Abc: it’s australian for nbc

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Last updated on July 24th, 2017 at 12:48 pm

ABC’s Lateline ran a segment on September 5 largely blaming the federal US government for needless deaths in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Included in the report were claims from Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard that a nursing home resident had died while waiting for federal aid:

AARON BROUSSARD: “Somebody is coming to get you on Tuesday, somebody is coming to get you on Wednesday, somebody is coming to get you on Thursday, somebody is coming to get you on Friday.” And she drowned, on Friday night, she drowned on Friday night. Nobody is comin to get us, nobody is coming to get us. The secretary has promised, everybody has promised. They’ve had press conferences, I’m sick of the press conferences. For Godsakes, shut up and send us somebody.

Those claims were first aired by NBC on September 4. ABC reporter Norman Hermant ended the Lateline piece with this: “The full force of the US government is now swinging into action, one week after Katrina devastated the US Gulf Coast. For many though, it has come far too late.” But it’s since emerged that the woman cited by Broussard died on the Monday following Katrina, not the Friday, and that she died (with many others) not because of federal inaction, but because the nursing home rejected pleas that residents be evacuated prior to the hurricane.

Operators of the nursing home have been indicted over the deaths. NBC has now published a retraction; will Lateline do likewise? Better send them a reminder in case they forget. Otherwise it’s over to you, Media Watch.

(Via Instapundit, who points to the blogger who first identified Broussard’s inaccuracies)

Posted by Tim B. on 09/20/2005 at 12:12 AM
    1. It’s like they have an agenda or something.

      Posted by PW on 09/20 at 01:59 AM • permalink


    1. How about this guy Broussard though? Talk about an Oscar winning performance! His skills put Cindy Sheehan to shame.

      Posted by BEAM on 09/20 at 02:15 AM • permalink


    1. I’ve given up on the ABC. I would suggest that the Goverment sell it off, but don’t think anyone would buy it, except mabye Margo, she could buy it with some magic pixie money (in lieu of $A, of which she has none).
      I can’t help feeling that at 8cents/day I’m being ripped off to the tune of 7.5cents (The 0.5cents if for ABC kids, which my 3y.o likes)

      Posted by Skip on 09/20 at 02:27 AM • permalink


    1. What about the mealy-mouthed excuses offered for their breaking of a written agreement with New Ltd over exclusivity of the rantings of the One Pod Sod until the publication date? The fact that the loony coudn’t keep his yap shut doesn’t absolve the ABC of its ethical duty to abide by the deal- no doubt lawsuits will issue, and none of the arrogant pipsqueaks who orchestrated this will be personally liable for any damages or costs, when silly bloody taxpayers (who rarely watch the public propagandist) will get hosed, again.
      I know a gentleman isn’t supposed to strike a lady, but I’d forgo my manners in the case of that smug, sanctimonious slapper fronting Mediawatch– I’ve never seen someone more in need of a slap.

      Posted by Habib on 09/20 at 02:37 AM • permalink


    1. Jeesh:
      I don’t wanna sound sexist or anything, but is anyone keeping tab on Lizzy’s wardrobe these days? God, she has awful taste in clothes. Everytime I see her, I feel like I need to puke… twice. the first time because of what she wears and then because of the stories.
      And no I am not sexist. I haven’t said anything about her looks and the manly haircut. She makes Marr look almost masculine.

      Posted by powderkeg on 09/20 at 02:43 AM • permalink


    1. It screamed “This guy’s a phony’’ right at the beginning.  A tragedy with rhetorical cadences.  You don’t see them except in politicians in the Southern tradition.

      Made for TV; in particular for TV’s audience.

      TV’s NBC news boss and host Tim Russert was impressed, possible proof of the moron influence in the news biz.

      Posted by rhhardin on 09/20 at 03:04 AM • permalink


    1. Slightly off topic: Media watch made another incompetent attack on Mark Steyn.

      Posted by niobium2000 on 09/20 at 03:22 AM • permalink


    1. His skills put Cindy Sheehan to shame.

      Sadly, many politicians have the “It’s for the [insert current fashionable victim class here]” diversion schtick downpat.  It’s how they get re-elected.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/20 at 03:57 AM • permalink


    1. By the way, Aaron Broussard’s name will be the storm name after they pass Zacharia.  They go through the alphabet again with double letters.

      Posted by rhhardin on 09/20 at 04:56 AM • permalink


    1. Is it Broussard or Boussard ramjet?
      Can a geek answer for me before I am forced to google…..
      Oh, nevermind, it’s a Boussard Ramjet.  Off the planet jokes do not apply….

