updated 9/28/2005 10:33:24 AM ET 2005-09-28T14:33:24


We all remember the emotional moment on Meet the Press when Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard described the death of a woman who drown in a nursing home.  He was sobbing and red-faced, saying she languished for days due to the slow and inadequate federal response.

He said she died on Friday, September 2, nearly one week after the storm made landfall.

After that interview, bloggers--and even our own website--began to question his timeline.

The woman's son told MSNBC.com that his mother died on Monday, August 29.  The owners of that nursing home have since been charged with negligent homicide for her death and the deaths of over 30 other residents.  They had not evacuated the home nor adequately secured it for their patients.

In other words, it wasn't the horrendous aftermath that killed them, but the poor initial planning of the home and the local officials.

Tim Russert invited Broussard back to explain himself on Sunday.  Broussard said he admits it was a failure on all levels, not just federal, but says that those who question him are "black hearted" for not seeing his emotional despair.  After all, he got the facts wrong about one woman, but what about the others?

Bloggers are reacting yet again.  Captain Ed at "Captain's Quarters" says those comments about "black hearted people" aren't fair.  If we took Broussard at his word, the nursing home owners who neglected their patients would get off scott free.

The blogger at "Crooks and Liars" says this investigation into the timing proves nothing.  Broussard got his facts wrong in an emotional outburst.  Stop attacking Broussard, he says.

But, Joe Gandelman at "The Moderate Voice" says Tim Russert ambushed Broussard.  He says Russert was just looking for drama and proved that journalists are not nice people.

This morning on Imus, Tim Russert answered that charge.  He said that Broussard was fully aware that he would be asked those questions and that there was no ambush involved.

The bloggers, in my estimation, are so good at playing Truth Squad but are perhaps too eager to do so.  I do see the point that he was wrong to blame the federal government, and of course he got the facts wrong.  I feel uncomfortable judging a man who lived through horrors I have not seen.  The emotion of the moment may well have gotten the best of him.

Today on the show, a look at the lessons other cities have learned from the Katrina disaster and recovery efforts.  We'll be joined by Mayor Patrick McCrory of Charlotte and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston.

Later, in an effort to conserve fuel in the wake of two hurricanes, some Georgia school districts are shutting down--canceling school--for a couple of days.  The cost of gas for the buses is too great and is causing a burden on the districts.  While school kids are probably doing cartwheels and hoping every oil rig runs dry tomorrow, some parents and educators see this plan as penny wise and pound foolish.  We'll debate it.

Join us.

Links:
msnbc.com
Captain's Quarters
Crooks and Liars
The Moderate Voice

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