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Beeb tries for Brown, FEMA scoop and fails

The BBC will be showing a doc called "The Hurricane That Shook America", and they promote it in Fema 'knew of New Orleans danger'.
There appear to be two slightly newsworthy bits of info:

a key briefing officer within Fema sent a message directly to Mr Brown early on the day before Katrina hit, warning him of potentially disastrous flooding in New Orleans, which could trap more than 100,000 people.

I'm pretty sure Brown knew that was a possibility. The question is what details were provided and the major question is what happened after the floodwalls/levees failed. Was there specific information in the memo that Brown did not act on? Recall he wanted a mandatory evacuation. Perhaps the memo should have been sent to Blanco, and a few days before the storm.

Walter Maestri, head of emergency preparedness for Jefferson Parish, told the BBC that Fema officials promised emergency teams from the area that they would supply food, water, medical provisions, and assistance with transporting evacuees from the city - all within 48 hours of the emergency.
In the event, these emergency teams were left without the help they asked for.

Is that news?

Ivor van Heerden, an expert on hurricanes from Louisiana State University, told the BBC that local officials had taken the predictions of the Pam exercise rather more seriously than their federal counterparts.

Covered by Sixty Minutes a few weeks ago.
As for the headline of their story, obviously everyone knew the levees weren't built for a Category 5 storm.

NPR on BBC, Southern Culture, and Deliverance

NPR's ombudsman discovers that the Beeb is even more biased than they are:

Specifically, the BBC appears to be focusing on the oddities of American culture and politics. There have been numerous interviews with spokespersons that seem to represent a view of America straight out of movies like Deliverance or In The Heat of the Night. They don't sound like anything that would be heard on NPR.
The BBC also seems to portray aspects of Southern culture in a less than flattering light, especially in its interviews with local religious leaders who see Katrina as divine retribution for New Orleans' "sinfulness."
I am sure that the BBC is not inventing these interviews. But the effect is that it sounds less like reporting than like caricature. Public radio listeners likely understand what is going on -- that BBC cultural assumptions about the United States remain mired in a reflex European opposition to American foreign policy. But what comes through the radio sounds mean-spirited and not particularly helpful; it probably evokes knowing glances and smirks among editors and producers back in London.
There is more right than wrong in the BBC's coverage. But when it comes to portraying certain American cultural expressions, the BBC seems to have a tin ear.
Listeners, I suspect, may be left wondering how to reconcile the differences between NPR and the BBC that they hear from their public radio stations.

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