Friday, March 03, 2006

The Punchline is Rathergate

Wizbang is the joke. I'm sorry, I meant to say wizbang tells the joke.

The Bush defenders aren't content with just the semantic evasions (da po'blog and oyster had more on that) or using the Katrina warning as an excuse to repeat the claim that Bush cajoled Blanco into issuing a mandatory evacuation order (more on that in my next post), now they're engaging in ad hominem attacks on one of the AP reporters who broke the story.

To begin with: SHE'S FRENCH! Or at least, a member of the French-American Foundation (bear in mind, I'm not making this up), and SHE USED TO WORK FOR CBS NEWS-- AS A PRODUCER AT SIXTY MINUTES II. There's no direct connection established between her and the Bush National Guard story; it seems to be enough to be a francophile who once worked for CBS.

Once I realized that I hadn't stumbled upon a parody site, I decided that it was another blogger trying to google his way into the big leagues-- haven't we all (all of us who blog) wasted hours that way? But, judging by the trackbacks, the Rathergate angle seems to be spreading through the conservative blogosphere. It will interesting to see how far up the food chain it goes.

But, who knows? Maybe the geewhizbang fella was right to play up the French angle. The surrender monkeys at the AP seem to thrown in the towel pretty quickly. The same reporter coauthored this story that appeared the following day:

Update 25: Blanco Wrong on Levees, Video Indicates

Hours after the catastrophic storm hit, Louisiana's governor believed* New Orleans' crucial floodwalls were still intact.

In the video, the governor clearly says, "I think we have not breached the levee." Though the story is technically correct, the headline and opening paragraph certainly give a misleading impression. Guess the reporter must be Vichy French.

But, the reporters missed something-- the governor clearly said "we" have not breached the levees. She didn't say the floodwaters haven't breached the levees. What business do they have reporting on Katrina if they don't know the difference between we and floodwaters? Don't they know that levees can be intentionally breached to direct the flow of floodwater. As Hinderaker might say, there's been "endless discussion" about whether the lower ninth ward was intentionally flooded during Hurricane Betsy. Clearly Blanco was saying that we didn't intentionally flood the lower ninth ward this time. Or she might might have meant that it wasn't controlled, directed breaching further downriver. Either way, time to play six degrees of separation with the other reporter.

There's an interesting take on the president, I mean Mr. President at Unreal City (the name that a google search kept me from using) and Leiter Reports, BTW.

*Updated 3/04 Some editions of the AP story say "assured" instead of believed. If the wingnuts want to play semantic games, there's a major difference between "I think" and "I'm sure."

You're tops on the list for "moldy city," beating out even a public health page for Nashua, NH. All in all your blogtitle was probably a wise decision. Plus, you know, it works because of location and so has multiple meanings, which is always cool.
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