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View Diary: [Updating Intermittently] Hurricane Ike Media Brownout Info Diary - Day 6 (283 comments)

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  •  THOUSANDS WASHED OUT TO SEA (6+ / 0-)

    Here is the story. It's an AP story that came out last night, was picked up by MSNBC and the Galveston Daily News, and then, just as quickly, disappeared again:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    The death toll from Hurricane Ike is remarkably low so far, considering that legions of people stayed behind as the storm obliterated row after row of homes along the Texas coast. But officials suspect there are more victims out there and say some might simply have been swept out to sea.

    The most upsetting thing about all of this--I mean FEMA is incompetent. It's horrible, but it's not exactly surprising--is that MSM keeps repeating that 50 people across the US died and then they give some number for TX between 5-19. But NO ONE but this AP story has mentioned the high likelihood that thousands were lost at sea.

    I mean, let's just pretend that evacuation orders were given on time and no one was trapped on the barrier islands. Let's just pretend it's "nobody's fault." Is it not tragic? Is it not worth noting the loss? Is it not, at the very least, worth talking about how awful it feels---for all of us, for Americans, for Texans, for those who love Bolivar---not to know how many people have been lost, how a whole community and a whole way of life was washed out to sea?

    I mean, this kind of "processing" is really common. It's what we do, usually, as a culture. Where is Anderson Cooper? I mean it!? This is his beat---helping me process. This is what happens, usually.....in fact, it's so common and so normal...it really makes me wonder who, what, why, HOW is this being covered up and squelched?

    Does anyone else feel this way?

    •  Some people are saying this is a hoax (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      I think that what's happening is that there's an anonymous story going around that says there were 1,500 bodies.

      But other people are saying that figure is a hoax, and others say the anonymous person who allegedly saw bodies in trees might have been bodies washed out of a cemetery, as opposed to new dead bodies.

      It's possible that the reporter snuck in an unsourced/badly sources reference to the anonymous report, or something based on that report, and then someone else came in and said the report is a hoax.

      Until someone comes up with evidence more definitive than the anonymous e-mail that a lot of people died, it might be that getting coverage of the numbers will be hard.

      •  The bodies being washed out to sea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sclminc

        is not a hoax report. The 1500 bodies report is different.

      •  HOAX, or AP-reported story? (5+ / 0-)

        I don't think the AP is basing its reporting on that Internet rumor. They are two separate things.

        They are basing it on two facts:

        ---Approximately 5000 people stayed behind.
        ---Where they used to be, there are only SLABS of concrete.

        There are also totally credible survivor stories of witnessing deaths and almost dying.

        Try watching some of the clips on KHOU, or even the Weather Channel (which has surprisingly good coverage) website, and see if you don't have a few questions.

        The issue is not hoax or no. The issue is, why is no one talking about this?  

      •  1500 Bodies in trees (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sclminc

        That was a big hoax.

        The story the AP is easing up to is based on questions arising becasue reportedly 15,000 to 20,000 people stayed through the storm. They have evacuated 3500, and talked to 6000 other survivors who plan to remain now. The math leaves quite a few folks unaccounted for. And if the trees and ditches aren't full of bodies, where is everybody? History says a good number may have washed out to sea. (And grisly as it is, some of those will wash back to shore somewhere.)

    •  Anderson Cooper (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      He was in Houston for the hurricane, stood in water for a two-hour special that night, and then that was it.  He spent a month in the Gulf after Katrina.  I don't get it, other than it's an election year and CNN possibly has him tied down with that coverage.  

      Anyway, last night on his show the only mention Ike got was in the headlines.  I was actually able to get a comment through on the show's live-blog and I hope Anderson and his producers read it:

      After the fantastic reporting and dedication to post-Hurricane Katrina coverage, I’m floored that Ike is being treated like an afterthought. Only a headline? Really? Those people deserve better.

    •  Sources, please. Else story has no credibility (0+ / 0-)

      Was there a big storm?  Yes.

      Did "a lot" of people stay behind on Galveston and Bolivar?  Yes.  How many?  I have only seen very rough estimates.  Hundreds, a few thousand, tens of thousands?

      Did some of them get washed away?  Yes.  There is at lease attributed eyewitness report of individuals being washed away.  Also, some people who were washed away from Bolivar were later rescued.

      So how many were washed away?  A few, dozens, hundreds, thousands?  How many were evacuated or rescued after the storm?  How many are currently missing?

      Ladies and gents, let's get some facts and attributable sources before we go spreading this.

      Better still, try and help locate someone who's missing.  To report someone missing:

      Chronicle, Anwers to Ike Recovery Questions.
      What if someone I know is missing?

      Galveston's Office of Emergency Management set up a hotline for those searching for missing friends and family who lived in unincorporated areas of the county, including the Bolivar Peninsula, Bacliff, San Leon, Freddieville and Algoa.

      The hotline number is 1-866-898-5723.

      Those calling should be prepared to provide a contact number and critical information about the missing person, including a description of the person, their address, the last time they were heard from and their plans as the storm approached.

      To see who is being reported missing, go to abc13's person locator page.  In some cases, these reports have happy endings.  The missing folks have been located and reconnected with their families.

      If you have well-sourced information about the number of missing persons, please provide it.  Personally I think it is pretty irresponsible to speculate with unsourced reports of "THOUSANDS WASHED OUT TO SEA".

      Sweetness in the air and justice on the wind. Laughter in the house where the mourners have been. (Bob Franke)

      by rsmpdx on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 02:58:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, Arken. Also, note the TV coverage. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Avila, Brooke In Seattle, Arken

          All I'm trying to do is point out that the magical box in the living room is not talking about this issue. What if 100 are missing? That's worth reporting isn't it? Well, no one is.

          There are no "injured" numbers, no "missing" numbers, nobody talking with anything but total certainty about the "19 dead" in the whole gulf coast region. That strains believability.

          By contrast, CNN spent approximately 2 air hours in afternoon through prime time  yesterday covering ONE house on fire (no one was inside).

          So, yeah, just some questions about choices and how they are made with respect to media coverage.

          Do I have 1000 bodies stacked in my living room? No. Just a particular stench of lies and obfuscation.

        •  Source doesn't corroborate lede (0+ / 0-)

          The lede on  the comment was:

          THOUSANDS WASHED OUT TO SEA

          The MSNBC article, as quoted in the comment:

          The death toll from Hurricane Ike is remarkably low so far, considering that legions of people stayed behind as the storm obliterated row after row of homes along the Texas coast. But officials suspect there are more victims out there and say some might simply have been swept out to sea.

          So what is the source for

          THOUSANDS WASHED OUT TO SEA

          This story from Stormwire has some very rough estimates for numbers missing, and the less apocalyptic lede:  Thousands Still Missing in the Wake of Ike.

          Sweetness in the air and justice on the wind. Laughter in the house where the mourners have been. (Bob Franke)

          by rsmpdx on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 03:39:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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