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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Media Cluelessness Report

Breitbart has an Associated Press story about the infamous flooded New Orleans school buses scheduled for ebay auction. AP writer Rukmini Callimachi must have been living under a rock during the post-Katrina news coverage (emphasis added):

Starved for cash, the New Orleans school district is taking a long shot and hoping to sell its flooded, unsalvageable school buses on eBay.

Some submerged to their roofs in the black flood waters, the yellow school buses were widely photographed in the days after Hurricane Katrina and have become an icon of the city's devastated school system.

No, the buses are an icon of Mayor Ray Nagin's incompetence:

The buses alone tell the story.

At the city level, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin essentially ignored the city's official evacuation plan for hurricanes, which calls for the use of school buses and city-owned transit buses to evacuate the population in advance of a major storm.

Most vulnerable were the estimated 134,000 people in the city without cars. The official way out was to be the 550 municipal buses and 254 usable school buses (70 of the city's 324 school buses were broken down) that the city had at its disposal.

Do the math. With 804 buses and 60 seats per bus, the city had the assets to evacuate 48,240 people per trip. To cover 134,000 people, that's three trips. And there was no shortage of time. Nagin declared a state of emergency and a "voluntary" evacuation on Saturday, Aug. 27, and Katrina didn't make landfall until Monday, Aug. 29.

Update: NewsMax also published the AP release, without any commentary. You'd think that a conservative outfit like NewsMax would have caught Callimachi's gross error.

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