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Tim Rutten and Me, Part II and the AP Speculates on”Tens of Thousands of Deaths” in New Orleans

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Here is the transcript of my long interview with Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times, the paper’s media essayist and senior writer. We will play most of it on tomorrow’s program if the news from New Orleans doesn’t overwhelm everything else.

After Rutten named a number of blogs he reads and they all turn out to be center-right, I ask Rutten if he reads any of the lefty blogs:

HH: But any lefties?

TR: Lefties. Um, no.

HH: You just can’t stand the snarling?

TR: There…no, they’re not as interesting, are they?

That’s a teaser. There’s a lot of new media/old media exchanges in this conversation. Send me a link to any post that is prompted by it.

As for Katrina and New Orleans, this is either the worst bit of hype ever to make it into AP, or a shocking and scary warning:

Estimates have been made of tens of thousands of deaths from flooding that could overrun the levees and turn New Orleans into a 30-foot-deep toxic lake filled with chemicals and petroleum from refineries, and waste from ruined septic systems.

After weeks, even months of hurricane hype, for such a paragraph to appear is either an indictment of the AP’s willingness to print anything, or an indictment of MSM’s inability to genuinely separate real risks from hyped risks.

“Tens of thousands of deaths?” Either the AP has lost its mind, or the governments of New Orleans and Louisiana have been incredibly inept, and all the MSM coverage inept in conveying the risk at hand.

When I saw the president make his statement –very odd for a president to insert himself into a state matter in this fashion– I began to worry that the FEMA people are telling him that the feds could simply not allow the locals to endanger people via incompetence.

If “tens of thousands of death” are actually a remote probabilty, the MSM will have plenty to answer for, as will the elected officials who have taken their time in sounding the alarm which, even at this hour, is muffled indeed.

StonesCryOut has a link to an LSU blogger and an excellent reminder to pray for the folks in harm’s way.

I expect WorldVision will have a relief effort up and running by tomorrow. As is always the case, WorldVision doesn’t mess around –it just gets help to the folks who need it most with a minimum of fuss.

Hughniverse

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