Skip to comments.A New Low For The MSM?
Posted on 09/04/2005 9:39:52 AM PDT by TennTuxedo
A New Low for the MSM?
The mainstream media's handling of Hurricane Katrina and the disasters in New Orleans is a disgrace, possibly the worst instance yet of media bias. Insane claims by left-wing nuts that President Bush botched the recovery effort on purpose so as to kill black people are repeated by the MSM in a chin-stroking mode, as if to say, "It's an interesting question--they might be on to something." Meanwhile, no one points out that it was President Bush who implored Governor Blanco to issue a first-ever mandatory evacuation order for the city, an action by the President that probably saved tens of thousands of lives.
Similarly, the media yammmer on and on about the allegedly slow federal response to the hurricane, without noting that the Governor of Louisiana has the power to call out the National Guard. Accusations that lawlessness and looting in New Orleans are somehow the federal government's fault are repeated endlessly; hardly anyone bothers to criticize the looters and other criminals themselves. And where is the outrage that should be directed toward the New Orleans Police Department? They were the authorities on the scene, and they, under the direction of the city's Mayor--who had an emergency plan in place, but apparently made no attempt to implement it--had the responsibility to maintain law and order. Yet some policemen reportedly joined in the looting, while a great many others turned tail and abandoned their responsibilities.
But it's hard to defend the administration when the administration won't defend itself. Yesterday Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff declared that the feds are now in control of New Orleans, but refused to defend the government's performance so far:
Chertoff defended the job of FEMA Director Michael Brown and declined to get into a discussion about whether the government moved quickly and forcefully enough to deal with the catastrophe. He shrugged off suggestions that the demand for National Guard troops in Iraq had depleted the numbers available to respond to the crisis.
"I think when we go back and look at it lot of things worked well and some things didn't work well," he said.
That simply isn't good enough. I understand the administration's problem: it's hard to mount a defense without pointing out the scandalous performance of the state and local authorities who were responsible for emergency preparation and for the initial response to the hurricane. But if the administration thinks it can ride out the current news cycle as it has passively ridden out so many news cycles in the past, it's crazy. As Chertoff himself said yesterday:
We need to prepare the country for what's coming ... we are going to uncover people who died hiding in the houses, maybe got caught in floods, it is going to be as ugly a scene as you can imagine.
Yes, that's right. And each new horror, and each painful step in the reconstruction of New Orleans over the years to come, will be the occasion for more Bush-bashing. This story is never going to die a natural death, and it is probably too late already for the administration to combat the media-driven impression that the disaster is somehow its fault.
I've often criticized the administration for not responding forcefully enough to unfair attacks by the far left and the media--often, for not responding at all. But this time the administration's habit of quietly riding out the storm could have incalculable costs.
I'm parting company here with two people whose judgment I respect. Michelle Malkin has recommended that President Bush fire FEMA head Michael Brown. Brown is, apparently, a political appointee with few qualifications for the job beyond general competence and management skill. This is hardly unusual in Washington; the conventional assumption is that staff who report to the head of an agency furnish the necessary expertise. As seems to have happened; FEMA's response to hurricanes last year was widely praised. In any event, whatever the wisdom of Brown's appointment in hindsight, firing him now would be an admission that FEMA performed poorly in the current crisis--an assertion that is constantly repeated, but for which I have seen, at this point, little hard evidence. There will be time enough for sorting out, in a rational environment, the pros and cons of FEMA's efforts; firing Brown now would accomplish nothing but to uselessly fan the flames of hysteria.
Hugh Hewitt, meanwhile, has advised conservatives to "turn the other cheek" in reaction to unfair criticism from the left. Among other reasons, he believes that the American people will react negatively to the left's maniacal, over-the-top attacks. Hugh thinks the current vile assault on the administration could be another Wellstone funeral moment. I think he's wrong; the MSM, in full support-the-Democrats mode, is daily making respectable even the wackiest attacks on the administration. Of course, I'm not by nature a cheek-turning sort, but I think that has too often been the administration's approach. This time, it could be fatal.
