With Republican Governor Rick Snyder under serious pressure over the Flint, Michigan water crisis, Fox News is trying to shift blame to the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency, local Flint officials and even the residents of Flint who are the victims of this GOP malfeasance.
From The Washington Post:
After the hardscrabble city of 100,000 switched its water source from Detroit to the Flint River to save money in April 2014, there are real questions about what Snyder and his top aides knew about the residents’ complaints. The water, which researchers later found was corrosive to the lead pipes that transported it to much of the city, was smelly, murky and gave their children rashes. Avoiding it became a way of life for Flint residents.
Snyder said in an interview published Monday with National Journal that he knew last summer that his top aides were concerned that Flint residents were “getting blown off” by the state’s environmental department (whose director has since resigned).
But it wasn’t until a local health official found in September that the proportion of lead in Flint children’s blood levels had doubled to above-average levels, with potentially irreversible consequences for some, that government appeared to swing into action. The lead levels might also be linked to an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease that is tied to the death of 10 in the county Flint resides in.
But last night’s discussion of the crisis on The Kelly File neatly glossed over Snyder’s role in the crisis. Even the “objective” report by Fox’s Trace Gallagher downplayed questions about Snyder’s role in the crisis and played up his efforts to alleviate it along with others' culpability.
All transcription below is via Fox News' transcript, with some minor corrections and edits. All emphases are mine:
GALLAGHER: Megyn, for more than a year and a half, residents of Flint, Michigan complained the water had a foul odor, tasted funky and was causing side effects like rash and hair loss. Federal, state and local agencies all reportedly had evidence the water was bad yet they kept saying it was not. That is, until doctors finally started diagnosing kids with high levels of lead in their blood.
…Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says [President Obama’s] state of emergency isn’t enough. He wants the president to declare it a disaster, which would free up tens of millions of federal dollars. But it’s the Governor getting the brunt of the criticism. Even Hillary Clinton has accused him of ignoring the needs of an already disadvantaged community. Today the governor released his e-mails regarding Flint and they appear to show that his chief of staff informed him the water was “less than savory, but no clear evidence of lead.”
There was no mention, for example, of how state officials “seemed eager to place responsibility for the pipes and the water firmly with local authorities,” as The New York Times reported, nor how state officials belittled concerns and downplayed the risks.
But Fox’s digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt took Snyder’s Republican Rehab a step further by blaming the Flint residents:
First, Stirewalt suggested people shouldn’t be living in Flint in the first place:
STIREWALT: I grew up in a part of America that is not entirely different from Flint, Michigan and I can say that …[p]art of the problem is the insane lying that politicians in both parties have done to people in these communities for generations.
To say somehow it’s coming back or it’s going to get better or, "Just hang on, I have a plan to make it better," because nobody wants to tell the truth, which is, it ain’t going to work. And you have these failed cities, you have these failed communities, where people keep hanging on to hope for the next good thing and then you see this and realize it is only getting worse.
Then, Stirewalt specifically attacked the Flint residents:
STIREWALT: Well, look, I will say that an individual—people have no choice, right. If you’re poor and you have no place to go and you don’t have resources to move, but if you were pouring water into a cup for your child and it stunk and it smelled like sulfur and was rotten, would you give that to your child? No. You’d revolt. You’d march in the street. You know, we’ve had a lot of demonstrations of late in the United States.
We’ve had a lot of demonstration movements about justice for this and don’t do that and don’t say this. The people of Flint should have been protesting in the streets. They should have been demanding at their leadership.
As Media Matters pointed out (but “straight news anchor” Megyn Kelly did not):
Stirewalt overlooked the protests that took place last year in January, February, April, July, and October, and this year in early January. Most recently, there have been at least three rallies since January 16, when hundreds of people gathered at Flint’s City Hall to confront Governor Rick Snyder and demand justice.
Meanwhile, there was a deliberate effort to blame the Obama administration and local officials. Host Megyn Kelly asked guest and Fox News host Dana Perino, “Who is to blame here?” Perino did her best to make Snyder look good and throw blame on others.
PERINO: Well first, I think Ron Fournier, who wrote a great piece and he’s from Michigan, he's from the area. He knows the politicians very well. He writes about how there is a systematic failure over and over again at the local, state and possibly the federal level. I think the most important thing is the governor said all right, I will take responsibility. Let’s try to fix this right now.
I don’t think it should—that the White House should waste another moment deciding whether this is a disaster or not. Basically, that distinction allows for more resources to flow to Flint immediately and I would hope the taxpayers all across the nation would say, “okay this is where we can all come together and help them and do the right thing.”
…But now, the city manager apparently knew. I mean it’s not—the thing that’s so egregious about this, correct me if I’m wrong, is they had knowledge. They knew, Chris, that there was something wrong with the water and they let the people who were too proud to give up, but too poor to matter continue drinking it including children.
And Kelly did her part:
KELLY: And the question is whether the EPA buried this because there is a Virginia Tech researcher who did a water analysis in 2015.
It helped to expose this contamination and they’re saying at the federal level, the EPA knew and buried it. And the question is what should happen as a result. I mean who should get fired? Where is the accountability going to be besides the courtroom?
PERINO: Well remember also, just six months ago that the federal EPA poisoned an entire river in Colorado and I don’t think anybody paid a price for that. I think that the first thing—I think that the president should be able to hopefully face the city of Flint or to the governor somehow, these residents are not going to pay for the water.
Watch the Republican rehab effort below, from the January 20 The Kelly File.
In a wholly privatized America where there are huge profits in keeping environmental hazards secret and no independent government watchdog are there any problems? A variation of a tree falling in the woods making a sound dilemma. 😉
Sorry for not taking Fox News’ ridiculous bulls—t seriously right now but I’ve been watching the ‘Fox & Friends’ clowns for over an hour and they’re so crazy I can only laugh at the propaganda.
EARTH TO DANA “TOO MUCH CAPPUCCINO” PERINO: a federal disaster declaration is reserved for acts of nature that cause destruction and/or loss of life, i.e., floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. — a federal emergency declaration is for man-made acts that result in destruction/loss of life . . . state officials knowingly switching to an unsafe source of drinking water marks this as the latter.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says [President Obama’s] state of emergency isn’t enough. He wants the president to declare it a disaster, which would free up tens of millions of federal dollars.
It’s funny: as much as these repubs whine about “government overreach” and “ending dependence on the nanny state”, they will be the FIRST ones with their hand out when something goes wrong — just like former TX gov. Rick “Helmethair” Perry was when he begged for relief during the TX wildfires from the same federal government he talked about seceding from . . .
Fox Blames Flint Water Crisis On Residents And President Obama
So, to recap: in just the last few hours, per Fox, President Obama has been responsible for
- the stock market downturn
- the water crisis in Flint
- and Track Palin’s arrest
I have never know a man who’s supposedly as incompetent as President Obama, who was simultaneously in control of so much . . .