Levees.org scored a victory last week with History (formerly called the History Channel).
Levees.org mobilized its national support base to contact History and request a correction to its anniversary photo gallery.
History‘s gallery text stated that levees in New Orleans “proved to be no match against the intensity of Katrina.”
Such journalistic ‘shorthand’ gives the culprits – the Army Corps of Engineers – a free pass.
Here is what Levees.org’s Call to Action generated:
- Over 1,300 Levees.org supporters reviewed our eBlast communication about the mistake.
- Over 200 Levees.org supporters viewed the erroneous photo gallery.
- Over 50 people (that we know of) wrote to History and requested a correction.
The editors responded to each writer with this:
Levees.org’s position: When a New Orleans newspaper discusses the 2005 breach of the 17th Street or London Avenue Canal, the story should indicate that design flaw is the proximate cause. Here’s why:
1. The design flaws were egregious and are uncontested,
2. The resulting breaches caused $27 billion in damage and hundreds of deaths,
3. Dozens of changes to national policy were passed by Congress in response, and
4. People outside the city refer to the T-P as an authoritative source on the catastrophic breach event.
The corps-sponsored levee investigation (IPET) even admits to the design flaws.
But, on May 27 and again on September 21, the New Orleans Times-Picayune did not indicate the existence of design flaw in their stories which discussed the breaches.
After both stories, Levees.org brought its concerns to the T-P editors. Our first letter was ignored. Our second letter – sent with a cover letter from our attorney – received this reply:
“The cause of the 17th Street Canal levee breach has been reported extensively (and accurately) in our pages for years and will continue to be. Sandy’s input is always appreciated.” ~Mark Lorando, Times-Picayune news editor
In response, Levees.org mobilized its substantial local membership to ask the T-P news editor to discontinue a practice which tends to protect the Army Corps of Engineers.
Over 300 people so far have joined Levees.org’s campaign.
If you haven’t joined yet, click here: https://go.levees.org/TP
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Anthony Bertucci calls in the status of the floodwall at London Avenue Canal’s upper breach near Robert E. Lee Boulevard. Bertucci is from New Orleans District’s Construction Division.
Levees.org is waging a campaign urging the news editors of the New Orleans Times-Picayune to include the words “design flaw” whenever discussing the breaches of the 17th Street and London Avenue Canals in their stories.
As of 8:00 a.m. on Tue Oct 9, 2018, over 300 individuals have signed Levees.org’s petition. If you haven’t yet, please sign the petition: https://go.levees.org/TP
Many have included thoughtful – and often heart-wrenching – comments in addition to their signature. Here are just a few.
As a suggestion, as this issue repeatedly surfaces, and as someone whose family lost a loved one in the storm due to the ACOE levee failures, might The Times-Picayune consider a set blurb that briefly and succinctly states the true facts? ~Aimee Hayes, New Orleans, LA
The Times-Picayune continues to disappoint by not providing a complete recount of the levees and flood wall failures. Even preliminary research reveals the fault lies with the Army Corps of Engineers. ~Rosalind Blanco Cook, New Orleans, LA