Sunday, February 01, 2009

Kentucky freezes; Obama dines on $100 a pound steak

The Anchoress points to the disparity in media coverage over the ice storm that has blanketed Kentucky and led to over 40 deaths and the failures of FEMA there compared to the coverage of post-Katrina New Orleans. FEMA has been slow to respond and has had difficulty getting aid to those without power. Yup, it's hard to get aid to people in need after a natural disaster.
This proves once again that the mainstream media is selective in its coverage, which is driven by its own agenda. What it wants to cover and hype for good or ill gets covered and hyped ad nauseam. And what it does not want to address, gets lost. This is an inconvenient story, with inconvenient victims, so you won’t see the high drama, the probing questions and harsh criticism we’ve seen before.
As Bill Quick writes,
“Where’s FEMA?” is not the appropriate question. The appropriate question is, “Where is the mainstream media, screaming in one united voice, that the absence of FEMA demonstrates the utter fecklessness and failure of the current President and all his policies?”
(link via Instapundit)

I don't blame FEMA or Kentucky authorities unless it comes out that they somehow messed up their crisis response. It is danged hard to recover quickly from natural disasters and emergencies. But Bill Quick is correct to point the finger at how the media decides to spin a story. Think of the stories that would have been written if President Bush had been entertaining guests on steak that costs $100 a pound while millions were shivering without power in the midsection of the country. Yet it's left to conservative bloggers to make that connection or even wonder why the President would have such a tin ear as to serve such an expensive meal to his congressional guests a little over week after being sworn in. Add in his turning up the thermostat in the Oval Office and you have what would have been a full-blown front page contrast to the people freezing and dying in Kentucky that would have haunted Bush for the rest of his life. It's all in how the media decides to cover a story. For Bush, it would be a sign of his cold-hearted incompetence. But for The One, not so much.

27 comments:

Pat Patterson said...

Yeah, but Katie Couric knows just how ridiculous she looks like in a snow suit. Let 'em freeze!

The Mighty Quinn said...

Obama is so far out of his pay grade, he doesn't even know there is a crisis. He is so inept, he wouldn't know what do once he (slowly) comprehends the problem.

tfhr said...

Don't worry Al Gore is shipping in some carbon credits from his mansion in Tennessee. That should take care of everything.

smacklin said...

I can see the NYT headline if this had happened last year:

"Let Them Eat Steak"

dualdiagnosis said...

Don't forget-

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.

"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.

This from a guy with a new, loaded limo, an Oval Office hot enough to raise orchids and throwing Super Bowl soirees.

Skookum John said...

Of course there's no outrage. The victims are white, and voted Republican in the last election.

jeff said...

Not even sure why this would require the President's attention. Who is running FEMA? Shouldn't they be writing checks to cover whatever action is required? Anyone talk to Walmart about this? They seem to have the expertise and ability to handle this sort of thing. Even being evil and all.

Timothy said...

Also adding insult to injury is that, while chainsaws are desperately needed, there's a federal warehouse full of chainsaws at the Boise airport. The Boise Fire Center maintains thousands of chainsaws used in forest fires. Its off season and those saws should be on the ground clearing roads.

There's also hundreds of seasonal wildland firefighters that would likely love to come clear roads for fellow Americans.

Not looking good for Team "O" or for our brothers and sisters freezing while Donks party.

DADvocate said...

As one who went with out power for 4 1/2 days, what ever chance I was willing to give Obama is gone. He's blown it. And the MSM turns a blind eye.

DWPittelli said...

FEMA (and Bush) got an outrageously bad rap, and dishonest press coverage, in the days after Katrina hit. In contrast, Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco got a virtual pass for performances that could hardly have been worse if they had been deliberately trying to screw up the response (like not even following preexisting plans to, for example, use the city's school buses to transport poor people).

That said, I think that there is no way one could sway many people into questioning the competence of the Obama Administration for FEMA's shortcomings (if any) in responding to this ice storm. The man has been in office for less than two weeks. (Remember Bush was rightly, at least until the Iraq war, largely given a pass for 9/11, since it came just 7 months into his administration.)

jeff said...

"I think that there is no way one could sway many people into questioning the competence of the Obama Administration for FEMA's shortcomings (if any) in responding to this ice storm."

I dont think anyone is seriously questioning Obama other than having a tin ear in turning up the heat, eating expensive steak etc, while people go without heat. Plus I just do not understand why the POTUS has to become involved on something like this, shouldn't the actual people responsible to handle this things....HANDLE them? They need the President to direct them?

Patm said...