Meanwhile, the insanity continues. The Democrats know that in order to defend itself against their onslaught, the administration will have to criticize the people who really bungled the job--the Governor of Louisiana, the Mayor of New Orleans, and other local officials. So, earlier this morning Senator Mary Landrieu threatened President Bush with violence if he does any such thing:
Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu threatened President Bush with physical violence this morning on ABC's Sunday morning news program "This Week". "If one person criticizes our sheriffs, or says one more thing, including the President of the United States, he will hear from me - one more word about it after this show airs and I - I might likely have to punch him - literally," says Landrieu.
For the first time, the Democrats and their allies in the MSM (to the extent one draws the distinction) believe that they have the administration on the run, in a way that could destroy President Bush. Destroying the President is the goal they have pursued passionately since January 2001. In that regard, nothing has changed in 4 1/2 years. The administration, it seems to me, has two choices: defend itself, or suffer crippling damage from which it likely will never recover.
Posted by John at 10:37 AM
Scott McCellan White House Press Sec. has to be the worse Presidential Press Sec. in recent years....He is scared to death of the media.
Two-thirds of the NOPD has abandoned its posts and the Feds are taking over law enforcement.http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/weather_katrina_crime_dc
Want a gladhanding pass out the money do nothing pol, elect a Dem. Want take charge folks, vote Rep.
The racist plot smear is a real loser. Of all the people I know who are upset with the poor handling of the disaster, NONE are sympathetic will all the racist garbage. The whites in MISS/ALA got exactly the same treatment as the blacks in NO.
Oh, I don't think he is bad...I just think his presence is not that of a strong person in charge. He has that little boy scared look and that's how he comes off to the press and to us. Granted the media are a bunch of pathetic, ignorant, ugly vulchers but...Scott does not have the authorative presence as did Ari. When you go out looking like you are lost...well... you are. The press secretary should be strong, confident and steady. Unfortunately, Scott is not that person. Sad but true. Nice person I am sure but poor choice for the position.
Usual tango. Something bad happens. The left and the MSM hurl hyperbolic merde on the President. He doesn't respond in kind. He just goes about his job. The right screams he has to answer. He just goes on with the job. The left/msm carping proves to be a lie and the people reject it. He wins. They lose.
Not everyone is as stupid as the NYT's readers.
What does Bush care, he never has to run for office again...
"A New Low For The MSM?"
Nah, the same old low.
Americans are generally smart and can figure out what is going on without being told so -- which is exactly why President Bush keeps getting re-elected.
The President should have his people to go on the offensive.
He needs someone else to play "bad cop" while he remains above the fray.
"Scott McCellan White House Press Sec. has to be the worse Presidential Press Sec. in recent years....He is scared to death of the media."
Amen to that.
>> A New Low for the MSM?
A sink hole has no "new low", it just keeps sliding into the abyss and sucking in those on the periphery.
Its quite simple. The President still has an agenda in which he will need support from the American public in order to get it passed. The "Wile E. Coyote" liberals are desperately trying to catch the President in hope of stopping him from passing agenda.
There will be calls to impeach President Bush:
The RATs are so over-the-top on the scum scale that I know this is coming.
They will say the hurricane, the lack of preparation and the slow response are all Bush's fault. They will heap on Iraq's WMDs issue and the war, wrap it with a few other items (maybe even he was selcted, not elected) and call for impeachmnet.
The RATs will also use this as a way to delay hearings for Roberts and the Chief Justice appointment, as well as the 2nd Justice nomination.
I am telling you folks two things:
1] there WILL be a call for impeachment and,
2] the order of business in the United States Senate will come to a screeching halt.
President Bush and the Republicans better get their battle gear on and start fighting, especially since a war has been waged against America by the RATS for many years now, a war that the Republicans have--so far--refused to recognize.
Are the rest of you battle ready?
Exactly Exactly Exactly!!!!!
