CNN, MSNBC Shamefully Blame Climate Change for Harvey, Knock Poor Trump Voters as Houston Floods

While there have been only a smattering of climate change references since Hurricane Harvey took over news cycles, CNN and MSNBC featured more shameful exploitations of the hurricane on Monday to promote climate change as thousands were in need of help from rising flood waters.

Perhaps most notably, one New York Times writer on MSNBC knocked the President, questioning his motives for recovery efforts, and used climate change to make a class argument that the poor and especially poor Trump voters are disproportionately going to be targeted by it.

Yamiche Alcindor appeared on the Monday edition of MSNBC’s Deadline: White House and lamented that Trump has tweeted about issues besides Hurricane Harvey. As Ben Shapiro tweeted on Sunday night, Trump’s probably not doing fine thus far if Alcindor’s biggest gripe is his tweets. 

She then shifted to climate change, ignoring the facts surrounding Harvey (which this space laid out on Sunday night) and engaged in some class warfare (read: rich vs. poor, black vs. white, etc.):

I should say I just was reporting in Galveston, Texas, and my story was focused on climate change and on the idea that middle class and poor people would be some of the first people hurt by climate change and there's this idea that these storms, these hurricanes are getting worse and worse, scientists say, and that working class and poor people, poor people that voted for President Trump, that are excited about this presidency, that thought his presidency would improve his lives, that these are the same people who can't afford to get into their car and drive four or five hours or can't afford a hotel room to try to escape these floods. 

Hours earlier on the network, Texas Tribune writer Kiah Collier told fill-in MSNBC Live host Chris Jansing that the decisions by Houston officials over the years to have far less green space and their supposed inability to recognize climate change have led to a reckoning of sorts with Harvey.

“But scientists are saying what's really needed is smarter development policies, and for public officials to start thinking about climate change, and how climate change will start bringing more intense and frequent rainfall and a lot of them are not doing that at this point, even though a bunch of other major cities are,” Collier argued.

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Back during the noon Eastern hour, CNN’s Inside Politics featured one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to liberal bias. Instead of simply expressing the view themselves, a liberal journalist passes off that opinion as simply something that has been said or might be said by other people. 

CNN political analyst and New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza was the one to deploy this strategy while speaking to co-host John King:

LIZZA: Well, in the wake of a natural disaster like this, where the federal government is leading the effort, is Trump really going to stick to a promise to shut down the government? And then finally I think it's worth pointing out, you know, everyone is saying this is the storm of the century, the storm -- 500 year storm. Twelve years ago was Katrina. We've had now three storms in 12 years that were as bad as this. And a lot of Democrats will be saying, you know, climate change is actually — this is the kind of flooding you would predict based on the climate change model. So that's another debate —

KING: The climate change debate.

LIZZA: — for the — for the weeks ahead that the two parties will certainly engage in. 

KING: Absolutely. If you look at Houston in the last 15 years, it's one of the conversations that will happen, why do we keep having the storm of the century? 

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Deadline: White House on August 28:

MSNBC’s Deadline: White House
August 28, 2017
4:11 p.m. Eastern

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: It's objectively clear that he's not focused only on Hurricane Harvey and the people we know who have died in the storm. On Friday night, of course, we had the pardoning of Sheriff Arpaio, we had the transgender military ban coming up. We had, of course, Seb Gorka quitting and then he's been tweeting about book — he's been asking people to buy Sheriff Clarke's book, he’s been tweeting about Claire McCaskill and going to visit Missouri. He's doing all this other stuff where — when people — including some of this — I'm sure the people who voted for him are facing the historic flooding in Houston. I think it’s, in some ways, we’re seeing a president that can’t focus on a natural disaster and I should say I just was reporting in Galveston, Texas, and my story was focused on climate change and on the idea that middle class and poor people would be some of the first people hurt by climate change and there's this idea that these storms, these hurricanes are getting worse and worse, scientists say, and that working class and poor people, poor people that voted for President Trump, that are excited about this presidency, that thought his presidency would improve his lives, that these are the same people who can't afford to get into their car and drive four or five hours or can't afford a hotel room to try to escape these floods. So that’s how you find people that are stuck in their homes and now possibly hurt by the storms. So, I think what we’re seeing is that people are really looking for a President that is focused on them, focused on their well-being and we'll see in the press conference that's going to come whether or not he’s going to change his tune and whether or not he’s going to sound more sincere.

Here’s the relevant transcript from August 28's MSNBC Live:

MSNBC Live
August 28, 2017
1:30 p.m. Eastern

KIAH COLLIER: According to a lot of the scientists we talked to, every scientist we talk to, experts and some public officials, a lot of this devastation could have been prevented if Houston officials over the decades had been willing to have a smarter development policies, leave some green space, instead of paving it over with concrete and having all of this impervious cover just means that people get flooded out as the water drains off to whatever natural kind of form of creek or bayou and eventually drains out to the Gulf of Mexico. So — but local officials that we talked to said, you know, the argument by scientists that, you know, this prairie land would absorb a bunch of rain water is, you know, ludicrous, it's absurd and, you know, we can essentially fight concrete with concrete. We can, you know, through these massive public works projects that mitigate flooding, you know, retention ponds, widening the bayou system. That kind of thing and, you know, some of that might be needed. But scientists are saying what's really needed is smarter development policies, and for public officials to start thinking about climate change, and how climate change will start bringing more intense and frequent rainfall and a lot of them are not doing that at this point, even though a bunch of other major cities are.

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s Inside Politics on August 28:

CNN’s Inside Politics
August 28, 2017
12:27 p.m. Eastern

RYAN LIZZA: Yes, look, I think, you know, as you pointed out at the beginning of this, it's probably -- it's too early for the sort of partisan politics to present itself in the situation. As things go on, though, I think there's three big policy debates that will happen, that always happen in the wake of an emergency like that. And they were going to happen anyway, right, because we're getting into that season where the budget and the government — government shutdown season in Washington and so you're going to have a big debate about funding for some of the response efforts. And as Sara pointed out in — during Sandy there was a big partisan fight over that. We've got to see where Trump's priorities are on that. His budget that he presented to Congress cut a lot of programs, or wanted to cut a lot of programs, that would be helpful in a natural disaster like that. He's also threatened to shut down the government if the border wall is not built. Well, in the wake of a natural disaster like this, where the federal government is leading the effort, is Trump really going to stick to a promise to shut down the government? And then finally I think it's worth pointing out, you know, everyone is saying this is the storm of the century, the storm -- 500 year storm. Twelve years ago was Katrina. We've had now three storms in 12 years that were as bad as this. And a lot of Democrats will be saying, you know, climate change is actually — this is the kind of flooding you would predict based on the climate change model. So that's another debate —

KING: The climate change debate.

LIZZA: — for the — for the weeks ahead that the two parties will certainly engage in. 

KING: Absolutely. If you look at Houston in the last 15 years, it's one of the conversations that will happen, why do we keep having the storm of the century? 

LIZZA: Yes.

NB Daily Environment Global Warming Hurricanes Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN Inside Politics MSNBC Deadline: White House New York Times Texas Texas Tribune Video Ryan Lizza Yamiche Alcindor Donald Trump
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