Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Katrina exaggerated stories revisited.

Nation: When did the reporter Brian Thevenot get fired from the Times-Picayune? I missed that.

Mikel Brooks is part of a two-man team putting a new roof on Yolly Seedtibood’s old Chopsticks restaurant in Jacksonville, but three months ago, the Searcy resident, an Arkansas National Guardsman, was falsely quoted as saying 30 or 40 people were killed at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A now discredited and fired reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote a sizzling first-person account that included great drama, but apparently not much fact — a story that was picked up and repeated around the world by organizations including CNN. But Specialist Brooks told The Leader on Monday that he saw only four bodies, and that’s what he told the reporter, and others in the Arkansas Guard’s 39th Infantry Brigade have backed him up. “Brooks and several other Guardsmen said they had seen between 30 and 40 more bodies in the Convention Center’s freezer,” wrote reporter Brian Thevenot. Not so, Brooks, a Bald Knob native, said Monday.

....Members of his unit went to a nearby Walgreens to get medical supplies, including supplies for diabetics dropped in the Super-dome and the convention center.“People were tired, hungry and scared. It was really chaotic. There was no law. Looting everywhere,” he said.Brooks said it was hard to believe life could be like that in America. His unit patrolled in humvees, setting up checkpoints, and establishing martial law.

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