This is all so depressing. The President needs to do what Hinderaker suggests. The lies and disinformation regarding
the locals total incompetence are now out there for all the stupids to believe and repeat. Jeb Bush should get out and tell the world just HOW the state officials are supposed to act. And get MAD when he does it.
Some even act like the President should have packed their underwear for them....
It all adds up to one thing.
Hate for President Bush.
Landrieu is a political and intellectual lightweight. Making hay of her simplicity only feeds the idea she has anything of import to say.
Reminds me of when some congressman called Clinton a "scumbag" and all hell broke loose. Please....
abyss = abysmal.
I'm not saying some of the loonier ones won't blab something to this effect, but it's ridiculous. It's like saying there will be a call to impeach the president over the L.A. riots, or because Jeb Bush failed to evacuate Florida, or because Jeff Gordon doesn't win races like he used to. It just doesn't connect.
The media is essentially a Stalinist enterprise. The voice of the far Left is, generally speaking, taken to represent the gold standard for political discourse.
I wish people would stop referring to these people as the Mainstream Media. They are not mainstream.
Other federal and state officials pointed to Louisiana's failure to measure up to national disaster response standards, noting that the federal plan advises state and local emergency managers not to expect federal aid for 72 to 96 hours, and base their own preparedness efforts on the need to be self-sufficient for at least that period. "Fundamentally the first breakdown occurred at the local level," said one state official who works with FEMA. 'Did the city have the situational awareness of what was going on within its borders? The answer was no."
Making a horrific natural disaster into a political issue immediately is a new low when we consider the magnitude of loss and suffering. This is a repeat of the Wellstone funeral rock concert Bush-bashing fiasco, only so much larger.
It is true that one of the President's worser (sic) enemies in this flap is his own PR shop. The Communications Office has a history of too little/too late for most of his administration. This group, headed then as now by Dan Bartlett, is the same group that last year let what were trivial issues grow into major campaign discussions that almost killed his too-close re-election.
Examples abound, like letting Bush's noble Guard service get turned into a draft-dodger negative because these flunkies just sat around waiting for it to blow over. Others not even in the campaign or Communications Office were the ones that had to stop the bleeding, like LtCol Bill Calhoun and Byron York and Bush's Texas Air Guard wingmen and the bloggers.
They have been failing for the last 18 months in getting out the good news about Iraq. Instead, it is the soldiers themselves that are the only source of good news, and they come home astounded over the negative image painted by the MSM and unrefuted by Bush's own highly paid flacks who just hide out in their White House offices and at RNC headquarters.
Watching Chertoff come out with a bureaucrat's don't-offend-anyone doubletalk on Fox News Sunday this morning when asked directly about Democrat city and state government failures, incompetence, and criminality (police looting, levee construction) is another example of this timidity.
Do you think that President Kerry or Dean would be sitting back protecting a Republican mayor or governor in a similar situation?
There may be some mid and upper level bureaucrats who need to be fired for incompetence and apathy (and these bureaucrats were never Bush fans to start with), but he ought to start with cleaning out an ineffective White House Communications Office that has already let this get beyond any hope of turning public opinion on what should really be one of Bush's finest hours.
Loyalty cannot trump competence.
That is a great idea.
Oldbill you are very wise..
How about Leftstream Media.
I tried reasoning with one person, who I know to be a Republican, who said he called the Board of Elections over the weekend. He said he is "embarassed to be a Republican" and wants to shift his voter registration to Independent. (I know that, in Ohio, you can only do that at a primary election, but this guy had totally come unglued.)
I have never seen these people express so much anger so loudly over one thing in the five years I have attended this church.
With another congregant, I tried comparing the response of Giuliani after 9/11 to the mayor and governor's response. He said, "well, maybe I was wrong about Bill Clinton. We could respond to that because he has just been president. We can't respond ot this because Bush has mismanaged everything so badly." This is a guy who had a Bush sign in his yard not ten months ago.
