Monday, September 12, 2005

No Good Deed Ever Goes Unpunished

1. Following the overcrowding at the Superdome, the city of Huston, TX generously offered to take in a large number of evacuees. These people were cared for with the money & resources of the good people of the state of Texas.

And how does the NYT applaud their generosity? By writing an article entitled Houston Finds Business Boon After Katrina. The opening paragraph:
Perhaps no city in the United States is in a better spot than Houston to turn Katrina's tragedy into opportunity. And businesses here are already scrambling to profit in the hurricane's aftermath.

The article however does not mention the amounts spent on the evacuees by the taxpayers of Texas. Nor does it mention that the local public schools might have trouble accommodating the sudden influx of new students. Nor does it mention the possible affects of a surplus of labor on the local economy. The writer merely goes on & on about how business have benefited from the re-settlement. So much for reporting both sides of the story.

2. On September 6th, American hostage Roy Hallums was rescued by the American & Iraqi military thanks to a tip they got from a detainee.

How did the NYT report this? They included it in the middle of a story on a terrorist bombing. The title of the story was, Basra Bombs Kill 16 Iraqis and 4 U.S. Contractors.

Nine paragraphs into the article they mention, '& oh by the way':
There was also a piece of good news: American military officials said they had rescued an American contractor who was kidnapped last Nov. 1. American soldiers found the hostage, Roy Hallums, at an isolated farmhouse 15 miles south of Baghdad after receiving a tip from an Iraqi detainee, military officials said in a statement. He was in good condition and was receiving medical care, the officials said. An Iraqi captive with him whose name was not released was also freed.
They then proceeded to devote a mere three paragraphs, including the one I cited, to this news.

The AP's reporting was not much better. They, to their credit, did the story with the title, American Hostage Freed After 10 Months. However, while the opening paragraph was:The U.S. military, acting on a tip, raided an isolated farmhouse outside the capital Wednesday and rescued an American businessman held hostage for 10 months. The kidnappers, who had kept their captive bound and gagged, escaped without a gunbattle.

The very next paragraph discusses the bombing in Basra & more than half the story is devoted to other news such as the bombing & Saddam's trial.

Why did such good news get buried? The military did a great job: where was the recognition?

3. On September 5th, Iraqi soldiers donated to the victims of Katrina.

Did you see the NYT story on this?

Hat tip: lfg, Mudville