      Posted by entropy on 09/20 at 06:06 AM • permalink


    1. While I have admired the ABC’s “Australian Story”, the episode on Monday 19/9/05 on the police fatal shooting of a deranged, armed and threatening hermit (Mr Hallinan) left me non-plussed. (The police were officially exonerated). The segment featured Jim Staples as a commentator, and he was described by the ABC as “Former IR (Industrial Relations) Commissioner”. Staples was good for quotes such as:

      “ Money, money, money was moving the minds of the decision makers on that Saturday afternoon.”…
      “ Well, we have to ask ourselves whether we wish to live under the rule of law or whether we wish to live under the rules of Pinochet, Chile and the Argentine during the rule of the generals where the police could make people disappear and it was a matter of total social indifference. “…
      “I mean, it’s an outrageous affair. Unfortunately it’s a secret affair. There’s an immense pall of secrecy around this matter. “ …
      “I want the ordinary prosecuting authorities to realise that this was a most questionable result, namely that no wrong was done. I have complained to the judicial Commission of NSW that the coroner has shown himself to be unfit any longer to hold the office of coroner and magistrate.“
      The ABC would have us believe that Staples is a well-reputed ex-judicial type. But here’s some background, from the HR Nicholls Society:
      Jim Staples won scholarships to the University of Sydney where he graduated in law. He graduated despite intense commitment to political activism as a member of the Communist Party. He was expelled, in due course, from the Communist Party because of his activity in distributing Khruschev’s secret speech to the XXth Party congress.
      After some not very financially successful years at the Sydney Bar, he was appointed to the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission as a Deputy President by the Whitlam Government in February, 1975. Once there he quickly became a scandal within the world of the Industrial Relations Club.
      He began his judicial career by castigating our largest corporation, BHP, for some misdemeanour or other with the following words:-
      Let them, (ie BHP) then, twist slowly in the wind, dead and despised, as a warning to the Commission of the limits of persuasion by a public authority upon those who zealously uphold the privileges of property and who exercise the prerogatives of the master over those of our citizens whose lot falls to be their employees .

      For this he was removed from heading the maritime industry panel in the Commission, and soon was sent on an extended global mission to study human rights in several countries. When he came back from his studies he soon achieved fame by awarding to the wool storemen and packers a rise of $12.50 and $15.90 when the Club had agreed amongst its members that the going rate in these cases was $8. His judgment contained the following gem:-
      For the quantification, then, what shall I do? I am already reeling under the advice of many prophets. There is no Polonius at hand to give me memorable precepts as he did Laertes when he fled the confusion. I shall simply select a figure as Tom Collins selected a day from his diary and we shall see what turns up. Such is life.
      Judge Staples was never again allowed to sit alone or head up a panel of members of the Commission, and in the fullness of time, the Hawke Government passed a new Industrial Relations Bill in 1988, which abolished the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and set up in its place the Industrial Relations Commission. The “judicial” personnel of the new body were identical to the judicial personnel of the extinguished body, save one. Judge Staples was not appointed to the new Commission; instead he was offered a judicial pension of $90,000 pa. 7

      So, I wonder, was the ABC aware of this background to their expert commentator? Surely they were. But they didn’t bother to burden the viewers with such details. Staples is entitled to his views, but WHY does the ABC always seem to call up these hard-leftoids whenever it needs a talking head?

      Posted by percypup on 09/20 at 06:37 AM • permalink


    1. All nursing homes are mandated to having an evacuation plan that includes contracts with charter bus companies to evacuate and a shelter location.
      1. Where are these plans filed?
      2. How did it escape notice that all the nursing homes in that area chartered the same two or three bus companies making it virtually impossible for the bus companies to fulfill their contractual obligations?
      3. while able-bodied people were being evacuated from the dome, the elderly and infirm were left to fend for themselves.
      4. Did it occur to the family members to check any/all of the above out since hurricane season is an annual occurrence here?
      I hope they fry the nursing home owners, the local government officials aka incompetents, and the families ought to at least get some public embarrassment out of this for not checking the details out in advance.

      Posted by duh on 09/20 at 09:01 AM • permalink


    1. Playing the devil’s advocate, let me ask you if any of you have been through a massive tragedy that left you emotionally stunned, without sleep for 84 hours at a stretch, then faced with a massive incompetency ( failure of evacuation in N.O.) that would over tax back-up evacuation personnel and equipment, having national scrutiny focused on you, and personal acquaintance with the dead/dying family member even if he was off by a couple of days?

      Notice I said devil’s advocate because personally I cannot imagine not finding a way in there to retrieve my family member, even if it meant defying government orders.  Having been through a couple of fairly serious tragedies that followed quickly on the heels of one another, I can only say that you will really find out what you are made of, and so will everyone else. 

      We are suffering an incredible lack of leadership at every level.  Kind of reminds me of Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”.  All are paying the price for this.

