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November 14, 2012

Obama Golfs While Millions Still Don't Have Power, Gasoline, or Homes

Incredible.

Glenn Reynolds compares the similarities between Katrina and Sandy -- and notes the contrasts in the press' coverage of the story between Obama and Bush.

Is the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy turning into Katrina-on-the-Hudson? Pretty much, and that tells us some things about Sandy, and Katrina, and the press.

One parallel: A late evacuation order. Even before the storm struck, weatherblogger Brendan Loy -- famous for calling for early evacuation of New Orleans before Katrina struck -- criticizing Mayor Bloomberg for not ordering early or extensive enough evacuations in New York, and for making the "ignorant" statement that Sandy wouldn't be as bad as a hurricane.

...

So: late warnings, confused and inadequate responses, FEMA foul-ups and suffering refugees. In this regard, Sandy is looking a lot like Katrina on the Hudson. Well, things go wrong in disasters. That's why they're called disasters. But there is one difference.

Under Katrina, the national press credulously reported all sorts of horror stories: rapes, children with slit throats, even cannibalism. These stories were pretty much all false. Worse, as Lou Dolinar cataloged later, the press also ignored many very real stories of heroism and competence. We haven't seen such one-sided coverage of Sandy, where the press coverage of problems, though somewhat muted before the election, hasn't been marked by absurd rumors or ham-handed efforts to push a particular narrative.

Mary Katharine Ham notes that FEMA is doing a poor job of meeting citizens' needs, but the media doesn't think that's such a bad thing anymore.

But you’d be hard-pressed to find a story about Sandy and FEMA without a sentence like this:
“She applied for FEMA assistance the day after Sandy hit, but said she hadn’t heard back.”

Or this:

“FEMA hasn’t done anything else. The inspector came out and he inspected the damage and that was it. He said he was going to forward it to his headquarters and I will hear from them, that’s it.” When asked if he has heard from anyone? Daily quickly responded, “No.”

Liberal critics always seize upon things like that to say "The media is reporting it, duh, that's where you're getting it," but there is a difference between a one or two sentence notation and "demanding answers" and "finding out who to blame" and running story after story on the incompetence of the head of FEMA and writing op-eds about the general lack of competence of the Administration and its general lack of compassion for citizens in need.

When the liberal media doesn't like someone, one sentence like "FEMA didn't call back" is the predicate for an editor assigning six or ten reporters to do follow-up stories. "Flood the zone," Howell Raine called this kind of coverage, when you assign a bunch of reporters to the story to insist to the public -- through repetition and devotion of resources -- that this is Important and the public Should Take This Very Seriously.

For God's sake, Anderson Cooper and Shep Smith were peddling Twitter hoaxes about people eating babies in the SuperDome.

You all know the head of FEMA under Bush: Michael Brown. The media made sure you did.

Can you name Obama's head of FEMA?

No, right? You can't, right?

That's because the media is not conducting a flood-the-zone campaign against him, as they did against "Brownie" (Brown just serving as a proxy for attacking The Demon Bush).

In this case, they're keeping the disaster and the suffering as far from their Beloved Precious as possible.


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posted by Ace at 11:10 AM

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