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Action Alert: Where was the Media in Bush vs. Katrina?

By MoveOn  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Imagine you're a reporter for your local newspaper.

You're reporting on a new video showing President Bush being briefed before Hurricane Katrina. The National Hurricane Center Director expresses "very very grave concern" about the New Orleans levees and "the great potential for large loss of life."1

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You know Bush went on TV four days after the briefing and said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."2 In your article, wouldn't you mention this quote --and let your readers know the video shows Bush apparently lied to the nation?

Well, as it turns out, many actual reporters covering this story for papers across the nation missed this crucial point entirely --helping Bush to get away with a lie.3 Please help us ensure your local paper gets it right.

Please check your local paper online today, and contact them if they didn't report Bush's lie.

Find the website and phone number for your local paper at Congress.org:
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/

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You can go to the search box, type in "Katrina," and see if their coverage has Bush's quote and makes clear that the video contradicts Bush. If it doesn't, please call and ask to speak to the news room and then call back and ask to speak to the editorial board. Let them know the public demands that Bush's lie be covered for what it is --in the news and on the editorial page.

Please let us know you contacted them by clicking here:
http://political.moveon.org/call?cp_id=269&tg=229&id=6974-4854481-154nbwmyfrbhfmnxsl4i1g&t=1

Your calls will help make a difference. Today, the Washington Post changed it's ways after taking heavy criticism for neglecting to include the fact that Bush was contradicted by the new video in yesterday's coverage. This was how the Washington Post led their story today:

Three days after Hurricane Katrina wiped out most of New Orleans, President Bush appeared on television and said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." His staff has spent the past six months trying to take back, modify or explain away those 10 words.

The release of a pre-storm video showing officials warning Bush during a conference call that the hurricane approaching the Gulf Coast posed a dire threat to the city and its levees has revived a dispute the White House had hoped to put behind it: Was the president misinformed, misspoken or misleading?4

Why is it so important for us to make sure the media report on Bush's lie after the Katrina tragedy?

First, the president needs to be held accountable. But the various options for accountability we have, running from an independent investigation to censure or beyond, will only become politically feasible when Congress sees that Bush's failure and dishonesty have been irrefutably exposed. These new revelations are a rare "smoking gun" and, if they get the attention they deserve, they could help show Congress that the public has had enough.

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Second, the Bush administration hasn't stopped failing the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Countless thousands of survivors remain homeless, much of the Gulf Coast region is still in shambles and Bush's new budget reads like Katrina didn't even happen. By forcing the public attention back onto the hurricane and its aftermath, we make it politically impossible for the president to keep sweeping Katrina victims under the rug.

Please check your local paper online today, and contact them if they didn't report Bush's lie.

Find the website and phone number for your local paper at Congress.org:
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/

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