My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Media exaggerated Katrina chaos....

Now, the truth is coming out....
The stories out of New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina were little short of sickening: armed gangs terrorising evacuees in the Superdome and convention centre, bodies piling up by the dozen amid the stench and human waste, bodies stuffed into a freezer, children raped, murdered and thrown into waste bins.

One month after the storm, however, it appears that few, if any, of the most lurid reports breathlessly repeated on American television, echoed in official statements and duly reported in many of the world's newspapers, had any basis in fact.

Several reporters and officials who have revisited the emblematic sites of the peculiarly chaotic hell that was New Orleans in the wake of Katrina now say the death toll at the Superdome was just six - and four of those were the result of natural causes. The fifth victim overdosed on drugs and the sixth committed suicide. If there were shootings or stabbings, none were fatal.

At the convention centre, where The New York Times recently reported a death toll of 24 amid scenes of gun violence and rank fear, health and law enforcement officials have now told the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper that they recovered four bodies, of which only one showed signs of having been murdered.

Police have confirmed just four homicides in the city in the week after the hurricane - about average for one of America's most crime-ridden metropolitan areas.

While it now seems certain the initial lurid stories were exaggerated - some, including the purported rape of a seven-year-old, were repeated by the city's mayor and police chief, only to be disavowed much later - it may still be too soon to paint an exact picture of what happened in the chaotic days following the collapse of New Orleans's levee system, when 80 per cent of the city was submerged and the federal government became ever more glaringly evident by its absence.