Rantt Rundown: Media Covers Celebrities’ Words Over 4,600 Puerto Rican Deaths

Da 497 of the Trump presidency
A boy accompanied by his dog watches the repairs of Guajataca Dam, which cracked during the passage of Hurricane Maria, in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. The dam was built around 1928, and holds back a man-made lake. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

A boy accompanied by his dog watches the repairs of Guajataca Dam, which cracked during the passage of Hurricane Maria, in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. The dam was built around 1928, and holds back a man-made lake. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

By now, you’ve likely heard about Roseanne’s racist remark and ABC subsequently canceling her show.

You’ve also likely heard about TBS’ Samantha Bee calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless c**t” for not speaking out against her father’s inhumane immigration policies.

I’m not going to talk about either of those stories, because there hasn’t been sufficient coverage of one of the worst tragedies to strike America in the 21st century.

A Harvard University study estimated that Hurricane Maria killed more than 4,600 in Puerto Rico. This is more than 70 times the official toll. The BBC reported:

A third of deaths after September’s hurricane were due to interruptions in medical care caused by power cuts and broken road links, researchers say.

The Puerto Rico government said it “always expected the number to be higher than what was previously reported”.

The official death toll stands at 64.

Many Puerto Ricans we spoke to felt their immense suffering after the hurricane had been trivialised and that the emergency response has been lacklustre.

A relatively small number of people may have been killed by the physical impact of the storm, but six months later we met people who had lost relatives as a result of interrupted medical care and saw others struggling to pay for expensive generators on which they were running vital life support equipment.

There was also reported to have been a spike in the number of suicides. We found many still without homes and thousands who had been living without electricity since the day Hurricane Maria struck.

To put this in perspective, the initial death toll of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was 2,996 (over 1,000 more have died from illnesses related to the attacks), while Hurricane Katrina’s death toll was 1,833.

This news came on Tuesday. But something far less important enthralled America’s national media…

CNN dedicated 24x more time to Roseanne than Puerto Rico on May 29 and between 6-9 am on May 30 according to Media Matters. Fox News only dedicated 48 seconds to the news.

Given President Trump’s reluctance to provide necessary aid, attacks on the Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulin Cruz, and overall negligence during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, you would expect this to be treated as the major scandal it is. But it’s not. Instead, we’ve gotten round the clock coverage of celebrity antics.

This is journalistic malpractice at its worst and a prime example of the ratings-hungry reporting that fed the Trump candidacy, and now his presidency. Stories should be prioritized based on importance, not what will grab eyeballs.

The mainstream media needs to not only be shedding light on this injustice; they need to prod this administration for answers.

Why are thousands still (8months later) without power in Puerto Rico?

Why didn’t Puerto Rico immediately get the sufficient resources they needed?

Why did the President feel the need to verbally attack Puerto Rico’s leaders and people after the tragic hurricane?

Puerto Ricans are American citizens and human beings.

It’s time their lives are valued by this administration, and frankly, American media. Stay focused.


  • As we touched on yesterday, President Donald Trump has reportedly personally urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reclaim control of the Russia investigation. Today, Axios reported that it has happened quite a few times, as well as other requests.

Trump told Sessions he’d be a “hero” to conservatives if he did the “right thing” and took back control over the Russia investigation, according to two sources with knowledge of their conversations.

Trump also told Sessions he’d be a hero if he investigated Hillary Clinton, according to one of the sources.

Trump also repeated the “hero” line separately to aides and privately mused about whether it would be possible to limit the scope of the Mueller investigation to avoid his business affairs.

  • President Trump issued a problematic pardon and considered others.

Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen is facing legal peril, including an FBI raid of his home and office — and involvement in a civil lawsuit with adult film star Stormy Daniels.

But in the past, it was Cohen who sought to put legal pressure on others to solve problems for his boss.

For the first time, audio recordings of Cohen’s legal threats, from a 2015 Daily Beast interview, are being published.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol will travel to Washington on Friday to deliver a letter to President Donald Trump from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Pompeo spoke to reporters in New York after meeting Thursday with Kim Yong Chol, the former military intelligence chief. Pompeo says “real progress” has been made in the last three days toward setting the conditions needed for Trump and Kim Jong Un to have a successful summit in Singapore. Still, he says he doesn’t yet know whether the meeting will proceed on June 12.

  • President Trump tweeted (lied) that he didn’t fire FBI Director James Comey because of the Russia investigation, but reality begs to differ.

Rundown // Donald Trump / Media / News / Puerto Rico