Four years have elapsed since one of the most amazing cases of Republican-bashing media bias in the television era began. The media elites laugh when preachers say immorality causes God to send hurricanes, but they suggested with straight faces that Hurricane Katrina was a death sentence President Bush and his cronies brought to the less fortunate.
In the early spin, race-baiting rapper Kanye West and "objective" anchors like Brian Williams were in rhetorical sync: George Bush didn't care about black people. On "The Daily Show," Williams said "everyone" knew Bush would have done better if white people were endangered: "Everyone watching the coverage all week, that kind of reached its peak last weekend, kept saying the same refrain: 'How is this happening in the United States?' And the other refrain was, 'Had this been Nantucket, had this been Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, how many choppers would have --'"
Williams couldn't finish. The liberal audience drowned him in applause.
A year later, Williams was pressing Bush about being a bigot, harboring a "social or race or class aspect" in the federal response, then inviting in radical professor Michael Eric Dyson to denounce the Bush family as "clueless patricians."
It didn't matter how many tens of thousands were saved by federal, state and local first responders in helicopters and boats. The never-ending political commercial called the "news" was in heavy rotation. Today, it's not considered the least bit impolite or inaccurate for hard-left blogs like the Daily Kos to proclaim New Orleans the scene of a mass murder: "We let the Republicans kill a major U.S. city. We let them laugh about it and walk away."
But here's the amazing part: Four years after the hurricane, the networks are still trashing the federal government for failing people who still live in federal trailers. None of them can manage to wonder when these "victims" will be responsible in any way for their own housing and circumstances. Or ponder for even a second the possibility that it's now taxpayers who are the victims.
On the Aug. 31 "CBS Evening News," investigative reporter Armen Keteyian was hot on this hackneyed story, and still projecting all the outrage onto the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), even though there was no mention of the healing, messianic force of President Obama.
"Two years after FEMA began moving people out of the trailers, contaminated with the toxic chemical formaldehyde," he proclaimed dramatically, "case workers tell CBS News the thousands left in the trailers aren't trying to beat the system; they are victims of a system that's proved incapable of helping them get out."