The point that Betsy and the Anchoress and the rest of the bloggers makes is not that Obama "can" or "should" be doing anything. They know he can't do much more than declare an emergency and get FEMA going, and they know FEMA is at the mercy of natural conditions. Their point is that the press dishonestly and unfairly DID demand that Bush "could" and "should" have done things that were not in his power to do (such as call on the National Guard, which was Blanco's job). He declared NOLA a fed. disaster area before Katrina even hit, to try to get money and fed help going, and Blanco refused his first offers. You cand look it up.

And the steak is a biggie. You can still find leftists bitching that Bush was celebrating McCain's birthday instead of weeping for NOLA when Katrina hit. One thing for sure, 5 days into it, Bush was being run out on rails in the press and 5 days into it, Obama is being protected. And that's the point. The bad guys here are the press.

The Mighty Quinn said...

Affirmative Action kills.

zefal said...

"As millions freeze and tens of people die, Republicans' response is to try to make political hay out of this tragedy.

Obama took a much needed respite from his hurculean effort to bring relief to those left without power. Experts say steak is the best way to replenish your vigor and increase your stamina when dealing with a crisis situation."

Pat Patterson said...

I'm not sure the Constitution had in mind that the Commander in Chief would in his free time also be the Worrier in Chief. And it seems ludicrous to expect someone who could order, supposedly a Wagyu strip steak, to turn it down and ask that it be put in a doggy bag for some poor soul in Kentucky. Do we really expect that the still most powerful man on Earth says, "Not tonight dear. I'm waiting to hear about the tree limb removal in Elizabethtown?"

It appears also that the Kentucky papers have rightly placed the blame on neither the former or the current president but Governor Beshear. And like Governor Blanco his reputation is now permanently attached to the inability to call out the National Guard in a timely manner or request aid for the Federal government promptly.

Cdat88 said...

Pat, I think the point is the t-stst cranked up, the fancy dinners, and the general apathy by Barry. Obviously he has a country to oversee, but considering that the MSM raked President Bush over the coals for his inability to move heaven and earth (not to mention violate federal law) to help NOLA, smacks of hypocrisy of the highest order.

Skay said...

Great post Betsy.

D Boyd said...

"I'm not sure the Constitution had in mind that the Commander in Chief would in his free time also be the Worrier in Chief."

The effort it took to wheel in that strawman hardly seems worth your while. No one could miss that the issue claimed in this post is that most of the media continues to be what everyone already knows it to be - an arm of the Democratic Party. No one except those desperately trying to preserve this fiction that they are objective or fair. Obama doesn't need to promote this to be guilty of taking advantage of it.

Pat Patterson said...

If the news media was wrong in placing the onus on Pres. Bush then it hardly seems consistent to now criticizing them for not blaming Obama. Since for all intents and purposes their function and duties have not changed. It simply doesn't really matter in that the praise and criticizism is unwarranted in either case.

Sokmnkee said...

Yesterday at church we had lots of visitors/storm refugees. Luckily, they had family in the area that they were staying with. One family was from Kentucky. The other was from Missouri. Both told us that they were told they might not have power for 3 weeks. So sad. And you're right. The media is being very selective in what they report about their "golden boy."

jacktanner said...

Obama just don't care about hillbillies

zefal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zefal said...

Pat Patterson,

That's why this is a critique of the media's double standard.

We shouldn't point out the double standard just because they now don't view the president as being responsible for directing disaster relief?

That standard changes depending on what party is in the White House.

If you don't understand that you are either incredibly dense or a simple shill.

Pat Patterson said...

I think the correct phrase is Appalachian-American Protestant(the Billy boys of William of Orange) guardians of the forests.

davod said...

The FOX5 news here in DC just said that the says they are pleased with the Federal response. I wonder if the Governor and President being Democrats makes a difference in the Governor's comments.

Pat Patterson said...

The point I thought was obvious, the press was wrong in its hyperventilating about Katrina and just as wrong about the white out about Kentucky. And in both cases the criticism is misplaced as it is not the President's job to hand hold his departments all the time. Nor is it realistic for our side to demand the same kind of hysteria in covering Pres Obama's acts or nonacts just because Pres Bush was so abused.

I thought that conservatives generally didn't go in for the kind of mindless tit for tat of zefal but it appears in his case I was wrong. We all don't have to be lemmings and run off the same cliff as the left.

submandave said...

Bias is one reason, but there are many others. First is that with Katrina you had all the action in one place with convenient places for the media to stay; in KY the damage is spread over a large rural area, making effectiev coverage difficult and inconvenient. Face it, it is much more dramatic to show a handful of pictures of thousands of victims than thousands of pictures of a handful of victims. Which leads to my second point: a general media bias toward all things urban and against all things rural. They simply aren't interested in what happens to small towns and communities because it doesn't matter in their view.