Every week brings fresh evidence that the sensationalist news reports out of post-Katrina New Orleans, which described the city's supposed descent into a cauldron of gang-style lawlessness, were almost entirely fabricated. Here's an excellent dispatch from Knight Ridder:
NEW ORLEANS - Among the rumors that spread as quickly as floodwaters after Hurricane Katrina, reports that gunmen were taking potshots at rescue helicopters stood out for their senselessness.
On Sept. 1, as patients sweltered in hospitals without power and thousands of people remained stranded on rooftops and in attics, crucial rescue efforts were delayed as word of such attacks spread.
But more than a month later, representatives from the Air Force, Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security and Louisiana Air National Guard say they have yet to confirm a single incident of gunfire at helicopters.
Likewise, members of several rescue crews who were told to halt operations say there is no evidence they were under fire.
But I'm sure that these and other rumors of "urban warfare" that TV networks breathlessly relayed to the nation -- which helped sabotage the relief effort -- had nothing to do with the race and class makeup of these neighborhoods.