RUSH: I predicted it yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, that it wouldn’t be long before the Drive-By Media, the State-Controlled Media started praising Obama for doing a much better job responding to Haiti and the earthquake than Bush did in Katrina and right here it is, by Ben Feller at the AP, very deep analysis here, ‘Obama Heeding Lessons of Katrina — This is what President Barack Obama wants people to think about the US reaction to the catastrophe in Haiti: ‘swift, coordinated and aggressive.’ He promised that stellar response in his first comments about the earthquake on Wednesday, then repeated it twice on Thursday. In other words, this will not be Hurricane Katrina.’ Sorry, folks, it already is. It’s worse. The aid hasn’t yet been distributed. Seventy-two hours they said, by the way, they’re lying.
Seventy-two hours Bush dithered, didn’t do anything, it’s been 72 hours. If you were watching Sky News, I was watching Sky News streaming video, it is an utter catastrophe. Sky News is discussing Haiti as utter pandemonium. Sky News is showing people screaming at the top of the hour: ‘We need help! We’re getting nothing! We’re going to die.’ People were not even buried under concrete in New Orleans. Seventy-two hours is the benchmark. If they’re going to say Bush dithered for 72 hours, Obama certainly has made a lot of speeches, he’s made a lot of comments and we’ve seen pictures of airplanes landing and so forth. We’ve seen a lot of pictures of the media standing around down there but in terms of the aid being distributed, you can’t tell that it’s happened yet, not that it won’t, but I’m just saying keep this in context here. They’re building a case that Bush screwed around and dithered, and Obama is on the case. ‘In other words,’ this is AP, ‘this will not be Hurricane Katrina. Obama is determined to show that the United States, even consumed with its own troubles, can get this right. And that he can, too.
‘The world is watching because of the expectations that come with being a rich, powerful democracy that is supposed to look out for its neighbors. And because the stain of Katrina is not gone. ‘This is one of those moments that calls out for American leadership,’ said Obama, who can add a humanitarian crisis to his first-year tests in office. There are huge contrasts between Katrina, the most destructive natural disaster in US history, and the sorrowful scene unfolding in Haiti. One was a hurricane on US soil that killed 1,800 people across the Gulf Coast; the other was an earthquake hundreds of miles away that may have killed 50,000 people. Yet as the wrenching images come in of people clinging to wreckage, of bodies piling up on the street, the comparisons are inevitable. The botched federal response to Katrina in 2005 became the standard by which emergency responses are measured, and presidents are held accountable.’
I predicted this. Well, the lie that the federal response to Katrina was botched has certainly become the standard, and it is a lie. The federal response to Katrina was not botched. In fact, the federal response, especially from the military, was spectacular, and this is the key, once the local Democrats let them in. Once Kathleen Blanco and once ‘School Bus’ Nagin let them in, the federal response was great. ”The United States is seen in the world as the first responder to this kind of humanitarian crisis, and it has echoes — inappropriate echoes, to be sure — of Hurricane Katrina,’ said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University. ‘Can we get there fast enough? There’s a risk there for the president.” Oh. World’s policeman is bad but the world’s EMT, that’s good. Yeah, we can be the world’s first responders. Oh, yeah, it’s great to be the world’s EMT. It’s bad to be the world’s cop.
‘Obama has responded with urgency, and the White House has tried to make sure that people know it.’ That sounds like politicizing this to me. ‘The president has dispatched ships, soldiers, Marines and loads of other assets to the reeling Caribbean nation. He has pledged $100 million for relief efforts now and promised that that number will grow.’ One hundred million of tax money. We don’t have the money so we’re borrowing it or printing it. You’re going to pay for it, your kids or grandkids someday down the line are going to pay for it. So you’re donating to the government. Here, folks, let me expand on this. You may have forgotten that President Obama eventually — he said this — wants to eliminate all tax deductions for charitable contributions. Do you remember this? Do you know why? He wants the government to be the sole provider of charity. He wants the government to be seen by people as their lifeline, their primary means of existence. If you eliminate the tax deductibility of donations to charity you’re not gonna give to charity as much. You’ll have your pet causes, the ones you really care about, and you’ll give, but charitable giving will decline precipitously. The government will take over.
