August 20, 2016

WELL, YEAH: Media predictably treats Bush, Obama differently on Louisiana disasters.

So why isn’t Obama visiting? And why isn’t the press crucifying him for not visiting? Well, the answer to the first question comes from Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, who I normally admire as a journalist. He explains that Obama’s just too cool and unswayed by the politics of photo-ops.

That would be a fine explanation if Bush was given the same justification during Katrina. The other problem with Cillizza’s explanation is that Obama has absolutely visited places after natural disasters for the photo-ops. He surveyed the damage of Hurricane Sandy just two weeks before the 2012 election. There’s no explaining that away as “the right thing to do” while visiting Louisiana is just politics.

Cillizza mentions that his article is about how Obama thinks of himself, not how we see him, and that he apparently sees himself above performance politics. I guess he sees himself above it all, except when it would look good right before a re-election, right?

If the mainstream media treated Obama the way it treated Bush, perhaps public trust in media wouldn’t be at an all-time low and falling. But this is how it will always be. Democrats get the benefit of the doubt and long explanations for why they did or didn’t do something. Republicans are just treated as uncaring.

Just think of reporters as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.