What really irks me about this whole thing is that the same T-P reporter who wrote the article about how the rumors were all false is the one who wrote the supposed “eye witness” account of bodies at the Convention Center.
Read this article by Brian Thevenot, T-P staff reporter, from September 6.
Arkansas National Guardsman Mikel Brooks stepped through the food service entrance of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Monday, flipped on the light at the end of his machine gun, and started pointing out bodies.
“Don’t step in that blood – it’s contaminated,” he said. “That one with his arm sticking up in the air, he’s an old man.”
Then he shined the light on the smaller human figure under the white sheet next to the elderly man.
“That’s a kid,” he said. “There’s another one in the freezer, a 7-year-old with her throat cut.”
He moved on, walking quickly through the darkness, pulling his camouflage shirt to his face to screen out the overwhelming odor.
“There’s an old woman,” he said, pointing to a wheelchair covered by a sheet. “I escorted her in myself. And that old man got bludgeoned to death,” he said of the body lying on the floor next to the wheelchair.
Brooks and several other Guardsmen said they had seen between 30 and 40 more bodies in the Convention Center’s freezer. “It’s not on, but at least you can shut the door,” said fellow Guardsman Phillip Thompson.
The scene of rotting bodies inside the Convention Center reflected those in thousands of businesses, schools, homes and shelters across the metropolitan area.
This article, under Thevenot’s byline, strongly suggests that Thevenot himself witnessed these things. I’ve seen this very story quoted widely as “first-hand” evidence of the post-Katrina atrocities.
And yet now under Thevenot’s byline comes the story I just wrote about this morning, with quotes like this:
That the nation’s front-line emergency management believed the body count would resemble that of a bloody battle in a war is but one of scores of examples of myths about the Dome and the Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans’ top officials, including the mayor and police superintendent.
Thevenot has the unmitigated gall to blame “the media” for propagating myths, when he is the media person who is the source of one of the biggest myths. So did he actually see any of this stuff? Or was his September 6 article an exaggeration, a reporting of rumor as fact?
NOLA.com did an excellent job covering Katrina, which is why I feel so letdown by fuckups like this. The world thinks my hometown is populated by amoral savages due in no small part to Thevenot’s sloppy and alarmist reporting.