We don’t need a National Hurricane Center to predict how the national media will cover hurricanes.
It’s infinitely more predictable than the weather: If there’s a Republican president, pin it on him.
Somehow. Some way.
In the days before Hurricane Harvey, the media were nearly more atwitter about how it might affect the Trump presidency than what it might do to Texas and Louisiana. They were almost breathless in anticipation of another Katrina – in which the fledgling Trump administration would fumble the ball like the George W. Bush team did.
He didn’t. The federal response to Harvey has been adjudged a success – even as seamless cooperation with state and local officials.
So the media had to find another narrative – another way to claim stumbles by the administration.
They even attacked First Lady Melania Trump for wearing stilettos on the way to view the devastation and rescue efforts in Texas.
“Who Wears Stilettos to a Hurricane?” wailed a shrill Vanity Fair headline.
“Why, oh why, can’t this administration get anything, even a pair of shoes, right?” whined Vogue.
Are the media as dishonest as Trump likes to say? These folks know darn good and well that the first lady merely wore the high heels on the way to the ride out of Washington, D.C. Once in Texas, she sported tennis shoes.
If she were a Democrat, there’d be cries of sexism for the media attacks on her.
Oh, wait. There wouldn’t be any attacks on her.
“I don’t know why anyone should care what anyone wears when they’re on their way to help people,” The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah chimed in.
But that’s nothing.
Despite the fact that President Bush was roundly condemned for being too slow to visit Katrina’s destruction – choosing to fly over, rather than cause a disruption on the ground – Democrats and their lapdog media attacked Trump for – guess what: arriving too soon.
MSNBC’s Katy Turn expressed “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. … Do you think it’s the right thing to go?”
Badgered by the denizens of CBS This Morning to say Trump’s Texas visit came too soon, even former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tried to change the subject to “doing everything we can to address the terrible, terrible pain that is taking place in that city.”
Oh, no. Not when there’s political advantage to be had over a Republican president.
A CNN reporter took it upon himself to judge that Trump’s supposedly premature visit to Texas fell short of what the reporter apparently felt was called for: Trump, he said, “dispensed no hugs or displays of compassion to victims of the storm, whom he did not meet – perhaps a symptom of the fact he insisted upon visiting the state in the immediate aftermath of the storm, precluding him from visiting the most devastated region.”
Where’s the evidence that the president was cold? Doesn’t matter. They’ve got to get him or his wife for something!
It gets even better: As the rain still fell and the flood waters still rose – and in the midst of an inarguably smooth relief effort – a Washington Post headline Tuesday wondered, “How many votes could Hurricane Harvey cost Trump in Texas?”
Really? People are dying off and drying off and The Washington Post is trying to handicap the politics of one of the worst natural disasters in our lifetimes?
And what in the administration’s response to Harvey, pray tell, does the Washington Post believe voters should hold against President Trump? Or is the hurricane itself his fault?
Well, perhaps it is – at least according to one former professor at the University of Tampa, who suggested the hurricane is nature’s payback for Texas having voted for Trump. “Instant karma,” visiting sociology professor Kenneth L. Storey tweeted.
Talk about instant karma: Storey was summarily and rightfully fired for the absolute outrage – moral, certainly, but perhaps on a sociological level as well: hard-hit Houston is a bastion of Democrat supporters, not Trump fans.
That’s how deranged the president’s opponents have become.
This newspaper, though it endorsed Mr. Trump, has criticized him when warranted. But many in the media and elsewhere on the left get out the magnifying glasses to find things under rocks to criticize him for – even turning away from the unfolding destruction in Texas to toss petty insults at an elegant and dignified first lady.
To paraphrase a legendary lament in American history, have they no sense of decency?