Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Oil Rig Disasters And The Media

Here is an aptly-titled website, if you haven't guessed by now, called Oil Rig Disasters.

I am uncertain if this list is complete, but I think it is is interesting to compare the past disasters with what we are currently experiencing, although nothing seems to have been of this magnitude.  I think it is unfair that Barack Obama is catching flack over this problem, considering the administration has done an excellent job with the resources at hand.  The right-wing media appears to be having a field day with this disaster, and it seems that they have been waiting for some kind of disaster to pin on the president, especially since the previous administration had famously bungled the handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Right-wing blowhards like Rush Limbaugh spared no time to make the comparison, embellishing the incident with some lies and conspiratorial paranoia, as well as just some misrepresentation of facts.

One misrepresentation is the claim that Obama had a SWAT team dispatched to the rig, presumably to fend of sabotage or a terrorist attack, or something fit for an episode of 24, but I was informed by fellow blogger, TomCat at Politics Plus, that in this particular instance, SWAT actually stands for SWift Action Team, not Special Weapons And Tactics.

Why would one blatantly misrepresent those facts?

I had written before that I partially believe it is to evoke a fear of the government, and is backed up by the recent fury amidst right-wing bloggers regarding the Qunicy Tea Party Rally. David Weigel dispelled the myth for The Washington Post, pointing out that serial liar and Big Government propagandist Jim Hoft made the false accusation regarding SWAT teams, when in reality it was police dressed in riot gear to clear a path for the president's motorcade. Nobody called in the SWAT team against the teabag protesters. Weigel points to a great article by the Quincy Herald Whig that detailed the event:
There were a few tense moments when the crowd moved west down York toward Third Street after the president's motorcade arrived. A Secret Service agent asked the crowd to move back across the street to the north side.

When the crowd didn't move and began singing "God Bless, America" and the national anthem, Quincy Deputy Police Chief Ron Dreyer called for members of the Mobile Field Force to walk up the street.

The officers, mainly from Metro East departments near St. Louis and dressed in full body armor, marched from the east and stood on the south side of York facing the protesters.

There was no physical contact, and the officers did not come close to the crowd, but there were catcalls and more than a few upset tea party members, including a woman who shouted, "This is communism!"

McQueen also assisted in asking people to step back to the north side of York. The crowd moved back, the officers stayed for about 15 minutes and left, and there were no other incidents.
When you read the real story, it is evident that the teabaggers showed an undeniable disregard for law enforcement and the president's safety. I also found it funny that Weigel made the same observation I had about Hoft's idiotic piece:
You'll see these photos again, with or without the story of "SWAT teams" battling back average Americans. (It's very important, for some reason, that Hoft point out that most of the protesters were elderly white women.) If tea partyers want to oppose actual police state SWAT tactics, though -- and not just make overheated arguments about the looming "communism" of Barack Obama -- I'd point them to the work of Radley Balko.
I apologize for that tangent, but in many ways, it is related to the lies spread regarding the oil rig disaster. The right-wing media had decided to create a mountain out of nothing, and have been relentlessly pushing their narrative that the so-called liberal mainstream media has been questioning the response from the Obama administration, presumably to incite animosity towards the federal government, even though SWAT teams would not be under federal jurisdiction (to the best of my knowledge). This leads me to why I posted the aptly-titled website in the first place.

We hear all this crap coming from the right attacking President Obama and the Democrats over supposedly dropping the ball on this disaster and not being able to control the tidal forces, but where were the conservatives making such accusations over past accidents, and most importantly, if you notice what the right is and isn't saying, they seem to be condemning any action taken by the administration and placing the blame on the president while absolving British Petroleum, and by proxy, the entire oil industry, as well as past administrations, which may or may not have been in bed with big oil.

The media seems to have forgotten of past accidents in the Gulf, especially ones during the Bush administration, such as the damage done by Hurricane Rita in 2005, and the purpose of me pointing this out is to not criticize the previous presidency's response, but to point out that there were no attacks made against the administration's handling of the matter. Sure they were preoccupied with New Orleans, but not once did the right-wing media come out complaining about the loss and damage to over 100 platforms, rigs, or whatever else...

The right-wing media needs to find something new to talk about, because they have zero credibility when they tackle a news story...

1 comment:

  1. My favorite talking head Hannity was spreading mistruths about how we, the american people, should not buy into the administrations (Obama) did anything in response to the oil rig incident.

    Hannity claims they did nothing at all, and are lying by saying they did. When questioned by a caller, saying why she should believe Hannity's BS , his response was just
    "But they didn't do anything" and his proof was headlines from random articles.

    Refusing to concede that the government just didn't publicly announce their actions and trying to enact revenge for Katrina is what it sounded like.


Please share your thoughts and experiences in relation to this post. Remember to be respectful in your posting. Comments that that are deemed inappropriate will be deleted.