Even though we've added our exciting new In Other News... facility to summarize and link to stories covered elsewhere, once in a while we come across an item in the news -- even one that is well reported -- and we say, We can do that better. Even with our meager resources, derived exclusively from the generosity of our readers, we can still read, write and think more freely than our corporate counterparts.
Such was the case with the Knight Ridder piece exposing the fact that Michael Chertoff was ultimately responsible for coordinating the federal response to Katrina. When Jessica Azulay reviewed the source material for that story, something stood out that had been overlooked by the mainstream: the directive that gives Chertoff that authority as Homeland Security chief does not empower him to pass it off to a lower-level official.
The corporate media are just accepting that once Chertoff passed the power to Brown, it was off his shoulders. Apparently no one wondered how a non-cabinet-level official can be expected to coordinate all federal departments, when he was not even in charge of his own department (DHS), and was clearly unable to even manage his own agency (FEMA).
Anyway, that's what we do at TNS. We rarely point it out, and we're pretty sure lots of times it goes unnoticed; nevertheless, we see our job not as regurgitating stories you can find elsewhere but as "adding value" to them, as we say it around the office (and, of course, covering so many that no one else dares touch).