And in this context is why I suggested many days ago that if you’re going to give, you already have in the form of income tax. You want to make additional donations, do it with other charities already on the ground. Even David Brooks today has a piece in the New York Times essentially saying the same thing I said, and also pointing out that we’ve given more aid to Haiti over the years than any other country in our hemisphere and it hasn’t mattered. Just as I said about Africa, the local African leaders say stop the aid, it’s retarding our progress. So President Obama was quick to claim that it cost US taxpayers a billion dollars for every thousand soldiers sent to Afghanistan. Remember that? And he has yet to mention how much it cost to send a soldier to Haiti. In fact, it didn’t even matter to him. But it was a factor in sending soldiers to Afghanistan. That’s about US national security. This is about domestic US politics. Haiti is about domestic US politics in addition to the humanitarian effort that is behind this.
Of course we are not suggesting that we shouldn’t send soldiers to Haiti. Do not misunderstand. But why is there no concern about the cost from the White House when there was so much concern about Afghanistan? After all, isn’t the job of the US military first and foremost to protect the national security interests of the United States? No, it’s not. The US military is now Meals on Wheels. It always is with Democrat presidents. Back to the AP story: ‘He has positioned the United States as a coalition-building leader — the United Nations itself has been rocked by the collapse of its headquarters in Haiti. He has pleaded for donations from his old campaign list of supporters, more than 13 million strong.’ They really got mad at me in the Drive-Bys for suggesting that if you donate to WhiteHouse.gov you’re going to end up on a mailing list. Well, they’re already sending out requests to an existing mailing list that you’ll be added to.
Like most Americans, we have somehow ended up on several of Obama’s e-mail lists. I’m on a bunch of them as show prep and I haven’t received anything from him or any of his myriad organizations about Haiti, yet. At any rate, I want to go through a list of headlines about Haiti and ask, ‘Is this really different than Hurricane Katrina?’
RUSH: So the AP has its big story out saying presidents can’t avoid making things like this political. But of course if I say something about it that Obama’s making it political, I get ripped to shreds. Every excuse in the world is being offered, every comparison: ‘Bush horrible. Bush dithering. Obama right in the mix, right on time! Obama knows how to do it. He’s not going to be stay…’ Well, let’s just go through some of these headlines:
‘Despair, Panic Set in as Food, Water, and Medical Supplies are Delayed.’ ‘Death toll estimate at 50,000 to 100,000.’ ‘UN to Launch Haiti Emergency Appeal for $550 Million.’ ‘Anarchy! Who’s Running the Country?’ ‘Aristide Offers to Return.’ I predicted that, too. ‘US Military Mobilizes Thousands.’ ‘War Zone: Gangs Do Battle in Streets with Machetes Over Food.’ ‘Rescuers Race Against Time.’ ‘Wire: Angry Haitians Block Roads with Corpses’ ‘Horror: Corpses Impede Traffic, Pyres of Burning Tires Incinerate Cadavers.’ ‘Growing Desperation.’ ‘Survivors Face Diarrhea, Malaria Outbreaks Amid Lack of Clean Water.’ ‘Looting.’ ‘Earthquake in Pictures.’ Satellite Photos Before and After.’ ‘Actor Danny Glover Says Quake ‘Response’ for Screwing Up Climate Summit in Copenhagen.’
