Thanks, cable news networks



David Hammer reports in The Times-Picayune:

State: Some outside media feed false rumor mill

The state communications center in Baton Rouge was thrust into rumor-control mode this afternoon when a Baton Rouge station showed stock footage of Hurricane Katrina flooding and national networks erroneously reported levee breaches, a spokeswoman said.

Christina Stephens, spokeswoman at the state's Joint Information Center in Baton Rouge, said communications staffers scrambled when they saw footage on a Baton Rouge television station of flooding in the 9th Ward, only to find out that it was an old file from Hurricane Katrina.

That, along with confirmed images of Gustav forcing waves over the top of floodwalls along the Industrial Canal, helped feed rumors among some national media outlets that levees had been "breached." Stephens said she had to explain to several outlets that water going over the top of walls is not a "breach," in which a section of the flood protection is actually broken.

Please -- turn off the national cable news.

Turn on the local New Orleans stations.

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