First Secretary Michael Chertoff said it:
I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, ‘New Orleans Dodged The Bullet.'”
Then Gen. Richard Myers said it:
The headline, of course, in most of the papers on Tuesday — “New Orleans Dodged a Bullet,” or words to that effect. At that time, when those words were in our minds, we started working issues before we were asked, and on Tuesday, at the direction of the secretary and the deputy secretary, we went to each of the services.
Now the president is saying it (original link, no longer active – http://archive.thinkprogress.org/politics/2005/09/12/1764/bush-relaxation/):
What I was referring to is this: When that storm came by, a lot of people said we dodged a bullet. When that storm came through at first, people said, Whew. There was a sense of relaxation. And that’s what I was referring to.
And I myself thought we had dodged a bullet. You know why? Because I was listening to people probably over the airwaves say, The bullet has been dodged. And that was what I was referring to.
The trouble is, the only media source that said “Dodged a Bullet” was the ultra-conservative mini-paper, WorldNetDaily. If that’s where the president gets all his news, we’re in trouble.
And all of this begs the question… why is the President getting his information from the newspapers in the first place? Shouldn’t he be talking to weather services and officials on the ground in New Orleans? Like the Army Corps of Engineers; the guys who are actually standing there looking at the levees?
All the mainstream newspapers said this:
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there was a quote on boingboing yesterday from, IIRC, white house aides who wished to remain anon. they said that on thursday (i assume that is the thursday after the levees broke), someone realized the president just wasn’t understanding the extent of the devastation, so they put together a dvd of tv news clips for him to watch as he flew down there. it appears as if he does not monitor ANY news sources, and is surrounded by people who don’t inform him. truly frightening, and absolutely irresponsible.
Actually, Pres. Bush is fond of saying that he doesn’t read newspapers or news magazines. And doesn’t watch TV, except for a bit of ESPN. While supporters would say that keeps him from being too influenced (or bothered) by conventional wisdom or beltway spin, most of us react to that kind of statement with a head shake accompanied by a, “Huh?”
So if he doesn’t watch TV or read newspapers, how is it that he got his “dodged a bullet” information? “Probably over the airwaves?” Whose airwaves? The ones he doesn’t watch or listen to?
Perhaps he got that quote from advisors in a meeting discussing how to stop the press from exposing (any more) how clueless the response from federal officials was.