Garbage story: The press attack on Ted Cruz for flying to Cancun
The New York Times and pretty much all of the nets are having a grand old time ganging up on Ted Cruz for escaping the Texas cold with his family and flying to Mexico for vacation.
"How Ted Cruz Became the Least Sympathetic Politician in America," gloated the Times, thrilled to have finally Gotten Ted, now that there's no Trump to kick around. Their story uncharacteristically placed links to all of the pop press items bearing Ted insults and tabloid photos. Suddenly, they admit they read this stuff and are willing to link to them in deference to their superior news content.
It's garbage, and on multiple fronts.
At a time when Texas is under a cold weather disaster and thousands of residents lack heat, water and even food, Cruz came under attack for flying to Cancun, Mexico from Washington on long planned family vacation. Some creep in his inner circle leaked it to the press and some papparazzi types in the press managed to stalk and case Ted as a result, to get photos of Ted at the airport, Ted picking up his luggage, and Ted doing the normal stuff travelers without either VIP privileges or private jets do, same as the rest of us.
Then they played it up as Ted living large while everyone in Texas is suffering. He was supposed to be down there emoting and Oprahfiying himself or something.
Which was a crap narrative.
Why, exactly, should Ted be in the cold with everyone else playing Chief Comforter for the cameras, and using valuable heating and water resources, which in a small way, would deplete the available supply for others?
Pan-disasters like Texas's incredible cold wave are times when anyone who can get out should get out, the better to leave resources for others as the cold moves through. When I lived in Singapore, in 1997, I recall that managers at my workplace, Dow Jones & Co. at the time, encouraged employees to get the heck out of Singapore if they had vacation time, because jungle fires from Sumatra had caused a great haze to lower itself across Southeast Asia and it was creating respiratory problems. The haaaaze (as we called it) was so intense everyone had to wear a mask to keep from choking and it was literally impossible to see people across the street. You bet I got out of that. I spent a couple weeks in Sri Lanka, as one of many haze refugees I ran into in that country. Other people flew to northern Vietnam to get away from it, too.
In bad disasters that affect everyone, it makes sense for everyone to get out who can get out.
The Times criticized Cruz for urging people on Twitter to stay home but even that was distorted reporting. Cruz was urging people to avoid unnecessay travel on black-ice roads and other dangerous highway travel conditions. Airline travel to a vacation destination is something else entirely, highways are not used except to get to the airport. The comparison there was dishonest.
That's just one reason why Cruz has nothing to apologize for. The second reason is that it was a large family vacation. The family was supposed to be together, it was planned. Ever tried to get out of a family vacation like that? Anyone with a big family would know that to the extent humanly possibly, you don't want to do that. But to the press, such family unity obligations are impossible to imagine as a reason, a public figure must always be on camera. Oh wait: The togetherness thing in the mind of press only applies to people crossing into the U.S. illegally.
Here's another reason why Ted has nothing to apologize for:
What exactly is a senator supposed to do while brrrrrrrring it out in the cold of Texas? What is a senator supposed to be doing in that situation? He can emotee. He can tweet. He might be able to argue for federal funds, which is best done in Washington. The job is essentially betweet the state government, which seems to be pretty competent, though the jury is out about how they got into that power situation in the first place, and the executive branch of the federal government. Ted's job is to pass laws and that can't be done in Texas under those circumstances.
Here's the doozy reason though, the one that exposes the press:
Anybody see a double standard here? Then-Sen. Kamala Harris skipped California's horrific 2020 wildfires, which happened during the Iowa caucuses, because she had other things to do. Those fires, for those in the path of them, were every bit as devastating as the cold disaster in Texas, and at least as many thousands lost power, water, access to food, same as the Texas people have. They also lost their houses while the weather itself triggered certainly a comparable number of health problems, and apparently more deaths.
According to this Wikipedia entry of fires that happened, they started in March, continued through the summer, and the season went into late fall. All spans of season had big fires.
Where was Kamala? Nowhere. No statements, no nothing, I remember her silence and absence from the state at the time. She didn't even do senator-things, such as call for more aid or legislation. She was gone, California was on its own. One could argue that there's not much a senator can do other than call for aid and pass legislation, but she didn't do that, either, and perhaps it was not necessary.
Yet the press was completely absenting itself from criticism of her as she ran for president in 2020. No criticism at all from the press the way they attacked Ted Cruz.
Kamala eventually made a visit to the place, taking up resources and getting into people's yards for her photo shoot, which was exactly what they are criticizing Ted for not doing.
President Obama didn't get any criticism from the press for failing to visit deep red Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which at the time had been devastated by record flooding.
But somehow, Ted Cruz is the bad guy for doing something essentially harmless on his own time with his own family.
It's garbage, a phony issue. Ted has made some moves to apologize for the bad optics or bad judgment or whatever, but he really doesn't have to. This is just the press trying to Get Ted because they hate him. Call it fake news reporting.
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