March 1, 2006


The day storm hit, Bush was worried about levees: Transcript shows gap in concern, action (Bill Walsh, 3/01/06, New Orleans Times Picayune)

On the day that Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, President Bush and a top presidential aide were worried about whether New Orleans' levees had held, according to a transcript of discussions among disaster officials on the front lines of the storm.

Those concerns, expressed about midday Aug. 29, are in contrast to an image of a detached president and also to what happened later that night. That's when an official manning the federal emergency operations center held off acting on reports of levee breaches as he waited for confirmation.

The White House was chastised recently by a House committee for not moving more quickly to address the failed levees that ultimately plunged 80 percent of New Orleans under water.

The transcript, obtained by The Times-Picayune, illustrates the gulf at the highest levels of government between concern for the disaster and action.

A bum rap? Next they'll be telling us his old man had actually seen UPC scanners before 1992....

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2006 11:11 PM

The incontenence over this at The NRO's Corner already shows signs that they might want to check their own levees.

I am so tired of these "The Press Told Us It's Time to Panic Again" conservatives who make the Stupid Party look postively brilliant by comparison.

Check out Powerline for an excellent Insta-Rebuttal™ whose first point is that the AP isn't actually making public the video or documents, but summaries of what they think of them. "Do the documents show any such thing? Beats me; the AP didn't release the documents or video footage so we could draw our own conclusions. It merely summarized them for us, in a way obviously intended to make President Bush and the administration look bad."

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 2, 2006 12:10 AM

You know, if I were NRO, I would be a little bit worried if someone like, say, Powerline, were to add more bloggers and create more content. There is nothing stopping John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson from creating their own flagship magazine, on their own distribution terms.

Posted by: Brad S at March 2, 2006 9:54 AM

The media should be held accountable for the inaccuracies in reports like this. The time wasted responding to them comes at a cost and that cost should be assessed to the originators as fines. Responsibility for the privileges accorded the "Fourth Estate" should, foremost, be that of accuracy and honesty.

Posted by: Genecis at March 2, 2006 10:35 AM

Prepare yourself for the next five day hysterical scream "Bush Doesn't Care About Black People in New Orleans, It's On Tape!"

Posted by: AllenS at March 2, 2006 10:55 AM

Remember the meltdown at The Corner when the first (obviously fraudulent) exit poll numbers came in in '04? There's really little to recommend NR in the age of blogs. Who among their regular contributors would be a success if they were only known through their own personal blogs? They have better access to Washington insiders than the average blog commentator, but no better insight (often much worse, due to living in the Washington echo chamber).

Posted by: b at March 2, 2006 10:57 AM

Yep Raoul, and we now know as of this morning that the AP has (surprise surprise) distorted the videos in its description. Even the LATimes is noting what they left out.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 2, 2006 11:26 AM

There are few better examples of reversion to the mean than "JPod".

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at March 2, 2006 12:38 PM

There are a number of folks at The Corner who would do well to follow NBC's lead in their Winter Olympic coverage, and have each post on about an eight hour tape delay, so they can selectively edit their initial remarks before they actually show up on the Internet.

As for the AP, it will be interesting to see how the fuller coverage from the Times-Picayune and other area media outlets affects the upcoming New Orleans mayoral race. ABC had a Ray Nagin soundbyte today basically taking the AP story and running with it, because the more blame he can dump off on Bush and FEMA, the better the chance he can keep his job. But the fuller story puts more of the blame back on the state and local officials for not reacting in time to get people out when the levees were breached.

Posted by: John at March 2, 2006 1:35 PM

Tape delay indeed. Based on what I saw last night, I was expecting to have to close the floodgates when I looked there this morning. But they seem to have completely ignored it for all that "crunchy con" blather.

It's too bad. I started reading the original National Review website during the impeachment trial when it was just about the only timely source of news that wasn't heavily biased pro-Clinton.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 2, 2006 2:17 PM

A special blog for Crunchy Cons! Too funny. And 95% of it long and unreadable.

You should all read Goldberg's long piece on Rod Dreher. Brutal. But totally accurate.

Posted by: Bob at March 2, 2006 4:03 PM