And at the top of the hour Sky News showed people screaming, ‘We need help! We’re getting nothing. We’re going to die, we’re going to die!’ Aren’t these the same sort of hysterical headlines we saw after Katrina? Are they not? And the Katrina numbers were not nearly 50,000 to 100,000 dead. The US military did a marvelous job. We have a giant lie that has stuck about Bush and Hurricane Katrina, and Mr. Obama need not ever worry that such thing will happen to him because, as this AP story so clearly illustrates, the State-Controlled Media will be there every step of the way to make sure their readers and viewers understand that Obama’s doing far better — far, far, far better — than Bush, who didn’t care. Remember, they said Bush didn’t care because there are a lot of black people in New Orleans. Obama himself even implied that at the time. Oh, yeah, folks. My memory is long on these matters. Now, here we are in the middle of a horrible disaster, and CNN is reporting that Colin Powell — he finally speaks! — is very impressed with the Obama initial response to Haiti earthquake.
Why do we care if Colin Powell is impressed or not? What’s newsworthy about that? But he’s there. We’ve been waiting for him to speak up, and he’s impressed. Colin Powell is really impressed by Obama’s initial response. The fact that the same military and charities and alike are working like hell to help these poor people down there, just as they did in Katrina, is ignored. It’s all about Obama. There are charities on the ground year ’round in Haiti trying to help. But now it’s all about Obama. Yet we have report after report about how the aid can’t get to where it’s needed and how it will be days before it does, and it’s right here in these headlines that I just shared with you: ‘Despair, Panic Set in as Food, Water, and Medical Supplies are Delayed.’ ‘Death toll estimate at 50,000 to 100,000.’ The aid can’t get where it’s needed because of issues like the gangs, piling up corpses, blocking travel on roads. It’s not because of a lack of effort on the part of the first responders — and there were lots of obstacles to getting the aid to New Orleans, too. I’m not trying to be controversial at all. I am simply making this point to highlight how the reporting is so, so different.
RUSH: As a man who’s often accused of making everything racial, this is a CBS/AP dispatch. ‘The human suffering from Hurricane Katrina and the images of mostly black hurricane victims and looters have provoked new debates about tough public policy decisions, the nation’s troubled racial history and the racial and economic barriers that still separate Americans. CBS Radio News reports that New Orleans City Councilman Oliver Thomas said people are too afraid of black people to go in and save them. He added that rumors of shootings and riots are making people afraid to take in people who are being portrayed as thugs and thieves.’
This is the story, one of the many, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina saying that Bush didn’t want to go in there because didn’t want to help black people and people are afraid to go help black people.
The US military was on the scene, and they were rescuing people, and we’ve got the video to prove it. Yet we have two clear contrasts of how the media reports both. You want me to go through those headlines again about Haiti? You want me to go through ’em again? Okay. Because we’ve got the story out there that Obama’s doing wonderfully well. He’s doing great, much better than Bush. ‘Despair, Panic Set in as Food, Water, and Medical Supplies are Delayed.’ ‘Death Toll Estimate at 50,000 to 100,000.’ ‘UN to Launch Haiti Emergency Appeal for $550 Million.’ ‘Anarchy! Who’s Running the Country?’ ‘Aristide Offers to Return.’ ‘US Military Mobilizes Thousands.’ ‘War Zone: Gangs Do Battle in Streets with Machetes Over Food.’
‘Rescuers Race Against Time.’ ‘Wire: Angry Haitians Block Roads with Corpses’ ‘Horror: Corpses Impede Traffic, Pyres of Burning Tires Incinerate Cadavers.’ ‘Growing Desperation.’ ‘Survivors Face Diarrhea, Malaria Outbreaks Amid Lack of Clean Water.’ ‘Looting.’ ‘Earthquake in Pictures.’ Satellite Photos Before and After.’ ‘Actor Danny Glover Says Quake ‘Response’ For Screwing Up Climate Summit In Copenhagen.’ ‘Sky News Video: Pandemonium Just About Everywhere.’ Sky News at the Top of the Hour: People Screaming at the Top of Their Lungs, ‘We need help! We are getting nothing. We are going to die.” The Associated Press, if that’s your sole source for news, would make you believe that the aid has arrived and it’s being distributed. Lives are being saved. It’s much, much different than it was during Hurricane Katrina with George W. Bush.
