KATRINA: Walking It Back

I caught a few minutes of CNN last night, and, to their credit, Aaron Brown and Anderson Cooper were walking through all of the false stories they had helped circulate during the week following Hurricane Katrina – 10,000 dead, babies being raped in the Superdome, etc. I’ve seen the same stuff done on blogs and in the newspaper investigations that exposed a lot of these falsehoods, but it was really something different to see it on TV, with the reporters who spread the stories walking them back, and with video clips of Mayor Nagin and the now-former New Orleans Police Chief telling totally baseless horror stories to a mortified Oprah. Cooper seemed particularly shaken by the extent to which he’d bought in to and repeated things he’d heard from NOPD sources that turned out to be false. One can only hope that Oprah performs a similar service for her massive audience, many of whom likely don’t read blogs or watch late-night cable news.