that separated Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans to stand up against the storm.

In fact, the concern Mayfield warned of was not regarding whether the levees would “stand up against” the storm (i.e. be breached), but rather regarding “whether the levies [sic] will be topped or not.”

I suggest that a correction (or at least a clarification) of the news story is in order.

A correction of the flatly false statement in the letter to the editor is clearly warranted.

Please let me know whether The Times intends to correct these errors. I expect my readers will be interested in your response.

Yours truly,

Patrick Frey
Patterico’s Pontifications
http://patterico.com

I’ll let you know what the response is.

Yamashiro

Filed under: Real Life — Patterico @ 5:05 pm

I had a wonderful time at the Yamashiro restaurant in Hollywood last night, speaking to all sorts of talented people. I think it’s a good general policy not to report what anyone told me. What happens at Yamashiro stays at Yamashiro, and all that. But I can say that I had interesting conversations with folks like Amy Wilentz, Larry Miller, Kevin Roderick, Mickey Kaus, Dale Launer (who wrote “My Cousin Vinny”), and the guy who runs the L.A. Times web site.

I will say that I hassled the Times‘s web guy about the way the web site appears on mobile phones like the Treo. He said it may be a side effect of the recent redesign, and he’ll look into it.

And I told Larry Miller that, despite my admiration for his comedy and his columns, the most brilliant thing he ever did in my opinion was playing an obnoxious suspected murderer “Law and Order.” I also praised his performance on “Politically Incorrect.”

Larry, I’ll keep in mind the James Cagney shoulder-roll.

Falsehoods in L.A. Times Letters to the Editor Regarding the Levee Story

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:14 pm

The L.A. Times printed this letter yesterday:

Now the Associated Press is reporting that the president was warned before Katrina hit New Orleans that a disaster was imminent, that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk and overwhelm rescuers. The president asked no questions. After Katrina hit, he claimed no one could have imagined the levees breaching — the same excuse as after 9/11, when the administration had been warned that airplanes could be used as missiles (“No one could have imagined this”). Why should we trust this administration about anything?

BARRY GREENFIELD
West Hollywood

They also printed this letter:

While only minimally vindicating former FEMA chief Michael Brown’s attempts at self-defense, the revelation of a video showing that President Bush knew what was coming, only to subsequently lie about knowing, shows yet again the incompetence and public dishonesty by which Bush operates. “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees,” he said. Maybe those 10 now-infamous words should be added to the discredited 16 he used in justifying the war on Iraq.

MIKE LASKAVY
Oak Park

Unwisely relying on the veracity of The Times, the paper’s readers understood the video to be a warning that the levees could be breached, not overtopped. This is flatly untrue, and reprinting the assertion in a letter just compounds the error. The AP has issued a “clarification.” Where is the L.A. Times‘s correction?

A.P. Corrects Clarifies Levee Story — How About the L.A. Times?

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:37 am

Mickey Kaus reports that the AP has issued a “clarification” to its story about the levees:

WASHINGTON (AP) _ In a March 1 story, The Associated Press reported that federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees in New Orleans, citing confidential video footage of an Aug. 28 briefing among U.S. officials.

The Army Corps of Engineers considers a breach a hole developing in a levee rather than an overrun. The story should have made clear that Bush was warned about floodwaters overrunning the levees, rather than the levees breaking.

The day before the storm hit, Bush was told there were grave concerns that the levees could be overrun. It wasn’t until the next morning, as the storm was hitting, that Michael Brown, then head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Bush had inquired about reports of breaches. Bush did not participate in that briefing.

If this is accurate, it’s an embarrassing little bit of egg on the face for the AP, which made a big stinking deal out of nothing.

Is the quote accurate? I’m not sure yet. It comes from Drudge, and it always makes me a bit nervous to run with Drudge as an exclusive source for anything. If he told me I’m Patterico, I’d try to find a second source to back it up. But I can’t find a second source for this, so (as we bloggers say): what the hell. As Kaus says of Drudge: “80% true. Close enough!”

In all seriousness, I find it very likely that Drudge’s quotation of the clarification is genuine, and this blogger claims to have seen it on Nexis. I think we can safely take it as accurate.

Power Line takes credit for the clarification, and I think that’s right. Power Line is the first place I saw the point made, and I linked Power Line in my post on the issue, which focused on a related claim made by the L.A. Times.

Now, if the L.A. Times would just issue a “clarification” (dare we hope for a correction?) of its claim that Bush was warned of a “very, very grave concern . . . about the ability of the levees that separated Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans to stand up against the storm.” As I noted a couple of days ago, that sounds like a claim that Bush was warned the levees would be breached — no? If you read it that way — and how else can you read it? — then the L.A. Times owes readers a clarification as well. Maybe even a correction!

Don’t hold your breath.


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