Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 12:16am
[SOURCE: Washington Post, AUTHOR: Howard Kurtz]
[Commentary] It was the most heart-rending and humiliating botch of a life-and-death story in modern memory, yet most journalists, naturally, aren't blaming themselves. It was everyone else's fault, they say. We just published and broadcast what we were told, and it turned out to be wrong. Experienced journalists should have understood that early, fragmentary information in times of crisis is often wrong. But the larger issue is that much of the press has abandoned reporting on health and safety regulation until disaster strikes. How many reporters have dug into the Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration, which under the Bush administration was run by a former Utah mine manager until last year? About as many as did pieces, before Hurricane Katrina, on why a former Arabian horse official was running the dysfunctional bureaucracy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
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