Journalists on Friday announced the imminent departure of Joe Biden to New Orleans to see for himself the damage of Hurricane Ida. On Friday, CBS This Morning’s Stephanie Ramos stressed that Joe Biden was very welcome and would be of help: “There are always sensitivities with these kinds of trips but the president said yesterday that the state’s governor encouraged the visit and assured him he would not disrupt recovery efforts on the ground.”
Of course, after Katrina, hurricane visits are political footballs. But journalists don’t exactly treat Republican and Democratic visits the same. On August 28, 2017, CBS This Morning skeptically questioned whether it was the “best time” for Donald Trump to visit ravaged Houston. Co-host Gayle King asked Governor Greg Abbott, “Right now, he is scheduled to come tomorrow. Is that the best time for him to come?”
On August 28, 2017, MSNBC’s Katy Tur whined about Hurricane Harvey: “[Donald Trump is] going to Texas tomorrow and there’s real concern that his going there is going to have to divert, at least a little bit, some resources away from the rescue effort and toward him.”
Talking to ex-Congressman Tom Davis, she chided, “The President is going to Corpus Christi and he will be diverting at the very least some resources away from them. There’s an ongoing search and rescue effort underway in Houston and the other areas that have been devastated so far by these floods that could only intensify and get worse by tomorrow. Do you think it’s the right thing to go?”
Of course, all of this comes back to George W. Bush and Hurricane Katrina. To CBS, he was an uncaring monster:
“If the majority of the hardest hit victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans were white people, they would not have gone for days without food and water, forcing many to steal for mere survival. Their bodies would not have been left to float in putrid water….We’ve repeatedly given tax cuts to the wealthiest and left our most vulnerable American citizens to basically fend for themselves….The President has put himself at risk by visiting the troops in Iraq, but didn’t venture anywhere near the Superdome or the convention center, where thousands of victims, mostly black and poor, needed to see that he gave a damn.”
— Contributor Nancy Giles on CBS’s Sunday Morning, September 4, 2005.
When it comes to disaster visits, the corrupt media have two very different standards for Republicans and Democrats.
For more examples from our FLASHBACK series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.