Listen to this. You’ve heard me twice go through the headlines two days after the earthquake in Haiti. There are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and a 19th headline added. Here is the list of the headlines at the Drudge Report two days after Hurricane Katrina.
‘Navy ships and maritime rescue teams sent to region.’ ‘May Have Killed Thousands;’ ‘Bush Views Damage from Air Force One;’ ‘White House to Release Oil from Reserves,’ ‘Officials Helpless Against Looters;’ ‘Twenty-Five Thousand Superdome Evacuees to be Moved to Houston Astrodome;’ ‘Carnival Cruise Lines Asks about Using Ships.’ That’s it. Two days after hurricane Katrina versus all this. I mention this, ladies and gentlemen, not to be critical of anybody who’s trying to do anything in Haiti. I’m simply telling you you’re being lied to once again by the State-Controlled Media. Katrina was botched. Haiti is not being botched. The aid has not yet gotten anywhere appreciably. There’s no way to get it there. There are gangs; there is looting; there are similar things. Which place do you think is more corrupt, New Orleans or Haiti? Have they already got me up on MSNBC talking about it? I figured that. (laughing) I can play these people like a Stradivarius. What are they saying? Oh, it’s from two days ago. Oh, the light-skinned, dark skinned? They still don’t get that I’m making fun of Harry Reid. I told you by the end of this week those comments are going to be mine. As far as the media is concerned I will be the author, I will be the one who spoke light-skinned, dark-skinned.
RUSH: All right. Back to Haiti from www.sphere.com: ‘Aid Delays Fuel Desperation in Quake-Battered Haiti.’ It appears that Obama is not getting aid to dying Haitians. Listen to this report: ‘Haiti seemed to hold its breath today, praying that enough aid would arrive before the fears of hundreds of thousands of hungry, injured earthquake refugees turned to violence. ‘Every hour counts,’ said John Holmes, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, who was dispatching search and rescue teams from New York. His colleague in Haiti, peacekeeping chief David Wimhurst, told The Associated Press that Haiti’s survivors are ‘slowly getting more angry and impatient.’
‘About $400 million worth of aid has been pledged so far from Asia, Europe and the Americas, with a quarter of that from the US alone, and some 10,000 US military personnel are slated for deployment there by Monday. But immediate efforts have been stymied by roads blocked by debris, a damaged seaport and an airport that turned away civilian aid planes for eight hours Thursday because of a lack of space and fuel. Two Red Cross planes managed to land today carrying experts — engineers, doctors and specialists in reuniting families separated by disaster — as well as 40 tons of mainly medical supplies. The load includes a kit that can cover the basic health needs of 10,000 people for three months, plus 3,000 body bags and a ton of chlorine for water treatment.
‘But help could not come quick enough for throngs of increasingly desperate survivors, who woke after a third straight night outdoors to find no one there to help them. Camps sprung up in city parks, with survivors building tents from tree branches. … But tension is rising hourly as the wait lengthens for the wide-scale delivery of aid. … American soldiers immediately took on a coordinating role at the airport upon arrival Thursday. Another 5,500 US soldiers and Marines are expected by Monday, to provide security. … ‘Many people have not eaten since Tuesday. There are corpses everywhere, including pigtailed schoolgirls in their uniforms,’ Pooja Bhatia wrote on Twitter. ‘I was told at least five times that homeless peeps want to pray for me — all of which gives me some hope that riots and violence might not happen. But it will depend greatly on when aid arrives.”
Again, to be clear, I’m responding to media reports. I’m not criticizing Obama. They did criticize Bush. They politicized Katrina, and they criticized Bush, and they ended up having lies cemented in the public mind. I am responding to media reports predicted by me yesterday that we would have stories — and the AP was first out of the jumping chute — stories praising Obama, getting aid in there much faster and much more thoroughly, much better than Bush did. It’s not there yet. It’s pretty tough. The place is a disaster. The airport, they don’t have enough fuel for planes to land to get outta there. The seaport’s a mess.
