Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Putting false memory syndrome to work

Michael Chertoff apparently told Tim Russert on Sunday that his excuse, or rather one of his many excuses, for his bureaucracy's inaction, was that he thought the threat had ended on Tuesday: "I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, 'New Orleans Dodged The Bullet.'" Actually, he said "everyone" thought that the threat was over, presumably on the basis of these headlines. But let's say only he and his underlings were misled by these strangely misguided headlines--just out of curiosity, what were the newspapers that ran them?

Happily, I can answer that, having access to the LexisNexis database, which compiles major newspaper articles, full text, including headlines.

A quick search of LexisNexis for the past week for newspapers whose headlines contained any combination of the words "orleans" and "bullet" and either "dodged" or "dodges" returns exactly zero newspapers in America which ran such a headline last Tuesday.

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