Rantt Rundown: Media Covers Celebrities’ Words Over 4,600 Puerto Rican Deaths
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…
This is despicable. Our media’s failure here is a huge scandal. pic.twitter.com/YunhSlfb8x
— Adam (@aalali44) May 31, 2018
This is so depressing. As a reporter who served on CNN’s massive team that camped out for months to cover Katrina (2005)–I am discouraged by this chart. https://t.co/gYYo4sDVkp
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) May 31, 2018
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.
A FRONTLINE & @NPR investigation found that the federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico lagged behind the responses to Harvey and Irma on the U.S. mainland. https://t.co/6R4xZtGCvG pic.twitter.com/3Vt7P5rAQQ
— FRONTLINE (@frontlinepbs) May 30, 2018
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.
My take on the Samantha Bee situation is that almost 5000 people died in Puerto Rico and we aren’t talking about it
— Remy Carreiro (@Remy_Anne) June 1, 2018
- 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.
Scoop: President Trump pressured Jeff Sessions to reclaim control of the Russia investigation on at least four separate occasions, three times in person and once over the phone. https://t.co/8vUvohSMcq
— Axios (@axios) May 31, 2018
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 escalated his trade war…with America’s own allies.
Trade wars. Good. Easy. pic.twitter.com/VIHY5G7cNM
— Adam (@aalali44) May 31, 2018
“We have to believe that at some point, common sense will prevail. But we see no sign of that in this action today by the US administration,” Canadian PM Trudeau says after new US tariffs. https://t.co/MRwpTeK7l1 pic.twitter.com/fCHsPyHAqE
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) May 31, 2018
Trump has just issued this statement in response to Trudeau: pic.twitter.com/tHacOCSBrt
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 1, 2018
- President Trump issued a problematic pardon and considered others.
Dinesh D’Souza was convicted of one of the crimes Michael Cohen is under investigation for, campaign finance fraud. Impossible to view this as anything other than a “stay strong“ message from Trump to Cohen, especially given the timing. https://t.co/rtjNnF73wy
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) May 31, 2018
The past year, Dinesh D’Souza has:
—Suggested the Charlottesville rally was staged
—Shared a meme calling Obama a “gay Muslim”
—Suggested Michelle Obama is a man
—Started a conspiracy theory about the Vegas shooting
—Defended Adolf Hitler as “NOT anti-gay”https://t.co/YqI4oO2L5r
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 31, 2018
Roger Stone tells WaPo that Trump’s pardon of D’Souza sent a clear signal to Flynn, Manafort & others ensnared by Mueller: “The special counsel has awesome powers, as you know, but the president has even more awesome powers.” https://t.co/H7olsvnJgS
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) June 1, 2018
Joe Arpaio—Contempt of court
Dinesh D’Souza—Election law violations
Trump is reportedly considering pardoning/commuting sentence for:
Martha Stewart—Obstruction of justice
Rod Blagojevich—Corruption@realDonaldTrump’s message is clear.
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) May 31, 2018
- NPR reported:
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.
- The Associated Press reported:
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.
Not that it matters but I never fired James Comey because of Russia! The Corrupt Mainstream Media loves to keep pushing that narrative, but they know it is not true!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 31, 2018