Nashville Flood Proves to Rightbloggers: Obama Hates America, White People
Even if you don't know much about rightbloggers, you probably know that since time immemorial conservatives have blamed the nation's problems and Democratic Administrations on something called the Liberal Media. This nefarious press syndicate (of which the Village Voice is considered a charter member) has, since WWII, managed to elect six Democratic U.S. Presidents, drive Richard Nixon from office, fluoridate our drinking water, and give the Pulitzer Prize to homosexuals.
At great peril to themselves, rightbloggers have manfully sought to reverse the Liberal Media's victories. And in their eyes, one of the Liberal Media's most ignominious victories has been Hurricane Katrina. Rightbloggers believe the Liberal Media unfairly exploited that event to make President Bush look bad, paving the way for President ObamaHitler. They have since prayed ceaselessly to Reagan and Ayn Rand for a way to redress this historic indignity.
Last week the city of Nashville was flooded, leaving at this writing 23 people dead and $1.5 billion in property damage. Sounds bad to you and us -- but rightbloggers have leapt on Nashville as the rightwing answer to Katrina: A natural disaster they could use to bring President ObamaHitler down.
The 2005 Katrina disaster and its negative impact on Republican fortunes is well known. But rightbloggers still think about Katrina the way neo-confederates think about the Civil War -- as a PR disaster.
Back in the day many of them tried to block the bloody Katrina tide from washing over the Republican Party. Take, as an example, AJStrata, who wrote in September of 2005, "...People do not buy the leftwing lunacy that Bush is responsible [for Katrina]... Folks, if the left wants to take the stand Bush and the Feds are to blame then maybe we should just let them. Those kinds of numbers in statewide and national polls would spell the end of any semblance of the democrat party."
Fond hope! But when Democrats rolled to victory in 2006, it became apparent that, to paraphrase Junior Kimbrough, things hadn't worked out. Rightbloggers mourned the Lost Cause. National Review's Jonah Goldberg told University of Wisconsin students that Katrina was "probably the biggest media scandal of the past 20 years."
Already the blogbrethren were casting blame and dreaming of revenge. To this end they sought a comparable disaster to hang on Obama. They haven't found one, but they've tried to make do with what they have found.
When floods hit Iowa in spring of 2009, Let's See Change roared, "Seems there's a double standard when it comes to what kind of folks get all the attention... especially from the liberal main stream media." "Where are the Hollywood celebrities holding telethons asking for help... where is good old Michael Moore?" asked Rightside VA. "When will Spike Lee say that the Federal government blew up the levees that failed in Des Moines?... When will we hear Governor Chet Culver say that he wants to rebuild a 'vanilla' Iowa.. because that's what God wants?"
(Detecting a little racial animosity in Rightside VA's commentary? You ain't seen nothin' yet.)
When a big oil spill happened in the Gulf earlier this month, rightbloggers gathered more confidence, if not evidence, of Obama malfeasance. "Obama's Weekly Address Ignores Oil Spill, Calls for Campaign Finance Reform Instead," announced NewsBusters. "Talk about your Katrina moments..."
When Rush Limbaugh suggested that environmentalists may have caused the spill via sabotage in order to pass the Cap and Trade bill, rightbloggers rushed to support him. "Limbaugh mocked Obama's dreadful response to the oil rig disaster yesterday," announced Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft. "Obama screwed up royally," said Frugal Cafe. "No Blaming Bush This Time!!!" yelled Oh Oh For Obama.
But they had trouble keeping their story straight. Some were outraged to learn that Obama had accepted campaign money from BP, the oil company behind the leak ("It looks like so many of the companies that have caused America so much grief lately were all top donors to the Obama campaign," said Another Black Conservative, without citing any of the other grief-causing contributors). Others, conversely, claimed Obama was persecuting BP in favor of his socialist agenda (Pundit & Pundette: "Thug-speak: 'We will keep our boot on the throat of BP.' This phrase was uttered by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar... this hostile rhetoric is reserved for BP, who, by all accounts, is taking responsibility for the disastrous accident and doing everything it can to fix it").
As Media Matters noticed, a whole bunch of other untoward events were labeled "Obama's Katrina" by the non-Liberal Media. Yet nothing seemed to stick.
Then Nashville was hit. At first the situation might seem a poor candidate for an Obama hit job. The death toll and property damage, while tragic, did not even remotely approach the hundreds of deaths and the massive destruction and displacement caused by Katrina in New Orleans. Also, the Obama Administration has sent high-level representatives to Tennessee, and FEMA is about to send aid. (No Tea Party resistance to this gummint encroachment has been noted -- "The moment arrived last week," reported Nashville's City Paper, "when even Tennessee's most ardent foes of big government welcomed help from Washington.")
