Obama’s Katrina: where is the mainstream media?

The climate as of late has not been one of bipartisan unity, but when it comes to the disaster aid bill for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, there has been outrage from both sides of the aisle.

JackieLynn Wellfonder

JackieLynn Wellfonder is a contributor to The Brenner Brief.
Twitter: @princy_lyn

Despite Speaker Boehner’s commitment to pass the bill in January, representatives from districts affected by Sandy’s devastation were not appeased before the end of the last Congress. However, the House did vote today on a $9.7 billion package.

“I feel it is a personal betrayal,” said Representative Michael Grimm, a New York Republican. “But I think more importantly, when you parse out all the politics, the people of this country that have been devastated are looking at this as a betrayal by the Congress and by the nation, and that is just untenable and unforgivable.”

Sandy was blamed for at least 120 deaths, damaged or destroyed more than 72,000 homes and business in New Jersey, and in New York, 305,000 housing units were damaged or destroyed with more than 265,000 businesses affected. With the focus in Congress having been on the fiscal cliff and avoiding going over it, many representatives feel this bill was put on a back burner and are deeply resentful.

While members of the House express their discontent, President Obama urged the House to vote on the bill on Wednesday. As we know, this did not take place.

Shortly after the storm, President Obama worked to make sure comparisons between his response to Sandy and Bush’s response after Katrina weighed in his favor. Signs such as “FEMA Please Help Us” were seen in Queens, similar to those displayed in New Orleans. In an effort to dispatch immediate help, thousands of FEMA workers were sent out to assure those without power that help would be on the way.

While Bush was greatly criticized for his leadership during the Katrina crisis, President Obama garnered support from an unexpected ally in Governor Chris Christie.

Christie  said:

We spent a significant afternoon together surveying the damage up and down the New Jersey coastline; we were on Marine One together to be able to show the President that personally. I had an opportunity to see it, and we had an opportunity to discuss it at length. And then, going over to the shelter here, being able to meet with folks to have them see the President and his concern, and the concern that all of us have for making sure that things get back to normal as quickly as possible.

He has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit. I think this is our sixth conversation since the weekend, and it’s been a great working relationship to make sure that we’re doing the jobs that people elected us to do. And I cannot thank the President enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state.

Not everyone agreed with Gov. Christie’s assessment of Obama’s “exceptional” leadership during a time of crisis. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giulianni said:

Right now he is doing a terrible job of disaster relief in my city, but no one is talking about. People don’t have water, they don’t have food, electricity and his FEMA is nowhere to be found. This is a worse response than Katrina…They are still finding bodies in Staten Island. People are yelling and screaming, ‘How does the president get all this praise for disaster relief? How does Gov. Christie give him all this praise?’ He’s doing a terrible job with disaster relief…This is a much worse than it used to be under President Bush.

My issue is this: it’s been obvious to many of us that the mainstream media has a love affair with our current president. Despite Bush’s own admission that the response to Katrina was inadequate, he was hammered by the media. Have we seem the same vigor to criticize the current administration? When there are people turned away from cities because they are not union members, that tells me the political climate is completely different and that is not necessarily favorable. Fortunately, new media continues to hold this administration accountable while the mainstream media continues to fail.

Via Breitbart.com:

The entire nation is now seeing the Obama administration’s failed response to Hurricane Sandy for what it truly is: a series of press conferences between self-congratulatory politicians and bureaucrats intent on following processes and paperwork, but entirely incapable of delivering food, water, supplies, and power on the ground to the victims of Hurricane Sandy in a timely manner.


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