Three weeks after the April 20th explosion on the “Deepwater Horizon” oil drilling platform 26 miles out to sea in the Gulf of Mexico, the deluge of oil pouring into the waters had yet to reach the coast. Partly because it had so far to travel, and partly because BP was permitted (for no rational reason I have yet to hear anyone explain) to dump hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic “dispersants” (called “Corexit EC7664A”) into the water, spreading the oil thin over a greater area as well as sink much of it beneath the ocean surface (out of sight, out of mind).
And because of this delay to see oil washing up on shore, Right Wing pundits… led by Rush Limbaugh (natch)… immediately rushed to the defense of the oil industry, suggesting that the “spill” would end up not being as severe as many were claiming. Just days after the spill, Limbaugh was already ridiculing the “panic”, arguing that while the end result might be bad, most of it would be “eaten alive” (as if oil was “alive”) by bacteria in the ocean long before it reached our shores (I could find NOTHING beyond claims from questionable sources, to support this crackpot theory.) Limbaugh was prepared to bet the farm on it.
“I’m not trying to minimize [the oil spill] here,” Limbaugh laughingly claimed, but “sea water is pretty tough stuff … oil has a tough time surviving in it”… because, as we all know, nothing can survive in sea water. Moron.
Fox’s Brit Hume, following the lead of Boss Limbaugh, made the same ridiculous claim two weeks ago during “Fox news Sunday”, asking token “Liberal” Juan Williams, “Where’s the oil?” To Limbaugh & Hume, this was all going to be much ado about nothing (with apologies to William Shakespeare), and “just like with the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, nature would clean up the mess (Limbaugh ridiculed those who “washed pelicans and polished rocks with paper towels” as engaging in simple “feel good” measures. Clearly, Rush hasn’t visited Prince William Sound since the spill. “Students on field trips to islands in Prince William Sound often uncover rocks [still] soiled in oil with little effort. Some say it smells like a gasoline station” 21 years later. (ADDENDUM: CBS News also reported on the condition of Prince William Sound last month.)
I recorded the claims of Hume & Limbaugh, along with news footage of the toxic mess washing up on shore, and compiled it into a YouTube video:
“Recording history for those who seek to rewrite it.”
Incredibly enough, during the EXACT SAME EPISODE of “Fox news Sunday” where Brit Hume was following Limbaugh’s lead of minimizing the severity of the “spill”, host Chris Wallace was asking guests if the “disaster” was “President Obama’s Katrina?” because he failed to recognize the scale of the disaster soon enough (unlike Limbaugh and Hume). I’m not sure when “no big deal” turned into “Obama’s Katrina”, but they definitely appear to overlap. Hume was noticeably absent from yesterday’s show.
I don’t know if they suddenly realized they were big spanking hypocrites on the issue of “recognizing the severity of the disaster early on”, or if repeatedly pointing out that the ACTUAL Katrina was a monster F-up on Bush’s part, but they are noticeably, deliberately, shifting the meme. On FnS yesterday morning, Wallace said he asked “a Democratic Strategist” if this was “Obama’s Katrina”? The “strategist” replied “No, it was more like Obama’s Iranian Hostage Crisis“… not his fault, but seen as impotent to do anything about it while the evening news counts down the days since the crisis began.
And that’s all the Right needs to hear… a solid comparison of Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter (whose administration, as I pointed out several weeks ago, wasn’t as bad as Bush-41′s, and nowhere near as bad as Bush-43′s). Conservative standard-bearer George Will made the identical comparison during ABC’s “This Week”. The Right has been looking for a way to link President Obama to President Carter since the day he took office. Now they’ve got one. And despite Wallace and Will themselves pointing out that this disaster is neither Obama’s fault nor is there anything he can do about it, Republicans will attempt to forge a link in voters minds from now until 2012, hoping history will “continue” to repeat itself (and yes, I AM saying Republicans are hoping the economic and ecological disaster will linger on for the next two years, long enough to win back the WH in 2012.)
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