The devastation of Hurricane Irma has been important to cover. And cover extensively. The thing is, most especially before it hit land, it was repetitious and anticipatory. Not that it shouldn't have been covered significantly. It should have been. But --
At the same time, there was...and still is...a massive series of wildfires burning up the Pacific Northwest and parts of British Columbia. So vast that friends in Chicago told me that ash from the fires have impacted sunsets there. And there was a horrific 8.1 earthquake in Mexico. (When the 1994 Northridge earthquake hit in Southern California, that was "just" 6.7 on the Richter scale.) Moreover, Houston is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and under water. And there are even two more hurricanes in the Atlantic, Jose and Katia.
And none of these have gotten pretty much any coverage on television that I've seen.
And worse, I haven't seen the president of the United States address any of them either. The Pacific Northwest of the United States is burning, and not a word from the White House. In fact, a month earlier, the governor of Oregon contacted FEMA at the start of the wildfire season to ask for addition aid, and was turned down.
And keep in mind that although Mexico isn't part of the United States -- and knows that our president has insulted them and wants to build a wall to keep them away -- even still, they offered to send aid to Texas during Harvey when Houston was flooded.
And not a word about any of this, that I've heard, from the Trump.
Hurricane Irma is indeed a disaster. But so are ALL of these others. And I really think it's irresponsible of television news to ignore them. (As irresponsible -- and unnecessary -- to put reporters at risk out in gale force winds, as if we don't know what rain and wind is without seeing these men and women on camera getting blown around and poured on.) That said, I do understand that TV has its limitation of resources, and if you put most of them in Florida, it leaves few to cover the other disasters well. "Well," but not "not at all." But I do get it, sort of.
And to be clear, there has at least been some coverage of all this in newspapers and online. Not a lot. But some, thank goodness.
But all that's separate from the government and its resources. And Trump and his Twitter. I expect all of them to act -- and to act responsibly. Seriously, at the VERY LEAST, how difficult is it to send a 140-character Tweet about the Pacific Northwest being on fire??! Or Mexico having an 8.1 earthquake??! Or Houston still being under water??! Or two other hurricanes exploding through the Atlantic??! At the very least -- SAY SOMETHING!!!
Irma is a massive disaster.
But so is the government response and TV coverage of what else is going on.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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