I admit, I get a perverse pleasure out of people who are the creators of their own misfortune. Tragedies in the classical sense. Not necessarily causing death, but at least causing inconvenience. Hurricane Gustav created two examples of this, and the victims are our favourite punching bags: politicians and the media.
The first comes out of the video above. A few weeks ago, Stuart Shepard of Focus on the Family posted a video online in which he half-jokingly suggests that Christian Conservatives pray for rain during Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at an open-air stadium. They say they never meant for it to be taken seriously, but it was, and the video was pulled (the one above is a copy).
Of course, there was no rain the night of Obama’s acceptance speech, and the Democratic convention went off without a hitch. But the day after, as John McCain was announcing his vice-presidential pick, we start hearing about this hurricane headed for the Gulf Coast. Toward New Orleans. Three years almost to the day that Katrina struck.
Oh the irony. It almost makes me believe in a god, as it did Michael Moore.
The second example comes from our good friends at CNN. When Barack Obama announced his VP pick, CNN filled the airwaves with news and analysis. Responding to a viewer comment via Facebook (oh how the media has changed, folks), anchor Rick Sanchez says this on air:
By the way, I have to share this with you. It is from Sam. He says, Rick — this is on Facebook — I’m counting on you to do the same kind of coverage when McCain announces his vice president as you’re doing tonight when Barack Obama has announced his vice president. Sam, we’ve already made that decision. I can guarantee you we will.
No caveats, no ifs or buts, just a bold guarantee. Of course, neither CNN nor the other news networks are coming close to meeting that guarantee for the convention. Half the news about Sarah Palin was surrounded (literally) by hurricane updates, and the convention coverage is being threatened by it. Even the convention itself is changing plans at the last minute to deal with people (like President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal) who can’t speak.
I actually feel a bit bad for the Republicans. It’s not their fault this hurricane hit with such horrible timing, nor is it their fault that Bristol Palin got pregnant. If they lose in November, it should be because of the issues, not because the campaign was derailed by … well, acts of God.
Funny, I though they blew!
(Sorry, couldn’t resist. I waited all day before posting this silly retort, after initially thinking of it within moments of reading your post title. In the end, the temptation was too great…).
And yes, I agree with you about the irony of it all. But no matter what happens with unwed daughters, smear campaigns, fair or unfair media attention (“fair and balanced…” hah!), there is a feeling in the air that this is the Democrats’ time to occupy the US seats of power. Obama and his team would have to make some HUGE mistakes to lose in the face of the prevailing sentiment towards Dubya, his administration and his legacy.
That’s what they said about John Kerry four years ago. He still found a way to lose.
Yeah, to the extent that I follow (and care about) “American” politics, I’m still reeling from the shock of that one… Did you see the “Sorry Everybody” web site that came up after that?
There was some suspense indeed, as most people were wishing the monster would be demoted to a plain vanilla Category Zero non-event before CNN had any chance to switch to a more convincing disaster…
And these heroic storm battered reporters reminded us of some surreal Monty Pythoon episode instalment of bygone years.