...the notion that what happened to New Orleans almost a year ago was a hit from a hurricane, as opposed to the fact: that what almost destroyed the city was a set of levee breaches caused by the design and construction flaws of the levees and floodwalls, courtesy of the US Army Corps of Engineers. The latter fact, documented by a team from UC Berkeley and a team from LSU, and acknowledged by the Corps' own mea culpa-lite report, has been buried by the conventional media, and now the alternate version--that somehow a hurricane that brushed by New Orleans actually succeeded in flooding 80% of it--has become the conventional un-wisdom.
Latest examples: this Reuters story carried on the NYT website, and, more egregriously (because it's more well-intended), this long takeout on New Orleans culture in Sunday's Chicago Trib. Starting with the subhed--"battered by Katrina"--and continuing through the entire article, you are continually exposed to the myth and protected from the reality. The myth has won, the reality has lost, and so has the city.