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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Obama’s Katrina speech: Smoking gun or pathetic partisanship?

Tucker Carlson: A hypocrite masquerading as a newsman?

If one can accept the hyperbole of right-wing blowhards Tucker Carlson and Matt Drudge — two has beens looking for ways to generate Internet “buzz” — a video of a 2007 speech by then-Senator Barack Obama is a “smoking gun” that can bring down his presidency.

While a real smoking gun would be a welcome insertion into a lackluster Presidential year, the repackaging of Obama’s speech to black leaders in Hampton Roads, Virginia, ain’t it.

Not even close.

Carlon, his his highly-partisan “news” site — The Daily Caller — calls his opinionated “exclusive” a major scoop.  He fed info to Drudge, who hyped the story as a “bombshell.”

The key — both claimed — was a claim that the mainstream media “ignored” Obama’s supposed racism in a speech that played to a black audience and claimed the government ignored the troubles of a mostly black New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city while jumping quickly to the aid of mostly-white Homestead, Florida, after it was hit by another storm.

In reality, the government — then led by Republican President George W. Bush — did delay in moving to help New Orleans and the response was much slower than the aid to Homestead.

And those in the “mainstream media” who covered Obama’s speech in 2007 were none other than Tucker Carlson — then the host of an MSNBC show — and Fox News.

Said Carlson in 2007:

Barack Obama was talking about a quiet riot today. And no, it was not a reference to a 1980s heavy metal band, unfortunately. The senator waded into the controversial waters of race during a speech Hampton University in Virginia. He said the Bush administration has done little to quell a brewing storm among some black Americans. He compared the current tension to what fueled the L.A. riots in the wake of the Rodney King verdict.

Over at Fox News, Brit Hume reported:

Senator Obama today said the Bush administration has done nothing to defuse what he calls a quiet riot among black Americans, a riot he suggests is ready to erupt. Obama said African American resentments and frustrations are building, especially, he said, because so many blacks from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still displaced 21 months after Hurricane Katrina. Obama warned against conditions similar to those in Los Angeles 15 years ago.

Now Carlson and Fox News claims the “meansteam media” which at the time included them ignored the story.


Obama is not he first President or candidate to tailor his remarks to his audience.  George W. Bush used to sharpen his Texas twang when speaking in the south and played on themes that stirred passions in the GOP base.

Both sides do it.

In politics — and on partisan “news” web sites — hypocrisy is the only constant.

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7 thoughts on “Obama’s Katrina speech: Smoking gun or pathetic partisanship?”

  1. Matt Drudge, a has-been? I don’t know about 2012, but in 2011 his website was 4th place for driving traffic to content webpages, behind only Google, Yahoo and MSN. That puts his site ahead of Facebook, Twitter, Fox News and CNN.

    Millions of people check his website daily for news. That is major player status, not “has-been”. He is biased of course, but not a has-been. Newsweek and the other news magazines Drudge scooped over the years are the has-beens.

    • “Millions of people check his website daily for news.”

      Maybe. Drudge’s site doesn’t record hits, it records “refreshes”, and it automatically refreshes every minute. Thus if I stay on the site for ten minutes it records me nine times.

  2. This is a sad attempt by the Rom and his supporters to counter the Rom 47% speech…Their class warfare argument (an old, ragged, tattered one) reminds me of the class warfare that the Repubs. mostly have been engaging in since the ’50s constantly modifying the income tax code to allow the upper-crust to pay fewer taxes than the middle class….This Obama video is a tempest in a teapot, I believe.

  3. No justification should ever cover the lies found within our White House and Congress members. We know that the right wing covers the truth as they see it. Their social issues are being discussed on both sides of the aisle. Individual freedoms are taking a beating since 2000.

    This whole election is coming down to the government being responsible for 70% of the population leaving the 30% to fend for themselves. There is no justification for this.

    If we stop fighting each other and take an honest look at how the government has neglected to operate in an honest way, we might do a third party that fits all of us. There are meetings all over America trying to form a political party that has an end game outside of the wars we seem to start among ourselves.

    Our nation being “on the wrong track” is screaming for someone to stand up and discuss (debate) what would be “the right track.” Without this effort we might has well ignore the federal government and give the responsibility to the individual states.

    It is not the government that is to blame, but the lack of integrity in our voters. We should return to the separation of church and state and clear the threats out of the House and Senate. Our government was clearly superior when the churches stayed out of the decision-making discussions that focused on the constitution, and not the bible.

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