Right-wing media are scrambling to politicize Hurricane Sandy, attacking media outlets for reporting that Obama has returned to the White House to monitor the response to the storm, which could affect 60 million Americans.
Hurricane Sandy Could Affect 60 Million Americans
CNN: "Hurricane Sandy Could Affect As Many As 60 Million People." CNN reported that the number of Americans impacted by the storm could reach up to 60 million with the possibility of "unprecedented damage":
Hurricane Sandy could affect as many as 60 million people.
"This is the most catastrophic event that we have faced and been able to plan for in any of our lifetimes," Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said.
An expected storm surge at midnight could raise water levels to 11 feet above normal high tide, bringing "the potential to cause unprecedented damage."
Hundreds of thousands of people have abandoned their homes. New York City landmarks are eerily empty. The nation's capital is emptied of government workers. Much of the region was settling into paralysis, bracing for what's to come.
From North Carolina to Maine, forecasters said Sandy was likely to collide with a cold front and spawn a "superstorm" that could generate flash floods, snowstorms and massive power outages.
The National Grid, which provides power to millions of customers, said 60 million people could be affected -- up from its previous estimate of 50 million.
"It could be bad," said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Rattior, "or it could be devastation." [CNN.com, 10/29/12]
Wash. Post: "Hurricane Sandy May Be Unprecedented In East Coast Storm History." The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reported that its weather models show a storm possibly "unlike anything the region has ever experienced":
With computer models locked in on the eventuality of a punishing blow for East Coast from Hurricane Sandy (with the latest model runs favoring the northern mid-Atlantic), analyses suggest this storm may be unlike anything the region has ever experienced. [The Washington Post, Capital Weather Gang, 10/26/12]
President Obama Cancels Campaign Events To Return To Washington And Oversee Storm Response
CNN: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Told Reporters "Obama Would Return To Washington Instead Of Attending The Campaign Rally In Orlando." Citing "deteriorating weather conditions in the Washington area," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Obama would return to Washington, DC to monitor storm preparations and meet with emergency management officials:
[White House Press Secretary Jay] Carney said Monday that Obama would return to Washington instead of attending the campaign rally in Orlando. "Due to deteriorating weather conditions in the Washington area, the President will not attend today's campaign event in Orlando," Carney wrote. "The President will return to the White House to monitor the preparations for and early response to Hurricane Sandy." [CNN, 10/29/12]
Right-Wing Blogs: Obama "Flies Back To DC To Play Hero"
The Drudge Report: "SPIN? Obama Campaign Fears Impact Of Hurricane Sandy." The Drudge Report depicted President Obama flying back to Washington, DC to oversee the federal response to Hurricane Sandy with a photo of Obama posing in front of a Superman statue:
[Drudge Report, 10/29/12]
Jim Hoft: Obama "Flies Back To DC To Play Hero." Conservative blogger Jim Hoft used the same image to argue that Obama's flight back to DC to oversee the storm response was all about heroics, and warned people to "look for nonstop reporting" about Obama's efforts:
[Gateway Pundit, 10/29/12]
Breitbart.com: ABC Trying To Guarantee Obama Re-Election By Showing Picture Of Him On The Phone With FEMA Director. Breitbart.com blogger Ron Futrell accused ABC of trying to tilt the election simply by showing a picture of the president talking to FEMA Director Craig Fugate on the phone:
This column is not about the seriousness of the storm, but about ABC and the politics of disaster and how the network is both advising the president, and creating his template for success.
The media has its ammo, a picture provided by the Obama administration of him on the phone in the Oval Office with the Director of FEMA supposedly discussing storm coverage. I guess since Obama can't golf in 100 mph winds, he'll have to stay inside. [Breitbart.com, 10/28/12]