Crocodile Tears and Excuses from Puerto Rico and CNN

The media, having found a successful play to cripple a Republican president, is trying to run the same play against President Trump. They forget that their entire playbook has been thrown at Trump since he announced his candidacy in 2015, without any success.

Hurricane Katrina was thought to be a turning point in the George W Bush presidency. The less than stellar response from the federal government was hung around his neck. Successfully. Despite ineptitude at the state and local levels. The New Orleans mayor at the time, Ray Nagin, is now in federal prison for bribery and fraud.

They tried the Katrina pass play in Houston and Florida after their recent hurricanes, stymied by a strong defense of competent governors and other state and local officials. Relief efforts in Houston and Florida were efficient and competent. The media had to take a knee.

Puerto Rico is different. San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz is busy bashing President Trump and hurricane relief. Anderson Cooper from CNN, Johnny on the spot, was there to feel her pain and report her criticism of Trump.

How ironic that the mayor was interviewed with a backdrop of pallets of food and water sitting in a warehouse, rather than being distributed.

Anderson didn’t ask why supplies that are so desperately needed by the people were being used as a photo prop instead.

He also didn’t comment on the fact that nine days after Hurricane Maria hit, “Less than half of the 8,000 members of the Puerto Rico National Guard are on duty” according to the Washington Post. Or how the Teamsters Union, a branch of the Democrat Party, refused to deliver supplies, instead using the hurricane as contract negotiating leverage.

Interestingly, Mayor Cruz, while speaking to Mr. Cooper, perhaps auditioning for a gig on CNN or MSNBC, was wearing a t-shirt with “Help us we are dying” written on the front.

The 2017 version of “Hands up don’t shoot”. Amazing that an island with no food, water, electricity or other basic services has a t-shirt shop up and running, printing a shirt for the mayor to wear while being interviewed on CNN. Unless Mr. Cooper brought her the t-shirt to wear specifically for the interview, which would be a new low in media propagandizing.

Also, not likely to be reported on CNN is a phone call from a female police officer in Puerto Rico to a US radio station. She was upset and sharing “how the Mayor of San Juan is politicizing the situation and not offering help.” She highlighted “corruption within government within Puerto Rico and the Municipal authority of San Juan.” Sound familiar? Mayor Nagin and New Orleans?

If AG Jeff Sessions is paying attention, maybe these accusations could be investigated by the Department of Justice. Ray Nagin’s federal prison may have a women’s prison with a few extra cells. In fact, Sessions might want to consider building an all Democrat prison given the demand. Blago. Anthony Weiner. Nagin. Senator Menendez. Maybe even Mayor Cruz.

Even two-time failed presidential candidate, Hillary “What Happened” Clinton chimed in with a tweet. “President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens.” Is the irony not lost on her that the same tweet, with just a few name changes, could have been sent during the Benghazi massacre which she presided over?

Obviously out of the loop due to her book tour, Mrs. Clinton was unaware that,

“The Navy had long been coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several Marine amphibious ships were operating off the coast.”

Washington Post resident #NeverTrump blogger Jennifer Rubin chimed in with, “Many Americans think foreign aid is a waste. Puerto Rico shows why it’s not.” Apparently not realizing that Puerto Rico is a US territory, not a foreign country. Not surprising as the Beltway media believes most of the noncoastal America is a foreign country.

Also not mentioned are the Vieques protests in 2001, led by none other than the Reverend Al Sharpton, assisted by Democrats Jesse Jackson, Robert Kennedy, JR, and Luis Gutierrez, which led to Reverend Al’s arrest and the shuttering of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. Imagine if, instead, it was developed into a true naval base? And how much easier and more efficient hurricane relief could have been, despite the caterwauling of the San Juan mayor.

If the media had any semblance of honesty and integrity (yes, I know I’m dreaming here), we would hear the entire story, not just the “Bush is Katrina is Trump” narrative. Sure, the federal government can be slow, certainly not as quick as Anderson Cooper getting jetted to wherever he can report on anything potentially damaging to President Trump. But that doesn’t let local government and workers off the hook.

The San Juan mayor can complain and blame, wearing a t-shirt with the latest anti-Trump hashtag, while her city languishes. Or she can do her job, as officials in Houston and South Florida did, ignoring CNN and instead shedding the virtue signaling t-shirt, putting on a normal shirt, roll up her sleeves, and serve her constituents and city.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

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