Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon's explosion and the ensuing Gulf disaster off the coast of Louisiana.  You'll all have to agree with Noman that Louisiana is one unlucky state given the frequency of nature-related disasters occurring there.  Who can forget Hurricane Katrina, which overwhelmed the State's levees in 2005, and turned the glorious city of New Orleans into a deadly puddle.  

Perhaps you'll also agree that President Obama is one lucky Democrat.  (Lucky Republicans don't exist, especially those with the last name of "Bush.")  Of course, maybe it's not just luck that Horizon never turned into BO's Katrina, as conservatives wanting payback had hoped for.  Some things never change.  And one of them is that Democrats are not called to account by the media's wall of sound for their blunders, oversights, crimes, lies, slimy actions, etc.  Republicans would need control of some television & visual media to accomplish that, though talk radio, the internet and sections of the Wall Street Journal make up part of the deficiency.  But, for heavy propagandizing, visual media is a must, and Democrats dominate that field.

The standard media playbook goes as follows.  Democrats' misdeeds and mistakes are either studiously ignored, or lightly commented upon, while those seeking to bring truth to light have their teeth kicked in and skulls fractured.  When Democrats' incompetence persists, as to cry to the high heavens, then some organ of the prestige media will denounce the blunder in surly tones, and peremptorily drop it again (having fulfilled its watchdog duty).  Fellow travelers and the usual suspects provide the air cover.

Conversely, when Republicans are at the helm, regardless of how removed from the problem they are, or how many Democrats are more proximate to it, the debacle instantly becomes the direct responsibility of the Republican.  Hurricane Katrina, of course, is a paradigmatic case in point.  Noman's impression of the tragedy was that George Bush not only wanted black people to die, but that he caused the hurricane as well.   He didn't act quickly enough; he didn't care; he's evil and racist, etc.  Forget that the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana were Democrats, or that federal subsidies for the city's levees had been diverted to pork barrel projects undertaken by local administrations.  It was George Bush's fault!!  The wall of sound blasted at high decibel, and the charge stuck.  His presidency was weakened in advance of the fateful 2006 elections.

It seemed to Noman that President Obama's response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and gulf spill was inept, and dilatory in the extreme.  While 200,000 barrels per day spilled into the gulf, he tended to legislation to control financial markets along lefty lines; the Arizona law passed to address the problem of illegal immigration, which the federal government was ignoring; mobilizing minority voters to smite their Republican enemies; meeting with the press to enlist their support in achieving his political priorities, and even to meeting with preacher Billy Graham.  When he finally got around to looking at the Horizon's problem, his solution was to shut down drilling in the gulf.  His administration altered an official report to give the false impression that scientists supported his decision to impose a moratorium.  It looked as if his strategy all along was to let the disaster proliferate before lending government assistance, in order to halt deepwater oil drilling, a high priority for his constituents, but not for the nation.  All the while, the wall of sound held it's tongue.

The point of this post is not to highlight yet another perfidious aspect of President Obama's reign.  It is rather to highlight the double standard at work in the media, and to underscore how it is that people around the globe get the simplistic impression that Republicans are bad, and Democrats are good.  The slightest Republican indiscretion is blown up to look like a horrendous enormity; the most wretched Democratic excess is downplayed to look like a parking ticket.  There is a deception at work.

These are the thoughts that today's anniversary suggested to Noman.  The lack of noise and media vituperation indicate that the disaster occurred during the reign of a Democratic President.

There isn't a problem that this country couldn't surmount rather quickly if it only enjoyed a "free press," considered broadly to encompass all forms of media communication.   

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