To the phones we go on Open Line Friday. We’re going to start in Fresno, California, and Jerry, great to have you here, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Mega dittos.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I’d like to know why the press isn’t comparing this to the tsunami in Indonesia in 2004 where Bush — I think he had a hospital ship there within about 48 hours, he had P-3s flying search-and-rescue missions immediately. We got $35 million pledged, committed almost immediately, another $350 million within five days. And we eventually I think committed almost $950 million to the damage in —
RUSH: Well, it’s an excellent point. The answer is the same answer, why didn’t we get any good news coming out of Afghanistan in the early years, because it was working?
CALLER: Exactly. Yeah. And the other thing, I think the Red Cross had been kind of depleted by the time Hurricane Katrina hit, and plus he didn’t have Democrats blocking his way trying to get into Indonesia.
RUSH: Exactly. Exactly right. That is my point, Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco blocked entry into New Orleans. It wasn’t the hurricane, by the way, that did the damage, it was the levees bursting after the hurricane was gone that caused the floods and the levees, it was a combination of problems of local corruption and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The money was allocated; it was just not used for the levees.
RUSH: Here’s Obama. He had a little something to say this afternoon right at one o’clock Eastern Time on the earthquake in Haiti.
OBAMA: The port continues to be closed and the roads are damaged, food is scarce, and so is water. It will take time to establish distribution points so that we can ensure that resources are delivered safely and effectively and in an orderly fashion. But I want the people of Haiti to know that we will do what it takes to save lives and to help them get back on their feet.
RUSH: It sounds like two different messages to me. Sounds like, ‘Sorry, nothing’s there yet, but we’re going to do whatever it takes to save lives and help them get back on their feet.’ So President Obama asking Haitians for patience after the Associated Press has run a story saying Obama’s doing a wonderful job, beating Bush by a long shot in terms of how Bush dealt with Katrina.
RUSH: Scott in Nokesville, Virginia. It’s great to have you on the EIB Network, sir, hello.
CALLER: Yes, sir. This is a real honor for me.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I have a feeling ’cause I don’t think anyone should listen to General ‘Benedict’ Powell anymore. The president could have dropped in the airborne units on Wednesday. They don’t even need airports.
RUSH: Good point. The 82nd Airborne could parachute in there.
CALLER: And all their equipment and supplies.
RUSH: I just saw that they’re going in there now.
CALLER: Oh. Well, I guess better late than never.
RUSH: Benedict Powell, did you say? Did I hear that correctly?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: As in Benedict Arnold?
CALLER: Yes, sir, the same.
RUSH: That’s because of voting and endorsing Obama, you mean?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: As the quintessential Republican we should all model ourselves after?
CALLER: Well, just like Benedict Arnold was a hero until he didn’t get enough attention and then he switched sides.
RUSH: Oooh. That’s exactly right, and an apt comparison.
CALLER: And if I may: I wanted to thank you. I was in the honor guard in the nineties, and you got us through some really hard times with the Days Held Hostage thing.
RUSH: Yeah. I was tempted to reinstitute that with the Obama election, but I thought, ‘Why plagiarize myself? Been there, done that.’
CALLER: (laughing) Right before we tighten up and march on to the White House we would say the day that you’ve mentioned.
RUSH: (laughing) All right. Thanks for the call, sir. I appreciate it.
RUSH: Sad news out of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. This is Fox News: ‘Desperation in Haiti as Aid Is Snarled, Looters Roam — Hundreds of US troops touched down in earthquake-shattered Port-au-Prince overnight and were soon handing out food and water to stricken survivors, as relief groups struggled to deliver aid Friday and fears spread of unrest in Haiti’s fourth day of desperation.’ But wait! But wait! But wait! The AP has a story today saying that Obama has brilliantly got aid in there much faster than Bush did after Katrina. The facts on the ground don’t back it up.