Posted by Curt on 3 September, 2017 at 4:36 pm. 1 comment.


Eddie Scarry:

Of all the things journalists hate about President Trump, that he doesn’t cry every time there’s a tragedy seems to be at the very top.

Nothing brings cramps to the New York Times opinion pages like a Trump tweet that isn’t fully inconsolable.

As Hurricane Harvey began battering the Texas shoreline last weekend, reaching land as a Category 4 storm, Trump posted several notes on Twitter observing its intensity.

“Wow – Now experts are calling #Harvey a once in 500 year flood!” he said in one. “We have an all out effort going, and going well!”

In another, he remarked that “even experts have said they’ve never seen one like this!”

Vanity Fair’s Tina Nguyen said Trump expressed “contrived seriousness at best, morbid fascination at worst.”

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni dedicated a full article to the weather commentary, calling the tweets “childishly intent on superlatives, puerilely obsessed with size, laden with boasts and lavish with discordant asides.”

“Call me cranky,” wrote Bruni, who is cranky, “but I don’t think most Americans are looking for ‘wow’ amid woe of this order.”

It’s only a guess, but what “Americans are looking for” is help. And by all early accounts, the local government and the administration worked seamlessly in mitigating fallout from the disaster.

Harvey dumped around 25 trillion gallons of water on Texas and Louisiana, flooding countless homes and wrecking cities.

But the Federal Emergency Management Agency was on site two days before the storm hit. The National Guard and Coast Guard quickly mobilized and have saved thousands of lives.

On Tuesday, Trump went to Corpus Christi, Texas, to survey some of the damage and cheered on the relief effort. He told the local people that “Texas can handle anything” and he held up a state flag to roars of proud approval.

Still, religion writer Anthea Butler said in a New York Times op-ed that Trump’s actions were “devoid of empathy” because he didn’t mention any of the roughly 40 people that died in the storm.

That Trump says, “Wow!” and, “Spirit of the people is incredible. Thanks!” on Twitter makes for long and restless nights for the media. Meanwhile, everyone else is relieved Harvey was managed as best as possible.

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