"Nashville Drowning: Obama's silent, HOPE crumbles like a Coke can," cried RedState. "Nashville Still Drowns While President Obama Talks About The Phoenix Suns," said Liberty Pundits ("And, the press cheers"). Disrupt the Narrative whistled Dixie: "It's simple. Barack Obama doesn't care about Southern people."
"Obama Golfs... While Nashville Drowns," cried Joshuapundit. "The news media -- the same people that excoriated President Bush over Katrina -- has almost totally ignored this story." To see how the media has ignored the story, scroll through the hundreds of press citations here.
Joshuapundit added that Obama "hasn't even mentioned anything about it," which is, unsurprisingly, not true.
As this and similar efforts showed signs of flailing, NewsBusters went for that tried and true rightblogger favorite, the spiked story. "AP Story on 'Poor Appear Harder Hit By Flooding In Tenn.' Disappears From Its Web Site; Why?" they wrote. "The AP ran an article [about Nashville] whose purpose seemed to be either to arouse class envy at a time when people should be pulling together, or to criticize the state and federal relief effort's priorities. That article is no longer present at AP's main web site."
Aha, caught the lie-berals scrubbing! Except the AP story had appeared at 150 other subscriber sites. But not at AP's! Because "comments such as those reported [in the story] bear an eerie resemblance to some of the understandable but overheated rhetoric that came out of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005," AP buried the story, allowing only appearances in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Dallas Morning News, "about a dozen CBS-affiliated outlets," and a hundred other places. Mysterious are the ways of the Liberal Media!
Amazingly, waves of populist anger did not result from these bombshells. It seemed the sheeple would never catch on.
So, inevitably, some of the brethren went duck-hunting where the ducks were -- and by ducks, we mean white people.
"Why Does President Obama And The Media Hate White People?" asked chiropractor Melissa Clouthier. She puckishly added, "Got your attention, right? Just pretending to be a liberal for a moment." But her commenters got the message: "The Muslim Terrorist in the white house hasn't even mention Nashville... Yes, he definately hates white people and Jews."
"Barack Obama Ignores Tennessee Flood Victims In Favor of Haiti and Chile," said RedState. But Obama mentioned those tragedies when he announced the National Day of Prayer -- a day before Nashville was struck. So why was RedState even bringing them up? Think of what Haitians look like, and of what Chileans look like, and then think of what such prominent Nashvilleans as you would expect to see at the Grand Ole Opry look like (forget Charley Pride, he hasn't been there in years), and you'll get it.
David Horowitz's NewsReal headlined, "President Obama Doesn't Care about White People?" The question mark is a puzzling touch, as author David Forsmark's article left nothing in doubt:
"So now, an American city -- whose percentage of white citizens is virtually the same as the percentage of black citizens in New Orleans' was before the deluge -- is under water, and Barack Obama has not uttered a word, much less visited, for a week.
"Interestingly, Taylor Swift donated $500,000 the other day to the Nashville relief efforts. No word from Kanye..." In case any readers were pop-culture-challenged and didn't get the color scheme of that comment, NewsReal supplied a picture of Kanye West brutally seizing Swift's spotlight at the Grammys.
Then there was Confederate Yankee. As you may imagine of someone willing to adopt such a name, Confederate Yankee's opinions about the relative support-worthiness of the people of Nashville and those of New Orleans took on a certain coloration: The former, he said, "didn't cry and wait for others to rescue them; they rescued themselves. They didn't loot and riot and shoot at those trying to help them; they organized and helped those most in need."
Conversely, "Years after Katrina," he said, "New Orleans will still be a stinking cesspool of quitters and defeatists crying for handouts. Look at the character of these two cities, and see if you can figure out why one will thrive no matter the odds, and why one will fail no matter the treasure wasted."
In an update, Confederate Yankee noted that liberals had "immediately attacked this post as being -- sigh -- racist." Lord knows where they'd get that idea.
If you wonder why these rightbloggers are prone to such appeals, remember how they and their readers feel about the Liberal Media. They believe that for decades it's been lying to the American people and hypnotizing them with "false narratives," leading to the insufferable situation in which they now find themselves.
Imagine them looking at their TV sets, the newspapers, and C-Span, and seeing an ever-increasing number of black people in non-subservient roles. From a certain perspective, it would be impossible to consider this development to be a matter of merit, or even of changing taste -- it could only be the result of a nefarious, ongoing plot.
Now imagine them seeing white people in trouble and a black man in charge. For such as they it would be like the climax of Birth of a Nation unfolding in real life, but with the outcome in doubt -- and the damn Liberal Media won't let them tell it like it is!
No wonder they look at Nashville's two dozen deaths and see a Honkycaust. And if that seems crazy to the sheeple, well, what did they expect? That's just what the media wants them to believe.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.