Several weeks ago CNN and other major news outlets were predicting the erasure of Southern Florida from the map, with millions swept into the sea, everything flooded under water and chaos as we have never known.
Hurricane Irma was the storm of all storms.
Never had there been a storm like Irma.
Irma was predicted to be like the Holocaust, the Plague, small pox, and diphtheria all wrapped into one.
For a while she was a category 5. Forecasters believed they would have to name her a 6, so powerful was this storm.
The fear put into people listening to the television news was mind-boggling.
Then came the assurances from experts from a dozen corners of our nation that this super storm was bigger and nastier than everything that ever came before, was caused by global warming.
Dozens of CNN television news people were sent to Florida to await the end of the world.
They broadcast about the coming storm as though it was going to be an apocalyptic event.
This includes more than a dozen reporters and on air people ready to broadcast the end when it came.
It never came.
Nearly everyone looked foolish when the category 5 and maybe a 6 was reduced to a 2 when it hit the mainland and to a rainstorm as it went inland.
Bottom line, after a week of incapacitating and eye riveting hype with predictions of Florida as Armageddon, nothing happened.
The super hurricane was a television flop.
None of this was lost on the television news people who should have been ashamed of themselves for getting so wound up about the end of the world coming – which turned into broadcasting a rain storm with wind and very little destruction or loss of life.
It was almost impossible for the television folks to contain their disappointment.
Hardly anyone died.
Hardly anything was destroyed.
Life returned to normal all over Florida in a matter of a few days.
Then came the flap about North Korea followed by the president’s statements about football players taking the knee should be fired.
In between these issues and the endless discussions about them, Puerto Rico was destroyed.
The island with 3 million people even today remains without electricity or clean water.
By CNN standards, this is a catastrophe, but why no over the top coverage?
Because CNN was too busy reporting on the president’s plea that NFL owners fire those who take a knee instead of joining them.
Mind you, FEMA was already handling the disaster.
CNN wasn’t covering the Puerto Rico catastrophe because it was too preoccupied with pillorying the president, claiming he was slow to help out the Puerto Rican people.
It was and is CNN that was slow.
The destruction of Puerto Rico doesn’t fir the CNN news protocol because 3 million Puerto Ricans just aren’t as important of a more important breaking news story.
CNN didn’t cover the near total devastation in Puerto Rico because there were higher ratings reporting the president’s comments about those taking a knee being unpatriotic or insulting to our heritage and our symbols.
It was CNN that failed the people in this instance.
Not the president.
This didn’t stop Jake Tapper and all the talking heads from blaming the president for failing to do enough for the Puerto Rican people.
“The president was preoccupied with the NFL protests,” CNN reported.
“Why wasn’t he paying attention to Puerto Rico?” the talking head asked.
What CNN didn’t report is that until the president pivoted to Puerto Rico, CNN was unable to pivot on its own because it was too busy and far too pre-occupied covering the president for higher ratings.
Then came what CNN does best… blaming the president for the debacle in Puerto Rico instead of blaming themselves for dropping the ball on what has become an epic story of destruction and the impossibility of life for all the survivors.
This was the storm of the century for Puerto Rico, not hurricane Irma.
But the press largely abandoned Puerto Rico for days until the president announced he was going to Puerto Rico next week, prompting the CNN on air folks to complain: “It’s too late. The president has failed again.”
It is CNN that has failed to cover what is arguably the disaster of the century in the Caribbean and the total destruction of Puerto Rico and it’s infrastructure.
Americans aren’t paying attention to the disaster Puerto Rico suffered.
Neither is CNN whose pre-occupation with bringing down the president far outweighed any interest shown in broadcasting from Puerto Rico or the plight of the Puerto Rican people.
The greater interest at CNN was taking down the president rather than broadcasting or covering the storm of the century in Puerto Rico.
Who was distracted?