The Blame Machine

In Katrina: The Perfect Storm for Media Malpractice, Accuracy in Media guest columnist Larry Grooms argues that media outlets have “turned a natural disaster into a divisive and politicized public referendum on whom to blame.”

Instead of helping to bring the nation together to support the victims of the hurricane scattered across 90,000 square miles of the Gulf Coast, the media used the plight of the victims to attack government at almost every level. With 20-20 hindsight and an attitude, the coverage served to reinforce the utterly unrealistic expectations so many of our fellow Americans have come to embrace.

For divisive and politicized, consider Sidney Blumenthal’s article in Guardian Unlimited, Katrina Comes Home to Roost. Now this is ostensibly an article about culpability for the hurricane, but after running out of ways Bush abetted Katrina, Blumenthal blames him for a condom shortage in Uganda.

The UN special envoy for HIV/Aids in Africa accused the Bush administration of responsibility for a condom shortage in Uganda as a result of pushing its evangelical Christian agenda of "abstinence". The chief of the board of justice statistics in the justice department was ordered by the White House to delete its study that African-Americans and minorities are subject to racial profiling in police traffic stops. He refused to concede and was forced to quit. When the army’s chief contracting oversight analyst objected to a $7bn no-bid contract awarded for work in Iraq to Halliburton, she was demoted despite her superior professional ratings.

There never would have been a condom shortage in the Clinton White House.