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Hurricane Hindsight Causes Narrative Shift, Nuclear War Can Save the Planet, and Joy Reid Sees Racism (Again)

“Riffed from the Headlines” is Townhall’s daily VIP feature with coverage of the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We’ll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.

There is little surprise there would be hurricane response second-guessing in the aftermath of Ian since last week we saw the first-guessing when the press wanted to blame Governor Ron DeSantis for hurricane failures – before the storm even arrived. And the blame has arrived in full force.

It is noteworthy that when a Republican is in the White House, the president is responsible for any failings in natural disaster response. When it is a Democratic president, we are learning that all criticism falls on a GOP governor…even when it is unclear what to blame him about. One local political outlet pretends that DeSantis was inactive ahead of the storm, something his communications team was quick to unravel.

The New York Times tries to do a deep dive into the preparations in Lee County and see where problems emerge. They do this to find issues where errors can be pointed at in order to then justify the finger that is already pointed at Governor DeSantis. 

What has to go under-analyzed is that expectations were that the storm would be making its impact on the Tampa Bay area. The Washington Post at least states that FEMA and the National Hurricane Service also showed their focus was on this area, and the Fort Meyers area was the new targeted landfall very late in the forecasts. But again, even as those are federal agencies, President Biden is shielded from responsibility.

CNN attempted to pin down Governor DeSantis on the issue of the late evacuation orders, but there is a notable difference in the criticism. They move from why there were no evacuation plans to now suggesting, as CNN’s Nadia Romero attempts, he was wrong for evacuating the wrong areas. Oh, the accusation shifts, but there remains the accusation.

DeSantis makes the clear point that the majority of the networks had staged in Tampa because they were assured that it would become ground zero. This was based on the projections of the federal agencies, which the governor was following. But now, he is to be blamed for not predicting the very late easterly turn of the storm that even the hurricane experts at the National Weather Service had not indicated could happen.

Artisanally-Crafted Narratives – MSNBC

  • Joy being Joy in the wake of a natural disaster.

When facing devastation and the large loss of human life, Joy Reid looked at the after-effects of the hurricane and focused on the one thing she knows best – where is the racism?!

Governor DeSantis had many a journalist clutching pearls when he gave a press conference (just ignore the claims in the press he is not doing so) warning people not to engage in looting in the affected neighborhoods. He reminded potential thieves that homeowners might be on site and reiterated, “We are a Second Amendment state.” 

Well, Joy heard this, and she felt the need to pounce. See, he used the term “looters,” and as we all know, Joy knows what that means!

Just a small correction, Joy; DeSantis mentioned the word “people” when referencing looters. The only person attributing the black race to that term would be…well, that would be yourself. 

Democrat Custodial Services – CBS NEWS

  • So Kamala Harris said it, but she didn’t MEAN it.

Senator Rick Scott spoke with Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation,” discussing a number of issues, including hurricane relief. Scott brought up the subject of Vice President Kamala Harris saying recently that hurricane aid would be distributed based on “equity.” As we all know, this is the preferred term for applying criteria to any number of services and payouts based on your social standing and which checkmark demographic is involved. 

Senator Scott wanted to signify that relief efforts and aid would be equally distributed, despite the fractured theory offered by Harris that had the White House comms team scrambling for clarity. When he mentioned this proposal by the vice president, Brennan leaped to her defense – sort of. 

News Avoidance Syndrome – VARIOUS OUTLETS

  • If you don’t have the “Scarlet-R” beside your name, the sex scandal does not count.

In Tuesday’s column, we covered how the Matt Gaetz investigation by the feds was closing due to a lack of foundation. The telling aspect is that the investigation was allowed to linger for years so Gaetz could be smeared in public as a sex pest. Yet curiously, there is another politician embroiled in a similar controversy, and the press has been so hands-off about it that the use of the term “embroiled” seems out of place.

Mike Franken is running for a Senate seat in Iowa, and yet the fact that he has a female staff worker who filed a police report alleging inappropriate contact – and stating he has done so with a number of other women – is something most of the press holds little to no interest in covering. That this is more significant than what was alleged with Gaetz makes the divergent interest all the more noticeable.

Pulitzer Prize Nomination – THE NEW YORK TIMES

Inflation, wage constriction, supply chain shortages, “shrinkflation,” and housing prices crashing are just some of the challenges homeowners are facing. For many people, a trip to the grocery store has become a daunting enterprise as some difficult food decisions need to be made as the paycheck is smaller and the dollar buys less.

It is in this environment that The New York Times decided it was a fine time to run a glossy feature on a trend seen in real estate circles – people getting a second kitchen. 

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