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Die MSM, Die – Trump’s Hurricane Katrina

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“Two-hundred twenty thousand Americans dead. Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain President of the United States.” – Joe Biden, October 2020

President Biden beat that number some time ago, but Trump’s death toll to January 20, 2021 (his last day in office) was 434,018. Some time in January 2022 Biden will exceed that total and of course he’s already tripled the figure he trumpeted in that speech.

And all this with the vaccines that Trump’s Operation Warp Speed left to him.

In fact it was always silly to hold a US President responsible for something like this, given how little power a President has domestically: the real power belongs to governors of US states.

Still, I didn’t make these stupid rules, so by his own standards, Dementia Joe should now resign, or be removed, in shame and disgrace.

Ha! Aside from the Democrat Party the MSM will also have none of that. There has been almost no reporting of this “grim new milestone”.

It’s not the first time such a thing has happened to a President. When the GOP lost control of the House in 2006, after holding it for twelve years, the main factors were held to be weariness with the Iraq War, various scandals with GOP members of Congress, and a sense that the GOP was not even delivering for its own supporters.

But a different view came from the opposition, at least in hindsight. James Carville is a long-time Democrat operative, part of Bill Clinton’s success in the 1990’s and who was still very much part of the machine in 2006 with his group Democracy Corps, and his post-election report showed something different. The GOP’s fortunes fatally cratered in the Fall of 2005. What happened in the Fall of ‘05.

Hurricane Katrina.

In effect Katrina gave the MSM a way to talk about the Iraq War without talking about the Iraq War. And they milked it for all it was worth.  The MSM painted the Superdome as the site of multiple rapes, incuding that of babies. Snipers were shooting at rescue helicopters. NBC news anchor Brian Williams saw “bodies floating” in the French Quarter. Wolf Blitzer incited a racist narrative, calling the victims “so poor, so black.” Kanye West famously declared that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people. Bush was mocked for using the FEMA trailers for emergency housing after the storm – even though they’re often used for that purpose all over the country. He was blamed for failing to put all of the first responders in the direct path of the storm – instead of where they were stationed, just outside of the area to keep them safe until the storm passed but close enough to swarm the area. He was blamed for the levee failures, even though they were the result of decades of neglect by State and Federal government. He was blamed for people staying in the 9th Ward when the storm surge flooded them out. On and on it went.

Another notable feature was that the Lousiana Governor and the New Orleans mayor escaped this criticism at the time because they were Democrats, although their incompetence and catastrophically stupid decisions would catch up with them eventually in the local news media and certainly with local voters who looked at them more closely than at President Bush.

But against Bush and the GOP at the Federal level the the demagoguery worked, as it always had in the middle of a horrific disaster. It was aided of course by the old saying that a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on. The MSM were also helped by the so-called fog-of-war, which gave them the opportunity to craft the most lurid stories possible – but with enormous amounts of plausible deniability afterwards

Some years later there would be various mea culpas as almost all of this was revealed to have been MSM bullshit, most notably when none other than DNC Chair, Donna Brazille, acknowledged publically that Bush had actually done quite well on Katrina, with no disagreement voiced by her friends and allies. But by then they could afford to be generous, with their party in total control of Washington D.C.

And so we came to 2020 and the Wuhan Flu – and faced with a new and even more evil GOP President, the MSM went for their old playbook.

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace (former advisor to McCain’s 2008 campaign) in March, 2020:

Eddie Glaude: “But this may be, and you know Nicole, I should mention this with a little trepidation, but this may be Donald Trump’s Katrina.”

Nicolle Wallace: “Yeah…Let’s just lean into that for a minute. Katrina was the moment when all the things that felt incompetent about the Bush presidency, …”

They were not alone: CNN “Fact Checker” Chris Cillizza;

Paul Krugman;

Krugman actually went on to say it was more like Trump’s “WMD moment”. I also appreciated this Washington Post columnist who described it instead as “Trump’s Chernobyl.” (actually it would be more accurately described as China’s Chernobyl).

You’ll be amazed to know that this exactly matched the talking points of the various Democrats running for their party’s nomination:

Most of this required some serious memory-holing of the MSM’s own stances on C-19 in January and February. This article has a great rundown of them, with links: “Too early” to declare a global health emergency (NBC), Travel bans are a mistake (WaPo); Coronavirus won’t be a “deadly pandemic” (Vox), and so forth. This WaPo shot is a typical example.

The key here was that much of this was in response to Trump’s January 31 decision to impose travel restrictions on China-US flights, described by the NYT as follows:

The White House, in defiance of recent American history, also opted to go medieval by aggressive measures like barring entry to non-Americans who were recently in China and advising Americans not to go to China or South Korea.

Once again there was an eerie match with Democrat Party talking points:

The premature travel ban to and from China by the current administration is just an excuse to further his ongoing war aganst immigrants. – Chuck Schumer

The prominent Politico site went further:

Yet by March/April the Narrative had been flipped on it’s head, as analysed in this March,2020 piece which summarises it:

A myriad of op-eds proclaiming that containing the virus was actually hurting the containment of the virus. None of it made sense, but it wasn’t meant to make sense. It was simply a way to start an orange man bad narrative. Now that we have infections in the United States, they’ve flipped the narrative and claim Trump hasn’t done enough. There was never any winning for him in this situation. The media were simply not going to allow it.

It would go on like that through to the election, which made it an even better weapon than Hurricane Katrina had been against Bush.

False stories that the WH Pandemic Response Team had been disbanded (none other than a former Obama official denied that), that the CD testing failure was down to Trump (in fact he cut the red tape to get proper testing underway), that Trump wasn’t listening to the scientists (it’s now clear that he listened all too much to Fauci and Blix), that all talk of developing a vaccine in less than a year was nonsense

Trump certainly did not help himself by doing his usual schtick of always being the centre of attention. It had worked for his election in sucking oxygen away from other GOP candidates, but it’s not how Presidents should deal with an ongoing crisis. It reminded me of Jimmy Carter getting trapped by the Iraq hostages situation. Trump also made the same mistake he committed in other areas of his Administration by not firing bureaucrats who were either useless or working against him – Fauci and Blix to the fore again.

Perhaps, like Donna Brazille, future politicians and journalists will be willing to acknowledge the things that Trump did get right in 2020 with Covid, especially given the historic contrast that will be drawn with Biden and his higher death toll despite better knowledge, testing and vaccines.

But in the meantime, there is no doubt that this all-out, year-long MSM attack, meshed with Democrat Party strategy, worked. Absent the Chinese Xi Snot pandemic, Trump likely would have won.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 22, 2021 at 6:00 am

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