I’m watching This Week as the panelists discuss whether the oil spill is “Obama’s Katrina.” Frank Rich wrote a piece this morning about whether this is “Obama’s Katrina.” It’s a line of discussion that’s been ongoing for a couple of weeks now — revived after an initial bit of discussion when the spill began.
Hurricane Katrina was a terrible natural disaster and a human tragedy. But now it’s being hacked to bits and regurgitated by media people who evidently can’t come up with a better way to describe their inchoate, inexplicable position on the president’s response to the oil spill. In this process, the meaning of Katrina is being lost in lieu of turning it into the present day hack equivalent of the over-used “gate” suffix following every scandal.
Furthermore, there’s a multitude of issues surrounding this spill that ought to be covered by the very serious Villager set. Corporate malfeasance. Corporate lobbying. Corporate incompetence. I would love to have heard the This Week panel discussing how BP is lobbying the Canadian government to eliminate the regulation mandating backup wells. I would love to have heard the This Week panel discussing whether BP has been more focused on harvesting the oil than simply capping the well.
Instead, it’s this self-conscious effort to find some sort of specious “both sides” balance between the incompetence of the Bushies and the Obama administration.
At this risk of falling into the same trap, any writer or reporter or pundit who uses this ridiculous line — it’s their Katrina. Totally incompetent.