AP: Negative on Bush Gulf Coast Visit "After Three-Month Absence"

The AP’s Jennifer Loven used President Bush’s trip to the Gulf Coast region to throw in some not so subtle digs at the Commander in Chief.

Loven started the piece by pointing out the President’s “three-month absence from the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast.”  After Katrina, President Bush was criticized for not visiting the disaster area fast enough.  Then the President was criticized for visiting the area too much and going to the Gulf Coast region just for photo-ops. The President should coordinate a timetable for disaster area visits with the media so the spacing is more appropriate.

In the next paragraph, Loven reported that the President “dropped in” to two towns that were hardest hit by the hurricane.  Judging by the media coverage and the planned events of the day, it was not a spur of the moment and ring the doorbell yelling “guess who” moment.

According to Loven, President Bush “played booster in chief” while in New Orleans.  It would be a funny statement but she was writing about the President of the United States of America.  Should he have acted sad?  Should the President have wailed about the destruction?  The trip was to view the progress of reconstruction and to show his support for the citizens of the region.  I guess President Bush should have used a line from the Clinton playbook and just said “I feel your pain”.

Loven reminded readers that “many of New Orleans’ neighborhoods still are abandoned wastelands of uninhabitable homes and sidewalks piled with moldy garbage”. She failed to mention the strides that have been made in reconstruction.  Sounds like the AP’s coverage in Iraq. Loven then derided the fact that the President’s meeting was held in a “gleaming visitor’s center in the Lower Garden District neighborhood that never suffered serious damage”. 

Closing out the article, Loven made mention that the President went to a fundraiser in Palm Beach, FL at the “sprawling oceanfront mega-mansion” of Dwight Schar. That left the reader with quite a mental picture – Republicans in the lap of luxury while the Gulf Region struggles to rebuild. 

It is a shame that Loven failed to report what the President actually said in his speeches today.  He highlighted the accomplishments, praised the mayors and lauded the courage of the citizens. The President detailed the funding set aside for the Gulf Coast and the plans for further growth in the area.  Am I being picky – maybe.  Am I sick of the negative slant in the AP’s stories about the President – definitely.