WASHINGTON—In response to calls for a federal probe of the governmental response to Katrina, Accuracy in Media (AIM) is raising questions about the media response, noting that many journalists became self-righteous windbags and hotdogs in their exploitation of the hurricane aftermath. AIM editor Cliff Kincaid says any proposed investigation should take a hard look at how the media possibly made the situation worse through exaggerated and sensationalized coverage. “The media coverage was a disaster,” he said.
The AIM editor called for an independent probe into whether Fox News star reporter Geraldo Rivera staged photo opportunities for himself, in order to make himself look like a hero on the scene of disaster relief efforts. He also said that NBC should issue a straightforward and public apology for airing rapper Kanye West’s racist rant against President Bush on a national program supposedly designed to raise money for victims. “Although the objectionable comments were edited out of the program when it aired on the West Coast, the network was manipulated as part of a campaign to play partisan and racial politics with a natural disaster,” said Kincaid. “The network never specifically condemned West’s comments.”
Kincaid said that political correctness in the coverage also needed to be exposed and confronted: “Why is there a media rush to blame Bush and let a black mayor and female governor off the hook in the blame game?”
He also said the coverage should be examined to determine if reporters have wrongly assigned blame because they are pursuing a partisan political agenda. He asked, “Why the media focus on the Republican president and the exoneration of the Democratic Mayor and Democratic Governor?”
Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.