Monday, May 2, 2011

Spectacular NY Times fail on Birds Point.

Just as I finish a post on bad media coverage, the New York Times jumps in with a sad, example.

Nothing against Mr. Bennett.  But he knows about flooding.  From the article:

After growing up in the spillway,[sic, floodway] Mr. Allred left, working many jobs before persuading his wife to return to the country to farm. Six years ago, they built a house with their savings — about $100,000 — but were unable to get a mortgage or insurance because of the flood risks.
 Emphasis mine.  No mention of an eighty-year-old agreement that the land was part of the paid-for Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway.  Mr. Bennett couldn't get a loan because he wanted to build in a designated floodway.

More from the article:
The record-setting 1937 flood — the only other time the levee was intentionally breached — destroyed his family home.
Staying to raise a family of his own, he watched the area transform into thriving cropland, rich with corn, soy and wheat. He ran a grocery store and a tire repair businesses that made him the best-known man in the spillway. A decade ago, he closed the store, and his wife died. But he remained. So did the risk of flood.

Mr. Bennet saw his home destroyed in 1937, in accordance with a well-known flood control plan for the paid-for Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway, and built there again.   And the Times portrays him as a victim and mentions none of this.

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