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All The President's Media
The Botched Recovery from Superstorm Sandy

A dangerous storm destroys or damages the homes of entire communities. Hundreds of thousands languish in the storm’s aftermath while waiting for federal and state aid to help them rebuild. Governmental incompetence prolongs the recovery period indefinitely. This sounds like the story of Hurricane Katrina, but could apply equally as well to the saga of superstorm Sandy. When the storm hit in 2012, damaging around 200,000 homes in New York and New Jersey, President Obama said, “My message to the federal government: No bureaucracy, no red tape.”

But seventeen months later, the reality has been vastly different, according a new WSJ piece. Of the 15,000 New York residents who have applied for relief, only 352 have received it; of the 11,500 eligible New Jersey residents, only 2,032 have been able to start rebuilding or repairing their homes. More:

Allison Galdorisi and Claire Watson are trying to hold on. Their bungalow in Staten Island’s Midland Beach neighborhood was inundated. They need $173,000 to repair and elevate the home. They applied for aid in June, but their case was held up until November by paperwork issues. In December, they learned they had been placed in the second tier of New York City’s three-tier distribution system, behind people with lower incomes whose homes might have been less damaged. They don’t know when reconstruction will begin and are paying for both a mortgage and a rental home. “I’m going to be using all of my insurance money to pay rent and expenses,” said Ms. Galdorisi, a 49-year-old real-estate appraiser.

For all the similarities between Katrina and Sandy, however, there’s one big difference: curiously, we hear a lot less about Sandy than we did about Katrina. Stories like this used to get a lot of ink when George W. Bush was in the White House and the press couldn’t say enough about the botched recovery after Katrina. But now that the greatest President since Lincoln occupies the Oval Office, trivial stories like agonizingly slow hurricane recoveries bore our enlightened press corps to tears.

There is a clear message here: if you hate bad news, vote the straight Democratic ticket. True, bad things will still happen, but instead of rubbing your nose in them day after day, the press will say as little about them as is humanly possible. 

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  • Curious Mayhem

    Well, that’s why I vote Democrat — who needs bad news?

    • Nov-cubed

      I am SO stealing this!

  • qet

    Now this is what I call snarking truth to power!

  • Boritz

    As poorly as the system works think how it would be if the press was controlled by the government. &nbsp Dozens of ascii characters would be different across the print and web media from what they are today.

    • Corlyss

      “As poorly as a free press works think how it would be if the press was controlled by the government.”

      When Dems are in power, that is exactly the state of affairs. It might be a free press, but when it consistently “votes” with its coverage for one party and one party’s view of events, where’s the difference?

  • Evan Seitchik

    I’m reluctant to even contribute here because this post is distressingly close to a “Thanks Obama” Facebook meme, but sadly I can’t resist:

    The scale of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy can’t be compared, so it’s a fallacy to suggest that since the media coverage of the response to each wasn’t the same that the media is slavishly protecting President Obama.

    Don’t believe me? 148 people were killed by Sandy. Katrina killed at least 1,833. Sandy, $68B of property damage. Katrina was $125B, and when you consider the relative property values between the affected areas of Louisiana/Mississippi to Manhattan you get a sense of the even more pronounced difference in the level of devastation.

    Nearly a decade on, many neighborhoods in New Orleans still haven’t been completely rebuilt. The failures in responding to Katrina went beyond bureaucratic obstacles to reimbursement for damage. The slow response cost lives, and we learned a lot of important lessons that informed the response to Sandy.

    I agree that the media is easier on Obama than his Republican predecessor. But statements like “For all the similarities between Katrina and Sandy, however, there’s one big difference: curiously, we hear a lot less about Sandy than we did about Katrina” are as absurd as they are out of touch.

    • stan

      Given the problems after Katrina, the govt response to Sandy should have been much improved. And given that Katrina was much worse and hit a much more sensitive target, the Sandy clean up shouldn’t have been botched. You are basically saying that Obama screwed up despite having a much easier problem to deal with,

    • Corlyss

      It likely would have been far less if there weren’t so many who had self-reliance and independent thinking and action completely bred out of them by generations on the government dole. They sat around waiting for the government to save them. It should have been a learning moment. I was profoundly grateful for the number that were exfilled out of that Lotus-eating sink hole. They have a chance for breaking the cycle of poverty if they had sense enough to take advantage of the opportunity.

    • Moneyrunner

      “The scale of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy can’t be compared…” so you proceed to compare them.
      “… the media is easier on Obama than his Republican predecessor” Really, really? “Easier” How many stories have you read in the news media or seen on TV on the alphabet networks that even touch on the botched aftermath? The media loved Obama for coming to NJ and walking with Christie, heralded Obama’s cutting of red tape and comparing his love for the common people with Bush’s hatred of black people. And when nothing happens, when red tape isn’t cut, when the devastation continues to this day, the story disappears down the memory hole. Yeah, easier is the word I would have used … not.

  • Corlyss

    “Stories like this used to get a lot of ink when George W. Bush was in the White House and the press couldn’t say enough about the botched recovery after Katrina.”
    Remember how the response to Katrina was supposed to exemplify Bush’s ingrained racism and classism? Well, if the same template were applied to the Sandy response . . . .

  • vepxistqaosani

    While the soft coverage of Obama cannot be disputed, I think the real difference here is that the victims of Sandy were predominantly white — and low- and middle-class ethnic whites, at that. These are not mediagenic people. Of course, the media could find, if it chose to look, victims of the proper coloration — but that’s much too much like work.

  • pabarge

    Brought to you by Walter Russell Mead who voted for Barack Obama. Both times. Never ever forget this.

    • ejochs

      Anyone who did so needs to be reminded mercilessly and anything said by someone who so voted, even if the statement is about the sky being blue, needs to be vetted.

      • Dan

        “needs to be reminded mercilessly”

        the implication being that they should feel bad for doing so. Would that that were true….

        don’t you realize that all President Not-My-Faults problems come from obstruckshunist rethuglicansss!!!111eleven

  • SClanding

    Obama’s most fanatical supporters are the journalists in the MSM news rooms… them the Al-Obama Martyrs Brigade.

    Just wonder what they scream before pushing the print button…”LIE AL Obama” or just “Baraaaaaaaaaaaaack”.

  • Bandit Keena

    Obama just doesn’t care about white people

  • docscience

    Apparently in the years between Katrina and Sandy, George Bush has learned NOTHING.

  • mj01323

    So what happened to the $61 billion that was approved by the Congress and the President? Who got the money? Where are the answers as to why, after nearly two years, has so little been done? Who is in charge and whose fault is this? Where are the answers?

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