Petition to New York Times
Petition to Senior Editor, New York Times
On December 15, 2010, a flood victim in metro New Orleans - who lost everything - wrote to the New York Times.
Responding to an article by reporter Felicity Barringer, the flood victim said she was shocked that the Times thinks "Katrina" devastated New Orleans.
She included in her note that she had “lost a lifetime of priceless, irreplaceable art, family heirlooms, (her) health, financial and emotional stability.”
Don Hecker, senior editor of the Times replied for Ms. Barringer. Mr. Hecker said he thought the paper is correct in attributing the cause of the flooding of New Orleans to Katrina.
"No hurricane....no damage," he said.
WHAT YOU CAN DO.
Levees.org is calling on all supporters to contact the New York Times.
You can sign the petition below urging the New York Times to stop saying "Katrina devastated New Orleans."
You can write to Don Hecker and tell him how you feel. Please copy and paste this email address: SeniorEditor@nytimes.com
To say Katrina devastated New Orleans is fundamentally incorrect.
While the storm did precipitate the disaster, it’s misleading to blame the flooding and devastation on Katrina alone.
Three weeks ago, Mike Grunwald of TIME Magazine wrote, “..It took a while, but the prevailing narrative is finally starting to reflect that Katrina was a man-made disaster, not a natural disaster, triggered by shoddy engineering, not an overwhelming hurricane….”
As hurricane season began in 2010, author John McQuaid (Path of Destruction) wrote: “...it’s just wrong to say Katrina “would have been an immense disaster no matter what.” If some engineer, back in the 1990s, under time, budgetary, or political pressures, had not made the mathematical errors that later caused the walls to fall down, most of New Orleans would have been spared...”
To say 'Katrina flooded New Orleans' is fast, easy and wrong. It's proven in three independent studies that the canal floodwalls of 17th Street, London Avenue and Industrial Canal collapsed prematurely in a surge that could have been caused by a much less severe storm.
Furthermore, the defense of "no hurricane, no damage" is a dodge. While superficially correct, it dismisses what really happened on August 29, 2005 when a major city went underwater and over 1,600 people died.
I, the undersigned, ask the New York Times to please refrain from using fast and easy ‘Katrina shorthand.’ Please report the facts about the man-made flood accurately.
|1592||Mon Apr 04 11:48:42 EDT 2011||Frazer O'Hara||Jefferson, LA||Yeah! Get it right, then make it right!|
|1591||Thu Feb 10 02:47:47 EST 2011||Jennifer Young||Birmingham, AL||In light of Hecker's attitude toward reportorial responsibility and his apparent lack of commitment to the full story, I'll rethink my advocacy of the NYT as a credible source in my college classroom. More....|
|1590||Fri Feb 04 22:33:16 EST 2011||dyane mitchell||mandeville,||No it was the slipshod leeves|
|1589||Wed Feb 02 16:55:55 EST 2011||Jennifer Hand||New Orleans, LA||It may be fast and easy, but your words are an oversimplification. Please understand, if the value of words are devalued enough you will lose your job to TMZ.|
|1588||Wed Feb 02 13:38:12 EST 2011||Louis Wright||Memphis, TN|
|1587||Wed Feb 02 13:31:22 EST 2011||Bub Bishop||Eugene, OR||I spent 33 years as a newspaper reporter of the "old school," when journalism was about public service. Far too often journalism today is all about the arrogance displayed by this "senior" editor. You More....|
|1586||Tue Feb 01 16:44:30 EST 2011||Eric Fincher||Rosemary Beach, FL||It was poor engineering, plain and simple. To characterize what happened any other way is to over-simplify what happened and give the Army Corp of Engineers yet another "out".|
|1585||Tue Feb 01 15:45:05 EST 2011||Berdalee schepps||guerneville, CA|
|1584||Tue Feb 01 13:47:18 EST 2011||Brian West||Metairie, LA||I WORKED FOR 18 MONTHS AFTER KATRINA GUTTING FLOODED HOMES WITH THE "ARABI WRECKING KREWE". I SAW FIRSTHAND THE DEVASTATION OF THE STORM AS A LIEUTENANT WITH JPFD (25 YEARS SERVICE). THE STORM More....|
|1583||Tue Feb 01 12:15:07 EST 2011||Angela Foley||New Orleans, LA|
|1582||Tue Feb 01 11:10:05 EST 2011||Joan olsen||seattle, WA|
|1581||Tue Feb 01 00:40:15 EST 2011||pamela felth||new orleans, LA||Can Mr. Hecker explain why only SOME of the levees broke? Why did the 17th St canal levee break 1/2 mile to the west of my house, but the Orleans levee held 1/4 mile to the east? Same hurricane, different More....|
|1580||Mon Jan 31 23:07:50 EST 2011||minto sylvestre||mobile, AL||The NYTimes has the obligation to always try to uncover & print the whole truth & not to cover or ignore significant official oversight or blunders. The NOLA levees failed because of poor engineering More....|
|1579||Mon Jan 31 22:09:38 EST 2011||Deborah Guidry||New Orleans, LA||The Truth is Out There!|
|1578||Tue Jan 11 14:54:57 EST 2011||Gregory Williams||Anchorage, AK|
|1577||Mon Jan 10 14:57:39 EST 2011||Beth Levine||St. Augustine, FL|
|1576||Mon Jan 10 07:54:18 EST 2011||Rosemary Senger||New Orleans , LA|
|1575||Sat Jan 08 11:55:16 EST 2011||Anonymous||New Orleans, LA|
|1574||Fri Jan 07 11:28:00 EST 2011||Renualdo Kyzer||Columbia, SC||205 -->204Anyone who knows about the topography of New Orleans knows that the storm did not cause the damage! Please get the facts straight! The Poorly built levees were the cause of the devastation in New Orleans!|
|1573||Fri Jan 07 10:00:15 EST 2011||Anonymous||Toronto, ON||Please do your research, New York Times.|
|1572||Thu Jan 06 20:46:06 EST 2011||Dion Harris||New Orleans, LA||How ignorant and arrogant you are! Learn the FACTS and retract.|
|1571||Thu Jan 06 18:15:00 EST 2011||Frans Stappers||Metairie, LA||I suggest that Mr. Grunwald takes some time to find out why levees are built, be it here or in The Netherlands. He may learn a few things.
|1570||Thu Jan 06 10:06:24 EST 2011||Dot WILSON||GRETNA, LA|
|1569||Wed Jan 05 22:34:39 EST 2011||Chris Casper||Madison, WI|
|1568||Wed Jan 05 14:40:05 EST 2011||Douglas Melancon||Stafford, Texas , TX|