NewsBusters Attacks Media For Ignoring Mississippi Flood Story. (They're not)

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Brent Bozell's NewBusters is hyping a recent Investor's Business Daily editorial that accuses the media of "malpractice" for its lack of coverage in the ongoing Mississippi River flooding story.

From IBD [emphasis added]:

In a record year for natural disasters, the Mississippi's worst flooding since 1927 may be the year's most consequential. It ought to lead the news. But the Beltway media-political complex is more interested in press games.

Coming on the heels of the worst tornadoes in a century, the stealthy, silent destructive spread of floods through the heart of one of America's most populous and economically productive centers ought to be cause for national, if not global, attention.

But it's not, and to be fair, it's not because the local press in affected areas haven't done decent reporting.

The problem lies in Washington. The White House has made no declarations, showed no leadership, and done all it can to keep the issue off the front page.

IBD's explanation for why White House would scramble to try keep a natural disaster story off America's front pages makes no sense. (It has to do with Osama bin Laden.) But the larger critique that the mainstream media are taking their cues from the White House and allegedly downplaying the flood story is, obviously, false.

In fact, that conservatives would even make the allegation simply highlights how un-serious they are in their so-called media critiques.

The facts: According to Nexis, a search for Mississippi news reports retrieves more than 2,000 hits in the last week alone. Among those mainstream outlets supposedly not giving the story enough attention are Chicago Tribune with 13 matches, New York Times (10), Washington Post (10), and USA Today (7). Those newspapers alone have devoted thousands of words within the last week to covering the Mississippi flood story.

As for network news, Nexis finds more than 100 flood reports that have aired in the last seven days on ABC, CBS and NBC. More than 100. Oh, and CNN alone has aired more than 100 flood stories in the last week.

But yes, other than that the press is definitely downplaying the story.

CNN, NewsBusters
L. Brent Bozell
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