Hugh Hewitt in The Weekly Standard examines the media’s coverage of Katrina.

Here’s the money quote………

But now even the mainstream media is figuring out that its performance in New Orleans was a disgrace, an emotion-binging joyride fueled by urban myth, rumor, and a deep desire to injure the Bush administration.

Hewitt is doubtful that the media’s acknowledgement of their disgraceful performance will result in any change in behavior.

DON’T COUNT ON IT. Discussing the meltdown on MSNBC on September 27, reporter Heath Allen defended the hysterical reporting, arguing that, “[I]t’s the responsibility of the photojournalist to capture that and put it on television because those people at that point needed help no matter what was true, what was false, what was exaggerated.”

Thus is established the “fake but necessary” corollary to the Rathergate doctrine of “fake but true.”

In other words, “If it bleeds, it leads, catsup or not.”

In regards to Dan Rather, Hewitt finds a bizaare ratherism……….

Speaking of Rather, in a televised event on Monday night, Dan Rather, took questions from his would-be video Boswell, Marvin Kalb, on the state of the modern media. One listener to my radio show, upon hearing the clips, thought the conversation must have been something like the chat between a T-Rex and Triceratops on the asteroid they saw fall from the sky. Whatever one makes of Rather’s combination of condescension, incoherence, and platitude overload, you have to love his remarks on Katrina and the press. Kalb asks Rather why Rather became the focus of the forged documents story. Rather responded:

“Well, I don’t find that unusual, that the media focus should come down to the on-air reporter. But there’s so much in that question, Marvin, and I don’t want to bog us down. I want to be directly responsive to it. But before I go to that, I need to return to something before I forget it, and before the trail goes cold, on your saying well, why is it that every poll shows that reporters are not held in the kind of esteem that we once were. I think by and large, that we are responsible for that. And I do not exclude myself from that criticism. There are a lot of other factors going into Spiro Agnew’s speeches, politicians, and all the other thing. But I’m a great believer in the ten magic words, which are if it is to be, it is up to me. And that . . . you have to have personal responsibility. Then, besides that, you have to have professional and craft responsibility. The public, when journalism is at or near its best, when journalism is doing what American journalism has made its reputation doing, when we are true to ourselves, the public responds. And they respond in a positive way. You need look no further than what happened with Katrina the hurricane.”

Spiro Agnew? The man is really living in the past.