New York Times Criticizes Obama's Slow Response To Gulf Oil Spill

On Friday, NewsBusters asked when media would start pointing fingers at the Obama administration for its slow response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Saturday, we got our answer as the New York Times published an editorial pointing a finger straight at Barack Obama.

This came comically less than 24 hours after Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote about how absurd such an accusation would be.

But before we get there, this is what the Gray Lady wrote Saturday (h/t @allahpundit):

The company, BP, seems to have been slow to ask for help, and, on Friday, both federal and state officials accused it of not moving aggressively or swiftly enough. Yet the administration should not have waited, and should have intervened much more quickly on its own initiative.

A White House as politically attuned as this one should have been conscious of two obvious historical lessons. One was the Exxon Valdez, where a late and lame response by both industry and the federal government all but destroyed one of the country’s richest fishing grounds and ended up costing billions of dollars. The other was President George W. Bush’s hapless response to Hurricane Katrina.

Now we have another disaster in more or less the same neck of the woods, and it takes the administration more than a week to really get moving.

The timetable is damning. 

After going through this "timetable" beginning with the explosion on April 20 and including a photo op the Administration orchestrated in the Rose Garden to give the appearance it was engaged in the problem, the Times concluded:

We do not know whether there were other steps BP — and Transocean, the rig’s owner and operator — could have taken to prevent the blowout, and what steps, including new technologies, that can be taken to prevent such accidents in the future.

What we do know is that we now face a huge disaster whose consequences might have been minimized with swifter action. 

Yet, as NewsBusters reported Friday, less than 24 hours prior, Krugman made the case that blaming Obama for this disaster would be absurd.

Nice timing, Paul! 

Regardless, it is nonetheless interesting to see the Times make this statement on its editorial page.

Is this the beginning of a full-frontal assault by media concerning the White House's slow response to this crisis? Will this turn into Obama's Katrina as some on the right have opined?

Or is this just a non-threatening observation by the Times on a Saturday while most people are out enjoying their weekends, and this will all be forgotten by Monday?

Stay tuned. 

New York Times
Noel Sheppard's picture