Saturday, September 17, 2005

The body count

Had meant to post something on this earlier, but then Jeff Jarvis beat me to the punch the other day. The nub? With all the axes to grind over the Katrina coverage, is there no duller a blade than the promotion of the "scandal" (Limbaugh's words) or "major media embarrassment" (the estimable Prof. Reynolds) of the initial estimate that some 10,000 may have died from the Hurricane. See the body count is now only (ONLY!) 800. And we all know what's driving it, right? Bush-hatred! Because, as the thinking goes, the more dead, the worse for Bush. See? It's just like on 9/11, when initial estimates were in the tens of thousands, they really wanted to nail that Bush guy hard.

Or maybe the media's biased against the living.

As I said over in Mr. Jarvis's comments, the harping over this is puzzling and those doing the harping, deeply silly. If, instead of the mayor of New Orleans, Bush had gotten up and declared, "the count may be as high as 10,000," don't you think people would have reported such comments? And assumed that he probably knew something you didn't? Do you think these same finger-waggers would be expressing as much outrage now? I doubt it. I'm concerned that the finger-waggers are motivated by reflexive media-hatred.

And, by the way, for those of you like Prof. Reynolds who are anxiously watching those body count numbers ("So they were off by 9700, so far." Heh. Indeed.) here's a couple digits for you: 5,000 missing.

As for how many bodies have been recovered, here's the New Orleans coroner:

Dr. Frank Minyard, the New Orleans coroner, who is working out of the temporary morgue in St. Gabriel, said, "I think we have a long way to go."

He added, "They have all of those wet areas in the city that they haven't really started yet."

Let's all hope that count remains low.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:33 AM

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