Nowadays, we almost expect mainstream media outlets to offer absurd opinions based on anything and everything. But on Tuesday, the Washington Post Editorial Board offered its entry into the most ridiculous headline of the year when it suggested that, somehow, President Trump is “complicit” with Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in North Carolina earlier today.
The storm, which has weakened from a Category 3 hurricane down to a Category 1 as of Friday morning, is expected to dump torrential rain over North and South Carolina through Monday. The slow movement and especially heavy rain predicted with the storm have drawn comparisons to last year’s Hurricane Harvey, which flooded Houston and other parts of South Texas.
While the editorial writers at the Post gave the president some credit for the several warnings that he has issued about the storm on Twitter, the editorial goes on to suggest that he is somehow to blame for it as well.
“Yet when it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit,” The Post’s editorial board claimed. “He plays down human’s role in increasing the risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.”
The editorial went on to take Trump to task for playing down risks associated with so-called climate-change and his attempts “to dismantle efforts to address those risks.”
The editorial not only borders on insanity, it also tells some very specific falsehoods in order to make its point. For instance, the article claims, “If the Category 4 [it is now listed as a Category 1 storm] does, indeed, hit the Carolinas this week, it will be the strongest storm on record to land so far north.”
Baloney. Had researchers at the Post been at all interested in facts instead of propaganda, they would have quickly uncovered the terribly destructive 1954 hurricane season, in which no less than three large hurricanes, Carol, Edna, and Category 4 storm Hazel, all struck further north than Florence did. In the case of Hazel, the storm blasted the entire East Coast from North Carolina up to Canada. In fact, Hazel remains Canada’s most deadly hurricane to date, having killed more than a hundred people.
Without offering any specific facts to back its assertion, the Post claims that “there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.” But “reasonable doubt” exists in a lot of places, not all of which are in the mind of climate-change "deniers." Like the fact that the United States is only now beginning to emerge from the longest dearth of hurricane activity on record. If hurricanes are supposed to be so much larger and deadlier due to climate-change, why did the storms wait until 2017 to show that? Were they just waiting for Trump to be in office so he could be blamed? Did President Obama somehow hold the storms back?
The editorial went on to harangue Trump for a very minor issue: an announced rollback on burdensome federal regulations regarding the release of methane into the atmosphere. The regulations mainly affected the oil drilling and distribution business — an industry already awash in unnecessary bureaucratic red tape. The paper claimed that “the Trump Administration has now attacked all three pillars of President Barack Obama’s climate-change plan.”
Those pillars, as summarized by an Obama White House statement, were to “cut carbon pollution in America; prepare the United States for climate impacts; and lead international efforts to combat global climate change.” While President Trump has announced the coming U.S. withdrawal from the ridiculous Paris Climate Accord, it’s hard to see how he has attacked the other two “pillars.”
The Post concluded in dire tones, “The President has cemented the GOP’s legacy as one of reaction and reality denial. Sadly, few in his party appear to care.”
In the Post’s attempt to tie Hurricane Florence to President Trump, it shows its true colors. The newspaper will surely report on the destruction and flooding that Florence will certainly cause. But, sadly, it only cares for how the tragedy can be used politically against President Trump. A natural disaster — something we should truly come together on — is just another propaganda tool for a formerly respected newspaper. Clinton acolyte and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said it best: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.” That is the legacy of the mainstream media today.
Photo: AP Images