Media unable to spin Harvey into Katrina

Monday, September 4, 2017
Michael F. Haverluck (

Hurricane Harvey Aug 2017After many attempts by the mainstream media to turn Hurricane Harvey into something resembling Hurricane Katrina’s failed rescue response that resulted in more than 1,800 lives, it has focused its attention on the first lady’s high heels in “Shoegate” to give the Trump administration some bad press.

In fact, generating negative coverage on anything related to President Donald Trump regarding Harvey – with a considerably low death toll of 34 (considering its force) – has been hard to come by for many Left-leaning media outlets.

“The distance between the doorway and the helicopter usually isn’t relevant, but thanks to a tabloid-obsessed media, it is now,” Fox News’ Stephen L. Miller pointed out. “That’s the distance Melania Trump walked in stiletto heels to board the aircraft.”

Anti-Trump coverage … or bust

But this kind of coverage is apparently much more desirable for the American public than learning about what the Trump administration is doing to get Houston, Texas, and other cities hit by Harvey back on their feet.

“Politico wrote 890 words about [Melania’s] shoe choice and demanded in a since-deleted tweet that the White House release a statement condemning her choice of footwear for the short walk,” Miller informed. “Politico’s playbook dedicated another four paragraphs Wednesday morning. The New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair and Vogue all ran editorials about the choice of footwear and what it all means in the context of who Melania Trump is and what it means while boarding a helicopter.”

Not believing footwear was a big enough issue to continue covering exclusively, the mainstream media attempted to punch more holes in the Trump administration’s handling of Harvey as its first major national disaster response.

“They looked for any clue that the response to Hurricane Harvey could be compared to what happened after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina – the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history and one of the five deadliest," WND reported. “But unlike Katrina, there were no reports of hundreds of people dying from thirst, hunger, lack of shelter or violence – not that there wasn’t the strong potential for Harvey to become another Katrina.”

But in actuality, besides the unprecedented rainfall and billions of dollars in property damage, the details on both disasters are drastically different.

“New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s decision to delay ordering an evacuation until less than a day before landfall was blamed for hundreds of deaths,” WND’s Garth Kant stressed. “Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner didn’t even order an evacuation, at all. Yet, the outcomes were entirely different: The horror stories from Katrina were not duplicated in Houston … The death toll from Katrina was 1,833 lives. The death toll from Harvey had only reached 35 by Thursday.”

The cooperation between the federal, state and local government agencies in response to Harvey has been markedly quick and efficient when compared to such interaction under past administrations, yet the media has remained relatively quiet on this issue, as it does not easily fit into its anti-Trump coverage. As a result, the first lady’s choice in shoes was a bigger topic of conversation than positive reports about the relief effort coordinated by the Trump administration’s point man for disaster responses.

“Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert – who was with FEMA during Katrina – kicked off the press briefing with an update on recovery operations by citing the efforts of 28 search and rescue teams and task forces from 16 different states, while cautioning, ‘Lifesaving and life-sustaining operations are still underway,’” Kant noted. “But, while detailing the massive scope of recovery efforts, and expressing great empathy for the victims, Bossert had no real major problems to report.”

Yet, even after taking a big hit following their Hillary Clinton-biased reporting on last year’s presidential election. the biggest progressive media hubs in the country did not let this discourage them for perpetuating anti-Trump reports.

“That reduced the New York Times to virtually pleading for any news about anything that had gone wrong among the combined efforts of federal, state and local agencies,” Kant continued.

The New York daily kept digging for something to invigorate its negative Harvey coverage.

“Were there any areas where coordination has been wanting – where you’ve seen a need for improvement?” the Times’ White House Reporter Glenn Thrush posed to Bossert, according to WND.

But Bossert could not give the anti-Trump paper what it wanted.

“I think, at this point, the message is that coordination is happening better than any storm that we’ve seen before,” Bossert replied. “And so, stressing on anything that’s not working well really is, especially from this podium, going to be ill-informed. I’m seeing nothing but positive. I’m seeing nothing but appropriate coordination. If there is a problem somewhere, (FEMA chief) Brock Long is going to get his handle around it and he’s going to fix it. That’s my perspective. So not to be political on that answer, but I don’t have a negative word on coordination right now.”

A tale of 2 different cities …

Despite much of the negative reporting on the Trump administration’s handling of Harvey, like comparisons are hard to come by.

“[The Harvey response] was certainly a far cry from the aftermath of Katrina – in which the administration of President George W. Bush was severely criticized for what was portrayed as the federal government’s inadequate response and poor coordination with state and local agencies – so, CNN tried another tack … seemingly in the quest to find some kind of negative news story,” Kant contended. “CNN White House reporter Sara Murray asked Bossert if ‘undocumented’ immigrants – meaning illegal immigrants – would be eligible for ‘long-term relief help’ … meaning taxpayer dollars.”

This attempt to portray Trump as a heartless racist despite his on-the-ground efforts – which are much more hands-on than former President Barack Obama’s response to the Louisiana was flooded during his administration, when it took him more than a week to visit the disaster areas –  is reportedly unfounded, and goes down as another example of what the president would consider “fake news.”

“But, I think that doesn’t mean we’re going to let somebody starve or die of thirst or exposure,” Bossert added. “So, I don’t think there’s too much of a problem there.”

Not getting what she was digging for, Murray tried a different angle to augment the media’s racist portrayal of Trump.

“She noted Bossert had said the emphasis was on deporting illegal immigrants who had committed crimes, but ‘the acting director of ICE has made it clear that he views coming to the U.S. illegally as a crime,’” Kant recounted. “Her question, essentially, was whether illegal immigrants seeking help or shelter from the storm should worry about deportation. [But] after noting that her phrasing of the question contained a lot of ‘ifs,’ Bossert’s bottom-line response was that the focus right now by Border Patrol and ICE officers was on ‘saving lives and providing food, water, and shelter.’”

Continuing the legacy of Trump bashing

In addition to lashing out on the first lady’s choice in shoes as the unpardonable sin for Leftists, Politico’s rant against Trump’s handling of Harvey soon evolved into a personal attack on his character in a piece headlined, “Don’t judge Trump on how he handles Harvey: Disasters can hurt decent leaders and pump up bad ones.”

The anti-Trump narrative held back no punches.

“As for the president’s appearance in Texas: Yes, it bore the marks of a self-obsessed, egocentric boy-king who is sufficiently distanced from the rhetorical demands of his office that he was unable to offer words of compassion instead of his usual rah-rah sales pitch,” Politico’s Jeff Greenfield claimed. “Once again, it took a teleprompter – this time in Missouri, to provide him the proper pieties.”

Apparently, this perspective on Trump is only witnessed through the rose-colored lenses possessed by anti-Trump progressives.

“But any semi-conscious citizen has seen this kind of behavior on display throughout the entire Trump campaign and presidency,” Greenfield added. “To recoil in shock from the latest, far-from-the-worst display should be filed under the strain-at-a-gnat-swallow-a-camel category.”

Regardless, many other media sources reporting the news as it happens have reported that many previous anti-Trump Texans have been won over by the president’s attentive and generous response to Harvey victims.


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