Online NewsHour: Looking at Media Coverage of Hurricane Katrina -- September 29, 2005: "JEFFREY BROWN: And, Mr. Hewitt, same question, what did you like and what did you dislike?
HUGH HEWITT: Well, Keith just said they did not report an ordinary story; in fact they were reporting lies. The central part of this story, what went on at the convention center and the Superdome was wrong. American media threw everything they had at this story, all the bureaus, all the networks, all the newspapers, everything went to New Orleans, and yet they could not get inside the convention center, they could not get inside the Superdome to dispel the lurid, the hysterical, the salaciousness of the reporting.
Hugh Hewitt: I have in mind especially the throat-slashed seven-year-old girl who had been gang-raped at the convention center -- didn't happen. In fact, there were no rapes at the convention center or the Superdome that have yet been corroborated in any way.
There weren't stacks of bodies in the freezer. But America was riveted by this reporting, wholesale collapse of the media's own levees they let in all the rumors, and all the innuendo, all the first-person story because they were caught up in this own emotionalism. Exactly what Keith was praising I think led to one of the worst weeks of reporting in the history of American media, and it raises this question: If all of that amount of resources was given over to this story and they got it wrong, how can we trust American media in a place far away like Iraq where they don't speak the language, where there is an insurgency, and I think the question comes back we really can't."
This is why I don't watch television news. It takes weeks to read and listen to diverse accounts and sort through the lies to figure out what really happened. Usually if it's reported in the LA Times or the NY Times you have to use the same caution.