... stay on Bourbon Street. So goes the editorial line of The New York Times. Haley Barbour can claim all he wants that “Looting will not be tolerated and rules of engagement will be as aggressive as the law allows.” If only the rules of journalism were equally aggressive, at least as far as the Times is concerned. Yes. The Gray Lady has put its Walter Duranty School of Journalism Phi Betes on Delete Button High Alert. And the truth will never be the same.

Vide, this picture picked up from the Associated Press: Now, a question for you non-journalist types out there. Is the correct caption to this photograph--

A) “A young man waded through chest-deep flood waters”?


B) “A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday”?

That’s right. Both statements are true! But you might say that Caption “B” is a little more illuminating--lest you think that here is an honest young man rescuing a beloved case of Diet Pepsi and a contractor-sized trash bag full of non-perishable canned goods from the corner market that, of course, is owned by his family.

Good thing, then, that Caption B ran in every newspaper story featuring this photograph... but one. You guessed it, the one in The New York Times, which went for [backspace] [backspace], ahem, sorry about that... Caption A instead.

So let’s recap:

There is no famine. (The New York Times, March 31, 1933)

There is no looting. (The New York Times, August 30, 2005).

I think I see a pattern here.