There will be impeachment hearings over this. I don't care what anyone else says. This is being laid solely at his feet.
I feel for the people who have lost their lives and for family members trying to find out what happened to their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers.... Emotions are running high and people are frustrated. But that is no excuse for this horrible human catastrophe to devolve into pure gutter politics. The MSM is in the middle of a feeding frenzy. They smell blood and they realize this is an a perfect opportunity to get the President.
I am thankful President Bush is who he is!
He cares because that's the kind of man he is.
You know, turning the other cheek really is about not returning evil for evil. But it is not evil to speak the truth in your own defense. There are times, in a personal offense context, when it is good to drop your own defense and end the conflict (or even if it doesn't end it). But this is not one of those times. It is an inappropriate response -- an unjust response to all the people this government represents -- to let the truth die under a so-called "turn the other cheek" effort.
That's my opinion.
I just did a search of your recent comments, with the word "impeachment"...it showed up 8 times on the first page of your comments. There seems to be quite a trend here!
Isn't threatening the president with physcial violence a crime? I wonder if the secret service has knocked on her door yet.
Shortly after the Clintonistas took office it didn't take long for me to just get so OUTRAGED at their behavior - and the slanted, biased way the MSM treated them. Something told me: "these folks will always go lower". They did. I stopped getting angry. It's been how long now? And they're still going ... think of a black hole.
That's what I mean--some of the loonier ones. Then again, most of the RATs are loony.
There are plenty of looney people on this forum talking about impeachment.
The Bush administration's communication and PR effort has been downright awful at nearly every turn for the last several years.
The President should have been on the offensive about his Iraq policy for the last couple years - constantly out building and reinforcing public support as well as shaming and pointing out the MSM's horrific bias an unwillingness to provide even reasonable balanced reporting of our efforts in rebuilding Iraq.
When this hurricane was obviously gonna hit and be pretty bad Sun night/Mon morning, Bush should have gone back to the White House and asked for air time on local affiliates of areas likely to be affected. He could have asked the people to take evacuation orders seriously and told the populations that the White House was already preparing for rescue and rebuilding efforts.
Ofcourse, Bush could do this from Crawford - but being a good CEO is not enough. Public perception is half the battle - and the Bush team gets an F for their efforts on that score.
Why wait for the Louisiana local and state government to ask for things, knowing they are just going to blame the Feds later? I mean, come on. It's obvious the mayor of New Orleans and Louisana state government is going to try to shift their failures to the Federal Government. Any damn monkey could have predicted that. Bush should have made public BEFORE things got out of control that he was prodding local and state officials to get on the ball and make the appropriate requests.
Where is Bush's speech to the nation? Have I just missed it? Sorry, but a 5PM 5 minute statement just doesn't cut it.
What the Dems and their allies in the MSM are doing is utterly disgusting. Politicizing this disaster has been one of the most retchid things I've seen recently. But, damnit - it was utterly predictable given the venomous Bush hate in the media today. How is it I, and many other conservatives, know this stuff is coming - but the Bush administration seems utterly oblivious to what was sure to happen?
I've just about given up on Bush and his administration. If they continue this astonishing failure to communicate with the American people and stay ahead of the game where PR is concerned, they will be in a weakened defensive posture for the next 3 years - not to mention the liklihood of significant Dem pickups in 06'.
Geeze this is frustrating.
Nobody is going to try to impeach GWB over the federal response to Katrina for the simple reason that the minute they do, the past and present performance of the Dim officials in Louisiana at the state and local level will come under the spotlight and will be examined in detail. That is the last thing they want.
Pres. Bush is a man of action and not words, and this does work to his detriment some times. He needs a good spokes-person to step forward for him, maybe Karen Hughes. But then I prefer the lack of eloquence to the pure B.S. we'd be hearing from Clinton this past week! And almost no real action, even if the media would amplify it to appear he was totally in control and doing an amazing job. Having the media as a vicious enemy is a daunting challenge, no doubt.
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