      Posted by duh on 09/20 at 09:15 AM • permalink


    1. Yeah percypup I saw a/story and thought Staples er don’t let him near Brogden-was more than a tad hysterical and foaming at the mouth.Another opportunist wading into the fray just for the hell of it,lashing out at anything and anyone.
      Personally I can’t see why the locals allowed the old chap to keep a rifle if he was a schizophrenic.It was a very sad result but I don’t see why the tactical response group should be blamed.
      nb Mr Staples was only a friend of someone who was involved in the case and took it upon himself to intervene.

      Posted by crash on 09/20 at 09:47 AM • permalink


    1. duh, I live in Jefferson Parish (didn’t vote for Broussard, he’s a Democrat) and I have to tell you, he’s a very bold liar and has been for years.  This was no accident and he didn’t mis-speak.  He’s just not bright enough to realize that the fact checking services the blogosphere provides Dan Rather are also available to previously unknown local politicians.  Next election is going to be memorable, no matter who runs against Broussard because locals are not going to forget this – or his stated desire to secede from the rest of the country and become “Jeffersonia” in order to get more FEMA into the parish.

      Posted by lauracurtis on 09/20 at 04:10 PM • permalink


    1. lauracurtis,
      Sorry to hear that, one more example of the crisis of leadership in this part of the world.  His blubbering face will be etched in my mind, and the public.  I cringed when I saw it.  They don’t call it a banana republic for nothing…BTW, I am in Ascencion.  How are y’all holding up?  Just had cable crew from Tenn. bust hydraulic hose back here.  Had to find them local repair and parts.

      Going back to MS tomorrow, animal rescue kind of thing…. MS is getting little attention and from what I saw Sat, that corridor that Katrina followed was hit pretty damn hard.

      Posted by duh on 09/20 at 05:09 PM • permalink


    1. I’m just about the only person in my neighborhood (in Metairie) with all the amenities; power, water, phone, cable TV and internet.  Only about $15,000 worth of damage to my place; we got off light.  But things are coming back online fairly quickly.  Keeping a close eye on Rita, but y’all are a little closer to getting hit by her than we are – at least you’re inland, that’s something anyway…

      As to the animal rescue thing – I was so frustrated by all the people who abandoned their pets that I bought and am going to set it up as a clearinghouse for info on groups that will foster animals, hotels that allow pets, links to inland kennels willing to give hurricane discounts, whatever resources are useful.  Any info you can give me about the organization you’re working with would be great.

      Posted by lauracurtis on 09/20 at 05:44 PM • permalink


    1. Re Australian Story I have noticed that lately – say the past six to twelve months – there seems to have been an agenda being pushed on what was previously a quality programme.
      There have been whole stories such as the one on Donna Mulhearn and aspects of stories such as Staples the other night that I have found questionable, if not totally offensive.
      I have been wondering during this time if perhaps there has been a change in the production team that has brought a more ‘appropriate’ ABC approach to Australian Story.

      Posted by Harold on 09/20 at 06:30 PM • permalink


    1. O/T (again!)

      The Frank Sartor and Mick Mundine stoush. Mundine is now, after accepting an apology, calling for Sartor to resign.
      What Frank said may have been inappropriate, but what was he supposed to say? Get your pink arse in here and talk?

      I was always taught “Sticks and stones.” and perhaps it is not a good idea to adopt/use inapproprate language and behaviour. It’s been likened to the mail-order-bride comment. Again, it’s being called racism. Arrgh!

      Posted by kae on 09/20 at 07:08 PM • permalink


    1. NBC has now published a retraction; will Lateline do likewise?

      Well of course!  Always the cynic Tim.

      Posted by wronwright on 09/20 at 07:49 PM • permalink


    1. Here’s an email I sent to Media Watch on Wednesday the 14/09/05 in response to a request by them for more information regarding a complaint I made against Lateline’s Norman Hermant.

      Dear Kerry, (MW associate producer, Kerry Brewster),

      The Australian broadcast date of NBC’s Meet the Press program was Monday the 05/09/05, on the Seven network at 4:00 am. That’s where I saw it. It’s American broadcast was the previous day, Sunday, the 04/09/05.
      What I was struck by in Norman Hermant’s report on Monday night (the 05/09/05) was how he cobbled together statements and clips from that broadcast, clips cropped to conceal their origins, as well as the very same newspaper quotes used on screen in the NBC program, but with different graphics in the Lateline broadcast, all without any mention of where he got them. I just thought to myself, he’s just seen the NBC program, re-worked the bits he wanted, and slapped together a report. I thought to myself, “is that all there is to it?”
      I am also a regular viewer of the PBS Newshour program, and so too apparently is Mr. Hermant, because he routinely cherry-picks what he wants from that program as well, without any acknowledgement. I’m beginning to think that all one has to do to become a journalist is to watch TV! I can do that!

      Thanks for your interest.

      Posted by Brian on 09/20 at 10:32 PM • permalink


    1. NBC – No Bloody Clue.

      Posted by rightsaid on 09/21 at 03:42 AM • permalink


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