Media Try to Use Notre Dame Fire to Embarrass President Trump

On Monday, the world watched in horror as the famous Notre Dame Cathedral burned. A deeply concerned President Trump put out a tweet urging for water-tanker helicopters to be used to put out the blaze. We later learned that French authorities didn’t use them because the weight of the water could cause further destruction. Despite many other people thinking the same thing, members of liberal media used it as an opportunity to score cheap points against Trump. But not all did.

For ABC’s World News Tonight, chief White House correspondent Jon Karl dug into Trump for offering “some unsolicited advice” to French firefighters. “Would that work? A veteran American firefighter told David it would not,” he chided.

He added: “Later, the French Civil Defense Agency said essentially the same thing. In its one and only tweet of the day in English. ‘All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.’”

During CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, comedic reporter Jeanne Moos mocked the President’s idea for getting shot down:

JEANNE MOOS: President Trump offered advice, “perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it must act quickly.” Jersey City’s fire chief threw cold water on that.

CHIEF STEVEN MCGILL (Jersey City Fire Department): Water is very heavy and if it hits a structure like that, out of a tanker, it could cause further collapse.

But not all members of the liberal media used the tragedy to dunk on the President; some saw that the moment needed something greater than petty politics.

 

 

In contrast, CNN host Chris Cuomo chose not to mock Trump’s idea during Prime Time as he talked with John Jay College Associate Professor of Fire Science Glenn Corbett and explained the science behind why that wasn't used. “And now, you and I are not here to talk about politics a lot of people were making the suggestion, which is, where are the choppers? I brought it up on live television today because we think about that,” he said.

And he was telling the truth. Throughout the live coverage of the fire during CNN Newsroom, Cuomo repeatedly questioned and brought up the lack of helicopters. Here are a couple of those times (click “expand”):

We don't know about anybody inside. We don’t know about injuries. One of the points of curiosity is why are there no helicopters dumping water on this? They’re right next to the River Seine. We’re getting information.

(…)

I want to [CNN Senior European correspondent] Jim Bittermann, now. Jim, you've been a teacher to me about the politics and life in Paris for years now. What do you know about what the efforts are and the capabilities and why we haven't seen the helicopters that one might imagine would be used in this type of situation?

 

Shockingly, Cuomo even commended Trump as he was wrapping up his discussion with Professor Corbett. “Again, it’s not about the President, not today. He actually said the right thing. He recognizes it’s a tragedy, said work was going to slow down within the White House – what they were talking about – because all eyes were on this. But a lot of people were talking about that…” he said while pointing to a monitor with Trump’s tweet on it.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
April 15, 2019
6:38:46 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Witnesses on the air with us today as the world, in fact, watched. And among them, President Trump was shaken by the sight of Notre Dame as it burned. Tweeting: “it was horrible to watch”. At an event in Minnesota, calling it one of the great treasures of the world. The President also offering advice in a tweet, saying firefighters should use flying water tankers, adding they must, quote, “act quickly”. Here's ABC's chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl.

[Cuts to video]

JON KARL: As the world watched Notre Dame burn, a somber President Trump took note of the tragedy.

(…)

KARL: Earlier, in a tweet, the President offered some unsolicited advice: "Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!" Would that work? A veteran American firefighter told David it would not.

CHIEF STEVEN MCGILL (Jersey City Fire Department): Water is very heavy and if it hits a structure like that, out of a tanker, it could cause further collapse.

KARL: Later, the French Civil Defense Agency said essentially the same thing. In its one and only tweet of the day in English. “All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral."

 

CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront
April 15, 2019
7:58:45 p.m. Eastern

(…)

JEANNE MOOS: President Trump offered advice, “perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it must act quickly.” Jersey City’s fire chief threw cold water on that.

CHIEF STEVEN MCGILL (Jersey City Fire Department): Water is very heavy and if it hits a structure like that, out of a tanker, it could cause further collapse.

(…)

CNN Newsroom
April 15, 2019
2:30:12 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: We do not know that anybody was inside the church at this time. That is developing information. So, we do not know it is a human tragedy, but the tragedy alone is so great in this moment. As Brianna was telling you, the famous spire that is one of the easiest ways to identify Notre Dame is gone. Is that because it was weakened just by the fire? Had they hallowed out some of it as part of the restoration efforts? It's not uncommon for work like this to be going on at this cathedral. But you just saw it fall there on the left of your screen.

We don't know about anybody inside. We don’t know about injuries. One of the points of curiosity is why are there no helicopters dumping water on this? They’re right next to the River Seine. We’re getting information.

(…)

2:43:02 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS CUOMO: I want to Jim Bittermann, now. Jim, you've been a teacher to me about the politics and life in Paris for years now. What do you know about what the efforts are and the capabilities and why we haven't seen the helicopters that one might imagine would be used in this type of situation?

(…)

 

Cuomo Prime TIme

9:14:14 p.m.

CHRIS CUOMO: And now, you and I are not here to talk about politics a lot of people were making the suggestion, which is where are the choppers? I brought it up on live television today because we think about that. The air restrictions around Paris, not in an emergency situation. The French authorities said just to address one thing and get it out of the way, we have the capabilities, we fight forest fires all the time. We're not doing this because we're worried about putting that much water inside this structure right now we're afraid it may make it worse structurally for the walls. Does that square with you?

GLENN CORBETT (Associate Professor of Fire Science, John Jay College): Yeah, because if it's a fixed wing aircraft there's no pilot that could drop it exactly in that one spot moving 700 miles per hour over it. If you’re talking about helicopters, one of the issues you got too here is that thermal updraft, that a chimney effectively. You can’t fly a helicopter in hot air basically. That’s another problem you have to deal with.

(…)

CUOMO: Again, it’s not about the President, not today. He actually said the right thing. He recognizes it’s a tragedy, said work was going to slow down within the White House – what they were talking about -- because all eyes were on this. But a lot of people were talking about that and it was not a factor today. If anything it might have made it worse.

(...)

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